Thursday, July 17, 2008

Do kids = stress? Part 1

If you've just stopped on by, I'm tackling questions that people wonder about "big" families. I personally still think of us as "just us" and forget that our family size is a bit of a cultural abnormality. We aren't perfect, please don't look at my baseboards or in my cupboards, and most certainly not in my bedroom, when you come over, but we are happy and love what's going on in our "large" family. Take a look at this post if you want to see how this on going series got started and please feel free to leave any other questions that I can give you my view on.

Rissa and Dave asked:

3. Do you feel more frazzled the more children you have? You always seem so even-keeled to me. I really admire that. Do you ever wake up and think, "How am I going to do this today?" and if so, how do you push through it anyway?

Ah ha ha. How I answer this is going to depend on the day. ;-) I actually think I have less time to think about feeling frazzled now than before.

In all seriousness, I was totally stressed out when I had 1 child. Maybe because I was young. Maybe because I suddenly changed careers (surgical assistant to professional mom). Maybe all first kids are frightening. I'm not sure. But I did NOT know how to handle being at a house all day, taking care of a little dictator, and keeping a home.

But after that first child and his first year, I started to become more settled in my role instead of just "reacting" to motherhood.

Something I realized is that being stressed out, frazzled, unqualified, unhappy, scared, etc - while a lot of those emotions are normal when it feels like there isn't enough of you to go around, most if it has to do with the condition of your heart.

Do I get stressed? Yes. I'm glad I seem even-keeled. To me that says that the Lord has really done a work in my life.

I have learned 2 things.

1) When I'm not spending time with the Lord, I do not have magical constant inner peace. If I'm not peaceful, it reflects in the home. When I spend time with Him each day, I find that I have all I need just as His word promises! Amazing. :-)

2) When I start to get to the place of being overly stressed I try to step back and understand why. It would be easy to blame the kids, sure. But am I overreacting? Am I overstressed because I have personally stretched myself too thin with too many commitments outside the home? Did I stay up too late the night before? Did I remember to eat a good breakfast? Have I spent time dawdling to avoid the things I dislike and now run out of enough time? Did I spend time with the Lord today? Did I chat 5 minutes too long on the phone with a friend and the kids not get some attention they needed? Did I remember that my day is not just about a checklist, maintaining a home, but about investing into the hearts and souls of my children?

I encourage you, if you feel like your plate is too full spend some time before the Lord. Ask Him to show you how to order your days, what is causing you stress, what is in your life that shouldn't be (hint : it's never the kids, they're supposed to be there!), and to help you remember that you have all your need for an abundant life!

More on this in part 2, coming soon!


Mrs. Querido said...

Investing in the hearts and souls of your children....
That is a lovely way to put it! And I totally agree with you. Working hard to not be cranky days I feel like I'm losing the battle!

Milford House said...

I have someone pending on the soakers. I believe my friend put them through the normal wash and dry routine, so the soakers are stained and out of shape. I'm sure they can be used again, but I never really use them.

Milford House said...

OOps! "Milford House" is me, xanga/japangela

Amy said...

Great post - and even better reminder :)

Christie said...

Beautifully put! Thanks for such an encouraging post!