Keep the end goal in mind to help manage OVERWHELM

managing overwhelm parenting tips Nov 11, 2022
Manage your overwhelm so you can be present with your kids

When you look at all the things on your list that you’re juggling, and the list of things you want to get done, do you ever stop to think about what you’re doing it all for?   Sometimes we get so caught up in the list of things we think we should be doing, that we forget WHY we're doing it to begin with.  Keeping the end goal in mind can help.

When my kids were little, I always really struggled with overwhelm during the holiday season because there were so many things I wanted to do to make the holiday season “perfect”.  I tend to get short-tempered and reactive when I’m overwhelmed, so it was not a pleasant experience for my family.  I thought I had to do so much to make things perfect, but I made us all miserable in the process.  I had lost sight of my end goal.

As I coach parents, I’m always asking what it is that they WANT. Their desires range, but I often hear that they want more quality and enjoyable time with their kids and they want to feel more connected.  Then I ask if that is on their to-do list or scheduled in their calendar.  I have yet to have a single parent tell me yes.

Instead, I have parents telling me that they struggle to enjoy the time they spend with their kids because they have so many things they need to get done.  They tell me:

I don’t have time to play with the kids

It’s not productive time

I’m supposed to be doing other stuff

 Can you relate?  Do you struggle to enjoy the time with your kids because you’re distracted by the long list of other things you think you should be doing?  Do you think that list needs to get done before you can relax?

Unfortunately, this can keep you from enjoying the time that you DO have with your kids.  I had one Mom tell me: I always feel like I’m distracted when I’m with them so then I feel guilty that I’m not spending quality time with them.

You likely think you need to get more done so you don’t have that list hanging over your head and you can be present and enjoy your time with your kids.  But that line of thinking just keeps you stuck in the cycle of overwhelm, and when you’re overwhelmed you are least effective and least efficient at getting things done, which perpetuates the cycle of overwhelm.

This is where thinking of the end goal can help.  When I asked the Mom who didn’t feel like playing with her kids was productive what she really wanted.  She shared that she wanted to enjoy these years with her children and build happy memories.  That led her to decide that her time spent with her children was time well spent and she was being productive because she was working towards her goal.  She started scheduling time to spend with her boys to ease her busy mind because she would be doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing at that moment.

Overwhelm comes from what you are thinking, not from what you aren’t getting done and it keeps you from being present and enjoying your life.  But when you get clear on what your end goal really is, you can start to shift your thinking, which is the first step to getting out of overwhelm.  

This will be especially important as we head into the holiday season.  Consider taking a few moments and thinking about your end goal for this season.  If it’s to be more relaxed and enjoy the season, think about what you can take OFF your list.  We tend to think that we need to do so many things over the holidays, but trust me on this — your family will enjoy the season more if you are more relaxed and fun to be around than if you are stressed and short-tempered because of the long list of things you think you should be doing.

And if you are stuck in the tornado of overwhelm, feeling like you have too much on your plate and no time to get help? This is the perfect time to get help.  Click here to line up a complimentary call to see how I can help - or just book a single session to find out what’s been keeping you stuck in the overwhelm tornado and leave with a solid plan to get out so you can enjoy this holiday season.

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