Three Easy Steps to Help When Your Feeling Overwhelmed as a Mum

circles of wellness | feeling-overwhelmed
Rewind to five years ago and I was constantly snapping at my kids, yelling at the top of my voice for some peace and quiet, turning up to appointments on a wrong day and falling on the couch at the end of the day completely exhausted.
I was an overwhelmed mum who was unhappy and felt stuck. I’d managed to get into a cycle of measuring my self-worth and value from how much I could get done. I knew I needed to make some changes.
I started by making small and simple changes around three areas of my life so I’d feel more focused, organised and have more energy. Now I feel less overwhelmed, more productive and more present with my family. I value myself through who I’m BEING rather than what I’m DOING. There’s always space to review, tweak and improve, but improving your energy, time and attention is a good base to build from.

More Time

When my daughter was at kinder, my son was a toddler and I was teaching Physical Education part-time. I was also (somehow) on the kinder fundraising committee, secretary of the local toy library and wedding planning for our own wedding. At that time in my life, I had zero boundaries and said ‘yes’ to everything. Guess what? I took on too much. I had NO TIME. I was running myself into the ground and I felt like I was doing so much but achieving very little. After our wedding, our son was diagnosed with Perthes Disease (when the blood is temporarily disrupted to the femur and bone cells die). I started to unpack what I had on my plate, and how it was making me feel. I dropped the extra commitments and made some simple meal preparation tweaks, started to follow a washing routine and began using a shared calendar for our families activities. Through sharing the load and simplifying how we do things, I’ve created more ease for myself and our family.

command centre | feeling-overwhelmed

Feel Energised

When my son started kinder I decided to study Wellness Coaching (as well as teaching). The strenuous workload resulted in skipping lunch or just grabbing something on the go. But, guess what turned up at 3 pm? Sugar cravings. Internally, my immune system shut down and I was getting sick often. I knew it was time to change, so I started to meal prep my lunches and snacks on the weekend. I now eat a more fulfilling breakfast, healthy prepared lunch and snack on high-energy nutritious food like nuts, chia pudding and smoothies so I’m not running on empty or grabbing a sweet treat all the time.

berry smoothie | feeling-overwhelmed

Photo credit - flickr

Exercise has always been an important part of my life (I suppose that’s why I become a Physical Education teacher)! I love the boost of energy and how much easier it is to concentrate after doing exercise in the morning. Fueling up on healthy, sustaining food makes keeping up with my exercise routine so much easier and enjoyable. 

Fueling up isn’t just about good food, it’s also about that all-important sleep. Sleep has been something I’d often sacrifice for more time since I became a mum, until recently. I used to do jobs or be on the computer till late in the night. I now have a bedtime ritual that includes reading, journaling and listening to a Yoga Nidra meditation. I look forward to bedtime and sleep since starting my ritual. It makes falling asleep easier and I wake up feeling more energised.

Attention Mum!

Over a year ago our son was diagnosed with Autism. To better support him I needed to switch off and give my brain a break, so I could be more patient when holding space for him. I started to practice Yoga Nidra, a form of sleep meditation where your body rests and your mind benefits from meditation. I’m now more focused on the present moment and less anxious. I can take time off thinking about my ever-growing ‘to-do’ list and just live in the moment. 

yoga nidra class | feeling-overwhelmed

Gratitude is something we started to practice several years ago as a family. At dinner time we share our favorite parts of our day and something we’re thankful for. I’ve also started to do this in a journal either before going to sleep or first thing in the morning for myself. These simple gratitude practices have helped our children feel more connected at dinner time. There’s plenty of research that suggests this is increasing our happiness too. 

These three easy steps are designed to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed as a mum. They’ve helped me a long way in my journey! Making small and simple tweaks to the area that you feel is out of balance will help you feel more energised, organised or focused. You’re only a few simple steps away from being a calmer, happier and more productive mum!

To be able to start a bedtime ritual or plan nutritious weekly meals or start a regular exercise routine you need space and time out from the daily juggle. The Mums’ Coaching Circle group will give you that space, support and motivation to start the things you’ve been talking about. Click HERE to learn more about the next Mums’ Coaching Circle.

