When your home feels out-of-control, it’s easy to become frustrated. But what if the answer to your frustration has nothing to do with the perfect plan or routine?
The nightly sigh. It sometimes feels like part of your bedtime routine, doesn’t it?
You look around the house you just spent all day in and marvel that you felt busy every moment, but seem to have so little to show for it.
There are still messes left in untented corners. Clutter that got moved from one spot to another. Toys and clothes and dishes that seem to migrate with very little human intervention to the strangest of places in your home.
How in the world did this dirty sock get here?
Motherhood has this uncanny way of making us feel quite out-of-control many days, doesn’t it? The brightest new planners, the most strategically placed white boards, the smartest reminder apps, and more have all succumbed to the crazy unpredictability of motherhood and homemaking.
What mom hasn’t felt some frustration when her schedule looked perfectly reasonable on paper in the morning, but she ends the day with only a small fraction of her tasks accomplished because little people needed something else?
I’ve been there, and I know you have, too.
And while it might feel too simplistic, I have an easy answer that can help you take that frustration and toss it out of your heart and mind for good.
You see, the problem has nothing to do with the fact that we aren’t able to fully control our days.
The problem is that we expect to.
When Baby Magazines and Real Life Collide
Like most new moms, I devoured the free baby magazines that arrived in my mailbox every month. They promised me that if I just kept a consistent bedtime routine of bath time, quiet time, and lights out at 8 pm, my sweet little cherub would sooth herself to sleep in her crib without breastfeeding and stay asleep for hours.
And I faithfully followed their directions for months.
I was determined to control when my baby would go to sleep and how long she’d sleep for. I assumed these experts had the magic formula, and if I just followed their plan, I’d get their results.
Do you know what all that work led to? I’ll tell you right now that it didn’t lead to a baby who slept through the night.
It led to a frustrated, angry young momma who couldn’t understand why this perfect system that she clung to so faithfully was failing so miserably and draining two hours of her life away every. single. night.
Can you guess what happened when I dropped that bedtime routine like the bad habit it was and quit expecting my baby to conform to some imaginary, sleep-through-the-night mold?
Things magically changed. Because that whole time, my baby never had the problem.
The Irrefutable Law of Crazy
Momma friend, you know how challenging motherhood can feel when your life seems to be at the mercy of very small people who are born with no concept of time, order, or schedules.
We all want to run an orderly home, and we should! God calls us to be keepers of the home, and it’s a good, godly thing to want to keep it well.
But if you’re going to enjoy these short years of motherhood, you have to accept the fact that these long days are going to be filled with all kinds of unpredictable, messy, and crazy.
We can either resent that, or learn to work with it.
When the Wright brothers were trying to get an aircraft to fly, they had to accept an inconvenient law called gravity. It tended to ruin their best of plans and continually brought their goals crashing down in the most literal sense.
But accepting gravity never turned the Wright brothers into failures. They learned to work with it and stuck with their longterm vision enough to see it become an amazing, unexpected reality.
You are not failing if it feels like things are out of control in your home some days. You are simply working with one of the irrefutable laws of motherhood called Crazy.
Sure, there are good habits you should put in place to maintain order. But control? Not likely.
Motherhood and homemaking can never be done well when control is the driving force, because control and love will never walk hand in hand.
You cannot serve your family with a heart of love and a heart of control at the same time.
So tonight, when you look around your home at the end of the day, take a deep breath and remember:
God isn’t asking you to control the messy unpredictability in your home. He is asking you to lovingly serve despite it.
And you’re probably doing a better job of that than you think.
How have you struggled with feeling out of control in your home?
Leave a comment below and tell me about it, then share this post with another momma friend who could use a boost of encouragement.
P.S. If you want extra encouragement to keep your heart focused on the right things while you balance the many demands of natural Christian homemaking, don’t miss my printable devotional, Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker.