What Should You Do When You Start to Feel Overwhelmed?
What does being overwhelmed mean? The Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary’s definition of overwhelming means to be very great in number, effect, or force-used to describe something that is so confusing, difficult, etc., that you feel unable to do it.
Why do people become overwhelmed? People become overwhelmed because they are trying to do too much; there is too much external stimuli in their environment; or, there has been a cycle of events leading up to a specific moment in which they can no longer handle another thing occurring or going wrong.
Let’s brainstorm and see if we can come up with a few examples!
- You’ve managed to get yourself ready to leave for work for the day including gathering everyone’s gear, dressing your children, and waking up your spouse. When…child #1 starts whining that his pants are too loose; child #3 tosses off her pants and throws them on the floor because she doesn’t want to wear pants anymore; and child #2 goes poop and clogs the toilet then leaves you in charge of the plunger and in need of a gas mask. Finally, your spouse asks what is taking you so long to get ready to go to work.
- Upon returning home from a long day at work, you walk in the door with your children and spouse in tow. Before you can sit your groceries down on the counter, child #1 shoves a tablet in your face and says, “Can you type in Minecraft?” (at least he says “can”); child #2 starts digging in the cabinet under the sink searching for a glass and starts complaining that he can’t find the lid to his favorite cup and you need to find it NOW!; and child #3 begins shrieking, “Mommy, mommy, mommy…”, from inside the pantry. Thinking she’s stuck on something, you rush in only to find her hanging from the top shelf because she wants to sit on the top of your head.
One more just in case you’re having difficulty catching on to what being overwhelmed is.
- You try to type on your computer to work on a blog post at 9:30 p.m. In all those wonderful homes that mimic “Leave it to Beaver” episodes, the children are all snuggled under the covers sound asleep. In your home, child 2 is asking for a drink of milk; child #1 is asking for something to eat; and child #3 is sticking her feet on the keyboard of your laptop asking, “Are you done yet?”
Surely, by now you’ve started to feel some anxiety over reliving these types of situations Anyone can become overwhelmed, so don’t give up. You are a busy, working mother and that brings with it a lot of responsibility.
If you’ve reached the end of your rope, get to bed and get some sleep. The blog post can wait until tomorrow. Everything doesn’t have to be done in one day. Getting some rest will give you a fresh perspective on the things that you need to get done.
Sure, it won’t be enough sleep. It never is. And, hopefully you’re lucky enough not to have a three year old that has only slept through the night forty or fifty times in her short life.
However, if getting some rest is out of the question, take a deep breath and count to 10. After exhaling, calmly tell your children that you need some time to get things put away and then you can work together to solve their crises. Or, better yet, as soon as you pull into your driveway, find out what each of them wants and don’t let them come into the house (helps if you have a spouse and he remains in the car with them and child services doesn’t get called) until you’ve brought everything in the house, items put away, and gotten their most intense need prepared for when they walk in the door. Makes for an excellent beginning to the evening without total chaos!
How do you handle getting overwhelmed?
Check out my FREE Mini Course on Empowering Mothers – Reclaim Self!
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