What does being an overwhelmed mom look like for you? It can show up in several different ways, you may only have one of these symptoms or many:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling of dread or doom
- Physical fatigue
- Lack of motivation
- Struggling with concentration
- Increased pessimism
- Comfort eating or loss of appetite
If you check any or all of those boxes then it might be time to get a grip on the stress of motherhood before mama burnout really kicks in. But the big question is how?
Step 1 Acknowledge you are an overwhelmed mom
The first thing is to acknowledge what is going on. Just that first tiny step helps. Overwhelm is very real and it happens to adults and kids. And so these I’m sharing are useful not only for yourself but to teach your kids whenever they are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope.
We need to get past the stigma of moms asking for help and admitting that they are not coping. We all know the line about it taking a village to raise a child. That village is supporting the mom too, when there is no village both child and mom can suffer.
Be kind and truthful with yourself. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you need help?
Step 2 Ask for help
This is not a sign of weakness and help can come in many forms, you can get creative here. Think what’s making you an overwhelmed mom? What would you like to be taken off your plate? Lastly, think about how could you make that happen? And before you bring up the cost… first just think of what it is you would like.
And then you can research the costs or brainstorm ideas that perhaps don’t cost anything.
- Grocery shopping
- Kids homework
- House/garden maintanence
- Website maintanence
- Social media posting/planning
- Customer service
I have a client who hates ironing but because of her and her husband’s jobs, they are both suited and booted and the kids have school uniforms, there is a lot of ironing. She looked into local ironing services and found a local mom who picks up and drops off the ironing each week and at a totally reasonable charge. She is happy because she doesn’t have to do the job she hates and she is helping another mom out financially.
If you are an overwhelmed mom, you can check your local message boards, Facebook groups, ask friends for recommendations, or look at services like Fancy Hands.
Growing up my mom had two friends and between the three families, there were seven kids. Once a week, one mom would take all the kids for a few hours so that the other two moms could have some free time to do whatever they needed to do. They did it on rotation so that they all got a fair deal. No cost is required just a couple of friends you are comfortable with leaving your kids with and comfortable looking after theirs.
This is often something that both kids and mom find stressful so is it something you can outsource? Look at school homework club, maybe an older student, cousin, neighbor or relative could help. My son teaches kanji to an 8-year-old every Saturday morning over zoom. In fact, Khan Academy started with Sal Khan helping his cousin with maths over Skype! So tap into your friends and family and see if there is someone who can help out.
It doesn’t even have to be such a big step. It could be as simple as asking somebody to choose what to start with.
If you are decluttering the pantry, ask one of the kids which shelf to tackle first.
If it’s your family holiday planning that feels too much, ask your partner to help with some of the planning or if it’s your business ask a business bestie or hire a coach that can help you with the process.
Step 3 What can you simplify to reduce the overwhelm?
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed the first thing I do is take a step back and look at how I can simplify the situation.
But how do I simplify when I’m overwhelmed mom unable to focus?
This is a great question and is often described as analysis paralysis. This is when the job in hand looks so big and so scary you just don’t know where to start or even how to start.
This can happen at any time with anything from decluttering the pantry to organizing a family holiday to running your business or just making it through the day.
It’s easy to overcomplicate things
I have a great example of my own here of making things more complicated than they need to be…
I’ve been running this website for several years now and I love making things so I often create a new freebie AKA opt-in.
This is all great until you have way too many of them to keep track of and whenever something needs updating it is a royal PITA to go through everything and update a single link or whatever.
This is why recently I decided to change the structure of my business a little and instead of having multiple freebies all with their own funnel. (That is to say when you sign up for a freebie you get an automated series of emails often with something I’m selling within that funnel)
As you can imagine with multiple funnels it soon gets very messy. That’s when I decided to step back and look at my business from a more strategic point of view.
I started by asking myself how I could make the whole process easier and simpler. One idea was to just get rid of many of the freebies that I had on offer. But I didn’t like that idea as I know people are still signing up for them, still love them, and I put all that work into making them.
Idea #1 – vetoed!
Idea #2 was to create a library. To have one Opt-in box and one funnel.
Then all the freebies would be available to anyone who signed up.
