You know those times. When you think you have yourself all organised. Everything should go to plan, then one thing happens and it all goes to you-know-what and you just want to curl up in a ball and cry? Yep me too. But I’m going to share with you how to not have a breakdown.
How to not have a breakdown
Last Friday I had the morning all planned out.
I was going away for the weekend with my Mastermind group and being picked up at 10.30am.
The kids were off to kindy (but husband was going to be home to help get them off) then staying home with him Friday night before heading to the beach for a couple of days with my parents.
My sister and her fiance were coming for coffee at 8.30 to say hi because we hadn’t seen them both together since they got engaged.
I let the hubs have a bit of a sleep in because he’s been working really long hours recently but at 8am when I got in the shower I gave him a ‘time to get up! You need to get the coffee!’ to which I got a groan in response.
He was sick. Like – can’t lift his head off the pillow sick (the poor guy couldn’t even get out of bed until the following Tuesday!).
And so into overdrive my brain went… now the morning was up to me. The coffees the getting the kids off to kindy but also… who was going to look after the kids that arvo/night if he couldn’t move from bed.
I bundled the little one in the car, left the big one to answer the door to my sister (he was ok with a bedridden minder for 10 mins) and headed off to get the coffee and called Mum on the way.
She offered to take the boys for an extra night but it was when she said she’d come over now and get their bags and what did I want her to do that the tears welled in my eyes and choked out ‘I don’t know it’s all too much for me.’
That’s how it is some days isn’t it? We don’t realise how little we’re holding on by until one little thing happens that sets us on the path to a bit of a mummy meltdown.
I hung up the phone to Mum and started spiralling but instead of bursting into tears, I caught myself.
I remembered a podcast ep I’d listened to that week about time and how all we can ever control is that exact moment.
All I could control or focus on in that moment was getting to the coffee shop. That was the focus. So that’s what I did.
I focussed on one thing at a time and I was in that moment not thinking about what I needed to do next until I’d finished that.
If you often find yourself overwhelmed then how about a little mum care? Here are a few ideas to take care of yourself.
The biggest lesson though came while we were waiting for our baby chinos (how cute is he?!?).
A happy, upbeat song came on and I looked down to see my little guy laughing and dancing right there in the middle of the cafe.
There he was, my little human reminder to live in the moment. When you live in the moment everything is ok. So I joined him. I grabbed his hands and we had a little boogie in amongst the Friday morning coffee crowd.
We pumped the music on the way home and jammed all the way.
While my sister and my future brother-in-law were there, I chatted with them and drank my turmeric latte. When they left I focussed on the next most important thing on my list – packing up the boys things to get them off to Mum and Dad and I did just that until I finished then rinsed and repeated until I was ready to go.
I’m not going to pretend that I left the house a picture of calm, cool and collected.
But, I didn’t lose it. A year ago, if I was in that situation I would have yelled at at least one person and cried and possibly been nowhere near ready at 10.30 when my lift arrived.
How to not have a breakdown
- STOP – take a breath. Slow your breathing and tell yourself ‘I got this.’
- PLAN – what do you absolutely have to do? If you need to, write down every single thing that needs doing and break each one down into simple tasks.
- ELIMINATE – cross off anything that doesn’t actually need doing.
- RATE – pick the most important thing on the list. Start with that, focus on only that until it’s complete.
- BREATH – take a few deep breaths then move on to the next thing on the list.
- REPEAT – repeat until you’ve finished the list.
- CELEBRATE – you did it!
That’s how I get through anything that seems like a giant task. I break it down and keep breaking it down until each little task is easy.
If it’s not easy, you haven’t broken it down enough.
You might also like my five step before bed routine for calmer mornings.
Prefer to listen? You can listen to this blog post on the From the Heart of the Home podcast on iTunes or below.