Does your day-to-day life feel like a struggle? Like you’ve got an endless to-do list and that you might never figure this parenting thing out. If so, then read through this list of simple but effective tips for overwhelmed moms.
We all know it’s true.
Sometimes motherhood can be really overwhelming. From the moment we wake up, to when we go to sleep and everything in between, it’s hard not to feel like we have too much on our plates.
The endless snack requests, neverending dishes and laundry, plus trying to keep your cool when your kids won’t stop fighting and you’re not sure when you last had a decent night’s sleep.
There is so much advice out there about what mothers should do with their time or how they should parent, but sometimes moms just need a little encouragement.
In this post, I’m sharing 20 tips for overwhelmed moms to help you feel a little more organized and calm throughout your day.
Ready to get started?
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Is it normal for moms to feel overwhelmed?
Yes! And oh my goodness do I wish more moms talked about this! Social media gives us this impression that all the other moms out there are killing it while we’re the only ones hiding at home wondering how we’re going to make it through another day.
ForbesWoman and TheBump.com did a survey and found that “92% of working moms say they are overwhelmed with workplace, home, and parenting responsibilities,” and “89% of SAHMS feel overwhelmed with workplace, home, and parenting responsibility.”
This means, unfortunately, we’re pretty much all a hot mess. So if you’re wondering if how you’re feeling is normal, the answer is most definitely yes.
How I Felt Like the Mom Who Just Couldn’t Keep Up
I have also struggled as a mom. I used to feel so tired and overwhelmed almost every day.
It felt like I was constantly doing stuff while simultaneously being surrounded by all the things I didn’t get to.
I would cook, and take care of the kids all day just to see my super messy house staring at me making me feel like a crappy mom.
Or I would spend all day cleaning, and then I was exhausted and impatient with my kids (who I hardly paid attention to) so I still felt like a crappy mom.
I was constantly wondering how other moms managed to do it all, and why I couldn’t.
I eventually managed to make a few changes in my life that helped me let go of the ever-present mom guilt and feel a lot less stressed and worn out. So let’s get into my best tips for overwhelmed moms.
20 Simple But Effective Tips for Overwhelmed Moms
Before we dive into this list of tips for overwhelmed moms, I want to say that the things on this list are just suggestions. They are not things you should do. They are things you could do.
The last thing you need when you feel overwhelmed is another set of things to add to your to-do list. Instead, treat this list as ideas to incorporate to help make your day go more smoothly.
Some will work for you and some might not. That’s ok! Feel free to take what you need and leave the rest.
Be Honest With How You Feel
My very first tip for overwhelmed moms is to get honest about how you feel. You can’t start solving the problem if you’re not honest that you have one.
As moms, we often want to “push through.” Admitting that parenting is hard or that we need a break can make us feel like bad moms.
If I love my kids, this should be easy right?!
That kind of thinking makes it really hard to make the changes necessary to stop feeling so stressed and overwhelmed. So step 1: admit when you’re having a hard time and know that it’s ok you feel that way.
A good way to tap into how you’re feeling is to journal every day. If you haven’t journaled much before, it might feel strange, but trust me it’s worth it!
Spending a few minutes each day writing down how you’re feeling or how your day went can really help put things in perspective. Not only can it help you recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, but it can also help you pinpoint what exactly in your life is causing the problem.
Then you can start figuring out what you want to do about it.
Start Saying No
Next on my list of tips for overwhelmed moms is to start saying no. Sometimes as moms we become everyone’s go-to source for help.
Our kids naturally turn to us for help with everything from opening their bag of chips to homework to dealing with friends at school. But often we have other people turning to us for help too.
Family members, friends, coworkers, and even our husbands. The next thing we know, we have more responsibilities than we can handle and the overwhelm starts creeping in.
If you take a step back and look at everything you have going on and it feels like too much, it’s time to start saying no.
It might be hard to let people down when you can’t help them, but if you run yourself so ragged you get burned out, you won’t be able to help anyone.
One of the things I didn’t do often enough when I used to feel overwhelmed is practice gratitude. Gratitude allows you to take a step back from all the crazy and find the good in your life.
Sometimes taking a quick step back and realizing how much you have to be grateful for can help reenergize you. When I’m frantically cleaning my house for unexpected guests, it’s easy to totally lose it when I find my son has poured paint all over the dining room table. (True story! 🤦)
But taking a step back to remember how happy I am to have him, paint adventures and all, helps lessen a lot of that stress and anxiety.
Delegate or Ask for Help
Another good tip for overwhelmed moms is to ask for help. Asking for help is very difficult for me.
However, I have noticed that when I do it, I get a lot more done. I also feel a lot less stressed and overwhelmed than when I feel responsible for everything all the time.
