I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY OVERWHELMED STAY AT HOME MOM OUT THERE.HERE ARE 7 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO AVOID BURNOUT.
Are you a stay at home mom who’s at her wits end?
If you’ve reached the point where everything just sucks and you can’t understand why you wanted to be a stay at home mom in the first place, then you know exactly what I am talking about.
And let me tell you, countless moms are in the same boat as you.
Unfortunately, some of them have resigned themselves to their fate because they think this is how it’s supposed to be, or maybe they are too ashamed to admit they are overwhelmed.
But you don’t have to settle for a life of overwhelm and stress. It’s possible to turn things around.
All you have to do is make some changes to the way you have been doing things so you can go back to rocking the stay at home mom life.
So if you’re tired of being a stay at home mom and ready to make some changes, let’s look at some ways you can do that.
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SIMPLE FIXES FOR THE OVERWHELMED STAY AT HOME MOM
1. STOP LIVING IN DENIAL
I used to think that as a mom (especially a stay at home mom), I wasn’t allowed to show any weakness.
I thought I wasn’t supposed to feel tired, overwhelmed or complain about anything because as a stay at home mom, I had all the time in the world to get everything done.
Life was supposed to be perfect since I had the privilege of staying at home full time.
The problem was, life wasn’t perfect.
I felt tired and overwhelmed because of all the things I thought I had to do to create a perfect life for me and my family.
So, even as I was crying for help inside, I continued to pretend and act like everything was okay.
When my friends or relatives would ask me how I was doing, I smiled and told them everything was great. I assured them I was living my best life.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
One morning, I woke up, thinking I’d just carry on with my day as usual.
Except I couldn’t.
I had reached my limit and I knew I had to to stop pretending everything was okay.
I felt ashamed and guilty because I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. I also felt like a failure.
But after a few minutes of wallowing in self-pity, my feelings changed. I felt relieved and like a big burden had been lifted off my shoulders.
Living in denial sucks!
When you live in denial, you can’t make any progress.
Instead you stay stuck, going around in circles because you’re too scared or ashamed to admit that you don’t have all the answers.
We’ve all fallen victim to denial at one point or the other. The problem is, denial only makes things worse and not better.
Admitting you’re overwhelmed doesn’t make you a bad mom or wife. It just means you’re ready to reassess your life and make some changes.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed being a stay at home mom, I want you to know there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you and it’s okay to admit it.
If you are tired of your current situation, it’s time to start thinking of what you can do to help you get back to being a happy mom.
2. IDENTIFY THE CAUSE OF YOUR OVERWHELM
As a stay at home mom, you have to wear so many hats. Juggling so many responsibilities can be difficult.
While it’s true that I enjoy a lot of things about being a stay at home mom, I don’t enjoy everything. I am sure it’s the same for you.
That’s why I think it’s a good idea to take a step back and try to figure out what’s causing you to feel overwhelmed.
Because what you think is causing your overwhelm may not be the real reason.
Here are some things for you to think about:
Are there particular areas of your life you struggle with the most? Do some things cause you to feel more stressed than others?
For example, do you struggle to keep your home clean and organized, or do you struggle to manage your budget and live on one income?
Are you stressed out taking care of your kids alone for most of the day while also trying to run your household perfectly?
Are you stressed about meal times because you aren’t meal planning or thinking ahead?
Do you find yourself always rushing and frazzled because you don’t have systems or daily routines?
Identifying the cause of your overwhelm will help you to know the areas you need help with so you can relieve some of the pressure.
One other thing to consider is the likelihood of an underlying medical condition.
Here is what I mean:
There was a time when I felt more tired and overwhelmed than usual. It turned out I was suffering from iron-deficiency anemia.
While this wasn’t the only reason I felt overwhelmed, it was a big part of it.
I felt better as soon as I started taking some iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods.
When you’re physically tired, you tend to feel more overwhelmed with your day-to-day tasks.
So if you think this might be an issue, try to have a medical checkup to rule out any medical condition.
Whatever the cause of your overwhelm is, the first step to making changes is to identify what it is, so you can figure out a way to get rid of it, or at least reduce the pressure.
3. LET GO OF SOME THINGS
It’s possible one of the reasons you feel overwhelmed is you may have bought into the myth that you can have it all and do it all.
I wish things were really that simple.
I have been a mom for more than thirteen years and I still haven’t found a way to do it all!
Moms everywhere are stressed out because they are trying to live up to standards and expectations set by our society or other people even when it isn’t realistic for them.
If you’re juggling too many balls in the air and feeling like you’re about to lose your mind, here is your permission to let some things go.
One of the best things I have done for me and my family is to streamline our activities.
For example, you don’t have to sign up for play dates, extra-curricular activities and other activities multiple times a week, unless you enjoy rushing from one activity to the other and not having any down time.
For me, I find that when I sign up or commit to too many things at the same time, life becomes overwhelming and a bit unmanageable.
I really believe that one of the main cause of stay at home mom burnout is trying to do too many things at the same time.
So how do you streamline your activities so you can have more time and feel less overwhelmed?
Start by doing an audit of all your activities and how you spend your days.
Don’t let the word audit scare you. It simply means taking an honest and critical look at all your commitments (by that, I mean everything you or your kids are signed up for).
Now ask yourself “How much do all these things matter?”
Are all these commitments essential for me and my family’s general well being? Do we really need all these things?
If the answer is no, you need to let some of those tasks or activities go.
Let go of everything you feel obligated to do but you don’t really enjoy, or maybe it takes too much of your time and is really not a necessity (in other words, you don’t need to do it but you choose to do it for one reason or the other).
Let me tell you what happens when you let go of things you don’t really need.
