Wisdom From Our Little Ones: Shining Light Through the Storm of Overwhelm

It’s been eight weeks since the arrival of our precious bundle and he’s taught his mama a few things already.  I am constantly amazed by the wisdom wrapped up in the experience of parenting.  Wisdom, you ask?  Yes, indeed.  And, I’ve discovered it tends to arrive disguised in those feelings of frustration, overwhelm and exhaustion.


Emerging from the haze of the first six weeks after Emery’s birth, reality began to hit.  I started preparing to return to the clinic, attending mom and baby gatherings and returning to my Rotary meetings.


And, I noticed my to do list begin to grow.  It wasn’t anything new.  I’ve been keeping a to do list for years – often colour coded (it might as well look nice!).  I’d celebrate each time a task was complete – and yes, I’d sometimes feel overwhelmed by it.


Something was different this time.  The to do list was growing.  It was colour coded.  And, each day I fully intended to cross a few things off of it – but it just wasn’t happening!


Have you been there too?  In that place where there’s more and more to do and no time to do it in? 


I’ll bet most women out there have experienced it at one time or another.  There are things to do for work, things to do at home, things to do for the kids, things to do for the groups or organizations we’re a part of – it’s a perfect storm for overwhelm.


Here’s where the wisdom shone through my storm.  In a quiet moment while nursing my little boy, I looked in his clear, blue eyes and realized – Mama, you have too much on your to do list and it’s bound to wear you out!


What was important in that moment?  Time with my little boy, who’s changing everyday.


What is important each day?  Time with family.  Connecting with friends and other mamas.  Eating healthfully and exercising.  Having a job that doesn’t feel like work – supporting women on their journey to health.


Now, how to tackle that to do list (’cause, let’s face it, it wasn’t going anywhere!):

  1. Breathe.  Slowly.  Deeply.
  2. Pare it down.  Is everything on it necessary?  What can I let go of?
  3. Prioritize.  What is the ONE, most important item to cross off today?  Anything else crossed off is a bonus.
  4. Reserve.  Make an appointment each day on the schedule to get that one thing done.
  5. Accept.  Somedays nothing will be crossed off the list – that’s OK!


Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do?  The overwhelm is there for a reason – to get your attention! 


Notice it and, instead of getting caught in the storm, ask yourself, what wisdom am I meant to discover here?  If the ‘I’m doing too much’ message shines through, I encourage you to read ‘How Do You Fill Your Jar of Life?’ and make your to do list more manageable with the steps above.  It may seem simple but it can do a world of good in reducing overwhelm on your journey to health.