Hey Mama, if you’re tired of the chaos and want to stop feeling overwhelmed in your motherhood – you’ve landed in the right place. Since becoming a mother nine years ago, one of the things that has struck me more than anything is the acceptance to the overwhelm culture that most mothers now accept as their normality.
We seem to be hit from pressures and never ending to do’s from every angle of our parenting lives. Pressure to be a good mother, don’t yell at your kid’s – but don’t let them walk all over you! Lose the baby weight, but don’t obsess over your looks! Eat organic, don’t overload your house with too many chemicals. Get a veg box – make meals from scratch! Marie Kondo all your drawers! But don’t forget to play with your kids! They by the way now have the added pressure of a pandemic and social media to contend with in their childhood. I’m not even getting onto the demand that can be felt on top of this; financial, work, be a good partner, make new friends, even care for older relatives ALL THE FREAKIN THINGS. I don’t know about you but I’m more than ready to stop feeling overwhelmed. Let’s get off this hamster wheel for a second and regain some balance.
Lightening the heavy load.
Is it any wonder most Mothers are running round in survival mode, depleting their own needs at their own expense for everyone else’s happiness. Surviving on coffee and sugar to make it through to bedtime before they drown in chardonnay in front of Netflix too exhausted for anything else. I’m not judging, not at all. I’ve been there. So entrenched in tiredness and just making it through the day, feeding newborn twins throughout the night and forgetting what my name was – let alone making time for what used to make me “me”.
Because that’s how it’s supposed to be right? That’s what we are told, that’s what we are led to believe. From mum culture that’s saturates our society as we know it, it’s everywhere. At baby group, at the school gates, at the park, on our TVs, Instagram – even Pinterest. These things seem to be strategically placed around our lives to make us not only question our own judgement and instincts when it comes to being a parent – but also somehow reinforces the belief that it’s freaking NORMAL? That it’s ok to put ourselves last, survive on coffee and adrenaline and not remember when the last time we washed or brushed our hair (anyone perfected the “messy bun getting shit done” look?. ) It’s become such a normality we’ve become too tired to stop and question – is this actually normal? More importantly – “is this what I want”?
Errrrrr, NO! No, nope and no thankyou. Let’s focus on lightening the heavy load.
So how can we stop feeling overwhelmed? How can we pick ourselves off the roller coaster and start living the mum life we always wanted? Happy, easy, light. Tackling issues productively and confidently. Building connection with your children, friends and partner. Raising happy individuals. Feeling healthy. Living abundantly. Dropping the struggle? How do we pull ourselves out of the sleep deprived depths and start leaning into what we truly want?
First, let’s delve into our mindset – our motherhood mindset. Putting practical mindset shifts into easy to undertake tasks. Lets divide and conquer with some simple mindset and practical tips to help you stop feeling overwhelmed.
Getting clear on what you want with visualisation.
Ok, first let’s start with a little visualisation exercise. So find somewhere comfy and quiet (you may want to do this once the kids are in bed!) Maybe make your favourite drink or run yourself a bath – and get quiet. Lean into how you feel. Close your eyes and breathe deeply and try and clear your head. Now, I want you to imagine your ideal persona and being as a mum – and your ideal day.
Really get specific, how did you sleep – where do you live? What is your room like, how does it feel / smell? Where is everyone else in the house, are they still sleeping? How do you feel in your body? How are you spending your day? What’s your morning ritual? What do you eat, drink? What products are you using? How does your body feel? Where do you live? What’s your job? How do you interact with your children? How do they treat you and each other? What are they doing? Visualise all of this down to the little specific details, think about how they make you feel. When you have finished think about what came up for you, then hold onto the feeling. Start to feel and act like the person you visualised, because if that’s what you desired or aspired to – it’s already part of you.
Try this epic journal promt.
When I want to stop feeling overwhelmed or something isn’t sitting well with me, I try and clear some mental space by journaling. This is quite a new concept for me but it’s been a total game changer.
Start with the prompt:
“Wouldn’t it be great if…..” and see what comes up for you. These could be quite simple and actionable things like;
“Wouldn’t it be great if I had one morning to myself a week?”
“Wouldn’t it be great if I had time for a nice breakfast in the morning?”
“Wouldn’t it be great if my kids tidied their rooms.”
“Wouldn’t it be great to go running twice a week.”
Feel free to get bigger though, even if it feels silly:
“Wouldn’t it be great to live by the sea.”
“Wouldn’t it be great to spend x amount on food a month.”
“Wouldn’t it be great to de clutter and redecorate our house.”
“Wouldn’t it be great to have more children / renew our vows / take that dream holiday.” You get the jist.
This is a simple way to step outside of your day to day and really examine how you are feeling, where you want to go and what isn’t working for you. Once you’ve finished pick 2 or 3 things that really stand out for you – and brainstorm ways to make them a reality.
For example, if your house feels messy and out of control maybe you need to get the kids on board and come up with an action plan to de clutter.
If you want a morning to yourself, could you afford some childcare? Or set up an agreement with another friend where you trade off babysitting once a week for a few hours to run errands.
