A Homeschooling Mom, Overwhelmed

tips for coping when overwhelmed - Apron Strings & other things

Photo Credit: My dear daughter Caitlin

There is so much to do. So much undone. There are so many decision to make. So many choices to consider. The house is a mess. Lesson plans to work out. There are clean dishes (really? yes!) to put away yet dirty dishes are piled high. The kids are everywhere into everything. Asking for this and permission for that – AFTER the fact. There is a birthday party to plan (someone turns 7 today!). And the cat ate the cake. It’s past 9 am and we still haven’t had breakfast. Need I go on?

Here are 10 tips for coping when you are overwhelmed and you feel as though the waves are crashing in.

  1. Scream. Let it out. I’m not talking abusive yelling of obscenities at the kids. Just step out of the room and open the valve a little, let the steam out so you aren’t a pressure cooker ready to explode.
  2. Breathe. Good air in, frustrations out. In, out. Get your blood and brain oxygenated so you can face whatever may be ahead.
  3. Retreat to your favorite corner with a good book or your laptop to read your favorite blogger. It’s easier to solve everyone else’s problems and put their life back on track. It might even help put yours back in perspective.
  4. Go off and have a good cry. Yes! Crying does wonders. Tears can be very healing.
  5. Laugh. Really. These are the things that we’ll remember with hilarity 10 years from now. Might as well start right now and enjoy the humor of it all.
  6. Call your husband or a friend and ask them to remind you this too shall pass. Sometimes just hearing someone else say so helps you get past the crazy.
  7. Make a list. Getting it all down on paper clears the head. You won’t be wasting energy and time trying to think of what needs doing next.
  8. Do the next thing. This is a piece of advice I learned from Elisabeth Elliot. Do the easy things first. Do something, anything. That will break the pattern of feeling paralyzed.
  9. Give up. Chuck the plans and make new ones. Take a walk. Ride your bikes. Go swimming! Go out for an ice cream cone!
  10. Last but absolutely not least – pull out the scriptures, spend some time with the Lord, have a mini quiet time, right where you are. Seeing things through HIS eyes will help you see it all more clearly.
  11. Chocolate. Need I say more?
  12. Coffee. Goes without saying.

The housework will wait, the school work will wait. And if you take time to collect yourself and get a whole new perspective, you’ll find you can tackle the trials disasters distractions in life so much easier. They won’t seem so insurmountable.

Yes, I know. I said there would be 10 tips and I included 12. Couldn’t help myself. Consider it your bonus for today – 12 for the price of 10!

this post linked to link parties at The Better Mom,Β  Far Above Rubies, Cornerstone Confessions, TimeWarp Wife, Hip Homeschool Mom’s, Deep Roots at Home and Top 10 Tuesday. Welcome Home Wednesday, Walking Redeemed, Works for Me Wednesday, and Next Gen Homeschool.

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  1. Thanks For this. I amvfeeling kindo of overwhelmed right now myself. Gteat advice. Good to know I am not the only mom that feels this way sometimes.

  2. Hi, Linda!
    I find crying (when alone after everyone is asleep) and praying continually help me the most. The tears relieve stress and are (like you said) healing and prayer FOR the other person helps me to love them unconditionally and to begin to see them as Jesus does… If it is me that is the problem and often it is, well, then I ask for help from the Holy Spirit…I have been greatly helped, but only when I know i can’t do it alone.
    I do want to invite you to link-up your posts each Wednesday when we have our linky party. I’d love to have you join us πŸ™‚ Blessings!

    • Hi Jacqueline πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you stopped by!
      Tears really are stress relievers, aren’t they? I confess though, that it is difficult for me to pray FOR the other person, if in my mind THEY are the cause of my stress πŸ˜› working on that one! I’m so thankful for the power of the Holy Spirit. I can’t imagine facing life’s battles without Him.
      I’ll pop over to your site on Wednesday. Thank you, and have a blessed day!

  3. My trick is definitely chocolate! Chocolate chips in the pantry to be exact! It works until I’m discovered by little ones, anyway! πŸ™‚

    • OH, yes! chocolate! I’ve been know to keep a package of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies hidden away. Now, my grown daughter who’d the mom of 3 does the same thing πŸ˜‰ Whatever we moms have to do to stay sane, eh?

  4. #11 is my favorite! πŸ™‚ I really need to work on the whole changing plans thing; I am terribly inflexible once I have it set in my head! *sigh* Thanks for the list; just thinking about it has given me an idea that may very well help!

