When Life is Overwhelming

I’m trying to catch up.

Always behind. Always something to do. Check. Next. Check. Next.

Didn’t get that done. Do it tomorrow.

Should have got it done anyway. Don’t have time.

All I want is to clean the kitchen. But someone has needed me every time I’ve tried to start.

Stressing. Anxious thoughts. Grumpy. Cluttered.

I’m choosing to take a deep breath and step back. Recognizing the season of life I am in. Postpartum, newborn, pumping, toddlers. It’s a lot going on in our house all at once. I’m feeling behind and stressed about housework and getting dinner cooked at a reasonable hour. And I’m struggling with feeling like I’m a bad mom because there is always a pile of laundry waiting for me now, and perpetual dishes in the sink. I’m overwhelmed with the clutter, but also realizing that it’s just toys on the floor, scattered by happy toddlers playing with each other.

This transition from two to three kids has been a lot harder than I anticipated. Hard doesn’t equal bad, and we don’t regret having another baby at all, but it has not been the smooth transition we experienced with the birth of one second child. (Even though the months after that were also tough with PPA.) Our toddlers are go-go-go from the moment they awaken, and I often feel touched out by 8:00am.

This is a work in progress, learning to be a mom of toddlers, while also moving with the pace of a newborns needs.

I’m trying to set some new daily rhythms, figuring out our new schedule, and how to fit the still important to us things, alongside the new important things, like naps and pumping for Ollie.

Some things that are really helping during this overwhelming season are.

1. A clear morning routine. I follow a ritual of journal, Bible reading and writing a to-do and grateful list every single morning and it is very grounding to start the day off this way.

2. Nap time is sacred. We are unavailable from 12:30-2:30 every single day. The kids will be sleeping, and I will be sitting on the couch holding my sleeping baby for at least 45 minutes. I love contact naps, and this is the only time in the day for a few minutes to sit completely still and be calm. I’m giving myself permission to ignore the laundry and dishes for that time while I just hold Ollie.

3. Taking my supplements and getting outside. These two practices have made such a tremendous difference in my life, and they will forever be a priority.)

4. Less screen time. We got through the immediate postpartum healing phase with lots of screens. I was so thankful for that option so that my body could heal, and I could figure out pumping, and now we are working on finding ways to get through the day without needing the screens. It’s taking some times to detox, particularly for the 4 year old. But it’s good for us.

We are moving in just a few weeks, so I think that has also been adding to my overwhelming feelings, but I’m also looking forward to the process of gong through things and simplifying even more.

I am so grateful for the last couple years. I have had to learn a lot about simplicity, and living with less, (our apartment is tiny!) and being comfortable with making changes to adapt to our needs.

What are some things you’re learning or working on this year?

Love

Becca

Letting Kids Play

I love taking my kiddos to the park. I love the excitement, the time outside and watching them explore and discover their new abilities .

I am that mom at the park who hovers. Not full helicoptering, but always close enough to catch one of them if I need to. It’s nerve-racking as a parent to watch your kids run around on equipment up in the air, and hurtle themselves down slides and over bridges.

But I’ve become fully convinced that I have to let my kids play. I have to let them test their abilities, and see what they can do. It’s exhilarating for both of us when they do something hard, and then accomplish it! When their little faces light up, and a giggle bubbles out of them from pure joy!

It’s good for kids to learn how to do things for themselves, and how to push through even when it’s hard.

Obviously, this is within reason, especially as my children are toddlers, but I’ve been so surprised how much more they really can do, when I’m not always stopping or redirecting them.

Today Liam was riding his bike home from the park. We got to a small hill, and he got a little m nervous, afraid that he’d fly down the other side. We encouraged him to take it slow, and use his feet to keep himself stable. He easily made it down, as we knew he would. And I wish I had caught his little delighted giggle on camera! He was so proud and excited to do something like that in his own! Makes the moments of anxiety worth it, seeing my kiddos proud of their little accomplishments!