Mom-Guilt: Letting Busyness Get in the Way of Rest

Trying to Be Super-Mom

As a wife and mom, it’s easy to get into the routine of taking care of others, and not really thinking too much about it. Take out the trash, clean up the diapers, make the meals, clean the bathrooms, manage the finances, go to work, and on and on.

Rest often takes a backseat.

But, this becomes a problem when taking care of me gets taken out of the picture. 

Time to myself can easily become non-existent. Time with my friends and family can seem to disappear with an additional errand that needs to be done, a meal that needs to be prepared, a mess that needs to be cleaned, or the lack of sleep I’ve gotten.

Until finally, I don’t even realize how busy I’ve become by taking care of others, how much of myself I’ve given,  and I can’t give anymore.

I feel isolated, and I’m soon running on empty.

The thought of taking a break, having someone else watch my child, doing something I want to do, somehow doesn’t seem like a viable option in the middle of the madness. With the busyness of motherhood, I get swept away with the idea that all has to be done and accomplished by Mom.

Mom has to save the day. Mom has to always be “on the job”.

It’s sad to admit that I’ve hit rock bottom several times while trying to take care of others while running on empty.

It’s not a pretty picture when mom fails to take some time for herself.

I become short with my husband. I grow frustrated more easily with day-to-day obligations, and my emotions run amuck. The overwhelming feelings of tiredness and frustration creep in, and I’m not the wife or mom I want to be.

I’m not the person I want to be.

 

Pride

It hurts to realize that beyond the constant drive in my heart to help others and care for my family, is the sinful notion of pride. I begin thinking that I don’t need help because I have to handle it all. My fear of what others think if I can’t handle something begins to creep in.

It’s not that I set out to think this way. But when I’m stretched too thin, my heart for helping and doing can turn into a chore and an obligation, rather than a joy. My mindset changes, and I begin placing my value as a person in who I’m helping and what I’m doing, rather than who I truly am in Christ.

I’m putting myself in a place that’s above being human. I’m trying to become a person who doesn’t need rest, who can be everywhere, and do everything, and I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I crash from exhaustion.

I’m not designed to work that way.

By trying to take on too much without rest, I’m putting myself in the place of God. I’m trying to be the God of my family, of my life, of my world. I’m trying to constantly be in control by disconnecting from the idea that I actually have needs too.

Mom needs rest just like everyone else.

Pride thinks it doesn’t need help, that’s it’s always in control, always right, always doing the right thing at the right time, and making the best decisions. Pride never stops, doesn’t make apologies, and never takes a break because “it” doesn’t need one. It’s superior to the idea of a break.

It’s scary to think that way. It’s embarrassing to think that way.

Pride isolates.

“By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. A three-strand rope is not easily snapped.” –Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)

What kind of woman, wife, and mom can I be if I don’t take care of myself, if I isolate myself? And who will I become if I solely continue to depend on “me” to save the day? And even more importantly, what am I prioritizing in my life?

Because, if I’m constantly putting everyone else’s desires above my own needs, it hurts not only me, but others in my life.

Satan loves when he can sneakily replace my joy in helping others with the idea that that’s all I need to be doing. And my identity gets caught up in being the helper, and never the help-ee.

He tells me I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough, and that I’m not a good wife or mom, unless I’m constantly there, constantly doing, constantly going.

I’m fooled to believe that this will make me feel renewed, happy, and full.

But it’s a lie.

 

My True Identity

It’s Christ who makes me full.

It’s Christ who reminds me that I’m human.  I’m not God.  I don’t have it all together, I’m sure not perfect, and I need breaks and help just like everyone else. 

He reminds me that I’m loved by a God who knows my weaknesses, knows my faults, and loves me more than I can comprehend. 

He loves me for me, and not because of what I do.

And I have people in my life who love me for me, and not because of what I can do for them.

 

God wants me to see that the best way to live is to surrender to Him, and He will give me rest.

