I’m an Over Stimulated Mom

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mom sitting with laptop and kids running around. over stimulated mom. Des Moines MomBoth my postpartum experiences, one of which I am in the midst of, have involved dealing with anxiety. The first time around I utilized a therapist, support groups, and managing my work life balance. This helped me cope really well. But this time, despite using my previously learned coping skills, I was still having problems dealing with my postpartum anxiety.

Over Stimulation as a Mom

Recently I made a breakthrough in understanding some of my anxious feelings. I learned that overstimulation was a major contributing factor to my anxious feelings.

If you are a mom, chances are you are over stimulated too and may not even know it. Until I really thought about it, I just assumed the aspects that were over stimulating me were just part of motherhood. It may be true we can’t fully escape over stimulation, but we can cope with it.

Coping Mechanisms

I found ways to cope that have really impacted my anxiety and mood in a positive way. One of those coping skills is wearing earplugs around my kids (and husband). Let me tell you, it’s really been life changing. It may sound kind of odd, but hear me out!

Let’s set the scene in a way almost every mom can relate to. Picture this, you just got home from daycare pick up. You’re starting dinner. The oven is making that buzzing preheating sound, the water is boiling on the stove. The baby is babbling while jumping in the bouncer. When she’s not begging you for a snack, your other child is singing/screaming while playing with her various (noisy) toys. The TV is on because your husband wants to “watch” the news while he’s watching a YouTube video on his phone at the same time. The dog barks at a plastic bag outside. That is A LOT of noise!

Until recently I didn’t realize it, but everyday instances like these which I assumed were just part of life, were making me an anxious (and grumpy) mom. There was too much going on I was over stimulated.

Let’s face it, kids are noisy, busy, and oftentimes all over the place. My solution is earplugs. You can buy earplugs almost anywhere but I snagged some cute ones off Amazon. As silly as it may sound, it is a game changer. Of course not everything is completely muted but it is significantly toned down. If my daughter needs my help or attention I can still hear her voice. But utilizing the earplugs, or my “special ear rings” as my 3 year old calls them, helps me be a more regulated and calm mom

I’ve learned that I am easily overwhelmed, especially when things are loud or a little crazy which happens often with two kids. In the past, I have felt a lot of guilt for not enjoying the moment or for losing my patience, but now I have a better understanding for the root of the problem and a coping skill that helps.

I have started to let go of the guilt and have confidence in doing what I need to do for me to be a good mom. When I put the earplugs in the background is drowned out and I can hear my breathing, which also helps me regulate and focus.

It may help you too give it a try! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

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Casey is an Iowa captive by way of Alabama. She lives in Urbandale with her first responder husband Derek, black lab Dakota, and human daughters Avery (2018) and Nellie (2021). She loves being a mom and is navigating her journey with her own version of what motherhood looks like including shamelessly singing “Baby Shark” on command and eating Oreos during nap time so she doesn’t have to share. Casey works part time in the non-profit field supporting families that are grieving the loss of a child. In her “free time” Casey enjoys baking, specializing in boxed brownies and pre-made cookie dough. She also enjoys reading historical fiction books and watching Netflix. Her preferred forms of communication include sarcasm, emojis and gifs.

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