I hear mothers complaining about the stress of kids, home, husband, etc. I am so grateful that I have learned to “keep it simple”. Doesn’t mean this is easy everyday or always works, but some of these little tricks have truly helped me stay sane. I waved the white flag on the mommy wars long ago. We can create our own complex life (which is a total distraction).
I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not that hand sanitizer toting, French braiding, birthday party planning, day at the park kind of momma. If you want to be free from some of the “got to’s” and replace them with “get to’s”, then here are 10 tips of how I do it (for real, no joking):
1. Allow your children to choose their own clothing. If it’s in my house, then I approved it. Whatever they choose will be fine and they will be happy to wear it.
2. Chores. Kids need responsibilities. End of story. You do not have to do it all. Maturity comes with the acceptance of responsibility. My daughters have been doing their own laundry since they were six. When they are tall enough to stand on a step stool and reach the knobs, they can wash. If she doesn’t wash her clothes, then she won’t have anything clean to wear.
3. Get rid of what you don’t need. You have too much stuff. Period.
4. Don’t fret over your food. Goodness gracious. What’s the big deal? I understand if a child has a life threatening allergy, but otherwise, no. They learn from us. It’s not for your pleasure; it’s for your nourishment. Just make a simple choice and eat. Be grateful, not finicky.
5. It’s the kid’s homework, not yours. Your child’s success is not an indicator of your parenting. It is an indicator of his or her choices. I repeat: You cannot live vicariously through your children.
6. Raise your children to be independent from you, not co-dependent. The sooner this happens, the better. I’ll say this again below but let’s start here: Stop doing everything for your kids, moms. You’re creating your own chaos.
7. Concern yourself with the influence they are having on others more than the influence that others are having on them. See your child as an asset to the world – a city on a hill, a light that shines in darkness. Then you won’t exude fear which they can sense; you will have victory and impart that to them.
8. Have the kids make their own lunch for school. If she forgets (which she never has), then it’s on her and not me. I will not drive up to the school to take her a lunch that was her responsibility to make. Remember, maturity comes with the acceptance of responsibility.
9. Stop comparing and start connecting. If you see a mom who looks like she’s losing her mind, help her out. If you are that mom, ask for help.
10. Be the best you first, then let all other labels flow from there. Your identity is in the One who formed you. Renew your mind with the Word of God when lies start to form and build strongholds. Tear them down brick by brick.
Those who know my kids know that they are not stressed and know how to be a kid, but are quite capable of making their own sandwich and fixing their own glass of tea.
Stop doing everything for your kids, moms. You’re creating your own chaos.
Your mind will tell you that you’re being “lazy” if you don’t do every little thing for them or you’re being “unloving”. The enemy of your soul would have you believe that if you do it for them it will be done correctly and you won’t worry, that you are alleviating stress and that it will keep you on schedule and blah blah blah. Not true. You will end up overwhelmed and under-appreciated, and your identity will be rooted in what you do and who you do it for – all of your esteem will come from what you do for others so when you are alone, you will be quite uncomfortable.
I realize if you have enabled and not empowered your kids that it is difficult to turn that around – but difficult doesn’t mean impossible. It just means you’ll have to work for it. You can do it.
You can schedule a coaching session with me if you want a cheerleader in your corner.