Are you lacking joy as a mother?
I don’t have to convince you that Moms are always “on” moving from one thing to the next. They are often up late and up early, juggling multiple tasks to keep the home and possibly homeschool going. Throw in activities, ministry, or even working from home and, if you’re not careful, you have a perfect recipe for mom burnout.
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What are the signs and symptoms of mom burnout? Some include loss of motivation, a change in appetite or sleep habits, feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated, constantly overwhelmed, feeling alone, and stuck in doubt.
What do these all have in common? All lead to a lack of joy!
So how do stay at home moms cope? While thinking about the many times when I have lost my joy, it made me stop and think about the effects my lack of joy has had on my children. We are not the only ones who can struggle when we are lacking joy as moms. As you process through it, I believe it’s important to ask ourselves these two questions.
HOW DOES MY LACK OF JOY AFFECT MY CHILDREN?
1. Will they want to know and love my God?
I remember hearing a talk about giving your kids a heart for God. She was talking about making our homes fun and being fun. Then she asked this big question: “Why would our children want to know and love our God if we are always grumpy and unhappy?”
Such a GOOD point! If I am teaching my kids about God and His Word, and trying to instill a love for Him in them, all that teaching will be undone if they see me as an unhappy, stressed, worried mom.
We can’t force our children’s hearts to love God, but we can give them a hunger for God by showing them the joy we have in Him. There’s the old saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink – BUT you can salt his oats.” We can give our kids more of a thirst for God if we are careful to salt their oats by our daily living. Seeing that we have the joy of the Lord will give our kids more of a thirst for God.
2. Will they learn to trust God with their problems and needs?
I can teach them the importance of prayer. I can encourage them to go to God with their problems. However, if they see me stressing and worrying about circumstances all the time, they are going to have a hard time trusting Him.
Often when I find myself burdened down about something, and feel it is affecting my spirit, I will talk to the kids about it and suggest that we pray and ask for God’s help in that situation. When I’m concerned, I want them to see the best thing to do is go to God.
I have also made it a point to share with them ways that God has answered prayers and provided in different situations. I especially do that when sharing a burden with them, to remind myself that I can trust God with this new worry, and to help build their faith and trust in God.
As moms, we all have occasional times when we lose our joy. That’s normal – it’s okay. The important thing is to realize what makes you lose your joy, and then focus on what you can do to be more joyful.