Do you know that it is okay to sometimes feel overwhelmed as a Catholic mom?
Why it is Okay to Feel Overwhelmed as a Catholic Mom
Do you think that as a Catholic mom you should never feel overwhelmed with motherhood?
After all, you have faith in God and go to Mass. You know that God led you to the vocation of marriage and He gave you and your husband the gifts of your children. Shouldn’t that be enough to avoid feeling overwhelmed, you may wonder?
God gave you these precious children, yet you may struggle sometimes with feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, frustrated, and even angry or sad. Then, guilt can set in. Why are you feeling like an overwhelmed mom when everyone in your family is healthy and well? When there is food to eat and you have a home to live in? When you have faith? It may not seem to make sense to you why you feel overwhelmed when you think that you shouldn’t.
It is okay to feel overwhelmed. There is nothing wrong with that. You are human, right? Humans are not perfect; we have limitations and we sometimes set unrealistic expectations for ourselves.
As a Catholic, you are striving to live in a world that often does not value what you value. This can add more stress to your life as a Catholic mom.
Thinking of all you want to be and all you feel called to do, it can be so easy to get overwhelmed! It is okay. You do not need to feel guilty when you do feel overwhelmed. Why not? Read on.
Being a Catholic mom is a great responsibility as well as a great privilege.
Being a Catholic mom is a big responsibility and one that you take seriously. Not only are you doing the day to day work of raising your children (exhausting as that can be sometimes!), but you also are taking care of your husband and yourself as well. When you are pregnant or nursing, you need to take care of yourself in a unique way as you care for your little one who is dependent upon you.
Also, you are raising your children in the faith. This responsibility, although it is a blessing to be greatful for, can also feel daunting. It can feel sometimes like a weight on your shoulders. Are you spending enough time with them? Will you do a good job raising them? How will your kids turn out? Will they want to stay Catholic when they are adults? So many questions and concerns may be swirling about in your mind.
Up to a point, this is a good thing. When you feel the weight of your responsibility as a Catholic mom, this means you realize how important your role is to nurture and raise your children. Taking care of their physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing while not neglecting your own is no easy task!
It is important to remember that God is with you. He gave you the gift of faith, the gift of your spouse, and the gift of your children. He will also give you the graces you need to fulfill your vocation well. He gave you the Church the Sacraments so you can receive Jesus often in the Eucharist and receive His grace in Holy Communion and Reconciliation. Avail yourself of the Sacraments as often as you can to receive the spiritual help you need.
Being a Catholic mom is often counter-cultural.
Praying before a meal in a restaurant, missing the early morning soccer game on Sunday because your family is going to Mass, or not allowing your kids to watch the TV show that everyone is watching all show your values in a world that does not necessarily appreciate them.
While you wouldn’t want to do things differently, going against the current of society can drain your energy, too, at times. It is helpful to stay rooted in prayer. “Help me, Lord” is a good prayer! It does not matter how long or short your prayers are; it is important that you communicate with God and trust in Him to help you and give you what you need to be the mom He has called you to be.
It is okay to feel overwhelmed as a Catholic mom.
It can seem like there is a lot of pressure on moms to be everything to everyone. Yet, moms have a limited amount of time, of energy, and sleep to work with!
It is okay to feel overwhelmed as a mom sometimes. This is a big responsibility you are undertaking! It is nonstop work. But, it is God’s work. When you feel overwhelmed under the weight of this responsibility, share how you feel with God. Lean on Him. He has called you to the vocation of motherhood. He will help you to live it well.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and acknowledge how you are feeling. Don’t try to brush it off or think that something is wrong with you because you feel this way. There is nothing wrong with you. You are undertaking a large responsibility in caring for your family and yourself. That can certainly become overwhelming, especially if you tend to neglect taking care of yourself or you try to do EVERYTHING with little help from your family.
When you are feeling overwhelmed it is a sign that you need to take a step back and ask yourself some questions. Why are you feeling overwhelmed? What can you do to feel less overwhelmed? Perhaps you need more sleep, need your kids to do more around the house now that they are older, or you need some quiet time with God.
When you take the time to step back and evaluate why you are feeling overwhelmed, you will be able to see if you are feeling overwhelmed because you are in awe of the responsibility of your vocation as a mother, if you are feeling overwhelmed because you need to take some time for yourself to fill yourself up again so you are not running on empty, or perhaps because you have too much going on or have set unrealistic expectations on yourself or others. When you identify why you are feeling overwhelmed, you will know where you need to focus so you can make changes in your life so you will not feel so overwhelmed.
Burnout, depression, and anxiety are all real conditions that moms can face. Sometimes a mom does need help when she is feeling so overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious that she is having difficulty functioning or taking care of herself or her children. It is important to reach out for help when it is needed. Contact a local Catholic Charities office to find someone you can speak to in order to get the assistance you need.
Working to conquer feeling overwhelmed as a Catholic mom.
Do not despair.
It’s not over yet! Life is made up of seasons. There is the season of early marriage without children, then the season of life with babies and little children, then the season of growing children, then older children, then no children at home. One day your children will become adults and move out; it will be just the two of you again.
This season will pass.
Challenge your perspective and your expectations.
When you look at your kids and realize that one day they will be out on their own, somehow daily tasks like laundry seem less overwhelming of a task to complete. It will be there tomorrow! Little things may not bother you so much when you shift your perspective from only looking at the now and look also at the future, knowing one day your children will be grown and out on their own. The only time we know we have with them is right now.
By expecting perfection from yourself and your kids, you can put a lot of pressure on everyone. When you reduce your expectations from perfect to acceptable, it can take the pressure off. For example, if your toddler is helping to put away laundry and a few items fall on the way down the hall, don’t worry about it. It is not perfect, but it is done and your child is happy to be helping.
Look to God instead of at others.
Look to God, not anyone else. When your time comes to meet God in Heaven, He will probably not ask you if you did such-and-such just like the woman down the street did. He will ask you how you did with what He gave you. Just like in the parable of the talents, the owner gave his three servants different amounts of talents. When he returned, he did not compare the servants to each other, but evaluated them individually based on what he had given each of them.
God made us each a unique individual. He does not compare us to each other, but asks if we have done what He has asked us to do.
So, instead of looking at others and comparing yourself to them (which is easy to do, given our human natures), look to God. Keep your eyes on Him to lead and guide you.
It is important to support each other as Catholic moms.
Feeling overwhelmed can sneak up on you sometimes when you least expect it. It can be like a cloud over all you do. Having other Catholic moms to talk with helps you to know you are not alone in how you feel. You can help each other out by talking, getting together, and watching each other’s children from time to time.
Having that support and knowing you are not alone as you work to be the Catholic mom God has called you to be is so valuable.
If you don’t have many Catholic friends, see if you can find a moms group at your parish or a local parish. Or, try striking up a conversation with a mom at church that you see. That can be a great start!
It is okay to feel overwhelmed as a Catholic mom.
It is okay to feel overwhelmed at times with the weight of the responsibility you have as a Catholic mom. Remember, though, that God is with you. He called you to your vocation of motherhood and He will help you to fulfill it well.
Simple Ways to Combat Feeling Overwhelmed with Motherhood is a post with some practical ideas to help you conquer feeling overwhelmed and stressed out as a mom.
Let us pray for each other as we work each day to be the mom God has called us to be.