Moms are tired and want permission to slow down, breathe, and do less.
Being a mom has its exciting and tender moments. But it can also be stressful and frustrating, especially in today’s busy, fast-paced, indulging culture. We care so much for our children and want the best for them. But we can lose sleep over them because we want everything to be just right for them the next day.
When we over-give of ourselves, we can become drained and begin easily yelling at our children for the little things. To cope with feeling overwhelmed and irritable, many moms are turning to prescription stimulants or alcohol to get through the day.
In an age where we are trying to do more for our kids than ever, it can be hard to realize we have choices. It’s no wonder the movie Bad Moms has been such a hit.
So I’m here to help lend a hand. I want to invite you to tune into what’s driving you to be overwhelmed when it comes to being a parent. I realize my invitation is being delivered in a crowded sea of Pinterest inspired ideas to be the perfect, creative, organized mom. But in this moment, I want you to reflect instead on what’s best for you.
Identify Mindset that Drives You to Be an Overwhelmed Mom
Let’s first take a look at the myths overwhelmed moms typically believe. Before you can see your choices, you need to be aware of what’s behind your frenzied pace, mom meltdowns, or sleepless nights. Read through these myths and note which ones you relate to the most:
Myth #1: “I can do more if I speed up.” To get more done, I need to schedule more things into my day and on my to-do list. I almost always feel hurried to get somewhere or get something done at a certain time. When I hurry, I am more forgetful, less present, and more irritated.
Myth #2: “I must protect my loved ones from rejection and unhappiness.” Moms that believe this myth believe their primary role is to raise kids that are happy and well-liked. Its hard to see my kids upset, so I usually let them have what they want even if I said no the first time. I don’t think my kids can handle rejection, so I try to talk to mediate their social problems at school. I give my kids advice often because I don’t think they know how to solve their own problems.
Myth #3: “No one else will do it (or do it right).” I can’t stand the way my kids or spouse clean up, so I need to do it myself. If I don’t do everything around the house, then no one else will do it. I wish I could do less, but it’s so hard for me to leave things undone.
Myth #4: “If I meet my families needs, they will meet mine.” If I invest in others, they will invest in me. I don’t need to carve out time for myself because I’m waiting for others to tell me it’s ok to slow down and do less. If I make them happy, they will make me happy. I don’t know how to make myself happy without their actions.
Myth #5: “I must always be prepared for every possible outcome.” Moms that believe this myth is always prepared and a step ahead. As a mom, we need to possess super-human ability to take care of others. We must know what others need even when they don’t know themselves. We must have everything ready for them to be successful. We must protect them from failure, as others can’t handle learning from their own mistakes.
Increase Awareness of What Drives You to Drain Your Energy
Awareness can be uncomfortable, but it is the first step toward change. Doing so takes courage, so thank yourself for taking the time to answer these questions. Which myth are you believing that creates more fuel to hurry up, over-give, and drain yourself empty?
I struggle with Myth #5 the most. The idea that I don’t have to be prepared for everything and that my kids can prepare themselves is something I’m still working on. Problems can go unsolved. My kids can experience their own consequences for being unprepared, learn from them, and be ok.
When you stop doing it all, your kids or family may blame you. They don’t want you to change. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still have a choice and an invitation to slow down, reflect and choose differently next time.
Share your answers to these reflections in the comment section, so other moms know they aren’t alone. And stay tuned for Part 2 in the “Overwhelmed Mom” series. We will explore how to make “Empowering Choices” as a mom in a world that doesn’t make it easy to slow down and tune into what you need.
If you tired of being overwhelmed and burned out, Schedule a free 15-minute phone consult with Marci and take a step toward loving yourself as much as you love your family. Marci Payne, MA, LPC offers women’s counseling in Independence MO. (Also serving surrounding cities of Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit, MO).