Thank You

Majestic sunset in the mountains landscape. HDR image

You may have noticed that I haven’t written any new blog posts in quite awhile. I’ve been putting my energy elsewhere in order to re-design my counseling website. The photo above captures the new colors and theme of Liberating Choices.

I will still be writing and coaching you to turn life and relationship challenges into opportunities for growth. Before I begin migrating my blog migration to it’s new site, I want to share my gratitude with you. When I started Liberating Choices in 2010, I had no idea if anyone would read it. Little did I know that people would read my blog from around the world. And I am grateful for your interest in hearing my thoughts over the past 6 years!

My biggest surprise was meeting so many other bloggers along the way. Some of us exchanged guest posts or wrote a collaborative project. While we encouraged each other along the way, it was much more fun doing this with each of you. I wish you each the best on your passionate life journeys whether with blogging or new endeavors and seasons.

So just because I’m moving my blog to a new location, doesn’t mean you will be forgotten. I still want to hear what ideas resonate with you and what topics you wrestle with the most. And I’m even interested in hearing from you if you have a different perspective than I do.

My writing reflects my personal and relationship growth as well as the challenges I have faced. While I enjoy reading blogs like many of you, it’s when we choose to do something with the information that transforms us. Take the time to reflect, listen to your own wisdom, and decide what you want to work on. And know when to work with someone who will coach you step-by-step along the way until you find your own clarity.

If you want to stay in touch, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter. And if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you will still receive article updates. You won’t miss a thing. I have much more to write about. Just note that Liberating Choices’ articles will eventually be housed at a new location: http://marcipayne.com/blog/.

5 Empowering Choices for Overwhelmed Moms

empowering-choices

Last month we explored the assumptions that contribute to moms becoming overwhelmed, stressed out, and drained. As a mom you respond to pressures and expectations by trying to meet everyone else’s needs. Meeting your own needs as a mom is often an after thought.

Most don’t recognize they are overwhelmed until they develop emotional, physical, and/or behavioral symptoms. When you become short fused, your stomach is in knots, or you are drinking more glasses of wine, these cues invite you to tune into yourself. And with greater awareness of what keeps you doing whats not working, new choices start to emerge.

In this way, overwhelmed feelings are a gift to invite you to slow down and tune in. But what if you could also stop yourself from becoming overwhelmed before the signals cue you to slow down? What would it take to retain some energy for yourself before you notice you are completely drained and need to let go of something?

An Invitation to Tune Into Yourself

Before I share how to get out of mom burnout, I want to first invite you to tune into your own wisdom. Each of you have personal wisdom, but it often gets clouded by assumptions and expectations. When you are busy and overwhelmed, you don’t realize you have more choices than you can currently see.

Pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and get ready to tune into yourself. Write down 1-3 things that would help you prevent becoming overwhelmed. Identify something you could do (or not do) instead of something you have to get someone else to do.

5 Empowering Choices to Prevent Becoming Overwhelmed

Now let’s explore 5 more choices we have forgotten we have as moms. These choices can be challenging when life is coming at you, but can help you navigate by considering yourself too.

Choice #1: Do Less Even if Others Don’t Do More – If your happiness is tied to getting others to do more so you can slow down, then you will be very frustrated. If you are over-doing it, then invite yourself to do less even though others don’t do more. Your happiness can be freed from what others do or don’t do. If you pick up one more dirty clothing item and become frustrated that you are doing it all, then don’t do it all. Learn to tolerate the undone in order to save your sanity. In doing so, you become more regulated by your own rhythms than your environment.

Choice #2: Decrease Digital Overload – We have so much coming at us in these digitally distracted times. Update the notifications feature on your phone, so you are only notified in the way that doesn’t overload and distract you during the day. Then identify when you will check and respond to messages and notifications, otherwise you will be at the mercy of others timetable.

Choice #3: Define What’s Best for You – Instead of only focusing on what others need, also ask yourself what you need. Many moms don’t consider their own needs until they are resentful and burned out. Stop, tune in, and reflect before you get to that point by considering what’s best for you along the way. Be careful not to compare yourself to your social circle or Facebook network, since that isn’t truly knowing yourself. Trust that you know what’s best for you.

Choice #4: Reserve Open Time in Your Calendar Instead of Filling Up- Set realistic daily goals by keeping open space on your calendar. Just because there’s an open spot on your calendar, doesn’t mean you have to fill it. Stop before saying yes and reflect on the cost and benefit to you in adding one more thing to your calendar. Ultimately, how much energy do you want to give to others and how much do you want to reserve for yourself? If you don’t stop and reflect, you may easily give away any free time in order to get others approval or acceptance.

Choice #5: Let Others Experience Discomfort – It’s hard to sit next to others we care about who are struggling and not be tempted to make it all better. But growth doesn’t come without some pain and discomfort. You will be able to be more present emotionally for your loved ones when they are struggling, if you aren’t adding to your workload of being responsible for one more thing. Let your loved one solve their problem while also caring for them as a person.

