Raising small children can be the most magical, beautiful and treasured time. But in saying that, it’s also a completely crazy time and responsibilities are over flowing at the seams. It’s the relentlessness that starts to wear mums down… eventually leading mums down the garden path towards mama overwhelm.
My name is Kirstie Stockx, I’m a qualified educator and consultant that specialises in self care and personal wellbeing for mums with young kids. I’m here today to tell you that Mama Overwhelm is okay, it’s actually normal and nothing to feel ashamed about. I’m also going to discuss the warning signs and how to overcome overwhelm as quickly and easily as possible.
Overwhelm is our bodies way of telling us that we are taking on too much, that we are over-loaded and we need to step back and show down. Overwhelm can come and go like waves in the ocean. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been completely knocked off my feet by an overwhelm wave.
Feelings of overwhelm are COMPLETELY normal, it has happened to every mum I have ever worked with, every mum I’ve connected with over coffee, even the random mum at the playground will share her experiences with overwhelm.
You’re not alone! Do I need to repeat that?…You’re definitely not alone, every single mum has felt this way, most likely a lot more than once.
If you find that you’re in a state of Mama Overwhelm… I suggest using the following tips to help you;
- Strip everything back to the bare basics: Continue to do only the bare minimum. Make sure the kids are okay and rest as much as possible.
- Create a clean space around where you are…. then close the doors to the washing, the dishes and everything else that can wait.
- Ask for help. Be honest, say that you’re struggling at the moment and you need help, talk about overwhelm openly.
- Once you start to feel better, constructively look at your workload. What can you change, reduce, make easier? What could you delegate?
Please read the following points that can help reduce or avoid Mama Overwhelm in the future;
- Create a support group of about 5 people that you can reach out and connect with about feelings of overwhelm. Be open about it. Tell your support group that they are your support. Use an emoji as code with your support group, letting each other know when you need support (I love using the smiley poo emoji for this).
- Pay attention to how you feel before you become overwhelmed, are you able to establish some early warning signs before you reach full mama overwhelm. This might help you to avoid entering a full blown overwhelm in the future.
- Take regular time that’s just for you. Even the smallest ritual… like enjoying a morning cup of tea on your own will help. Ideally, get out of the house (without the kids) and go for a run, a class… anything. Fill that cup of yours.
*If you are in a constant state of overwhelm and it never eases up. You have tried doing less and resting more… and you’re still in this state. I strongly recommend seeking professional help as mums with young kids are prone to depression.
I hope you have found this article helpful. Remember, don’t feel ashamed about feeling this way. It happens to everyone and you’re not alone. It will pass and you will feel better.