It’s not that you don’t love being a Mom. But the constant demands, one meal after the next, the piles of wash, keeping everyone and the house clean (and often working as well), can eventually lead to stress. This can bring even the most positive Mom into the doldrums. So what’s a Mom to do?
It’s hard to let go and take some time for yourself. With a to-do list and schedule that grows longer by the hour, any personal time can seem elusive. But here’s the thing, a stress filled Mom is no good for anyone. So here are some ideas that can put some zing back into your step.
Moms that puts these ideas into practice will not be the only ones in their families to reap the benefits:
Get Paid Cleaning Help
: Make sure that you have the cleaning help that you need. Beg, borrow (don’t steal) to be able to afford some extra help. Kids eat up finances, so sometimes it’s hard to find the extra cash. Take a look at your budget, put other projects on hold, (especially when children are young) and get cleaning help. This can alleviate tremendous stress! Knowing that you don’t have to tackle that huge pile of laundry, or clean out the freezer can make the difference between a calm, joyful evening and a stressed out one. A new couch pales in comparison to the inner clam and serenity you will feel when you feel that you can cope.
Hire a Competent Babysitter
Having a set time once or twice a week to bring in a babysitter will give you the time to do what you need. If it’s some errands that you need to run, have the babysitter watch the kids while you run out. This can be a great time saver and de-stressor, knowing that you can get things done without the kids in tow. Maybe there are things you need to do at home or you just need a good nap. Have the babysitter take the kids to the park (weather permitting) while you tackle chores at home. If it’s too cold or too miserable to leave, the babysitter can play with the kids in the playroom or basement. Do your homework before you hire anyone. Ask around, get references, interview candidates and make sure that you are secure with the person to whom you are entrusting your kids. When my kids were small, I hired a neighbor’s high school daughter who was amazing with the kids, a couple of times each week. I gained a lot of peace of mind from catching up on things that would otherwise never have gotten done.
Speak with an Experienced Mother
Raising small souls demands wisdom and perseverance, and many skills that do not always come naturally. I have an older friend that I was always able to confide in. When I reached an impasse in my parenting knowledge, her wisdom and experience gave me the perspective that I needed. Mothering can sometimes be very isolating because so much of our time is spent with little people. Having someone to talk to, a friend, relative or anyone from whom we can glean wisdom, can be a lifesaver.
Make Time to Spend with your Husband
The daily demands of raising a family, can challenge the most solid relationship. Children can take up our entire days (and nights) and then some. Couples can forget that they ever had a relationship outside of being a parent. Make the time to spend quality time together. It might not happen every week but aim to spend some quality time together at least once a month. Get that babysitter and go out together and reclaim that special relationship that you share. Go out to your favorite restaurant, or just take a walk together and share your day. Even if you can’t get out of the house, try to grab a few minutes together each day. Sharing together will strengthen your relationship and melt the stress away.
Get Together with Other Moms:
There is nothing that relieves stress more than sharing with other Moms. Have you noticed that suddenly you have something to share with the unfamiliar Mom sitting in the doctor’s office? There is no more universal experience than being a Mom and sharing and laughing about kids is a liberating experience. Is there a Mommy and Me group in your area? If your kids are small, this is a great opportunity to meet other Moms and have your toddlers and babies interact with other kids. If you are a stay at home Mom, can you get together with other Moms in your area? Even if you work, try to take advantage of weekends to get together with other Moms and their kids. Arrange play dates with friends so your kids can have fun and you can enjoy adult company.
Take Parenting Classes
This might not be for everyone, but there are many parenting classes offered across the country covering a wide range of topics. Many Moms welcome the opportunity to learn and discuss relevant parenting issues. Hearing other parents’ perspectives and challenges is validating and a relief for many parents. If time is an issue (when isn’t time an issue?), see if you can find online classes or forums where parents share.
If you can’t find the time to exercise, review your schedule. When we exercise we release tension and…stress. Exercise is not only good for the body, it’s good for the mind. We release endorphins when we exercise which lessen our perception of pain. Endorphins give us a positive state of mind, similar to the effect of morphine. After you exercise, you can’t help but feel good and you will start your day (or end it) with less stress. Even small bursts of exercise can have a positive effect.
Does the de-stressing list overwhelm you yet more? Rome wasn’t built in a day and finding the time to implement something new isn’t easy. However, you are worth the time and small changes can reap big benefits. Try one or two of the suggestions above and see if you can reclaim some calm in your week. Wishing you a little less stress and a bit more calm in your day.