If you have family nearby, ask them to watch the kids for a few hours so you can get some tasks checked off your list. If you have friends with kids, offer to do a playdate swap every other week.
They take all of the kids for a few hours on Saturday and the next weekend you return the favor.
Sometimes even just having a friend come over to talk and keep me company while I fold laundry or tackle some chores will do wonders for how much I get done. It’s amazing how much faster chores go by when you have some company.
Create routines your children can follow independently
Along with asking for help, it’s important that you delegate responsibilities where you can. It takes some practice in the beginning, but once you get it going, it frees up a lot of time and energy.
Take a little bit of time to create consistent expectations and routines for certain parts of your child’s day. Set regular steps or chores that your children can do without you having to tell them what to do and remind them over and over again.
It might seem surprising, but children LOVE routines. They thrive on the predictability and consistency that comes from knowing exactly what is expected of them and what comes next.
Once my kids finally got the hang of our routines, I had a lot less on my plate. Now instead of hovering and nagging our way through things like bedtime, I just tell them to go get ready for bed and they just go follow their routine. (It’s pretty wonderful!)
Here are some good times of the day that you can implement some independent routines:
- Morning routines
- Homeschool or After School Routines
- Evening Routines
- Bedtime Routines
- You could also have a general Family Routine
Next on my list of tips for overwhelmed moms is to get outside more often. Every day if you can.
According to WebMD “Even a simple plant in the room, or pictures of nature, can make you feel less anxious, angry, and stressed. But it’s better if you get out of that room and go out.”
Being in nature can help boost your mood, improve your sleep at night, and raise your self-esteem. All things overwhelmed moms need a lot more of.
You can go for a quick walk, maybe squeeze a workout in, or even just step outside for a few minutes and drink some coffee. Even a little bit can be enough to help you feel calmer and more settled.
I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this on a list of tips for overwhelmed moms, but it needs to be said: practice more self-care! I know it’s hard to find time for yourself when you feel like you have so much you need to do.
But I want you to think about this: you’re going to let a lot more people down if you completely fall apart because you’re too stressed and burned out.
When I feel myself pushing too hard I always remind myself, “If I go down, the whole ship goes down with me.”
Not only does your family need you at your best, but you deserve to feel better! You deserve to not spend all your days feeling stressed and overwhelmed because you have no time for yourself.
Here are some easy self-care ideas for moms:
- Listen to a podcast
- Get lost in a good book
- Take a walk
- 25 Simple Self-Care Ideas for Stay At Home Moms
- Why Moms Need Time for Themselves + FREE Self-Care for Moms PDF
Find Something That is Just for You
Often women think that self-care means taking a nap or sitting in a bubble bath soaking the day away. Now, I’m not saying those aren’t great ways to take care of yourself.
But, that only takes care of your physical needs, not your mental ones. Sometimes part of feeling overwhelmed as a mom is because you lose a little bit of your own identity.
You spend all your time doing things for your kids and you struggle to do things just for you. A lot of us feel guilty even thinking about doing things just for us.
I want to encourage you to find something you can do just for yourself. Here are some ideas:
- Start a new hobby (Or rediscover an old one!)
- Dress up nice
- Start a side hustle (This one worked for me.🙋)
- Go after a fitness goal
It can be big or small, but make sure that it’s just for you and gives you something to look forward to each day.
Eat a Healthier Diet
Next on the list of tips for overwhelmed moms is to eat a healthier diet. I know this might be a bit surprising to hear when most of us are used to reaching for some comfort food when we’re stressed, but trust me it helps.
According to an article in Shape.com, “Published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, the study found that people who eat fast food and commercial baked goods are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who eat little to none.”
We all know that eating a poor diet doesn’t help our waistline, but it becomes a whole other situation when it affects how we feel. The last thing we need when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed is to eat foods that ultimately end up making us feel worse.
Sleep is something almost all moms need more of, but it becomes even more important when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This is the time when you really need to make sure you’re getting 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
I know in the past, when I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it was hard to make sure I got enough sleep. Either I was staying up late trying to frantically get some last-minute work done, or my mind couldn’t settle down because I was thinking over whatever it was that was stressing me out.
If that’s the case for you, here are a few things to try before bed:
- Take slow deep breaths to help relax.
- Turn off screens an hour before bed.
- Take a hot shower or warm bath.
- Exercise regularly.
- Listen to nature sounds or relaxing music.
Move Your Body
My personal favorite on this list of tips for overwhelmed moms is to get some movement in every day. In my house we call exercise the “sanity saver” and it’s because of how much it helps my husband and I manage our moods and mental health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps when we’re stressed because “It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.”
I have found it goes a long way toward helping me better deal with the daily stress and life of being a busy mom.
