Are You a Mary or Martha Kind of Mom?

I’m sure your daily to do list is a mile long and a big chunk of it consists of what you need to do for your kids, such as helping with homework, driving them to practices, getting lunches ready, scheduling doctor appointments, and well, you know the drill. We can get so wrapped up into the doing that we miss the opportunity to just be present. It goes back to that super single mom syndrome, of not only doing it all but doing it perfectly, because hey we got this under control, right? Well, it may appear that way, but this is an surefire way to get totally burned out. Always thinking about what you need to do robs you from the gift of being present. Sure, you made it to your kid’s recital, but you’re mind is racing about how you have to pick up a new leotard, or cleats for the soccer game on Saturday, or the dentist appointment you need to schedule, and all the while little Suzy is on stage dancing her toes off. You’re eyes are watching, but you’re mind is a million miles away. You’re not fully enjoying the moment and then it’s over and you go onto the next thing. Listen, you show up and that’s half the battle, but if you’re going to be there, why not savor the time? You deserve better, and frankly so do your kids.
Mary and Martha were two sister who no doubt loved Jesus and wanted to honor him, they just went about it in two different ways. Martha was busy with the preparations. Can’t you can almost see her sweating over the meal she was preparing, worrying about whether it would fit for Jesus? Mary gets a bum rap, but I believe her intentions were good. She was getting things done, checking off those boxes, to ensure that things were on point for Jesus! Mary on the other hand wasn’t so concerned about what was happening in the kitchen. Her reaction to the arrival of Jesus, was not in the physical preparations, but in the spiritual and emotional. She was present. She sat at his feet and gave him her undivided attention. Martha was perturbed that while she was working her fingers to the bone to prepare for Jesus her sister in her opinion was slacking off. They were both serving Jesus, but one had found a good thing, and that was being in communion with Jesus, the one thing that was needful.
I always felt bad for Martha, because I understand her heart. I know how it is getting so caught up in the preparation, trying to make everything look perfect, and then feeling as though it really isn’t appreciated. I believe Jesus did appreciate Martha’s efforts, but I think he was also gently letting her know to stop being troubled about the things that are temporary and to be more present with the things that matter, such as… being present.
I’m not comparing our kids with Jesus, but I think moms can easily fall into a Martha kind of parenting if we become too consumed with prioritizing our duties, and not our relationship with our kids. Both approaches have the best intentions, but there needs to be a balance.
When we our kids become another check mark on our   to do list, life as a mom starts to morph into series of routine errands and a preoccupation with performance, not theirs but ours.  There is so much judgment and pressure on moms to do everything, be everywhere and do it well, it is what society expects of us. I’ve witnessed this at my daughter’s school. There are room moms, but not room dads and nor would they ever think of asking. Moms are expected to show up and we don’t hold men to the same standard. When we do so no, we are made to feel like we are not doing enough, or we don’t care, or can’t be bothered, it is so stinking unfair! So, don’t be hard on yourself with the whole performance thing, because it’s ingrained in us to a degree. Has it helped us? No! We have become burned out, stressed, exhausted, and hold ourselves to an impossible standard. I’m asking you to channel more of your Mary and a little less of your Martha.
Children are not tasks, they are human beings who crave a genuine relationship with their mom and on the flipside we desire the same. When that desire isn’t being satisfied, we slip into a rabbit hole of  just going through the motions of being a mom. Look, there are those seasons, where you’ll be happy to just get through the day, with everyone fed and still breathing. That’s life, it happens and you may need to just focus on the task at hand. However, if  this season is a lifestyle it’s probably time to try a different way.
I get frustrated and burned out when I feel like the only purpose I have as a mom is making that all the errands get completed. When I start to feel like just an Uber driver or get caught up into making sure everything is working perfectly, it makes me feel further away from my daughter. It’s like my role as mom has been diminished. If I look at her as a check box on a long list of things to do, then I’m not giving our relationship, the dignity or respect it deserves. That to do list may be filled with items that relate to her, but they are not her. I can take care of daily to do’s, but am I taking care of the person, or the relationship? This is a key question to ask ourselves. In my heart when I know that I’m putting more emphasis on the stuff than her, it makes feel awful, which in turn makes me incredibly hard on myself.
Life is too short and too uncertain to allow moments to slip away. When you are gone from this earth, your children will cherish the relationship and the memories you created. Sure, they’ll remember that mom juggled a million and things and totally rocked, but nothing will replace the memory of you being present and engaged. Give yourself permission to stray from the to do list, and spend quality time with your kids. Creating memories will last way longer than making sure dinner is on the table at precisely 6:00 pm. You may have to run a tight ship, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play hard, laugh a lot, and enjoy one another’s company. I know you’re trying to keep all the wheels turning, but don’t get run over by them! Enjoy the ride! You are a gift to each other, so make sure you take the time to unwrap all the delightful surprises that come with your family. In my upcoming eBook, “15 Tips to Avoid Single Mom Burnout,” I’ll give you practical tips on how you can be a little less Martha and a little more Mary!

