There are so many days when I feel overwhelmed. Today was one of them.
So what did I do? I slept in. I changed my plans. I let the day blow me where it would like I was a leaf flying off a tree. I talked to the children gently and we had pizza for dinner. And I feel better.
Now I imagine some of you might be thinking that I’ve not got a clue as to how to get myself back on track but hang with me for a few minutes and I think you might be surprised. Normally I am a live-by-a-plan kind of girl. I have organization and routines coming out my ears. You kind of need to with a bunch of kids if you don’t want to be totally crazy. (Or at least if you want to accomplish the dubious goal of getting the bathrooms cleaned more than once a month!) Many times when I am feeling overwhelmed I really need to get some straightening up done, or cook an extra meal ahead so I’m not always feeling like I’m chasing my tail.
But there is a time and place for that – until your overwhelmed starts to be more the norm than occasional. The trick on some of these overwhelm days is a little more subtle that you might expect. Slow down. Don’t chase harder, don’t run faster, don’t push the family to the edge. I found a few moments of calm. Then I reminded myself to breath in them and savor it a bit.
I slept in today. I did get up and check on the kids: Did they feed themselves? Yup. Were they getting some schoolwork done? Some. There wasn’t too much screaming. So, I knew that I would be a better person if I was better rested, so I went back to bed for another hour. After that I got up and put on a blouse that made me feel like I was pretty and put together. And lipstick. Life is sometimes much easier to face with lipstick. So now if the rest of the world could see me, I didn’t look like I had whiled away the morning in the coziness of my pjs and quilts! Some person on the street would think that I had gotten up and been a productive member of society today. Plus, I don’t really care what some random person on the street would think of me, but at least I felt good about myself.
Next we did get a few things accomplished around our day. I also had been wanting to get out of the house for a bit and we really needed to return some library books. So off we went with a plan to play at the library for a little, take a home a few books (read: 8-12), and pick up a couple of grocery items so I could make a quick, easy dinner tonight. In an effort to avoid that pressured, rushed feeling, I let the little boys play a little longer than intended and then we ran into a friend who was on the same quick-library-trip plan as we were.
And we promptly sat down and visited while our little guys played.
It was lovely. It was just the pick me up I needed and fun to catch up. Of course by the time we were done my kiddos had added to the library bags so much that we now had at least 25 books going home with us – but hey, we are learning right? Next stop was a trip to the store where we got the requisite supplies, plus more treats for the dog, and about 12 other things not on the list. But I’m working the lack of organization by now and we made it home with a still smiling mama and kids.
The rest of our day rolled on by. It wasn’t perfect, and I was very tired by the end but I’m so glad that I chucked the organized life to the side today. I feel like I was a better mama today than I have been on previous tired, overwhelmed days. Organization can wait until tomorrow.
What can you give up on today? Do you need a slow, plan-free day to recoup and regroup? I highly recommend trying it once in a while. No, it won’t work all the time, but when it does you can jump back into life feeling a little refreshed for having let go for just a little bit. I’d love to hear how you let go sometime!
Peace and health,