Yes, that means you can access all my freebies by signing up just once for the jojoebi resource library.
This idea was such a weight lifted off my shoulders because I love making new things, especially new things that can help people. Whether that be some kind of planner or goal setting sheet or ideas and games to play with your kids. But what puts me off with making new freebies is the thought of having to set up a brand-new opt-in form and funnel every time.
Now with the library, I can make as many and as many things that I like and not have to worry about that. Plus my subscribers get new things on a more regular basis and one of the perks of being on the newsletter such as special deals, the first to know when I release something new, behind-the-scenes information that I don’t talk alright about it on social media or on the blog.
Upkeep will be much, much easier as it’s just one funnel and one email sequence and if any of the freebies I have created need changing or removing it is really easy to do so.
Take a deep breath and ask yourself…
What can I do here to make things more simple?
Step 4 How To Get Started when you’re an overwhelmed mom
Often when we, moms, are overwhelmed it’s difficult to start, we don’t know where to start or even how to start and that stops us from making any progress.
If you find yourself in that situation, one of the things I teach my clients is to use the Swiss cheese method.
Those of you who know me well will know that I love cheese but this isn’t one of my cheese-obsessed ideas.
The idea is that you start anywhere. You just pick somewhere and start to make a hole and then when you’ve done that task pick somewhere else and start a hole there just like Swiss cheese.
The more holes that you make the easier it is to gain momentum and often it is the first step of actually starting which is preventing you from moving forward with the project/job.
This is a great technique to teach the kids too especially when it comes to tidying up and the bedroom looks like ToysRus has vomited toys all over the place.
Tell your kids to do it the Swiss cheese way, just pick one thing, anything, and start there. You could even go as far as saying start with something yellow and then put away any other yellow toys. And then they can pick another color and work through the rainbow as they clear up.
This is one of the things we cover in more depth in The Wonder Mom Success Club because we need to take into account why a child is struggling to tidy up and how to give them the tools they need to overcome it.
But you can’t just start anywhere!
Using this as a reason to not get started is a weak excuse, I have yet to come across a project where there was 100% had to be done in this order otherwise the whole thing will fail.
So don’t worry about what should or shouldn’t be done first. If the overwhelm is stopping you from getting started, just pick anything even if it’s the easiest part of the project for you to handle.
If you need more help with planning a project out and breaking it down into bite-size pieces then you might want to join SPARK mastermind or sign up for a pick my brain session where we can go through your project to a goal and plan it out into easily doable steps.
When deciding where to start is overwhelming. Swiss Cheese It! Just start anywhere.
What can you simplify today?
As moms, we have a lot on our plates and the feeling of being an overwhelmed mom is there more often than we like to admit.
But we do have control of our situation and we can make changes to make our lives simpler and easier.
Here are a few things that you could look at to simplify and make your life easier:
- Morning routine
- Evening routine
- Meal planning
- Paying bills
- Decluttering cupboards and shelves
- Kids extra curricular activities
- Social media planning
- Content creation for your business
- Setting up templates
- Creating systems and processes
If that list is making you feel overwhelmed, I can see the irony there!
Just Swiss cheese it!
Pick one thing and work on that first.
Do you need help deciding which one to do first? Then look at the list and listen to your gut, which one makes you feel the most stressed? The one that gives you the worst gut feeling is the one to tackle first because once you get that under control everything else will become easier!
To get out of the feeling of being an overwhelmed mom, the easiest thing to do is to simplify.
- Take a step back and ask for help. A simple second opinion or somebody pointing out a starting point is often all you need to help you to get started.
2. When you can’t decide on a starting point use the Swiss cheese method.
3. Look at what you can take off your plate and what you can simplify.
Keep it simple, one baby step at a time. You don’t have to take on the world.
And finally, don’t forget that you do have control and that you can make a difference and yes sometimes it is really hard but even making one little change can have a huge difference in the way that you are feeling.
This might mean saying no or setting boundaries which can often feel uncomfortable. (if you struggle with that, try the scripts here)
You’ve got this, you can do it and if you need any extra help you can find me over in Moms That Rock.
You can get access to the Jojoebi resource library by signing up below. It contains Principles on the three pillars that my business is built on mum, kids, home. And yes they are all free.