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 motherhood for the first time or balancing 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 only to see the noodles 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
These days, trying to keep your sanity as a mom can be even more challenging.
We might not have the reliable support or resources that had helped in the past. The challenges of working and helping the kids with school is a juggle. Perhaps you’re expecting or have a baby at home, making this stage even harder than it already it is.
It’s enough to want to cry and feel sorry for yourself.
Rest assured mama, you’re not alone, and more importantly, you can get through this. By being mindful of your well-being, you can face these circumstances with resilience and even joy. Take a look at these tactics to keep your sanity as a mom:
1. Do something you’ve always enjoyed before being a mom
We’re so committed to being moms that 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, no matter how unrealistic they may be to do at the moment. Maybe you used to putter in the garden, exercised every morning, or enjoyed nice dinners with your spouse.
Then… do one of them, even if you have to adjust slightly.
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.
You’re not stuck with these circumstances. Even a few moments rekindling old passions apart from motherhood can help you regain your sense of self.
Free email challenge: Feeling stuck in motherhood and want to enjoy raising your kids again? Sign up for the Motherhood Motivation 5-Day Challenge! You’ll get one actionable tip a day that can make you think (and act) about motherhood differently. You’ll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:
“Oh my goodness Nina! I really appreciate you talking about this. Thank you for this reminder and for sharing some tips on how I can work on this habit. You have no idea how helpful this was!” -Kedeisha Freeman
2. Vent… then find solutions
Bottling your emotions forces you to put on a facade and prevents you from feeling your true emotions.
So, get those feelings out. Vent to your mom friends about losing your patience with your toddler. Share with an online mom group how you feel overwhelmed with your to-do list. Someone else can relate to or may have gone through the same circumstances as you have.
Then, after you’ve vented, ask 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 now, continue to write nearly every day.
The odd part? I hardly read through old journals. It’s the act of writing that helps me sort overwhelming feelings, remember my goals, and appreciate simple moments. Any time I feel out of sorts, I turn to my journal 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 my garden updates or what I plan to do the next day. For instance, here are a few topics to write about:
- Something you did today that you’re proud of
- What you plan to do today (or did, if writing in the evening)
- Awesome things that happened recently
- What you’re grateful for
- A list of tasks that are overwhelming you
- Issues you’re worried about
- Your short- and long-term goals
Once you get started, you might find it’s not as difficult as you might think!
4. Find entertainment
Nearly every day, 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 when I had a commute, because now I’m hooked. If not during my drive, I listen to podcasts while grocery shopping or going through loads of laundry.
Podcasts, music, and other forms of entertainment can be all you need to keep your sanity as a mom. When you feel ready to burst, watch a funny movie or show to get you out of a 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 entire day and giving myself permission to relax.
Or perhaps you might push the stroller through the neighborhood and get some fresh air. A change of scenery and a few minutes of exercise can be all it takes to reset your mood.
Check out these books for working moms.
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 when 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.
The solution? Do one task, or allot only 15 minutes of chores, for each nap. Wash the pump parts when you have a chance, or load the dishes and clean the kitchen up to 15 minutes of your child’s nap. But once you’ve done that one task, allow yourself to relax.
This may take time to get used to, especially if cramming chores has been your routine. But you might 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 do. When you feel your sanity slipping, find ways to organize 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.
Perhaps you can do basic chores during the week and reserve deep cleaning for special occasions. And when you do one type of chore, do similar ones as well. For instance, if you’re going to clean the kitchen sink, clean the bathroom sinks as well.
Learn 6 reasons you can’t keep up with cleaning your home.
7. Remind yourself of all the good things you’ve done
You can go crazy when you think about tasks you still have to do. Instead, make a list of all the good things you’ve done.
Start with today or yesterday: Write several tasks you accomplished, no matter what aspect of your life. Some of your accomplishments can be that you…
- Didn’t lose your cool when the kids started the day whining
- Bought your weekly groceries
- Borrowed books from the library
- Cranked out a ton of work
- Checked off all your errands on your planner
- Remembered to turn in important paperwork to the school
- Practiced writing, spelling, and numbers with the kids
- 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.
See 7 signs you’re doing fine as a mom.
Motherhood has its seasons that can make it extra challenging, but sometimes it’s that day-to-day stress that tests your sanity.
Shake it off by doing something you’ve always enjoyed before being a mom. Vent to others 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 organize 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!)
- How to Entertain a Baby
- Smart Ways to Cope When You Feel Tired All the Time
- What to Do When Your Baby Wants to Nurse Constantly
Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and sign up for the Motherhood Motivation 5-Day Challenge below:
Leave a Reply