A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I had some theories about that little thing called “Burn Out” that so many homemakers experience. I can’t say that I have it all figured out, but I’ve been a homemaker long enough to have experienced my fair share of burn outs and observed a few of these in other women. While this post is apt to step on a few toes, it is my prayer it ultimately gives you perspective and hope when you start to feel burned out.
Homemakers of the Past
As a homemaker, I often return to Ma Ingalls as inspiration. While most of what we know about her comes from the white-washed words of a loving daughter, we know a lot about what Ma did every day. We know she managed her home well. She was a devoted wife and mother and a solid Christian. She adapted to every situation and circumstance with seeming grace and ease. So, was Ma Ingalls ever “burned out”?
My answer: Yes & No
I think Ma did miss her life back east. I think she probably had moments where she wished she could just go “home”. And I’m sure there were some chores she really did not like. But a real homemaker from yesteryear would have been deemed incompetent had she fallen apart over such things. To be blunt, Ma Ingalls would have “sucked it up and moved on.”
She had a job to do. She was going to do it and do it well. It wasn’t just about being a homemaker or wife or mother, it was about being a woman…a strong, capable WOMAN.
For some reason our culture has decided strong women only exist in the workplace, climbing the corporate ladder. Homemakers are no longer encouraged to be strong. In fact, we sort of coddle each other with words of empathy laced with excuses. We are actually relieved and thrilled when we hear someone else isn’t doing their job as a homemaker. It becomes our justification.
But why do we want to be ok with not doing our jobs? Notice I said we “want to be ok” because really, we’re not ok with it. We don’t read blogs and scour Pinterest for homemaking inspiration, organizational tools, and the latest planner/schedule/printable for the fun of it. We know we are falling down on the job and we don’t like how that feels.
But, I’m Burned Out!
I get emails nearly every day from women who are just not getting the job done. And to be completely honest with you, I am not getting the job done. I’m not up here preaching from the lofty heights of perfection. I’m living it, folks.
Again, I don’t have this burn out thing all figured out, but I do know from personal experience that when I feel burned out it is because I am trying to be someone I am not.
A godly Woman is Strong in the Lord
God called me to this motherhood thing. He called me to this homemaking thing. He even called me to this blogging thing, but He never called me to do it on my own, under my own strength. I get burned out when I get in the way.
We overthink homemaking. We need to suck it up and get going, be strong in the Lord and do our jobs! Ma Ingalls wasn’t searching for the perfect cleaning method, she was too busy CLEANING! We have to stop thinking we are doing it all wrong and realize God is WAY bigger than our methods.
Yes, I blog about our methods. Yes, I tell moms to relax and give themselves a break. But, shame on me if I ever suggest my methods are perfect, and shame on me if I ever give moms an excuse to be burned out wimpy women.
Those verses in the Bible about running races, being strong, and doing battle are for all believers, homemakers included. Burn out isn’t an option. We will have moments when life feels overwhelming. We will have days where the chores seem endless and the children seem impossible, but our job on those days is to keep going, no matter how slow that going is.
So, this post isn’t 16 Ways to Avoid Burn Out or even 10 Things to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed, but rather a call to stop over-analyzing everything, be strong in the Lord, and be a homemaker who works heartily as unto the Lord himself!
Homeschool Moms get burned out too…
here’s my post on The Truth Behind Homeschool Burnout.