Beat Overwhelm – The Brazen Mummy Guide

Overwhelm. Now there’s a snazzy little buzzword. If you’re feeling like you’re going to smash a few plates with all this juggling, keep reading, mumma. We’re going to fix all of that in a jiffy…

(Also –  when did overwhelm become a noun as well as a verb?

Was it when we all became so overwhelmingly overwhelmed, that some flashy business guru had to invent more jargon? Well, don’t let it be said Brazen Mummy doesn’t keep you on the cutting edge of fancy schmancy lingo.


So are you suffering with this overwhelm too?

And what does it look like?

Err, you know that thing when you’ve got so much stuff to do you can barely stop for breath? When you might just yank your frazzled hair out and scream big ugly swear bombs just for the eff of it? Yes, well that. (So a friend tells me…)

Overwhelm - lady feeling overwhelmed
Are you feeling like this yet?

You may wonder why Brazen Mummy would suffer with this overwhelm. Aren’t I “just” a stay at home mum? Well, firstly, this mumming is a damn sight more demanding than my years of swanning around the office. The days when I could pee solo and make coffee the first time the kettle boiled.

Mumming is a twenty-four hour Piccadilly circus, with no pay and a two foot boss who can tantrum like a b*tch.

But secondly…

I’m on a mission to become a work at home mum, which takes a lot of groundwork. It means getting up at 5am to write, scribbling during nap times, and writing again in the evenings whilst I breastfeed the little one to sleep. (SLEEP POLICE ALERT – flagrant “rule” breach! But they can jog round and sort out bedtime themselves if they fancy.)

Overwhelmed by writing?

But what is all this stuff I’m writing? Eeeee, now there’s a brave question. The early adopters amongst you may know to run for cover at this point. If you didn’t read about the epic marathon of a novel I’m writing, you’re welcome to bring yourself up to speed here. Now don’t ask again!

Soooo, writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bejesus out of it. I wouldn’t power out of bed at ridiculous o’clock to fire up coffee and a laptop if I didn’t. It feeds my soul with tasty little morsels, and therefore can surely only make me a better mum.

Overwhelm - so much writing
Me at 5am. Pah! Trust me, it looks nothing like this…

Overwhelmed by housework?

But that doesn’t leave much time for housework (read – my house is a dump!) When Little B is awake I get mum guilt if I don’t focus on him, and when it’s the weekend I try and champion a bit of family time. So I often feel like I’ve got ALL OF THE JOBS and no freaking hope!

I mean, motherhood is a juggle-y ball weirdo show at the best of times. But when you add running the household (sounds grownup), pretending you have a proper job and keeping on top of social admin into the mix, don’t you sometimes just want to bite your own arm off? (So this friend of mine keeps saying, anyways…)

So here’s what I do when it all gets a bit much, I’m feeling frantic and I just want to hide in a cupboard with a packet of M&Ms (peanut, if you’re asking.)

(PS does anyone actually read these intro bits? Can I say what I want here and go undetected? I KILL SPIDERS. I HATE CATS! Only joking. Cats are great. Let me know at the end if you caught this bit…)

Overwhelm Tip #1

Take a Break, Mumma!

Counter intuitive, but at times you just bloody need it! And don’t you dare think you don’t deserve it, or we’ll be having words. Sometimes you need to pause and replenish before you can come back fighting like the tiger woman you are.

So take time out. Put your feet up, have a biscuit. Breathe, goddamn it!

Overwhelm - too much to do
Don’t end up like this lady!

Overwhelm Tip #2

Stop Multi-Tasking!

Don’t pretend you don’t! I’m always going upstairs to grab something, starting five more things whilst I’m up there, then coming down without the original thing. Oh, and whilst I was gone I’ve burnt the toast and the rain has ruined the washing I started hanging out then forgot about. Oops.

And now you’re only going to do one task at a time, consider this:

It’s irrelevant how many jobs are in the mountain. You only ever have to tackle one at a time. That’s all. Not all of them at once. Step by step, bit by bit. Slowly does it, and you’ll reach the end.

Just like life.

If you burst free from the womb to be immediately told you’d have 31,000 days to live through, four schools, forty two exams, ten jobs, three kids, two husbands… Wouldn’t you go straight back in? I know I would. But it’s not like that.

One day at a time, one job at a time. That’s all you gotta do.

Overwhelm Tip #3

Go Dark

Ooh, controversial! But to be able to breathe without the constraints of big brother on your back once in a while is a beautiful thing. (I’m old enough to remember it! We’d be out playing all day before mobiles were even invented. Nope, didn’t die.)

To just exist without juggling a whole world of apps and crap for a few hours can be bloody priceless. Now and again I can nearly leave the house on time if I’m not faffing about with my screen. I said nearly…

So go on, try it for half a day. I dare you.

Overwhelm Tip #4

Make Lists

Write it all down. Get it off your mind. And then work through it, one job at a time. It’s less overwhelming that way. I’ll even let you add things to your list that you’ve already done if you like, so you can bask in the satisfaction of ticking them off! Yep, I totally do this.

