WT 113: I Want To Do It All, But I'm Just SO Tired
Question 1: I always hear people talk about how important it is to connect with your kids before bed. I believe that. But…what did this look like for you when your kids were young and you were solo parenting and exhausted by 5:00 and you JUST NEED THEM TO BE IN THEIR ROOM!? I try my best to give my oldest (8) just a few minutes..but for my others, honestly there is very little connection. Brush teeth, read, sing, pray, I’m out. When do you feel like it starts being super important to chat with them? Will I just know because they’ll be wanting to chat more at night?
Karen's Answer: Girl! I get you and can relate!!! I always wanted my kids in bed and quiet by 7:30. I honestly, think you are doing a great job if you are signing a song, prayers, brushing teeth. Way to go mom! There were some nights where I just put them to bed, and they’d yell out, “You forgot to say prayers!” I’d yell back while walking down the stairs, “Say them yourselves, Jesus hears you too.” Keep up the good work, you are doing great!
Question 2: My husband and I have been married for 7 years this September. We just had our first child, a boy, three months ago. I took maternity leave and now I am back to work full time and I am finishing my graduate degree this semester. I am the bread winner as my husband is going back to school, and I also am the primary caregiver to our son. My question is how to I find the energy and desire to make love to my husband? I find myself becoming so frustrated with him. And feel like I am raising him alongside our son instead of him putting in as much effort as me. What can I do? I love him. I want him, but at the same time I am overwhelmed and tired. Any advice?
Karen's Answer: You have a lot on your plate to be sure! I think when we all get stressed we usually take it out on our spouse. (Or at least I did) Even when men are very hands on dads their load of the work is usually not the same as the moms. Welcome to motherhood. It is hard! My suggestion, is remind yourself that this is just a season. It sounds like you are in the last stage of your degree, so you may just need to tough it out, and know it won’t last forever. Give your husband some grace, ask God to give you an extra measure of love for him during these hard days. Ask him to give you a good back rub, and then you will have sex. :) Finish your Masters and then maybe go on a much needed vacation with your hubby.
Question 3: My mother was an only child and I grew up as one of two kids, now that I have 4 children of my own, I find that my hopes for the cleanliness and organization of my home are pretty much always dashed in comparison to the home that I grew up in. My kids are at an age where they can help quite a bit around the house, so we can keep things relatively okay, but I always think to myself how horrified my mom would be if she knew how bad it gets sometimes or how bad some areas in the house stay. Did you ever struggle with this? What are some things that I can preach to myself to keep my perspective straight?
Karen's Answer: I understand 100%! My mom kept a very tidy house! Yes, I can relate. :) There would be times I would see laundry that needed to be tended to and I didn’t have the energy to do it, so I let it “sit” for another day! My mom would never do that. But, here is what I came to grips with. My mindset was, “I am doing the best I can!” At the end of the day, I did not do any work after 8:00 p.m. I didn’t care what needed to be done, I was done. I knew my mom always went to bed with a clean house, but some days I couldn’t do it, and my motto began to be, “I’m not my mom and that is okay.” I tried to keep neat and tidy house, but some seasons were harder than others. Do your best.
Question 4: I am a full time working mom to a 10 month old. I need to remain full-time due to finances. We are very involved in our church and we host a small group in our home. My evenings at home and weekends feel like they are just spent trying to get caught up...I know the importance of pouring into other women in our small group but I have a hard time doing that when it means spending less time with my son. Do you have any tips for how to prioritize and juggle my hours while I’m not at work so I’m not neglecting my family but also still able to “not neglect to meet together” and spend time with other women? I constantly feel like I’m failing at one or the other.
Karen's Answer: With you working something has to give. There are only 24 hours in the day. So, in this season, your friendships may have to suffer a bit, but it will only be for a season. If I were you, I would put God first, husband second, son third, job, then house, then friends. Like I said, it’s just a season, but you don’t want to burn yourself out the first year, so you’ve got to pace yourself and know this is a marathon. I hope that helps you! I for sure had to learn what I could handle and what had to give. There was a season that I did not volunteer at church, I needed to take a break. Once I got through that busy time, I jumped back into volunteer.
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