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#1 Reason for Mom Overwhelm and How to Fix It

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Are you an overwhelmed mom who is constantly running from one task to the next and can’t quite get ahead of all the demands put on your time?  

Has it become your norm to forget the things you need to do or only remember at the last minute, causing you to be perpetually late to everything?

Does it all just feel like too much to handle?

If any of this sounds familiar, you might be suffering from mom overwhelm, but don’t fret.  In this post, I’m going to explain what very likely may be the underlying reason for your feelings of mom overwhelm and how to fix it.

#1 Reason for Mom Overwhelm & How to Fix It

Why are moms overwhelmed?

You may be thinking that you’re an overwhelmed mom because of all the commitments and responsibilities in your life.  Afterall, motherhood is a lot to handle.  

It’s certainly hard to manage it all, believe me, I’ve been there.  But, have you ever thought that there could be another reason you’re feeling this way?

Maybe it’s not the actual responsibilities that are the cause of your stress. Instead, could the reason you feel so overwhelmed be because you don’t have a plan?

I’m talking about a big picture plan for creating a life that you love living.

When you don’t have a plan, it’s impossible to feel in control of your life on a daily basis.  This leaves you feeling overwhelmed and sometimes even hopeless.  Needless to say, feelings like this don’t exactly lead to you loving life, right?

On the contrary, it makes everything in your life feel really hard.  But it doesn’t have to be so hard!

In order to build a life that you love, you have to start by having a plan.  AND you can’t have a plan if you don’t have a calendar.  

Related:  “The Real Truth Why Being a Mom is Hard”


The Art of Controlling Your Calendar

Before you click away thinking that you don’t need to read another post about time management strategies, hear me out.

This post is not about keeping up with your to-do list or tips for how to be more productive.  I’ve written on this topic before and I think that before you even get to the strategies of how to better manage your time, it’s important to discuss something that is integral to building a life you love.

That is the art of controlling your calendar and it starts with deciding what even goes into your calendar in the first place.   

YOU are the gatekeeper that controls what you allow to have a place in your calendar, and hence what you allow to have a place in your life.

Building a life you love is really quite simple. It comes down to priorities and choices.  

Thus, the art of controlling your calendar starts with your intentions and setting appropriate boundaries for what you allow into your schedule, and consequently into your life and that of your family.

Related:  “How to Set Boundaries with Family and Make Them Last”

4 Tips to Take Control of Your Calendar and Reduce Mom Overwhelm

The Art of Controlling your Calendar to Reduce Mom Overwhelm

1.)  Stop doing the things that don’t give you life

One of the first things to do in order to take control of your calendar is to review how you’re spending your time and start eliminating those activities that do not give you life.

If it’s not bettering your life and working towards helping you live the way you want to, then stop saying yes to it.  You can’t do it all and the sooner you realize this, the better you will feel.

This could include limiting what sports and activities you sign your kids up for, deciding not to join the PTA, not volunteering to spearhead the new project at work, or saying no to social events that you don’t want to attend.

Of course there will be people you will disappoint when you say “no”, but choose to disappoint others rather than disappointing yourself.  Choose to not disappoint yourself and your family over outside people, sometimes even extended family and friends.

“Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.”

Glennon Doyle, Untamed

Related:  “Mama, You Can’t Do It All: How to Let Go of What No Longer Serves You”

2.)  Accept that busier is not better

In our performance culture society which teaches us that busier is better, it’s hard not to get overextended.  We fall into the mindset that we need to constantly “go-go-go” and wind up feeling like we’re always running, but still never accomplishing enough.  

This can certainly be tiring, overwhelming and dangerous if you’re not able to find a healthy balance for yourself.  

Thus the next tip to fight mom overwhelm is to understand and accept that busier is not always better.  You must work to find an appropriate balance in your life so as not to overextend yourself and deplete your time and energy.

This goes back to the point above.  What you say yes to should be in alignment with your goals and priorities for the life you want to lead.  

Related:  “Hustle Mode: 5 Warning Signs You Need to Slow Down and REST”

3.)  Learn how to say “no”

Once you know what you need to cut out of your calendar, how do you actually say “no”?  Literally, what should you say when canceling plans or backing out of commitments???

It’s not easy, especially when you’re dealing with saying no to people you truly care about.  Although there is no way to completely get around disappointing others, you want to be cognizant of their feelings.  

While I’m not going to advise you to lie or make up excuses, I can offer some examples of how to say no in a “p.c.” kind of way.  

  1. “I’m going to take a break for a while.  Things have gotten too busy.  I’ll let you know if that changes.”
  2. “Unfortunately I can’t be there.  I’ve had to really edit down my commitments for now, but truly appreciate the invitation and hope to see you soon.”
  3. “Sorry, we can’t make it this time.  Have fun!” (no explanation necessary)
  4. “We decided as a family to take a step back for the time being.  All good stuff, but things are kind of hectic right now.”
  5. “The timing isn’t working out for this one.  Hope to catch you next time!”
  6. “Currently, I’m struggling a bit to find the right balance for myself so I’m going to have to say no this time.  I hope you’ll include me again in the future.”  (be honest)

4.)  Make your calendar work for you

Hopefully you’ve gotten to the point where you’re clear on what you will allow into your calendar and you’ve learned how to say no when necessary.  The final tip in controlling your calendar to alleviate mom overwhelm is to make sure to schedule things in a way that works best for you.  

Make your calendar work for you, not the other way around!

This involves strategies like planning out your week ahead of time, as well as organizing and prioritizing your tasks appropriately.   It’s also a good idea to take advantage of your most productive time of day and batch similar tasks together for efficiency.

I strongly suggest getting yourself some kind of digital calendar app, or simply use Google or the IOS calendar.  My husband and I share everything on a family IOS calendar that populates both of our Iphone calendars.  As soon as a task or commitment pops up, it goes into the family calendar so that we both know about it.  You can also set reminders for tasks or events and make them recur when needed.

If you’re old school and like to physically write things down, use a written daily planner like any of these.  I particularly like the  Legend Planner because in addition to being a planner, it goes a step further and helps you define your broader goals for the year, as well as the action items, rituals, and habits you need to incorporate into your daily life to meet these goals.

For more tips on managing your calendar, check out this post:  “How to Plan Your Week to be Productive (9 tips that really work)”.

Still feeling mom overwhelm?

The ideas offered in this post are here to help you learn to reduce your mom overwhelm and start loving life more.  Like all of my blog posts, I strive to inspire and support you in living your best life, your ideal life.  

BUT, at the end of the day, we all know that our ideal life is not always our reality and you will certainly have those bad days when everything goes wrong and you want to throw in the towel and give up.  

However, I hope that by implementing some of my advice, you can start to feel less burnt out and overwhelmed as a mom.  

Try making some small changes in your mindset, how you schedule your calendar, and what you allow to have a place in your life.  In time, you will see that you’re on your way to building a life you love, day by day.  

Did you like this post?  You might enjoy these as well:

How to Build a Healthy Mindset Toolkit

How to Create a ‘What Makes You Happy List

The Unique Ways Being Mindful Matters for Moms

How To Be a Fun Mom (when it doesn’t come naturally)

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3 thoughts on “#1 Reason for Mom Overwhelm and How to Fix It”

  1. I’ve definitely had the “mom overwhelm” many times over the years! Some days are better than others. I like the quote about disappointing the others first. Planning and using calendars aren’t always my strong points but I should try them more. Great post!

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