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The Overwhelmed Mama

One of the most common things that I hear from other moms in my life is “I feel overwhelmed.”

Trust me, sister, I hear you, Mom-ing certainly can be overwhelming.

From the early days of trying to figure out your baby's cues and developing a "strong attachment" while you are maddeningly sleep deprived. To the toddler years when you feel like all you do is chase your child as they run full speed in the opposite direction while strangers give you the stink eye. Motherhood can test your limits and let's be honest, your sanity. If we add on more than one child, a dog, a fish, a husband (or especially if you are a single parent), home ownership, and your career— it's no wonder that you feel a more than a little batty.

Oh and let’s not forget the self-imposed bullying around “keeping it all together.” How we create layers of performance standards by telling ourselves we have to keep a tidy house, make sure dinner is served on time while looking at least half-way presentable and excelling at your job or home run business.

Any of that pressure cooker I just described resonate with you?

I genuinely believe the overwhelm that is felt by so many Moms is one part self-imposed and one part of America's keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality.

It almost seems like a societal expectation that mom’s these days “have it all and do it all.” It’s like that initiation fee of motherhood is self-sacrifice. That if you don’t find yourself feeling like you are drowning in anxiety and self-doubt— then maybe you aren’t mom-ing hard enough.

Let’s clear the air.

You can stop buying into the idea of who you think you have to be, and what you think you have to do to be a super-mom. Just BE WHO YOU ARE. Perfectly imperfect. That my love is more than enough, and your child(ren) already know that.

But perhaps part of the problem is you are not sure who you are, you’ve lost any notion of yourself outside of your role as a mother, “I feel lost” is another whisper of the overwhelmed mama.

So, what’s a mama to do?

I am here to offer a life-giving breath.

If you are feeling this societally perpetuated level of expectation or you are wayyyyy too hard on yourself. If you are feeling totally exhausted and concerned about your own well-being.

I am here to throw you a life raft.

Start by accepting this important fact.

YOUR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS MATTERS MOST, and it's time to move YOURSELF to the TOP of your to-do list. It is time to clear your calendar and pencil in some much-needed self-care.

Okay, so I'm sure this isn't earth-shattering advice, and by now you have heard some version of this many times, but are you doing anything about it?

If yes, high five! If not (here's a hug), and can I compassionately ask why?

If you consider the cost of not making space for ourselves is often low energy, poor mood, and you guessed it OVERWHELM— doesn’t that merit making the time for yourself?

I am aware of the fact the self-care is all the rage these days, it is easy to brush it off as just another one of those buzz words, but it most certainly is not a fad, and like all good fashion it will not go out of style anytime soon. In my estimation self-care, especially #mamacare will remain an upward trend. The increasing demands of our lives require taking a breather.

If you are constantly saying "I'm so overwhelmed" but not making any space for yourself it's pretty likely you'll stay that way. It is time to get clear on the things you are prioritizing over yourself.

What are the things you could kindly say no to but aren’t?

Say no, you have my permission, but really you just need to give it to yourself. Lose the #momguilt

What can wait for another day or be canceled altogether?

Cross it off your list! Clear out those apportionments and events on your calendar that most likely will only drain you.

Listen to the little voice that says "I really don't want to do that," and then DON'T DO IT. If your life revolves around your calendar or planner (and now that you have all that free time from canceling all those things you didn't really want to do), the next step is to determine where YOU fit in your schedule, write yourself in, and hit re-occurring event.

Self-care can be as simple as finding (creating) quiet alone time, taking a relaxing bath, journaling, sipping tea or coffee as you take a stroll through a park or attending that group fitness class that you keep wanting to make it to but for all the reasons don't (I hear yoga is fantastic.) It could be that you want to start cooking more, meal prepping so you have energizing foods available on demand, or finally make some those recipes that you have had for years and would love to try?

Or maybe you have a creative side and find a lot of joy and energy in a crafting project or redecorating your home— where do these activities fit in???

Your soul is asking for you to express yourself and doing so will provide you with more ease.

Perhaps you need to start even smaller than this, self-care can be as simple as taking 10 mindful deep breaths before you launch into your day. Caring for yourself could be cleaning up your self-talk by repeating a positive affirmation or mantra throughout the day.

Maybe you would benefit from taking a vacation from social media because you have had the realization that you spend far too much time engaged In mindless scrolling? You see that this isn’t adding any value to your life and ultimately it leaves you feeling icky? Delete the apps from your phone and call it an act of self-care!

I have also come to believe that a powerful self-care practice is shifting from a doing to a being mindset. From the belief that we must always be in action to allowing ourselves the grace and acceptance to ease up and just be. Perhaps self-care simply means allowing more space for nothing without the shoulding all over yourself about not being productive, that is precisely the reason most of us feel overwhelmed in the first place because we overextend and bend over backward to juggle far too many balls.

I repeat LESS DOING and MORE BEING. You may just find that you have MORE energy, clarity, presence, patience, and love to spare when you slow down.

Start as small as you need, but if you are in the trenches, you have to climb your way out and that starts with recognizing that putting your NEEDS first is a MUST. It is not selfish, it doesn’t take anything away from your family or your business, everything and everyone in your life WILL BENEFIT from you feeling your best. If not your best, how about at least a little less stressed?

Mamaste Well,

Rose

p.s. for more on the topic of self-care check out what my yoga-wife Lauren from Wild and Free Wellness has to say on her blog.

 

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