A Note from Chris Adams: I remember being a frazzled mom. I cannot even imagine how moms today navigate life responsibilities in our culture that tells them they can and should do it all! Today Deb Douglas gives direction and practical ideas for helping de-frazzle moms in our churches.
Every church has that mom who is clearly overwhelmed, in over her head, and out of control. She shows up late, frazzled and frustrated. Sometimes even her children’s behavior reflects their mom’s frazzled state. How can a women’s ministry leader encourage and support her?
Here are some suggestions for ministering to frazzled moms:
- Set up a time to visit with the mom that works with her schedule. Meet her near her work or wherever is most convenient for her.
- Be subtle. Let the mom talk. Ask her what challenges she is facing, and how women’s ministry could help her.
- Offer suggestions, not condemnation. An overwhelmed mom is probably already condemning herself.
- Give advice sparingly. Advice is perceived to be criticism by a mom who is already frazzled.
- Be respectful. Some moms love a frazzled lifestyle. If it’s not a problem for her, respect her lifestyle.
- Teach a series on boundaries for moms. Include a session on how to say, “No.” Many women believe saying, “No,” is rude or selfish. Use the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend as a guide. Overwhelmed moms are usually over-committed moms. Help her say, “No,” to multiple volunteer positions by encouraging others to volunteer instead.
- Remember the design and model of the women’s ministry can impact moms.
- Make it simple to participate in women’s ministry events.
- Have childcare available at the same location at events to prevent moms from having to run from one location to another.
- Offer Bible study and events when women are already at church, such as on Sunday or Wednesday.
- Stress a simplified style. Go calm, easy, and relaxed for events and in how women dress. Don’t over-decorate for events. (Over-decorating puts additional pressure on everyone!) Keep things simple.
- Pair her up with a mentor. In a one-on-one conversation, ask if the frazzled mom would like a mentor. A mentor who has successfully survived mothering in a busy lifestyle would be perfect for a frazzled mom.
The most important thing a women’s ministry leader can do to help a frazzled mom is to pray. Enlisting a secret prayer warrior (neither knows the other’s name or story) will provide needed prayer support. All moms need prayer; there may be moms hiding their frazzled state under a veneer of polished put-togetherness. The greatest thing we can do for moms is to hit our knees in prayer!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.