Do you know that feeling like one more loud noise is going to make you lose your mind? If you have young kids, you can probably relate to that. The kids are screaming, the dogs are barking, the TV is on, and your husband is trying to talk to you about his day all at one time. It’s exhausting.
Luckily, I am out of the stage where every little thing can trigger me and set me off. My kids are older, so my house is not full of crying and whining anymore, but it still gets loud and overwhelming sometimes.
Something I remember from when the kids were little was the feeling of being “touched out” at the end of the day. When they were babies, both of my kids needed to be held constantly. Sometimes I let them nap on me so that I could get a break, but that meant their body was connected to mine for hours at a time. I know what you’re thinking “precious baby snuggles” and yes, they were. But do you know what nobody ever talks about? When the baby naps on you and you feel like you don’t get a break at all. Or if they sleep on your chest at night (which I had to do for my daughter for months when she was a newborn) that you are unable to fall into a deep sleep. So yes, they snuggles are precious, but it is yet another sacrifice that moms make that is invisible.
Overstimulation, for me, is when one or more of my senses are overloaded. This could be the sound, the smell, or even too many electronics glaring. When I get overstimulated, I get anxious. And angry. Which I don’t like, but can’t really help.
All of a sudden, things that you never had to deal with before becoming a parent are now part of your every day life. Before kids, you hardly ever have to worry about if you are a patient person. After you have kids, you are forced to deal with patience every single day. Whether you are patient or not affects the whole house and the dynamic that you have with your kids.
Are you good at multitasking? Add that to the list of things that you hardly ever have to worry about before kids. But you are forced to master that rather quickly as a mom. Can I multitask? Yes. Do I like to multitask? No. I would much prefer to do one thing at a time, but motherhood doesn’t really work like that. At all times, no matter what I am doing, I am always listening to the things going on around me in the house. I can be fully immersed in a book and I will hear the kids crying in the other room. My husband, on the other hand, does not have this ability. He can sit on his phone or watch tv and completely lose track of what is going on around him. How nice must that be to just shut everything else off sometimes? I do not have that luxury as a mom.
Which brings me to the point of why I am constantly overstimulated. It’s not easy trying to focus on multiple things at one time. And goodness, my kids are so loud. And they love the TV loud. And my dog loves to bark. And my husband insists on telling me all about his day as soon as he walks through the door. Sometimes it’s honestly just too much for one person to handle!
There are so many struggles we face in motherhood on a daily basis, but the good news is that each phase passes. I truly thought I would always be overstimulated in my house, just like I thought J would always have tantrums, but both of those things are passing. So if you are a mom who is overstimulated, try to remember that it will pass. It won’t always be like this – eventually your kids will be grown and they will learn what an “inside voice” is. Hopefully you will be able to look back at this time and recognize that although it was hard, you did also appreciate the time with your kids.