This phrase is an internationally recognized radio word to signal distress. However, I think it aptly expresses how many of us moms feel when we see May Day, the first of May, hit our calendars. I used to be prepared for the craziness of December with all the decorating, shopping, baking, gift wrapping, and holiday parties to attend. Yet now I feel that same calendar crunch in May with all the graduation parties, end of the school year field trips and academic programs, the start of wedding season, and by golly even Mother’s Day has become hectic rather than relaxing with photo booths at church to get everyone dressed up for or sports tournaments taking up the weekend. So, in order to encourage all the moms to thrive (or at least get through) in the month of May-hem and in honor of May the Fourth be with you…
I wanted to share four mindsets that I believe will help:
“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Have you ever noticed that to be true? I have often had frustrating, stressful thoughts going through my mind when I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning, though, it’s almost like I have been given a different outlook or perspective.
We’ve all seen those catchy t-shirts that say, “Choose Joy.” Truly though, I recommend that before your feet hit the floor you understand that it is a conscious choice and that you choose to look at your circumstances for that day through the lens of joy.
Ladies, we all know that we can lose our ever-loving minds when things don’t go our way! I cannot count the times I have verbalized out loud my frustration while driving about the other drivers around me only to have my sweet daughter’s voice remind me from the back seat about how we don’t use words like stupid. Eesh.
The important thing to remember is that when we are actually in front of a person (versus behind the wheel of a car) that we keep in mind we have no idea what they have been through that day. So, when the librarian tells you that you have a ginormous fine because of an overdue DVD you rented reminding you of your Blockbuster days, you choose to calmly explain that you thought it had been renewed when you renewed all the rest of the books rather than yelling that it is obviously a mistake because everything else obviously got renewed!
No, we take a deep breath, remain calm, and use compassion because we know we have made mistakes in our day as well. We choose compassion.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” The reality is we all find ourselves in seasons where circumstances just seem hopeless whether it’s a crisis in our finances, in our health, with our children, etc. So, in the midst of such trying times, how do we continue to hope?
Two easy things to do to help produce a hopeful mindset is to focus on what you can look forward to and make sure you are talking to other hope-filled people. Those people who wear rose-colored glasses might actually be on to something when it comes to getting through hard times.
Just like we choose joy in the morning before we get out of bed, I encourage you to choose gratitude when you go to bed before you go to sleep. Some people keep journals, but I have my daughter. You see, my daughter started asking me every night at bedtime while I’m tucking her in what my favorite part of the day has been. Can I just say – I’m so glad she started this little tradition. It helps us both reflect on our day and realize even if it hasn’t been the best day that we can always find one thing to choose as our favorite and be grateful for those small moments.
I encourage you to start this small step with your own children as I think it helps their little hearts too to recognize bad moments don’t ruin a whole day – we have much for which to be grateful.
I believe that the busy times can still be the best of times if we adopt these four mindsets! May this month of May bring you buckets of wonderful memories and not just moments of May-hem!