On Finding Rest in the Midst of Motherhood.

Rest.
Motherhood.
These things typically do NOT go hand in hand.
As a mother of four little ladies, I can speak to long days but short years full of diaper changes, crayon wrapper bits on the floor as far as the eye can see, perpetual schlepping to and then fro and then to once more, meal after meal after meal, teachable moments, sister spats, toothpaste blobs flung around like confetti, and the list goes on.  Don’t get me wrong; there are so many GOOD moments, so many priceless burn-in-into-my-brain-so-I’ll-never-forget-it moments, so many times that I find myself stopping to wonder what I did to deserve this life.
BUT.
Rest?
Yeah.  That’s something one doesn’t see much of in the midst of motherhood between crusty old sippy cups of long-forgotten milk and desperately searching the house for the CORRECT fuzzy sock to match before toddler tears ensue.
Rest.
BAHAHAHHAHA!!

(This is the Devyn sofa from Sixpenny – big and cozy and perfect for rest and snuggles.  This post is sponsored by Sixpenny, and you can see how they have helped upped our “rest game” recently…😉)

Perhaps it’s just the Oppositional Defiant Disorder speaking (😉), but I refuse to believe that after birthing babies, there shall nevermore be pockets of rest for the weary mom holding her day together with under-eye concealer and a prayer.  Surely there’s a way to track down, sniff out and capture this elusive “rest” we once so casually dismissed as “being bored.”  THERE MUST BE A WAY, I SAY!

Here’s what I’m kinda thinking: in order to cultivate rest, we’ve gotta have the margin in our lives to do so.  In order to revel in the sheer joy of sitting down for more than 3.7 seconds and perhaps (GASP!) allow our minds to slow the constant swirl that IS the essence of motherhood, we are going to need to DO EVEN MORE…at least on the front end.  Stay with me here….

What I need as a working mom of four little ones is margin.  Boundaries.  A plan.  I need to play offense rather than constant defense fueled by coffee and dry shampoo.  I’ve been really sucking this up lately, so for the month of January, I’m consciously focusing on making choices that allow me some margin in which to REST with my people (and sometimes without….holler for kid-less quiet moments in which to recharge!)  I’m going to try to think ahead a bit more, plan for date nights with my husband to reconnect, set up even more boundaries with my Instagram/blogging biz in order to lift up my eyes from the screen to see my people…to see me….to see that I need a minute.  This month, I’m giving a lot more “no” answers than usual, but you know what?  Those no’s mean I’ve said YES to this very real need for rest and empty calendar spaces and a chance to recharge my creative battery a bit.

Found myself complaining about being too busy…but guess what?  There’s a difference between the busy stuff we HAVE to do that comes as part of being human and alive and the mother to offspring and the wife to a husband, etc.  But…there also exists a sort of busy that is irresponsible on my part, that is just there to distract me from the doldrums of daily life.  A busy that happens when I don’t use discernment with my yes answers, when I look at a screen instead of looking at my actual life and what might need to be adjusted.  We can’t help some of the swirl, Lord knows.  But some of it we can.  I can.  And…I want to make a conscious choice to reclaim some margin in my life.

Lest you think I have this down pat, I’ll have you know that I wrote this blog post on one of the swirliest, nuttiest days I’ve experienced in a good long while (there was poop and car trouble involved, but I’ll spare you the details. 😳)  But, dadgumit, I’m sure gonna TRY to keep this idea of purposefully creating margin in which to rest at the forefront as I walk into 2019.  Heaven knows my scrambled egg mom-brain COULD USE SOME, GEEZ. 😉  Anyone else feel me?
❤️ERIN

  1. Heather

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    I NEEDED this today. Thank you! ♥️

  2. Erin | Cotton Stem

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Hugs, girl.

  3. Stephanie

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    I love this! I enjoy following you, because you speak truth & joy all at the same time. At the end of every year I prayerfully search for a new word for the next year & this years word is intentional. I need to be more intentional with my time & family & loved ones. Your post is yet another reminder of that. Thank you!

  4. Erin | Cotton Stem

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I did this as well!!

  5. Candace

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Love this!!! ♥️

  6. Laura

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    I love this post, Erin! It makes me think of the quote “children are not a distraction for more important work,l. Children are the most important work.” Take your rest and love your people ♥️♥️

  7. Erin | Cotton Stem

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Ahhh this is SO TRUE.

