Are you an overwhelmed mum?
It’s 5pm, the dinner is starting to boil over on the stove, the kids are bickering about who touched who and the dog is whining to be fed. Before you know it, you’re yelling at the top of your voice for some peace and quiet. Then you shut down, retreat to your digital device for some mindless scrolling, or reach into the cupboard for a sweet treat to tide you over.
Don’t feel bad. Every parent gets overwhelmed sometimes. Like you, I’m a busy mum trying to juggle work, home and kids. I’ve often felt stressed out, snowed under and like I was doing so much but achieving so little. I hated it.
Three pivotal points in my life helped me realise I needed to calm the chaos. Making small and simple changes have helped me to feel calmer than ever and more present with my kids.
How many hours are there in a day?
Rewind to four years ago: My daughter was at kinder, my son was a toddler and I was teaching part-time. I was also (somehow) on the kinder fundraising committee, secretary of the local toy library and wedding planning. At the time I had zero boundaries and said ‘yes’ to everything. Guess what? I took on too much. I was doing the do but actually felt like I was dropping the ball all the time. The change came when, after our wedding, our son was diagnosed with Perthes Disease. I sifted through The To Do List and how it all made me feel. The result? No more extra commitments + simple meal preparation tweaks = more time, feelings of calm and actual productiveness.
When my son started kinder I decided to study Wellness Coaching (as well as teaching part-time). The strenuous workload resulted in skipping lunch. But, guess who turned up at 3 pm? Those sugar cravings. Internally, my immune system shut down and I was getting sick often. So, I switched my exercise from night to morning, ate a more fulfilling breakfast and nibbled on high-energy nutritious snacks during the day so I wasn’t running on empty.
With both kids at school last year, their extra-curricular activities ramped up. My business was in its infancy and I was teaching three days a week. When we’d get home at night, I would turn into a snappy, crazy, screaming mum. I’d also forget simple stuff like assembly and to message people back (even though I had a diary and a reminder on my phone). I had to find time to switch off, give my brain a break (from thinking about The To-Do List), and focus on being more mindful.
Does any of this resonate with you? How do you deal with being an overwhelmed mum? I’d love to hear your thoughts.