I didn't think it would be Thursday before I made it back here. Where did the week go? Do the days run away from you as fast as they do me?
We've had a fun-filled week of "s" words...school, soccer, and shopping! Have you ever been to IKEA? I had not until Tuesday. OH.MY! What a great place! The prices are unbelievably good and the size of the place is mammoth. If you get near an IKEA make certain you stop in. You are sure to find some good stuff.
The best part of the trip wasn't the treasures we found though. It wasn't the chalkboard (that I love) or the great chair I bought, or even the yummy cinnamon rolls. It was the time spent with friends. It was the laughing and sharing that went on. It was such a blessing to spend the day with friends!
Which brings me to my next post in the How to Avoid Feeling Worn-out, Frazzled, Burned-out, and Overwhelmed series.
One important thing we can do as women to avoid feeling burned out is spend time with other women. It's easy to get stuck in a hole of alone-ness and to believe you have no time for a break. I know, I've been there. I've made it no secret that I have suffered from periods of depression. Our last move (a forced relocation for my husband's job) was exceptionally difficult. We left behind some of the best friends we've ever had, a great church, neighborhood, and a life we loved. The adjustment to our new city was extremely rough. We were not quick to make friends or find a church and had almost no support from our extended family. I don't think most of our family members even comprehend what it is like to up-root your life and start all over again. Finding doctors and grocery stores and post offices is the easiest of the chores. The hard part is beginning new relationships. It is lonely and overwhelming. I've spent the majority of the time I've been in our current city without many friends. It has only fueled the feelings of being burned out and overwhelmed.
Over time God brought some women into my life and it has made such a huge difference in how I feel. We women folk are designed for relationship. Often times relationships mean way more to us than they do our husbands. Men most of the time aren't as needful of friendships, but for women, it can make all the difference. I would encourage you if you are feeling overwhelmed as a mom to talk to another mom. Go out for a cup of coffee and spend some time sharing with one another. If you are at home with your children all day, every day, and you aren't really getting out at all I would suggest changing that. Of course, your first and most important obligation is to your family. Your role as help-meet to your husband and caring mother to your children comes before anything else. I've seen cases where mamas have taken their "down-time" to the extreme and have become negligent of their duties. I've seen a severe case of that actually where grand-parents literally took over raising the kids so the mother could travel to the beach, hang out at bars, and do whatever she chose. THAT is not what I am talking about. I'm suggesting once in a while we step away from our routine and spend some time with some other women doing something enjoyable. Join a bible study, or take an art class, go shopping, or out for coffee - the possibilities are endless. I really enjoy putting the little ones in strollers and just walking (and talking) around the neighborhood or at a local park. Taking a little time periodically to get out of the house and spend time with friends will do you a world of good and will actually be good for your family as well. You will enjoy the change of scenery and time spent sharing with friends and will be ready to return to your role as wife and mother refreshed and renewed. Fighting off the burned out overwhelmed feeling begins with relationship with God and is helped by relationship with other women. Try it and see!