“No-Flail Motherhood”: 6 Tips To Get Back On Track When Things Are Out Of Control

tired mom

A new mommy friend of mine reached out to me on Facebook recently. “I.AM.DROWNING,” she wrote. “When do you start to feel like you have the hang of this stuff?”

“What stuff?” I wrote back.

“Everything! The feeding, the finding time to shower, the cooking,” she wrote. “Man, what am I going to do when I go back to work?”

I was scared to say what I was really thinking (“Girl, you’ll never get the hang of it! Welcome to motherhood!”) but instead gave her a bit of a pep talk. It’s what she needed. And truthfully, it’s what I needed too.

We all have those moments when the weight of everything on our shoulders causes us to stagger a bit. We feel like we’re juggling things, but just barely, and we’re flailing about, hoping to eventually feel “caught up.” (Am I the only one who has NEVER been “caught up”? Is that even a real thing?)

Here’s the extended version of my pep talk.  Hope it helps everyone who is feeling like a bit of a “flail-ure.”

1. Take deep breaths.

You’re probably stressed out, your body is tense and you can’t relax to save your life. So breath deeply, focus on nothing, and let go of the chaos for just a second.

2. Analyze the chaos.

What, exactly, is wrong and causing you stress? Take a good hard look at the situation. Are your kids’ overscheduled? Do you really, really, really need to go ahead and hire a babysitter? Do you need to practice saying “no” to a few obligations? Figure out how you got into this mess and that will help you find your way out.

3. Identify one small step you can take to get to “normal.”

Maybe it’s giving the kids’ chores. Maybe it’s getting organized with a productivity app. Whatever it is, once you complete it, you should feel like you’re way back from the chaos.

4. Prioritize rest.

Set an alarm clock to tell you go to bed. And listen to it. Don’t schedule things past 8 p.m. An hour before your bedtime, start winding down for the day. Take a warm bath, read a book, turn off electronics. A rested mom is a better mom.

5. Eliminate one thing from the daily grind.

We’re all really busy, but what’s one thing (and it could be something small) that will help you get a little sanity back? For me, I quit picking out my kids’ clothes. They’re old enough to know what goes together and how to dress for the weather (most of the time). And if they don’t quite match? Eh, whatever. They’re kids, it’s cute. *shrugs*

6. Talk to your kids.

Chances are, if you have been stressed out, your kids know it. Have a talk with them, let them know that you love them and apologize if you’ve been crabby lately. Try to go on a “Mommy and Me” date sometime in the future to give you some one-on-one time to bond.

What do you do when life is spinning out of control? Share your best tip in the comments.


  1. Motherhood is definitely overwhelming at times. Great tips!

  2. Needed these tips this week. I find it so easy to get caught up when I’m going through personal stuff and when work is crazy. My instinct is to run away but that solves nothing and I’m realizing I have more stuff to deal with then I should because I chose not to address things before.