Happy Mom. Happy Home.

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Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here – motherhood has been the most surprisingly demanding role I’ve ever had in my life. While growing up as an only child with a single mom – there wasn’t too much demand to my ‘Kelly’ centered world – just get good grades so you can get a good job… got it- all the things that I could control, I would.  But after I entered the world of marriage and then motherhood – I’ve often times found myself absolutely perplexed at how much of this life I have no control of and how much of it absolutely tapped me out.

Sometimes, I look at my life as a watering can, pouring out for every basic need of my family. However, there are many times in my life that I feel like an absolutely empty watering can. Have you ever felt like this? How can I pour out what my family needs, if I’m completely empty?  As my life is constantly buzzing, there are a few tips that I’ve learned to step away and take a break and refill myself so I’m ready to give again.

Tip #1 – ESCAPE.

And by escape I’m not suggesting that you have to even leave your home. There is nothing like an incredible novel or saga to dive into. I’ve never been much of a reader until I met Francine Rivers – her book Redeeming Love has completely changed the way I see fiction.  While dealing with days of diapers, discipline, work stress and a hubby in grad school – I was so excited when the time of night came that was all mine and I got to spend it with Francine.  She helped  me escape my little messy home and dive right into a whole different world. Francine has written some amazing books and each one takes me on an adventure that I desperately need, while learning a valuable lesson from another woman’s life.

Tip #2 – IT CAN WAIT. 

My family has this guarded practice of taking a ‘sabbath’ or 1 complete day without work. On this day, usually Fridays for us, I don’t touch the laundry, don’t dare cook anything complex, I cancel the errand running, and completely unplug from technology. I know this may sound crazy – but without checking my email, texting, or trying to complete a deadline, I actually look into my children’s and hubby’s eyes and focus on them.  My hubby and I aim to make every Friday fun for everyone in the family. We focus on family activities where we can explore, do new things, and celebrate just being together. Sometimes, we hit the road and drive somewhere north (to escape the heat), other times it could be just as simple as planning a pizza and movie night.  No matter how exhausted or dried up I feel – I always have Fridays to look forward to!

Tip #3 – FIND FRIENDS.

Navigating the waters of becoming a parent is hard enough to do alone – why not find a friend that is going through the same stage of life? I wouldn’t necessarily call it ‘misery loves company’ but more like ‘don’t go at it alone’.   Depending where we are all in our lives, a really truly good friend is hard to find.  For me, I met my BFF, Stephanie, at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  She and I instantly had a common bond because we were in the exact same stage of life – we joked about our kids screaming in the backseat all the way to the meeting, our perpetual pile of laundry on the couch, and our driving desire to be the best mom EVER.  Finding a friend like her is not easy to come by – and it takes effort, vulnerability, and many tries- but when you find a few like Stephanie – mothering gets a lot more fun.  I encourage you to step out and seek to find a BFF.  There are many ways to meet new moms – through MOPS, at the park, on sites just like Scottsdale Moms Blog through Moms Night Outs or their playgroups– but you have to make the move and be ready to begin a relationship.

I encourage you to make the move to a better, more ‘full’ you. Take care of yourself, so you can take care of your family.  No one ever said motherhood would be easy, but the measure of influence you have on another human being is unparalleled- it’s a big job! So take care of yourself, so you can give your family the best mommy possible!

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Interested in getting involved in a Scottsdale area MOPS?

If you’d like to join me at a NEW Scottsdale MOPS, we will be meeting every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 9:30am at Scottsdale Bible Church starting September 8th.  We get together 2 times a month and focus on meeting moms going through exactly what we are. We get to hear a mommy-focused message, and many times do a craft that helps us build a better home- all while our little ones are enjoying a ‘preschool’ environment  (MOPPETS).  Let me know if you’d like me to save you a seat – it’d be great to meet you!

For more information or to sign up for MOPS (along with a number of other SMB readers) feel free to email Kelly at [email protected]

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Kelly Jackson is the Director of Early Childhood and Co-Coordinator of MOPS at Scottsdale Bible Church. She has been married to her husband, Rudy, for 8 years and has 2 active little ones (ages 5 and 3). You can contact Kelly at [email protected] or 480-824-7212.

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