The Bible says that younger women are “to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:4-5). But it’s hard to continue to be “busy at home” when mom is exhausted, feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do in a day, especially if she adds homeschooling to her long list of things to do.
What are some common reasons that a mother gets tired?
1. Doing All the Chores Herself
If a mom has several children, her house gets cluttered and dirty quickly. She’ll have a lot of dishes to do, and a lot of laundry as well. The more kids she has, the more work is created. It can feel like a never-ending job!
But why is she doing it all herself? If God has blessed her with children, they can be helping. Toddlers can clear their own spot at the table, 5-year-olds can rinse dishes, put away much of the food, load and unload the dishwasher, and dry dishes (especially plastic ones). By 7 or 8 years, children can certainly hand wash dishes, except for possibly the most difficult pans, and put most of the dishes away in the cupboard.
The same goes for laundry. Children can begin helping at a very young age, even if it is only by learning to sort clothes into darks, mediums, and lights. Children can learn to dust, to mop and vacuum, to take out the garbage, to wash windows and mirrors, to feed and clean up after pets, to make their beds, and to put away toys several times each day. As they get older, they can help with gardening, making menus and shopping, preparing meals, and mowing the lawn. In fact, if a mother will just think about all the things she does in a day, she’ll discover that her children can and should be helping with almost everything, to the best of their ability.
A mother that has guilted herself into thinking she should do it all herself will be one tired mother!
2. Bickering, Arguing, and Fighting
If a mom has at least two children, she’ll soon discover that they won’t always get along. It naturally happens in every home, because every child is born with a sinful nature that wants things to be done his own way.
However, a mom’s responsibility is to teach her children to submit to others and to show genuine love and kindness in word and deed. These are character traits that must be trained and repeatedly enforced in a home. If children are constantly bickering, it is because their parents allow it.
Constant arguing wears on a mother. A mom that allows it will be one tired mother!
3. Infants and Toddlers That Won’t Sleep
No child likes to sleep. The world is an exciting place. If a little one has to take a nap, he might miss something!
However, little ones need plenty of rest, or they start to misbehave just out of pure exhaustion. They get hurt more easily, cry more easily, and have trouble getting along with others.
Of course, if a child is used to getting his own way and not having to obey, he won’t stay in bed when Mommy puts him there. He’ll argue, get out of bed, play with toys, whine, or throw a temper tantrum. The daily fight at naptime and bedtime just contributes to the fatigue and frustration in the home.
If a mom hasn’t trained her little ones to obey by staying in bed when told, she will be one tired mother!
4. Whining and Complaining
Whining can wear on the nerves of the best mother. Complaining is like a disease that infects an entire home. God has a very low opinion of “murmuring,” for we read that He punished the Israelites severely for their grumbling in the wilderness.
Whining is the opposite of thankfulness. Whining is also a bad habit, which means that children who are in the habit of complaining have simply not been taught the habit of saying “thank you.”
Of course, it doesn’t take a child long to figure out that whining works. If he can wear Mom out with his constant complaining, she’ll eventually give him whatever he wants.
A Mom who allows her children to whine and complain will feel like all her nerves are frazzled, and she’ll be one tired mother!
5. Finding Shoes That Aren’t Put Away
Children are naturally lazy (just like their mothers), and they will naturally leave their shoes, pencils, hair bows, toys, stickers, candy wrappers, and towels lying around. (Mothers have been known to leave things around, too.)
It’s really not a big deal — if it only happens occasionally — and if only a couple people live in a home. But as the family gets larger, more and more shoes (and pencils and hair bows and toys and towels) get left around the house, multiplying like bunny rabbits, until it becomes a major ordeal to put them all away.
A wise mother will teach her children to touch each thing only one time, putting it away in its proper place the first time.
The mother that never gets around to consistently teaching her children good habits will be one tired mother!
What Can Mom Do About It?
Here’s the bottom line: A mother needs to realize that if her children have bad behavior that is wearing her out, it is because she has allowed it. Once this mom admits her own responsibility, she won’t have a hard time fixing it.
- Children will act well when Mom (and Dad) require it.
- Children will act well when Mom (and Dad) consistently stick to the rules… day after day after day after day…
- Children will act well when Mom (and Dad) require good attitudes to match good actions.
“A double minded [mother] is unstable in all [her] ways…” (James 1:8).