Finding balance in parenthood is possibly one of the things we equally strive for and struggle with the most. We try to keep all the balls in the air, like some super-human juggling octopus, determined not to let anything drop, or let anyone down.
We look out for the needs of our kids, our families, our friends, ourselves...balancing
career, wellbeing, chores, social life, relationship…the struggle is real and the noise
is sometimes deafening!
Understandably we can end up in a completely overwhelmed, frustrated and
exhausted tangle that’s hard to escape. You may look at others and think they are bossing it, but in reality they are probably on their own hectic rollercoaster too.
So, how do we master the madness of the Mum Juggle? Here are a few tips to help
you stay grounded and in control of life…
1. Don't forget to breath
We all breathe all day, every day, and it’s a reflex that so many of us take for
granted. BUT it is also an amazing secret weapon we all have up our sleeves.
When things feel especially intense, try to pause for a minute, and take a few
long, deep breaths. Breathing is such a quick and simple tool, and it can
powerfully cut through overwhelm and calm your nervous energy.
2. Get Focused
When you have a to-do list as long as your arm, just looking at it can feel
overwhelming let alone getting started. Consider whether your tasks are
achievable within the time available and prioritise the things that really matter. Try not to set yourself more than three realistic tasks in one day and tackle them one by one, resisting the temptation to multi-task as that only breeds overwhelm and
depletes mental energy. Lower the expectations and pressure you place on
yourself - if things don’t happen one day, there’s always tomorrow!
3. Make time for you
When life gets crazy taking time for ourselves often falls to the bottom of the priority list or gets forgotten completely BUT when we deprioritise ourselves it ca leave us feeling jaded and unfulfilled. Finding small ways to stay in tune with yourself will really help you to regain a sense of control over your life – and itdoesn’t have to take ages! Even 15 minutes a day will do wonders! Don’t be afraid to employ ‘Nanny Netflix’ to entertain the kids if it buys you a window of uninterrupted ‘you’ time!
When you’re spinning all the plates, it’s important that you are on tip-top form so that you can show up as your best self. So being mindful about your self-care and recognising when you need to slow down is key. Resist the temptation to burn themidnight oil playing catch up as that will only leave you feeling frazzled the next day, and beyond. Instigating some positive bedtime habits can make a huge difference to your ability to cope. Give yourself space to wind down before bed, avoid insta-scrolling, switch caffeine for herbal and try to get at least two earlynights a week. Those extra hours will significantly improve your productivity,
mindset and energy levels.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Asking for support when we need it seems so obvious and yet many of us find it challenging. We often misinterpret asking for help as a sign of weakness or failure, and we tell ourselves that it must mean we aren’t coping. This pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect in reality is completely unrealistic and is just the
negative chatter of our minds. Sharing the load with your partner, family or friends
will make the juggle of life feel way more manageable and help you feel much
lighter in yourself. The likelihood is that they will be more than happy to step in,
and will no doubt willingly let you return the favour another time.
6. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Each day we experience wins, both major and minor, but we are often moving too fast to notice. Instead of always focusing on “what's next?”, stop and reflect on what’s going well for you in the present moment. Making an effort to notice and celebrate your wins will boost your self-belief and leave you feeling motivated and empowered to take on life, even when it feels crazy.
Ultimately, showing yourself some compassion and kindness, releasing some of that pressure weighing you down and giving yourself permission to focus inwardly on your needs will make such a difference to how manageable the Mum juggle feels. And entertain the thought that perhaps the perfect balance doesn’t exist, that you can only do your best and you DO have the potential to influence how dramatically the scales fluctuate.
It sounds kind of refreshing doesn’t it? Why not give it a try and see what happens…
The Parenthood Coach