Five Things Friday: 5 Things You Don’t Say to a Tired Mama

I am taking this week off for the holiday. Please enjoy this oldie but goodie. It is my most shared Five Things Friday post ever. Apparently, there are a lot of tired mamas out there. So, watch yourself! :)

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My first three babies were great sleepers. I’m talking sleep through the night at ten weeks old kind of sleepers. I’m not gonna lie – it. was. awesome. Then, I had baby number last 4. That sweet babe of mine did not sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time for nine months.

Sophia - Dedication PhotoThen, I understood. All of those tired mamas on Facebook suddenly made sense to me. I nodded in total agreement how coffee had become a necessity and showering a luxury. I repented of every time I had judged a mama wearing pajama pants at the grocery store. Instead, I applauded her for even making it there. I began having people tell me things that, though well meaning, were either irritating or (worse) discouraging.

So, on behalf of all tired mamas out there, I’m going to tell you 5 things you should never say in response to a post or statement about being tired.

  1. My baby is six and still doesn’t sleep through the night. Nothing will make a tired mama feel worse than the suggestion that there is no end in sight to the physical and mental exhaustion she is enduring. Some days, the only thing that enables us to make it through the day is the hope that tonight may just be the night. Please don’t stomp all over that hope.
  2. My sweet angel sleeps twelve hours every night. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that this may get you blocked on Facebook. Oh, I kid. Sort of.  If your friend has a child who doesn’t sleep and she hasn’t had the energy to bathe in two days, it is not the time to brag about how well rested and wonderful you feel.
  3. Just enjoy it because you’ll miss these days. I will miss having barbies in my bathtub. I will miss having a toddler sneak into my bed at night. I will miss night time snuggles and footie pajamas. I will miss story time and days at the park. I will not miss being so exhausted that I wash my hair in body wash and mistake diaper cream for hand lotion. When you say this to a tired mom, you instill a sense of guilt in her because she is just tired and wants to wiggle her nose and be at the next stage.
  4. What you should be doing is… This is just a no-no. Mothering is such an intimate thing. The moment you tell another mom what she “should” be doing, it can seem like a condemnation of what she is currently doing. Now, I’m not saying that you never give advice. Just be aware of how you say it. A proper way would be: All children are different, but something that worked for me is… Or maybe you read something helpful. You could say, I read the neatest thing the other day. Have you ever read… Just be aware that a tired mama is a sensitive mama and speak accordingly.
  5. You look exhausted. We tired mamas like to think that we don’t look like we’ve been hit by a Mack truck. So, when you see us out and about at the store or church, just say how great we look. Seriously. We will know you are lying and we will love you for it.

If you are a tired mama, I applaud you.

You can do this.

You are a rock star.

You go, girl.

And you look fabulous!

Wednesday Morning Confessions

toys in the floorA little re-run for the holidays. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

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I knew I had really loosened up when I passed a bag of Cheetos to the kids in the backseat on the drive home from Thanksgiving vacation. Cheetos, people. In the car! I grew up in an era when you did not, I repeat, did not eat in the car. In fact, we washed our cars inside and out every weekend, rain or shine. Now, you could make a meal out of the french fries and cheerios you would find in the floor of my vehicle. My apologies to my father. The funny thing is that he has loosened up, too. He recently took my car for an oil change and told the workers, “If anything falls out when you open the door, just throw it back in. It may be important.” Ha. I love that man.

Last night, I took a nice hot bath – and I didn’t even bother to remove the kids’ toys first. When did I get to the point where I could relax while ten naked Barbies (one of which does not have a head) floated around me? Maybe it was at the same point when I stopped caring if my children had matching socks. Seriously, y’all, that is a losing battle. Our church small group went to a bouncy house the other night. All of the kids took their shoes off and my three year old was wearing one blue sock and one pink sock. The pink sock? It was mine. Yeah.

Now, it’s Christmas time and all of you guys with your Elf on the Shelf antics. Mercy. I have a hard enough time planning meals. I mean, this was lunch the other day. {Feel free to pin it so you can recreate it later.} lunch

I saw this article and I am just amazed and impressed with the things people come up with. Seriously, the one with Mr. Potato Head and the elf having a snowball fight. I know one of y’all are going to do that one.

This post really has no point at all. I’m sorry if you have stuck with me this far hoping for one. I just want to encourage you to lighten up – assuming you need that encouragement. Here’s the thing. I serve good meals – pot roast and homemade bread on Sundays. I scoop out the trash if someone is going to be riding in my car.

