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Today I want to introduce my new friend, Sharon, she blogs over at “A Place called Home.” Sharon’s blog holds tips and secrets for busy moms. Pop over there and check it out!

Here is Sharon’s angle on anxiety.

Stepping Outside the House. Sometimes adding more to the schedule causes us to panic and feel overwhelmed.

Stepping Outside the House

By: Sharon Schuler

I don’t know about you, Busy Mom, but lately … all I want to do is stay home.

“Dear so and so … Please come to our potluck” – no thanks … I just want to stay home.

It’s feels like too much – to make that dish of food to bring to the potluck. That would mean I would need to look up a recipe, write out a grocery list, go to the store, come home and prepare the dish to bring, plus the added pressure I put on myself to make something a little more impressive than the “normal” food that I make. I also have 4 kids to bring along through all of the above.

Next it’s organizing what the kids will wear. That means doing more laundry to get to the “nicer clothes” (Did I mention we live on a farm) I also need to find a nice outfit for myself to wear. Something kid-friendly (bending, stretching, and carrying required) but something that looks good too. I start thinking through my wardrobe trying in my mind to piece together the perfect, confident outfit.

Lastly it’s the ACTUALLY getting there and on time (… on time?!) Pack up the van, don’t forget the dish of food, the kids and all the stuff that needs to go with. (diaper bag, sippy cup, hats, sun screen, lawn chairs etc.)

I know you understand when I say… My days are full at home. – you are crazy busy too. I am a homebody naturally, even more so now with all these responsibilities – in this season of life.

When those invitations come for; summer BBQ’s, family play-dates, baby showers, weddings, and family reunions. My heart rate exhilarates, my forehead crinkles, and I start getting this twitch above my left eye of a threatening migraine.  And all I want to do is stay home.

I want to crawl in a bubble where the panic won’t set in. Or just back into bed.

There are times at night when I lie there thinking about all the things to do FOR the event tomorrow. This weight settles on my shoulders and threatens to pull me under these waves of emotions I can hardly handle. AND I’M SUPPOSED TO BE SLEEPING. All I can think about is tomorrow. I can silently freak out in bed.

I want to CANCEL tomorrows plans – they are RUINING MY TODAY!

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Then there is the flip side. I know that if I (or my husband) can get organized, food made, van packed and kids dressed, plus getting enough sleep and actually MAKING it to the event…. We WILL have a good time and so will the kids. Once you’re there. Usually it’s after an event when we are driving home my husband and I will say we were glad that we went and glad that we made the sacrifice to get there.

That’s the pull and the secret lure that has me considering “YES!” every time invitations pop up! It makes me forget that all I want to do is stay home. Experience reminds me that stepping outside of the house CAN BE A GREAT THING!

The BENEFITS sometimes outweigh the SACRIFICE. The trick – DISCERNING WHEN!!!

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The kids have a great time at that soccer match. I finally got caught up with that long time friend at that BBQ. My husband was able to connect with his man friends for the first time this year. My daughter finally had a chance to play with that girl friend from school. These are some of the reasons WHY we go out.

BUT, OH…. that panic still lays there in the background for me, literally up until we are walking into the event’s front doors. There is so much on my plate, my heart freaks out. Though you probably won’t be able to tell on my face. I’m pretty good at hiding it. (except for those closest to me)

Conquering the panic – is NOT by my strength. I’m NOT a supermom that has it all together. That panic brings me to my knees. Something I do a bit more habitually now when I FIRST SEE that invitation. “Should I say “YES!” to this event God?” Putting off praying and RSVPing an event will only cause more stress because it’s this thing that I constantly think about and stress about in the back of my mind. SO while there is  “Avoiding my problem” I can do … it NEVER helps. I need to remember; get on my knees and give my fast reply.

Usually you have a gut reaction of what your RSVP will be. When I pray about my RSVP I start with my gut reaction – that gut reaction – for me, will turn into a solid peace of mind. Or if my desire is to stay home but I’m constantly at unrest in my thoughts that “I probably should go….” that’s a game changer for me. Enough to get me out the door!

Third thing I do, talk to my husband about invitations we’ve received. Talking out the benefits of soccer practice with him will help me confirm my gut/God reaction. He helps me make that decision that seems like a mountain for me, a small hill to him. What a relief to have that “outside” perspective. He brings down my panic by just LISTENING! And telling me it will be okay, – lets step outside our house!

Lastly, to those events that I do decide to accept, deciding whether or not the kids are coming is the next biggest decision. Babysitter vs. No-babysitter.  Also for me – if my husband is able to go or not is another game changer. Two can corral 4 much faster!

Stepping outside the house can require, loads of pre-thought, pre-planning, and praying. But all these steps I do take have helped me say “No!” to a lot more events lately, so I can save up my energy, save the sacrifice, and the babysitters 🙂 for the events that are REALLY important to me, my husband and our kids.

Is it time for you to step outside the house? Or is it time to stay home?

Sharon Schuler

Welcome to my blog  ‘A Place Called Home’ – The feeling of being at ‘Home’ is something that looks so different for each one of us, but is completely universal; as we each have our ‘home’; by living the life where we are at on purpose and with some encouragement!

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