The Empty Cycle

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I’m feeling stressed. I feel like pulling out my hair. Feeling drained, tired and empty, with nothing left to give. You get the picture right? 

My kids are whiney, fighting, crying, emotional, needy…

Then I fall apart even more. I just want to hide in my room and eat chocolate. 

Then they start fighting. I can’t take it anymore, I yell. 


I give in and give them candy. Or iPad time. Or …. just to get them off my back

It can just be a vicious cycle. 

Every day.

Empty Moms pouring out to Empty Kids makes Empty Moms Emptier. 

Whew. Read that again 10 times fast lol

When you (and I) feel empty and we are desperately grabbing around for something to fill us…and our kids need us… it can drain us even more. 

Have you felt that?


Just try packing for a week long trip with hungry kids beside you. Try making supper while someone whines over their homework.  Try to get out the door on Sunday morning in time for Sunday School, with one kid who got up on the wrong side of the bed and now can’t find their shoes. Or your planning a church dinner while your kids whine for snacks. 

Just try it. Imagine how you would handle it. 

Right now hopefully you are in a great mood and it sounds easy peasy but let’s add another element.  Let’s add something that just drained you. Your friend yelled at you and hung up the phone. No, scrap that, who talks on the phone now days? Lol. You met a friend for coffee yesterday… you’ve texted her three times since and she still hasn’t responded back. 

Now picture it. You are dealing with some emotions; You are worrying that you made her mad… Now put yourself back into that place… packing for the week long trip… making supper with whiny kids doing homework, and getting to church on time. 

Changes things doesn’t it? 

Or a fight discussion with your husband. Or a friend that doesn’t respond. Or a comment someone made. Or lack of sleep. Or sick kids. Or worrying about something that happened at church. Or trying to make a big decision. Or processing bad news. Or not having felt God lately. Or not drinking enough water. Or just not feeling great. 

When your heart is full of worry it causes a mama to pour out from a different sort of cup. An empty sort of cup.

Empty mamas pouring out to empty kids create emptiness. 

Does it happen at your house? 

Just in case. Here are four things we can do:

1. Realize it.

                Sometimes this is the hardest thing to do! Stopping the DRAMA long enough to realize I’m in an empty cycle. Stopping to realize that I’m not in the right mind frame. There are signs; impatience with noice, fighting, yelling, feeling like just wanting to cry, thinking about chocolate (lol), headache starting, thirsty, hungry, “Hangry”. . . What are some signs that you are headed into the empty cycle? Sometimes just knowing you are feeling less than and headed into an empty cycle is enough to stop it. Let’s stop and realize it!


2. Take one step toward filling up you. 

                You don’t have to fix everything right then and there. Often we mamas don’t have time for an all out spa day 😉 However that is no excuse for staying in that desperate state of caous.  Just take one little step toward filling you up. If you can take two or three awesome! The list of ideas are not hard, they don’t take long. You can do it! 

  • Take a drink of water
  • Turn on praise music
  • Go for a little walk to the mailbox
  • Read the Bible for 5 minutes
  • Brush your teeth
  • Set a timer and read or nap or rest for 20 minutes
  • Write
  • Read your notes from Sunday’s sermon.
  • Text a friend asking for a prayer.
  • Read the Bible for 5 minutes.
  • Go back to the devotional you are reading and read what you read earlier that morning. (Or read it for the first time lol)
  • Listen to a sermon online.
  • Read a prayer from my friend Darcy’s new I Need Jesus  Book! (Go check it out! It’s my new favorite help when I’m empty)

What is your favorite “quick fix” when you catch yourself feeling empty? I’d love to hear it! 

3. Take one step toward filling “them” up.

                Whoever the “them” is in your life, your children, nieces and nephews,  babysitting kids, students; Take one step towards filling “them” up.

  • Give a hug
  • Read stories on the couch
  • Cuddle
  • Watch one of their little PBS shows together. Let them sit on your lap during it
  • Play a game (careful with this one if your kid is competitive lol)
  • Turn on some praise/worship music
  • Go outside for a walk
  • Change the scenery … at home, go to the library, etc.

What is your favorite “quick fix” to help your kids deal with life when you are feeling empty? 


4. Ask for help. 

                I know its hard. I hate to admit that I’m struggling to myself, let alone say it out loud. But we must if we are going to stop the cycle. Perhaps something that relaxes you is a bath. Just ask your hubby to watch the kids while you do that. Maybe it’s a grabbing a babysitter and doing that shopping with no tag alongs. Just ask. Maybe it’s just to ask for a prayer. Do it. 

{These ideas today are all well and good for things to do in the moment, maybe you find yourself always empty? You may need to take a break from the Empty Cycle. (I did) Next week we’ll talk about how to recognize the negatives that drain us and how to hop off this empty cycle.}


Do you ever find yourself stuck in this cycle? I’d love to hear from you! How do you put a stop to it?

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  1. The girls and I turn on praise music and all dance together :). Shake off some of those anxious, frustrated feelings while filling our heads with truth. We also huddle in for a group hug/prayer session and tell satan to get behind us. And yes, texting a friend for prayers is always a top thing when I am low!

  2. I have an audio Bible that I try to listen too when I fold laundry. It helps me think about the Scriptures more because I heard them outloud verses skim reading. Whether the kids are cranky or my eyes are nearly closed in exhaustion, we can still catch some tidbits of the Bible. Sometimes they are “hangry” and we stop to eat – helps. So do naps. Thats my “quiet time” where I work around the house or study, etc. I love listening to things as I work. (I even like doing dishes if I can get away with listening to something, music, story, pastor talks etc.) A super handy app is One Place or I download or stream online. Plus the audio Bible from Word of Promise. My poor husband has many days of “counseling” me back from the brink of insanity. Usually he can figure out what became an idol to me – which is what triggers me to run on HIGH till i crash. (Idols include reading books, latest research/writing hype, MOVIES, my phone. Social media used to but I deleted it. Tough in the beginning but my husband was so pleased it was worth it lol noella just stripped the baby so better go! Haha

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