Ah, the mental load, the emotional labour we deal with as moms. It’s not only about what needs to get done but also about planning, organizing, and remembering random things that become a seemingly endless mental to-do list. It’s no wonder why you are an overwhelmed mom. It’s like your brain is working overtime to ensure the ship doesn’t sink. It can leave us feeling drained and overwhelmed, and if you are anything like me, the longer the list, the more tempting it is to procrastinate. In this case, the ideal course of action is to take small steps regularly to avoid tasks piling up too high. Here are a few tips to help you feel less overwhelmed that you can try right now.
Write it down
When it seems like you have too many things to tackle, it helps to make a good old to-do list. Write down all the things, then sort them by priority, dealing with the most critical first. Delegate what you can and ask yourself if everything on the list is worth your time and effort. Learning to let go of insignificant tasks is essential for a mom’s well-being.
Don’t let it accumulate
Getting into the habit of doing tasks soon as possible can help release a lot of pressure. A great trick is to implement the one-touch rule. It is pretty self-explanatory; the concept is only to touch things once. Let’s say you are clearing the table after a meal, and place the dishes straight into the dishwasher instead of piling them up for later. Put ingredients away as soon as you are done with them while cooking. When they are dry, fold clothes instead of taking them out of the machine, placing them on a chair, then moving them from the chair into a basket, and so on. Get the family in on this as well. The one-touch rule is such a great habit and will give you more time for yourself at the end of the day.
Get the family involved
Your home should work as a little community. Everyone needs to lend a hand, so get your kids to do their part. Start them young; here is a list of age-appropriate chores for children. It will allow them to develop their sense of responsibility and remind them that you are not the family slave. In a few years, you’ll be sipping your wine while watching them do the dishes, waving goodbye to the overwhelmed mom you once were.
Create a weekly task planner
A planner is a big help with chores around the house. Before using mine, I would do one full day of cleaning. By the end of it, I was so tired and overwhelmed that just the thought of starting over again the next time left me completely drained, and the second something got dirty; I would just want to cry. Instead of doing it all in one day, separate big tasks (clean kitchen) into little subtasks, which only take a few minutes each (wash kitchen surfaces, wash floors, clean out the fridge), and add them to the planner, assigning each to a day. Then determine who takes care of what. After a couple of weeks, it will become a habit. You can separate tasks any way you see fit, but the overall idea is to do a little every day.
When we are caught up in our to-dos, our brains jump from one thing to the next, and we completely lose sight of the present moment. When you feel like it’s all too much, carve out 10-15 minutes for a guided meditation to help recenter yourself and return to the moment. Most of the things we tend to worry about are in the future. If you can’t do anything about them now, do yourself a favour and don’t spend all your time fretting about them. Take a deep breath; you’ll deal with it when the time comes.
Let go of the guilt
A huge part of being an overwhelmed mom is the feeling of guilt we carry if we can’t get it all done. Remember this: you are doing your best. Once you have gone through your list of tasks for the day, let go of the rest. There is ALWAYS something that needs doing, but to have a more balanced life as moms, we need to be able to let go and learn to be satisfied when we have done enough. Be proud of what you have accomplished rather than beat yourself up thinking you could have done more. Taking breaks and resting should also be on top of your to-do list, so cut yourself some slack and pour yourself a glass of wine; you deserve it.