Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Four Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be An Exhausted Mom

If y'all are anything like me, you've had many of THOSE days.

You know ... the ones where everything seems to start out wrong, and then it just keeps going downhill from there?

The one where the alarm clock didn't go off, and Jr. can't find his shoes due to all of the toys that magically appeared on his bedroom floor overnight, and Sissy flat-out refuses to wear the outfit she picked out last night because purple is SO yesterday, and the dog decided to throw up smack dab in the middle of your new (non-washable) rug, and your yoga pants have a hole in them but it's too late to change now because you have 10 minutes to get the kids to school?

Those kind of days.

Parenting can be hard. Shoot -- LIFE can be hard.

But I think we oftentimes make it much harder than it needs to be.

Let me introduce you to a very good friend of mine, Stacey Watts.

Stacey is a certified Leadership Parenting Coach through the John Rosemond Leadership Parenting Institute, and is the owner of Happily Parenting. She speaks to various groups and organizations on marriage and parenting, and also does private coaching for individual families.

And, today just happens to be her birthday! (HAPPY HAPPY!)

In honor of her special day, I asked Stacey to do a guest post. Keep reading -- this is good stuff.

I was scrolling through Facebook recently, laughing at the jokes, rolling my eyes at the political humor, and loving the scripture . . . and then I saw this:

Dude. If this is all I knew about being a mother, then I'm pretty sure I never would have given it a shot.

Are there days like this? Absolutely. The newborn days immediately come to mind; those nights when, for some reason, the kid seems to need zero sleep, yet the experts say that the little booger should be sleeping 18 hours.

But those days shouldn't last forever. And this should not be the norm of your whole life.

Girls, if you have a child over the age of 2 and your days still look like this, then it's time to take a little inventory of your mothering skills.

1. Are you doing too much? 

Remember that your job is to work yourself out of a job. With every passing year, your child should be more and more independent. By age 3, children should have basic chores. Put your toys away. Put your dirty clothes in your hamper (and learn to start laundry as well). Put your trash in the trash can. Smooth out your bed linens (they may not be stellar bed-makers, but they can get a jump start). By age 5, they should be feeding the pets, watering plants, and starting simple cleaning tasks (wipe the counter in your bathroom). By 10 or 11, there's not much around the house that they shouldn't be able to do. Don't wear yourself out doing things for your children that they're capable of doing themselves; when you do that, you're falling down on your responsibility to teach your children how to effectively run a household ... and you're also denying your husband (or yourself) some much-needed attention.

2. Are your children doing too much? 

Sure, extracurricular activities can encourage teamwork, result in new friendships, and teach responsibility ... but going overboard with ball can also steal family dinner time, throw priorities out of whack, and result in less sleep and bad study habits. If you're not having dinner together as a family four to five nights a week, then re-think your schedule. They're not all going to the pros, y'all. As we've said before--the real world will probably not ask you to hit a home run, but you will absolutely have to know how to sort darks from whites.

3. Are they obeying you? 

Have you fallen into a loop of, "Oh, forget it, I'll just do it myself"? If you don't require your children to obey you, then don't be surprised when they disobey their teachers ... and police officers. Disobedience is dangerous, destructive, and exhausting. Do you truly want a peaceful home? Obedient children are happy children ... and happy children generally have happy mamas.

4. Are you treating your husband like one of the kids? 

Listen ... you trusted him enough to marry him. Let him be an equal parent. When something needs to be done for your children, be sure you're allowing him to step in and be a parent. And if he tells you that you're doing too much for your children, listen to him--chances are, he's right. God created him to lead your family, so by all means, let the man lead!



See what I mean? GOOD. STUFF.

Also, OUCH! #3 really steps on my toes! I'm so guilty of just doing for the sake of getting it done or keeping the peace. I promise to work on that one, Stace.

What about you? Do you deal with any (or all) of these? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

Also, be sure to check out Stacey's blog for other great articles. And, if you're in SC, check out her upcoming speaking engagements.

BONUS - Stacey will be the keynote speaker at the Women Pouring Into Women Conference on March 18. Go here for more information. (Registration is still open, so don't worry about the March 1 deadline.) (I'm the one handling registration for the conference, so I can say that. LOL!) Hope to see you there!

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