Coping While Exhausted: 4 Moms and Large Family Logistics

Previous posts in the Large Family Logistics series:

Since I’ve been struggling with exhaustion (thank you for your prayers, information and encouragement), these appendices in Large Family Logistics were encouraging and applicable to me. This is where Kim offers some practical tips for keeping on and digging out.moms of many manage

Coping While Exhausted

Kim offers some wonderful and practical tips for keeping on when you don’t feel like it, but honestly it all boils down (and it always boils down) to who you are serving.

If I’m trying to live up to my standards or my goals, being exhausted just isn’t going to work, because serving self never does. I want nice things, nice kids, beauty and order. I want my home to be clean, my children to be well educated (or at least smarter than my neighbor’s kids), delicious and healthy meals, clean laundry and peace and quiet. I don’t want snotty noses, learning difficulties, complaining, dirt, clutter or chaos. If I’m serving myself it will never be enough and I’m going to be disappointed and frustrated no matter how much energy I have. Throw into the mix the fact that I’m tired from the moment that I wake in the morning and we really have a disaster.

Unless I fix my eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of my faith I will fail, I must fail, because my calling isn’t to flail after my shallow, selfish standard. My calling is to serve Jesus with the strength that He gives.

With the strength that He gives.

My gracious God doesn’t ask me to serve Him with something that He hasn’t provided.

For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 1 Chron. 29:14b

and He doesn’t have a pie in the sky standard which I must attain.

It is not an accident that I’m exhausted. It is not an accident that you are struggling with morning sickness or have four babies under 3. It is for our good (Rom. 8:28). It is in the midst of these circumstances that He is glorified by our obedience (2 Cor. 12:9).

He gives me life, gives me strength and then asks that with that life, with that strength I serve Him.

And me?  I complain about dirt and snot.

What is the answer? How do I serve Him with the strength He’s given?

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Mt. 6:33

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus.

Pray and turn to Him for strength.

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 1 Chron. 29:12

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil. 4:13

Be faithful to read His Word every day. When I have too much to do then I know that I must not neglect to read my Bible and take the time to pray. It seems counter-intuitive, but that’s simply because we don’t really believe Matthew 6:33 (quoted above).

Kim says,

Read the Bible every single day. Read it aloud to your children. Read one Psalm and one Proverb to them daily. Memorize verses from both together…read from all over the Bible.

Exemplify Kindness and Love

Did the kid’s spill milk into the computer? Smash play dough into the carpet? My natural reaction is to look at this as a hindrance to achieving my goal, rather than a step toward my goal. This is an opportunity for me to learn the greatest love,  to lay down my life (my time, my goal, my computer, my carpet) for my kids.

Kim says,

Little children in particular need so much love. They thrive on praise, they crave physical touch, and they love to do things with Mama. Make sure that your children have plenty of love to balance any chastisement that they receive.

Proverbs 31:26 She opens her moth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness in on her tongue.

Simplify and Streamline

Remember who you are serving, consider the goal and cut out whatever is unnecessary.

We recently simplified  our children’s clothing down to three outfits each. Despite some of the critical feedback (Are you kidding me?), my children have each thanked me as I’ve handed them their small pile of clothes. Children thrive on love, time and praise, not on a closet full of name brand clothing.

Kim says,

I love clean, believe me: I think it is a natural God-given womanly attribute to clean. But sometimes we have to let go a bit. Some things in life are more important than clean. Some things in life are more important than organization.

Moving Beyond Survival Mode

In Appendix B, Kim gives step-by-step instructions for moving out of chaos and getting a plan in place. It’s the quick start guide to Large Family Logistics.

Be sure to visit the other Moms of Many to read what they have to say about this last segment of Kim’s book:

Kim Brenneman at Large Family Logistics
Connie at Smockity Frocks
Headmistress at The Common Room
KimC at Life in a Shoe

Now it’s your turn, I’d love to hear how you keep going when the going gets tough.

