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Thriving as a Mom

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2020 2:00 am

Thriving as a Mom

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 8, 2020 2:00 am

Kara-Kae James describes how she struggled with a cycle of anxiety and depression as a mom until she learned how to thrive by seeking counseling, letting go of perfectionism, and relying on God. She offers moms encouragement, inspiration, and help in this discussion based on her book Mom Up: Thriving With Grace in the Chaos of Motherhood.

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Most of the time people would say oh I'm sorry to tell you that letterhead is just about surviving. I was told over and over again until I started to believe that one time there was one woman I went to please help me, help me see a little bit of hope in this she grabbed me by the shoulders and she said you can thrive in this and you can do it now. K James is our guest today on Focus on the Family and shall have ideas on how you can embrace grace and find rest. As a busy mom, your hostess focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and Don John. John this Sunday is one of the most meaningful holidays on the calendar. It's Mother's Day you a thought that absolute minded kids. Time and again you can do something you know moms do so much.

They wiped the tears and maybe some other things. They wash close give hugs act as chauffeurs and manage the family schedule and so much more.

Being a mom is a full-time job and then so it is in fact you my read that tests researchers crunched the numbers subscribe about this neighbor figured out 98 hours a week is what mom do, and that most mom should be earning a six figure salary by most standards let him surprise me at all. Again, I wish I could paging mom's today we want to say thank you and offer you some encouragement and husbands important for us to lean in and really understand what our wives are thinking and feeling. We struggle with that. Generally, we need to heighten our awareness especially on Mother's Day weekend to really understand better what they're providing as mom. So today were going to honor mothers as we talk to our great guest, and as I said Keira K James is with us.

She's an author and founder of the online community thrive moms. She's married to Brooke and I has four kids all under the age of 10, so she's really early and then talk about welcome character data Focus on the Family he would talk about motherhood today. Obviously were coming in the Mother's Day weekend, but you never really wanted to become a mom and I appreciate that honesty, I think a lot of women share that today that fear that inadequacy, perhaps, or whatever it might be when you start having kids. You say you hated every minute of motherhood.

Explain why this is going to connect to probably a million women as you say this, but what was going on. I started out and said okay. I can't do this mom thing well and I was a big perfectionist and so I thought if I can't do it perfectly.

I probably shouldn't do it and that is the definition of perfection exactly and so I knew I probably might have kids that they were going to take a backseat to me and my career and my marriage and in a lot of ways that's healthy for your marriage to the epic focus, but I didn't really understand the importance of mothering children and the gospel connection here. The way that we are really equipping these tiny humans to know and follow Jesus and what that looks like was so important for listeners to connect with that. I'm serious when I say that I can really days. Regina didn't feel like being a mom like her seminal case you just want to skate yet you want to like retire quickly. I'm done with this, you take it over effect. There was one day and night, and I related to this you think it involves something with Pacifica hung across the room and hitting the wall. Describe what happened and why was that the bottom of them. So when I finally decided to become a mom husband and I were actually a little surprised by first child. She was a pleasant surprise that we said okay we want to have more than one kits and let's just get this over with having three in less than three years and so I didn't know how much that would change and alter me and I didn't know how much that way affects my identity and the way that I saw my relationship with my husband with guy with so many things and it had a huge impact and it really hormones in all of those things aside, it just really altered me and one day my two-year-old didn't pick up her toys correctly, which as we all know two-year-olds don't do that and I mean she's 10 now and still in like what is wrong with you why can't you she's two and she's not cleaning up her mass obviously not a perfectionist know anything. If she really is. Now I laugh at it now because she's such a perfectionist, but I took a sippy cup of milk and threw it against the wall in the kitchen and my two toddlers.

Just as inattention and they overwhelms what happened to her mom. She used to be really nice and now she's crazy and every time I tell that story women there like I've thrown something to get that I get that being so buried and lost in this season and feeling so overwhelmed and you especially when you have little ones and you can't have a normal adult conversation with them and you just feel like you're drowning, and I know so many days I felt like that that I was just so overwhelmed that I was drowning.

There was nothing that was going to bring you your title is great. Mom play off of man of obviously so mom up and in there you describe being in that survival mode. I'm sure many moms right now are listening. Maybe you are getting a couple minutes of this, and there between all the duties we talked about at the opening. The chauffeuring of the kids back in the launches taken care of, snotty noses, all that stuff and much much more. Maybe working to doing all that more typical today. So how did you get through the day to day when you felt so miserable and so much in that survival mode had to get up and keep going.

