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BEWARE THE OVERWHELM

1
Half Term is in sights. I can feel it edging closer every minute, and I for one, can’t wait.

I’m knackered. I feel exhausted! I need to get out of this school/work/life routine. I need an escape from normality as it’s all feeling a bit… much.

Twice over this past week, I’ve found myself gulping back the breaths, steeling myself to hold it together and telling myself to breathe in, and out again.

This is The Overwhelm.

And when you know you’re having to remind yourself to breathe properly? That’s when you know things need to…

SelfishMother.com
2
slow.

For me, this happens every six months or so. I’m cruising along, thinking I’ve got it all pretty sussed, all pretty smooth and organised and sorted – thank you very much – when something, something, tips the balance.

Often I don’t see it coming. I’m peaking so much I’ve completely forgotten about the troughs.

In fact, over the last few weeks I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve boasted that ”I’VE GOT MY MOJO BACK!” – to various people. Joyously proclaming, that now Liberty is 18 months old, I feel like ME again. I’ve been

SelfishMother.com
3
bouncing around like Tigger. I’ve been exercising! I’ve been practically skipping down the street, glad to be alive and sucking in the beautiful Indian Summer. I’ve been, like – really, really, happy.

And I am happy now. Except I’m exhausted. Actually; I’m happy sad.

And I’m not sure what tipped the balance, except I know that this week it all started to feel much too much. On the same day a few things happened and I felt like I couldn’t cope with it all.

I looked about me at home and everywhere I glanced there was clutter; random socks,

SelfishMother.com
4
unopened and threatening looking post, discarded craft materials, Sharpies and scissors (always somehow in reach of the baby!), mouldy old apple cores, leaves that had blown in from the street…

General debris; EVERYWHERE.

And then this week my daughter has decided that she only wishes to communicate through the medium of SHRIEKING. And the only thing that will stop the noise is Peppa Pig. The soundtrack to my life right now IS Peppa Pig.

And then my son came home from school – distraught, because he’d lost a ’crystal’ through a hole in the

SelfishMother.com
5
pocket of a borrowed pair of tracksuit bottoms – all my fault! Because apparently I had forgotten to send him into school with his tracksuit bottoms.

And another son only communicates with the word ’Poo.’

And then of course there is a business to run.

A team of 8 to manage.

A never-ending amount of questions that need answering and issues that need fixing and wages that need paying.

And let’s not forget a gazillion emails, DMs and What’sApps, that I don’t feel I can give even 1% of the time they require.

And usually, usually, all

SelfishMother.com
6
these sorts of things – they just MAKE UP A NORMAL DAY. And I have the strength, gusto and enthusiasm to bring them on. I walk past the clutter. I cheer up the children. I can bat away the work issues. I ignore the overflowing inbox (24,000 messages. Ha!)

But suddenly, somehow things shift into The Overwhelm, and what has felt fun and brilliant, suddenly feels like a BIG OLD MESS. Suddenly the neat list of To Dos in my head, feels like a mess of crayon scribbles. My brain feels like jelly. And I feel I need a year’s sleep to recover.

But then the

SelfishMother.com
7
light kicks in…

… My husband sends me a text offering to just sit down and chat so he can help me untangle my mind. And then my son hands me a painstakingly written note, telling me he’s sorry I had a rough day. And then a few lovely people DM me and tell me nice things. And then my parents come over and give me a hug.

And then The Overwhelm feels like a problem shared, and – while it isn’t fixed – it doesn’t feel so overwhelming after all.

And then I thank my stars I’ve booked a Half Term holiday to Ibiza and I just need to count down

SelfishMother.com
8
the days… and I know that all this is telling me I just need to simplify life a little bit. And that’s okay. Because people will help me to do it. And I don’t have to feel overwhelmed on my own, do I?
SelfishMother.com
Molly Gunn

By

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- 19 Oct 18

Half Term is in sights. I can feel it edging closer every minute, and I for one, can’t wait.

I’m knackered. I feel exhausted! I need to get out of this school/work/life routine. I need an escape from normality as it’s all feeling a bit… much.

