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Inside: Hitting the brick wall is when you are so tried you can’t go any further without giving in or giving up. Sharing 5 lessons with action steps you can do today to avoid hitting the brick wall and get on with your life!
Moms everywhere are exhausted, tired and overwhelmed.
They are “Hitting a brick wall.” Have you heard of that saying?
It’s often used in negotiations where you get to a place where you can not go any further without something giving or someone giving in.
One thing I have noticed as I talk with other moms is how tired, overwhelmed, exhausted, and worn out moms are feeling.
You Are Not Alone.
Let’s see if we can lighten the load, and keep from hitting the brick wall.
Let me introduce myself:
My name is Jen. I am a wife, mother, and friend. I homeschool, work outside the home, I am a blogger and I am not superwoman.
I’m sure that what you just read, is not new to you. However, I missed something vital, something that makes me-me.
I Want To Be Superwoman.
I want to be able to do it all.
And I truly think I can. It takes “hitting the brick wall” for me to wake up and remember.
I am not superwoman.
I am sorry to disappoint you, but you aren’t either.
5 Lessons To Avoid Hitting The Brick Wall
You might think there is no way to avoid hitting the brick wall but over the years I have learned from 3 major lessons.
“I Can Do It”
Life is crazy busy for all homeschool moms. However, I am stubborn, have I mentioned that before? I think I can do it all.
Work 37.5 hours? Sure!
Homeschool teenagers and all that comes with it? No problem!
Clean the house? Okay!
Grocery shop? Alright!
Make homemade yogurt? *adds to list*
Learn new things every 3 days? Sure..let me schedule you in!
Great e-course? *click yes*
Awesome webinar? *click invite me!*
Visit sick “so-n-so”? Absolutely!
Teach? Check work? Read-a-loud? Nature walk? Artist group? Library visit? Bug dispaly…?
Uh….let me see…
And the list goes on, and do you see the pattern? Are you the same?
I keep getting told to “know your limits”, but I don’t think that is truly the problem.
Lesson 1. Learning Your Limits
I feel the correct phrase is to “learn my limits”.
The difference between the two is this: Someday’s I can do more than others.
There are factors to consider:
- How am I feeling health wise?
- What do I already have planned for the day?
- What is waiting to do?
Each day is different, and depending on my energy level I can do more or less.
Take away: Learn your personal limits.
Learning to listen to how I am feeling, taking a few minutes to “check in” with my body, my mental health, and my stress level. These things are “key” to determining if I hit the brick wall or not.Can hitting a brick wall be avoided? Lesson one: Learning Your LimitsClick To Tweet
Sharing a bit of history: This was me last month.
Just doing my thing, saying yes to everything. Filling up my schedule and totally not paying attention to what my body, head (or husband, for that matter) was trying to tell me.
Then the day came…
I had not been sleeping and was fighting a sinus infection. Whatever-no big deal, I can handle it.
Woke the kids, and informed them we were leaving in 2 hours, I had to work. They did their thing. Eat breakfast, get dressed, got ready to go to nanny’s for the day, packed school stuff, etc. zoom zoom
I opened my email and saw I had 32 emails to read, 2 webinars to watch in the next 24 hours, and 3 e-courses to take. Added those to my list. Whatever-no big deal, I can handle it.
Checked my personal email, 10 or more to read, sort and answer. Whatever-no big deal, I can handle it.
Closed my computer, and then ate and rushed around getting ready to leave. Need to leave in 30 minutes. Whatever-no big deal, I can handle it.
(FYI typing this out, it looks so easy. But I am not going to bore you with the little things that make up one task, you know what it is like! You know, eat means make, eat, clean, wipe up etc. )
Just as we were about to head out the door, my work calls. They wanted to change my shift.
Sure! No problem.
Whatever-no big deal, I can handle it.
Lesson 2: You Don’t Have To Do It All
Then I froze started to feel overwhelmed. Panicked my list was never ending and all these plans were going out the window.
I could feel tension building and I wanted to sit and cry and cry!
Take away: You don’t have to do it all
Is this you? Do you feel you not only need to do it all, but you have to do it all yourself?
I had to learn to say no, I had to stop and really realize what I realistically can do and what I can’t.
How is this different from the first tip?
The first one is what you can do that day, this one is really deciding on what is vital to do and what is not.