I know we want the best for ourselves, our children, and our friends and family. And I also know that you want to be less stressed, resentful and irritable when you are with your family. So it’s time to make some empowering choices that can be both better for you and your loved ones.

Lastly, stop criticizing yourself for being irritable, resentful, or withdrawn. Instead of beating yourself up for having these symptoms, listen to the message they are delivering. Tune into yourself and develop a respect for yourself and your own needs, just as much as you care about others.

Please share in the comments what you wrote down that will help you prevent burnout. Or share which of the 5 choices you want to work on over the next week.

————————————————————————-

I love working with moms from all seasons of life! If you tired of being overwhelmed and want to feel less stressed out, set aside an hour to devote to self-care and consult with Marci at her office. Or Missouri residents can also consult with her online via Talkspace.

 

5 Myths Overwhelmed Moms Believe

overwhelmed-moms

Being a mom has its exciting and tender moments. But it can also be stressful and frustrating, especially in today’s busy, fast-paced, indulging culture. We care so much for our children, and want the best for them. But we can lose sleep over them, because we want everything to be just right for them the next day.

When we over-give of ourselves, we can become drained and begin easily yelling at our children for the little things. To cope with feeling overwhelmed and irritable, many moms are turning to prescription stimulants or alcohol to get through the day.

In an age where we are trying to do more for our kids than ever, it can be hard to realize we have choices. It’s no wonder the movie Bad Moms has been such a hit. Moms are tired and want permission to slow down, breathe, and do less.

So I’m here to help lend a hand. I want to invite you to tune into what’s driving you to be overwhelmed when it comes to being a parent. I realize my invitation is being delivered in a crowded sea of Pinterest inspired ideas to be the perfect, creative, organized mom. But in this moment, I want you to reflect instead on what’s best for you.

Identify Mindset that Drives You to Be an Overwhelmed Mom

Let’s first take a look at the myths overwhelmed moms typically believe. Before you can see your choices, you need to be aware of what’s behind your frenzied pace, mom meltdowns, or sleepless nights. Read through these myths and note which ones you relate to the most:

Myth #1: “I can do more if I speed up.” To get more done, I need to schedule more things into my day and on my to do list. I almost always feel hurried to get somewhere or get something done at a certain time. When I hurry myself, I am more forgetful, less present, and more irritated.

Myth #2: “I must protect my loved ones from rejection and unhappiness.” Moms that believe this myth believe their primary role is to raise kids that are happy and well-liked. Its hard to see my kids upset, so I usually let them have what they want even if I said no the first time. I don’t think my kids can handle rejection, so I try to talk to mediate their social problems at school. I give my kids advice often, because I don’t think they know how to solve their own problems.

Myth #3: “No one else will do it (or do it right).” I can’t stand the way my kids or spouse clean up, so I need to do it myself. If I don’t do everything around the house, then no one else will do it. I wish I could do less, but it’s so hard for me to leave things undone.

Myth #4: “If I meet my families needs, they will meet mine.” If I invest in others, they will invest in me. I don’t need to carve out time for myself, because I’m waiting on others to tell me it’s ok to slow down and do less. If I make them happy, they will make me happy. I don’t know how to make myself happy without their actions.

Myth #5: “I must always be prepared for every possible outcome.” Moms that believe this myth are always prepared and a step ahead. As a mom, we need to possess super-human ability to take care of others. We must know what others need even when they don’t know themselves. We must have everything ready for them to be successful. We must protect them from failure, as others can’t handle learning from their own mistakes.

Increase Awareness on What Drives You to Drain Yourself

Awareness can be uncomfortable, but it is the first step toward change. Doing so takes courage, so thank yourself for taking the time to answer these questions. Which myth are you believing that creates more fuel to hurry up, over-give, and drain yourself empty?

I struggle with Myth #5 the most. The idea that I don’t have to be prepared for everything and that my kids can prepare themselves is something I’m still working on. Problems can go unsolved. My kids can experience their own consequences for being unprepared, learn from them, and be ok.

When you stop doing it all, your kids or family may blame you. They don’t want you to change. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still have a choice and an invitation to slow down, reflect and choose differently next time.

Christine Arylo in her podcast on the “Super Power of Slowing Down” invites all women to complete this sentence: “If I slow down, I fear ________________.” How do you complete this sentence?

Share your answers to these reflections in the comment section, so other moms know they aren’t alone. And stay tuned for Part 2 in the “Overwhelmed Mom” series. We will explore how to make “Empowering Choices” as  a mom in a world that doesn’t make it easy to slow down and tune into what you need.


I love working with moms from all seasons of life! If you tired of being overwhelmed and want to feel less stressed out, set aside an hour to devote to self-care and consult with Marci at her office. Or Missouri residents can also consult with her online via Talkspace.