As a Mum and especially as a Mum of three, I expect the moments of complete overwhelm to hit now and then and this week they really have. And they have quite hard. I really hate feeling overwhelmed as a parent, as something inside always tells me that I should be coping. That I should be grateful to have my beautiful family (I am) and I really shouldn’t be complaining. But some weeks it is just so hard.
I knew having three kids was never going to be an easy job. Having a baby is not an easy job everyday and when I am trying to take care of my two other little humans as well, now and then I’m going to feel like I’m not managing.
Feeling Overwhelmed as a Parent
The summer holidays are always something that can be a little scary as a Mum. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to cope and I must admit they haven’t been as bad as expected. But I was worried. I was very worried. I didn’t know how I would manage on the days when I was looking after all three and I knew I wouldn’t get as much quality time with the gremlin, as her baby brother is pretty demanding. I was expecting to live in a mess. I was expecting the girls to fight on their days together. I was expecting to have days that didn’t go well as others. I know I’ve been feeling on edge too and I’ve had to keep a lid on that feeling of anxiety, rearing it’s ugly head.
I think it’s due to a multitude of factors really that the overwhelm has hit me, this week. The girls went away with hubby for a few days and they came back quite tired and it was a late night. I had been at my Mums and slacked off a little, with life admin, blog work and in general. The little man has be trying. Very trying. He is often refusing to sleep without breastfeeding or rocking during the day and this has proven to be very hard when we have been stuck in due to the rain. I’ve lost it almost. Had to put him down screaming and walk away. Knowing if I stayed with him, I’d yell or be too rough. I’m ashamed of that but keeping my temper after an hour of refusing to sleep has been tough.
The housework has built up. My blog bits started to build up. The gremlin’s birthday is approaching and there were things that needed to be done. Hubby and I were still not fully finished from the garage conversion and new patio.
It’s what happens and I wish I was someone who could look at the clutter and not mind. I wish I was someone who could mindfully push the list of jobs out of my mind when I’m about to do something else or go to sleep.
I can’t, no matter how hard I try sometimes. Feeling overwhelmed as a parent is just part of me somedays.
I want to get everything right and I want to focus enough of me on each task to make things better but on some days, it really is difficult.
So what do I do? How do I make those feeling go or ease a little. It’s hard work and I’m not going to say it always works but this what I try:
– Make a list. A brain dump. It’s simple and it’s easy and it helps. I list all my task and in categories if I have to. Blog work, life admin and house work. It helps and I can see what I need to do.
– Prioritise. I am absolutely rubbish at this. I see all the jobs and all the mess and think where do I start BUT every little job is an achievement. It really is! My husband is loads better at it. He will take a job and do it, so we decided to tackle the garage and utility room this weekend and guess what, we managed it. There is still stuff to do but I will finish it all.
– Talk to someone. Vent. I am very lucky to have friends who randomly get messages of me moaning and I’m very grateful for that. I also have my Mum who I moan at regularly. It helps. I feel better. I’m not alone.
– Take some time out. I exercise or today I took the little man out for a walk to down and got some errands done. This helped a lot. It maybe you just chill and have an evening of television or read. That downtime helps.
– Use the screen. We are sometimes so anti-screen time but the kids were knackered after a night out and when they chilled we managed to get a lot done. Sometimes it’s needed and you are a better parent for it.
– Sleep on it. I often feel much better after a sleep. I look at my little man and I know I love him loads and often he is better that day too!
– If you feel you are really struggling and it is ongoing consider your mental health and if you need some more support. I’m prone to periods of anxiety and need to address it when it hits. I know this feeling of overwhelm isn’t normal for me and I will keep an eye on it.
I know this week has been an off one. I know my little man is a baby. He can’t help it. All he knows is to cry. It isn’t my girls’ fault if they need me too. And yes, they really need me at the moment.
It does get better and if you are reading this thinking you are not coping, you are overwhelmed as a parent, it does get easier. Tomorrow is a new day.