Hey friend. How’s your heart doing?
This parenting business is hard, isn’t it?
And then, as if it wasn’t already hard enough, throw a pandemic, global unrest, political uncertainty, and all the other scary news headlines on top of it…
It gets to be a lot, doesn’t it?
We didn’t ask to parent during a time like this.
But here we are.
Do you know something? God knew we would be parenting during a time like this. He’s not surprised by it. He is a firm foundation through every storm, and we can cling to Him.
So what do we do when the world feels like it’s crumbling around us, and yet we have the privilege and responsibility of continuing to parent our children well and raise them to be deeply rooted, loving, emotionally stable adults?
Stay in the Word.
Many churches are meeting virtually right now. It can be so easy to let consistent church attendance slide during this time. Whether you’re able to attend in person, or online, don’t let the habit of participating in church regularly fall to the wayside during this season. If you cannot go in person, watch online. Listen to podcasts of sermons throughout the week.
During this season, it’s more important than ever to create a consistent habit of studying the Bible on our own as well.
Teach Us the Bible has a free chronological Bible reading plan that you can work through with your kids. I encourage you to check out all of their resources!
In our house, I’m making sure I read the passages in my own time. Then when we do our “morning time” I read those same stories to the kids out of the Jesus Storybook Bible or another children’s Bible on our shelf. I love that it’s not something that has to be kept up with every day, so it’s easy to not get behind.
Stay in community.
Motherhood wasn’t meant to be done alone. The frustrating moments with your kids, the total mom fails, the horrifying “I can’t believe my child just did that moments” lose some of their weight when you’re able to get together with other moms and laugh about them later. It has been so easy to be isolated in this season.
“Community” may look different depending on your circumstances, or where you live, but do not neglect the act of “gathering together” with friends. Whether you’re able to physically get together with friends or whether you use apps like Marco Polo, FaceTime, or Zoom, I implore you do not neglect getting together with your mama friends! It is vitally important!
Control what you can.
There is so much about this world and the future that we cannot control – it can keep us up at night. Instead of spending time worrying about what you can’t control, make a plan to take control of what you can.
Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not advocating for becoming a control freak in an unhealthy way, but using your power to make good choices in the areas of your life that you can control will go a long way to improving your mental state.
Is there a bad habit you’ve been wanting to break? Make a plan and work towards breaking it.
Do you have goals you’ve been meaning to work towards? Make a plan and start taking baby steps towards them.
Is your messy house adding to your level of stress level and frustration? Put on some fun music and get to work cleaning it up.
Making small, good choices on a daily basis will make you feel good and take some of your focus off of all the things that you can’t control.
Limit toxic and depressing influences.
Social media and the news have been loaded with anxiety inducing, blood pressure raising, and generally toxic content.
Feel free to pull the plug on it.
It might feel funny at first, or even feel like you’re detoxing from it, but in time your mental and emotional state will be so much better for it.
I’m not advocating for sticking your head in the sand completely. By all means, hop on to your favorite news outlet to gather the major updates periodically. Hop on social media to make sure you’re not missing big announcements from people you’re actually friends with. But limit it.
I’ve found it helpful to not access social media from my phone. Once or twice a week I check it from my computer, and then I get off and move on. In time, I’ve discovered that social media has lost its power over me.
Be present with your children.
One of the biggest things you can control is your ability to be emotionally present with your children. Read good books with them. (If you need some ideas, Sarah McKenzie over at Read Aloud Revival has loads of suggestions!) Play with them. Laugh with them. Turn off all screens and make undistracted eye contact with them.
Related Post: Peaceful and Present – Keys to Emotionally Engaging Children in the Midst of Busy Mom Life
Give yourself grace to just survive sometimes, but don’t stay in survival mode.
It can be tempting to shift into survival mode and give yourself license to give in to bad habits in the name of survival… and sometimes there is something to be said about just surviving! But when difficult seasons extend for a long period of time, living in “survival mode” can be damaging to your personal growth and your children’s development.
When life is hard it can be easy to tune out, rely on Netflix, and be kind of… well… lazy. Trust me, I’ve been there. While that can be an okay coping mechanism for short periods of time, when it becomes a day in and day out habit, it hinders your growth as a person.
Replace habits that don’t help you grow as a person with habits that do help you grow. Pick a self discipline to focus on and make a new habit around it. Swap time on Netflix with time reading a good book. Trade time on social media for time walking outdoors. Play a game. Start a new hobby. Learn something new.
Related Post: How to Get Out of a Mom Funk
Get help when you need it.
The times we are in can be overwhelming. If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, you are not alone. Prioritize getting professional counseling and any other professional assistance you need. Prioritize your mental health. Your children are depending on you. They need you to be in a good place. Don’t wait until you’re in crisis to seek help.
Friend, you are not alone. You’re not alone in how you feel. Give yourself permission to feel how you feel. Process your emotions, Engage in self care. And choose to let this season make you stronger. Choose to find the joy in the everyday. Find the purpose in this season.
We can do this, mamas!