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I have a confession to make:
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This last month. July 2018. The Mom-Stress, it almost crushed me. It almost squashed my dreams and my goals. Almost.
We all know what I mean by Mom-Stress. The stress of being a mom. The pressure that it all depends on you. You schedule the doctor’s appointments, the mechanic tune-up. You take the day off work to get it all done. We’re the chauffeur, the personal accountant, the event planner, and the emergency handler. I’d say it’s not always mom’s. I know quite a few dads that juggle all that stress too. But today, I’m talking to my fellow mommas. (Need words on encouragement about Single Motherhood, click here.)
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I’d like to say that I handled it with grace and dignity but that would be a total fallacy.
I cursed, a lot. I shook my fist at the sky in anger. In one month, my car went out at the same time that I had three other major events going on (a wedding, bridal shower, and a class reunion.) My children had a summer program they were committed to for two weeks, and I also found myself caring for an extra furry friend for three weeks out of the month.
To say the Mom-stress was a lot was an understatement.
What usually happens when this happens to you? If you are anything like me, you let it become all-consuming. So full of stuff and assignments you don’t even know where to begin. You want to crawl into bed, never come out and pretend none of it is happening.
Don’t even get me started on how this affected my personal goals. I couldn’t muster words out of my mouth to handle all this stuff, let alone words on a page or in a video for this blog.
No sir. Not I.
So what did I do? Or what should you do, if you find yourself in this predicament?
1. When in doubt, list it out.
Listing significant stressors like this will likely be counterintuitive. Our brains like to avoid dealing with whatever is causing us so much grief. Writing it down will seem painful, but it’s oh so helpful. Get it out, on paper or to a friend. Whatever it takes but I failed to acknowledge how much everything was genuinely weighing on me until I wrote it down and spoke it out loud to a friend. I kept telling myself “I’m fine. This stuff is fine. I’m handling it.” When really, I wasn’t handling it well at all. Once I got it out, I cried and got angry, but I was finally able to devise solutions. (Dream of a better life? Let’s chat.)
2. Take each problem, one at a time.
You can’t focus on homework with the T.V. blaring loudly in the background (If you can, I applaud you!). Likewise, you can’t deal with anything else until the loudest Mom-Stressor is solved. Think of the one thing that is keeping you up at night. The one that when you think about, you want to barf. For me, it was my vehicle this month. Until I made an action plan to have plan A, B, and C for how it was going to be dealt with I couldn’t shift my attention to any of the other things I needed or wanted to accomplish. It was like a honking car horn in the background of my life (pun wholly intended).
3. Allow yourself to Check-Out.
It’s normal to stress about the Mom-Stress. But do your best not to allow yourself to stress about stressing about the Mom-Stress. That’s redundant but it makes sense if you read it slow. If you need to check out; if you need to tell yourself that dealing with these things is more important than your personal goals right now allow yourself that option.
Binge watch Netflix. Go mindless for a while. Sleep in on Saturday. Whatever it takes because we have to get our rejuvenation from something when life is taking everything out of us. Take it; even if you’re worried it is at the cost of your personal goals. It might be, but you can always get back on the horse when it’s over. (Embracing Failure can only help you grow…read more.)
4. Get back on the horse when it’s over.
So you had a setback. We’ve all been there. But it’s not an excuse to throw in the towel altogether. In fact, it’s really more like an invitation to try again.
Plan better. Plan for obstacles. They say the best offense is a good defense. It’s the same with life. Don’t know where to start? My friend Nadalie Bardo over at It’sAllYouBoo created this excellent and FREE Daily habit Tracker! [Affiliate Link] Write out the habits you need to do daily, weekly, monthly to achieve your goals. And then CHECK THEM OFF. If you go through a few weeks of sporadic checking and missing your mark; take inventory of what is going on in your life that is causing your delay and dilemma. Having a visual of all the times you have succeeded at checking them off will keep you feeling like a rock star even when your achievements dwindle sometimes.
5. Forgive yourself.
The Journey from where you are now, to the goal you want to achieve looks to us like a straight line but is actually full of holes, hills, and sometimes even mom-stress mountains. That’s ok. But self-forgiveness is as crucial as self-awareness. If you don’t forgive yourself (I’m not talking about not caring, I’m talking about the admittance of mistakes made and real self-forgiveness), you will derail your goals going forward.
When we carry with us our burdens of mom-stress and the worry that we allowed ourselves to stop focusing on our goals to deal with mom-stress we create baggage. Baggage that is not carried lightly and can quickly turn into negative thought patterns. These negative thought patterns can make it a struggle to complete any goal going forward. If you’ve been here before and are thinking: “But Lacy, I always do this. I let mom-stress or just other things, in general, distract me from my goals, and eventually, I throw in the towel! I don’t know how to keep moving forward…” then I have your answer. I created a Free course called Freedom From Failure that teaches you how to deal with this problem precisely. You can access it here!
After completing the Mini-Course, when asked how one of my students felt she said:
“Awesome, feel like now with the new tools I can set those small goals that will ultimately lead to succeeding at my real goal!”
In the free course, you will learn how to shut out those pesky negative thought patterns by creating willpower. The tools I show you in the class will help when you have times like I did this month. Mom-Stress overwhelm, and spontaneous combustion crisis averted thanks to a few tricks [and a little wine].
At the end of the day, none of us are Wonder Woman. Even though we all know that it doesn’t mean we are good at accepting it. Especially when everything hits the fan, and we’re trying to keep a smile on our face.
Cut yourself some slack momma, allow yourself to check out if need be. You know as well as I do that it’s all temporary anyway. Before we know it, this time will pass, and something else we are worried is going to crush us will crop up.
Handle it like the boss you are. One Badass, Mom-Stress Slaying, Goal smashing woman! If you need a reminder, just message me!
Don’t forget to share this list with other stressed out mommas in your life! We all need to stick together!