There are some days when being a stay at home mom can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it can almost be too much taking care of a teething baby, a vomiting school aged child, and the regular house work that needs to be done just to keep the house hygienic. Add to that any extra stress caused by Holidays, birthdays or anything else that is not part of the normal routine . . . well there are just some days.
On days like that, my mom would start singing “Mamma said there’d be days like this. There’d be days like this, my Mamma said” – which would at least lighten the mood a bit. But what can a Mommy do when she is not only just overwhelmed, but drowning in work to do? Here are a few ideas.
Take a breath
Stopping in the midst of the chaos can feel counter intuitive. But taking just a moment to refocus on what’s truly important, and what can wait, will help bring peace back into the heart. When everything is so frantic, taking a moment for myself to just breathe really helps to calm the entire household down. So, it’s good to stop and breathe and find peace before tackling the next issue.
There are days when the Laundry Monster is out of control and rampaging with it are its best friends: the Dish Trolls and the Clutter Imps. Taken together, they are making an all-out assault on the peace and harmony in the home. When these moments happen, taking on the various tasks for a predetermined amount of time can take the power away from all these foes. The time limit keeps me from drowning or obsessing about the task at hand. I usually try to gauge how long my children will be good, and use that for my time limit. Sometimes, the time limit is 30 minutes and sometimes the time limit is 5 – it just depends on where my children are. But either way, my tasks start looking smaller, and my home a bit cleaner, without me losing my mind.
Keep it Simple, Sister
On days like this, it is not the right time to clean out the garage, deep clean the carpets, or create a five course meal for dinner. The overwhelming days need to be kept as simple as possible. Paper plates, sandwiches, or even cereal are all good ideas for supper.
Marshal the Forces
If there are older children in the home, engage them in helping around the house. Sometimes it helps to explain the situation and why the help is needed. I’ve found my children are willing to go the extra mile when they understand the battles I’ve been facing. Getting everyone on my team helps the team to take up the slack from my not being able to do my normal stuff because of the other issues.
Sometimes it’s important to realize what can wait and what does have to get done. While everything on the list might feel like it’s urgent and must be done, the reality is that most things will wait until the next day. My top priorities are to make sure the dishes get washed, and the wet clothes dried, when I’m dealing with sick children. The rest of my time is dedicated to comforting and helping them through their illness.
It’s hard to be a stay at home mom when it feels like everything is piling up on top of an already busy day. I think we’ve all had these types of days. And while they are expected, it helps to take a breath, chunk tasks, simplify what the family is doing, get the family all on the same team, and putting important things first.
Do you have any other ways of dealing with overwhelming days? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below.