An Overwhelmed Mama: How to Overcome When Motherhood is Just Hard
“Is it that time of the month?”
I started a new devotional on my Bible app a couple months ago. The first few days went well, but as the days went on it became harder for me to keep up. It was geared toward busy moms, but it required long readings in a wordy Bible translation. The devotion totally lost me when a reminder popped up on my phone asking me if it was “that time of the month.” As if all of my stress and overwhelm was to blame on my hormones, and not on everything else going on in my life.
It’s not even a lot. It’s the day to day that buries me. If you can’t find me, it’s because I am here, underneath piles of laundry, crumbs, too many toys, dinner menus, and endless to do lists. All moms are.
And yeah, I guess my crazy hormones are to blame for some of the stress as well. I am still breastfeeding my one-year-old and am not immune to “that time of the month.”
I feel inadequate because I think I should have it all together. So-and-so has it harder than me, because she works full time and manages to keep up on chores and have dinner made at the same time every night. I should also keep up on chores and have dinner made at the same time every night. I should be a better mom, wife, daughter, human being, whatever.
So now, I am not only crushed by the weight of “everything I have to do,” but by the weight of my own heavy expectations. Maybe you are, too. Maybe you cry at night because you feel like you’re not enough, and this momming thing is just too hard.
If you are, I want you to take a deep breath. Let it go. Let go of the impossible standards you have for yourself.
I am hesitant to give you more things to do, because your plate is already full, but I want to share some tips that help me when I am feeling overwhelmed by motherhood.
Set limits for yourself.
Whether this is saying no to baking 12 dozen cookies for the preschool bake sale, or signing your child up for only one activity instead of three, set realistic limits for you and your family. You know what you can handle in a single day. Have the grace for yourself to not take on more than you can handle. It’s not worth it if it leaves you exhausted and stressed out at the end of the day.
Choose self care.
I don’t mean a candle-lit bubble bath or eating an entire tub of ice cream by yourself. Those are nice, but not always realistic. What is? Washing your face at the end of the day. Clearing off your night table so you have someplace to set your glass of water. Reading a book or journaling for 15 minutes before bed. Simple acts of self care will tremendously help you keep your sanity.
Jesus is waiting for you to go to Him with your troubles. Even if it’s just five minutes a day, take the time to pray and reflect on God’s word.
Find someone to talk to.
This life is hard and we’re not meant to be alone. Talk to someone. Your husband, your girl friends, your mom, sister, a therapist. I don’t have a lot of friends but I do have strong women in my life who have been where I am now. It helps to talk about it.
Get out of the house.
Sometimes it helps to just go. Go for a walk. Put the baby in the stroller or carrier and walk around the neighborhood. Go to the library or playground. If you get a chance to go somewhere without your kids, DO IT. My personal favorite is aimlessly walking around Target. Go to a cafe, order a coffee, and read a book for an hour. Just do something simple. It doesn’t have to be a big planned out girls night or anything super expensive, it just has to help you catch your breath.
My hope is that at least one of these things helps you, overwhelmed mama. You are not alone in this journey of motherhood.