I’ll be honest. When I was a mom facing all the rigors of working full-time outside the home, I was a bit naïve about the importance of sanity savers and what it would take to keep me thriving when I finally had the chance to stay at home. You could say I’ve been schooled over the last 6 years of stay at home – and now homeschool – life.
I’d love to share with you some of the sanity savers I’ve learned mostly the hard way. Hopefully they can be of value to you in your own journey.
(No time to read? Watch a video version here.)
1. Spend time in the Word of God and prayer.
I know as moms it can feel like we don’t have time to read God’s word or spend time in prayer. I would agree that some seasons of motherhood are far harder than others when it comes to the amount of time I spend there. But in 9 years of motherhood, 6 of which have been at home, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have time not to spend time with Jesus. Jesus is definitely one of my sanity savers. My ideal routine is having time with Jesus before the kids get up. That doesn’t always happen. I’ve learned that when I prioritize time in God’s word, I can find a place for it. It may mean less of something else like TV or social media. It may mean cracking open my Bible while I’m making dinner or reading on my Bible app while I’m waiting for an appointment. The truth is 90% of the insanity in my life is rooted in the lies of the enemy that quietly grew in a lack of immersion in God’s truth. God’s Word is our foundation. Our “right mind” as mothers is first and foremost found in having the mind of Christ.
Where can you snag some time today to read God’s Word and be filled up by Him?
2. Focusing on one major area at a time is one of the best sanity savers.
When I first became a stay at home mom, I thought my expectations of myself were realistic. I knew it would be harder to get things done with a 3-year-old and newborn who weren’t with me at work when I was “crushing it”, but I did not know how much. It turns out that it takes a lot of time and energy to raise children. I became less frenzied when I started to focus on one major area of improvement – outside of non-negotiables (like clean underwear) – at a time.
Right now, my big focus is meal planning. It’s an area I’ve consistently struggled with as I’ve tried to find the best way that works for my personality, my lifestyle and the needs of my family. Sometimes I’ve burned myself out trying to tackle too many things at once. Can you guess what my next big focus had to be? Yep. Taking a complete time-out from all my pet projects and taking care of me so I could come back from the planet of insanity and start to cultivate my home by grace instead of striving. Alas, I find that a return to focus on one key area yields more productivity in the long run than spreading myself too thin.
What is one big task you need or want to focus on right now?
3. Anchor your day with quick tasks that give you a mental lift.
Let’s face it, there are days as moms where it feels like we can’t get anything “done.” We clean our living room 3 times a day, but it still finds a way to look like a tornado hit. I may not accomplish all that I hoped for my home on a particular day, but for myself, I’ve found that there are certain quick tasks that can quickly shift my mindset. For me, those things are making my bed in the morning, putting the mail away daily and going to bed with an empty kitchen sink. If my bed is not made, I tend to feel like I’m already “behind”. When I make it, it almost becomes a declaration of “You’ve got this, mama. With Christ, you’ll overcome today.” If there’s dishes in the sink at night, it tends to be harder for me to unwind when it’s time for bed. These tasks may be completely different for you, but it’s worth noticing 1-3 simple tasks that irk you if left undone but improve your mood when they’re done.
What are 2 sanity-saving tasks that take 5 minutes or less that you can do today? Set a timer and knock it out with a smile.
4. Reject the comparison trap.