Can you realistically be in two places at once? Work and volunteering? OR running errands and at the Library?
No. So stop saying yes, and ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Comparing Yourself To Others
We are all so busy, and I have a bad habit of thinking since every other mother seems to have no problem juggling a million things, I shouldn’t have a problem either.
The above situation wouldn’t have been such a “big deal” had I adjusted my thinking.
Are you following others on social media that only share the “picture perfect scenes”?
It hit me hard because I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself.
It was my thought process. As a mom I was comparing myself to those that I followed, thinking I should be doing all those activities, like other moms.
Amazing homemade meals from scratch.
Tons of handmade crafts.
Hours of reading aloud.
All while my house was spotless, my children angels, and myself like I stepped out of a magazine. AS IF!
Lesson 3: Stop Comparing!
I hate to tell you but if all your feeding yourself is “Pinterest perfect” homeschool photos then you are doing more harm than good. Sorry for being brutal but someone has to say it.
Those picture perfect photos are staged. Those amazing moms are no less amazing than you are, they have their good days and bad days too.
Am I saying stop following them? No, but look and be encouraged and inspired. Remember: They aren’t superwoman either!
Take away: Let’s get real
Stop comparing yourself to others, just stop!
Because in comparing myself to others, feeding myself untruths and getting caught up in the “trends”- I felt I had to do it all and look good doing it. I wasn’t allowing myself to be real.
How did I end up “handling” the changes in my crazy schedule the day I felt like I could barely crawl out of bed, never mind cope with life?
I didn’t “handle” it all actually. I reacted. Plain and simple.
I yelled at my children, the ones that followed my instructions and did exactly what I asked. Yeah…proud mom moment there-NOT!
I can list all the reasons, but honestly – I crashed, hit the brick wall and lost it.
No excuses. I was wrong.
Lesson 4: Be Genuine.
After I yelled, I knew it was time to step back. I went into the bathroom and cried.
As I sat on the floor, I gave myself a good talking too.
“Ok Jen, list all the things you are thankful for.”
And I began just rattling things off.
My children are healthy.
And… I made myself stop. Big breath. And be real.
See I wasn’t being sincerely or genuinely thankful for any of those things. I was going through the motions.
So I prayed and took a real mental inventory of my current state. I asked myself some questions and got real honest with myself.
I am not superwoman.
Take away: Take Action
I decided on what needed to be done that day, and then I took action.
First thing I did is I called my kids back in the room. Needless to say, they were not too happy to see me. I hugged them tight and apologized.
Admitted I was wrong, completely.
Asked for forgiveness.
Told them of the new plan for the day.
Praised them for handling it right, and being flexible.
This helped me remember I am human. I am not superwoman.
Bonus: It helped them realize as a mom, we mess up too.
Admit your mistakes
Doing this wasn’t easy but it reminds those we live with, work with and care about that we are only human too. It keeps us humble. Lightens the load. Lessens the guilt.
Knowing you need to make changes and doing it is two different things. Be brave and do what you need to do to avoid hitting the brick wall.
Lesson 5: Make Changes
The next thing I did, was simply simplify.
I cut out the noise, the things that were not important. I kept the necessary things and stopped saying yes. I started thinking before I agreed.
Here are the changes I am trying, maybe they will help you too:
- Write a list, of things each day that NEED to be done. That way if all I get done is that, I have accomplished something. ( I love this paper planner for this purpose!)
- Set priorities on what is important to me, assess the value and stick with it.
- Take me time. Close the computer, walkway from the housework that is never done. Take a few minutes for me. Read a book, take a bath, rest.
- Exercise. My plan is 3 days a week, get moving!
- Enjoy-be truly grateful and thankful for the moments and people I have in my life.
Take Away: Make the changes you need to make
Take time to sit down and do what is needed to keep your sanity. Try to reduce stress, talk with your loved ones about how you feel and why you need help. It’s worth it.
How To Avoid Hitting The Brick Wall: 5 Lessons!
If you skipped to the bottom, that is fine. I know you are busy and tired.
Here is the 5 lessons in a nut shell:
- Learn your personal limits
- You don’t have to do it all
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Be genuine
- Make changes you need
PS. If you feel like you have already hit the brick wall and gone beyond that you may be doing too much. Read: How To Know If You Are Doing Too Much