“You know what it’s like having four kids? Imagine you’re drowning. And someone hands you a baby.” ~Jim Gaffigan
Seriously, if you have children and haven’t Youtube’d Jim Gaffigan’s act, “Four Kids”, it is a must. But this isn’t just for people with 4 kids, or any kids. Life is just crazy. Life is hectic. We work, we clean, we raise kids/animals, we struggle to pay bills, keep up with all our family and friends, try to stay above the laundry and dishes… the list goes on and on.
I don’t know about you, but I often feel like I’m sinking..like I keep trying to claw my way out of the hole and to the top where I can just relax my tense shoulders and breath fresh air…but I just can’t ever seem to grip the edge and pull myself up. I am a very positive person, and I don’t always feel down about my life. But there are for sure times where I just feel overwhelmed, a loss of energy and zest for life…and feel like I’m not sure I can handle anymore. These are the times I find myself yelling at my kids, throwing my hands in the air, fighting back tears…wondering how I can make it through.
People have asked me many times how I do it all with 4 kids, a job, a potty training puppy, 2 at home businesses. And though I often get to that overwhelming point, it tends to be short lived before I refocus and feel positive again. So how do you keep positive and keep pushing… happily clawing your way towards the top?
For me, it’s the 3 P’s (and if my kids heard me say that, they would start to giggle under their breath…because for some reason, pee and poo are hilarious.)
1. PRAYER/ Devotion
It has taken me a while, but I am finally learning that when I first start getting overwhelmed or worried, or feel anxiety coming on, as soon as I’m able, I need to say a prayer, open my devotional, and give it to God. I used to worry about something that “could” happen for an hour, even bringing myself to tears convincing myself it might actually happen, and then finally remember to pray about it. Ha, now I’ve learned to get in the habit to start that prayer as soon as my negative feelings begin. What a difference that makes!
2. Have a Person…Actually, have people
Surround yourself with positive people..supportive people. People that share your faith. I talked to my sister earlier this week, and was just feeling a little lifeless, nothing to say on the phone, and I just told her I was having a blah day…overwhelmed, frustrated. The next morning I woke to a text from her with the quote “When you feel like you’re drowning in life, don’t worry- your Lifeguard walks on water.”
Wow. That is exactly what I needed reminded of. The family and friends in my life are so supportive and positive; I can always count on them to bring me back up. Try to step back and away from the negativity. People who bring you down, question your dreams instead of supporting you and being excited for you, are not the people you want to focus your time on. If you don’t have those positive/uplifting people in your life, it is time to start searching and seeking them out. I have met so many of them just in the past 6 months and am in awe at the support system and truly caring and amazing people I am meeting everyday just by leaping into something new and opening my heart to new friends.
3. Put it in Perspective
Four of my decorative pillows have been chewed up in the last couple weeks. A dog has peed and pooped on my floor 3 days in a row. Today, I pulled my 4-year old’s glasses out of the puppy’s mouth to find they had 3 major teeth mark scratches in the lenses I had just picked up a week ago (the lenses I had waited until the new year to get so I only had to fork out $100 instead of the full amount since insurance allows 1 set of new lenses a year).
That’s enough to make me want to scream…or cry…or just lose my mind. Luckily, my friend was over, so I kept my cool, and together we decided there are so many worse things in life than having a brand new pair of lenses ruined. They are just glasses. We decided all you can do is laugh.
As if right on cue, tonight my devotional read this: “Learn to laugh at yourself more freely. Don’t take yourself or your circumstances so seriously. Relax and know that I am God with you.”
There are so many things we could get angry with, upset about, overwhelmed, and frustrated…but put it in perspective. Look at all you are blessed with. Remember what is truly important in life. The carpet can be replaced…I will eventually have the money to get a new pair of glasses…but in the meantime, I’m going to look at my 4 year old and relish in the cuteness of him…with his scratched up glasses…and the life God has blessed me with.
It’s not easy. Trust me. But I’m always looking for a way to better myself, improve my mindset, just be happy, and above all…spread that happiness and positivity to others.