Ever had one of those days when nothing is going right and everything is difficult? The usual tasks seem overwhelming, sorting out what everyone needs for school, trying to solve the squabbles and arguments as well as keeping everyone moving towards getting out of the door on time? The constant thinking about food, shopping and what to fix for tea, the curve balls that come up, packed lunches instead of school dinners, creative homework last-minute panic, after school activities that seem to require a PA for themselves? That endless to-do-list that never seems to have an end.
Being a parent can feel overwhelming and difficult at times. The constant nature of taking care of children means that there are always continuous tasks. And on good days we can be slick and organised and feel on top of it and those other days it’s a mad juggle and chaos.
For many of us, we carry on until something breaks and we are forced to re-assess the balance. A helpful question to ask in that moment of feeling completely exhausted is very simple:
“What do I need?”
Sometimes simply stepping back and asking this of ourselves is enough to slow everything down just a fraction and pause. It helps us to put our needs back into the mix, and re-focuses our attention.
It’s different from “what should I do?” Which can feel like another thing to add onto the already crammed to-do-list. When we instead ask ourselves “what do I need?” there is more compassion, more opportunities to explore what our needs are.
So, if you are feeling overwhelmed and having one of those days, try asking yourself “what do I need?” And listen to what comes up. Do you need to do something lovely just for you? Do you need to chat to a friend, or schedule some time to meet up with a friend? Do you need to have an early night curled up with a book? Do you need to cross off some of the tasks you had planned? How might you respond to yourself? What is it that you need?
Today and this week, stop and ask yourself this question, and see what comes up.
If you would like some more ideas of getting some self-care back into your day, sign up for our 3 simple self-care strategies.