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Stop Managing Motherhood And Start Living It

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There’s a misconception among women that motherhood is a season we have to survive. That it’s defined by busyness, self-sacrifice, and endlessly waiting for bedtime.

But I don’t want to just get through my motherhood. I want to enjoy it. I want to thrive. And while motherhood is certainly a sacrifice, it doesn’t have to be a burden.

“The thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10

Jesus didn’t come so the enemy could steal your motherhood and make you feel like you’re failing the ones you love. He came so that you would have abundant life. 

That promise is for you, sweet friend. Not for tomorrow or one day when you get it all together. It’s for right here, right now. 

But in order to claim that freedom, you first have to let go of the overwhelm that’s keeping you bound and learn to step forward with intention.

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

Let me walk you through my story as I share the 8 best ways I’ve found to stop managing life and start living it.

1. Never Settle For Less

‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”’ 

jeremiah 29:11

When my first son was born I was overflowing with the joy of becoming a mom. I’d waited so long. I’d read all the right books. I’d prepared a baby haven. I was ready.


Or so I thought. After a week of failed nursing, colicky crying, sleepless nights, and being peed on more times than I could count, I was a mess.

Adrift in a sea of failure and doubt, I let everything go. I didn’t have the time or energy to care for anything but my son.

Even though I was embarrassed to have to company, people came and went from my home. Determined to see my sweet baby boy. And to my surprise, no one ever mentioned the mess or the fact that a bird seemed to have made its nest on top of my head. They just cooed and kissed my little darling.

Then my little sister came to visit. She was sixteen, and one of the few visitors who wasn’t a mom already a mom herself. She was shocked to find me and my usually tidy home such a mess.

She asked me if I was depressed. but my mom, who ‘d come with her to visit, said “No honey. She’s just overwhelmed. This is motherhood.”

That’s when
I realized why no one else seemed to care about the mess I’d become. They all thought it was normal. 

And it’s true. We are overwhelmed.

But I wasn’t ready to settle into motherhood with a just-make-it-through attitude.

Because that’s not living. That’s surviving. 

And I knew, deep down in my bones, that I was created for more than just making it through my motherhood.

2. Stop Hiding And Own Your Life

It took me two more years, a miscarriage, and another baby before I finally began to wonder if motherhood was so hard because I believed it had to be.

Being a wife and mother was something I’d dreamed about my entire life, but it was suffocating me. 

I began to resent the fact that I had to choose between a clean home and time with my kids. I resented my husband because he was working long hours, and I felt like I was doing it all alone. Mostly though, I just felt like a failure.

I didn’t want anyone else to know how helpless I’d become, so I retreated. Behind the walls of my house that didn’t feel like a home. Behind ifs and whens and excuses. And behind a false facade that told everyone else I was doing just fine. 

But I was not fine. So one spring morning, as my maternity leave with my second son came to an end, and I had to face going back to work and settling into the uncomfortable rhythm of my life, I was finally ready to own it. 

I realized I was managing my life, not living it. And something had to change.

3. Cultivate Vibrant Faith

I did what I do best when I don’t know how to move forward. Picked up a book. 

I started reading a devotional called Hope for the Weary Mom by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin. Because truly, with a high-energy toddler and a new baby, I was a weary mama.

Day eight was titled “He Heals,” and the verse for the day was:

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes that it may bear more fruit.” 

john 15:2

I realized that I was in a season of pruning, and God wasn’t just breaking me down because motherhood was hard and I had to learn to bear it. He was shearing away the dead, barren parts of my spirit so I could blossom into the wife, mother, and woman He had purposed me to be.

For the first time I understood that life wasn’t happening to me. It was happening for me.
And knowing this changed everything. 

I came to faith when I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until that moment that I truly began to understand grace. And how even in the middle of my mess, God wanted to know me and be fully known by me.

Sweet friend, if you don’t know the peace that surpasses all understanding, I’d encourage you to talk with someone who understands what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. 

Check out Sally Clarkson. Her podcast and books (especially Own Your LifeThe Ministry of Motherhood, and The Mission of Motherhood) have truly breathed life back into my motherhood. 

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

4. Decide To Live On Purpose

Every single action you take is determined by a choice you make. 

Living on purpose means that you choose to write your own story rather than aimlessly wandering through life letting other people’s expectations and your own fears keep you from creating a life you love.

And I was done enduring motherhood because someone told me that was how it was done. I knew the pruning and shedding of the dead branches I’d clung to for so long might be painful, but I also knew that it would be worth it. 

Intentional living starts with a choice, and you’ll have to make that choice over and over and over again. A million different times. Every single day.

It’s saying no to the inconsequential and yes to the people and things that really matter.

It’s choosing to purposefully set out to achieve your goals rather than allowing yourself to become a slave to the urgent.