There was a season that when my kids were really small like that I would go to moms that had been kids were older and I would look to them and say okay tell me this gets better tell me I get to a point that I feel like I'm not just surviving every day due to how did you choose that person best mentors later in the church that that I was in a Bible study group with no sort of things and I'm so glad I got places women in my life. Season, but there was one woman, and because most of the time people would say oh I'm sorry to tell you this that motherhood is just about surviving.

I was told over and over again until I started to believe that that will I'm just supposed to get my butt one time there was one woman I went to and I said please help me, help me see a little bit of hope in this she grabbed me by the shoulders and she said you can thrive in this and you can do it now and it completely changed because it transformed the fact that I knew that Jesus was talking to me when he said I came to getting life and give you life in abundance and I always looked at that as he was talking to my pastor, my husband, or someone who wasn't lost in the chaos of raising kids play as I look through Scripture.

I found nothing that said okay mom, this part is for you, but I need to give you life in abundance and that completely transformed me when I realized that abundant life is for me even when I felt like I was drowning. I was during sippy cups at the wall and felt like I couldn't get through the day.

Well, you had that conversation with the counselor where you have that realization could be the superhero life. I think a lot of mom suffer from comparison thing is very common. Who or what broke you from that kind of comparison. I think I need to be able to do all this on feeling like I can't and how did you reconcile yeah I like ice mention I'm a perfectionist and very tight and so those kinds of things are difficult for me because I want to do. Having perfectly can't do it perfectly. Why do it so I realize I had created this an image of myself or I was the superhero I was the best mom because if I was in a do this mom thing I needed to do it the best and I needed to win everybody to look at me as okay this is how you do mother head and I realize I was hiding behind that faade of perfect mother head and it wasn't what God called me into and like you said I was meeting with the counselor and she said what makes you think that you have to do it all and is such a simple question and I thought will I have to do it all. I'm a mom and she said no you don't have to do it all and so that really helped me realize that I'm not going to be perfect okay how did your process that though some people can hear the bounces off of the right and it wasn't a immediate thing for sure. It took years and years of practice and and one thing that really helped me was by shifting my mindset to where instead of dreading the day ahead of okay it's another day of making lunches and getting kids to school and washing their clothes instead of all of those things. I shifted my mindset from a have to do this to and I get to do this and that really helped me see my job as really important that it was this God honoring role that I was placed in and opened my eyes to the fact that like I said to race these little humans to know Jesus. And what an amazing, that is until I wake up every morning, even on the hard days and say get status. This is a gift and it took years and years of reminding myself that before I actually believed that what does it mean to be intentional about mother like I'm sure was born out of the right hand of the progressive time. What I mean by that you learned a little bit progressively over and so did you come to this realization about intentional motherhood and what is that I look at intentional motherhood in two ways in. I think a lot of times.

Moms maybe we were working in the corporate world before and then leased to stay home.

Or maybe we's are working a job and we feel like work.

Stuck between these two identities have on the mom but unexpected. To do this job. You know there's all the things about identity that we get lost when we become a mom and so the first thing from you in becoming an intentional mom was really rediscovering who I was in Christ and numbering who he said that I lies because we forget that practically what does it look like this for the moment so desperately back in the like. I'm in I am lost and what is look like to put yourself in Christ right there be it.

What I did and that season with I went through Scripture and I would take just a journal or notebook, and I would rewrite Scripture like as if Jesus was saying this to me this is who you are. This is what I need you to do and it really transformed my mind to see all my goodness this is for me and I can read the Scriptures and know that I'm worthy I'm seeing that love that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, and to be able to look at Scripture say that lands and really ask God what is my identity now that I feel like all of these labels of myself are stripped away what is that mean for me. The course character. You can hear through the microphones people women are saying were to find time to journal what journal did you hit him where did you get those 10 minutes and now we how critical literally what that last that I would take time when my kids were little, I would take time when I was rocking the baby 2 AM to journal and I would journal and my phone. Thank goodness for smart phones now for Monsanto. How long did it years ago. I open the Bible on my When it was 2 AM and I would find myself frustrated. I would say okay I'm not can allow the enemy to get my head in this moment and tell me that this child is against me because there up wanting to eat at 2 AM but I'm to listen to what God says and remember the younger exactly the whole time thinking this child hates me and doesn't want me to sleep but just finding his little pockets of time like I talk about my book that I grew up in this culture of just have your quiet time and then I became a mom and learned there's nothing quiet about mother head. There is no quiet moment so I had to find those those pockets of time when my kids were literally running circles around me that I could say okay don't kill each other. I'm going to open my Bible and have my quote unquote quiet time right now even though I loved so chaotic and that really helped me see that God isn't just going to meet us in the unified and quiet time because I am not a morning person and so that was no really good for me to see that he will meet us anywhere that we are and that's that intentional mother. That's one of four ideas you have for moms to thrive.

