Recently I’ve been asked for my tips for getting through the day when I feel overwhelmed as a mother / stay at home mum / homemaker / homeschooling mum. As mothers we can get so easily overwhelmed and feel like our days are just filled with repetitive, never ending chores.
You know, we forget that when a baby is born, a mother is also born. And while many women take to the role with great ease, there are many women who find themselves struggling with loss of identity, relationships changing around them, as well as the struggles of everyday life.
It can be isolating and lonely to be at home with the kids all the time, doing what feels like the same tasks over and over again. We laugh about it, we make funny memes about it (remember the one: “cleaning your house when the kids are home is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos”?) but that doesn’t make it easier or less lonely. Especially when the kids are so young, that getting out of the house is a chore of its’ own.
I might not have little kids anymore, but there was a stage in my life when I had three kids under the age of four, in a new town, 600km away from closest family and friends. So I do know a little something about getting through the day when the overwhelm and loneliness kick in!
Talk to those around you! Most importantly: communicate with your husband/partner about the things you need from him. Tell him how you’re feeling. You’re in this together and not telling him how you’re feeling and what your needs are will only build resentment in you and drive a wedge between you. Also, talk to your friends. Do you feel forgotten and lonely? Sad? Often, friends stop visiting/calling new mums because they’re afraid to do so at the wrong time, knowing you have your hands full. Let them know how you feel and that you would love to catch up!
Seize the early mornings for yourself
For a more productive day, set your alarm to go off before everyone else is up! Yes, it will be hard in the beginning, but after a few quiet and intentional mornings centred around you, with time to have a hot cup of coffee and get things done that will make your day run smoother, you will find that you are looking forward to your early mornings! If you would like to take your mornings to the next level, try having Miracle Mornings as per Hal Elrod’s book.
For more information, read the blog post: Miracle Morning – the best start to your morning!
PS: Don’t worry if your kids are super early risers! The thing about Miracle Mornings is that you can have them at any time of the day! So, don’t get discouraged by the word “morning”!
Think ‘little’: have a list of little jobs on stand-by
When you’re in the season of life when your kids are very little you can’t plan big tasks that take big chunks of time. Life as a parent of young kids is unpredictable and your plans needs to be fluid, rather than solid. If you have things that need to be done, list them in chunks that will take about 10, 15 or 30 minutes at a time. Then, when you find yourself having that bit of time, do a task from your list. Slowly but surely you will progress through the tasks. Just remember: don’t bring yourself down when you have a tougher day and don’t get to any of your tasks! There’s always tomorrow!
Give yourself grace.
Moving on from the previous tip, if you have a tougher day: give yourself grace. Understand that this is just a season of your life and that it will not last forever. It will get better. It will get easier. So at this difficult season of your life do whatever you need to do to survive and thrive. If, on a particular day, that means cuddling your baby and watching Netflix all day, so be it! Give yourself grace.
Purge your home.
It’s not a secret that minimising our possessions saved my sanity! Having said that, I don’t want this point to overwhelm you. I don’t want you looking at your home thinking “Oh my god, I will never achieve minimalism!”. This is not something you need to achieve in a set amount of time!
You can include minimising your home in your list of tasks that take 10, 15 or 30 minutes. The trick is to set a timer and move fast. You will be amazed by how much you can achieve in those little, elusive pockets of time. Spend just 10 minutes putting toys for donation in a bag and pop them straight in the boot of your car. Take 10 minutes looking through one bathroom drawer throwing out rubbish and expired makeup. It will be that much less weight on your shoulders. Do the same again tomorrow. Little steps are what you need right now.
You may like to read more about the benefits of minimalism for mums here: Minimalist mum: The importance of minimalism for mums, but in the meantime I have a gift for you:
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