Looking for support, connection and conversation? Join my Simply Happy Mums Facebook group.

Which small and simple tweak would you like to try? I’d love to hear your thoughts, or help you on your own journey like mine! 

Simple steps to organize your family with easy routines

bucket of cleaning equipment | family-routines

Being a mum is like taking on multiple demanding careers… You’re a chef, cleaner, Uber driver, events coordinator, teacher and basically anything else your family needs. It’s no wonder that your to-do list feels never-ending and you fall on the couch exhausted at the end of each day!

I used to feel just like this too… until I learnt how to unbusy myself. Unbusying yourself isn’t about giving up important things, it’s about prioritizing, delegating and looking after your own needs. 
You’ll need to evaluate and develop your family routine so you aren’t left doing all the work. Routines can take some effort to create. But once you’ve set them up, they have lots of benefits like:
    • Feeling organised and in control
    • Reduced stress
    • Sharing the workload
    • No more exhaustion
  • Extra time for yourself and the things you love
Convinced it’s time to create or review your family routines? Let’s break it down…

What are your families routines?

Routines are how families organize themselves to get things done, spend time together and have fun. Every family has its own unique routines. Your family might have daily routines for work and school mornings, bath time, bedtime and mealtimes. You might also have weekly routines for washing, cleaning, meal preparation and calendar organisation. A well-run routine helps family members know who needs to do what, when, and how often.  Daily, weekly and even monthly routines develop with repetition and practice.

mum doing chores | family-routines

Why are routines so important for children?

Routines let your children know what’s important to your family. These can help strengthen your shared beliefs and values and build a sense of belonging and togetherness. 

An organised and predictable home environment helps children and teenagers feel safe, secure and looked after- particularly in stressful times or during difficult stages of development, like puberty. Routines can be extremely useful for children with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other developmental delays. These children thrive with structure and predictability. 

Routines can be really fun! They help strengthen family relationships and increase quality time spent together. Routines have created special memories in my family. Both my children still love a story being read to them at bedtime and my son also enjoys going for a hot chocolate and lemon tart after playing football on a Saturday morning. 

It can be tricky to get your kids to keep up with household chore routines, but it’s hugely beneficial. It helps children and teenagers develop a sense of responsibility, independence, and time management skills. They’ll continue to use these skills throughout their life. My children select a new age-appropriate chore at the beginning of each year to add to their routine. My son’s new chore this year is to put up a new affirmation card on a Friday, whereas my daughter cooks something over the weekend to have in their lunchboxes. 

boy selecting affirmation | family-routines

Family Routines to start with…

Meal planning: Getting ahead of weekly meals saves you time, energy and money. Having routines around meals allows you to simplify the shopping process, food preparation and dinner time.

House maintenance: There are lots of small household routines that can be shared with the whole family. These routines help to reduce clutter and keep our homes organised so that everyone is more productive and less stressed.

Clothing: How else will you have clean clothes to wear each day? A clothes routine means less running around trying to get school/work clothes dry at the last minute! 

Activities: Caring for children involves routines like school lunches, helping with homework, after school activities, driving, and waiting and helping at activities. Following a routine makes all these extra activities feel like second nature!

children’s lunchbox | family-routines
Photo credit -www.therootcause.com.au

Errands: It can sometimes feel like there are hundreds of little errands every week like shopping, appointments and projects. Creating and sharing an errand routine makes it much more manageable.

Caring: There’s caring for pets, keeping up the families hygiene/washing, providing support for everyone and all that self-care like exercise, grooming and downtime. Sound like a lot? Not when it’s developed into a routine.

Ready to get started?

I suggest you select one area of routines to start with. Review how they are going after a fortnight and make minor tweaks before moving onto the next.

If you feel like you can never stay on top of things and are always frantically trying to keep up with that never-ending to-do list, my “Unbusy Checklist” will be a lifesaver. In just a few minutes, you can map out your family’s entire routines so that you know exactly who needs to do what and when… no more nights of you falling on the couch exhausted from doing it ALL.

Missed a post? You can check out my other Simply Happy blog posts like ‘Get your family organised with a command centre’ HERE.

Which family routine do you want to work on? Let me know in the comments!