You get more time to do the things you enjoy and are important to you.
When you stop stretching yourself thin, trying to do too many things at once, you find you no longer feel overwhelmed like you used to.
You may even find that you now have time to complete that project you’ve been putting off.
When you have more time, you will find things like caring for your children and keeping your home clean and tidy aren’t so exhausting anymore.
When you let go of some things, then you can focus on the things that really matter to you and you can even fit in some down time to just relax and breathe.
4. SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
One of the best ways to beat overwhelm is to simplify your life. When you embrace simplicity, life becomes more manageable and less stressful.
So how can you simplify your life?
There are so many ways you can simplify your life to reduce stress and feel less overwhelmed.
In the last few years I have learned to live with less stuff. Instead of amassing a lot of stuff that I don’t need, I started getting rid of stuff and decluttering my home and life.
For example, I stopped buying lots of toys for my kids and focused on creating memorable experiences.
When you declutter your home, cleaning and organizing becomes much easier and less time-consuming.
I also simplified the way I did things because I realized that another cause of overwhelm is not only doing too many things at once, but doing them in the hardest possible way.
Let me give you an example.
As a stay at home/work from home and homeschooling mom, I really don’t have the time to make all our meals from scratch even if I wanted to.
I also don’t have the time to cook every single day, that’s why I have embraced batch cooking and making simple meals like sandwiches etc.
Basically, I plan out a time to cook most of our meals for the week and freeze them. This way, when meal time arrives, all I need to do is defrost and microwave or oven cook already prepared meals.
With batch cooking, I avoid buying unhealthy ready meals and also save lots of time in the process.
If batch cooking sounds like a lot of work, it really isn’t. All you need is some meal planning,a shopping list, time and some awesome best rated freezer containers like these ones.
Some other ways you can simplify your life include:sending your kids to public school instead of homeschooling, decluttering your wardrobe and starting a capsule wardrobe and so on.
There are so many ways you can simplify your life to reduce stress. Just take an honest look at your life and figure out the changes you need to make.
5. TAKE A BREAK
One of the hardest things about being a stay at home mom is the feeling that you’re always on a call.
Just when you think you’re going to get a little break or something, you hear a cry, scream or someone yelling your name. It’s never ending.
No matter how much you love staying at home with your kids, after a while everything begins to take a toll on you. This is why you need to take a break sometimes.
Now I am not asking you to take a vacation alone for weeks or anything like that but you can certainly take a break for a few days.
You can go visit family for a few days, attend a conference or go on a retreat with the women’s group in your church.
Another easy way to take a break is to ask for help or delegate! Don’t feel like you have to do everything all by yourself because you stay at home all day.
You can ask your husband for help, assign age-appropriate chores to your kids and use paid help like a babysitter (if you can afford it).
We all need a break to refresh and reset every so often so make that a priority in your life.
One of the things I do to make sure I get a break every now and then is to actually schedule it in my calendar. I have to be intentional about it or I won’t do it.
As a mom, there’s always one more thing to do, one more task to complete but they will still be there after your break.
So if you’re feeling ragged and running on fumes, it’s time for a break. What can you do to refresh yourself?
6. DITCH THE GUILT
There are many reasons why you should be a stay at home mom but guilt isn’t one of them.
One of the reasons you may feel overwhelmed as a stay at home mom is because you’re discontented.
While you love being a stay at home mom, you long for more.You don’t want to be just a stay at home mom and that’s totally fine.
It’s okay to desire more or to want to be something other than just a mom. It doesn’t make you a bad mom so you can let go of the guilt.
What you need to do is think of what else you want to be. What will make you happy and content?
What other roles would you like to combine with your mommy role?
For example, maybe you gave up your career goals or some other dream to become a stay at home mom (it’s what most moms do). Is there a way to revive some of those goals or pursue your dreams and still be a stay at home mom?
Or maybe you really don’t like being a stay at home mom and would prefer to work outside the home. If that’s the case, you need to be honest and have a discussion with your husband.
Whatever the case is, if you want to stop feeling overwhelmed and stressed out you have to ditch the guilt. It’s an extra burden that you don’t need in your life.
7. STOP STRIVING FOR BALANCE
As a stay at home and work at home mom, I am constantly striving for balance, but I am beginning to think that balance is overrated.
I know that sounds like blasphemy, but the truth is, every season of your life is different. Sometimes one thing is more important than the others.
Instead of striving for balance in every area of your life, focus on and prioritize what is important at specific times.
Everything in your life won’t be perfectly aligned at the same time. Something has to take a back seat whether you like it or not.
Let me illustrate this.
There are times when I am more focused on my kids schooling and other activities. During those times, things like keeping an organized home and working may have to take a back seat.
If I try to give equal attention to everything, I’d be setting myself up to fail and be frustrated.
So instead of trying to balance everything, I have found what works for me is to set goals and align my actions/activities with my goals for that specific period.
This is one way to reduce stress and enjoy spending time with your kids.
Take a good look at everything you’re doing right now. Ask yourself ” Am I juggling too many balls? ”
If the answer is yes, let some stuff go for now and focus on what is most important right now.
FINAL TIPS FOR THE OVERWHELMED STAY AT HOME MOM
Life would be so much easier if we had more time to do everything we wanted. Since that isn’t the case, it’s up to us to make adjustments to the way we do life so we don’t become overwhelmed.
I am sure some of you don’t need to use every single tip and that’s good. But no matter what you do, don’t resign yourself to a miserable life. The 7 fixes above may take some time to implement but it’s worth the effort.
Just start with the first thing that would make the biggest difference in your life and go from there.
What do you need to change in your life to stop feeling overwhelmed? Let me know in the comments.