As I promised you last time, here is Part 2 of my “Wise Advice from Moms” series. This time, I’ll turn the focus on the new, the young, and the overwhelmed moms among us. I’ll try to keep this short; you’ve got plenty of other things to do! Stay with me, mature moms, there’s something here for you, too!
First, a Message for Grandmothers and Empty-Nesters (Overwhelmed Moms, you can skip to the next section)
It’s Your Turn to Give Back
If you know a new, young, or overwhelmed mom, keep her on your radar. Pray for her, of course, but also reach out to her. Sometimes just a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, an offer to hold her baby for her or help her unload her groceries from the car can help her feel cared for.
Many young moms these days have no mother nearby to turn to for help. Others would like to know someone is listening who can be sympathetic while still giving useful, encouraging advice. Even taking a meal or a special dessert to an overwhelmed mom will show her that you understand what it’s like to be in her shoes.
And Now, for the New, the Young, and the Overwhelmed
You are Not Alone
If you are feeling like an overwhelmed mom, you’ve probably been telling everyone you’re “doing ok” or “just tired”. This is a colossal understatement. The washer is running 24/7, toys are all over the floor, and you just want to take a shower. You used to be so organized, but now you don’t even try to find a matching pair of socks. For anybody.
It’s not that you’re depressed so much as just lonely. You don’t want to invite anyone over because your house is a mess, your 18-month-old is in his biting phase, and your 3-year-old can not seem to poop in the toilet. How can you connect with other moms? How can you confirm that you’re not the only one feeling overwhelmed? How can you get help?
This is the time to reach out for support from a judgment-free source. If your family is not nearby, there are other places you can find support, sympathy, and perspective.
Ask other moms. Do you talk to other moms when you go to the playground, the park, or even just around your neighborhood? There are probably moms who would love a chance to get to know you–maybe you could even form a kind of partnership and take turns giving each other a shower break once in a while.
Grandmothers and empty-nest moms. Whether you need straight-up advice or someone to just hold your baby for a while, this is your go-to resource. Once a woman becomes a mom, she never stops being one. There are no doubt many women in your church or neighborhood who are practical and wise moms. An older woman can give you a listening ear and a broader perspective.
Finally, though, remember to savor all the moments, even the annoying ones. We moms–Default or otherwise–know that this is a challenging time for you as a mother. Take a breath. Pause to thank God for these little ones. They’ll be grown before you know it.
After reading this article, you may realize that your problem is more complex. Please click on the words postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis for a link to an information website. If you are experiencing the symptoms described on either of these websites, please see a mental health professional immediately, or call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
God Always Has the Last Word
“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'”—Isaiah 41:13 ESV
Grace is Real–
Judy, the Default Mom