Saturday, December 1, 2012
Protecting Your Mind As a Homemaker
Family problems. Politics. Bad news. The economy. Finances. Exhaustion. Personal failures. There are plenty of things that can prove taxing on the mind of a homemaker. How do you protect your mind against the onslaught of things that would try to drag you down, and what do you do to ward off fear, depression, and anxiety?
First of all, get your priorities in order. First comes your relationship with the Lord and your duty to Him. Then, comes your husband and the training and care of your children, and then the care of the home. If you are trying to take on much more than that, you are probably overdoing it as a homemaker. Reassess where you are putting your time, and cut out unnecessary activities. However, if you are achieving everything at home and have free time left over, you may want to seek additional activities that ease your mind and soothe your spirit. This may be doing something creative beyond what you normally do, or perhaps some volunteer work to help those in need.
Get rid of all possible clutter in your home. If you are not using it and won't in the near future, and if it's not beautiful, get rid of it. Pass it on to someone else in need that you know, or give it to a charity. Throw out what is broken or ruined. Don't worry about trying to sell your things if you have nowhere to store them in the meantime. Your mind will be more at ease if you're not staring at stacks of stuff around your home. Cleaning will become easier too.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Don't try to have everything "perfect", whether it is if you get everything done you wanted to accomplish during the day, or if it is if your house looks like something out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Also stop expecting your children to be perfect. This does not mean you don't discipline them, but it means you stop expecting to discipline them once or only a few times. They are little sinners too and will have to be trained and retrained. Be as consistent as possible, remembering they are your priority during the day, and you will have better results than if you become completely unraveled because they have done wrong yet again. Stop striving for perfection and strive for what is good and the best that you can do in each moment, in each day.
Be Just a Little Short-Sighted
Yes, we need to plan ahead and think about our futures and our children's futures, but we need to not be so focused on it that we neglect the current day we are living in. We aren't even guaranteed that we will be given tomorrow, so our main focus should be on accomplishing what we need to do in the current day, with the future still considered but more in the back of our minds instead of at the forefront. If there is a big problem, try to tackle a little bit of it each day so that you can still accomplish the other normal tasks you need to do.
If your mind is feeling overwhelmed, it may be a good time to take a little (or extended) break from one (or several) electronic gadgets. We have so many things that beg to eat away at our time through the onslaught of the internet, computers, cell phones, and more. There are so many gadgets these days I cannot name them all. I believe this is one of the biggest causes of worry and anxiety in the homemaker in our day. While they can be useful tools, they can easily chip away at our time whilst we sit unaware of the moments we are losing to the online world. The media is also a constant source of anxiety-inducing stories, warnings, and newsletters. Spend much time online and you will find you are going to die from almost everything you come into contact with, or you will be haunted by thoughts of all those who may be "out to get you" from reading all the news stories of the like. Yes, we live in a sinful, fallen, imperfect world, but we must remember we are in the Lord's hands.
Remember Who Holds You
If you feel overwhelmed by impending problems, remember that our lives are in God's hands. We should do what we can to push back the evil from this world, especially beginning with our own families. Good training of our own children is a great contribution to this world we live in. We should care about others outside of our own circle, but sometimes homemakers are so empathetic that they may become overwhelmed with the sorrow of the whole world. Then it is probably a time to pull back a little and get refocused on the things we can help. This doesn't mean we don't ever become involved in politics or the world's bigger issues, but we must not let it consume us, for our family's sake.
God Gave Us Men
There are many reasons why there are two sexes, but one of them is because the men are stronger, both physically and emotionally in most cases. If you have a good husband, he is a God-send to protect you from the outside world's troubles so they do not consume you, the weaker vessel. This does not mean you are left in the dark or have no opinions, but he can provide you some shelter by carrying the brunt of the big problems outside your own home by being involved in these important matters himself and not dragging you into all of them. A good husband can be trusted to be a helpful force in the world, fighting in his own way the battles of evil that a wife sometimes feels powerless to pursue while she is at home raising the future generations. She must have a stable and clear mind to do this, which is why having a good husband is a blessing for the protection of her mind.
However, all husbands are not good or even present, so if you are in this situation you will have to be careful which causes you undertake and pull back when needed to keep your main focus on your children, so your mind does not become overburdened with worry.
The Word of God and Prayer
Perhaps if your mind is not at ease you are neglecting your Bible-reading. If you are a Christian, this is an ever-present, necessary duty you must not neglect. It does not have to be at a certain time of day, though you may find it helpful to have one. If you get interrupted in your Bible reading, then come again to it later. Leave your Bible open and available and you will find it easier to fill your Spirit with the precious promises of God. It does not matter if you must do your reading with your children (please do) or if you must do it at the dinner table. Just get this important part of life into your day. You may especially find Psalms comforting to read in times of distress. After you have read, do not forget to pray and thank God for what you have just read in His Word. Pour out your heart to Him like a good friend, express your love and thankfulness to Him, and tell Him your worries. Then expect that He cares and that He will take care of it, in His timing and in His way.
Realize What I am Saying to You
This is meant to be a helpful list to give you ideas of things that can ease your mind. You will not be able to undertake them all in one day or probably even remember them all. Write them down if you like, or even print them with the print button at the end of this post. Try to start with one or two ideas to focus on and implement. I did not write this post to make you feel more inadequate or give you more concerns than you may already have. Just take it one day at a time, moment by moment. Relax and breathe, and enjoy your children. If I have time, I will add more to this post later.
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