Mom, are you feeling exhausted and frazzled? Are you dreaming of sitting by a beach and do nothing… for a year?! Burn out: the fast-paced mom. There is a life waiting for you that isn’t filled to the brim with non-stop activities from morning till night.
“Cindy, why are you driving so slow?”
My husband Vance asked me this – after we drove across town. I hadn’t even realized I was motoring along under the speed limit. This mom used to go ten over, everywhere I went. I was always in a hurry!
Burn out: the fast-paced mom
That was me.
Now, let’s get real, most moms can say they are running at a killer-speed every day. But we may not realize the damage we are doing in the process of living a life that is quickly wearing us out.
I was talking to a woman one day that confessed to me that her husband no longer wanted their children in all the after-school sports they were participating in. He was feeling as though their family was getting burnt out due to the constant running around.
One of the sports required a commitment of two to three days a week and about two hours of their time on those days. Plus, the family had four kids and both parents worked full-time jobs. They were feeling unbalanced due to the kid’s activities taking up much of their spare time.
As this mom and I sat and chatted, she confessed she was also feeling the strain but didn’t want to deprive her children of opportunities other families gave their kids. Let me tell you a tidbit that most moms don’t realize:
Your child has a one in a million chance of making it into professional sports.
I watched a video one day of a set of parents who sold their house, and all their possessions in the chance that their child could become an NBA star. Their life goal was to get their child to stardom.
If you have spent almost every evening running your kids to after-school sports, music lessons, Girl Guides, Cub Scouts, Awana etc. but you have no time to actually sit across from your child at the dinner table and listen to them talk about their day…it may be time to slow down.
When you are running around in the morning screaming and yelling at the kids because your days start with mommy already being behind, since yesterday’s tasks were left undone…it’s time for a home evaluation.
You need help!
If your child does not become a Top- 20-Singer, NHL Hockey Player, Broadway Dancer, or BlockBuster Actor…IT’S NO BIG DEAL!!!
If we raise talented kids: but they are unhappy, non-communicating, selfish, over-tired and stressed out, we have entirely missed the point of parenting
Our goal is to invest in our children; not with our money, but with our time.
If you watch the kids who come out of Hollywood, not too many of them survive without getting into heavy drugs, alcohol and a handful of unhealthy relationships. Whether it’s too much fame too young, or just a matter of not being grounded due to a lack of family relationships…either way they have been broken down.
Last weekend we moved my daughter Charity and her husband, Dan, into their new house. Charity handed me an heirloom and said, “I have to be careful with this, it’s from Dan’s grandpa, it’s precious.” Dan’s grandfather, Bob, had handcrafted a bird for them out of wood and gave it as a gift when they got married. It was the only thing in all their possessions that Charity wanted carefully transported.
Charity decided to hop into my car when we went to get the house keys from the Lawyers. When she went to jump in, I had the bird strapped in with the seat belt. Charity laughed. I told her I would feel terrible if the bird fell off the seat and broke if I went around a corner too quickly. She agreed it was wise to have strapped in the bird.
Charity is expecting her first baby in December. She is carrying precious cargo right now, in her tummy. In a few months, she will be handed a baby in pink or blue. She will then have about 18-20 years with that child, or as I saw on Facebook in a quote:
Imagine, such a short span of time you have with your baby. Then your child moves out, and on to a new life on their own, or with a wife or husband. We have very few years with our precious cargo.
You have been handed a beautiful gift. I believe if your reading this you may be feeling like I was years ago, when I was running at a pace that was almost killing me. Partly to do with my own choices, and also to do with a situation I had no control over.
Our son Kyle, who is our oldest, has autism and required a lot of care. When we allowed other people to start caring for Kyle in our home, I became a better mother to my five children and a better wife to my husband, Vance.
I was the fast-moving mom, and it was affecting my family and me.
When the kids were small, Eythan my youngest had chopped his own bangs entirely off at age four and snipped large chunks of hair out of his sister Aryanna’s hair too. I didn’t even notice till lunchtime, and the incident had happened early in the morning.
After I chuckled, took photos, and then had time to sit down later and think about it, I thought to myself, “How did I go four hours without even looking my child in the eyes and even noticing his hair had mysteriously gone missing?”
I wasn’t enjoying the precious moments with my children because I was too busy with other tasks.
Motherhood had been my calling, but I wasn’t using the time to enjoy the gifts God had given me…my children.
I remember an incident that happened when Aryanna (my fourth child) was a month old. My son Devyn, who was two and a half, and had been my baby until then, stood in front of me and put his hand on my knee, and looked up as I held Aryanna.
I looked down into his eyes, and I saw it – the yearning. The desire to be on Mommy’s knee and resting against me the way he loved to do when my arms were wrapped around his chubby little body. I realized I hadn’t put Devyn on my knee once, in the past month.
Love washed over me.
I laid Aryanna on the couch and picked up Devyn and cuddled him close and he melted into my arms. We sat there for quite a while, just mommy and little boy. After that day, I made a conscious decision to try and hold Devyn as often as possible.
Oh, the things we miss out on when we are the fast-paced, fast-moving mom. Moments we can never capture again – once they are lost.
My kids are all grown now, and the younger four have moved out, and now our family is adding another generation. What would I tell my three girls Charity, Aryanna, and Jazmin if they have children?
“Mommy, slow down and enjoy your precious cargo. They’re only here for a moment, then you wake up, and they’re gone.”
My story wasn’t shared to add to the guilt you already carry. This was written to encourage and support you in reevaluating your schedule, so you can slow down and be the mom you want to be.
It’s okay to let go of – or cut back on – activities, meetings, and commitments that are stealing from your family’s time to bond and have a peaceful home. If you work outside the home you can still have a balance of work and activities that fit with your family’s needs.
Too much of a good thing; is sometimes NOT A GOOD THING.
Sports, music, church activities, committees, charities, are all good. But you have to find a balance of all these good things along with your precious cargo – so that you don’t lose them when you’re going to fast.
All your good things may be gone leaving you without treasured memories when you are old.
God is a big believer in you spending time with your family. They are your first priority right after Him. Your husband and children are your #1 ministry. If we are not taking care of the first ministry we are given, we cannot take care of another.
God was speaking in the verse below about spending time teaching our children about the bible. He mentions being in our home together, walking alongside each other and also being with our family before bed and when we wake up.
I had to pass on responsibilities to others to get to a place where I could have quality relationships with those I loved most. The kids are gone now, except for my precious Kyle. I now have time for more events outside the home.
Sit with your husband and jot down from 1-10 what is most important to you today. If a Tornado ripped through your town, what would you grab first and bring to safety? Write it in that order. What is most valuable to you? Make these gifts your first priority in your life, then add in the others when you have more time or the kids are grown.
There are no take-backs or redo’s at the end of childhood, we are only guaranteed today.
Embrace the people who bring you the most joy. When they put their hand on your knee, pick them up and lay them against your heart.
Slow down your fast-paced life, and enjoy your family. I promise you, you won’t regret it.
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