Too Much On Your Plate? How to Lighten the Load

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

 Something funny happened at our wedding shower this Summer. One of the games was a quiz where people had to determine if the statement was about James or myself.  One of the statements was "I run the household."  And almost all of the women in attendance knew right away that it was me. 

That's because most of us feel the same way.  It doesn't mean we call the shots and get to control everything.   No no, you see the runner of the household tends to be the one that not only does a lot of physical tasks like cleaning and cooking, but the mental tasks.

If you were to write down all of the tasks you have to handle in a week I bet some of them would include reminding others (husband, kids, etc.) to do things.  No wonder we feel so overwhelmed.   We take on so many tasks that we even have to remember things for other people.   And as much as we may want to become resentful of the other household members for not helping out, you can't be mad.  You have to take action.   Here's how to lighten your load so you have more time for yourself and you don't feel so frazzled.

[1] Discuss
Let your family know that you feel so overwhelmed anymore and it's causing you to neglect yourself.   You should totally be able to schedule a few hours for yourself in the span of a week.   Give them a heads up that you will be asking for help with some things you do regularly and if someone gets defensive and feels like you're accusing them of not doing enough, let them know that's NOT the case.

[2] Delegate
Taking the trash cans to the curb every week may not take long, but it's a task you have to mentally remember to do.  Why not assign it to someone else.   Worried they will forget? Write a note and keep it on the calendar so you can either shout out "It's trash night!" when you get something out of the fridge, or have them write it somewhere they will see on a weekly basis.  There are a lot of tasks that can be delegated.   If you are constantly reminding your kids or your husband of their appointments or important birthdays,  consider using a smartphone app that sends reminders to them about those things or even just calling attention to the fact that everything will be on the calendar in the kitchen (or wherever) and it's on THEM to pay attention to it.

[3] Make Charts
A great way to make sure everyone is clear about what they are responsible for is to simply make a chart and put it in a central location like the fridge door.   It can have the regular weekly or daily tasks everyone is responsible for along with anything that comes up on a spur the moment basis.

[4] Plan
Plan everything out so it's not a thought that keeps swimming in your head all day.  I use daily to do lists for myself of even the tiniest tasks, just so that I don't forget. I plan meals out 2 weeks in advance and have my grocery lists all ready to go.  I plan out where all of my money will go from each paycheck, and I plan out any appointments (hair, doctors, nails) well in advance so it never pops up last minute and I can't get it done.

With a bit of planning and asking for help, you can definitely lighten your load and not feel so bogged down.

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