Summer Stress

This summer I have been pretty short fused when it comes to my children. I work from home, so during the school year I have eight hours a day all to myself. That’s eight hours of quiet time. Eight hours where I decide how to spend my time.

Queue the end of the school year and all that comes to a screeching halt. My husband still leaves for work at the same time every day, but instead of leaving a short while later to take the kids to school, they are already up and rearing to go.

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids are full of questions. Like millions of them. Often times it’s the same questions over and over again because they either forgot what I said, or they didn’t like my original answer.

Some summers aren’t as bad. My kids use to sleep in over the summer, so I would be able to have my quiet time and even get a little work done before they woke up. But not this year.

It used to be that one of my daughters would ask if she could read her Bible with me if she woke up early, now she just wants to play on the computer. That’s probably my fault. I am far from a perfect mom. But honestly, no one is.

This summer it seems like the only time I get to myself is when I take the kids to the pool in the afternoons. And even then, I’m not really alone. However, I take my laptop and write between pool breaks when all the kids are in the water.

I still get interrupted with questions from my kids. Invitations to watch some new trick or skill they have mastered. But those are good interruptions. Because for all my complaining, I really do love my kids. And I’m often interrupted by other children or adults at the pool with greetings, questions, or conversations. But again, it’s a pleasant break in my work flow, not a constant nagging.

It’s the nagging that has me at the end of my rope.

While I’m at the pool, with the music blaring over the radio (music I would never listen to if I had a choice), and sweat rolling down my back, I am at peace and able to breathe deep. Life feels balanced.

I can wish I was a better mom, a more patient mom, all I want, but that won’t change the reality I live in. And to be honest, I really love the summer time. Sitting by the pool is one of the highlights of my entire year.

I love my children and I enjoy spending time with them, I just get a little overwhelmed and stressed out sometimes. (Don’t we all?)

So here I am today, sitting next to the pool and pouring my heart out, and I’m reminded of the gospel.

Because Jesus knows when I’m at the end of my rope.

He knows my kids stress me out, and I’m not always the mom I want to be. Yet He doesn’t tell me to try harder or do better. Jesus reminds me that there is no condemnation for those who are His. He reminds me that my righteousness is found in Him alone.

And I am reminded again that as long as I am honest about my failures, and point my children to Him, He is mighty to save. Their salvation isn’t up to me, it’s up to Him.

Because we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Nothing I do will save my children.

No amount of housework, quiet time, or patience. Nothing I can do will save their souls. And I find that so freeing.

Thus, I will keep focusing on Christ and praying for Him to help love Him more, for Him to make me more like Him. But I don’t have to live under the crushing pressure of getting this summer mom thing perfect.

I don’t have to be ashamed that I don’t relish every moment I have with my children.

I don’t have to be ashamed that I get snippy. That doesn’t mean I’m okay with being short fused, it just means that I can trust God to continue working on my heart in His time.

I can continue enjoying my time by the pool while the other parents (even my husband on the weekends) splash around with their children.

What About You?

How do you relax during the summer? When do you fit in your quiet time or get some alone time in?

Or do you ever feel condemnation for not being the perfect mom? Do you feel like you are failing your children? Like their salvation is up to you?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

This post was originally published in June of 2018

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