I need rest.

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Because sometimes I need to just be.

No dishes, no errands, no laundry, no meals, no scattered searches on the internet, no planning, no working.

Be present. 

Be still.

Just Be.   

When I rest in Him, I’m reminded that my true identity is not in what I do, but it’s always in who I am because of Jesus.

 

Spending Some Me-Time & Getting Some Needed Rest

Thankfully, God has brought me through the rough days of self-reliance, and into days where I’m more aware of the importance of asking for help, in taking a break, and being okay with it.

My busy-self hasn’t entirely departed, and it will probably never completely disappear. But, I’m glad that certain difficult circumstances have come about. They’ve helped me realize the importance of rest.

I’m scheduling more time for me, time with friends, and time with my husband.

I’m enjoying being instead of feeling pressure to be the one doing.

And I’m taking the quiet time I have each day, to read God’s Word, pray, and spend time with the One who created me, loves me, and desires for me to rest in Him.

Thank you, Jesus.

 

Your Thoughts:

Can you relate to feeling pressure from the outside world to live up to certain expectations? How do you take time to rest? Thanks for stopping by, and comment below.

Learning to Budget on One Income

Budgeting, Yuck!

If you’re like me, anything related to budgeting usually makes me yawn and want to take a nap from boredom, and math is just not my thing. But, our family has come to realize the importance of a budget now that we are living on one-income.

We put off budgeting in our family for a LONG period of time. It’s easy to ignore the fact that we need to be accountable for how we spend money, when we live in a world that constantly bombards us to have whatever we want, whenever we want. And there are plenty of excuses for not look at spending habits, but in the end, we are the ones accountable.

 

Debt

For those discouraged by debt, I can tell you that we had quite a bit of debt from my school loans, some credit cards, car payments, and medical bills, but thankfully, God enabled us to pay this debt off in about three years (before baby). And we were close to six-figures in debt, so this wasn’t a measly task.

It took some time, dedication, and sacrifice, but in the end I’m so thankful to be standing on the other side. It’s difficult to send a lot of hard-earned money towards debt, but when it’s gone, it’s a wonderful feeling.  So I definitely encourage those who are still trucking along, to keep at it! One debt at a time!

 

The Next Goal

The next goal for our family is building our savings and to stay debt free.  In the past, we have managed our spending, but we didn’t necessarily have a strict budget to stick to or an end goal in mind. We began to notice this catching up to us after we had our son, and we realized we needed to make a change.

We are closely following the Dave Ramsey book Total Money Makeover, and I’m also a huge fan of Jordan Page from FunCheaporFree.com. She has five children with her husband and is living fully on a small budget; if you haven’t checked her out, I highly recommend stopping by her page.

 

What We Use to Keep on Track

Now that I’m home more often, I identify part of my duties as not only a wife and a mom, but as a homemaker. And part of making the home is learning to find ways to save money for our family, and to be creative with it! I’ve tried couponing- I’m not a fan, and honestly, I don’t recommend it since most of the sale items don’t have coupons. (Anyone disagree with me here? I’d love to hear if you coupon). But, I can share some useful apps and resources that we’re using to help us stay on track with our budget.

budgethighlight

A good old-fashioned binder, with large sheets of a transaction register, is great for our family. We keep track of our spending here, and color code based on what type of item was purchased. For us, I feel this is great because I love pen and paper, and it helps us to see based on color, what the majority of our spending is towards. As you’ll read below, we also use Google Sheets, and I do prefer to do both. The transaction register sheets specifically line up with our bank account spending, whereas the Google Sheets line up with any cash that we used as well, so that we know exactly what the cash was used for in a purchase.  For example, if we took out $40 cash from an ATM, we track how that $40 was spent on Google Sheets, but the binder will just say ATM, $40.

