To the Overwhelmed Stay-At-Home-Mama

I can’t remember the last time I went out in public with my kids and didn’t hear the phrase, “you’ve got your hands full,” at least once. Doesn’t matter if I have all three of my boys or just one, at least one person says it, every single time. And every time I hear it, I think to myself, “do I really look as overwhelmed as I feel?” Every time I hear those words, I get a little pang of Mama guilt for not having my …stuff together. Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever hear “you’ve got your hands full” and you just want to scream, “yes, I do, please help!”

This letter goes out to all the Mamas who are doing their best even if their best doesn’t feel good enough. It goes out to all the Mamas who don’t remember what it feels like NOT to have full hands. It goes out to the Mamas who are so overwhelmed with just keeping their families alive, that they don’t even know what else to do.

From one overwhelmed Mama to another, you are not alone. Whether you’ve just had your fist baby and are realizing that motherhood is way harder than you thought, or you have a full brood of kids and it just seems to get harder with each one; you are not the only Mama out there feeling this way.

It’s ok to be overwhelmed. It’s ok to feel like you’re in over your head. It’s ok to think this stay-at-home-mom gig is not all it’s cracked up to be, because some days it just isn’t. If you get into bed after a crazy day with your kids and think all you’ve accomplished is that everyone is still alive, that is still an accomplishment; you’ve done your best and that’s all you could do. Close your eyes, and let the day go. Tomorrow will be a new day, another chance to try your best.

When you’re feeling completely drained by your kids, your family, your life the best thing you can do is reach out. There are so many moms who have been (or are) in your shoes who can be an awesome support. If you have mom friends, speak up, let them know you’re having a hard time, I can almost guarantee they’ve experienced some of the same feelings before and they would love to offer a hug and a listening ear. If you don’t have mom friends, I highly recommend ignoring all the other things that you think need to get done and finding some, ASAP. Look for a support group for moms in your area, start taking a class, go to a yoga or exercise class – not only would all of those things help you to get out your funk on their own, but they’re great ways to meet other moms in the area and make some friends who have been there, done that and can help you get through the craziness of motherhood, too.

The next time you’re out and hear “you’ve got your hands full,” instead of thinking how quickly you could run away after kicking the stranger, think of all the other moms out there hearing the same words and remember, we’re all in this together. Our hands may be full, our lives may be totally overwhelming, but we’re in this together!

(Please note: for some of us who feel overwhelmed more often than we don’t, the issue may go deeper than just the regular ol’ stay-at-home-mom stress; it could be postpartum depression. This is a very serious condition and should not be ignored. If you think you might have PPD, you should definitely each out to a friend, but also, please reach out to a doctor. There is no shame in asking for help and pretty soon, you’ll start to feel like life isn’t quite so overwhelming.)

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