Get Out from Under Mom Stress: Understand There is Always Tomorrow
Signs You Have Mom Stress
Although many signs of stress BEFORE having kids are obvious, it seems like once we all create this family we’ve always wanted, we forget what stress is and looks like. Oftentimes, we refuse to respect that we’re burnt out, because “we wanted all of this” and then we suffer from mom guilt if we allow ourselves to believe we’re stressed out over being a mom.
The truth is, we aren’t stressed over being a mom, we’re stressed over unrealistic concepts of what being a mother is and what moms are supposed to take on! So here’s a reminder of what stress looks like, even now that you’re a mother of amazing children.
- You don’t sleep soundly, resulting in low energy.
- Tension headaches are a regular thing.
- Food cravings.
- It seems like you always have a cold, or are feeling under the weather.
- No one will tell you, but you know, you’re always pissed off and in a bad mood.
- Your calendar never has anything scheduled for you to RELAX and enjoy some downtime.
- There’s no real connection with your partner, or your friends, and you prefer not to communicate unless it is through texting.
Knowing is half the battle with mom stress! We also have to understand what we can do to cope with mom stress.
Strategies to Cope with Mom Stress
We’re busy moms. All kids need help, rides, to be fed, nurtured, and loved. It takes time and energy to do all of these things for our kids. When we have to cope with stress in our busy lives, we need practical coping strategies!
Say No Without Feeling Guilty
Friends and loved ones always want something from you, forgetting you have kids and they need you more than they do. Learn to say no to the demands of other people, so you have the mental and physical energy to devote to your children.
Work Can Wait
Whether you work in an office for a boss, or remotely for yourself, work can wait. Yes, we all need money to survive, but boundaries have to be made so your life doesn’t become a stressfest. If your workday ends at five, leave and fight the urge to check emails after hours. Actively choose to leave the work behind, because it will be there when you clock back in the following morning. Work stress eats away at your energy and focus, and that’s what your kids will feel and experience when they’re with you.
Ask for Help
Partners are supposed to be partners, so ask them for help with household responsibilities. If you’re a single parent, it’s okay to ask for help from family and/or friends. Everyone uses the bathroom, dirties dishes, and enjoys the yard – should be a team effort to maintain these things. Kids can help, too. Just task them with things that are age-appropriate, and make all of it fun for them.
If they are given the job of dusting, hide things around the house they can only find if they truly do the dusting! Maybe that piece of candy you always tell them they can’t have when at the grocery check-out line, or money!
Identify What Activities are Most Stressful, and Adjust the Activity
If you find that your morning routine triggers your temper, because your kids take forever choosing clothes to wear for school, you aren’t alone. But you can avoid the trigger by having the kids pick out clothes the night before, create a spot in their rooms to lay everything out from socks and underwear to hair clips and headbands.
Find the activities that cause you to “lose your sh*t” and find ways to adjust the activity, thus removing the trigger, creating a much calmer mom.
Remind Yourself Tomorrow is Another Day
Many of us put too much emphasis on the idea that we aren’t promised tomorrow, and believe we need to pack our days with all the things. This just creates stress, and a whole lot of toxic energy when you reach your limit and lash out at everyone around you, a.k.a. your kids and probably your partner. Who wants a life where every day provides a horrible experience for yourself and your kids? No fun mom isn’t just no fun, but angry and ‘yells all the time’ mom.
Would you want to live with you if you were your kid? If the answer is no, it’s time to get the stress under control.
Remember There’s Always Tomorrow
Kids don’t need the perfect mother, nor do they require a perfectly kept home with cooked from scratch meals made from only organic ingredients. A family doesn’t need all the finest things, and brand new electronic devices. So, leave work and work stress, along with the aching need to be the perfect mother all behind you and breathe. The work will be there tomorrow, whether you stress and worry about it, or not.
Perhaps tomorrow you’ll knock it out of the park, you’ll remember every detail and work will be a pleasure, and you’ll cook the best meal the family has ever had – but, maybe you won’t. And guess what? There’s always tomorrow.
Show up for your kids instead.
- So what if you do it over pizza and soda from the local pizza parlor?
- Does that laundry getting done matter more than heading out to play some miniature golf on a school night?
- Grab the kids and head to the local park to hit a few tennis balls around, because seriously, is the bathroom’s dirty sink not going to be dirty tomorrow?
If you’re all smiling, laughing, and enjoying the time together free from work worries and mom stress, you’re doing life rather well.
You Do Not Have to be a Supermom
One of the most important things to remember when releasing mom worries is that you do not have to be Supermom. You just have to be present with your kids. They don’t care about dirty floors, having sandwiches for dinner instead of a hot meal made from the finest ingredients, or what kind of work issues are plaguing you. What they need and want is a mom who can listen to them with both ears and a clear mind, and enjoy them for the personalities that they are.
Laughing, singing, playing and cuddling in the moment with a mom who isn’t thinking about all the chores and work that still has to be done is all they want. When you find yourself thinking about all “that stuff” stop yourself, tell yourself “there is always tomorrow” and refocus on your family.
If you’re having trouble coping with mom stress, and being able to find a good life balance so you can lose the stressed NO FUN MOM title, therapy can help!
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