As you can imagine, having five kids can be stressful. Add in the fact that I also homeschool those five kids and things can start to feel pretty crazy. There are days where I can feel completely overwhelmed, my to-do list feels too long, my energy levels too low, and the hours in the day just not enough. I’d be lying to you if I said that I had never sat in my bathroom crying from the amount of things I need to do in a day.
I know I’m not the only one who feels like that either. No matter if you’re a working mom with one child, a stay at home mom with eight kids, or a work from home mom with three kids… motherhood is overwhelming at times. We all put so much stress on ourselves to be the perfect wife, mother, employee… whatever. We want to have the perfectly clean house, make healthy delicious meals the whole family will love, and complete every task on the to-do list of ours. I get it.
But what if I told you there are ways to unload some of these things and decompress a little? There are things that you can do as a stressed out, overwhelmed, mom to help your days go more smoothly. There’s really no secret to it, but I figure, I’m not the only one to have struggled with feeling overwhelmed and so I wanted to share with you some tips I’ve discovered over the years that have really helped me.
Make a reasonable list and prioritize it
If you’re anything like me, you’ve made a to-do list that’s a mile long. You’ve listed down everything that you think needs to get done in a day and feel overwhelmed just by looking at everything you have to do. Now, I want you to write a new to-do list but this time I want you to take a different approach. Only list the things that you ABSOLUTELY need to get done that day. I want you to take a blank sheet of paper and divide it into four sections:
Section 1- Top 3
Your top 3 is where you’ll list the three absolute most critical things that you need to get done today. Doctors appointments, phone calls, meetings, anything that is an absolute must do, can’t move task needs to be listed here.
Section 2- Daily tasks
Making the bed, taking out the trash, picking up toys… these are all daily tasks that you’ll need to get accomplished today. List down everything that you need to do on a daily basis but try to limit this to 10 things that you need to do daily.
Section 3- Special Project
Do you have something that needs to get done this week that you don’t normally do? IS there a birthday you need to finish planning? A special phone call or email? Something that you need to clean? List that in this section and work it into your schedule that day if it is possible.
Section 4- Tomorrow
Planning ahead can really help your day to run more smoothly. List in your tomorrow section anything that may come up today that you have to complete by tomorrow. If something in your top 3 didn’t get done or a special task needed to be moved or rescheduled, then you can list it here and work it into tomorrows plans.
I’ve included a free printable To-Do list to help make your life a little easier. That way, you don’t even have to do this step on your own. I’m looking out for you mama.
Let go of unreasonable expectations
I get it, as a mom, you want to be able to do it all. And trust me when I say… you are a Super Mom but even Super Mom can’t do it all. Allow yourself to understand that not all tasks need to be done in a single day, or even a single week. If you’re having a hard day or the kids are being overly fussy, understand that you don’t have to complete the list. Remember that little tomorrow section above, use it. If you can’t get to a task, put it in that tomorrow section and don’t stress about it. It’s better to leave a task undone and not stress over it than to place too much stress on yourself over unreasonable expectations.
Ask for help
This is a hard one, I know, but again… Super Mom… you can’t do it all on your own. Ask for help. Get your kids to put the dishes away, ask the husband to take out the trash or vacuum the floors. Have younger kids pull things out of the dryer or pickup trash and toys. Move some of your daily tasks over to other people in the house and you’ll be amazed by how much stress is removed from you.
We love social media and our phones and computer. We use them as an escape from the day to day crap but disconnecting every now and then can be a big stress reliever. Turn your phones off or put them in your room and allow yourself to be without them for a while. You’ll give yourself more time in your day and won’t be as worried about the things that are going on outside of your house.
Make yourself a priority
Sometimes being a little selfish is a good thing. I like to refer back to the old saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. If you’re not taking time to take care of yourself, you’ll very quickly find that you burn out taking care of others. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to go on day long spa trips or week long vacations without your family, unless that’s what you want to do. You can treat yourself by going to the mall or to get coffee by yourself or with a friend. Take a nice long hot shower or bath. Buy yourself a nice new outfit, and actually wear it. Grab a couple of face masks from Target and allow yourself a 10 minute spa facial while you get ready for bed or a nice new lotion. Do something for yourself every now and then to help keep yourself happy and feeling full. Your family will thank you for it.
It’s very easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of things us moms have to handle in a single day, but hopefully, with some of the suggestions above you’ll find yourself feeling a little less stressed. And don’t forget… being overwhelmed doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. We all get stressed or overwhelmed at times.
Let me know in the comment section below, what you do to help your days run a little more smoothly and to help relieve stress.