A hot mess. That’s what I feel like most days. I am one hot mess of a mom…more of a mess than hot, but still.
Parenting is so much more challenging than I thought it would be. I do not seem to possess the overflowing fountain of peace, patience, and sweetness that most moms have bursting from their heart and lips. I do, however, have an overabundance of weariness, frustration, and caffeine coursing through my veins.
It makes me one hot mess.
Recently, I had a hot mess day to end all days. Seriously. If you looked up hot mess in the dictionary, my pic would be there.
I cried multiple times.
I yelled. A lot.
I hid in my closet.
I ate chocolate.
I told my hubby that four kids is too many and that we should consider donating one.
Kidding! Not kidding…
It was my finest hot mess moment.
I had some major apologizing to do when the day was done. And I did it. I got on my knees and asked God to forgive me for lashing out, and then I asked forgiveness from my family.
It was super humbling.
Looking back a week later, I can see that underneath all of those ugly displays of emotion was a feeling of inadequacy: I could not physically or emotionally meet the bandwidth of needs that my children presented that day and I felt like a failure.
Because here’s the truth: I have a 17-year-old daughter who is navigating college and ballet, a middle school boy who is standing up to bullies at a school and losing, and I also have two littles who are insanely energetic and won’t stop destroying things while screaming at the top of their lungs. So literally, someone needs me every second of the day. There is not enough room in my brain to process all those needs and all that noise at once.
It makes me a hot mess.
In the midst of my wallowing, I often forget that I am not supposed to face my problems on my own. On that hot mess day, I never even asked for the help that is promised to me from my Heavenly Father.
Philippians 4:6-7 explains, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present our requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In other words, God is saying to you, Don’t worry, Mama. When your kids overwhelm you, come to me and ask for my help. Lay your problems at my feet and I will trade your hot mess for my peace. I will help you deal with mom life.
How easily I forget to go to him for help. How quickly I try to solve problems on my own. How swiftly I become a hot mess. But I’ve found that going to God helps every single time. Every. Single. Time.
Friends, if you ever have days where you feel like a hot mess of a mom, here are a few of my tried-and-true tips for making it through:
- Pray FIRST. When emotions start to unravel, ask the Spirit to come and fill you with his strength wisdom and peace. Psalm 121:1-2 “I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
- Take deep breaths. I learned this tip at the Mayo Clinic and I am always amazed at how well it works. Breathe in for 4 counts and out for 4 counts. Repeat it 10 times (in a closet if necessary). It is medically proven to calm anxiety.
- Find a friend. Talk to someone who will listen, but who will also point you to God and his truth. It helps to be able to spill your guts and get all your frustration out.
- Have a treat. For real. Hunger helps no one. Chocolate does.
- Get in the Word. Take the time to read even just one Psalm. Get truth in that brain.
- Exercise. Go outside for a walk or just do some exercises in your basement. Get the endorphins flowing in your brain and they will help lift your mood.
- Listen to praise music. Crank it up and belt it out – worship will lift your spirit!
- Plan a break. Get a little free time scheduled on the calendar. Knowing that a break is coming can help calm the storm.
- Apologize to your loved ones. This helps the remainder of the day go infinitely better.
- Give yourself grace. #mommingainteasy. Hot mess days are an awesome opportunity to demonstrate to your kids how to ask God for help and to apologize when you fall short.
I wish I could avoid hot mess days, but they are just an unfortunate part of life. The key is to find a way to persevere through them…with God on your side.
Aminta Geisler is married to her best friend, Ben, and is a stay-at-home-mom of two teens and two toddlers. A self-proclaimed Jesus freak, she loves making old furniture new, studying God’s word, and all things pizza. You can read more about her journey of reckless abandon for Jesus @amintageisler.com or on instagram @amintageisler.