Ever feel like you want to scream and escape, caught in a storm that pushes your mental, emotional, and physical boundaries to the extreme?

You’re not alone, in fact according to research

“nearly 9/10 mothers committed partnerships say they feel solely responsible for organizing the family’s schedules, and the burden left them feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to make space for their own self-care”1

I had one of these days last weekend! I was emotionally exhausted after spending two weeks looking after my 3-year-old full time, housework, playdates and organising presents. All whilst trying to fit in work around this in the mornings, evenings, and weekends.

My son was having his 5th tantrum for the morning and throwing food everywhere due to not being able to find his Paw Patrol spoon and not liking the way I’d peeled his banana.

At the same time, I was trying to catch up on some work emails and noticed several voicemails from my business partner, all whilst my husband was trying to discuss something with me.

During this moment, I felt: 
  • Overwhelmed and wanted to scream for it all to stop.
  • Frustrated and exhausted by my toddler, why couldn’t he just use a different spoon?
  • Resentment towards my husband, why was he able to do a 9-5 full time job during the week, whilst I had to work weekdays and weekends just to fit work around my son? 

It was like I had made a smoothie without the lid on, and it exploded all over the walls and floor. I felt numb and resentment, I wanted to walk away but I was frozen.

The only thing I wanted to do was numb the pain and lie on the sofa with chocolate and a glass of wine in hand.

Yet, I knew this was a short fix and it was neither effective nor sustainable for my mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

The me 2 years ago would have managed this situation very differently. I would have probably thrown things at the wall, screamed at the boys and drank a glass or more of wine and talked to whoever would listen about it endlessly.

One Friday night in 2021 I reached a breaking point. This made me realise that there are always going to be these stressors when it comes to balancing children, marriage and work, and the only thing I could change was myself and how I responded to this situation.

I needed to look inside myself and get support to help me manage this situation. In my case, I was lucky enough to find a professional that helped me look at this situation from a different perspective and help me reframe how it felt inside; and effective tools to help manage the negative voices in my head that told me I was failing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still find myself getting triggered in these ongoing scenarios of overwhelm. Yet, I can manage my triggers and recover more quickly due to these practices and focus on sustaining my mental fitness.

Whether you’re experiencing the same situation today or something slightly different, here are some tips I’d like to share with you: 

  • Check in with your body to notice the emotions that are showing up and get curious about them. Give a name or colour to your feeling during the moment you are overwhelmed or frustrated. Just focus on connecting to the colour and let it flow through your body from your head to your feet and then let the colour travel outside of your body
  • When the colour has disappeared, find a quiet space, and describe the colour by completing the following sentences… The colour was…… The colour represents…..
  • As you think about these feelings, how else could you describe them? What do they taste, smell, and feel like? What is the texture of these feelings and how heavy are they?

I’m curious, what colour or name would you use to label your emotions when you are being pushed beyond your limits?

If you would like to find out more about how you can more effectively manage the mental load, check out our program in the flyer attached.

This article was written by  Ellie English, one of Careering into Motherhood’s Partner Coaches.   Ellie is an ICF and Co-Active certified coach empowering mothers to thrive through sustained mindset transformation. Thereby reducing the mental load, authentically rebalancing your life, and strengthening relationships from the inside- out. You can get in touch via her profile page https://www.careeringintomotherhood.com/coach/ellie-english/