Are You An Overwhelmed Mom?  One Little Word Could Make All The Difference

If there’s a common bond between mothers – besides the unconditional love we have for our kids – it’s the unending stress and exhaustion.

We all want the best for our children, and it’s not always easy to balance the needs of our families with all the other things we’re responsible for on a daily basis.

One word could help us significantly, but it’s something we all have a hard time saying.

If you’ve read a blog or opened a magazine lately, you’ve likely seen at least a few articles on the importance of self-care for moms.

We know we must take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.  Yet we take too much on, taking away from sleep or relaxation or time alone to decompress.

We feel the pressure of the world around us.  We compare ourselves to others who may have more time or resources.  We try our best, and yet we feel our best isn’t good enough.

If that describes you, you’re not alone.  Nearly every mother at one time or another feels that pang of guilt.  There’s so much we have planned – so much we want to accomplish – but we’re tired and overwhelmed.

But, how much of what is on our to-do lists is actually “must-do?”

Mothers are caregivers.  Most of us want to please everyone.  We know that’s not possible, but we can’t seem to stop.

That’s when we, as mothers, all need to get better at using one little word…

“No.”

All the media attention about the importance of self-care for women can be problematic.  It sometimes adds even more to our list.  It’s just one more thing that someone is telling us must be done.

But losing ourselves in the care of others is becoming an epidemic.

It’s both an emotional and physical danger.  And saying “no” to responsibilities that are not essential to the health and safety of your family is essential.

Saying “no” does not come easily for us, especially if we were raised by mothers who could not say “no” themselves.

Times have changed, and women are juggling more and more.  Perhaps our mothers and grandmothers appeared to do so much because they actually had less that had to be done.

Modern moms have meetings and soccer practice; bake sales and helping with school projects.  We may also have children with behavioral issues or special needs that require extra attention.

While these things may have been part of our mothers’ or grandmothers’ lives, expectations were different.

Life is busier now, and we all must evaluate and prioritize.  We are pressured to believe that being a good mom means you stay up all night making cupcakes or spend your only day off volunteering in the classroom.

These are wonderful things to do – if you have the time.

The question we must ask ourselves is, “Is this absolutely essential?”  Is it essential to your job, and more importantly, is it essential to the health, safety, or well-being of your family?

Of course, we will have responsibilities for work or family that are time-consuming but must be done.

But then there are all the little things we take on because we want to make people happy, especially our children.  

When we’re overwhelmed, it’s time to prioritize – and really stop to think about what does and doesn’t matter.

Does your child have to have a hand-sewn costume for the Christmas pageant at school, or would some store-bought accessories do the trick?  It’s likely your child will remember that you were there and helped them prepare – and they probably won’t remember down the road what their costume looked like at all.

Do you really have time to volunteer for hours at a school event?  Or would it mean more to your child that you spent that time with them one-on-one doing something you both enjoy?

Saying “no” is never easy.  We all feel guilty when we know someone needs our help and we just have nothing left to give.

And when we get to the point of having nothing left to give, it has a negative impact on our family.

Just like with everything else in life, practice makes perfect.  

The first time you say, “I’m sorry, no, I just don’t have the time” will be difficult.  But you’ll find that it gets easier, especially when you feel yourself doing more of what matters and less of what you felt obligated to do.

There should be no guilt in recognizing that you are only one person.  

You can’t do everything, and if you try to do everything, you won’t be able to do anything well – especially take care of yourself and your family.

Words have impact, and this one little word could make all the difference for an overwhelmed mom!

Do you take on too much and have trouble saying “no?”  Or have you found that saying “no” to things that are not essential has helped you?  Leave us your thoughts.

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