Labor Day has come and gone marking the end of summer 2018. Many families are jumping back into the “busy season” with school, sporting events, practices and more! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the obligations moms seem to face. Here are some tips from Elizabeth Edwards, LMFT, for all of the stressed out moms who might feel overwhelmed this time of year.
Get your Priorities Straight
In therapy, I often ask women to think about all the different roles they are in. I then challenge women to commit to roles only they can fill. That means your role as wife and mother are top priorities because only you can fill that role. PTA president, snack captain at soccer, and a host of other roles that you fill, could be filled by someone else.
Another thing to consider is maybe you are taking the spot of someone who WANTS to fill that role. There could be a man or woman who is less stressed than you or has a passion for being team mom or church volunteer. Wouldn’t it be a shame if they really wanted that role and you were taking the opportunity from them?
The next task that I encourage women to do is make a list of priorities and the jobs that they entail. For example, maybe your priorities are your faith, your marriage, your children, and your job (in that order). Beside each priority write what that would look like. Maybe I write “have a daily quiet time”, “pray”, “commit to going to church and a small group”.
Next, I might write “make time for my husband” and “have at least 15 minutes a day of meaningful conversation with him”, etc. You do this for each priority area. When you finish that, think about anything else you are doing that does not fall under those top priorities. Then rate those by importance/priority. These are the things that are secondary in your life. Usually, these are those roles that others could fill if needed. Having this visual list of priorities can help you say no to things that do not fall under your crucial categories.
Remember, when you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else. Being a mom is a tough job, but it’s always worth it. Reprioritizing your roles and tasks can help you feel a better sense of control over your life, instead of feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel.
If you’re struggling with your role, feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I would love to walk with you during this journey. Contact me to setup a time for us to meet and to start defeating those lies in your head. And remember mamas, you are loved, you are valuable, and you are enough.
Elizabeth Edwards, LMFTA is a Marriage and Family Therapist at Foundations Family Therapy in Fuquay Varina, where she specializes in helping women, moms and parents struggling with anxiety, post partum depression and infertility.