There’s a lot of pressure to be a better mom. From Pinterest to Instagram we are bombarded with messages of what we can do to be better.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed as a mom. As a stay at home mom of a one and a half-year-old, I can relate.
As a mom I try not to put pressure on myself. Of course I have base standards that I strive to meet. I try not to get down that I’m not like all the other moms.
On a practical level, there are a few things I do to help me not feel overwhelmed as a mom and to be a better mom.
Divide large tasks into smaller manageable tasks
In my post on getting supper on the table faster I mentioned breaking down making supper into smaller steps.
For example preparing ingredients in the morning. Chopping vegetables when you bring them home from the store. Dividing and marinating meat for the freezer.
This can also be applied to cleaning. It’s easier to clean one room at a time than the whole house.
One day you clean the bathrooms, one day is the floors, another day is laundry. If you can complete at least one cleaning task a day it’s easier to stay on top of all cleaning.
When cleaning up for meals maaybe the dishes don’t get done until later but the table gets cleaned up and all the dishes get put in the sink.
Instead of being overwhelmed with a large task breaking it down into smaller steps can help you feel more productive.
Spend time outside
Spending even ten minutes outside can help reset your mental outlook. At least once a day I take my daughter outside.
We either go to the park, sit on a blanket and read a book or take a walk down our street. The fresh air helps to wear her out and take better naps.
Plus the activity stimulates her hunger and helps her eat better at mealtimes.
In the warmer months, it is a lot easier to get outside, in the winter this is tough but you can make it work. When Lyla was a baby I would bundle her up and take her on walks in her stroller. I waited till it was the warmest time of the day around 2 pm.
With older children even if they only play outside for 10 minutes the activity is beneficial.
Write down your tasks
At the beginning of each day or the night before writing down everything you want to accomplish. You can list tasks by category such as:
- phone calls
Even if you don’t look back on your list it’s still helpful to write it down. For me when I write things down I feel less stressed. I often forget everything I need to do. Just the act of writing down my tasks helps me to remember to do them.
Plan an activity to look forward to
As a mom every day can seem like a repeat of the last. That’s why it’s important to plan fun little activties to look forward to.
An activity does not have to cost money either. It can be a trip to the library, exploring a new park, going to the community pool or splash pad.
In the summer I love to visit the Farmers Market early on Saturday morning and pick up a few goodies. After we head to the park. By lunch time we’re home and my toddler is ready for her nap.
How many places in your community have you not explored yet? As a family you could make a bukcet list of free or low cost activities you want to try out.
Explore local festivals
If you are great at planning ahead you could look ahead to all the festivals happening near you over the coming year. Then schedules a trip on your calendar. That way you won’t have an excuse not to go. The event is already something you have planned ahead for.
In our community we have a strawberry festival, butter tart festival, Canada Day events, car shows, races. I find most of these events through Facebook. I search for events near me. A list of local events are displayed with all the information.
Grab a coffee
Sometimes you just need to pack up your kids, go on a drive and grab a coffee. I know gas is not free. However it’s worth it for your sanity. Plus coffee is only a few dollars. In the summer iced coffee is usually only a dollar.
I also find the change of atmosphere helpful to reset my mood. I also get a few minutes where I’m not worried what my toddler is up. I can take some time scroll on my phone or catch up on texts.
Take care of yourself to not feel overwhelmed as a mom
Self-care as a mom is so important. We often think of ourselves last after caring for our family. However, if we don’t fill our tanks we can’t give to those we love. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed as a mom.
Self-care looks different for everyone. Sometimes for me its writing or reading a book. I can mostly do these things while my child is sleeping. Other times it’s nice to have a complete mental break from caring for others.
Getting a babysitter every so often to watch your kids for a few hours is worth it. If you can’t afford a babysitter you could swap childcare with another family.
I know some husbands are really great about giving their wives time out alone. Sometimes it can be challenging for the husband to take over childcare for a few hours.
You can’t make your spouse do anything or even get them to understand why time alone for mom is important. Yet you can teach others how to treat you.
If you are always taking the kids with you and never leaving them with your spouse he will come to expect that is what’s acceptable. If one time you state that you are going out and the kids are staying home eventually he will pick up the message.
Read the Psalms
At the end of a busy day, I try to read from the Psalms. Not only does this time of meditation reset my mind. It gives me perspective.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed as a mom with the day to day stuff. When I take time to read God’s word it brings my focus upwards. Instead of worrying and stressing about my day. I am reminded that God is sovereign, that He is good and to praise Him.
Often I am asking God for help, for healing, or for an answer to my requests. When I read the Psalms I’m reminded that God is also to be worshipped. That I need to take the focus off of myself and my problems.
No matter what is going on in my life God is the same. He does not change. In all circumstances, we can worship Him.