Motherhood is such a significant privilege and responsibility, and mothering well is hard to do when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and weary. We all have seasons where life feels overwhelming. Whether it’s due to life circumstances, relational issues, financial stress, world events, or our own mental health struggles – the truth is that life gets a little overwhelming at times. And, in a perfect world, we’d have time to compose ourselves and pull it together before we have to do the “mom thing,” but that’s just not reality. In the real world sometimes we just have to put on a brave face and do what has to be done even when we feel like we’re just barely hanging on. So how do we do motherhood well in the midst of overwhelming seasons? Check out these 8 keys to mothering well when life feels overwhelming.
But before we dive in, make sure to grab your free printable planner download below!
Keys to Mothering Well When Life Feels Overwhelming
1. Put on your oxygen mask first.
Self care. Self care. Self care. Self care. It sounds like such a froofy thing to say, but it’s ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that you prioritize taking care of yourself well.
Get some sunshine if you can.
Take your vitamins.
Move your body at least a little bit.
Take a shower.
Talk to friends and mentors.
Take a nap.
You cannot give what you do not have. Your kids need you to be okay, so go take care of you.
2. Guard your thoughts.
Spending time on social media can be a great way to connect with others, but it can also feed anxiety and insecurity.
Checking the news can give you important updates on world events, but spending too much time on it can just feed fear and anxious thoughts.
Keep your intake balanced.
Replace negative sources with positive ones. Find some good books to read. Listen to podcasts that build you up. Listen to positive, uplifting music.
When you feel anxiety and overwhelm creeping up, stop and become conscious about what thought or event just triggered that response.
When you start to spiral downward, become aware of where the spiral started. Was the thought that started it a true thought or a fear thought?
It’s way easier to say “control your thoughts” than to actually do it. I have found Dr. Caroline Leaf’s resources on her blog, podcast, and books to be SO HELPFUL when it comes to having practical, concrete steps to controlling thoughts. Since she’s a neuroscientist, she also offers really awesome insight about the processes that actually take place in your brain when you apply each of her steps.
3. Dig deep into Scripture.
An excellent place to start is in the Psalms. Some of my favorites lately have been…
- Psalm 5:11-12
- Psalm 16
- Psalm 23
- Psalm 34
- Psalm 91
- Philippians 4:4-8
- 2 Corinthians 1:4
- John 16:33
- John 14:1
4. Cultivate gratitude.
It’s hard to stay in that anxious and overwhelmed zone when you’re tapping into gratitude.
Start and end every day by making a list of specific, concrete things you are thankful for. Make it detailed.
Remind yourself of all of the other difficult seasons in your life that you have made it through. Meditating on the ways that God has been faithful to you and your family in the past will build your faith and confidence.
5. Look for the opportunities in the season.
When you’re focusing on the good things that can happen even in the midst of hard circumstances, it changes your perspective. Every difficult season is an invitation into deeper intimacy with God. Every hard season is an opportunity for growth.
6. Teach your children the things you’re learning…at an age appropriate level.
When we lean into God in the midst of our heartache, hurts, fear, and overwhelm, He shows up.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
What a gift we can give to our children in hard times!
…to teach them to lean into God as they watch us do the same…
…to teach them rely on God for every need…
…to teach them to choose gratitude when we could choose to complain…
While there are some things we do need to shield our children from – like the full weight of the concerns we’re carrying – if we completely keep them in the dark and oblivious to the fact that this world has challenges, they never get the opportunity to see God’s faithfulness.
Use wisdom. Don’t share your fears. Share your faith.
7. Give yourself grace, and give your children grace too.
It’s not the time to be supermom.
Apologize to your children when you’re short with them.
Lower your expectations for your children as well.
Focus on connection over correction.
Let go of mom guilt.
A little extra screen time won’t hurt them.
Feeding them cereal for dinner is totally acceptable.
8. Make time for play.
There is so much benefit in laughter. Be silly. Pull out the water balloons and have a water balloon fight. Pull out some nerf guns. Play capture the flag. Play tag. Play silly, “pointless” games. Make eye contact. It will do worlds of good for your mental health AND your connection with your kids.
One last note…
When we’re in the middle of overwhelming seasons, it can be hard to visualize life on the other side of it. When life is filled with uncertainty, it can feel like it will last forever.
This season will not last forever. You are capable of handling what comes your way, because you have a God who promises to never, ever leave you.
You’re going to make it.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE planner download below!