Editor’s note: This is a guest blog by Candice Jeneé. I connected with Candice on TikTok and asked her to share her wisdom on Devotional Diva! Thanks God and the algorithm for bringing us together, and thank you Candice for replying to my unhinged super long comments (not to mention this fab devotional ❤️)
This article has been harder to write than I thought it would be. Perhaps because life is crazy just when we need it to be calm. Or perhaps because right after deciding I wanted to write it, my own type of burnout kicked in. Or, perhaps because as an author, mom, business owner, and ministry wife, I have a lot on my plate.
Whatever the reason, it was difficult to decide on so many things. What direction do I take it? How do we open the huge conversation of burnout among millennial moms? What is the best way to tie it into our faith, since it’s never about a lack of faith?
Tonight, as I write this, though, I realize the best way is just to dive in. The deep end. And, understand that the women who come across this article will likely already resonate with seasons of burnout: in motherhood, in faith, in life.
And, I’ve been there. As a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist turned Mental Health Coach, I’ve seen it in clients; and I’ve walked it myself. I’m a published author running a creative coaching & publishing business.
I’ve spent the long hours. I’ve felt the guilt of having to work while someone (lucky for me, my husband) watches the kids. I’ve felt the pressure of needing to be the primary carer. I’ve also been the one who needs care (as a chronic illness mom).
I’ve sat in the church services commending the Proverbs 31 woman. I’ve heard what I’m “supposed” to do, like we all have.
I get it. I truly do.
It’s so easy to get lost in the day to day of motherhood. Of life. Comparing ourselves to the Proverbs 31 woman – or other women in general – and falling far short (or so we think).
Yet, there’s so much more to this life than drowning in burn out; but we often can’t seem to find our way through it.
I’ll be honest, though, I love the Proverbs 31 woman. Not for what she is to live up to, but for what we often get wrong about her. And, how much more like her most of us millennial moms are than we realize.
If we look at burnout prevention and recovery in this light, we can do one of two things. Compare ourselves to what we think it’s all “supposed to be” or realize how much more control we actually have.
In today’s world, it’s really easy to get lost in the expectations. Ours and the world’s and the church’s.
Here’s the thing, though, one of the biggest ways to prevent or recover from burnout is taking back our own control. To decide how we will respond. To decide how we will spend our time. To seek support and community. To care for our souls – not just our bodies (but, also, yes, our bodies).
You see, the Proverbs 31 woman was doing just that. She had it all: family, career, creativity, soul care, and the adoration of her husband.
She was a woman of valor: this means she was strong. She was a warrior. A fighter. She was strong. She was in control. She was powerful. Not in a worldly way, but in spirit. She had community. She made decisions. She demanded respect and had boundaries. She was assertive.
It is these qualities most of us already possess within us, but the world (and often, even the church), has quieted them. It has altered them for us. We learned through observation and socialization that our qualities should be those of helper, homemaker, doer of all the things.
Some of us are absolutely called to be homemakers, and I love that. However, we were also called to be souls at rest, gentle spirits. And, we can’t do that if we are being doers of all the things without support. Without community. Without basic skills like boundaries, assertiveness, delegation, and time to center our spirits.
These are the basic starting points to healing our burnout, keeping our identities in the throws of motherhood, and living with mental wellness.
Tonight, as I type these words, I realize God is whispering how much I need this reminder just as much as readers might.
He didn’t design us to live in perpetual states of burnout, trying to live up to unrealistic expectations – from ourselves or others.
He designed us to live in harmony with Him, and in a place of healing. He designed us to love and be loved. He designed us to live. He designed us to be in community.
He designed us to be whole.
A little about me: My name is Candice Jeneé and I’m a former Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Now, I’m a mental health coach for moms, especially those in creative industry/business/ministry. I run a membership coaching program focused on identity in motherhood, burnout recovery/prevention, and mental wellness. This topic is so close to my heart, which is why I share about it so often. I’d love for anyone who wants to know more to reach out to me on Instagram or TikTok (@soul_cadence_creative).
If you’re a fiction reader, I write clean, inspirational romance (The West Coast Crush series) and romantic suspense (The Miller’s Pointe Romantic Suspense series), and my books can be found on all ebook platforms or Amazon paperback. If you’re a new mom, I also have a devotional book for moms based around moms in the Bible.
I’d love to connect with anyone who this article hits home for. You’re not alone in this walk, even if motherhood can sometimes feel lonely or isolating (especially for us work from home/stay at home moms).
Blessings to you all!