  8. Katie Brannon

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Girl, you totally just nailed it!! Thanks for the thoughts and for always being so encouraging and positive! We are all in this motherhood thing together and it’s good to sometimes see I am not I alone in this season of raising littles.

  9. Erin | Cotton Stem

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    We are in this together, you’re right!!

  10. Katie

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    So excellently put! I’m in the midst of raising a human, being a wife, daughter, sister, friend and running/growing a business that in the swirl of the year I forgot about myself. My focus this year is to breathe and have balance, very deliberately create that margin sknthat I don’t forget my why for doing all that I do. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your world and your intention to rest. ❤️

  11. Jess

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    100% if you spread yourself to thin, no one is getting enough. Xoxo

  12. Hillary Batdorff

    January 8th, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you for ALWAYS inspiring me. Nailed it! Exactly what I needed to hear today! ❤️

  13. Lori Nell ~Southern Nell

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Your such a beautiful Momma! We know it’s not perfect, no one’s life is! But we can see to your beautiful Mom and wife heart and it’s beautiful!!

  14. Kristy Thorneycroft

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    And when it seems all ya’ll Bloggers have it ALL…I truly appreciate this. You are doing great and inspiring most….HUGS…<3

  15. Kristy Thorneycroft

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    And when it seems all ya’ll Bloggers have it ALL…I truly appreciate this. You are doing great and inspiring….HUGS…<3

  16. Fitzgeraldlane

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you for this!!! So so powerful and so beautiful! I so appreciate you opening your heart to us… You’re such a gift!

  17. Claudette

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    ❤️❤️ Your girls are blessed to have such a great role model as their mother!

  18. Ashley Haikkila

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I FEEL you!! So incredibly swirling the last like 5 days like I’ve never swirled before. Thanks for this! I’m so conscious of this idea and I’m challenging myself also to really scale back so my eyes can see more clearly the true moments and time that is the most precious gifts of life.

  19. Megan H

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you Erin, I have had these same thoughts lately. First time Mom of an 8 month old and sometimes I really wonder HOW Moms of more than one survive!!!

  20. Molly

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    This!! I have been so convicted lately of saying yes out of obligation to other people leaving me and my people with the leftovers. I need to reread Lysa Turkurst Best Yes. ❤️ Thank you for being a encouraging voice in this season. ❤️Your insta buddy

  21. Jess

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    It’s a good message to spread to all the crazed mamas out there! We think we have to go non stop but whyyyyyyyy?! It’s so important to teach our kids by example and rest and recharging is a huge part of being a healthy human. Thanks for being a shining example 🙂

  22. Marianne

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Indeed… Always so encouraging sweet Erin!!! all the work at home mom-swirling feels here too… It’s so so good to give yourself permission to say no… So thankful for time “off” to regroup, connect with my littles and be the mom I had been missing being with the craziness of growth over this year… And it’s a HUGE BLESSING to have a busy business.. but happy to say more “nos” as well!!

  23. Jodi

    January 8th, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    No apology is needed as you focus on your hubby first and foremost and those cutie pies second! All of the rest…well it will always be swirling around you. God is so Gracious with us and what a blessing our families are! Know we are here and not going anywhere. You are amazing at getting back with me and I’m sure many others. You just can’t every time. You can’t meet every need for your girls. And guess what? That’s OKAY! I’m sure you’re in the Word daily (or weekly) and that will guide your days. Enjoy every day the Lord has made!

  24. Pauline Cassell

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    My dearest Erin,
    I started following you about 2 years ago when I found myself home flat on my a$$ going thru chemo for breast cancer. I didn’t know what to do with myself as an independent working single mom for a long time.
    What was going on. How will I survive. Will I survive. What do I do to keep busy and focused. Well, IG was it! Heard of it; didn’t know what it was. You were the first person followed. JorDecor, the 2nd. I still love you two as much as day one. Probably more! Yes, more. So, I didn’t expect to write all of this. I respect you so much. With your four ladies, hubby, this—-it’s A LOT! I give you credit, my dear friend.
    Keep on keeping on and refining. That’s healthy. I am still doing it at 57.9! (Had my daughter @ 39.9. ‘‘Tis the bday season! And, I cannot edit because I talked too much! I love you and your family. I enjoy your feeds. With much love and respect. Pauline

  25. Megan

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    This is so good and true. Priscilla Shrier has a study out called breathe that’s about creating margins in our lives. It is so good and you should definitely check it out!