Day #5 of 7 Natural Cleaning Products You Can Make At Home Guest Post Series!

DIY Bathroom Cleaner

Ah, the bathroom. It’s a space that gets a lot of use and tends to get dirty and germy pretty quickly. This DIY bathroom cleaner helps clean and sanitize at a fraction of the cost of store-bought products. As a an added bonus, it smells great! Ingredients: ●       2 cups of distilled water ●       1 Tbsp. of baking soda ●       3 Tbsps. of liquid castile soap ●       30 drops tea tree essential oil ●       30 drops orange essential oil Directions: 1.     Pour the water, baking soda, castile soap, and essential oils into a plastic spray bottle. 2.     Cover and thoroughly shake the ingredients together until dissolved. 3.     Spray where needed – the toilet bowl, tub, sink, floor, and even the shower walls. NOTE: Tea tree oil can be toxic to pets, so use with caution if you have furry friends around. Version:1.0 StartHTML:000000221 EndHTML:000279503 StartFragment:000279166 EndFragment:000279430 StartSelection:000279166 EndSelection:000279430 SourceURL:http://asinglechristianmomsadvice.com/?p=6407&preview=true Day #1 of 7 Natural Cleaning Products You Can Make At Home Guest Post Series! | A Single Christian Mom’s Advice On Making Life Easier

About the Author: Linda Floyd

Linda Floyd is the owner of Upstairs Downstairs Cleaning Service. Linda is a mother of 3, loves to travel and spend time with her family.

Daily Dose of Scripture: 1 Peter 5:6-7 Because He Cares

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Cast all your anxiety on Him. Why do we refuse to lay down our anxiety at the feet of Jesus? I’ve noticed in a crisis people either retreat into themselves which leads to more worry, stress and fear or they turn to Jesus which gives them peace and hope. Sometimes our anxiety is brought upon us by our own disobedience, causing us to feel guilty or ashamed. We think, ‘there we go messing up again when do I ever learn? God is tired of hearing my same old song and dance.’ So we try to resolve whatever it is we are dealing with on our own that just adds to our stress. God cares for you. He doesn’t care for you just when you are doing the right thing or your life is going smoothly, God cares for you. God isn’t a fly by night sort of God. When the chips are down He doesn’t leave you, in fact he draws closer to you if you let him. We have a God that cares for you so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice for you. Do we really have any reason for anxiety? No, we don’t, but we are human and therefore we see limits, but with God there are no limits he has an infinite and everlasting love for you that humanly we can’t even comprehend. His mighty hand is always upon us. In God’s time He will lift you up, until then rest under the palm of his hand in love and be assured that His plan for you is absolutely perfect…why? Because my sweet friend He Cares For You~

Help Me Choose a New End Table!

My gracious boss gave me a gift card that I still haven’t used. I’ve been mulling over what to buy and I think I want a new end table for my living room. I can’t decided between these 3.  I love the sleek clean look and I think one of these will go great in my living room, but can’t decide. I’m reaching out to all you stylish mommas out there! Take the poll and help me make a decision 🙂 Thank you!

