When you first become a mom, you don’t initially realize that your whole life changes.
You change into a different person. Your way of life is altered with the addition of caring for a tiny human.
With all of the changes going on around you and inside of you, it is easy to lose ourselves.
Then take on a life of overwhelm due to all of the demands, expectations that come with motherhood.
In this episode of the Real Happy Mom Podcast, I am talking to Renae about how to rise above the overwhelm.
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Renae is a mom of 3, occupational therapist, and advocate for moms who desire more grace, space and rest within their lives.
She has found strength beyond her own to navigate life’s struggles: multiple miscarriages, experience with three kids, working mom life, stay at home mom life, and a husband with a brain tumor and seizures.
Renae is the founder of the Rising Moms Club, a community for moms who are ready to rise above the chaos and overwhelm of life and busy days, trade exhaustion, and the never-ending to-do list for a life with more joy.
Losing our identity in motherhood
It’s so easy when we become moms to jump full force into this new role of motherhood. We are waking up every two hours, eventually, feel like a zombie walking around.
So it can be effortless to lose our sense of who we are and who we were before we had kids who we are now.
It’s imperative to recognize that the person that you were before you had kids is not necessarily the same person that you are now that you have a baby. And that’s okay.
Becoming a mom was like this metamorphosis sort of experience. You come out being more beautiful or something different on the other side. Sometimes there is a little bit of grieving who that person was before.
I know I look back at who I was before having kids and miss some of those qualities that I had, but I am not that person anymore.
But stepping into that person that we are today and embracing that new identity can reap so many unique benefits and rewards that we weren’t even really aware that we’re there.
If you are not paying attention, it is easy to put so much of your energy into motherhood and feel like there is nothing left for you.
So instead of looking back and thinking how much you used to love hanging out with your girlfriends or reading books, figure out who you are today. What do you like today?
Many times you hear about moms comparing themselves to other moms. But sometimes the problem is moms comparing themselves to who they used to be before having kids.
How unfair is that? Your life is entirely different than what it was before having kids.
And so yes, your activities in your life and your thoughts and your energy and everything is going to be completely different. So why would we compare ourselves to that person? But so many of us do. It’s kinda crazy.
Four steps to eliminating overwhelm
With the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities, everyone needing you, and never feeling like you are doing anything for yourself.
After Renae got to her breakpoint, she realized something had to change. She was at rock bottom and knew that if she didn’t want to continue living that life she was living, she had to change.
Which lead to the four steps to rise above overwhelm.
The first step is the priorities. Many times we go through our days reacting instead of being proactive.
Meaning we are handling everything that is coming our way and quickly getting to the state of overwhelming.
Alternatively, we can choose what goes on our calendar, what things come into our home, and how we spend our money.
That energy just totally shifts the perspective, and you change from being reactive to proactive, and it gives you a really good guiding, measuring stick for what you say yes or no to.
If somebody you know, comes to you and asks you to be a part of something or to do something.
Please say yes or no from a great place because you know it’s aligned with those things that matter the most to you, the goals that you have, the priorities that you’ve set in stone in your life.
Remember that your priorities are going to be different from your aunt and your neighbor down that street.
So don’t feel bad when you have to decline something, and the person offering gets upset. You have to do what is best for you and what alines with your priorities.
Also, remember that when you are saying yes to something, you are saying no to something else.
You are saying no to things that don’t align with your priorities and not comfortable.
It still is a muscle. It’s not something that comes easy. Just naturally, all of a sudden you’ve picked these priorities, and you’re magically able to jump in and tell people no with no issues.
After coming back from vacation, Renae realized that she had a lot of stuff.
Also, she spent a lot of time cleaning and putting away all of this stuff. That is when she realized that there has to be a better way. It was time to get rid of the excess.
There is so much emotional attachment to all of the things that we have in our house. But how many spatulas do we need? And do the kids need all of those toys?
On average, the eight-year-old has about 238 toys at home, but that they only play with about 12.
Many times we put so much of our happiness and our kid’s happiness in things, but they don’t need toys. Remember those priorities? That is your guiding stick.
Starting look around your home and ask yourself, what can I let go?
Even on your calendar and in your mind. What can you let go of so that you have more time for yourself and to spend with your family?
We have so much that we’re just managing that doesn’t matter to us unless we sit there and we pay attention to it and have it there with intention.
The best way to prevent the pile-up of unnecessary things in your house is to pay attention to everything that comes into your home.
Then slowly start getting rid of the excess to simplify your life.
No one person is meant to do everything all on their own. As human beings, we were created to live in community with one another.
Asking for help shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a weakness.
It should be seen as a strength that you recognize that you don’t have it all.
You don’t have every skill under the planet, and you were not meant to. And that together you come, we’re going to create some fantastic generation coming after us.
So there are two types of the delegation that I’m creating your team. I like to kind of point out and one of them is like paid.
The paid delegation consists of things like hiring a landscaper or someone to help clean your house.
Pretty much-hiring people to do the things that you don’t enjoy.
The other type of delegation is within the house between your kids and your husband. You are so asking for help from your spouse or your kids, creating systems and routines so that they’re all contributing, and we’re all working together to do it.
Having your child do chores isn’t just to help you, but it is also teaching them how to manage a house so that when they are older, they can be self-sufficient.
Instead of trying to continue doing everything yourself, shift your mindset about asking for help, whether paid or not.
I love being able to help and support somebody. And so by not being willing to accept help from other people, it’s almost robbing other people have the opportunity to be that giver. And so shifting that perspective too can be helpful.
We have this idea that we are the same every single day and that we operate at the same level of energy.
We work with the same level of motivation and all of that every single day. But we don’t.
If you look at just the way the world works, like our year, we have seasons.
Like most places in the world, have a fall, winter, spring, a summer.
Look at harvesting or planting outside, there are times of the year that are focused on different things.
We’re not harvesting food all year long. They’re not in the ground all year long.
There’s a time for each one of those tasks. And it’s the same for us as human beings too.
There’s a time of the year when we’re having fun.
During the summer when you’re relaxing and engaged. Then the winter you’re more hibernating and spending time resting with your family and being cozy on the couch.
When we look at this that there’s this yearly like rhythm and seasons and flow, there’s also rhythms and flow within the month, particularly for women.
For instance, with our menstrual cycle. There are times when we are full of energy and other times when we want to curl up and lay down.
In the first three days of your menstrual cycle, you should be resting. So you have to take into account your cycle and relax instead of trying to push yourself and then feeling defeated.
And so when you look at all of these rhythms and these things that are going on in your day to day life, it gives you so much forgiveness and grace to be able to be like, Hey, this is right now I’m in this low spot and acknowledge that.
How can I shift it and change or modify the activity that I’m doing right now so that it matches with where I’m at.
And then also it gives it so that you can put certain things in certain places so that you can maximize on that productivity.
Renae’s final thought
“The one that comes to mind is it’s okay to be still. I think often we think that we have to be going, going, going, and so just giving ourselves permission like it’s okay to be still.”
Links mentioned in this episode
- Episode 17 with Katie Kahvo – When You are Losing Yourself in Motherhood.
- Rising Moms
- Rising Moms Club
- Renae on Instagram @renaefieck
03:55 – Renae’s take on losing our identity
08:09 – How Renae got started with her 4 step process for rising about the overwhelm
10:18 – Step 1: Priorities
16:12 – Step 2: Simplify
25:12 – Step 3: Delegate and Create a Team
35:17 – Step 4: Rhythm
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