Are you an overwhelmed mom? So am I, sometimes. There are days when I feel like one of those circus plate spinners working like crazy to keep all of my plates spinning, all the while knowing that, inevitably, they will all come crashing down around me, because I can’t keep up. Are you with me??
What if I told you I have discovered a process that keeps me from feeling like the plate spinner? The plates are all still there. Well, most of them are, but I am able to see things a little more clearly.
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Strategies to for the Overwhelmed Mom
Maybe you read my post about the five questions we should ask ourselves when we feel overwhelmed. Maybe those questions helped and you were able to simplify your schedule, but maybe not. Sometimes, even when we have carefully evaluated our time and seen that we do in fact have enough time to accomplish all of our tasks, commitments, and responsibilities, we still feel overwhelmed, and that’s okay. This is the point where we need some strategies to deal with the feeling.
1. Just Stop!
Stop taking on more. This was the most difficult thing for me to do. You have to learn to say no. You may even be saying no to some really good things, like helping more at church, volunteering to serve in some capacity for an activity for your children, or even starting a new business. This strategy is just like decluttering your house. In order to dig out of the clutter, you have to stop bringing things in.
2. Write It All Down
Write down on a piece of paper or type it into your iphone notes all the things that are on your list of overwhelming tasks. I am an old school, journaling, pen and paper type girl. Either way, the point is that you get everything written out so you can really see what you have to do. It is very important that you do not leave anything out. If it’s just one large looming task overwhelming you, write that down. If not and you are overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you need to accomplish, write down every. single. one.
3. Declutter Your Life
Take a long, realistic look at your list. Are there things on the list that aren’t necessary? Are there things that you really don’t want to do and you don’t have to? Eliminate those things. Sometimes eliminating the clutter isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you are over-committed and the clutter you are clearing is commitments. It isn’t always easy to let go of commitments, especially when you may be disappointing someone. Here are a few ways to get it done:
- Speak to people in person when possible or at least with a phone call. Texts are impersonal and don’t make people feel valued.
- Tell people as soon as possible so they can begin the process of replacing you.
- Be honest. Everyone has been overwhelmed and over-committed. It is likely your situation will be easily understood.
- Offer ideas of alternative people to fill your role.
- Be confident. Make the decision and stick to it.
Look back at step 2 and either take the one large looming task and break it down into bite sized chunks and prioritize those or take the large group of tasks that are weighing you down and prioritize them in order of importance. Once you have a prioritized list, it is easy to see what must be done first.
Tip: If none of your tasks are clearly a priority, prioritize those tasks that you dislike or dread the most first.
5. Schedule It
Schedule a time to work on the your task list. Sometimes doing one thing each day or just allotting 30 minutes each day to your personal task list can be a game changer. You may even need to schedule large chunks of time to get caught up on tasks. Either way, you need a schedule. The biggest mistake I made when I left my corporate job to be a stay-at-home-mom was thinking I didn’t need a schedule my days.
6. Ask for Help
You may be looking at your list and realizing that there is no way possible you can get it all done, even if you break it down. There may be items on the list that really are outside of your toolbox. This is where you ask for help. Asking for help or delegating tasks to others is not failure. It’s just smart. Here are some ways to ask others for help:
- Declare a catch up day. Stop everything in your house for one day and have everyone pitch in to help you catch up. This will teach your kids about teamwork and serving others.
- Talk to your husband. There may be things he can do to help you.
- Pay an older to take on a specific task.
- Make sure you have assigned chores for everyone in your house.
- Hire outside help. I have personally never done this, but I know lots of moms who have a mother’s helper come in once or twice a week.
7. Take Time to Breathe and Pray
This last step may be the most important strategy of the entire list. Dealing with overwhelm is usually always a psychological and spiritual battle. Oftentimes, if we can just clear our heads and think, our world will come into focus. Taking some time for yourself to just sit and pray, asking God for guidance, and just focusing on something else for a time can give a fresh perspective and allow you to see things a bit more clearly.
Life is hectic, especially for moms. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but taking the time to stop and take a real look at the issues and gain some perspective can make all the difference. Feel free to join our facebook community where we talk about solutions for every day life and subscribe to our mailing list below so you never miss a post.