I know how hard it is to cope with being a work-at-home mom trying to run a business, be a good mom, keep the house decent, be a good wife, take care of yourself somewhere in there and try to maintain your sanity through all of that!
In this post, I’m going to share with you the things I do to cope with overwhelm, pick myself back up, learn from it and hit the ground running (or at least walking in the right direction) again.
But first you need to know…
Working from home triggers a lot of emotions
Working from home may seem like a dream, and don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome, but there are a lot that changes when you shift from working full-time to working from home. Being able to cope with those changes doesn’t happen overnight. I remember when I first realized that I might be struggling with how to cope with my new role as work at home mom.
After starting my day at 4 am for another long day of going back and forth between working and parenting, I just sort of broke down into a puddle of tears. As my husband stared at me with a confused look, I said, “Don’t you ever think about all the things that need to be taken care of around the house and with our son? and what If I don’t make enough money? What if my business fails!??”
He slowly said, “No, not really. I know you’ve got it handled so I don’t worry about it.” He really was oblivious to the worry and anxiety I had built up over working from home. A lot of women do this very thing; take on more responsibility to make up for the fact that we aren’t making as much money (yet). (That’s a whole different issue that needs to be addressed. )
That was 2 years ago now, and along the way, I’ve learned how to cope with the overwhelming emotions that come with working from home and I want to share those with you here.
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What are some tips for coping with working from home as a mom?
1. Let yourself cry
I know. Probably not what you were wanting to hear, but seriously, if you need to have a good cry, then go ahead and do it. There is no shame in crying. Being a work at home mom is hard.
As moms, we’re always trying to hold it together, but sometimes, it’s ok to cry. We’re still human after all.
The goal is to make sure you don’t cry forever.
But a good healthy cry session can definitely help you relieve some of that pent-up emotion from the overwhelm of doing it all so that you can approach it with a fresh heart.
2. Give yourself grace
Be kind to yourself.
For some reason, there’s almost this negative vibe that comes with admitting that this whole work-at-home mom thing is hard.
But it is and that’s ok. It’s worth it.
The fact that you’re overwhelmed is a completely normal feeling.
I mean look at all of the things you have to juggle on a day-to-day basis.
This is especially hard when you first transition from working your full-time job to working from home.
It can shock the system. Not going to sugarcoat that.
But take comfort in knowing you won’t always be overwhelmed by the things that are getting to you in this season.
You’re going to learn how to cope and overcome obstacles that come at you.
But it’s a process.
Give yourself grace in knowing that you’re trying and you are committed to making it work.
3. Do a brain dump
Part of the overwhelm comes from your mind swimming with a million thoughts about all of the things you haven’t done, need to do and should do.
To help calm the storm of emotions, it can help to do a brain dump.
This can be talking to a friend or writing it all out on paper.
For me, the best way is to start writing.
I’ll just write down my thoughts in a free-flowing manner, and it’ll always become very clear where the source of my overwhelm is coming from.
The magic of the brain dump is that when you try to articulate your thoughts, you’re forcing your brain to get one sentence out at a time and it will help you slow it all down so you can focus on what’s really getting to you.
4. Positive affirmations
To truly cope, you have to maintain a positive mindset.
This is easier said than done when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Have a list of positive affirmations you can go back to when things get hard.
Have affirmations on hand to remind you that you’ve got this under control because of all the positive qualities you possess and how this business will work because it is your purpose.
Reciting these affirmations every morning can help prevent overwhelm as well.
5. Seek encouragement
As work at home moms, we might not have anyone around us that can give us some encouragement, so sometimes you’ll have to actually go looking for it.
There are so many blogs, Instagram accounts, Facebook book groups, and podcasts that focus on empowering and encouraging women that I’m sure you can find some that resonate with you and your needs.
I personally love listening to certain podcasts that always encourage me and give a renewed sense of motivation and drive.
These always have a recent episode that is full of encouragement and really seems to speak to what I need at any given moment.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just read the latest blog post by your favorite encouraging blogger or turn on the latest episode of one of these podcasts to help brighten your mood.
6. Find your people
Sometimes, it really helps to just talk to people that get it.
Being a work at home mom can get pretty lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Find ways to connect with other moms that understand the struggles you’re going through, like the Mama With A Calling community.
Look at local meetup groups, church groups, mom clubs (who knew that was even a thing), or join/create a mastermind group.
Don’t forget that you can connect with other moms in Facebook groups or even Instagram.
If you’re wanting a Facebook group with other like-minded mom entrepreneurs to provide support, accountability, etc, then check out the Mama With A Calling group. It’s free and I’d love to see you in there.
Once you connect with some moms that really get what you’re going through, don’t be afraid to vent and use them as a sounding board when things get overwhelming.
They’ll know exactly how you feel and have their own words of wisdom to share.
7. Create a Game Plan for Preventing Overwhelming Feelings
Based on what you figured out from the brain dump session, think of ways to prevent overwhelm from that again.
Maybe you are trying to be all of the things all at once. In that case, try to prioritize tasks.
Sometimes we really are trying to do too much. Figure out which things you need to be doing in blocks of time rather than trying to do everything all the time.
This is called being a good steward of your time, and it’s important as an entrepreneur.
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Maybe you need to say no to some things that aren’t in alignment with your goals.
Be honest with yourself and respectfully cancel things that don’t align with your mission right now.
Maybe you’re feeling drained because you aren’t scheduling in time for self-care.
Make an effort to give yourself at least 10 minutes a day doing something completely for yourself. Nothing to do with business or kids.
Where ever your overwhelm is coming from, address it so you can help prevent it in the future.
I’d like to say my emotional meltdown was an isolated event, but it’s something that happens every now and again. Though when I first started working from home, it was a lot more frequent.
Since starting my journey to becoming a work at home mom, I’ve had so many moments where I have felt completely overwhelmed.
Most of the time, I can stay level headed, but then suddenly, all of the emotions come flooding in and I just break down emotionally.
But every time, I have to pick myself back up and keep going or I won’t make it as a work at home mom. I want to make it work so badly; for my family and for myself.
Using these strategies, my overwhelm meltdowns are happening a lot less often now because I am learning how to manage it all before it gets to be too much.
But when it does happen, I’m ready with these strategies.
Let yourself cry
Give yourself grace
Do a brain dump
Find your people
Create a game plan for preventing overwhelm in the future
I hope these strategies help you in your time of need.
This journey of being a work at home mom trying to run a business and figure out all of the things can be hard, so keep these tips on hand so you can recover from overwhelm ASAP and get back to business.
Are there any strategies you use that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear them. Let me know in the comments about your favorite strategies for coping with overwhelm.