9 Useful Tips for the Overwhelmed Mum

Chiomah Momah

Unlike the old days, when homes was filled with relatives who helped out, today, mothers, both single and married, are often solely left to deal with domestic and work pressure. This leads to an enormous feeling of being overwhelmed, which can affect a mother’s health and well-being adversely as excessive stress leads to health problems, premature aging and poor quality of life. Trying to be a super mum and ignoring all the signs of being overwhelmed can also make you eventually snap.

Here are a few steps to get you back on track and ready to take on the world:

1. Get help. 
Yes, I know the last domestic help you had was from hell and there are all these horrid tales of abuse, theft, and so on, but, there are still good people out there. If you take your time to pray it through and go through a reputable agency, you may find a good one. Also, whatever happened to the good old family? If you are blessed enough to live in the same town with your siblings or parents, by all means, take advantage of it. Get them to help you with chores and babysitting when they can. Also, get your husband to help out more, not by nagging, but by appreciating the little he does, and gradually pushing more his way. Also, learn how to delegate appropriate tasks to your children.

READ ALSO:6 Signs You’re Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Child

2. Learn to say no. 
This is something I had to learn. Don’t take up more than you can bear. Yes, you love Busayo, but if you honestly know you can’t look after her five kids for a month in addition to your team of three, nicely tell her so. She may feel bad at first, but if you explain how you’re feeling, she will understand. Instead, offer to check up on them periodically while their mama is away. You can still help out and shouldn’t use motherhood as an excuse, but if driving to Victoria Island from Satellite Town to pick up a cake for your aunt is going to cause you more stress than you can handle, have a rethink.

3. Join a mummy group. 
A lot of support groups, where mums exchange ideas, support and encourage each other, have sprung up on Blackberry Messenger and online. You can also make friends with other mums in your church or mosque. This is especially helpful as you can learn useful tips from other mums, especially those that are in similar circumstances.

4. Enjoy some ‘me time’.
No husband, no children, just you! You could ask your husband to take the kids to play tennis or to Grandma’s house, and just sit in bed and enjoy your favourite beverage, book a solo massage or  just spend the day looking through old pictures. Whatever you choose to do, just relax and enjoy being by yourself.

READ ALSO:8 Parenting Tips to Help You Understand Your Introverted Child Better

5. Vacation. 
Also closely related to this is a holiday. I’m a firm believer that every mum needs a family-free vacation now and then, maybe one with the husband or the girls only. It could be your annual professional conference. Use this as an opportunity to have some ‘me time’.

6. Take your time. 
When you have a long list of stuff to do, your maternal instinct kicks in and you multitask. However, there are times when multitasking may leave you flustered, and you end up achieving nothing. So, instead of squeezing ten tasks into an hour and risking getting burnt out, why don’t you take them one after the other? Not only will you be more relaxed, you will end up achieving more. It’s better to go only halfway through your list, than ending up totally stressed out.

7. Exercise. 
Believe it or not, exercising regularly actually helps you relax. I know you’re probably wondering where you’ll find time for exercise with your already crazy schedule. It could be simple ways like taking a walk for twenty minutes, or dancing to your favourite CD.

8. Get organised. 
Perhaps, you are overwhelmed because you are disorganised. Try and schedule your day and week. Draw up a food roster, duties for yourself and your domestic help, and planned activities for each week. Have days for washing, bulk buying, etc. When you are better organised, it takes lots of strain off you and helps you relax.

READ ALSO:8 Parenting Tips to Help You Understand Your Introverted Child Better

9. Laugh, cry, pray. 
Take time to laugh, cry and pray; this will feed your spirit and soul. Laugh at yourself, laugh at a silly movie, cry out your frustrations and pray to your Maker.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that you and your children are happy and healthy. So, don’t worry about every little or not-so-little issue that crops up. Take care of yourself, because as everyone knows, mummy is the ‘thermostat’ for the home. When mummy is relaxed and happy, everyone else is.

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