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What I Did To Save Myself From a Mom Meltdown

Photograph by Twenty20

We've all been there as moms. We reach a point where we're going to boil over. Because sometimes life with kids is just too much. It's not just the kids, though. It's home and work AND the kids. Too many things with not enough hours to juggle it all. There are dishes all over the house. Laundry is piling up. The fridge is missing the essentials. The kids have birthday parties to prep for and you're squeezing the baby into too small diapers because you forgot to update your auto-ship.

Sound familiar? Life is overwhelming and you're on the verge of a meltdown.

Technically, I should say I'm on the verge of a meltdown. Or, I was. With three kids (one still a newborn), a husband with too long work hours, and a business of my own, my breaking point was quickly approaching. I figured I had two choices—run away or get some help.

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Although running away for a solo weekend sounds grand, I'm not about to skip town yet. If I did that I'd come back to an even crazier zoo and I'm just not up to taming that! So, instead, I asked for some help. Help didn't come in the form of chore assistance though, help arrived thanks to an hour-long session with a life coach.

I once heard that counseling focuses on processing the past, whereas coaching is more directed at the future. I chose a life coach for just that. Future help. I needed someone to look at everything I try to fit in a week, help me pick up the pieces, organize them, and send me forth with inspiration and encouragement to not just survive, but thrive.

I'm not in the season to deep clean or get ahead. I'm in the season of loving my family and loving them well.

I knew the life coach, Emily, from her blog Evolving Parents, and had a pretty good sense of her expertise. She gets moms. She understands how hurried life can become. And, she has proved herself to be full of realistic tools that moms can implement immediately. She was everything I needed.

Before I forever scarred Emily with an extreme case of word vomit, she handed me a stack of different colored post-it notes. Each color post-it represented a section of my life. We started breaking it all down. First up, home. Then relationships that require my attention. Then work. We discussed how I fit things in on a normal day. What hours of the day I am most creative. How I find motivation. On each post-it I assigned a task or responsibility. Then, we prioritized.

My life coach gave me the grace to let go of things. Things that I've made important, but that aren't life-giving or crucial to my family's success. She encouraged me to ask for help and assign some tasks to other people in my household. Most of all, she reminded me that this is just a season of my life. I can make a plan that works for this week, execute it and then adjust as needed. Life is fluid and taking steps to decrease my stress helps increase my productivity, and thus, decrease more stress. It's a good cycle to get in.

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Seeing all those post-its laid out on the table made me realize two things. One, I've got a lot on my plate! Simply acknowledging that was a big deal for me. I do a lot and totally deserve a pat on the back.

So often, I feel like I'm spinning my wheels in daily monotony—doing all the normal things us mamas do, but never finding time to fit in the extra. And that's OK. I'm not in the season to deep clean or get ahead. I'm in the season of loving my family and loving them well.

And two, closing doors on some elements of my life, even good things, will help me and possibly even open bigger and better doors.

Visiting a life coach gave me perspective—perspective I couldn't find on own. My gal, Emily, saved me from a mama meltdown and although most of my responsibilities haven't changed, I am viewing them differently. And sometimes, that changes everything.

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