Always Feeling Behind, Mom?

Always Feeling Behind, Mom?
Do you always feel like you are running behind? That your to do list is eternal? Do you feel like you have too much on your plate? Do household tasks fall by the wayside because you are running non-stop? Does nighttime come all too quickly?

It is not unusual for mom to feel that her tasks are never ending. From work to carpool, and sick children to cleaning house, and grocery shopping to doing laundry – it is no wonder many moms feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

How can we possibly find joy in taking a child to buy new glasses after he smashed the back-up pair he was already wearing, returning a library book that is three weeks late because it was lost under the bed, or having to unexpectedly clean out the pantry due to an ant infestation? Those are not fun instances, and there is no way to make them fun. They are rampant in motherhood – those unexpected surprises. It is the other moments that we must seek out, notice, and cherish!

Well, take a minute to stop right now and appreciate life (something we may not often make time for). If there weren’t more to do, you’d be done. Life moves forward, and there is always more to do. Here are some suggestions for embracing the pace of motherhood with more joy, ease, and delight.

Finding Joy
I have an easy time feeling the joy when I look at old photos of my children, when I read the quote book of the funny things they’ve said, or when I catch a glimpse of them playing so nicely together. There are women who blog only on the joys of motherhood. Read them for inspiration, or write your own. Keep a joy journal. Write an entry everyday: What, today, filled your heart with joy? There are even motherhood joy boards on Pinterest. Take a look and laugh out loud.

Make Lists
Part of what separates us from our joy is the swirl in our heads reminding us of all we have to do. One thought leads to another and, soon, we are nowhere near joy. Keeping a running list (perhaps in an adorable notebook) will help you stay connected to the present. Write it down and “forget” about it. People – including mothers – are not truly capable of multi-tasking. If your mind is elsewhere, you are not completely focused on what you are doing.

Release the Shoulds
A sentence with the word “should” in it is a statement that tells you something is wrong with what you are doing. “I should not have eaten that for lunch.”; “I should really wake up early to exercise.”; “I should not have yelled at my children.” This is not to say that change is part of becoming a better person. Simply, release the judgments and negative self-talk that make you feel badly about yourself.

Be present to what is going on in your life right now, right this very moment. Slow down. Put space between your daily events, and create time to be more deliberate. Keep your mind on the present moment. When you start to wander away with worries or thoughts for the future, come back to what you are doing right now. Carve out time in your day to just sit. Sitting is good.

Our perspective around any given subject is our personal attitude or point or view. Perspective can have a powerful role in our ability to feel in control. Your viewpoint can change everything.

Have you ever heard the story of the professor and the glass of water? She addressed her Psychology class one day with a glass of water in her hand. She asked, “How much do you think this glass of water weighs?” The students called out their answers but were surprised by her reply.

“It really doesn’t matter,” she said, “how much the glass of water weighs. What matters is how long I hold it. If I put it down after a minute or two, the glass will continue to feel light. If I hold it for the next few hours, the weight of the glass might begin to make my arm ache. If I hold it for several days, my arm might cramp up – forcing me to drop the glass. The weight of the glass never changes, but – the longer I hold it – the heavier it feels.”

The Psychology professor went on to explain that holding a glass of water was much like carrying stress. The longer we hold on to the stressors in our lives and give our attention to them, the more paralyzed we become – incapable of doing anything – until we relinquish the stress.

Perspective can change everything. Use it to find the joy and stay in touch with the now moment. Make your list to help you stay on top of things and to release your worries, and make sure not to judge yourself in your motherhood journey.

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