Another good suggestion when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to spend a little time decluttering. When I first came across this idea, I was a bit skeptical.
I mean who wants to add on more work when you’re stressed right?! But I gave it a try and it definitely worked.
Here’s why I think it helps, clutter and chaos typically add more stress to our life. When we’re having a tough day and wondering how we’re ever going to get everything done, pulling open the cabinet to see it so stuffed with things that you can’t find what you’re looking for can instantly send you into an emotional tailspin.
(Been there, done that! 🙋)
Taking some time to declutter a space can help you feel less stressed, calmer, and more in control of your environment. All things that help a ton when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- 25 Self Care Ideas for Stay At Home Moms
- 15 Quick Tips & Activities for Teaching Independence in Preschoolers
- 60 Inspiring and Uplifting Mom Quotes for Tough Days
Revamp Your Routines
Next on the list of tips for overwhelmed moms is to revamp your routines. Sometimes you gotta accept when things just aren’t working.
For a while, I used to exercise first thing in the morning so I could get it out of the way and move on with the rest of my day. But then I found myself getting really stressed and frustrated because I was having a hard time working during the day when the kids were up and I wasn’t getting enough done.
I decided to switch my workouts to later in the day and get my work done first thing in the morning before the kids got up. It was a simple switch, but it made a world of difference in how much I was getting done each day.
Take a look at your daily schedule. If you have any areas of the day where things just aren’t working and you usually end up stressed and frustrated, see what you can move around to make your day go more smoothly.
Let Go of the Mom Guilt
This is probably one of the most important tips for overwhelmed moms: let go of the mom guilt! You can’t, and nor should you expect yourself to, do everything right all the time.
We all have tough days where things don’t go the way we intended and we need a little extra support. But that doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom.
It doesn’t mean you’re failing and or that you’ve let your kids down. Sometimes a lot of the stress and overwhelmed we feel is because we’re holding ourself to completely unrealistic standards thinking we have to somehow be the “perfect mom.”
I have a whole list of mom quotes for tough days, but it can be summed up like this: Are you doing your best? Do your kids feel loved? If you can answer yes to those two questions, you’re doing enough.
Take a Break from Social Media
A good tip if you’re feeling overwhelmed is to take a break from social media. As nice as it is to connect with friends and family on Instagram and Facebook, it also gives us a totally unrealistic idea about other people’s lives.
All we’re looking at are their best moments that they’re sharing on social media. We don’t see the struggle of what their life really looks like.
Here’s an example: this morning I posted a picture of the very healthy and delicious protein smoothie I had for breakfast. I wanted to share something good I did today.
What people don’t know is that I had to shove a bunch of stuff aside on my table before I could take the picture.
Social media is not an accurate look at anyone’s life. But it’s hard to remember that when everyone’s lives look so great in pictures.
Sometimes a little break can help us stop comparing ourselves with other moms and just focus on what’s best for us.
Find a Support System
Next on the list of tips for moms is to find a good support system. Parenting is tough! I have not met a mom yet who couldn’t use some support.
Even something as simple as knowing that you are not alone and that the things you might be experiencing are completely normal can be a huge help for overwhelmed moms.
There are tons of online support groups on Facebook that you can find. Simply pick a topic important to you, add the word mom and search.
If you care about improving your health and fitness, check out my group Mommas Getting Fit.
If you want more in-person interaction you can find lots of local groups in your area. Check out Meetup.com to find mom groups near you.
You can also join my parenting email list. I send out weekly emails where I share my real-life struggles and successes in my own homeschooling and parenting journey, plus any tips or advice I learn that might help you in yours.
Lower Your Expectations
I mentioned before that in order to let go of mom guilt you need to let go of the idea of being the “perfect mom,” but it bears repeating. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed it might be time to lower your expectations a little.
We want to do and be the best for our children, but when it becomes so much you’re constantly feeling stressed, exhausted, and frustrated, you’re probably doing more harm than good.
There was a time when I was super focused on making sure that my kids did enough school work, the house was clean, and that we checked all the boxes of “good parenting.” And I was so stressed and grumpy that I spent more time nagging and yelling at my kids than anything else.
That’s not the relationship I want with my kids and it’s definitely not how I want the majority of their day to feel. Lowering my expectations a little let all of us relax more and better enjoy our time together.
Next on my list of tips for overwhelmed moms is to ditch the multitasking. We often multitask thinking it will save us time and energy and therefore we will be less stressed and overwhelmed.
But in fact, we’re only contributing to the problem. In an article on Psychology Today, Guy Winch, Ph.D. says that multitasking can actually increase chronic stress, depression, and social anxiety.
