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Superpowers for the overwhelmed parent

Sometimes this superwoman (or superman) role is just too much. Sometimes we have had enough of being the answer to it all. What are we having for dinner? What time is the birthday party? How many days till Christmas? Where are my jandels?

Sometimes, we just want to hop in the car and leave. Even just for 30 minutes (but sometimes, for 30 days).

I’m ashamed to say I’ve had lots of days like this lately. My logical brain is very confused about this fairly consistent state of overwhelm and resentment. After quitting my dream job to enable more space, I should be nailing life right? Nope, turns out i’m just a human, often doing superhuman things that extend me beyond my capabilities. So to do this – be a superwoman, when life requires that of me, I need some superpowers to help me.

Enter my household management superpowers (would love to think of a less dorky way to say this, but…. I can’t!)

If you are like me, feeling constantly overwhelmed and overworked with parenting, work, and life, these carefully curated ideas and resources might be helpful. They might even help you get through your week without emptying a bottle of wine every second night.

Nope, I haven’t implemented all of these perfectly, some are still waiting patiently in the wings for their time (morning rituals being one). But all of these have the potential to move you out of overwhelm and help you flourish in your parent and home-boss role.

Superpower #1 – Morning rituals

Before kids, i was an early riser. 5.45 to be exact. Up to run and prepare for my day. Never late, and usually high fiving myself having already achieved lots before most are up. Fast forward 10 years and the picture looks very different. Sleep has become more important and I’m almost never up before the kids are. My alarm these days is the first girl to thump into our room and make the first request of the day. And yes, it’s as unpleasant as it sounds.

So my first superpower? Get up before my kids. Begin a morning routine/ritual that will set my day off on the right foot.

This superpower is about putting me first. Selfish? Nope. I cannot give for the rest of the day if I’m empty. This superpower is about filling my cup so I can fill others during the day.

We all know that a bit of ‘me time’ is important. But how many times to you fall into bed at night barely having had a cup of tea by yourself let alone done something that you enjoy? Find your thing. Do it. Before you are pulled in a dozen different directions.

My ideal morning would be to wake an hour prior to the rest of the house. Walk or run the dog, meditate/pray, write morning pages, and have my first cup of coffee over my diary/to-do list for the day.

What would your ideal morning look like? Maybe you don’t want to exercise in the morning. Maybe your ideal morning is getting more time to read? It could be (now that our daylight hours are longer), time in the garden? Maybe you just want an extra freakin 10 mins to shower alone (i’m thinking of mums with lil bubs here). In actual fact, you don’t even need 10 mins. According to Hal Elrod, author of bestselling book Miracle Morning, you only need 6 minutes.

Most people have 6 minutes in their back pocket. I’ll give you a clue, it’s probably hidden in your social media scroll time.

Whatever your ideal morning looks like, you (ugh I know, it’s hard, but only you) have the power to change your morning and set yourself up for a better day.

Takeaway #1 – take 10 minute to brainstorm what you want your mornings to look like. If you want some inspiration and ideas head here to see what other (successful) people are doing!

 

Superpower #2 –Meal planning

The second superpower i want to advocate for is meal planning. Sounds pretty boring right?

Yeah it kinda is, but without sounding like Martha Stewart, this can honestly be a game changer. There are five mouths to feed in our family, luckily no allergy’s, but we have fussy eaters, one on a low fat diet and one on high protein/low carb. Plus the usual desires to feed everyone healthy nutritious food. It’s complicated and I function so much better in this space when I plan.

Use whatever specific tool you like here… I’ve tried online apps but always come back to pen and paper. Simple means I’m more likely to achieve the task.

I try and plan our meals around what we currently have, and whats on special. I attempt to stick to a budget. And my biggest tip here, especially for those of us with young families, start early. Start preparing dinner in the morning. Don’t leave it till 5pm when everyone’s tired and hungry.

Takeaway # 1 – Start now. Pinterest has hundreds of free printable meal planners. This one is my favorite. Simple and lots of space to write on.  

**And, if meal planning is really stressing you out? I highly recommend trying one of the meal planning/delivery services you might have access to as well. We live in NZ and ordered the Bargain Box for 6 months while I was working full time. It was fantastic. Takes the job out of your hands completely. If you are in the US you can use Blue Apron.

 

Superpower #3 – Gratitude practice

Start a gratitude practice. Why? Gratitude and resentment are unlikely to inhabit the heart together. This can be as simple as you want. Keep a notebook by your bed and write down one thing you are grateful for every night before you go to sleep. Or make it part of your morning routine. We have used gratitude in our dinner time prayers for as long as I can remember.

If you are a tech junkie and love having everything on your phone you might want to try a mobile app like this one for practicing gratitude (yep I know, an app for everything!).

Gratitude gives us perspective. It enables us to lift our eyes up past our own circumstances. The comment “first world problem” has probably been overused, but in most cases we are living extremely wealthy, blessed lives, comparatively. Gratitude will help remind you of that.

Takeaway tip #3 – Practice makes perfect. Gratitude is definitely a practice we need to engage in regularly for it to have superpower effects and take us out of overwhelm. Choose one small way to start today!

 

Superpower #4 – Command center

It’s not rocket science… but it is a command center! Because lets face it, sometimes our overwhelm simply comes from a lack of organisation. So my last tip is a physical practical one. Start a command center for your household. Don’t know what a command center is? Chances are you probably already have one. Take a look at your fridge? What do you stick to it? Otherwise you can check out some sexy ones here.

A good command center should have the following elements; up to date calendar; a place for school notices, hooks for keys, a place to put other bits like sunglasses and wallets, pens and paper. Other things you might want to include is a place to display kids art work – until you retire them to scrapbooks or the bin.

You can be as simple or as fancy as you like here. Pick something simple to start with and get organised! 

Takeaway tip #4 – This is key for your command center to do it’s job properly. Tell everyone that lives in your house about it… walk them through it. Make it very clear that it’s not just your job to know when everything is happening and then refer them to the calendar.

Try one of these today and let me know how you go! I’ve been wanting to get back to soul restoring morning rituals for the last few years. This is what i’ll be tackling first. When we move back into our house in February, our fridge/corner of kitchen shelf will be getting a major face lift! I have the perfect corner picked out for our upgraded command center.

Until next week xo

 

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