Tired. Worn out. Burnt out. Exhausted. Stressed. When you hear these words, is there something that resonates with you? Are there days when you would hear that question and respond "Me! Me! That's me!" I get the sense many of us are running around feeling the weight of our daily schedules and to-dos pressing heavily on our shoulders. Threatening to knock us to the ground and to leave us wishing we had a pillow and a blanket and a second to pause. To rest. If only for a second. Please. Let me rest. Why is it when someone asks me how I am, my response is usually a rambling list of whatI'm doing instead of how I'm doing. "How are you?" "I'm great! Today I'm heading to a doctor's appointment, and doing some laundry, and three of my kids have practice tonight and one has a game and blah. blah. blah. So, how are you?" That's not really answering the question. Is it? I think when I list off my tasks for the day, what I'm really saying is: I'm good - but I'm tired. I love this season of life - but it can be exhausting. This is exactly where I want to be - but I also would love a nap. Life is so good right now - but man it can be really hard some days. When I ask my friends how they're doing, the replies are usually similar. A lot of times it's, "Crazy, but good. It's a good crazy." Yes, it is a good crazy. But it can also be an overwhelming crazy. Take for instance our schedule last night - Two children needed to be picked up at 5:00, from different schools of course. One had a baseball game and needed to be at the batting cages at 5:15. Another had to be at softball practice at 5:30. And one had a softball game 20 minutes away that she needed to be at by 5:40. Impossible for one person, but not impossible with the help of others. I'm learning why the saying, "it takes a village" exists. With the help of friends and family, each of the children made it to where they needed to be and back home again. Thank goodness for our village. This is what this season of life looks like. Sometimes I love it. And sometimes I just want to take a break for 24 hours. And sleep. We talk about balance and the importance of making space in the schedule for life to just unfold spontaneously. I try to make that happen for our family, believe me - I do. We attempt to limit the number of activities the kids are in, but with four children - limited activities can still be a lot to juggle. Honestly, I feel like a crazy woman sometimes. I forget things. I can't keep our schedule in order. I actually forgot a kid last week, but that's a long somewhat embarrassing story that warrants a blog post of its own. And I consider myself to be an organized person. It's actually a strength of mine. So, what's wrong? Why am I struggling to get all this accomplished? Why can't I work ahead? The answer: because it's too much. It seems that many of us are running around in a constant state of good crazy, longing for a day - just one day - with nothing on the calendar. But that is a rarity anymore. In a culture where success and productivity are so highly valued, we find ourselves in situations where children are starting sports at the age of three and parents feel behind if their child begins when they are six. We are "grooming" our children for success. We are searching for that one thing for them to excel in. We feel like we need to start them early, or they will never have a chance. They will never make a team. They will never be accepted. And that scares us. What happens if our child never finds their thing? Their niche? So we push. And they are getting burnt out. And we are getting burnt out. And by the time they reach the end of their high school career, they may not want to play anymore. Because they've been playing since they were three, and they're over it. Does anyone else see this happening in our culture? With so much on our children's plates and electronics vying for downtime, I wonder if they understand the value of boredom. Is there space for independent play and exploration? Do they know what it means to be still? Are they able to create? And dream? I don't know. What I do know is sometimes I feel stuck in this perpetual machine that never stops moving. Not even for a day. And I don't know how to make it stop. I know we have choices. I know I can say enough is enough and we aren't doing anything for awhile, but I'm not sure that's the answer either. I love seeing my kids do what they love. It's good for them to be out on the field, on a team, making friends, getting exercise. Honestly, being involved in these activities helps to keep them off devices. I wish I was a supermom who had amazing willpower and could keep my kids off devices all day long while encouraging them to do worthwhile activities, but sometimes it's easier for me to just let them plug in and tune out for awhile. Ugh. I know. I want to erase that so bad, but it's my truth. I am definitely a part of the problem here. I want balance, but is balance attainable? Is it possible to find space to breathe amidst the chaos? As the kids get older, I'm not so sure. With all of that said, I do believe this is one of the most precious - if not the most precious - times in my life. In some ways I love the hustle and the bustle and the go-go-go. There are lots of exciting things happening every day and I recognize some day, when the house goes quiet, I will miss the chaos. But now, in this moment, I long for a little rest. And rest is good. God rested. Jesus rested. We are instructed to take time to rest. Our kids need to see us rest. They need to learn the value of rest. My kids need this. And it's up to my husband and I to make it happen. And sometimes we are doing an incredible job at balance, and others - like during softball and baseball season - not so much. It's like a pendulum swinging back and forth and back again between overbooked and clearing the calendar. So, how am I right now you ask? I'm good - but I'm tired. I love this season of life - but it can be exhausting. This is exactly where I want to be - but I also would love a nap. Life is so good right now - but man it can be really hard some days. This post originally appeared on the author’s blog – https://www.trulyyoursjen.com Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four sweet and sometimes a bit wild children. Like most parents, her life is spent managing the chaos to the best of her ability—some days are more successful than others. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, she and her family are on the hunt for the best hot chicken in town. Life is full of ups and downs, and she hopes the words she writes will be a source of encouragement. Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience, life observations and love of decorating as a freelance writer, and keeps a personal blog at www.trulyyoursjen.com, where she has fun writing when time permits. You can find her on Instagram and follow her on Facebook.