So, those may be the things you see if you go somewhere with me or see me post a food picture on Instagram. But don’t ever think that is every day. Don’t compare your every day to someone else’s Instagram moments. It’s not a fair comparison.

If you don’t believe me, just ask one of my kids to take off their shoes. Actually, don’t do that.

Mom Talk Monday: Where Peace is Found

bread banksOkay, folks. It is Thanksgiving Monday. Is that a thing? I think I just made that up. My point is that the holidays have arrived. For the last few weeks, it has been all fun and planning. It’s been little kids making Christmas lists and grown ups deciding who will bring which dish to the family gathering. Seriously, you have to assign dishes or you will end up with a whole lot of deviled eggs and green bean casserole. Am I right?

So, up until now, it’s been fun and you’ve probably been handling it well. But, now, it’s Thanksgiving Monday and the stress is kicking in.

You’re worried that Uncle George is going to complain about something again.

What if you totally burn the ham like you did last year?

You’re dreading the long drive to so-and-so’s house.

Oh, no, there are only two paychecks until Christmas. How did that happen?

If we aren’t careful, we stress and plan and worry. In our attempts to create the perfect Pinterest holidays, we totally miss the meaning of the holidays. I came across a passage this morning and I immediately thought of my Mom Talk readers because I believe that we moms sometimes forfeit peace in our attempts at perfection.

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ” Would that you had known the things that make for peace!” – Luke 19:41-42

kissesJesus was weeping over the fact that Jerusalem just didn’t get it. If you had only known what would have brought you peace. I wonder how often he speaks the same words over us.

I couldn’t read that verse without immediately thinking of Paul’s words in Ephesians.

For he himself is our peace… – Ephesians 2:14

Peace isn’t found in perfection or presents or people. Peace only comes through Christ. He is peace.

Our children do not need the latest and greatest whatever.

If the turkey is dry and the mashed potatoes are lumpy, so be it.

Bring on the traffic and long check out lines and unending Christmas music on the radio.

But whatever you do, do not let Jesus look at your family this holiday and say, “If they had only known what would have brought them peace.”

Praying you feel the presence of the only One who offers peace.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Five Things Friday: Studying Scripture

It’s a video, y’all!

Be kind. My computer is a crazy old desktop and the microphone / camera isn’t the best. Also, if I were a Seinfeld character, I would be known as the fast talker. It’s the yankee in me – that never goes away.

What would you like to see on future Five Things Friday posts?

When an Angel Crashes Your Wedding

weddingI am a planner. I think we, as women, are just a planning kind of people. And, if I’m honest, I don’t handle changes well. I’m not really a go-with-the-flow kind of girl, if you know what I mean. Any slight deviation to the right or to the left and I’m in a tizzy of worry and anxiety.

All that being said, I have a whole new appreciation for Mary. Think about it, y’all. The girl was planning a wedding.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph. – Luke 1:26-27

She was all caught up in guest lists and food choices and making sure that crazy Aunt Bertha didn’t sit too close to the wine table. She was all starry-eyed and love struck. She was writing “Mary loves Joseph” in the dirt with a stick.

Then, Gabriel showed up.

Now, some plan alterations are acceptable. Maybe someone checked chicken on the RSVP card and they meant to choose fish. Okay, we can handle that. Or they didn’t RSVP at all {how aggravating is that?} and now we need to add a couple folding chairs to the reception hall. These things are to be expected. Oh, but Gabriel was about to make some major changes to this bride-to-be’s plans.

You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. - Luke star1:31

I’m sorry. What?

I would love to think that I would be all cool and let’s do this thing. But, seriously, I get upset if the shirt I wanted to wear is in the dirty clothes. I’m certain that Mary is going to go Bridezilla on ol’ Gabe, right?

And Mary said, “Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” – Luke 1:38

Yeah, that’s what I meant to say. 

We have all had times when we were planning one thing and it just didn’t work out.

We thought we would be married by now but our Facebook status still reads single.

Or, maybe, we thought we would still be married right now.

We thought we would have a flourishing career and, instead, we are eeking out a minimum wage existence.

We thought we would be doing something else.

Be somewhere else.

Be someone else.

Be with someone else.

But God had other plans.

The mistake we often make is we want to compare the two plans – God’s and ours. We want to look at them side by side and weigh the pros and cons. Sometimes, however, the best thing to do is to let it be. {Does anyone else have the Beatles’ Let it Be stuck in their head now? You’re welcome.}

The next time God steps in and changes your carefully made plans – let it be.