9 Life Saving Tips for the Overwhelmed Mom
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Now that I am pregnant with my third child (who will also add our third boy into the mix!), I am more exhausted and overwhelmed than I have ever been as a mom! There are days when I can hardly bring myself to do just enough around the house to keep it somewhat manageable. Thank goodness for a husband who is a teacher with the summer off, otherwise we may be living in chaos!
When you’re overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to take a step back and look at what is stressing you out the most. Then, work on the most stressful thing and work your way down the list. It doesn’t have to happen overnight or in one day, but finding those stressors and addressing them can help immensely.
Make a to-do list before you start your day
My biggest stressor right now? Remembering to do everyday things that my pregnant brain seems to forget! It doesn’t help using my bullet journal has gone by the wayside as of late. I know it’s a big reason why I can’t seem to keep it together at home.
Making a to-do list either the night before or in the morning during breakfast helps me a ton to keep in mind what I need to get done that day. Whether you use a planner, have a bullet journal, set reminders with Siri or just use a post-it note, keeping a to-do list before your day starts can help you keep your sanity. Plus, it’s super satisfying to me to be able to cross something off my list!
Streamline your daily routine
I’m not big on keeping a daily “schedule” as a SAHM. It works for some and that’s really great. But I feel like the majority of moms I know are better off with a routine at home vs. a schedule. Streamlining a daily routine can be very beneficial to your sanity.
Maybe it’s as simple as putting a load of laundry in every day after lunch. Or putting dishes in the dishwasher after every use or doing it all at once after dinner in the evenings. Routines evolve into habits. And habits don’t let you forget. Which leads to you getting more things done during the day and resolving some of your stress.
Get more sleep
Ok, ok. I know you’re probably laughing at me. Gracious, I’m laughing at myself right now. But it is so true! When I get more sleep, I’m definitely less cranky and a more patient mom. I do tend to stay up later than everyone else in the house to have a little peace, but sometimes I do probably stay up way later than needed.
Whether you go to sleep earlier, take a power nap when the kids are napping, or whatever else you can squeeze in, getting more sleep will definitely help you feel less overwhelmed.
Meal plan ahead of time
Meal planning is essential to stopping not only overwhelm at home, but also at the grocery store! Without a plan, you’re a floundering fish just asking for trouble. You’ll probably spend more at the grocery store and then stand in the kitchen for 30 minutes trying to figure out what to cook every night.
A simple meal plan can help lessen that overwhelm and give you a way to automate dinnertime. Some people do weekly plans, monthly plans, even an entire year of plans! You can do a rotation (like Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, etc) or just plan what you want for when you want it. But whatever you do, plan!
Stop your phone addiction
Yep, I said it. You’re probably thinking “I’m not addicted to my phone! I check it every now and then, but I’m not addicted to it.” Ok, mama. How often have you stopped to check your Facebook or Instagram notifications and the next thing you know, an hour has lapsed, nothing has gotten done and you’re wondering where the time went?
I get it. I do a ton of work for my blog from my phone when I have a spare moment. As a homeschooling, SAHM who runs a blog, I use my phone a lot to get things done quickly. But make sure you’re not using “getting things done” as an excuse to waste time.
You can absolutely take a 10 minute break and lose yourself in Pinterest for a bit. Just don’t get so sucked in that you lose precious time getting your to-do list done or having some quality time with your kiddos.
Set aside independent play time for your kids that have dropped nap time
I cannot stress this one enough! While kids need independent play time anyway, use this time to your advantage. My 6 and 3 year olds do not nap anymore. Ugh. But we still have independant quiet play time every day from 1:30pm-3pm.
During this time, they go to their room and either play quietly together, build something with their Legos, or “read” books. Sometimes they will lay down and take a power nap if they were up late the night before and then woke up on time, but that happens few and far between.
This quiet time, though, gives me a chance to sit down and write out a blog post, fold laundry, do the dishes, clean up something or just plain rest and put my feet up for a minute (especially now I’m in my 3rd trimester!).
Get out of the house
This one is a sanity saver for me. I tend to take the boys out of the house for some sort of activity or shopping most days of the week. When we don’t, everyone gets stir crazy. And when the kids get worked up, I get overwhelmed.
So we get out. Sometimes, it’s just running to the store and grabbing something we need, but don’t necessarily need at that moment. Or we go to the park, the library, meet up with friends. Something.
Have a hobby or other activity for yourself
People talk about moms losing their identities, especially when they stay home full time. It’s easy to get into a groove and forget about yourself and your own interests. As moms, we need some sort of outlet.
Whether that outlet is a hobby, getting out with your friends once a month for dinner, having a side business, or something else, having something outside of your everyday can help lessen the stress and keep your overwhelm meter in check.
Keep your budget in check
Ah, budgeting. It comes easy for some and is a nightmare for others! I tend to lean more toward the nightmare end of the scale. When we can stick to a clear and defined budget, I feel so much less stress knowing that money is going where it is supposed to and we aren’t overspending on things we don’t need so we can save up for the things we do need to spend on.
Whether you use a website like Mint or a budgeting notebook, having a clear and set budget can help decrease your financial stress level. Because let’s face it, finances can be stressful but they don’t have to be when you’re keeping track of your cash flow and staying in a reasonable budget!
So, overwhelmed mom…
When it comes down to it, you have to find your stressors and do your best to eliminate them. Maybe yours are very similar to the 9 I mentioned above. Maybe they’re completely different things.
When your stress level decreases, enjoying your kids more and getting frustrated less tends to happen!
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