Mother was parenting sweet spot. Yes, I think I got that is that when the kids are asleep when they are asleep. It is just perfection. What is the parenting so the sweet spot is I discover because I have four kids and I learned that they are all different and this was shocking to me for some reason because I think I thought oh they're just kids. There can be little carbon copies of me and of each other and that was not the case at all and they are so different and so I had to find that sweet spot with each one of them to connect with them in a way that works for them and their personalities and that really helped me be more intentional with them because I would try something with one of my kids it wouldn't work at all and then I try it with another and it works great character that can be overwhelming for some mom nestling, especially if you have four kids under 10 like you do and you know you're speaking from that experience. How does a mom create the curiosity within her it's okay I'm gonna learn each of my children the network as that sounds exhausting but actually it's one of the best things you could do and that is to know the individual may attribute your children like the great Scripture and the trend of the trouble in the way they should go and to help them in the event I think is my other reference to that, it can be exhausting, but how do you not look at it as an exhausting thing that is an exhilarating good thing I started just bringing my kids along in every day things like hey do you want to go grocery shopping with me and then asking them questions about things they enjoy things they want to do and it started showing the use of the things that really really passionate about and my oldest daughter.

She wants to go sit at Starbucks and look me in the eye and tell me stories about her and her friends because that's something that's meaningful to her but my youngest is a little boy and I had three girls and a boy and I find that boys are crazy really and do so much face-to-face are not really want to attack me with the words that know you now and so I found ways to entertain him that connect with him and and so I think it's just so good to really ask them what to do when you passionate about because I think we look at them.

As kids we think will they don't know if there's a young but they can tell us and they have minds and hearts and have so many things that they want to do. I think that's one of the things that as I look back now with late teens that dream about him definitely underestimated their ability to grasp things regularly edge link so they can understand far more than some time yet is parents understand the I have that same conviction.

There also more than I thought they were, how they will listen to conversations that my husband and I have and then will come later and say what you guys were talking about and they really care and they want to know that the things that were passionate about 2011. K James is our guest today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and really encourage you to give her book mom up. We got it and other resources to help you as a mom at our website.

We got details in the episode show notes.

I also want to touch on another element. Were you emphasize the importance of marriage is pretty important, obviously. And it's hard to do but how do you go about practically doing that. How did you and Brooke keep it together as a couple with kids rather than ice just been mom and husband gets leftovers or how you want to say there so many times that felt like the case because I will be okay, but I think if we can really create a atmosphere in our home where our kids know mom and dad are so important because at some point, I remind myself that this actually will happen no grow up and go away and I think so and then come you know I think about what happens when the last one needs 10 will we be here standing strong together or will be, we be looking at each other saying who are you, I think I remember you from 20 years ago that and so it's so important to continue to cultivate, and grow together are some things you can do what you guys do imprint a gap practically when our kids were that little will be when I was really now you were in a different season because our kids are on the I say easier but a little easier than they were when they were really stress them so themselves and make their own food and things like that. But when they were so little and lead pastor. We and I was I wasn't working during that season, and so we were not financially in a place that we could just go out every week and I think a lot of you know people's couple struggle with that well or presumption our kids. We can't financially bear the burden of getting a babysitter going to dinner and so we encourage couples to have date night at home and we set a thing for ourselves and we did one year we did 52 date nights that were free or basically free and so we went Friday nights would be date night. We put the kids to bed and we would make dinner together.

We sometimes we would just watch a movie subtype was very intentional to say this is our night.

We focus on each other that we sit down and we look each other in the eye and how your week and really have a conversation as opposed to talking about any of no kid conversation at this table and really focus on each other's hearts and what's going on.

This relies on something you said earlier. Kerry about realizing I can't do everything right.

I remember the moment you were. I looked at the unit and she looked at me and we thought it's never all going to get done.

There's just no way to to do loose or too big to great something is always breaking something always needs attention. As you let go of some things right. It's hard.

It's especially hard for the perfectionist mentioned that some describe the gathering of the program. Gene can identify and as we would know I was getting ready for program I was talking I love this woman was nothing for the perfectionist. It's hard it's hard to rest and say okay I get it.

I get that I will be able to do everything perfectly, but that's reality.

