From overwhelmed to in control
By Meagan Ruffing
If you are a mom, then you know the word “overwhelmed” goes hand-in-hand with the role of raising little ones. Whether you’re a first-time parent or a parent of multiples, the life you had before kids looks a lot different than the one you’re living now.
When I first became a mom, I struggled with finding balance. Balance between who I wanted to be and what I thought a mother was supposed to be. It didn’t help that my first born had severe acid reflux, colic, and a benign developmental delay in walking. Parenthood just wasn’t how I’d imagined it to be and the reality of this seeped into every crevice of my life.
Fast-forward eight years, two more kids, and a mom who is a little bit wiser than she once was, I am here to tell you there is hope for you moms out there who feel overwhelmed. The first step is taking a deep breath, grabbing a pen (or the nearest crayon) and writing down what it is that is making you feel overwhelmed. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to going from overwhelmed to in control.
1. Once you have written down what it is that is overwhelming you (kids, lack of sleep, marriage, overeating, weight, and so on), you can begin to tackle the very thing that has been causing you so much stress.
2. Ask yourself, “Why is this overwhelming me?” If it’s your weight that is bothering you, the reason might be something like, “My clothes don’t feel good on me. I can’t seem to stop snacking, etc.) Once you pin point why this overwhelming situation is making you frazzled, you can begin to take back control. State it for what it is and move on.
3. Write down your next small step. Literally, what is the next small step you can take in going from overwhelmed to in control? If it’s a rocky marriage that has your stomach in a ball of knots, maybe scheduling an appointment with a therapist is your next small step. It’s actually a big step but in the bigger picture, it’s one small step in taking control.
4. Decide how big of an issue this is. Is it an immediate problem? Is it a problem that can wait a few weeks? Or maybe it’s something that can wait several months? Whatever your overwhelming situation is, decide where it falls on the urgency list and treat it as so. An example of each one of these might be:
· Baby not sleeping = Urgent.
· Want to lose weight = over the next several weeks.
· Get my house back in order = Not Urgent but something I will work on over the next few months.
5. Have an accountability friend.
This is key. Find someone who you can trust and who will hold you accountable. This might be your spouse, your closest friend, or your neighbour. You might have different accountability people for different situations in your life and that’s okay. That is normal. Once you have decided and pinpointed what it is that is overwhelming you, and you have figured out what your next small step will be, go ahead and tell someone what your action plan is.
Becoming a mom is tough stuff. It’s great stuff but it’s tough stuff. Who you once were will come through again, you just have to be diligent and intentional about letting her peek through from time-to-time. Give yourself a break and a pat on the back for bringing this amazing child into the world and acknowledge things for what they are; tough. You will get through this and you will come out stronger from this. Your days of not showering and forgetting to eat will become a thing of the past before you can say, “I can’t believe he’s 8-years-old. Where did the time go?”
Meagan Ruffing is in the business of helping moms go from overwhelmed to in control. She believes in creating an environment where moms are free from judgement so there will be one less lonely mom out there. You can read more about her movement at www.meaganruffing.com and in her new book, “I See You: Helping Moms Go from Overwhelmed to In Control.”