10 Ways For Work At Home Moms To Overcome The Overwhelm
You are a work at home mom, but your back hurts. Your legs are tired. Your arms are sore. And, your mind is slowly going.
You get super irritable in the most unexpected moments. You’re happy one second and the next thing you know, you’re angry.
But, you don’t show the broken side to your kids (or your husband to a certain extent).
You show them the strong you. The ‘I can handle everything’ you.
You can almost hear the cape flapping in the background over the epic soundtrack!
This isn’t just you. It’s me too.
It’s every mom raising kids while working at home and every wife being there for their husband.
However, the more I hide my real emotions, the less real life seems appealing.
And, I was worried that if this emotional state continued, I might not be there for them if my family were to have a REAL problem.
I was worried that I wasn’t not going to be the “Super Mom” that I wanted to be and they needed me to be.
Talk about putting pressure on yourself!
So, I’ve decided that something needed to change. I have to be truly strong and face whatever it is that’s been bothering me.
I thought long and hard and came to a realisation that I’ve been too overwhelmed by my responsibilities. Too overworked.
The small problems that I ignored (because I was too busy trying to put up a brave face) were piling up. I didn’t address what needed to be addressed.
It was the small struggles that I faced each day.
It was the never-ending “TO DO” list. It was exhaustion.
It was being in a constant state of being tired and burnt out every single day (I’m not exaggerating in this one.)
It was the stress of the work and home life. It was the weight that life had placed on my shoulders. I had to wear many hats to become the perfect wife, mother and breadwinner.
If you feel the same way, then listen up.
You’re not alone in this battle.
I’ve come up with 10 actionable ways that will help you get through the overwhelm of being a work at home mom.
It was these 10 mind shifts that I turn to to get me through.
Are you ready? Here we go.
1. STOP, take a moment and appreciate
I was too tired emotionally, mentally and physically.
The daily churn takes its toll.
The vortex of depressive thoughts started when I asked myself “How have I become this run down?”
One question led to another and then I ended up writing this post.
To you, who are reading this right now, I want to tell you that you need a break.
You all need a break then appreciate what you have right now.
You need to stop and take a moment for yourselves. Give yourselves some happy thoughts.
I want you to close your eyes and think about all of the things that I’m about to tell you.
I want you to envision whatever it is that you have right now.
You have a roof over your head, appreciate your home. You have a car that you can use when you need to go the grocery, appreciate you have money for your car and groceries. You pick up your kids from school, appreciate your kids and the education they are getting. You have a husband who loves you and works 8 hours a day to supply your family’s financial needs, appreciate your husband. You his loving kids who make life worth living, appreciate your kids and the positive impact you are having on their lives.
None of your family members are terminally ill (well I sincerely hope not). You have a refrigerator full of food. You have your friends who support you when the time comes.
And, most of all you have me now, telling you that you’ll get through the storm. You ALWAYS get through the storm.
Most people in the world probably won’t have half the things you have. Instead of counting your mishaps, why not just count your blessings?
Even on your worst day, you will probably have more than most of the world’s population. Be thankful for everything that you have in your life right now.
I’m not going to go off, act all mighty and tell you: “Some people have it worse.”
Steer your ship with positivity on days you feel down. And, you can do this by having an appreciative mindset and tell the world that you are not a pushover.
You are stronger than you think you are.
And, you are blessed with things that some people can only dream of having. I’m sure mothers in many countries would envy what you have right now.
So, take a moment and appreciate what you have already got..
2. Pat yourself on the back
Sometimes, you just have to be your own friend.
The reason why people get so disappointed sometimes is because they always seek comfort from other people. Well, you have to learn that they are not always going to be there for you.
Let’s face it. Sometimes, the only person that you can count on is yourself. I know that sounds sad, but it’s true.
So, why don’t you give yourself a pat on the back?
Compliment yourself. You bloody deserve it.
Just look at what you have already achieved in your life. Look at the awards, trophies and certificates.
Wow. They look fantastic, don’t they?
If you ever feel discouraged, remember how great you are! Not just a mother, but as a person of integrity, as a friend, as a daughter and as a wife.
The messy toys, the mountain of laundry and the unfolded clothes DON’T define you!
Your achievements in academics and personal life defines you! Your own fulfilments defines you! The skills and experience that you have gained through your life defines you!
You are strong.
Just think about all the hardships that you have already endured in life, and you’ll realise what you’re really made of.
So, go ahead, pat yourself on the back.
3. Visualise a better tomorrow
If you were thinking about giving up today, then let me tell you what you might miss out on tomorrow!
