Being a mom feels anything but simple. Our tasks are never-ending. And not to mention the necessity of doing them with little hands hanging off your legs.
But I know that God does not intend for us to live in chaos. We may feel as though our lives get chaotic at times, but there are very specific things I have learned that help me get back to simple living and a peaceful home when life feels chaotic.
Being a pregnant mama is new to me. Last time I was pregnant I could rest when I needed to rest and not worry about the cooking and cleaning near as much. Well this time around, there is a little one who needs constant food, attention and cleaning up after.
Life began to feel extremely chaotic when I could hardly muster the energy to make it through the day, let alone keep after the cleaning and cooking and caring for that needed to be done.
It caused me, once again, to step back and recognize what it was that led to that peaceful home I thought I’d acquired. What was it that led to simple living that I’d lost?
Because I don’t think that simple living and a peaceful home have to depend on our circumstances.
Now grace needs to be a major part of this picture because in transitions, sickness and pregnancy – life will get chaotic.
It’s learning to reel it back in and refocus on what we need to live at peace and create a peaceful home that leads us to true simple living and rest.
So today I’m going to share my main 3 things that help me. This list will be short because as mamas, we don’t need another long checklist of how to’s. But these, I believe, are the foundation to simple living – even when life feels chaotic.
Wake Up Before the Kids
When I became pregnant, this was the first thing to go. I was tired and nauseous and could not get myself up and functioning before I had to.
But even as I started to feel better, I noticed that this habit felt lost. I got up, I’d even sit and read a devotional, but I wasn’t making the most of this time as I had previously. I’d still start my day feeling tired and groggy.
One Sunday evening, as I was talking to my husband, I realized this needed to change. This was something that was so important for me and he knew that.
I decided to set my alarm even earlier (despite the tiredness) and move my spot to the table. Sitting at a table always helps me focus better than lounging on the couch.
Immediately my days shifted. I felt like I had that foundation to my day back. I had time to pray over my family, my day, and my concerns. I had time to focus on gratitude. I had time to get into the Word and I had time to eat a little something and get just a little bit ready before the demands of the day began.
It wasn’t much time, but it was important.
Starting our day before our kids is such a powerful thing. We have time to do what we need to get our minds in the right place before the day truly begins.
This gives me a mindset of peace at the very start of the day and sets the foundation for that simple living mindset we are looking for.
Plan Your Week
Taking time to assess our goals and priorities at the start of the week is something that my husband and I love to do.
Not only does it help us to feel on track and focused, but it gives us the freedom to rest and relax with each other and with our kids.
What are your priorities?
We like to think about our overarching priorities and goals and sometimes we will create a to-do list together while other times we’ll just keep it as a guide in our minds. But knowing our priorities keeps us on track and helps us feel more at rest with what we do with our time.
I love to make a to-do list each day and I find that when I actually write one down, my day is much simpler and more organized.
I try to include things for these categories:
- Home needs/chores
- Time with my children – ideas for what intentional things we can do together
- Tasks that need done (phone calls, scheduling appointments, bills, etc)
Overall, having a plan is a powerful way to create freedom in your week. Because once you are able to do what’s required and feel confident in that, you can have true peace about spending time relaxing or resting or delighting in your family.
Boundaries can take so many forms and can transform the way you live your life. I know it has for me.
There are so many different types of boundaries I have set over the years to help me to stay peaceful and focused on what I know God has called me to.
It often isn’t easy, but it radically changes the shape of our days.
I find that when anything is beginning to feel automatic or required for me to feel “at peace” or “okay”, I need to take a closer look. Here are a few examples.
This one is so obvious and yet so very hard to follow through on. Digital boundaries will look different for each person. For some, having social media turned off at specific times helps. For some, deleting it off your phone helps.
For me, I’ve found that not scrolling when I’m doing something else, like spending time around my kids or husband or trying to focus, is what I need.
Also limiting TV has been helpful. When I spend night after night watching TV shows, I find myself drained. When instead I allow my mind space to breathe and read or journal or talk with my husband, I feel much more at peace.
Take some time to pray about whatever boundaries you need with digital things in your life and see where this leads.
Work and Rest
Setting boundaries with your work and with your rest are important. Too much of either can lead us away from that peace and simple living mindset, while too little can do the same.
I work from home and so I have to be clear about my boundaries with work. They are constantly changing and I need to keep reevaluating.
Boundaries with rest, for example setting aside a Sabbath day or being sure to get in bed early are important to that peaceful mindset as well.
Time with People
I’m no introvert, in fact I love time with friends and cutting it out can be hard for me. But this can easily consume me if I let it.
After being home alone for so long in 2020, I craved time with people to a point that I later realized, I feared I wouldn’t make it through the day or the week without seeing friends and having that to fall back on.
I was afraid I’d be bored, feel lonely or get overwhelmed at home and so I planned playdate after playdate so that I could be with people.
But I began to realize the toll this was taking on my own peace and my family’s.
I always felt busy. I was rushing around to get out of the house and rushing around when we got home to get lunch served and naptime. And after naptime, I’d be exhausted and ready to make dinner only to find myself grumpy and annoyed at every interruption.
What started out as a very good thing had taken over.
I realized that as much as I loved time with friends, my family needed more space to be home. Space to take care of our home, to spend delighting in each other, to spend focusing on what my children needed.
I began to limit time out with others and it has been a very good thing. Our life began to feel simpler, more peaceful.
We can have too much of a good thing and for me, this was time with people. When God calls us to step back and we obey, He blesses us.
So listen to what it is for you that may be too much in your life. Take time to ask Him and be open to whatever boundaries He is calling You to set.
If life feels chaotic and you are looking to live more simply and bring more peace into your home, start with these 3 things and see where they lead you.
Take time to ask God to show you how to incorporate these into your life and watch as He leads you to peace and rest.