You hear all about the things you SHOULD be doing as a mum. You hear it every day. And even if no one actually tells you what you should be doing, you just know. You need to keep a tidy and organised home, with happy kids and a well-stocked (and nourishing!) pantry. You need to have clean clothes and be up to date on your washing as well as have enough money to do extra activities with your children. You need to plan, create, organise, schedule, bake from scratch and maybe work outside of the home too. You have these expectations on yourself because that’s what you think you need to be doing in order to be a good mum. And on top of all that, you need to have it all together, right? There’s no room for falling apart here.
You rush through your endless list of to-do’s thinking that once it’s all ticked off you can FINALLY relax and not feel so overwhelmed anymore. You can FINALLY feel like you’re keeping up and on top of things.
But then, you find the overwhelm increasing as you try to do more. You notice you’re becoming irritable, snappy and grumpy at everyone around you. You’ve got this endless list of to-do’s and tasks and jobs that HAVE to be ticked off because if you can’t tick them off, then you’ve failed somehow. It means you don’t have it all together like all the other mum’s - and you can’t stand the thought of that.
So you try to get even MORE done.
You try to add one or two or ten extra things on your list for that day. You rush through your lunch break. You hurry the kids in the car. You’re frazzled. Frantic. Overwhelmed. And you’re on the edge of exploding but you’ve GOT to hold it together so you don’t fail. You HAVE to hold it together, right? After all, if you don’t, who will!?
But what if I told you that instead of trying to get MORE done, instead of adding that one extra thing on your list for that day, what if you tried doing LESS?
What if, instead of leaving the house for school pick up 30 minutes early so you could clean the car out and head to the post office and the grocery store while you were there too, what if you just made yourself a cup of tea and sat in the sunshine for 30 minutes?
What if you paused just for a moment to savour that entire row of chocolate you’ve been resisting?
What if you learned how to slow down your body, slow down your mind and just gave yourself permission to be in the moment without thinking about that next thing on your list?
I can feel you cringe right now. I can sense you saying, “Oh, yeah right. I could never do that.”
Here’s the thing.
There is ALWAYS going to be more to get done. Us women are the heart of our home. We pump the blood through our entire family to keep it alive, to keep things going. And we run an entire empire for our families and for that reason alone, our to-do list will never end.
But instead of trying to get MORE done and pushing yourself to keep up and make the overwhelm go away, what if you could slow down and create some space for yourself to just BE?
Instead of sacrificing sleep to get that extra 30 minutes of housework done, go and binge-watch your favourite Netflix series because you WANT to. Even better, grab out that dusty journal and a pen and give yourself permission to dream a little! What a beautiful way to slow down and create some space for yourself.
Slowing down and creating space allows your central nervous system to rest. Our bodies don’t just rest when we’re sleeping. We need opportunities throughout our hectic lives to create space to rejuvenate. This doesn’t mean you will be less productive. In fact, it can mean the opposite. A rested mind, body and soul means a focused mind, body and soul.
If this is a new idea for you, that is absolutely OK. What an opportunity that has now been presented to you.
Here are some ways you can slow down and create space to reduce the overwhelm in your life:
When you are feeling overwhelmed and you notice yourself trying to get more things ticked off, just pause and do a little check in with yourself. You can ask yourself, “What do I need in this moment to feel supported?” Or ‘What is that next one step I can make that will allow me to feel supported instead of feeling overwhelmed?”. Whatever the answer is to those questions, go and do that instead. Come back to your list when you’ve re-calibrated.
Us women seem to have big resistance around slowing down. We think we’re lazy and will fall behind if we do. But be open to the possibility that slowing down can allow you to become more productive in time as you’ve allowed your body to re-set. Start moving your body slower as you move through your day, take a few moments to breathe before moving onto the next task, wait a few seconds before speaking. Give yourself permission. It’s absolutely OK to slow down for a moment.
We are the heart of the home, mama. And we can’t keep the life pumping in our family if we’re all dried up. This needs to be non-negotiable.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab a pen, paper or planner and WRITE EVERYTHING OUT. Get it out of your head! It’s better to be out on paper than in your mind, it will create the space you need to feel less overwhelmed and give you an opportunity to really reflect on what’s most important to get done.
You’ve got this, mama.
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