  26. Aubrey

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Yes. Yes. And more yes. Solidarity sister. 🖤

  27. Allyson Boop

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you for this post! I needed it. Life is so crazy with little ones and trying to run a business from home. Most days I feel like I’m a chicken with its head cut off. I’d love to have margin ❤️ We need and deserve to rest with our people (and a little without!).

  28. Deb

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Beautiful and true. I eventually learned by gracing myself with rest, I was teaching my boys that they need to grace themselves with it too. Self care is caring for all as well. Plus, I love snuggling on the couch and watching Netflix, so it’s a win win!

  29. Michelle

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    THANK YOU for giving us the permission to rest!! I need it more and started to realize this the crazier the days become!😍

  30. Jenna

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Great read!! Thanks for sharing and the reminder! A moms’s worst critic is herself! Thanks for your encouragement every day!

  31. Lucie

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Absolutely! I’ve been working on this too. Offense instead of defense! We can do it!

  32. Kayla T

    January 8th, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28

    Such a wonderful reminder, Erin. Thank you for being so true to who God has called you to be and honest with the convictions He has placed on your heart. Praying He blesses you, your marriage and your sweet family as you draw near and rest in Him.

  33. Amanda

    January 8th, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    So much truth to eat up in this post!! Love your heart for your family!! 🤗

  34. Robin Bryant

    January 8th, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Erin
    I don’t have young children but I feel the same . I have a 95 year old mother and I am her primary care giver . She still lives at home . Me and my husband stays with her about 85-90 % of the time . I feel torn between 2 houses . Clean 2 houses ( hers gets cleaned more then mine ) lol. I take care of 2 yard works , wash clothes for 2 house holds , pay bills for both and take care of finances , take her to all of her doctor appointments and work a full time job . There are days I don’t know what food is at my house or hers 😝😂. I get so exhausted and some days in tears … I said I don’t have time to
    do everything I have to do . ..God said it’s not physically possible to do all those things , truth is all I have to do is what God assigns me to do . The frustration begins when we take on all responsibilities of what is not on his agenda. . Keep in mind that his to- do list for you is not the same as everybody else’s to-do list . I have been doing this bible study but you need to get the book and read it … it’s helped me . The
    name of it is “Lies women believe “ by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
    Don’t listen to the lies that the devil sometimes gives us .
    You have a beautiful family and hats off to a mommy who can raise 4 girls … LOL . You do a great job ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  35. Allie Gilmer

    January 8th, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    I needed this. Thank you so much for the reminder!

  36. Bobbie Dickerson

    January 8th, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    So look forward to seeing your interaction with your family. You are a wonderful mother and wife. Your daughters are beautiful and so are you. You are a joy to listen to and so are those 4 little women. I came from a family of 3 sisters and wonder parents. Mom and dad have past and I miss them every day. Watching you brings back such good memories of mom and I in the kitchen and she taught me to sew. Don’t see any more but that is ok with me now. Mother taught me so much and my daddy taught us the love of God. Not say mother didn’t. We were fortunate to have such loving parents. God bless you and your sweet family!

  37. Jody

    January 8th, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    This is so good!! Thank you for it!!

  38. Freckled Farm

    January 8th, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    I am the mama at 4 Daughters also with one son smack dab in the middle. Minor older ages 16 through 27 now but boy do I remember. Even now that they’re older trying to keep that connection and all of our busy lives. You got the right idea with being intentional. When my kids were little I would take one with me and take turns going through who was next on a grocery shopping day. While we went grocery shopping we also picked a place to have lunch and they got to spend $10 while we were out. They were called Mommy and me days and they still like to have them but most of the time they’re treating me now and they love it! ♡ So do I.
    Lori

  39. Jana

    January 8th, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Erin—coming from a former work-from-home mom of 2 grown children (28 and 25), please know that you are so wise to feel this nudge in the midst of the crazy. I wish I had been so wise to stop, look, and listen. You have spoken before that you know that nudge is the voice if God going before you and pulling you by the hand. Hold on and follow. As over-achieving women, we think we have to give ourselves permission to rest, or explain to others why we’re resting…..nah…..no need! No need to explain!!! You do you sweetie because you do it best!!!

  40. Lauren Cheong

    January 8th, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    I LOVE THIS! 🙌🏽 Well said. I love how real and transparent you are. You have been so inspirational to always find that joy and keep a positive perspective on what matters the most in life.