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23 Responses to Coping While Exhausted: 4 Moms and Large Family Logistics
  1. Beth@ Acorns and Oaks
    August 25, 2011 | 6:57 am

    Such a good reminder! Thanks, Kimberly!

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  2. Annie
    August 25, 2011 | 9:41 am

    I will be bookmarking this post and this is getting me even more excited to read her book! I finally received it this week, but have yet had the time to crack into it! Thank you for giving advice that is contrary to everyone else’s. I can not count the times when advice was to find more me time, sleep in, go out by myself, etc. The best thing I ever did for myself and my children was to forsake the worlds way, set my alarm and spend time with the Lord!!! I can attest, He IS faithful to give you what you need!! Praise Him!!!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Annie. You’re right He always provides everything we need and sometimes the way to that provision is counter-intuitive to what we would think.

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  3. Kimarie @ The Cardamom's Pod
    August 25, 2011 | 9:57 am

    I’ve really loved how you blogged through this book, Kimberly. :-) Hugs from Florida!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks Kimarie! Looking forward to a real visit…sometime.

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  4. Shannon
    August 25, 2011 | 12:40 pm

    I’ve been following along triing to decide if I should buy this book, I have a small family with 3 kids so I just didn’t know if I could apply the ideas. I can say a lot of the ideas discussed can apply to me. While I am the holdout on simplifing clothing, I have been downsizing a lot, and the youngest will be benifiting from a mom with a changed attitude, and we just might be able to fit another baby into this household:D

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    {hugs} You do know that you don’t have to do any simplifying of clothing to make me happy. Just just serve the Lord by loving those babies. ;)

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    Shannon Reply:

    Kim,
    thanks, I know I don’t have to simplify for anyone. I guess that partly came from trying to simplify in other areas. Trying to not recreational shop, etc…I just know that their is a better way I just have to find what works better for us.
    My plan right now is to get the book as soon as I can manage:D

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  5. Annie
    August 25, 2011 | 1:27 pm

    When I am to the point where I can crawl into bed and sleep for a week I do one of the following (or both):
    I pray. I pray continually throughout my day but when it gets tough, I give thanks. I thank God for my kids, that I can homeschool them, that I can spend all day with them, etc… /this act helps me to put things into perspective when the enemy would rather I complain and grumble.
    Secondly, I take a “Snap” aka Short Nap: The baby goes down after lunch, the preschooler plays quietly in her room, the big boy finishes chores or school work and I lie down on the couch with a dish towel over my eyes ( I prefer darkness) and rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Some times I don’t sleep at all but the act of calming my body down and taking a minute to relax helps to rejuvinate me for when the kids are up and at’um again!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I used to take a ‘snap’ every once in a while. I do find there is an art to it, it takes a bit of practice to fall asleep, but not stay asleep. :)

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  6. Karyn
    August 25, 2011 | 3:15 pm

    Hi Kimberly
    Thanks for this! I have so enjoyed the Large Family Logistics book and gained much from it, very keen to get into it again as inspired by you all! I’m sure you are getting some unsolicited advice about feeling tired – but I thought I’d add my two cents… I really hope you feel better soon and are able to rest in God and find renewed strength along the way :) The way I understand it… our energy levels can be affected by various parts of the hormonal or endocrine system. Things that impact negatively on the hormonal system like sugar, caffeine, preservatives, etc. will affect our energy levels and influence whatever the hormonal system controls i.e metabolism, body weight, sleep, etc. The pineal gland (situated behind the eyes) needs enough natural sunlight to function correctly, (this regulates our seratonin / melatonin balance) If it is out of balance this will cause fatigue, depression and not being able to sleep well. Also, natural sunlight on the skin enables our bodies to make vitamin D. So… try to get 20-30 minutes of natural sunlight each day without glasses or contact lenses (you can sit on a chair in the shade if you are a bit blind like me!)
    Lack of various vitamins and minerals cause fatigue so I’m sure the juicing will help with that.
    Remember if your body is de-toxing or you have recently given up caffiene or sugar or other stimulants the tiredness could be due to the “shock” of no longer having those things and your adrenal glands taking a while to recover. In that case, the tiredness will gradually get less and be gone in a couple of months. On the other hand, if those stimulants are in your diet, they will cause false energy and then extreme tiredness. I am sure that all the steps you are taking will help hugely – I hope so! Many blessings to you and your wonderful family – I pray that God will strengthen and sustain you. Thanks for being such an inspiration to me. love, Karyn

