A couple of weeks ago, I felt completely overwhelmed. I had been through the first winter sports weekend of the season, realising my children had to be three different places at once on a Saturday morning with their sport. I had to clean the house, do the shopping, fit in the gym and then have my beautiful inlaws around for dinner, who are no trouble at all. And I found myself at the kitchen sink, sobbing as I was cooking dinner. Too tired to even flip the grilling chicken. Too tired to speak nicely to my husband who was looking on, helplessly. I had reached the point of complete overwhelm. Life felt like every minute was accounted for, there was no time for me, and not time for quality time with my family. I felt like I had not even achieved the first step in slowing it all down – in fact I felt more out of control than ever before. I’d like to say since those two weeks had passed, I had made some remarkable changes in my life, but no. Things have persisted and now I find myself unwell with a chest infection. Sigh. If you are like me, sometimes you need multiple reminders that your life needs to change. Sitting in bed, in between intermittent coughing fits, I have been reading The Power of Less by Leo Babauta. Of course he knows all of the answers and principles, because he has put them into place in his own life. Leo recommends choosing one monthly goal at a time, being accountable for that goal and doing a daily task to get you closer to that goal. So here’s mine: My first monthly goal is to have enjoy the weekends when I have my children. I want to slow down and be present, and not stressed and rushing around. I want my kids to remember their childhood with affection, remembering doing simple things with their mother (and be able to erase from their memories the frazzled mother that they currently live with!) To achieve this goal, I will:
- Slow the pace of the weekend, by reducing the things we have scheduled. For example, I will now shop on the weekends when the kids are not with me
- Choose a piece of sacred time, where no matter what, we will take it slow. I will keep Sunday mornings as sacred and have a lie in, followed by bacon and eggs with everyone
- Chose one small activity that we can do together that does not create a logistics nightmare, like go for a walk, go to the movies, making home made food = small, simple acts of spending time together without too much fuss
- Practise a bit of gratitude – even when I am running around to three different places, I need to remind myself to be grateful that my children are actively participating in sporting activities that they love. They are fit and healthy and able!
I have told my children of the new plan, and they are agreeable. I’ll let you know how I progress. Baby steps. How do you handle the feeling of being overwhelmed?