Hey Friends ~

I’m not sure who called “Summer” a “Vacation” ~ but my sense is, it wasn’t a mom!

When do the “lazy days of summer” begin??

(And yes, someone please sign me up!)

I’ll be painfully honest…I’ve been wrestling with maintaining my “joy” in the midst of having a house full of kids home this summer.

I wake up and have grand ideas of fun family play time, fantastic field trips, a home filled to the brim with harmony, peace, joy and laughter….but then reality hits….and it’s not nearly as delightful.

Instead I feel like a referee, police officer, Molly Maid, personal chef, and game organizer. I’m exhuasted and frazzled and ready for “plan B”.

Can anyone else relate??

One of my precious little ones is meeting with a therapist for some extra help this summer.

Last week she spent her session learning “coping strategies” ~ her mini toolbox of tips to pull from when she’s faced with a difficult situation.

Thankfully one of her homework assignments was to copy the strategies and hang them all over the house. The more I’ve studied these coping strategies, I’ve decided I am going to be more proactive and put them to use in my life too!!!

**Here are my Top Ten Coping Strategies for the Frazzled Woman**

(adopted from my daughter’s list)

1. Deal with your feelings

It’s ok (and very helpful/healthy) to share, “I feel……”.

Our feelings are our feelings and we need to get them out in healthy, safe ways. And yes, we now use the feelings chart in our home (a lot!)

How are YOU feeling today???

2. Think about the good side

I’m choosing to think on thoughts that are good, healthy and positive. Philippians 4:8 (MSG) has been wonderful to reflect on…

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

3. Focus on what can and can’t be changed

4. Nobody’s perfect

That’s freeing, isn’t it? I don’t have to be a perfect mom/wife/woman (and you don’t either!)

5. Take a break

I’ve used this “tool” a lot over the 4th weekend. Yesterday John and I decided it’d be best for me to stay home from a 4th activity so I could “take a break” before another full week. As hard as it was to miss out on fun, I knew it was best. I slept for 3 hours. I’m learning Moms need breaks too.

6. One step at a time

7. Take care of yourself

The other day while 3 kids were at camp, I made my daughter go with me to the gym so I could get some exercise. Of course, she revolted the whole way ~ but made it (really…going to a gym where you get to play Wii is not that bad!).

I felt VICTORIOUS! It was great to model “Mom needs to take care of herself too”

How will you take care of yourself today???

8. Plan ahead

I’m learning that it is very helpful to plan ahead, but then to hold the plan loosely.

9. Ask for help

Aren’t you glad we don’t have to journey alone? Who are your 3 people that you could call at 4 AM in the morning and they’d help you in a heartbeat? We all need those people!

10. Pray! (Added by me!)

After my 3 hour nap yesterday, it was GREAT to go for a long prayer walk and lift all of my concerns/needs/worries to God! I’m leaning hard on Him and His Word as I learn how to “cope” with the lazy crazy days of summer!

How about for you? What coping strategies do you have in your “tool belt”? How do you live “frazzle free”? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a Terrific Tuesday!!

P.S. One of my good friends (and graphic designers) turned this list into a pdf file. If you’d like a copy, send me your email and I’ll send a copy right to you!

P.P.S. I’m linking up today with Jen and friends at Soli Deo Gloria. Be sure to check out this amazing sisterhood of women! 🙂

And for more great Top Ten lists, hop over and visit Oh Amanda!

Top Ten {Tuesday}

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