Google Sheets is such a life saver! My husband and I both have this app, and it enables us to track our spending no matter where we are or what we’ve purchased. We categorize our purchases in order to better understand our money usage, and it’s very similar to Excel. We’ve just started using the Google Sheets for our budget, but it definitely seems like it will positively influence our spending.

GasBuddy is another great app that has helped our family. It allows us to find the cheapest gas prices in our area or any area we are traveling. I would typically go to the same gas station to fill up my car, and I did a terrible job of planning when to fill up. I always seemed to need to fill up when I was already late going somewhere. Does anyone else do this? I can’t say that I always plan when to get my gas, but I do a much better job now. Thanks to GasBuddy, I’ll pull out this app and check gas prices in advance, and plan when and where to make my trek to the station. Planning when to get gas definitely helps our budget, rather than waiting until the last minute to fill up somewhere when I’m on “E” and having to go to the nearest gas station regardless of price.

Flipp is a grocery/shopping app, but it’s unlike other grocery apps that I’ve tried. This app brings up all the flyers within my area for any type of store. So, if I’m looking to make a last minute diaper run, I can quickly type in “diapers”, and it will bring up the cost for diapers at each of the stores closest to me. This app also allows users to add credit cards and clip coupons for easier check-out; I have not used these features, but they seem like good options. Flipp also allows users to create a shopping list, and it will identify sales and coupons related to the items on your list. Just download the app and check-out how great it is!

RetailMeNot is probably one of my favorite websites. It doesn’t matter if I’m looking for a deal online or in a store, I check out what coupon codes or deals are available through this website. It’s especially helpful anytime I’m ordering products online.  I ALWAYS type in the website, business, event, conference, or store into the RetailMeNot search engine, and it will bring up any possible deals. I’ve searched for deals on conference events, Bath and Body Works, Schwan’s Food Service, Paula’s Choice, Kohl’s, RedBox, etc. It pulls up anything and everything that could possibly be a discount or deal, and it gives feedback from other users on what coupon codes were used most recently and were effective at check-out. I never pay for anything online until I first checkout RetailMeNot.

 

More Money, More Happiness? No Way!

Beyond saving money and learning to be a healthier budget-er, I can’t describe how much joy we have gained just by enjoying the simple things in life. We’re appreciating just being with one another rather than spending money on more things or big and expensive activities.

By staying at home and living on one income, we’ve discovered the beauty in our area. We’ve realized how much there is to do that is completely free and still just as fun as the stuff we used to pay for. I found joy in learning to pack picnic lunches for our family instead of stopping for fast food. We’ve found creative ways to cook at home, and be inspired by new recipes rather than new restaurants. We’ve learned to do things around the house on our own, rather than paying someone to do those things for us. Most of the time, it just takes preparation and a little extra time to save some money.

Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoy a date night at the movies or a dinner out, but they don’t happen as frequently. I believe it’s helped us to appreciate these activities even more than we used to. We are more humble and thankful because of the change and sacrifice that has been placed in our lives.

Our tithing has also not changed very much with the variation in our income. We find it really important to give back what God has so graciously bestowed to us. We realize that looks differently for each person and each family, but for us, we are thankful we can give to our church and other organizations that are making a difference for His kingdom.

From this point forward, I’m excited to see where God will lead us in our financial journey. No one can predict the future, and what may lie ahead may not be what he had planned, but we always want to honor Him with how we use our money.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart shall be also.” -Matthew 6:21

What About You?

Do you keep a budget? What apps help you with managing your money? Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to comment below!

Media Review Websites & Apps

My husband is very much a movie-goer. I would have to say that going to see a movie is probably one of his top three date night ideas, and I’ve grown to enjoy going to the movies since being married to him. For the most part, we enjoy watching the same genres of movies, but every now and then there’s a movie that he’s up for watching, and I’m on the fence about it. Certain aspects of movies, especially violence, I can’t always seem to stomach. I used to be okay with watching any war movie my husband would want to see, but since having my son (I’m not sure if it’s the hormones or what), I just can’t seem to sit through them without being a little squeamish or feeling uneasy.