It’s learning to live simply so you can simply live.

5. Accept The Fact That Change Is Hard And Step Out In Courage Anyway

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Change is hard. But being paralyzed by the fear of change is harder.

The definition of overwhelmed is “to cover or bury beneath a flood of something.” 

It’s literally drowning. And I was tired of drowning in my life.

Knowing that the first change needed to be prioritizing my family, I quit my job to stay home with my boys. Because they were my strength. They were my why.

Knowing your why is the only way to make lasting changes because motivation is fleeting. It takes discipline to dig out from under your mess, and if you don’t know your why, you’ll quit when things gets tough.
 And they will get tough.

6. Simplify And Learn To Let Go

After leaving my corporate job, I opened a home daycare, thinking this would allow me to continue contributing to our income, provide friends for my kids, and still have a fulfilling career.

But I quickly learned that more kids meant more mess and more stress.

I felt like I’d taken two steps forward and three steps back. Stuck in the endless cycle of cleaning, and cooking, and cleaning, and diapers, and did I mention cleaning?

I was more wrung out physically and emotionally at the end of each day than when I’d had the nine to five.

But I was sure of my why, and now that I was living with a purpose, I could see that even through the fire of refinement, God had a plan. And just that simple knowledge – that I was not lost and alone – brought me hope. 

Hope is such a small word but such a big thing. I didn’t even know that I had lost it until I found it again on a late fall afternoon.

I was researching preschool unit studies when I stumbled upon a post about having a minimalist Christmas. The idea appealed to me because my house was already overflowing with daycare toys and art supplies, and I just felt like enough was enough. 

Little did I know that I’d just fallen down the rabbit hole.

One post led to another, and before I knew it I’d found a whole community of women who weren’t allowing overwhelm to rule their lives. They were done letting busy steal their motherhood, so they decided to let it all go.


They let go of their clutter. They let go of distraction. They let go of perfectionism.

Busy did not define them. Busy would no longer define me.

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

We’ve all heard it. Less is more. Maybe at times we’ve even lived it. But as a culture we’ve lost the idea of simplicity.

Joshua Becker defines Minimalism as “the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” 

Because that’s what clutter does. Distracts us from what really matters. It has a way of creeping into every part of our lives and burying us. 

We’re buried under piles of dishes and laundry. We’re buried under relationships that no longer bring us joy. We’re buried under the weight of our unhealthy lifestyles.

If we want to live on purpose we have to let it go. 

And as we unpack our physical baggage, we also learn to release our soul clutter. Letting go of anger, resentment, worry, addiction, debt.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but over time your load will become lighter and simplicity will give you a freedom you never knew was possible. 

7. Create Simple Routines

I thought once I’d cleared my house of all the clutter, I’d be cruising on easy street, but it turns out that actual people live in my home and they want to eat and sleep and play and create laundry and messes no matter how little we own. How dare they?

It sounds silly, but really and truly I found myself almost resentful of how little everyone else seemed to care about all the hard work I’d just put into getting my life together. 

After getting my mindset right, I realized that minimalism is not one and done. It’s a journey that requires me to walk forward every day. 

What I needed were routines that would allow me to keep the clutter from reaccumulating and retrain my family (and honestly, myself) to stop living in the moment and start thinking ahead to our end goals.

The key is to start small and automate the things that either take up the most time or impact your day the most. If you need help getting started with this, I have an amazing five day Out of Overwhelm Challenge for Moms that you won’t want to miss.

8. Take Care of You First

We all know, in theory, how important it is to prioritize self-care. But it’s usually one of those things that gets pushed to the back burner because we’re too busy tending to everyone else. 

As I became more intentional about building a purposeful life, I realized that it all starts with me. I had to show up and show up well, and I couldn’t do that when I was putting myself last. 

I know it sounds like I did all of this overnight and magically everything was better, but this took me a long time. In fact, I’m still working towards a more purposeful life every day, and I had to fight for every win. 

I wouldn’t have gotten very far without setting boundaries in place that allowed me to recharge. 

These included:

This step, carving out time to take care of myself, is still the hardest one for me. Because I want to serve and please and take care of others. But I’ve realized that the best way I can be there for the people I love is to take care of myself first.

There’s an old saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I would argue that for many of us this is motherhood. And it’s time to break the cycle.

We can’t expect every moment of every day to be rainbows and butterflies, but there should be joy in every single day. 

It’s your choice. You can choose fear and stay right where you are, but when we know better, we do better. And you, beautiful mama, know that you deserve so much more than surviving your motherhood. 

You are worthy of a life that’s full of abundance and delight. You just have to choose to stop managing motherhood and start owning your mom life!

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

Stop managing your motherhood and pin these tips so you can come back to them later!

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