But it’s my list and I’ll boss it how I want to!

Overwhelm - make a list
Make some lists! Ooh, lovely nails. Where does she find the time?

Overwhelm Tip #5

Start With the Jobs Which are Bugging You Most – Because They’re Draining Your Happiness!

You know the ones. Those jobs that taunt you every day and subconsciously chip away at your chirpiness until you want to fling them out of the window. Like that picture that never got hung on the wall or that cupboard that never got cleaned.

What? Can I see into your house?!

Ha! You know we’ve all got one (or maybe several…cough cough). So either get these done first, or go with the window flinging plan. But don’t let them eat you!

Overwhelm Tip #6

Done is Better Than Perfect

I don’t know about you, but this is a thing I’ve definitely had to come to terms with since motherhood. My house may never be fully clean and tidy again – where’s the time, unless you want to ignore your kids and ensure all their childhood memories involve following you around whilst you hoover.

So maybe you haven’t got a spare hour to give that room a clean. Instead of closing the door and waiting ‘til the whole thing rots, give yourself ten minutes on the clock, shove some music on, and smash what you can. (Err, not literally.)

I tried this the other day, and do you know what? A bit of a superficial de-clutter is surprisingly better than nowt.

Overwhelm Tip #7

Just Say No!

Come on, we were brought up on this. No to strangers, no to drugs, no to over-zealous losers trying to get into our knickerbockers. (Ok, Google tells me that does not mean underwear, but nice word.) So why give up now? If people are trying to dump too much stuff on you, make a stand. Say no! Or I’ll send the boys round.

Overwhelm - so many jobs
Tell ’em to do their own hoovering!

Overwhelm Tip #8

Re-programme Your Brain

Oh my god, I’m crazy about this idea at the moment. Because the glaring but often overlooked truth is that our mind thinks what we tell it to. We own that beast.

So guess what.

If we tell it we’re too busy and we can’t cope – well, we won’t cope. There’s a bit of our brain that delights in collecting corroborative evidence, and it will clutch on to all signs we’re losing and rub our negative noses in it.

But if we decide to keep telling ourselves we’re winning at life, at some point our brain will start rewiring and believing our own hype. We will actually change the landscape of our brain. Can you imagine?

And who wouldn’t choose winning? Well, not my friend anyway. It’s a no-brainer.

So come on, why don’t you join me in the beat the overwhelm revolution. Let’s have a ten minute tidy up to Lady Gaga, tell other people to do their bloody own, and rewire our brains until we think we’re bossing it.

And let me know how that goes!

Over to You

Do you have any tips on how to stay on top of the mountains of stuff life throws at you? What do you think of mine? And can you recommend any good housework tunes, because Poker Face is getting old. Answers in the comments box – what are you waiting for!

And don’t forget to stick your email in the subscribe box, because FOMO is a terrible thing.

Ooh, and please share, share, share on social media, using one of the square icons. Brazen Mummy will wither without your love!

And don’t forget to like my Facebook page, where the daily fun happens!

Give Me More!

If you enjoyed this, you’re going to love my previous post where I give us all a motivational kick to help us stop comparing ourselves to others.

And there’s that juicy one about beating Impostor Syndrome too. Enjoy!

Photo Credits

Featured Image – Photo by Marcelo Chagas from Pexels

Goggles lady – Gratisography – Pexels

Coffee – Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Cabin lady – Photo by Úrsula Madariaga from Pexels

Lady with pink nails – Photo by from Pexels

Hoover – Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash



51 Replies to “Beat Overwhelm – The Brazen Mummy Guide”

  1. Great post as always! Feeling overwhelmed is a massive struggle of mine! My number one rule: Turn off at 7pm. No work and no chores. I would rather struggle on through the day working little but often then try and do it at the end of the day when I’m too exhausted and in need of me-time. Songs for bossing housework: Panic at the disco – “High Hopes” and “This is me” from The Greatest Showman (New Found Glory do a cracking cover!)
    P.S. Cats are a great tool for killing spiders 😛

    1. Loving your turn off at seven rule. I could definitely do with a bit of that! I tell myself I’ll just do one last thing, then before I know it it’s bedtime and I haven’t stopped. Oops! Ooh, will check out your housework tunes. And your spider killing tips! Well spotted – top of the class! 😂 xx

    2. First let me tell you that as a working mom I am full of admiration for you! At least I get a bit of mental break when I go to work – and a solo trip to the bathroom 😂

      And I totally agree with all your tips. Taking a break and not multi tasking are key for me. And letting go of the word perfect! Because who has time for that?😂

      1. You are a very wise lady. So grateful for your comments. Thanks for reading, my lovely. Xx

  2. This is a great post and exactly what I needed to read right now! We’re in the middle of prepping for a transatlantic move and I’m trying to write but mainly feel like I’m desperately trying to keep all the plates spinning! Thank you for this!