    • Hey Ashley! gotta have chocolate squirreled away somewhere. Staying flexible is really key. My most stressful days are often the days I had plans and no one seemed to be on board. I’m glad I could be of encouragement to you! Have a wonderful day πŸ™‚

  5. Love the list! As a homeschooling mom trying desperately to finish up my 22nd year (and finding out that most of my students will have to school through the summer!) I can really relate!

    I find that “doing the next thing” is one of my best stress relievers. I know when I’m overwhelmed, the tendency is just to sit down and let everything fall apart, but that’s not the brightest light in the apartment complex. So going on and just doing one thing is good for me. Before I know it, the load is just a bit lighter!


    • Hello Lisa! Thank you for stopping by. We’ve just finished up our 21st year and though it’s been a long time since we’ve lived in an apartment, I know exactly what you mean. There have been many days I thought I couldn’t handle it, and then somehow we keep on going. By God’s grace we’ve made it this far and we’ll keep on keeping on.

  6. I had to laugh at your list (especially #11) because I could have written most of it myself. I find myself frequently doing deep breathing or taking a shower so I can have a good cry. I also like dark chocolate and spending time in the Word and prayer.

    I love the suggestions of making a list and doing the next thing. I need to try those next time. Thanks!

    • I’m happy to have put a smile on your face this morning πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by. I pray you have a wonderful and not too overwhelming day!

  7. This is a great list – I’ve used more than a few of these methods to cope myself! πŸ™‚ I also find that worship and other uplifting/energizing Christian music really helps me “reset” whenever I need to.

    Thanks for linking up at NextGen Homeschool’s What’s Working Wednesday!
    RenΓ©e at NextGen Homeschool

    • Hi Renee! Thank you for stopping by πŸ™‚ I’ve been enjoying your posts on NexGen Homeschool.
      I had music on my list, but had already gone past my 10 – and as I hit publish I wished I had included it. So glad you mentioned it, because happy uplifting praise music often does the trick to snap me out of things.

  8. Oh, yes…. there are times we need to go in our closet and scream, get it out and then drop to our knees and beg for mercy and peace! LOVE this list.. I agree the chocolate and coffee do help with everything on the list! Thank you for linking up at The Ultimate Moms Resources!

    • Amen! I’m so glad you found encouragement in my list. Thank you for hosting! I’ve popped to read a bit at your blog off and on the last couple of years. I’m always uplifted. I’ll be ‘seeing’ you around, Rebecca – thanks you for stopping in!

  9. Great post! I am a huge fan of 10 and 11…I think as mothers we forget what God has called us to do and let’s be honest, it is hard!

    • Hi Kat πŸ™‚ I’m glad for stopping in for a visit. The Lord and chocolate = perfect recipe for handling those overwhelming times! This motherhood things is hard, and if we remember to first go to God, it is less overwhelming, though not always easy. Thank you for your nice comment. Have a blessed day!

  10. Hi Linda,
    I found myself saying, “Yes” to every single item on your list! They’re all great coping strategies when things get to be too much. I guess the only other thing I might add is sleep. If I’m too tired, things often seem more overwhelming than they really are. So glad to have found your blog!!

    • Sleep is so important. When I’m not rested, everything is more overwhelming, and our days definitely do not run as smoothly. The little things become big things very quickly if I haven’t had enough sleep. I’m glad you were encouraged, Jennifer – I hope you have lovely and restful weekend!

  11. I love this list. It really boils down to stepping back and taking a deep breath in some form or another. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Jennifer πŸ™‚ I often need the reminder to step back, and to breathe! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week – enjoy your weekend!

  12. When my children were all small, the interruptions were more simple, but now that I have adult children and am homeschooling teens, the distractions are systemic! It’s a continual balancing act between meeting the educational needs of my kids and also begin present to all the larger family’s needs, celebrations, and schedules. It’s a joyful dance, but wow — the choreography wears me out!

    • Michele, I love the way you describe the dance, and the energy it takes! Parenting and homeschooling little ones does take a lot of energy, and time. But it is a whole new set of challenges having teens and adult children! I love my teenagers, and my adult children – they do make life interesting, but I still get worn out πŸ™‚
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts – enjoy your day and your family!

  13. Love this post! This is exactly what I needed this morning. It definitely makes a Momma feel as if she is not alone in this marathon of raising children. Thanks for this!

    • I’m so glad to be an encouragement, this morning, Kim πŸ™‚ Raising children is a marathon, isn’t it? And we all need some encouragement and a few reminders now and then. Hoping you are ready to face your day, now!


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