Burnout is something that we all experience at some point or another and it’s completely normal. We feel exhausted, lose interest in our day-to-day, and in some ways we feel like we’re trapped in a never-ending hamster wheel. This is exactly how I felt this week. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the past 9 months and while I love it, it’s not easy. For the most part, I spend every waking moment with my children. I feed them, clean up after them, I entertain them, I home-school my three-year-old, I exclusively nurse my son, and I deal with the drama (anyone that has ever had a three-year-old knows what I mean). That’s not including my other responsibilities around the house and my marriage. It’s exhausting! So this week I felt myself start to shut down a little. That’s when God reminded me of a few things that I need to keep in mind to keep myself above water. I want to share them with you.
1. We don’t have to do this alone!
I’ve noticed that whenever I feel too frustrated or overwhelmed it’s because I haven’t plugged in like I’m supposed to and I’m trying to do too much in my own strength. God reminds us over and over again in his word that we don’t have to try to tackle life by ourselves. As a matter of fact, we can’t. This week I was led to Zechariah 4:6 (one of my faves) that says, “…not by power, nor by might, but by my spirit, says the Lord Almighty” [NIV]. We have to make it a habit to simply tell Holy Spirit that we need him and ask him for grace to make it through the day. Sometimes it’s just as simple as changing our mindset and making sure that our focus is on him. If we make our work our worship and do it unto him instead of unto our bosses and supervisors (or children), we’ll be able to push through anything.
2. He will give us rest.
Matthew 11:28-30 says “ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” [NIV]. How do we find that rest? One-on-one time and worship. My pastor from my hometown once said that worship is the only phenomenon that no matter where we are in life or what we have done, we have an opportunity to experience the presence of God. Real worshippers (you know, the ones that don’t mind the strange stares lol) know that as soon as you lift your hands and lift up his name, you will feel his presence in an amazing way. In that moment, nothing else matters but the connection between you and God. All of life’s stress and worries seem to melt away. The good thing is that it’s not just for church on Sundays! His presence is available to us 24/7.Whenever we’re feeling down or worried or just not so great, we should always take a moment in the day to find rest in him through worship.
3. We need to stay connected to one another
For me, my biggest problem with being a stay-at-home mom is that I don’t always spend enough time with other adults nor do I have enough adult conversation. It’s so easy to feel trapped or burnt out when you isolate yourself. We are not meant to be alone and it is God’s will for us to connect with and serve one another. Scripture says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” [Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV]. Never be afraid to admit that you need a friend; God built us for companionship. Even if it’s just one person, we need to have someone to talk to regularly, believe God with, and just have a good time with.
Burnout is real, my friends—but so is God. Allow him to give you rest and to be your strength when you have very little. God bless.