The Problem of Default

We often run our lives on default.

We keep doing what we are doing and fail to stop ourselves to consider how we could make the situation easier or better. This is the negative form of a habit. It is essentially a bad habit.

I am convinced that this is the main reason that many of us are overwhelmed. We live life in default mode.

What do I mean by that?

Let’s take meals, for example. From meal planning, to shopping, to cooking, this part of a mom’s job is quite a task. I will be honest. This is my least favorite part of homemaking. I remember trying different plans that I thought would work, and when they didn’t, I would inevitably fall back into default. Even though default was not really a good plan for me, or rather it wasn’t a plan at all, I would still end up doing it again. And again. And again. I have done this more times than I can count! And not just in meal planning. :)

Whatever activity it is, we have to be willing to face it head on and make it better. If default is not working you have to purposefully get yourself out of it.

This is not easy. I know! But if there is one thing that I have found that has helped remove “overwhelmed” from my vocabulary, this is it! And I am so passionate about it, I really want to share it with other moms. We must get ourselves out of default. Jump, run, or crawl if you have to. But start taking steps today to get out!

A few tips to get yourself out of default and into purposeful living:

1. Admit that your current plan is not working.

Think about the area of life you are most overwhelmed with and admit that your plan is not working.  Whether it is laundry, cleaning, cooking, hospitality, budgeting, you name it!

Just say it. Right now. Out loud. It is not working! (There, I said it for you!)

Feel better?  Okay, now we can move on!

Until you are ready to admit that whatever you are doing is not working, you will make no headway in making your life less stressful.

2. Admit that there is a better way.

I actually think that this is harder. I think that as moms, we would rather assume that every single mom on the planet is overwhelmed with laundry than to admit that some moms have figured out a plan that works for them and we clearly have not.

Don’t believe me? How many times have you heard (or said!), “Oh, it is impossible to get caught up on laundry. I’m a mom. This is just how it is.

When we stop convincing ourselves that “this is just how it is,” and start doing something about our trouble areas, we will be less overwhelmed.

It does not have to be like that. It is possible to not be overwhelmed. I promise! I was on the overwhelmed side far too long, and I want you to know it is much better if you just admit that you need a better way!

3. Learn.

Learn. Learn. Learn.

This is my life-long ambition. I am always learning and I never want to stop.  There are so many ideas we can learn from others. I am always trying new ideas and implementing new things that I have learned from other people.

Super mom does not exist.  But if one mom is good at laundry, another at cleaning, another at budgeting, and another at throwing a dinner party, and we start learning from each other, we will all be better moms.

You may need to be humble enough to ask another mom for ideas or help. Most of the time you will find that moms have been there, and genuinely want to help.

Sometimes you will find an idea that you can immediately implement. Other times you have to tweak and tweak until you make it fit your needs. But whatever you do, don’t stop until you have something!

What area of life are you living in default right now? What ways can you purposefully get out? Leave a comment. It will encourage us all!


  1. Thanks for this great post–it came at the exact time I needed it! Currently, I’m feeling overwhelmed in more area than one but I like how you pointed out the first step is to admit my plan is not working! So now that I’ve admitted it….=), I’m going to take some time to re-examine why it’s not working and gather information, tips,help from other moms who seem to have a system in place that is working for them.

    • Oh Rachel, I have SO been there! Many times! I hope you find some solutions to make things smoother. {virtual hugs of encouragement coming your way} :)

  2. aunt Karen says:

    I have been enjoying skimming through your blog. There are so many wise thoughts and touching moments revealed. I was wondering if you have ever looked at the website: It is about dealing with perfectionism by doing whatever needs to be done 15 minutes at a time and creating habits. I enjoy the daily emails with suggestions on things I can do in 15 minutes to keep my home in order. Love your ideas too!

  3. Ok – I’m publicly admitting my meal plan isn’t working. I’ve tried a few. Like you, it’s my least favorite household task – so now I want to know what your solution is! :-)

    • Oh my! I use gmail calendar (I have one just for meal planning) and it has been my most successful way so far anyway. (Let me know if you want more details). I wouldn’t say I have a “perfect” system, but it is working pretty well. This week wasn’t great. Summer took me by surprise, and for some reason all the soups and stuff we have been eating are not too appealing…must switch gears to summer meals! :)


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