When You’ve Bitten Off More Than You Can Chew and 7 Tips to Survive!

Check out this picture


Ok this isn’t a stock photo from an abandoned warehouse, it’s actually the window in my older boys’ bunk room bathroom. #dontjudgeme

I’ve let this one spiderweb continue on for a long time because I just think he’s done good work and also it’s fun to see what he catches.

The other day he definitely landed something larger than his normal haul. (Pictured above) His web is wrecked, it definitely messed up the “stealth” illusion of the web. I can only assume he has the feeling like when you win the life-sized teddy bear in the first 10 minutes of being at the carnival of “what am I going to do with this thing?”

It’s a great picture of our reality when either our own ambition or just life puts us in a place where we’ve definitely bit off more than we can chew. #BOMTYCC

I know I have been there. I don’t have time to list ALL of those stories in my life in a single blog, but I remember when my friend Kyle and I took a job to install a security system on a ranch with a quarter of the time we needed and a half-working trencher to dig through ground that hadn’t seen rain in months. It was a little slice of hell on Earth.

Or I can definitely say adopting 3 kids when we already had 4 biological kids rates in the “biting off more than you can chew” column.

Having lived through some of these instances I think I have gleaned a few universal tips to survive that hopefully can help you.

1. Admit it!

One of the most detrimental things that you can do when you have BOMTYCC is to pretend you haven’t. Maybe it’s our pride, maybe it’s just plain denial or even ignorance but part of maturity is realizing the place you are. Start there!

2. Fear = Good | Anxiety = Bad

Fear is just a big brother to tip 1. Fear is what helps a soldier stay alive in battle, helps a surgeon make the right cut, keeps a pastor’s teaching rooted in the Bible. Fear is your friend when you BOMTYCC. When fear gives birth to anxiety then you let it get out of the yard. When anxiety is driving the car it clouds all of the directions. Anxiety becomes the “thing” you have to deal with instead of all of the things that caused the anxiety in the first place, and when you BOMTYCC you don’t have time for that.

3. “You can’t go back, so go on!”

This has been a mantra for me. I can be nostalgic as all get out. The thing that can keep you frozen when you BOMTYCC is this grieving about the change in your situation. You tell yourself “ugh! Things used to be so much easier or simpler before.” Well guess what IT’S NOT ANYMORE #toughlove so stop trying to go back, stop trying to escape, and go forward, which leads to…

4. Do Something

Without fail you will never dig yourself out of the feeling of being overwhelmed unless you do SOMETHING. In your head all you can hear is “there’s so much to do”. In those instances when there isn’t an obvious first thing to do just do something. Once the ball is rolling you will see that you can climb the mountain, eat the elephant or whatever analogy you need to grab onto.

5. Find Cheerleaders!

Now I obviously don’t mean actual cheerleaders. That seems more like avoidance coupled with distraction and all types of unhealthy junk this blog isn’t addressing. #callahotline

Surround yourself with people who understand what you are going through and let them encourage you, let them remind you of scripture, let them buy your lunch and listen when you need it, let them into the dark parts that need the light.

Cheerleaders are NOT the other people who are in the same hole you are in. Cheerleaders are on the sidelines, teammates are in the game. Cheerleaders are not “nay-sayers”. The last thing you need is someone who is a constant beat down. Cheerleaders don’t use truth as a weapon.

The best cheerleaders are typically the ones who have been where you are and LIVED! 

6. Find Teammates

I almost didn’t include this one because it is such a fine line between teammates spurring eachother on and dragging each other down. #friendlyfire Everyone is wired a little differently and can be destroyed by a teammates tough love or by their defeat alongside you. Find teammates but be cautious of their influence. Make sure you have those strong cheerleaders.

7. Unplug

There is an inescapable constancy when you have BOMTYCC, but you MUST take the time to step back, take a deep breath, gain perspective by removing yourself.

I remember vividly after we had adopted our kids, my wife and I locked ourselves in our bathroom and just watched a show on Netflix together. The chaos that all 7 kids were raining on the house was gonna happen and when we got done watching an episode of New Girl it was still going to be there, but we were out of fight for 24 minutes and could step back into it after a breather to just feel normal for a second.

I will end with a passage of scripture that has always been in my hands growing up and if you aren’t a follower of a Jesus, I encourage you to download the Bible App. A relationship with Jesus goes deeper than 7 tips could ever go. Check out what is available to believers who lean into God.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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One thought on “When You’ve Bitten Off More Than You Can Chew and 7 Tips to Survive!

  1. Aric, so many of us will relate to this blog! I had to learn to just breathe and get put things in an order that was doable, say a prayer, and get going! God was always faithful, and we’d get’er done! But now, (as an old person 😦 ) I look back and think about all the times I had raising 4 very active teenagers, teaching school, directing Young Musicians at church, and singing in the choir and leading a Sunday School dept., I just think about the fun and happy times I had. I’ve forgotten all the BOMTYCC feelings! So hang in there and remember to BREATHE! Also, ask your dad about a youth trip when one of the kids won a HUGE stuffed gorilla at AstroWorld at the beginning of the tour. We were all excited, but then had to put up with that humongous thing all the rest of the time! I’ll bet he’ll remember!

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