Twice over this past week, I’ve found myself gulping back the breaths, steeling myself to hold it together and telling myself to breathe in, and out again.

This is The Overwhelm.

And when you know you’re having to remind yourself to breathe properly? That’s when you know things need to… slow.

For me, this happens every six months or so. I’m cruising along, thinking I’ve got it all pretty sussed, all pretty smooth and organised and sorted – thank you very much – when something, something, tips the balance.

Often I don’t see it coming. I’m peaking so much I’ve completely forgotten about the troughs.

In fact, over the last few weeks I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve boasted that “I’VE GOT MY MOJO BACK!” – to various people. Joyously proclaming, that now Liberty is 18 months old, I feel like ME again. I’ve been bouncing around like Tigger. I’ve been exercising! I’ve been practically skipping down the street, glad to be alive and sucking in the beautiful Indian Summer. I’ve been, like – really, really, happy.

And I am happy now. Except I’m exhausted. Actually; I’m happy sad.

And I’m not sure what tipped the balance, except I know that this week it all started to feel much too much. On the same day a few things happened and I felt like I couldn’t cope with it all.

I looked about me at home and everywhere I glanced there was clutter; random socks, unopened and threatening looking post, discarded craft materials, Sharpies and scissors (always somehow in reach of the baby!), mouldy old apple cores, leaves that had blown in from the street…

General debris; EVERYWHERE.

And then this week my daughter has decided that she only wishes to communicate through the medium of SHRIEKING. And the only thing that will stop the noise is Peppa Pig. The soundtrack to my life right now IS Peppa Pig.

And then my son came home from school – distraught, because he’d lost a ‘crystal’ through a hole in the pocket of a borrowed pair of tracksuit bottoms – all my fault! Because apparently I had forgotten to send him into school with his tracksuit bottoms.

And another son only communicates with the word ‘Poo.’

And then of course there is a business to run.

A team of 8 to manage.

A never-ending amount of questions that need answering and issues that need fixing and wages that need paying.

And let’s not forget a gazillion emails, DMs and What’sApps, that I don’t feel I can give even 1% of the time they require.

And usually, usually, all these sorts of things – they just MAKE UP A NORMAL DAY. And I have the strength, gusto and enthusiasm to bring them on. I walk past the clutter. I cheer up the children. I can bat away the work issues. I ignore the overflowing inbox (24,000 messages. Ha!)

But suddenly, somehow things shift into The Overwhelm, and what has felt fun and brilliant, suddenly feels like a BIG OLD MESS. Suddenly the neat list of To Dos in my head, feels like a mess of crayon scribbles. My brain feels like jelly. And I feel I need a year’s sleep to recover.

But then the light kicks in…

… My husband sends me a text offering to just sit down and chat so he can help me untangle my mind. And then my son hands me a painstakingly written note, telling me he’s sorry I had a rough day. And then a few lovely people DM me and tell me nice things. And then my parents come over and give me a hug.

And then The Overwhelm feels like a problem shared, and – while it isn’t fixed – it doesn’t feel so overwhelming after all.

And then I thank my stars I’ve booked a Half Term holiday to Ibiza and I just need to count down the days… and I know that all this is telling me I just need to simplify life a little bit. And that’s okay. Because people will help me to do it. And I don’t have to feel overwhelmed on my own, do I?

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Molly Gunn

Molly Gunn is the Curator of Goodness at Selfish Mother, a site she created for likeminded women in 2013. Molly has been a journalist for over 15 years, starting out on fashion desks at The Guardian, The Telegraph & ES Magazine before going freelance in 2006 to write for publications including Red, Stella, Grazia, Net-A-Porter and ELLE. She now edits Selfish Mother and creates #GoodTees which are sold via TheFMLYStore.com and John Lewis and have so far raised £650K for charity. Molly is mother to Rafferty, 5, Fox, 3 and baby Liberty. Molly is married to Tom, aka music producer Tee Mango and founder of Millionhands. They live, work and play in Somerset.

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