Daily Dose of Scripture, Isaiah 40:31 If You’re Looking For Strength Your Hope Has to Be In The Lord”

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If your wings are broken, if you’re weary and can’t bear another burden do not rely on yourself or a turn in the tide, instead place your hope in the Lord. In him you will find the strength that alludes you. You’ll run further than you ever thought possible. You will walk with a stride that had been buried with the troubles that overcame you. With your faith in the Lord you will soar above your circumstances and be sustained and loved in only a way our loving Father can…eternally and completely.

Daily Dose of Scripture, Proverbs 24:3-4: How Are You Building Your House?

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Our homes are our safe havens. It is a place where we create memories, where we laugh, cry, fight, reconcile, grow, feel safe and it is also the place where we teach our children about God and establish our spiritual foundation. It is inside those walls that we are forming our children’s minds and hearts. Everyday we should ask ourselves, “how am I building my house?” I believe there are 3 fundamental pillars for our home to be established on firm ground based on this scripture, they are:

1) Knowledge: First, we have to invest the time and energy to gain the fundamental knowledge to run our household in accordance to God’s word. This knowledge comes from the scriptures. If we don’t know God’s word than our house can’t stand. It is important that we learn and study these biblical principals and values so we can pass that knowledge onto our children. This knowledge is also protects us from the world that wants in. As we grow in our knowledge base our rooms start to be filled with the treasure of the Lord’s words and promises.

2) Understanding: This is the 2nd step in laying down our spiritual foundation.Once we have knowledge of the scriptures and God’s word then we need to take time to understand, practice, and immerse ourselves in His ways, not the ways of our neighbors or the world’s ways, but the way that is written so that our house can be established.

3) Wisdom: Knowledge and understanding lead to wisdom. Finally, we have to take everything we learned and apply that wisdom to building our house so that it stands strong against the storms that are sure to come. Wisdom will give us the peace, security and love that will keep our homes grounded and beautiful.

 

 

Make Your Vision A Reality! Read Dream It. Pin It. Love It. By Terri Savelle Foy!

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I didn’t expect Terri Savelle Foy’s book, “Dream It. Pin It. Live It.”to have so such a profound impact on me but I’m so glad it did! In fact I think this is the best book I’ve read this year. With a fresh new year right around the corner this is the perfect book to dive into on those cozy snow days with a hot cup of cocoa and start envisioning your 2016! In the every day routine of life (especially as a mom) it is easy to lose track of our dreams and in many cases bury them altogether because ‘life,’ gets in the way. What we fail to realize is that our dreams and vision is what makes us thrive and feel alive!  If we choose to push our  vision to the side we do ourselves a great disservice and more importantly we disregard the plan that God has for our life. Terri plants that seed that makes you question if you are living your best life.

Terri encourages you to get clarity about your dreams.It isn’t enough to just set goals, but we need to write them down, change your habits, think carefully about what we are attracting by what we think about ourselves and finally to create a vision board. What I love about this book is that Terri isn’t telling you to put some pretty pictures on a board  and wish really hard that your dreams magically come true, instead she gives you practical advice on how to work towards your vision and how creating a vision board that reflects that vision is a crucial step in making those dreams you have nestled away come to fruition. Terri stresses the impact of the power of the pen and writing down your goals, but not just writing them down and putting them away. No, you need to read them every day and do something that brings you one step closer to accomplishing them.  This is far from a new age book as Terri weaves biblical scripture  and quotes throughout the pages that keeps it completely faith based.

Terri reminds us to have childlike faith, the kind that gives us the audacity to dream! In each chapter she gives you action steps to make your dreams a reality that you can  immediately incorporate into your life. For example, she encourages the reader to write 10 goals, to work on themselves, to be grateful for what they do have, gives suggestions on what to do while they’re waiting and how to create a vision board. If you ever feel like there is something more that you should be doing with your life or that God destined you to do something different than what you are doing now, please read this book! Terri reminds us that living happens now not tomorrow and that life is whatever you  create it to be. What would have to happen in 2016 for you to say this was the best year of my life, now once you answer that read, “Dream It. Pin It. Live It.”and get started on making it happen! It can you know, all you need is a vision, some discipline, faith and a vision board that speaks to your heart’s desire.