It’s another day and while I’m so thankful to be given another breath of life, I’m all too aware of the challenges that face me yet again. In essence, my schedule as a work-at-home, homeschool mom is full. Admittedly, most of the time it’s full of so much that there isn’t room for self-care.
If you and I are to be honest with each other, we busy moms let ourselves be at the bottom of the list. As a result, we put ourselves on that now famous loop schedule that is in the homeschool scene. You know, we prioritize what must be done with a regular schedule. And then as we can or if we can, we fit in self-care on a loop schedule. But let’s face it, usually, we rarely get around to ourselves on that loop. Because on that loop schedule of life, we still place other people or time-consuming events above ourselves. For this reason, we have to take ourselves off of the loop schedule and intentionally add our self-care to the priority schedule. After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we possibly take care of our families?
To put it differently, it makes me think of the following Biblical Principle:
“For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” 1 Timothy 3:5 KJV
Busy mom, it’s like our bodies are a house: spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. And it’s like our families are the church of God who we tend to, care for, and shepherd. For this reason, among many others, we need to be serious about our self-care.
3 Main Things We need to Consider
For the most part, there are three primary things we need to consider. Without all three of these, we busy moms toss ourselves into that loop schedule.
- Priorities. When we prioritize our health, we can get so much more done because we feel up to the tasks.
- Energy. To be sure, this ties in with priorities. As we make it a priority to do things to boost our energy, we feel less exhaustion. And that’s because we’re taking care of our mind and body.
- Goals. Needless to say, our goals need to be realistic so that we can actually follow through with our self-care. Of note, it’s helpful to use S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result Oriented, and Time-bound.
A Few Possible Signs of Survival Mode
To begin with, the opposite of thriving is surviving. From time to time, many busy moms face this challenge. But until we can identify it, we tend to stay stuck in survival mode. Now, let’s go through the list and see if it sounds like this is where you’re at.
- Caffeine. Wait, please don’t leave. Because of how much some people love their coffee, I realize this may be a sensitive topic. But mom, if you’re talking to your coffee and asking it to lie to you about all that you’ll get done together… it’s a problem.
- Motivation. What’s that, right? By the time a busy mom starts asking that, she may be well into survival mode. Usually it’s because she has too much on her plate or she may be relying too much on herself and not enough on the Lord. This is where prioritizing is immensely helpful.
- Control. Whenever life feels like it’s spiraling out of control, it’s easy for moms to try to grasp for control in all sorts of places. Like eating as many little bars of chocolates as we want. Because we can. Because we’re in control of that at least. Or are we really in control?
- Brain fog. Sometimes it can feel as thick as pea soup, I say. Whether it’s due to less than ideal diet choices or overwhelm, brain fog can be a real struggle.
- In the loop. At least the idea of having yourself in the loop is there. But you really never get to yourself. Because everything else is urgent and more important. But you feel stress and overwhelm. You cancel and reschedule appointments. Yes, especially the ones you set for yourself with exercise and proper rest.
Some Benefits of Self-Care
Where to begin with all of the benefits of self-care? In short, I think that the following are at the top of the list so let’s talk about these.
- Energy. Yes, it’s true. Happily, you’ll feel better emotionally which allows for you to have emotional strength for the myriad of things that can happen. Most importantly, you’ll have the energy to invest in your Bible study time and for loving on and serving others.
- Focus. How important is this? With children to teach and care for, a home to manage, and all the work you need to set your hands to, clarity of mind is more than welcome.
- Strength. What good are energy and focus if a mom doesn’t also have the strength she needs to get through? Proper diet, exercise and rest help us with the internal strengths of mind and emotions. And they help us with external strength as well. All of which help us to live a more joy-filled life. Because our whole being thanks us for it.
- Generosity. I know, this sounds kind of randomly thrown in here and off topic. But it’s true. When we feel healthy, it helps us to serve wholeheartedly. No longer are we stuck in that unhealthy state that I like to call the Swamp of Blah.
How to Thrive, Busy Mom
There are several things that you can do to prioritize yourself. Now that you are off of the loop schedule of life and moved up to the priority schedule, we can start talking about how you take steps to thrive.
- List it. Pull out some paper and a pen and jot down every single reason that you can think of about why it’s important to take care of yourself. Also, think of how that looks for you as an individual.
- Live it. Life is about action. Look, we all have trials. But we all have our joys, too. And it’s our joys combined with leaning on the Lord and living with purpose that help us to love our lives.
- Half full. Yes, your cup is at least half full. It’s time to count those blessings and focus on the positive side of things. James 1:2 encourages us to count it all joy when we face trials. Remember, that the testing of our faith produces patience. And all sorts of trials sure can try us. But let’s put into practice counting it all joy.
- Routines. Setting up routines are extremely beneficial for us. Because routines have to do with priorities and keeping a flow to our schedules. And since you’re now off of that loop schedule, your eating, exercising, and sleep are priorities. Once you get into your routine of prioritizing yourself, it’ll be easier to keep it up.
- Mindset. Thought patterns are either going to help or hinder you. You matter. You’re loved. And it’s more than okay for you to take care of yourself. There’s so much more to you than the overwhelming day-to-day commitments and responsibilities that you take on. You can learn to overcome.
Meeting Life-Changing Goals Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Generally speaking, many people find that meeting life-changing goals can be challenging without a support system. If this sounds like you, there is a solution for this very concern. I’d like to introduce you to the 15 Days to a Healthier You Course by Crystal Paine.
In this course, Crystal walks us through the strategies that have proven to be effective in her own life when it comes to creating healthier life choices and maintaining balanced priorities. She shares ways to make our efforts more effective so we can maximize the benefits of taking care of ourselves. With daily lessons, including in-depth videos, she expounds on the most valuable resources she’s used in her own daily life that have helped her continue achieving her goals. Come join me on a journey to a healthier life, busy mom!
Oh, and for you busy homeschool moms, that loop scheduling tool I mentioned above? Do give it a try. It’s a great tool to keep your homeschooling on track. Just don’t forget to add your self-care to the highest priority of the loop with reading, writing, and arithmetic.