The constant bombardment of information to which they were trying to respond elevated their stress responses, which means that chronic multitasking can lead to chronic stress.
…the team did find that the more participants multitasked, the more likely there were to report symptoms of depression and social anxiety.
You’re better off picking what’s most important at that moment and focusing on that. If your schedule doesn’t allow for that, then you have some other decisions to make.
Take a Time Out
Another good idea if you are feeling tired and overwhelmed with the mountain of tasks ahead of you and the screaming kids who are fighting and flying off the couch, is to give yourself permission to take a 30-minute break.
That’s 30 minutes to let everything wait so you can regroup enough to tackle what you need to get done. Check out my list of 25 self-care ideas for moms if you need some ideas on how to spend those 30 minutes.
Make sure you set a timer for your break. You don’t want an hour to go by without you realizing it and now you are feeling guilty for taking too long of a break.
Make a To-Do List
One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling overwhelmed is to make myself a list. Often the problem I have is that there are so many things swirling around in my brain that need to be done that I can’t think or focus.
It all just feels like too much. That’s where a list comes in.
Spend a few minutes writing down everything that needs to be done. Then you can start plugging them into your day.
You won’t get everything done all at once, but at least now you’ll have a concrete plan for getting it done.
Pick 3 Main Goals Each Day
For some moms, writing down a to-do list feels a bit overwhelming still. Now you’re faced with everything that needs to be done.
Or if you’re like me, you try to fit too many things in at once. If that’s the case, I want you to focus on picking just 3 or 4 priorities for each day.
Pick the things that will matter the most if you don’t get them done. I’m not talking about things like doing the dishes or walking the dog. I mean things outside of your daily routine.
For example, my priority tasks for today were:
- write this blog post
- attend a birthday party
- pick up groceries
That’s it. Those are the 3 things today that if I get done I can look back on my day feeling like I took care of the things that mattered the most.
Now there are other things I would like to get done, (like the dishes, exercise, make sure my kids get a bath). However, if my son has a meltdown or I end up super exhausted from work and homeschooling, I can relax knowing I accomplished the important stuff today.
Focus on What You’re Doing Right
Just like we often don’t pay attention to the good things in our life, it’s really easy to dismiss the things we’re doing right. That’s why the next tip for overwhelmed moms is to focus on what you’re actually doing well.
Our minds tend to focus on the negative. We’re much more likely to notice that we didn’t get the floor mopped today rather than the fact that we crushed our workout, homeschooled the kids, finished up a work project, and still swung by the store on our way home.
Focusing on what we didn’t get done usually leaves us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Instead, make sure you spend some time each day patting yourself on the back for all the things you’re doing right too.
It will help you feel a lot more confident about your ability to handle your day.
Be Willing to Talk It Out
Last on my list of tips for overwhelmed moms is to be open to talking with others. As simple as it sounds, this is something moms tend to forget a lot.
It’s normal to want to withdraw when we’re struggling. On more than one occasion I have caught myself starting to isolate and drawback from people.
I didn’t want them to know that I was having so much trouble since it seemed like they weren’t.
Once I started opening up with other moms about how I was feeling I actually learned that I wasn’t the only one who was having a hard time. It turns out that most of us really are kind of a mess.
It helped me a lot to learn that most of the things that I was struggling with (messy house, exhaustion, stress eating, never having enough time, mom guilt, etc) were all things that everyone else was going through too.
When you open up with people about your struggles, you then get the chance to commiserate together and possibly share any tips or advice that might help the other person.
Even if you don’t solve any of your problems, feeling like you aren’t alone and being able to voice your feelings out loud can bring a lot of relief. Relief that most overwhelmed moms could really use.
Be Open to Professional Help
Sometimes what we’re struggling with is more than our friends or family can help us with. It feels like too much or too big.
If that’s the case I encourage you to reach out for professional help. There are tons of programs available now that allow you to sneak away for a few minutes and talk to someone over the phone or online without having to worry about how to fit in appointments around your kids.
Talking to a stranger about how much you’re struggling can feel scary, but try to remember: they went through school for years to learn how to help you the best.
And they want to help you! Also, you deserve to feel better. For you and your family.
Final Thoughts on 20 Simple But Effective Tips for Overwhelmed Moms
I hope this list of simple but effective tips for overwhelmed moms can help you feel less stressed in your day to do life. I know it’s easy to feel like things are just out of control.
But there are things that can make it easier for you to take care of yourself and the people around you. Try some of these tips today – maybe they’ll work for you too!
What do you think of these tips for overwhelmed moms? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Pinterest for more parenting tips and advice.
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Candice is a mom of 3 who has been homeschooling since 2013. She has an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Studies and cares deeply about helping other parents get the information and resources they need to help them homeschool their children with confidence.