Before I even get started, I have to be completely honest. I am in no way trying to say that I have the all-knowing answers to curing stress for mothers. Because let’s be honest ladies – there is no way you will ever be able to get completely get rid of the stress that’s brought on by being a mother. When you’re not around your kids, odds are you’ve already planned everything so that their daily routine can go on smoothly and you’re still probably stressing that something isn’t going to go as planned. And when you actually take a day off you feel guilty, huh?
If you’re looking for a spell to magically erase all of your stress, then you’re in the wrong place and should probably just stop reading before you get too involved. However, if you’re rational and are looking for ways to manage stress in a realistic manner – then you’re in the right place and you should take notes. In fact, maybe you should bookmark this article and use it as a reference from time-to-time when you’re experiencing a stressful time.
It doesn’t go away.
First things first, accept that stress is never going to go away. Once you’ve accepted the reality that lies behind stress then you’ll be much closer to overcoming the obstacles that are ahead. Stress will always exist however, if you’re able to accept the inevitable then your expectations will be realistic and you won’t fall too hard when things become difficult. Accepting the reality of life is the first and most important part of managing stress.
Yes, stay-at-home mama I’m talking to you too! It can be as simple as going to the bathroom alone or as long as taking a nap when your child is napping. Each day make it a priority to stop and take time for yourself. This period of time will provide you with the opportunity to hit the reset button.
Stop making excuses for the undone to-do list.
Let me guess, you never finish everything on your to-do list. Or maybe you’re too preoccupied to even write out a list. Guess what, it’s totally fine! Stop making unachievable expectations for yourself. Instead of trying to cram everything into your schedule, prioritize the important tasks and go from there. If you can’t achieve everything then take another go at the list the following day. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re only one person and you don’t have to be an over achiever.
Stop comparing yourself to other mothers.
Does it really matter if Sally’s mom made homemade Valentine’s cards and your kid brought store bought ones? Who cares if Dylan’s mom managed to do her hair and you didn’t. As women, we must stop comparing ourselves to each other. In reality, we’re only hurting ourselves and setting each other up for failure. Next time you feel an urge to judge another mother, take a breath and say one nice thing to that mother. That woman will appreciate your kind words and hopefully one day, when she’s feeling the same negative competition, she’ll stop and do the same thing. Instead of spreading animosity, mothers need to spread positivity.
Make your children responsible.
As mothers we want to be able to do everything. From the laundry to making a homemade meal, we want it all to be completed with a June Cleaver smile. Truth is mothers who try to do everything and do not incorporate their children into the mix are only hurting their kids. Part of being a mother is teaching children how to function in the real world. Make chore lists and assign other responsibilities for each child. Being a mother doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do everything.
Learn how to say no.
It’s important to accept and realize that mothers have the ability to say no. Ditch the yes ma’am stigma and think about yourself. Even though mothers are responsible for their children, they have to remember to prioritize themselves as well. If a mother is not healthy, both mentally and physically, then she will be unable to be a good mother. Taking care of yourself, as a mother, goes hand-in-hand with being a good parent.
Remember moms, there is no how-to manual and in reality the whole parenting gig is truly trial and error. While the presence of stress will never fully go away, it’s important to realize that there are many ways to manage the stress that is experienced. Next time you’re feeling stressed, turn to these six tips for relief and comfort.