Feeling overwhelmed with motherhood? Learn 7 tips to keep your sanity as a mom and overcome the challenges that come with parenthood.
Whether adjusting to a new baby or balancing all five kids, mom life can make anyone feel crazy. I can’t imagine a more stressful, long-term role than motherhood, on top of our other roles at work or duties we already have.
And it’s not always the huge issues that make life difficult—the little things add up and can set off even the most patient mom. Anyone who has ever offered her child a bowl of spaghetti noodles only to see it flung to the floor knows what I’m talking about.
We may be able to plug through full steam for a short while, but at some point, we’ll feel burned out. We make more mistakes than usual, can’t think clearly, and don’t enjoy motherhood the way we want to.
7 tips to keep your sanity as a mom
That’s why it’s important to practice sanity-saving tactics to get through your days. These are my go-to moves when I feel like I’m losing my sanity as a mom:
1. Do something you’ve always enjoyed before being a mom
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We’re so committed to being moms that we forget we have other roles on top if this one. Sure, we work, especially since the alternative means not getting paid. But we neglect other aspects of our lives, especially those we used to enjoy but no longer make time for.
Make a list of all the things you loved to do before being a mom. Maybe it’s singing in a choir, working out or having nice dinners with your partner and a few close friends. Then… do one of them.
Some hobbies, like reading, are easy to do during the week while others mean scheduling it in your calendar. But don’t let that stop you: Schedule that yoga class, start that DIY home project, or head to the store to buy those crochet supplies.
Don’t feel like you’re stuck or have lost yourself. Even a few hours rekindling old hobbies apart from motherhood can help you regain your sense of self.
2. Vent… then find solutions
Bottling your emotions is never healthy. You’re putting on a facade while denying what you feel to emerge.
So get those feelings out. Vent to friends, family or online mom groups about losing your patience with your toddler, or feeling overwhelmed with your to-do list. I guarantee someone else will be able to relate to or has gone through the same thing as you have.
Then, after you’ve vented, ask others for help. What advice can they give to make your days feel less overwhelming? How can you rely on friends and family to lighten your load?
Where venting can help you release pent up frustration, finding solutions makes sure they don’t happen too often.
3. Start a daily journal
I’m a fan of writing in a journal, and up to this day continue to write almost every day.
Thing is, I hardly ever read through old journals, but the act of writing helps me sort overwhelming feelings, remember my goals and appreciate simple moments. Any time I feel out of sorts, I write it down and immediately feel lighter from having done so.
Don’t think you’re the journaling type? Do what I do and write about mundane events in your day. Trust me, my journals don’t hold juicy details, unless you want to read about running a business or what I plan to do the next day. Here are a few topics to write about:
- Something you did today that you’re proud of
- What you plan to do today
- Awesome things that happened
- Things you’re grateful for
- A list of tasks that are overwhelming you
- Your short-term and long-term goals
Once you get started, you’ll find it’s not as difficult as you might think!
4. Find entertainment
Nearly everyday, you’ll find me plugging my phone into the van so I can listen to my list of podcasts. I can’t believe I didn’t listen to podcasts years ago, because now I’m hooked. If not during my drive, I listen to podcasts while shopping for groceries or cleaning the house.
Podcasts, music, and other forms of entertainment can be all you need to keep your sanity as a mom. When I feel ready to crack, I’ll watch a funny movie or show to get me out of my funk.
Reading is another one of my sanity-saving tactics. Every night, I wind down by reading a book, whether fiction or non-fiction. It’s my way of shutting down for the day and giving myself permission to relax.
5. Relax during down time
Do you use those precious nap hours to get as many things done around the house as possible?
I made this mistake early on when I had my eldest. The minute I got him out of my arms and down for a nap, I’d scramble around the house, trying to do all the things I couldn’t because he was awake.
And up to a point, this may be your only chance to do so. Those pump parts need to get washed and the dishes loaded, but cramming chores into those brief pockets of time neglects your own self-care.
Instead, do one task, or allot only 15 minutes of chores, for each nap. If washing the pump parts is the most important, then tend to that. Or load the dishes and clean the kitchen up to 15 minutes only.
Then, use the rest of the time to relax. This may take time to get used to, especially if cramming chores has been your routine, but you’ll find yourself less stressed when you can let go of more tasks.
6. Find quick hacks to meals and chores
Chores and preparing meals are some of the most time-consuming tasks we have to do. When you feel your sanity slipping, find ways to streamline and make household tasks more realistic and doable.
For instance, there’s no way I’m going to cook a complicated meal that takes longer than an hour. I also find recipes and shop once a week so I don’t have to think of meals on the fly or run to the store for last-minute cooking.
If you’d like a convenient printable of how I do my meal planning, I’d love for you to download my meal planner—at no cost to you! You’ll get a template for shopping and recipe lists to make meal planning much easier. Join my newsletter and download the planner:
I also do basic chores during the week and reserve deep cleaning for special occasions. And when I do one chore, I do similar ones as well. For instance, if I’m going to clean the kitchen sink, I’ll clean the bathroom sinks as well.
7. Remind yourself of all the good things you’ve done
You can go crazy when you think about all the things you still have to do. Instead, make a list of all the good things you’ve done.
Start with today or yesterday: Write all the things you accomplished, no matter what aspect of your life. My day yesterday included these accomplishments:
- Didn’t lose my cool when two out of three kids started the day by whining
- Bought our weekly groceries
- Borrowed books from the library
- Cranked out a ton of work
- Remembered to donate old books to the school
- Practiced writing, spelling and numbers with my twins
- Cooked a quick dinner
When you write all you’ve done, you realize you’re doing a fantastic job, no matter what your to-do list says! Go easy on yourself and realize that you’re doing much better than you give yourself credit for.
Motherhood has its seasons that make it extra challenging, but sometimes it’s that day-to-day stress that can test your sanity.
Shake it off by doing something you’ve always enjoyed before being a mom. Vent to fellow moms who can understand and even offer to ease the burden off you. Start a daily journal to record your thoughts and feelings, and find entertainment to lighten your mood.
Then, include rest and self-care in your regular down time, and look for ways to streamline and hack daily chores and meals. And finally, remind yourself of all the things you’re getting done—you’re doing much more than you think!
Because you can keep your sanity as a mom and no longer have to go crazy—even over a bowl of spilled spaghetti.
Get more tips:
- When You Don’t Have a “Village”: How to Take Care of Twins Alone
- How to Make Time for Yourself (Even If You Have Kids!)
- What to Do when Your Baby Needs to Be Entertained Constantly
- Smart Ways to Cope When You Feel Tired All the Time
- Being a Working Mom Doesn’t Suck
Tell me in the comments: How do you keep your sanity as a mom when things get crazy?
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Do you feel overwhelmed balancing the needs of your family and your role as a mom? Struggling to find the time to get everything done? Get organized with a FREE copy of my ebook, Time Management Strategies for the Overwhelmed Mom!