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Karyn,

    I appreciate all the advice! I just wanted to let you know that I read this comment several days ago (whenever you posted it) and it was a tremendous encouragement to me. I have in the last few weeks cut out all caffeine, sugar and almost all preservatives and I was still feeling very tired, maybe even a little worse. I was so discouraged until I read your comment. THANK YOU!
    I had no idea that this may be normal and I may feel better in a few months (a few months, really? I’m not all that patient :) ). At any rate, a few months is better than never.

    One thing that has helped me tremendously is that I realized the tiredness that I’m experiencing is not just normal ‘tired’ and I was reminded that God will give me every bit of energy that I need, I just need to be faithful with what He gives.

    Anyway, thank you so very much. You’ve encouraged me greatly.

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  7. Amber A
    August 25, 2011 | 9:03 pm

    ‘this could not come at a better time! I am worn out! I am living in a state of chaos, just had baby 7, making 5 under 6ys old, a 13y boy and 9y girl. I have been “blessed” with boxes and bags of clothes for the kids, so much I am having a hard time just going through them. we live in a small 1 bathroom house and my kids seem to take so much joy in throwing toys every where, coloring on the furniture, and sneaking food to half eat and then hide somewhere or spill all over. I feel exhausted! My mom seems to see what I should do but I just can’t seem to get my mind around it. You could have been writing about me! Just in the last few weeks, my husband and I have started praying together be for he leaves for work. That has helped so much, it gives me strength. But I know I need more. I think this book is my next buy. Just from reading these posts has blessed me and encouraged me. time to go downsize the clothes pile! I feel inspired! :)

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  8. Tiana @ God Made, Home Grown
    August 25, 2011 | 11:05 pm

    “He gives me life, gives me strength and then asks that with that life, with that strength I serve Him.

    And me? I complain about dirt and snot.”

    Oh, so true. I hate to admit is, but “survival mode” is when I tend to be the most selfish, impatient mommy. I don’t think of those pregnancy sickness days (I throw up all day long for the whole 9 months) as a time to die to myself and bless others. This was very convicting and perspective-changing. Thanks.

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  9. Sacred Mommyhood
    August 26, 2011 | 12:55 am

    Great review by all four moms. Thanks!

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  10. Melody: Proverbs 22 Blog
    August 26, 2011 | 1:30 am

    Thank you for this post today. I have MS and feel this way a lot. Thank you for reminding me to take my eyes off of me and put them where they belong. It was a true blessing!

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  11. Heather
    August 26, 2011 | 11:48 am

    Is there any chance you could have a sleep disorder? This can be harder to find out when you’re a mom since aren’t all moms tired. But it’s not okay or normal to feel that tired all the time. Here are a couple questions to start you out: Do you snore? -could point to sleep apnea. Did you ever have trouble with feeling tired when you woke up or falling asleep during the day before you had kids? -more possibilities but you’re more likely to be listened too if it’s not all since the kids. I have never felt refreshed when waking up in the mornings. Getting out of bed has been hard for me my whole life and I’ve had trouble with falling asleep during the day. I just didn’t realize it wasn’t normal until I had had 4 kids and all the sleep interruptions exacerbated the trouble.

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for having me consider this possibility. I never seemed to have problems before children. I’ve been normally tired since I started having kids, but this ‘tired’ is not normal and it’s only come on since Bella’s birth.

