Running a household filled with little people often leaves a mama feeling like she is drowning in a sea of laundry and spilled Cheerios. The kids need diaper changes and the husband has misplaced his keys. There is food stuck to the floor and now your coffee is cold. These everyday struggles that you face as a mom can become overwhelming and, in some cases, lead you right into a pit of depression. I don’t have the magic cure, but I do have simple habits for overwhelmed moms that can get your head back above water.
11 Simple Habits for Overwhelmed Moms
1. Get up before the kids
I used to think that sleeping in was the key to happiness. On the contrary, sleeping in until the kids woke up caused more stress because I had no quiet time. I have started getting up at 5:30 each morning so I can spend a few minutes with my husband before he goes to work, brew some coffee in my Ninja Coffee Bar, and read and write in peace. When the kids wake up I am refreshed and ready to tackle our day!
2. Room Time
My time before the kids wake up is spent on quiet & still activities like drinking coffee, reading a devotional, and working on my blogs. This means that when the kids get up I still need to exercise, start dishes & laundry if I haven’t already, and do a few other housekeeping chores. Instead of sticking the kids in front of the television, I have them play in their rooms for an hour. Usually my son will play with Legos and my daughter will look at books or play with her horse toys. This buys me a little time to get the rest of my morning chores completed AND it teaches my kids to play independently. Two birds, meet one stone.
3. Do the Dishes Each Night
Waking up to a sink full of smelly dishes isn’t pleasant for anyone. That is why I have established a habit (basically a rule in my house now) that the dishes are to be washed before we go to bed. Sometimes this means that they are placed into the dishwasher, but they are not to be left in the sink. I absolutely love being able to walk into my kitchen to make a cup of coffee without feeling the need to scrub a pan or spray some air freshener.
4. Wash One Load of Laundry Each Morning
While the kids are playing I gather the dirty laundry and start a load in the washing machine. This load gets dried as soon as it is finished washing. I try to be sure to put it all away before bedtime. Doing this helps me to avoid a huge laundry pile up at the end of the week. It also keeps us from living out of baskets full of wrinkled clothes. If you have a clothesline, then you could even try letting the kids play outside while you line dry your clothes to relieve a little extra stress.
5. Plan Meals
Meal Planning sounds like it would add to the stress by placing another “to-do” on your list, but it saves so much time & money once you get started. I sit down with my meal plan chart each Friday. I write out ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and two Snacks for each day. Then, I am able to make a detailed grocery list for my weekly shopping trip. My dinners are usually freezer to crockpot meals so I can prep them on Sunday, freeze, and throw into the crockpot as needed! I use the grocery list & meal planning sheet in this Household Management Notebook.
6. Make the Bed
Every morning before I leave my bedroom I make my bed. Taking a couple of minutes to pull the sheets up and fluff the pillows makes me feel so much better. It also makes the whole room look more organized and tidy.
7. Make Family Time a Priority
If you want your household to feel totally out of whack, then push family time to the back of the stove. It is very tempting to keep working on chores or planning the week until time to go to bed. When we do this we neglect the very reason that we put so much effort into our homes. Take time to play board games, throw a baseball, or watch a movie together. This will help to relieve stress, bring your family closer together, and balance your home/work life even though they might seem like one in the same.
8. Find Time to Rest
This is one of the most difficult habits for overwhelmed moms to form, but it is so crucial to finding balance in motherhood. If your kids still take naps, try to rest during nap time. If not, have the kids play in their rooms quietly for a little bit so you can nap, read, or watch a little mindless tv… Whatever helps you relax and destress. You can even take an hour after the kids go to bed at night to decompress before you go to bed. Also be sure that you are getting enough sleep at night. A well rested mama is less likely to have a short fuse and a cranky attitude 🙂
9. Create a Self-Care Routine
I know, I know… Self-Care sounds like an extra finger to throw in the fire when you are already overwhelmed, but hear me out. If you can set up a daily routine with simple self-care steps, you can make it happen! Check out these self-care ideas and my morning self-care routine to help you decide what you should include in your routine.
10. Get Outside
Make a habit of being outside at least one hour per day. The fresh air and sunshine can really work wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional health. It will lift your spirits and change up your scenery to give you the feeling of a “fresh start” for the rest of your day.
11. Pray Regularly
Praying multiple times per day or being in an almost constant state of prayer/conversation with God will make all the difference in the world when it comes to your perspective on life and your ability to manage stress & own your time. Prayer doesn’t have to be a long & formal process, just chat with God about your fears, your worries, your hopes, and your dreams. Thank Him, praise Him, and spend time with him like you would with a friend.
I hope that these 11 habits for overwhelmed moms will boost your spirits and decrease your stress like they have for me. Your home and your family will thank you for it. 🙂
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