What to Do When Mom is Exhausted
April 5, 2023
Mercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
I Just Need a Minute!
Sitting down for a minute to write this, my head became heavy and started bobbing and I had no idea what was being typed because I was so tired. My brain was saying, “There’s still so much to be done!” My better self said, “But you need rest! You can do this tomorrow when you have had rest.”
Often, I am full of unrest. But I simply cannot rest if I am striving to complete my own agenda, especially regarding homeschooling. These are the times I am like a wayward sheep and going in the opposite direction of my Shepherd. He leads us to rest (study Psalm 23).
It’s not that our plans are wrong or bad—they seem right, but they are not necessarily where our Shepherd would lead. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Knowing the right way to go each day starts with spending time close to the Shepherd’s side.
He leads us to green pastures and still waters. He knows our souls are hungry and thirsty and we cannot rest if we are not satisfied. We will never be satisfied with rest until we follow His leading and eat what the Shepherd offers.
These articles from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine reinforce that:
I have been too busy with the cares of this life to sit at the Lord’s feet for nourishment. Yet, the very thing I crave is rest for this poured out mother-teacher. Not only that, but any success in homeschooling will come from meditating on His Word (Psalm 1). His Word satisfies.
If you feel like you “just need a minute” take that minute to the LORD Jesus and see what food He has to offer.
In our new podcast series, this week I talk about rest. Perhaps you can find a moment of rest to listen in at www.HomeschoolShow.com.
And, in our Schoolhouse Devotions on YouTube, I talk more extensively about Homeschooling and Rest. Take a “teacher time-out” and find more help here:
Homeschooling and Rest, Part 1 – YouTube Schoolhouse Devotions
Homeschooling and Rest, Part 2– YouTube Schoolhouse Devotions
Homeschooling and Rest, Part 3– YouTube Schoolhouse Devotions
In the pages of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine: Why Am I So Tired? by Deborah Wuehler
A New Perspective
During a season of writing while homeschooling, my days started at 3:00 a.m. and often didn’t end until late at night (seven days a week). But in June of 2012, a profound and deeply personal experience transformed my perspective on rest. It came at a time when I desperately needed it.
Are You Tired?
Before I share my story, let me ask you, are you tired? Even when you’re utterly exhausted—do you still feel like you have too much to do to “indulge” in rest? If taking time to rest is a struggle for you, these three steps may help:
1. Count the Cost: It may be easy for you to consider the cost of taking time to rest, but have you considered what it may cost if you don’t? Without rest, productivity starts to tank, overwhelm creeps in, and we’re more likely to become irritable. When that happens, our limitations suddenly become our family’s burden.
2. Make a Commitment: Because motherhood is a real job with 24/7 hours, rest doesn’t “just happen. ”You must plan for it as you would any other task. Put a date on the calendar and honor that commitment as you would if you had a date with a dear friend.
3. Trust Him: Pray for wisdom to identify what needs to be done—and what can wait. Keep your priorities in mind, and work on the must do’s. Then, when your scheduled date arrives, rest … and release the outcome of your efforts into His capable hands.
Acknowledge the difference between laziness and limitations. You are finite, dear momma. Consequently, it is good and necessary to slow down at times. The Lord impressed this upon me in an unforgettable way. Some would dismiss my experience as mere “coincidence.” But I recognized it as a private miracle that quite literally had my name on it. You can read about it here. This experience granted me “permission” to take a guilt-free day of rest each week. I pray it does the same for you.
About the author
Surprised by Jesus, Stacy went from an unmarried, childless, 30-something career woman to a Christ-following wife of more than twenty-eight years with two sons she homeschooled K-12. She battled fear and overwhelm, but survived and thrived. Author of more than books—including the award-winning Philosophy Adventure and newly released Food Prep Guide, she loves to equip and encourage homeschool families. Visit her at HomeschoolAdventure.com or at her newly-launched site: FoodPrepGuide.com.
Accomplish Your Goals with 5 Proven Time Management Strategies
As a veteran homeschool mom, I’ve learned a few things you can do to maximize your time and achieve your priorities. These strategies work because they’re realistic—no “Super Mom” superpowers needed
Let Go . . . Just a Little
Homeschooling is exhausting, sometimes, isn’t it? There are little socks to locate, LEGOs to pick up, attitudes to wade through, and math to teach. Some days, it can truly feel overwhelming. Now, maybe you and your spouse need to work through some heart issues with your kids. But sometimes the answer to fixing homeschool exhaustion is a bit easier. Sometimes, it’s you, mama.
Simplify and Streamline
So, what is the solution to your exhaustion during periods of overwhelm? Well, maybe it is to simplify and streamline your life. Take a look at what you and the kids are doing each day and cut back a little! You will need to find the right balance for your family in this season, but here are a few ideas:
- Cut some of your elective classes or activities for a few weeks.
- Wash and broil frozen veggies to cut down on dinner prep time.