Your kids could miss out on growing up in a flourishing household. You might miss out on all the things that you were trying to achieve.
You might miss out on a much better life. You might miss the moment where you’ll think to yourself “I made it. I’m so proud of myself.”
You might miss the moment where your kids and your partner will be even more proud of you.
You might miss out on the moment where you’ll enter your new house. You might miss out on the moment you’re going to buy a new car. You might miss out on the lovely parties and expensive dinners during your luxury holidays.
You could miss out on financing your children’s future education. Or helping your kids get on the property ladder and paying for private health care.
So, don’t think about giving up now. It’s not time yet.
Think about it. Life may have been unfair to you.
And, if you’re going to give up now, then you’re giving up too soon!
So don’t give up just yet. Or Ever!
Hold on a little longer as the better life you are visualising is only around the corner.
4. Find an accountability partner
While I did say that “sometimes we just gotta be our own friend”, that doesn’t mean that you should keep things to yourself all the time!
Find a partner. Find a good listener. Find someone who will listen to your problems. Find someone who will be there for you throughout the journey.
This can be your partner. Ask your husband for some of his time. There’s nothing better in this world than opening up to your loved one.
Do you still remember those late night conversations you once had when you were teenagers? Ahh, good times.
Going outside and sitting on the balcony, just talking to him on the phone. You tell him all your problems, and he tells you his. You speak for hours, and you never get bored!
Gosh, how many years has it been since we’ve had deep and meaningful chats with our partners? It’s definitely a sign of the times.
I think we need to bring that back.
Or, if your partner is unavailable, you can always turn to your other friends. Find someone who can relate to your problems or simply someone who is willing to hear you out.
Pick someone that’s been there for you through thick and thin.
Why not share the problems with the people who have gone through all of it before? Share it with the people who have always been by your side.
Share it with the people who have always supported you in all of your decisions. Share it with the people who love you the most.
Share it with your parents, your brother or sister.
Whoever you choose is up to you.
Just remember, pick someone whose opinions matter to you and someone who is positive. Someone who knows the “true” you and who will support you through the bad times.
Find someone who will listen to you and that you are accountable to. Find someone who forces you to make progress and pushes you in the right direction.
Find you accountability partner.
5. Share/Delegate/Outsource the load
I’ve always loved this saying: “No man is an island.”
It’s true for everyone. No one can get through this life alone. We all need somebody to share the load. We don’t have to shoulder all the problems in the world. We are not Atlas.
So, why don’t you start unloading and start sharing the work instead of pretending that you don’t need any help?
Share the workload with your partner to make time for yourself. Relax once in a while. Take a rest. Go for a drive. Go to that coffee shop and drink your favourite beverage. Read in a library. Watch television.
Do what YOU want.
Create your leisure time. Everybody needs to pull their weight. Why not ask your partner to take out the trash that’s been sitting there for a week! When he has a lot of time on his hands, why not make him cook?
But, if you can’t do this and your partner is too busy and tired all the time. You can always pay for the chores to be done. Instead of doing it all by yourself, hire ironing and cleaning services.
Get your shopping done online and have your groceries delivered. Free up time by stopping the tasks that sap your energy and that don’t account for anything.
Don’t be a busy fool. You’ll lose yourself in the daily churn.
Remember that as you get older – TIME IS WORTH MORE THAN MONEY.
Delegate the chores. Outsource what you can.
6. Identify what is stressing you out, then release…
Stress will suck the life out of you.
Not only will it mess with your mental state and emotions, but it will also damage your health.
You need to get to the root of your stress and eliminate it from your life.
For example, in my situation, I’d get mad (internally) whenever I see scattered toys in the living room. This is despite the fact that I’ve told my kids over a thousand times to put the toys back in the box after they’re done playing with it.
I also get mad (again, internally) when my husband and kids don’t put their clothes in the hamper! How hard can that be? Do I really have to pick up the dirty clothes from the floor in their rooms?
There are many instances when this happens. Even though I’ve told them many times to do simple things, they still don’t do it! In the end, I’m the one who gets stressed out.
So, what could be the problem? Is it my family or is it me? It’s pretty easy to say that it’s my family’s fault because I wouldn’t get mad in the first place if only they had done the things that I asked them to.
But maybe, it’s also me. Perhaps I need to manage my stress a little better.
It’s okay to release a little stress every now and then so I don’t end up like a coiled up spring ready to explode.
So I blow off some steam!
It’s healthy for us all. I get to release my anger (in a controlled way), and they soon learn how to correctly put their clothes in the hamper or place their toys back in the box. It’s a win-win situation.
