Blessing Yourself and Moms Around You!
by Karen Whiting
I rang the doorbell, and my neighbor stepped out. I handed her a homemade muffin bouquet with tasty goodies and floral decorations. She hugged me and said, “I needed this.” She needed a joy lifter. It wasn’t about the homemade goodies, but it was about a pretty gift and the thought that someone cared. Something to make a busy mom smile in the midst of a hectic day and the stress of motherhood makes a difference.
Look around and notice women who appear stressed. These dear ladies take care of everyone else except themselves. They need laughter, support, a few minutes of time to relax. Choose to shower one mom you know with something that destresses her. Blessing someone else can bring you blessings too. That mom I blessed left some sweet treats and a flower on my doorstep a few weeks later. Blessings trigger blessings.
Moms, we need one another! We need tender support and listening ears that understand. Pass on what helps you. Start with self-care and share what works with others.
Gratitude and Laughter
At the end of the day, note what made you smile, blessed you or made your day better. Call a friend to share that heart lifter and ask her to share her gratitude for the day. Post something that made you smile to share the gift of laughter.
Fill little bags with toys or activities for your children. These can be ones you stored to cut down on clutter or dollar store finds. Hand them out when you need a break. While your child is busy, sit and rest for those minutes. Close your eyes and listen to giggles and busy play. These are time cushions you can create to destress.
Next time you purchase a few inexpensive items to fill time cushion bags, buy extra and make some for a friend’s children. Gift your friend and explain how you use them for a break.
Build your network of friends. Join some mom groups or start a mom babysitting coop. You may have family nearby, but it’s also nice to have a friend who can watch your children while you treat your family support with a short outing or visit without the kids.
Hang out at parks to meet moms with their kids. Sunshine and fresh air in God’s creation have a calming effect and improve sleep quality. Invite women you make friends with to do something at your house, like make cookies or sugar scrubs. If you meet a mom who has a husband at home in the evening, invite her over after bedtime for a girls’ movie night or spa time.
Look beyond moms with young children. Empty-nester moms can offer great advice and comfort but may also enjoy helping with your kids occasionally. Invite that woman to meet you at a park, so you can chat and enjoy time together. Have your children bake her a treat and see what doors that opens to connect more.
Stress Buster Lists
Make a list of what destresses you and share the list. To grow your list, invite friends to share what comforts them. Laugh together over humorous ideas like making faces with the kids. Reading the Bible and praying can also be great stress relievers. Here are some stress relievers you might want to add or already use that you can share:
Breathe through your diaphragm while slowly counting. Or breathe out, breathe in and hold your breath, then exhale slowly.
Scroll through an album on your phone.
Sit outside for a little while to observe nature, such as watching birds fly and listening to leaves rustle.
Drink cool water with a zest of citrus or sprig of mint.
Check out the TV guide and choose a show to record to watch after kids fall asleep.
Simplify your schedule.
If your schedule is full, say no.
Laugh at your favorite memories or your children’s cutest sayings and antics.
God breathed life into man, and His breath still revitalizes us. Read Job 33:4. Repeat a memorized verse that calms you as you breathe slowly.
Peace of Mind
News and busyness keep our minds from relaxing. We need inner peace that helps us get through busy days with less stress. Dwell on what’s positive. Recall answered prayers and how God blessed you. The end of Revelation reminds us that God knows the beginning and the end of all that happens. He is in control, not thieves, terrorists, disasters or leaders.
So, limit how much news you listen to, and trust God to be in control. Read the Bible more and pray. Check out local and online Bible studies to find one that gives you more peace of mind. Do what helps you have peace. I set the alarm when I had little ones, so if they ever escaped, I’d know it. That gave me peace when I went into the bathroom or turned my back to cook.
If certain people stress you out, forgive them. Analyze why someone seems to unsettle your mind. Is it related to rejection, resentment, resistance or revenge? Remember that God accepts and loves you. The person may be passing on his or her own negative emotions, due to an unstated real issue that has nothing to do with you. That may cause you to come to incorrect conclusions. Work to lessen the stress. Respond to their criticism with, “Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ll pray about that.” Respond to negativity by asking if there is a deeper issue they’d like to share. Pray for God to resolve any issues and give you peace. Share peaceful thoughts to prompt talk of peace.
Moms, as sisters in motherhood, let’s lean on one another as needed, be grateful for blessings and sprinkle joy into lives around us.
Karen Whiting, mom of five and grandma, has authored more than thirty books, including Growing a Mother’s Heart book and Bible study, which help moms apply God’s wisdom through Scriptures and stories, while discovering practical tips for making meals fun, getting the right types of rest and simplified time management and organizing.