- Take twenty minutes each morning to clean up the house together.
- Have a “quiet hour” where kids nap, read, or play—quietly.
- List your expectations of your kids and yourself. Are they biblical? Are they necessary?
Check Your Burden
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Now, Jesus may have been primarily speaking of religious legalism as the heavy burden his people were under. We know we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). What a gift! But we also know that we find rest in Jesus. If we are overrun by tasks that overwhelm and crush us, we are wise to question whether we are shouldering a yoke we’ve taken upon ourselves.
Chasing kiddos and teaching math is hard work. But Jesus’ yoke is easy, and there is rest in him.
About the author
Danika Cooley is an award-winning children’s author who blogs about Bible books, crafts, activities, and snacks at Thinking Kids. Her books include Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible and the Who What Why Series, a line of Christian history for 8–11-year-olds. Grab your free three-week sample of her popular Bible Road Trip™ curriculum.
Pillar of Faith
Diane Heeney – Find Your Strength in God
Something I’m learning is that a strong woman is one who understands when she isn’t. She stops trying to be “all that” and starts leaning harder on her Rock and resting her feet solidly upon His expectations of her rather than those of everyone else.
She knows that sometimes it is strong to say no, to take a nap, to ask for help, to close the books and go for a nature walk . . . and stronger to throw a frozen pizza in the oven and be present than to create that fancy meal that wears her to a frazzle.
She’s discovered that strength comes from simplifying. Finding satisfaction in a short list of actual needs rather than trying to fulfill the long list of insatiable wants others demand of her. Strength comes in living in contentment, undistracted.
Most importantly, she’s discovered that strength is found in the fresh hope of forgiveness and the realization that God’s superabundance of grace, and the luxury with which it is bestowed upon us every day will never, ever be exhausted. To quote C. S. Lewis, “Relying on God has to start all over every day, as if nothing has yet been done.”
Be strong, mama. Lean hard.
About the author
Diane Heeney is a graduate of Bob Jones University, where she served on faculty for ten years. She has been Assistant to the Director of Advertising Sales at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine since 2016. She’s homeschooled her three children over the course of the past 18 years, having graduated their two oldest. Diane, her husband Patrick, and their youngest child, Katie, reside in eastern Wyoming.
Make April your writing month with creative writing tips and freebies from The Canadian Schoolhouse. Whether you want to encourage a reluctant writer, inspire an avid writer, or need to refresh your family’s writing lessons, you’ll get all you need from the Creative Writing Roundup happening all month long! AND get published by submitting a creative writing piece from you and your children to be included in the Journey Back in Time: Rounding Up Stories about the Past eBook. Catch all the details on The Canadian Schoolhouse home page.
Did you know?
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Homeschool moms can admit that there are times when they don’t feel like teaching. Don’t worry – SchoolhouseTeachers.com has got you covered! Keep them entertained and still learning with the Daily Puzzlers course! Hone in on critical thinking skills through language-based logic puzzles. Great for the entire family!
Are you media literate? Are your students? One homeschooling father says there is a critical need for media literacy education in homeschooling. “Know thyself,” and “know thy platform,” he says in his recent TOS article. Follow the link to find out how.
Hey, Mama! Wouldn’t you like to pause from your busy day and listen in to experts and homeschool parents like you about the beautiful world of homeschooling? This new podcast is designed for you. Each episode connects you to the best conversations that will give you courage and fill your cup so you can keep pouring into your family every single day. Introducing, the Hey Mama! Homeschool Show – brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse®—your trusted homeschool partner for over 20 years.
Are you tired, Mama? Tired, not just in your body, but in spirit? Whether it is an exhausting day or a weary season of life, there are practical ways to find balance when mom is tired. Deborah Wuehler has learned much on the topic, having homeschooled for over thirty years. She lovingly points listeners in the right direction as host of today’s episode of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show: “What to Do When Mom Is Exhausted.” Don’t miss the show notes filled with even more resources you will appreciate.
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is now available for FREE online! Click the graphic to read it cover to cover!
Congratulations to our February winner, Laura Kaspar from North Platte, Nebraska
for the month of April
In this online math program, teacher John Zimmerman is committed to helping students overcome their math struggles. He has a lengthy list of degrees and accomplishments (including, but not limited to, a Bachelor’s in Mathematics, a Master’s in Educational Technology, and experience as a business owner) that make him a qualified math teacher. But what matters more than any of those is his desire to help students get better at math. He promises on his website to always give 110% to his students. If students commit to keep going, he promises to help them achieve things they never thought possible in their math instruction.
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Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN a 1-year subscription to your choice of a math course at TabletClass Math.
What About Socialization?
What is socialization anyway? Veteran homeschoolers provide solid responses to the tough questions: Is our home a viable answer? Is socialization necessary? This E-Book provides the answers you seek, and the encouragement you need.
Everyday Copywork Sample from SchoolhouseTeachers.com
Click on the image for the full free printable pdf.
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
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