And for that woman where you can hear it, but it's hard to apply or for worse, you feel like you're a failure because you can't live up to your own expectation. Then you can begin to come to lash out your husband becomes emotional you're not good enough and you haven't set up pretty lightly how you can go in so many different directions so what wisdom do you have to speak to that mom to just breathe, know that it's not going to be perfect and really live. I think finding some things we can let go let go control of his really helpful.

I'm in a season where my older three are all in elementary school and there in that like tearing away of me doing everything for them to gaining independence and that can be hard because I want to have control, but I given the in these areas to say okay this is yours to have my kids are absolute slobs. I love them so very much like to clean your room and it was causing a lot of strife between us. I was getting frustrated with them. They were getting frustrated with me because their version of clean wasn't the same and finally to set them down and said you let mom what's wrong, I'm very sorry for the way that I've approached us and once you have independence of her this time to let go and I expect one day out of the week for your room to be clean and then we had some consequences that they could have gotten but I had to let go of control and I just close the door to their room and say six okay, I can't control this and have to let them grow to be independent.

Our rule was no rotting food that is as well or put away that's on you. That's true true care K we are right near the end, but I kinda say this because I know some women are say well it sounds like she's got all tribes are can't do that, but the singer in all the stories that you suffered from postpartum anxiety and depression so you're speaking from a wealth of experience described in the specially identify with that woman may be in that same spot.

What did that feel like it felt like a bit of a out of body experience and I was in a season. It was after I had three babies in less than three years and it was that sippy cup against the wall moment that really opened my eyes of something is going on.

And I realized I am unhealthy and and as someone that is always striving to be great at what she does.

It was hard for me to admit, and I know a lot of women that I talk to. They say I never wanted to knit so I can talk to anybody. I didn't say anything and so you maybe you're listening and you find yourself in that situation. I really encourage you to find a safe place to talk to somebody for me as my husband and I just went to him and said something's wrong. I don't know what but something's wrong at some things off and he took me to Dr. kinda had to drag me to the doctor but it's a good insight is yeah and because they don't know they know we have some hormone things going on when they know that everything is overwhelming but they don't actually know really what's going on in our minds and bodies that throw us off completely and so going through that season. It was about a year and I joke now that I don't remember the first year of my daughter's life that was born in that season, and now very close with her but him.

It part of it is true that I was so lost in just everything is going on this battle in my mind and I could barely step that out of my house and my husband was a pastor I couldn't go to church because it was just the crowds overwhelms me, and you know and there were times that I thought okay to get my car and driving to telephone poles. Maybe I can break my arm go to the ER and get just a break from parenting. I mean it's those things that women are afraid to say that I think they need to me to come alongside them and the reason I called Michael, this I will need to call moms to a higher standard, wants to realize I can do this and we've been patted on the back for so long, you're doing a great job but what if and when you better. What if I don't want to be stuck in a cycle of frustration and anxiety and depression, whatever that looks like, and I think this is really important what you're saying there doing better component. As I watch my own wife is a so much in the items right stuff right in the internal part of the attitude of right because I kids are great right being in there that's on the reverse of what you feel to come down and enjoy the journey rather than the really uptight about every little bit, which is going to really mess with you gentlemen of the two characters. This is good also. So self. I know that it's good stuff mom up. What a great resource and let me tell you to her point. A moment ago to talk to somebody you trust focuses here for you. John will give those details in a minute. But if you need someone to talk to for feel like you're out of control. Worried about some of the behavioral things you're experiencing is a new mom is a mom with three kids for kids under 10. Whatever might be were here to talk with you about that we can give you some help. Certainly give you a resource like her case. Great book, mom up, but Tara K.

We have an interesting little addition here Mother's Day you didn't know this is going to happen. Okay, we had a little phone call with your kids. So no, they gave us some words for you about Mother's Day. Let's listen in on the only health care, and Lily. I really enjoy all felt that my mom worry when I counter like his thinking so I can care the laundering of learning helping us with everything we need help with know I love, I probably love you mommy is good also. I didn't expect to come here and cry today respond you so one day a great you are, you know, as we close again.

We have current Christian counselors for you. Talk to be of great resources get in touch with us if you need us. Yeah, encouragement is a phone call away and you can schedule a time with one of her counselors and good care casebook when you call 800 the letter a in the word family or click the link in the episode show notes and it might be possible, but despite everything going on. You are in a position to make a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family today if you can do so will say thank you by sending a copy of mom up to say thank you for supporting this ministry allowing us to encourage moms and families and couples worldwide care K thanks for bearing with the great.

I much appreciate it on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for focus on on John Fuller inviting you back is once again help you and your family. Thriving course

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