I snapped this photo to remember this moment when I realized I was totally an overwhelmed mom, and even if I was #blessed, life was also really really hard.
I was a little over 24 hours into being a mom of three, and I was already an overwhelmed mom.
After a long long long labor, I gave birth to twins, and within a day brought them home to my 2-year-old daughter.
I had no idea WITAF I was doing.
I’d like to say that being a completely overwhelmed mom was due to the fact that I had twins, but to be honest, I was just as overwhelmed when I brought my first home from the hospital too.
No matter how seasoned, or new, of a mom you are, whenever you bring new life into this world, your life changes too.
With that change comes not just an emotional overwhelm, either from the postpartum hormones or just all the feels, but also a feeling of intense overwhelm trying to figure out how to make all the things work together now.
When you have kids, a lot of what keeps the peace in the home and your sanity is your routines.
There are periods of upheaval and difficulty, like illness or teething, but for the most part, you fall into patterns that help everyone stay on a somewhat even keel.
Nothing messes up a routine like a new baby and makes you feel more overwhelmed.
New babies have routines and minds all of their own.
In those first few days and weeks of being a new mom, or becoming a mom again with a new baby, you can easily become an overwhelmed mom trying to get to know this new little one.
There is not one single cure for the overwhelmed mom.
At some point, all of us will become frazzled and pushed to our limits, and for different reasons.
Sometimes it’s a new baby. Sometimes it’s a baby becoming a toddler. Sometimes it’s a threenager. Sometimes it’s not even the kids, but our partner stressing us out.
But eventually, you realize you’re hardcore on that strugglebus and need to get off fast.
If there is one panacea for being overwhelmed it is this… admitting it.
How often do you see other moms on Instagram, at Target, at the bus stop, at your kid’s ballet class, or maybe at the park and think that they have it all together? They’re really nailing this whole mom thing.
The truth is, they probably look at you and think the same thing.
We have been trained not to bother others with our needs or our feelings. We have been trained to act like we have it all together and aren’t overwhelmed moms when we don’t. We’ve been trained to pretend we aren’t overwhelmed when we are drowning.
The idea that we might be feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, even just for a day, even just for an hour, is full of so much shame for most of us, we can’t even admit it.
I have no problem divulging my feelings here on this very public blog post, but when it comes to “real” life, ya know like in-person real life with friends and people I know, I clam up.
It’s oddly easier to share with a big group of people than to share with an individual.
Last weekend my daughter had her first ballet recital. I was a little worried she might freeze up because she was being shy about practicing her routine in front of people.
But when she walked on that stage, she beamed! She hit every mark and totally rocked it, even though she’s only 5!
See, when you perform or share for a big group, even when you are being “vulnerable” there is a mask that is up. There is still some separation. You can’t be truly intimate with too many people at a time.
And this happens in social media too. We share memes that joke about how tired we are because it’s easier to turn it into a joke.
But what if you were able to just open up to one person about how overwhelmed you really were? Or maybe even just admit it to yourself?
A lot of times acknowledging that my life is a shitshow and I don’t know what I’m doing helps me get a bit recentered.
Admitting my low point helps me start figuring out how to get back on track, and when I admit it to someone else there are a couple things that happen.
The first is I realize that even though we are all adults, we still all kind of feel like we are kids who don’t know WTF is going on…
The second is we realize that we *might* have been catastrophizing things in our head. Making a mountain out of a molehill. Shaming ourselves to the nth degree instead when things are that bad.
Of course, the pressures of motherhood are huge, and yes we do get overwhelmed. But when you bring yourself back to reality, you realize that the overwhelming might be all in your head because you try to do it all at once.
Maybe you can just focus on the next thing you can do right now?
What do you think, mama? What helps you when you’re feeling like a totally overwhelmed mom? Share in the comments below!
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