As a somewhat new stay at home mom I've come to realize we have some big battles we face everyday. There is the constant exhaustion of taking and keeping alive small children, the never-ending list of chores to be accomplished during the day, the stress of creating a healthy meal that your kids wont throw on the floor and finally making sure we shower at least once in a while to keep strangers from staring at your crazy greasy hair. (But at the end of the day we know it's all more than worth it.)
However, by far the hardest thing I have encountered as a stay at home mom is...myself. More specifically my mind. I don't know about you but before I started staying home with my daughter I was in the work force. I spent my days taking care of children of all kinds, my mind was constantly focused on my job. I never had much time to think about anything in my personal life when I was focused on performing certain tasks for my employer. Now as a mom staying at home I have down time here and there. There are moments when I'm on the floor playing with my daughter, feeding her lunch or pushing her on the swing I will find my mind figuratively on the top of a slide....you know what I mean?
I start thinking...thinking about how my back has been hurting me lately...
then that thought turns to
hmm, should I go see a doctor?...it's been hurting for a few days...I wanna get it checked before it gets worse...oh gosh, maybe I should just wait until next week to not look like a crazy person that goes to the doctor for everything... but what if I wait and there is something seriously wrong with my back...could it be a tumor? I have cancer. I am dying. (When in reality its probably hurting because my 1 year old is getting bigger and it takes a lot more muscle to pick her up.)
Yeah. That was a matter of less than a minute and the rest of my day is spent googling trying to find solutions. I am an anxious mess and I can't find my way out of the hole. My mind slid down that slide faster than any child ever could. Anxiety creeps in unwanted and steals joy and no matter how much I want to stop those thoughts its one of the hardest battles. Have you been there? Have you felt your mind go to those dark places? Maybe it is something you've never had to deal with or maybe you've been in this exact situation and don't know what to do.
Jesus does not want us to live in fear. He is with us in those scary anxious moment and wants us to cling to Him and His truth to get through. For me I found some ways to help me through those days where all I can do is think on the negative.
Here are some ways to help:
1. Find a friend: Find another stay at home mom and keep each other accountable. Be texting buddies. Send scripture to one another and keep each other focused on the things of Christ. When you know you have someone thinking and praying for you it will be a lot easier to keep your mind in the right place.
2. Memorize Scripture: When we memorize scripture we are putting truth in our minds. We are guarding our hearts with the things of Christ. We are focusing our minds on things above and can combat the lies with what the Bible says.
3. Have Scripture EVERYWHERE: Have it in your kitchen on the fridge, on the mirror in your bedroom, on the doors, in the closets...everywhere you look! You will have constant and daily reminders of Christ's goodness and His truth!
4. Get off Social Media/ Set boundaries: Personally for me social media is a deep hole. It is easy to see others and get suddenly anxious or depressed when I see a sad story or I see the way our world is going. I have had to set boundaries for myself when and how often I look at my social media. It has really helped me and my thought life.
**As always, moms, if you are really struggling with anxiety and depression please don't hesitate to reach out to others. You ARE NOT alone. Please don't go through this alone. You are precious and loved and don't have to suffer. There is no shame in seeking help.**