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  12. Julie Johnston
    August 30, 2011 | 3:27 pm

    Thank you for this post. This chapter was one of my (many) favorites, and I have read it many times during the first few sleep deprived months of twins:) I am just getting caught up on your 3 outfits per child rule, and I think it’s great. I have found that my kids typically have one or two outfits they prefer and wear all of the time, so having 3-4 outfits per child has worked well for us. (Except for my potty-trainer:) It also helps room wise…..we live in a tiny doublewide trailer, and have very small bedrooms. One small “bin” hold’s each child’s clothes, and makes more space in the rooms…no need for dressers! I know having a minimal amount of clothes does not work for every family, but it is working great for us! Blessings on your day!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    So far I’m loving the three outfits per child plan. I’m completely caught up on laundry every day and that hasn’t happened in a terribly long time.

    I think that the winter months may be even easier to have less clothing around, time will tell.

    Thank you.

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  13. Rachael
    September 5, 2011 | 4:38 pm

    Just found this site last night and the articles have been such a blessing to me. I only have 2 little ones, but I am such a low energy person I can’t imagine coping if I were to get pregnant again soon. This has been encouraging to me. I feel like I am so grouchy some days and it breaks my heart that I’ve spoken to my child like I have. That’s what sent me out looking for some encouragement. Thank you!

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  14. T.J.
    November 11, 2011 | 11:12 pm

    Hi Kim!
    I know this is an old post, but I wanted to chime in. Have you considered Adrenal Fatigue? It’s far more common than most of us think. Feeling run down and incredibly fatigued can be caused by overworked Adrenal glands. The stresses that cause Adrenal Fatigue vary widely. “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome”, by Dr. James Wilson is chock full of information about AF and how to heal from it. Also, unfortunately, you will not be able to rely on regular doctors to properly diagnose this condition. MDs today only recognise Addison’s Disease, which is complete failure of the adrenals. You can send for an accurate adrenal test yourself from ZRT labs through Canary Club.com. It is a 4 time salivary cortisol test. This test will tell you if your circadian rythmn is optimal or not (notice I did not say normal, often what is considered normal is truely suboptimal). Your morning sample should be in the top 1/4 of the range, your noon test should be in the next 1/4 down, your evening test in the next 1/4 down, and finally your midnight sample should fall in the lowest 1/4 of the range. So, highest in the morning falling until midnight for sound sleep. If you need help interpreting your test go to StopTheThyroidMadness.com and join the Yahoo Adrenal Forum mentioned there. These people are not doctors, but they may as well be. They have recovered themselves from af and have reviewed thousands of cortisol tests. Therefore they’ve been able to help those people heal. I also encourage you to browse the STTM site regarding Hypothyroidism as AF and Hypothyroidism often go hand in hand. A few things to help now: take lots of vit. c with bioflavanoids (1000 mg vit c with 500 mg bioflavanoids is a good balance) take as much as your tummy can handle. say 5000-20,000 mg. spread throughot your day. Believe it or not, The Adrenals use vit c to produce more than 50 hormones! Take a good b complex once or twice daily. Take 500 mg. magnesium citrate before bed, it will help you relax, as well as aid the adrenals. Consider drinking water salted with sea salt to help balance electrolytes, 1/2 to 1 tsp. in water daily should help. The adrenals control electrolyte balance. Eat low glycemic and eat often. When blood sugar gets low it’s the adrenals that have to call glycogen out of the cells to be converted into glucose. Definitely, ditch caffeine as it stresses the adrenals.
    Sorry to bombard you with all this, I’m hoping it helps you! God bless!

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  15. T.J.
    November 15, 2011 | 6:42 pm

    Oh my goodness, Kimberly, I forgot to add something important to my 1st comment. A lady’s blog that has helped me tremendously, especially through my 5th pregnancy when I was in turmoile over exhaustion. She’s a lovely Christian lady, wife, and mother to 7 children. She has full blown Addison’s disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Over the years, through much prayer and tribulation, she has come up with many helps for exhausted women. Everything you will find on her blog is Biblically based. Her blog is called Anneshealthplace.com. Maybe you ought to think about jonting over there for a few minutes? Anyway, love your blog. Take care, God bless you.

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