Some days I feel like I’m absolutely smashing being a Mum and other days I feel so overwhelmed I want to hide in a corner and hope it’s all gone away when I emerge. Sound familiar? Being a parent is hard, there are just so many things to think about; school admin, washing, what’s for dinner, your job. Ever feel like you’ve got so much to do that you don’t know where to start so you don’t and then kick yourself for it later? Me too. If I happen to be having a high anxiety day aswell then I can feel like I’m drowning in stuff to do. To combat all of these feelings and to beat that overwhelm I have 3 things that help and by sharing them hopefully they will help you too.
Start each day with a list
I bang on about lists a lot but lists save lives, okay well maybe not but they will definitely save your sanity. Starting the day with a list puts you in the right frame of mind from the get go. But remember to be realistic. You only have so many hours in a day and setting yourself unachievable goals will not help with the overwhelm. The key I have found is to prioritise. At the top of your list write down everything that has to be done; making the packed lunches, putting a load of washing on, picking up something for dinner. Then after those things put down the things that you would ideally like to get done. If you don’t manage them all, leave them to be put onto the next days list. We all know how satisfying ticking things off a list can be, just ask Mrs Hinch so find yourself a notepad and a pen and get writing.
Give yourself some structure
We are creatures of habit; structure makes us feel safe. But that’s not really why I’m suggesting giving yourself some structure. I’m suggesting it to make your life easier. Giving yourself mini routines for different parts of the day can really help you keep on top of things and the more you do them the more you will do them without even thinking. Having a morning routine to get you all out of the door means there will be less stressful shouting for the kids to find their shoes. Having an evening routine will make sure things are set up for the morning too. These things will only take a few minutes out of your evening or morning to set up but they will make your day so much easier. You could also give yourself a cleaning routine or follow one that you have found online. Meal planning for the week makes the ‘what’s for dinner?’ conversations less frequent and it will probably save you money too because there will be less panicked trips to the supermarket where you come out with dinner but also 10 other items you didn’t need; Aldi middle aisle anyone?
Take a break
Taking a break might seem counter productive but we can only go at full speed for too long. Stop, reset and then pick up that list and start again. If the overwhelm really does feel too much then step away from everything you need to do for half an hour. Stick the kettle on, watch trashy TV and eat a cream egg. Everything will feel a bit more achievable after that. And remember you are not alone, we are all looking for extra hours in our days.