Feeling Overwhelmed, Parents? Here’s How to Fix It
One of the things that makes being a parent so overwhelming is dealing with those times when things get “over you.” You know what I mean…the dishes…laundry…
The workload is enough, let alone taking care of your kids. Everything becomes overwhelming when you’re “under it” and not “ahead of it.”
What can you do to fight those feelings of overwhelm? Here are just a few simple ideas.
Clean your kid’s room.
There is nothing so amazing as going through the toys, getting rid of some and organizing the remainder in your child’s room. It absolutely does NOT need to be Pinterest-perfect to be more clean and orderly. If you’re having a hard time parting with playthings, see if Grandma needs extras at her house, or donate to a friend whatever your child has outgrown.
Here’s a parenting secret I have personally witnessed: Kids like their toys more, and better enjoy what they have, when they can see them. The kids know what they have, and it’s not just a jumbled mess where they can’t see all the options.
Separate Things Into Their Own Containers.
One of the best things I ever did for my son’s bedroom was make designated containers – and designated areas in the room – for certain things. We have a storage box for balls, and one for action figures. We have zippered bags for Legos, and another for building blocks. Cars and airplanes have their own containers, as do musical instruments. We have an art box that manages to contain all the mess of glue, crayons, markers and scrap paper. Stickers and coloring books have their own shelf on the bookshelf, next to the art box.
We do have one miscellaneous box. It holds fast food kids’ meal toys; random toys; and the toys that used to be part of a set, but the rest of the set magically got eaten by the closet monster. Because we have this “system,” there is only one miscellaneous box of toys, instead of THE ENTIRE BEDROOM being a miscellaneous box!
This has done three things:
1) Made it way easier for my son to look around and find something to do.
2) Made it way easier for him to put away his own toys by himself, because he knows where they belong.
3) Made all of our lives simpler because it’s not an overwhelming mess every time we enter – or go near – the room.
You may not know this (or maybe you already do), but what overwhelms us, overwhelms their little minds, too. You think it’s bad for us to enter a messy room (and try to stay out of it)? It’s so much worse for them, having to sleep in that messy room!
Drop Everything and Focus on Quality Time.
Your kids need you, whether you feel good or bad. They need you on stressful days and peaceful days. Whether you’re hungry and tired, want to cry, or just had the best day of your life… your kids need you and want to be with you. If you feel overwhelmed, take a little “time out” and just BE with your child, even for just a few minutes.
My Advice to Fellow Moms and Dads
Spend time. Listen. Ask questions. Teach your child how to think about the world. Teach new words and new concepts. Explain things. Figure out what your child is curious about by paying attention to the questions asked, and then delve into similar topics! Kids are so curious, and they will emulate everything you do.
So…if you spend all day on your phone, stressed out to the max…(*shrug*)…you’re teaching your child to do – and to be – the same.
Set goals that will help tackle overwhelm. Tape the list to your fridge, as a reminder. Make some new plans, and plan some family-fun events that will make life so much better for you all. Unplug together, and watch the amazing things that happen.
Here’s to happy families and new “underwhelming” traditions!
Katie Waisanen is a Boy Mom of two beautiful boys, and lives in Corinth, MS with the rockstar love of her life, Dave Frost. Together they parent and live crazy-artist lives. She’s an actress, blogger/author/playwright, singer/songwriter, and owner of a Digital Marketing Biz/Social Media Agency. Katie is passionate about cultivating a beautiful family life – one in which everyone can live out their dreams and thrive.