And then there’s always content in certain movies that we can both agree upon not seeing. Everyone draws the line with what’s appropriate and not appropriate to watch, and we know what that is for us. Beyond ourselves, I know that my son will get to the point where he will want to go and watch movies with us.

We Love the Movies, But…

On our most recent date night, we chose to see “The Secret Life of Pets” in theaters. It had its comical moments, and a good story line, but I couldn’t help but analyze it and ask myself, “Would I let my son watch this at age 5, 7, 9?” “How would he interpret what he’s watching?” “Did I watch this type of movie at that age?” Clearly the movie was made for children, but there’s always the subtle content added for adults, and I’d like to be aware of those aspects in a movie before attending. Because it will at least give me the opportunity to choose if this is a good movie for him to watch at his age, as well as, prepare for the discussion on the way home if we should choose to go see the movie. I also like to look up the reviews and contents of movies that I’m going to watch just so I know what I’m in for before I get there.

The following are the best apps and websites I’ve come across with some accurate reviews and content analysis.

 

1) Plugged In

This is one of my favorite apps and websites to look for movie reviews and content analysis. Plugged In does such a wonderful job of really breaking down the content into specific categories: positive elements, spiritual content, sexual content, violent content, crude or profane language, and other elements. It’s really a family-friendly website, and they give an overall family-friendliness rating for each of the movies, but I appreciate the breakdown because it helps me to understand what to expect and why the movie is rated what it is.

What I also appreciate about this site, is that it evaluates not only movies, but books, television shows, music, and games. This is great for me too! I hate when I start to read a book and it goes downhill really quickly with content, so I appreciate the honest reviews and analysis.

 

2) Common Sense Media

Are you looking for a movie to watch for your kids in a certain age range? Guess, what, this website and app can help! I love the easy scroll bar on the right-hand-side of the homepage that allows you to specify the age bracket you’re looking for, and the type of media you want. Beyond movies, this website is specifically known for rating, educating, and advocating for kids, families, and schools. Common Sense Media does reviews for books, movies, television shows, apps, and websites, but it also includes specific recommendations for children based on ages and maturity level.

There’s also an exceptional amount of resources for parents including blog posts, family guides, parental concern topics, and material for educators to help make the best decisions for families and schools. This website is thorough, and yet easy to understand. Personally, I don’t have the app, but there is an option to install the app if you like; I usually just check out their website when I’m on my laptop.

 

3) MovieGuide.org

What’s different about MovieGuide.org? It has video reviews and interviews with the stars directly on the website. So, if you’re not one for reading a longer post about a movie review, this may be the app and website for you. What I also love about this app, is that it has a “Top 10 List”. The “Top 10” list allows you to specify what type of movie you’re looking for based on a genre or theme. For example, if you’re looking for top movies for Black History Month, or Mother’s Day Movies, or Movies about Selflessness for Teens, this would be the tab to check out.

If you need a simpler breakdown for a movie review, this is also the website for you. It’s not as thorough as the first two websites listed, but it does a good job of giving a general analysis of a movie if that’s what you’re looking for. As a former teacher, I would find this website also beneficial to any educator wanting to include movies within a curriculum for children or teenagers.

 

“I will set no wicked thing before my eyes.” -Psalm 101:3

 

O Be Careful Little Eyes Children’s Song

“O be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little eyes what you see

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see

 

O be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little ears what you hear

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little ears what you hear

 

O be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little hands what you do

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little hands what you do

 

O be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little feet where you go

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little feet where you go

 

O be careful little mouth what you say

O be careful little mouth what you say

There’s a Father up above

And He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little mouth what you say”

 

What Do You Think?

Does your family use a website or app to look at media reviews or content analysis? Do you have conversations about what you watch and hear? Thanks for stopping by, and let me know what you or your family uses in the comments section below.