You need to understand all your stress points and the reasons behind the stress.
We should ask ourselves these questions from time to time:
- What is the reason for the stress?
- What alternatives are there in reducing the stress?
- What alternatives you can implement immediately?
So identify your stress and release every now and then so you don’t end up in a mental asylum!
7. Organise DON’T multi-task.
Who thought that doing several jobs badly is better than doing one job correctly?
Who thought of multi-tasking?
Who thinks that getting through your TO-DO list by multi-tasking so you can free up more time to do more STUFF, is the way to go!
And then ask themselves, “Why am I so burnt out?”.
You don’t have to overload yourself with work and chores. You’re just adding to the stress!
You can list all of your tasks and make a schedule out of it. Prioritise your tasks. Weigh up what is actually essential against what is not.
Ask yourself “What work is going to make a significant impact? What work is not making any difference? What needs to be changed? How am I going to implement this change?”
If it helps, you can write your answers down on a piece of paper and remind yourself every day of your solutions. This will help you clear your mind and do things in an organised way.
Do things one by one.
There’s no rush.
Make a checklist BEFORE you start your day. And then, take a look at this checklist after your day has ended. Don’t spread yourself thin.
So, organise DON’T multi-task
8. Be patient
“Good things come to those who wait.”
I can’t seem to recall where I’ve heard or read that phrase before but it’s definitely stuck in my mind.
For me, being patient is a hard thing to do especially when you want something so bad.
If you really want something so bad, you would do anything just to get it even if it means waiting.
Work towards what you want but allow time to take its course.
This can be financial freedom or a new house or a new car. Or, this could be the success in your own blog. Whatever that may be, I hope you can find it in yourself to wait for success to happen.
Slow down a little. You can’t rush success.
So be patient.
9. Take charge of your mental health
Mental health rules over your overall being. If your mental state is off centre, then it will start affecting your physical health.
If your mind is a mess, then even the slightest mistakes will tick you off right away. This will cause an internal conflict within your mind and will eventually lead to anxiety.
I consider anxiety my greatest enemy in life. Even when I’m tired, I can’t get to sleep. Even when I try my best, I’m still not happy with the results.
Even when I know that I’m lucky because of everything that I have in my life right now, I’m, sometimes, still not grateful.
There’s always something else. I always overthink even the smallest things. And, this keeps me up awake at night. It’s horrible.
My family loves and supports me all the time, but I feel like I’m still missing something. I don’t know what that ‘something’ is so I’m scared.
At times, I feel so empty. I’m afraid that I might be going through depression. I really hope I’m not because I have to be there for my family. They need me. I have to be mentally strong through all of this.
And, you have to be too. We need to condition our minds that everything isn’t meant to be fixed by us. We need to condition our minds so that we understand that we cannot control everything in life.
It is only when you take charge of your thoughts that you'll be able to see everything clearly. It is by changing your thoughts and how you perceive your challenges will you finally see the way out.
Understand that each challenge can be overcome over time. No problem lasts forever.
Always recite this to yourself: “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” It will help you.
Think about problems as challenges that need to be tackled. Put difficulties into perspective.
Ask yourself “Is it really a big problem as you think? Is it worth my time?” If not, then move on and don’t look back.
Don’t focus on your problems too much. It can mess with your mind.
Focus on what is important. Focus on your husband. Focus on your kids. Focus on your family’s well-being. Focus on your work.
Adapt and change where necessary. Remember that in every stage of life and in every challenge you face, it will require a different “you.”
So take charge of your mental state of mind.
10. Take charge of your physical health
We are now down to the last step and I know that I’m violating this step right now by not taking a rest that I deserve.
To help overcome the overwhelm you need to take charge of your physical health.
Always eat healthy foods. Pick vegetables and fruits over junk foods. Drink water and fruit juice instead of carbonated drinks… the usual healthy advice BUT you also need to make time to relax.
Your body needs it.
You always find time to manage your chores, your kids and your husband.
Maybe, now it’s time to manage your health. It’s time for you to control our own well being.
In the end, it’s not the money, the house or the car that will matter, it’s always your health.
It’s pointless becoming financially successful if you aren’t fit enough to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
So take charge of your physical health.
It was when I thought differently about these 10 areas in my life that things really started to change for me.
Life can be overwhelming.
Whether its taking care of the household, raising children and maintaining a healthy relationship or even starting a blog, things can get overwhelming.
But its when you put things into perspective that real change happens.
These 10 ways of overcoming the overwhelm will help you put life into perspective and help you become the better YOU.
I would love to read your thoughts on this.