5 Ways to Reduce Stress as a Busy Mom
"This is the rule of motherhood- Its all in passing. The hard days. The laughter filled days. Everything is temporary. Find joy in each day". - Rebecca Eanes
As a mom of 4, including a set of twins I have heard my fair share of "I don't know how you do it!"
I will let you in on a little secret, the truth is I don't know how either.
I will admit my hands are full and on most days I would be lying if I said it was smooth sailing from eyes open to shut. But these will someday be the "Good Ol' Days," and I'm trying to resurface on the other side without allowing the stress to consume me and steal the joy of motherhood.
So here are my tried and true methods for reducing stress as a mom with a busy household. Oh and just pretend self care is already a given!
- 1.) Don't sweat the small stuff
- Like, truthfully. I know it sounds cliche but let's dive in.
- You are wiping one toddler butt and your other toddler decides it's a great time to unload all the books of the bookshelf or whatever shenanigans they come up with.
- At this moment you have two choices: You either turn into a stress ball or take a deep breath and tackle one thing at a time.
- My rule of thumb especially in a house filled with 4 boys, and 4 under 4 is if it can be cleaned up, used as a learning lesson, or will be forgotten in a week its not worth your stress, or over reaction.
- 2.) Don't set unrealistic time lines:
- I can't tell you how often early in my motherhood journey the frustration and stress would come pouring out because I was trying to work my agenda around little ones. OR I wanted to make this story time, or that coffee date.
- Maybe it's just getting to the grocery store by a certain time. We have to be willing to let go of making ALL the things fit into our already busy schedules.
- Instead, we need to focus on a solid routine for everyone. Set small goals for the day, or even the week. Which could include a trip to the library for story time or maybe something personal.
- Allow the comfortability of your routine open up windows where you can get said things done. Maybe it's not happening today but it might work on another day and that's OK!
- Patience is key.
- 3.) Focus on your Partnership:
- This season of motherhood can be hard on marriages, so try to remain on the same team.
- Remember this is such a time of change, and growth for both parties.
- As mothers we tend to carry the brunt of the emotional aspects of raising families. We were the responsible party for carrying our children over the 9 months they grew inside. This can cause us to view the day to day as if it's all on us, or our partners couldn't possibly understand what we are going through. That mindset is setting ourselves up to drive a wedge in our relationship.
- Create the dialogue for open communication as parents and discuss what each of you need, what you are struggling with, ways that you can help each other in your new rolls as Mom and Dad.
- Try to focus on the bigger picture and don't let small stuff like "He didn't take out the trash" fester into a larger argument.
- Set your expectations with each other and allow for a bit of grace in this season. Children can also put a halt on sex lives or create a new obstacle that wasn't there before coupled with the parenthood exhaustion. Focus on creating intimacy throughout the day doing simple things like remembering to sneak a kiss, or brushing a hand on each others back when you walk by, holding hands, stopping for a hug.
- Connection goes a long way to keep that spark!
- 4.) Embrace the Chaos!
- Kids can turn your world upside down. They are unpredictable, emotional, amazing, growing little human beings and by the time you have one phase down, they are usually already on to the next! As mothers, we ride that emotional roller coaster with our little ones all day long. We clean up countless messes, change countless blowouts, and the sound, constant noise and touch is enough to send our senses into overload. They will try all of your patience, push all of your buttons, and experiment and explore their world to its fullest! So try to just embrace it, the more we fight it, the more stress is created.
- Set your boundaries, parent how you parent, but remember: No matter how amazing of a parent you may be, there will be chaos and you should welcome it with every fiber of your being!
- 5.) Accept a new standard of clean and organization:
- Now I am not saying you have to succumb to disgusting habits or living standards.
- But, I am saying to give yourself a little break when it comes to keeping your house spotless and pristine.
- Our house looks lived in, most days I feel like it looks like we run a small pre-school. (And at this point, I know we practically do).
- I spent so long fighting that and frustrating myself to no end trying to hide and shove all the baby things away. Trying to clean and keep things looking as if 2 adults still lived here and that just wasn't the case!
- Buy yourself a magic eraser, and cute bins for your baby toys. Find a good spot to park that stroller, or double stroller, or triple stroller and a designated spot to grab all the things you need when leaving the house with one or more little ones.
- Or create that activity corner in plain sight like I did, which has been a lifesaver for those longer days when the newborn needs me.
- Just expect that children come with things! And try to keep in mind things will get broken, decorations will be used in all things imaginative play and there will be a day it will go back to normal. And this day will come probably sooner than we all realize, so let go and just enjoy the ride!