    1. You are welcome. We definitely all get like this at times, especially me! Wow, that sounds like a lot of work. Is this the thing where you’re moving to the UK, or did I imagine that? Because we need you over here! Good luck with it all. You’ve got this. Xx

          1. Thank you! I’m hoping to keep it up and develop it further once the move craziness settles down. I’m also hoping to become an active member of the blogging community there!

          2. That’s fantastic news. Your blogging community awaits. Whereabouts in the UK will you be? Will let you know some good social media groups to hang out in anyway. Excited to hear more in due course…xx

          3. Looks like a nice part of the world. We’re Gloucester, so not close enough for coffee, but you never know! Xx

  3. Oh, lovely mama, I think this is a really amazing post! You are really upscaling recently and I love how you share what actually goes into blogging with a little kiddo. It’s so not easy! I just wish I loved closed and k would play with your small human when your working! Keep up the amazing job! I see it and you’re going to inspire many. Heading for big things mama, I’m going to use these tips when I feel overwhelmed for sure!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Nanny M x

    1. Wow, thank you so much, Nanny M! Huge praise indeed. You would definitely be my chosen nanny if it didn’t involve driving to a different country. Although your amazing blog must be keeping you busy too. Keep up the great work and looking forward to your next post. Xx

  4. Loving your posts, they are so in tune with my life atm: stay at home mum, trying to cram in the writing and make a career of it and trying not to feel like I’m failing at everything. Definitely going to tell my brain I’m winning more often! You’re a star, keep going with that novel!

    1. Ahh, thank you my lovely. I’m so touched to have found another soul sister, and glad I can help out a little! It’s not easy, all this juggling. But it takes the pressure off a bit if we can feel we’re not in it alone. Lots of luck with your writing too! Xx

  5. Love your tips, I often feel overwhelmed, like now – trying to make a go of the food blogging and there is so much to do, research, cooking, testing, photography, writing, publishing marketing and then keeping up with kids, house and life in general – I need this post so much!

    1. I’m glad it helped. Food blogging does look intense. And all that eating too! Eek. Thanks for reading, lovely. Xx

    1. Yes, do it! Hopefully you won’t even see this message, because you’ll be so busy smashing those jobs. XX

  6. I don’t think I had ever felt truly overwhelmed before becoming a mum. You’ve gathered some great coping strategies here!

    1. Absolutely. It doesn’t make others feel good to go around pretending we’re acing it, so let’s just say it how it is. No harm in being real. Xx

  7. Great post and so relevant to so many of us! I definitely second taking time out for a bit of ‘me-time’ and writing lists. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when you have young kids. Personally, I also think it’s really important not to measure ourselves against other people. Social media can make so many of us feel inadequate… But it’s all just an illusion!

    1. I’m terrible at switching off! And also swamped by lists. Being overwhelmed by lists could be a blog post in itself! But I’m definitely cracking it. Ish..! Xx

  8. This is such a great post!! I often feel overwhelmed by everything, I’m a stay at home/work at home mum and there’s always so much to do! These are great tips though, thanks for sharing them xx

    1. You’re welcome, Wendy. Glad to be of service! It’s so hard as a stay at home/work at home mum, as there is no obvious divide between work and play. It can just feel like you’re on constant duty. So definitely be kind to yourself and take some time out. Xx

  9. Brilliant! And yes, I do read your intros – glad to hear you don’t actually hate cats…

    I am a big fan of lists to help keep me on top of things (am I whelmed? I’d like to reach a point of underwhelm if possible though this may not be achievable until the children have left home)


    1. Ha ha, well done for reading the intro and passing the test! I hope you manage to get underwhelmed (without carting the kids off) soon. Xx

  10. Such great advice! I am terrible at trying to multi-task. I do it on purpose, so like I won’t go upstairs to get something unless I’m carting something else up.
    I’m drained by the end of the day and confess that I hate it all a lot of the time!
    Thanks for linking up to the #itsok linky.

    1. Oh gawd, I do the cart horse thing too! Have got to admit that bit is handy. Thanks for reading. Xx

  11. I do love cats but I do use mine to kill spiders!! Great tips and I think overwhelm probably does describe me pretty well x

    1. If you let the cats do it you don’t have to feel guilty! Hope you find some use for the tips. Xx

  12. Fab post lovely. It’s so easy (and common) for mums to get overwhelmed, because we often have our fingers in so many pies – housework, school stuff, kids appointments and classes and this and that, our own work, general life stuff etc etc. There is always so much to do, and not enough hours in the day to get it done.
    But your tips are great – I always have a to-do list and always get that one irritating job out of the way first! Of course I feel so accomplished after I don’t do anything else but that’s ok too right? Thanks for linking this great post with #itsok

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I love that you’re a fellow list lady. And if you want to just do one thing from the list and then stop and eat biscuits? I give you permission. It’s definitely OK! XX

    1. I had quite a bit of dark time today, unintentionally. Fantastic, isn’t it! Definitely more of that for me. Xx

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