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  • Writer's pictureAbby Calabrese

How to Manage Overwhelm as a Working Mom: 5 Practical Tips & Strategies

Working mom juggling parenting and career

Me: "How do people DO THIS?" (referring to parenting)

My husband: "We ARE doing it."

I struggle with feeling so overwhelmed and overstimulated with mom life. I can't make a cup of coffee without being asked for five different things. My 5 year old is whining about wanting to play a video game that isn't loading, the 3 year old is whining about wanting candy for breakfast, the dog is barking to go out and the sun isn't up yet. I am surrounded by mess and chaos. Crumbs on the table, pillows all over the floor, kitchen counters cluttered with cups and kids school papers and mail. In those moments, I feel like I'm somehow doing it wrong.

But here's the thing- feeling overwhelmed is perfectly normal! Running a household, raising children, and maintaining a career is a monumental task - you should feel overwhelmed! Give yourself permission to feel all the big, complicated feelings that come with this journey.

The key is not to beat yourself up over feeling overwhelmed. Instead, acknowledge it, accept it, and then take practical steps to better manage it. Here are some strategies I've found helpful:

  1. Build downtime into your schedule, even if it's just 20 minutes. Sitting with a cup of coffee while the kids play can make a world of difference for recharging.

  2. Ask for help! Rely on your partner, family, or hire help for things like cleaning or childcare. You don't need to do it all yourself.

  3. Prioritize self-care like exercise, socializing with friends, or hobbies you enjoy. Taking care of yourself will give you more capacity for others.

  4. Don't sweat the small stuff. Not everything needs to be Instagram-worthy and perfectly curated. Messiness is OK and normal.

  5. Communicate with your boss about boundaries. Advocate for flexibility if you need to step away occasionally for family matters.

Remember, feeling overwhelmed does NOT mean you're failing as a mom or employee. It means you're successfully juggling BIG responsibilities. Be kind to yourself as you navigate this season. And know you're not alone - this community of working moms understands exactly how you feel. You've got this!

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