  41. Irma

    January 9th, 2019 at 12:12 am

    Erin,
    Thank you for being real and keeping it real. My Mom used to tell me if I don’t take care of me, no one will. She was so right. No is a powerful word and should be used in order to take care of you and yours.
    I enjoy keeping up with you and your sweet family. If you’re not doing the necessary though it will overtake you and eventually those precious Littles. Keep your margins set and firm, you will not regret it.
    I love your honesty and being willing to say what’s on your heart. Keep it up.
    ❤❤❤

  42. Shannon Morscheck

    January 9th, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Ohhhh, so good. So, so good. Thank you for being real and for touching on a subject k am sure many of us are thinking. I read a book called The Best Yes, and this post reminded me a lot of that book. Saving the YES moments for when it really matters, and being okay with the NO’s. They make the yes times that much more special!

  43. Kim

    January 9th, 2019 at 3:03 am

    Erin, l live your efforts to slow and risk your children. So thankful for my two babies even though they are20 and 13 in my eyes they will forever remain my young baby in my arms meet ing them for the first time. Also a daughter in heaven my first born daughter named Kirstin Lane Adkins on 0ctober 15, 1997. Admire you so much, as an older Mama you have encouraged me do much. Thanks for being you! God bless you abd sweet babies,hubby. Prayers for in 2019!💝💝

  44. Sheena

    January 9th, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! I needed it more than you know!! My word for the year is intentional and I want to be as intentional as I can with my babies and husband the most!! I’m so thankful I found you on IG!!

  45. Bekah Smith

    January 9th, 2019 at 7:23 am

    “This month, I’m giving a lot more “no” answers than usual, but you know what? Those no’s mean I’ve said YES to this very real need for rest and empty calendar spaces and a chance to recharge my creative battery a bit.”

    WOW. I can’t begin to explain how much this ressonnates with the season of life that my family and I are in right now. While we’re not necessarily recharging our creative batteries, we are trying to recharge our emotional/physical state of minds after a busy but wonderful holiday season/end of the year craziness. Our no’s may cause some frustration on the receiving end but we just wish our family would realize how intentional those no’s are to being a healthier, happier, family unit.

    Anyways, this was such a great read! And it’s nice to know others are in the same boat.

  46. Lyndsey

    January 9th, 2019 at 11:32 am

    I think as mother’s of one or 10 we are preprogrammed to out everyone else Infront of us , feeling overwhelmed to tackle it all in order to be the best mom we can be. Especially when you see that mom that does it all for their kid? Y’all know what I’m talking about. But honestly how many of us have that luxury to have someone help us do it all? No one said ever…. Most of us are on our own. Juggling work, school (for me preschool and college for myself ) and it’s often times hard finding a balance. I usually just nap when they do because I need it too. I’ve caught myself get short with the kiddos when I’m on fumes. This is a great reassurance post as well as reading others responses . Just the support I needed today. THANK YOU.

  47. Alyssa Hampton

    January 9th, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    I’m not a mom yet, but I hope to be able to set boundaries and be intentional with finding rest in the midst of life’s craziness when I do become one. I’m guilty of filling my life with “business” to keep myself occupied (or distracted?) when I really need to take a moment to stop and just REST. Rest in a physical way and rest in God’s peace and love.

  48. Amy

    January 9th, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Wonderful read. Thank you for reminding us all of the margin. Even this mom of grown adults can appreciate it. ❤️

  49. Jamie Womack

    January 12th, 2019 at 11:43 am

    This word of rest keeps popping up for me too…In all the crazy it seems counterintuitive, but I’m fighting for it and so grateful for the sweet moments that come from my being present with my people. Thanks for always being so real in your posts and for all the practical ways you encourage and equip busy moms!

  50. Jessica

    January 15th, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Just found your blog! I love this! I needed to hear this today with my 3 and 1 year old climbing all over me! Haha I need to be more present! That is my 2019 goal! Btw where is that amazing blanket from?! You have a beautiful family and home! Thanks for sharing! ☺️

  51. Emily Wood

    January 19th, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Girl, I am totally with you!!! Matter of a fact…I have decided to take 3 months away from social media for this very reason. (Which is why I will be checking your blog for new posts. LOL….I miss you and your IG stories!!!! 😊😩😜😜) Anyway…if you ever get a chance….check out PowerSheets by Cultivate What Matters. I think you would love it!!!

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