If you feel completely sleep deprived because of sleep issues could you hire a sleep coach or invest in an online sleep training course? Or even just ask a family member to do the morning school run so you can feel less stressed and rushed in the morning.
Write out some possible solutions and see what comes up for you, by coming up with solutions to areas that are overwhelm triggers for you – you are taking the power and control back over the situation.
Don’t forget to breathe.
WE often don’t give much thought to our breath, but all too often when overwhelm kicks in and our cortisol shoots up – our breathing becomes more shallow and we find it harder to focus. One thing that’s helped me stop feeling so overwhelmed in the day to day – is to focus on my breath. Even if just for a moment. So next time life gets crazy – the kids are tantruming, everyone’s hungry, things are piling up everywhere you look. Close you eyes for a second and breathe. Breathe and think of one thing you can do right now in that very moment to lighten the load. Maybe it’s getting everyone to help you pick Lego off the floor, or maybe it’s just eating something or making a hot cup of tea. Take a breath, and get that one thing done.
Incorperating some meditation into your day to slow down and focus on clearing space in your head can also be super beneficial. Just doing a quick 5 – 10 minute mindful visualisation from you tube in the morning every other day has helped hugely with my stress levels. I prefer to do one first thing in the morning as soon as I wake up, that’s just what works for me. It helps focus my mind for the day. I then set the tone and intention for how I want the day to go in my head – depending on what’s happening.
Switching to Gratitude.
I know gratitude is a bit of a trendy word that gets thrown around a lot lately but hear me out, it really has it’s place when fighting overwhelm and setting your mind into a more positive rhythm. For one week just try and think or write down three things you are grateful for in that moment – amongst all the chaos.
The kids might be running havoc with your house and there are toys strewn about everywhere, but this may make you feel grateful for their health – or happiness. Your house might feel too small and you want to move – but is your bed a soft and cosy place you like to revel in at night. Instead of dreading the grocery shop, try and feel joy at having the money to make it happen. It can be anything really, but it’s useful in lowering overwhelm by trying to make your brain look at things in a different way. When we start practicing gratitude you’ll find your energy starts to shift and you become more positive. Helpful when trying not to sweat the small stuff.
Quick & Practical overwhelm fixes:
- Start a Sunday night prep system! Giving you a head start on the week – Allie Cazazza does a fantastic podcast on this subject which you can listen to here …… Just spend an hour or so planning meals and activities, shopping etc for the following week. Maybe get a big white board for the fridge to put everything on so everyone knows whats going on in the week ahead.
- Pick a couple of quieter hours during the week to meal prep, I’ll delve into this more in depth another time but it really is a game changer. I turned my nose up at the notion of it for year but I’ll never go back! Buy a magnetic planner for your fridge and write it all down there. For inspiration I love Emily Norris’s You Tube channel – she has some good tutorials on this that are simple and easy to follow like this one.
- Spend 15 minutes going though your social medial accounts. Unfollow anything or anyone that makes you feel overwhelmed about life in any way. Follow people and things to help and inspire you, not accounts that dredge up feelings of FOMO or inadequacy.
- Sit down at the start of the month and form a budget plan so you know exactly whats going where. You can read my family money tips blog here for ideas.
- Give older children a specific task in the house as their chore to help out. Such as unloading the dishwasher in the morning or tidying up the toy space at the end of the day.
- Start a paperwork system! Are your bills and statements overflowing on the kitchen counter? Create a filing system and ditch what you don’t need. A great tip is to have an organiser on the wall by the front door with different segments for open / file / shread / action / post.
- Pick 1 – 2 hours per week as a dedicated de clutter time. More stuff = more things = more cleaning. If you don’t use it and it doesn’t fit your lifestyle or is broken, say goodbye.
- Organise your clothes with drawer organiser’s. This saves a huge amount of time searching for the right top or pants when you are battling the morning rush.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and put away anything in the wrong place.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and clear down all the kitchen work spaces.
- If kitchen chaos is starting to overwhelm you after dinner, crank up some music and have a dance party while you’re at it.
Letting the small things go.
Remember, when it all gets too much learn to release and let go. In order to stop feeling overwhelmed make peace with the fact that you will never please everyone (why would you even want to?), be together all the time or have a perfectly tidy instagrammable house and that’s more than ok. You are human. When you start to climb the walls at 6pm because the kitchen is a giant mess and the laundry is piling up by your ankles, or your work life has been too much to take on that day, or your little’s have thrown a multitude of tantrums – don’t feel bad for putting the TV on and pausing for five seconds. It’s really ok that your children are watching Trolls with some chocolate buttons for half an hour while you sip some tea, they’ll be fine. You got this mama xo
Thanks for stopping by at my corner of the internet, I’m Maz – you can read about me here – it’s my mission to lift the lid on motherhood and make your parenting journey easier. Stick around for recipes, hacks and tips and truths on simplifying motherhood and twin parenting.
If you enjoyed this blog pop me a message or comment – I’d love to hear from you! You’ll also love My Tips on letting go of mum guilt – which you can read about here. You can find me on my Instagram at @twinsandthings13.com so drop by there and we can virtually hang out! To never miss a blog join the twins and things community here, see ya soon mama x
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