Every parent at some point becomes overwhelmed with stress. You have one of those days or week where you feel completely out of your mind. You're short with the kids, your spouse, everyone. You just want to get away to some deserted island or dream place and unwind for awhile. Then when the dust settles, you become filled with guilt. Not understanding how you could imagine being so frustrated or upset with your innocent children. Well, I'm here to tell you, you are by no means alone. Parenting stress is no different than stress from work or family or anything else. The one thing you do have control over is how you handle the stress. How you cope with stress and finding time to unwind to minimize, not eliminate, those out of control days all parents experience.
Below are some of the I ways I personally try to relieve the stress of parenting.Accept reality.
No matter what, as I mentioned above, you will still have those crazy, stress-filled days. The goals is to minimize and shorten them. Sorry, but you're not going to eliminate them completely. If your children are out of their mind crazy that day, put a movie on where they are safe and simply leave the room for a few minutes. I'm not saying leave the house, just walk into another room and take some deep breathes. They are still within hearing distance. Same is true for a baby. I remember those days when one of my children would just not stop crying. You're at the point where you are crying right along with them. Put your baby in their crib, swing or other safe place and walk into the other room. As long as you're positive they aren't in any danger, you can give yourself 5 minutes to regroup. It's amazing how 5 minutes can change you're mood and prepare you to take on the rest of the day.Support.
No mother or father is superman. You sometimes just can't do everything. Don't be afraid or ashamed of asking for some help. Parenting is the hardest job anyone can have, so why not have a team to help you out. Spouse, friends, relatives, other parents; they're all there to support you. Grow friendships with other parents. Everything in your life changes the day your child is born. It's only natural to long for those days before kids when you're feeling stressed and pushed to your limit. It truly is amazing how much just talking on the phone with another parent who has experienced the same thing can relieve the stress from that day. As they always say, you'll feel so much better after you get it off your chest. Talking truly is one of the kings of relieving the stress of parenting. The funny thing is, typically when I call my best friend or mom and start talking about how stressed out I am, it's not long and you're laughing about something silly your child did that day. That little bit of talking helps you realize how much joy kids bring into your life. It's puts it all into perspective that this one stressful day or week doesn't compare to all the happiness your children have brought to you.Me time.
Well, this is one I always include on my list, but really it's the hardest for me to do. Giving myself a couple hours seems next to impossible. Life is hectic and typically, not always, the mother takes the blunt of the parenting stress. In my household, I have a full-time marketing job, I have homework (I decided to go back and get another degree for some odd reason), I'm the head of the household, handling all the bills/family financials, grocery shopping, cleaning, making sure everything is in order, etc., the normal motherly duties and yeah, I blog. Time isn't something that I have much of at all. I know I need to give myself more time alone, but it's just not there. Now with that being said, I do try to get away once in awhile so I don't want people to feel hopeless. Once a year 3 girlfriends and I go to Mall of America
in Minneapolis for our once a year get away. A weekend full of shopping, laughter and our favorite part, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
for dinner (All 4 of us, truly are in love with the I'm Stuffed Shrimp). It's amazing how much just looking forward to that weekend and actually experiencing the weekend rejuvenates us. By the end of the weekend, we're ready to get home and see our babies. So if you're like me and a once a week "me time" isn't an option, aim for a once a month or once a year break. It really does do wonders in relieving stress!Give yourself a break.
Don't be so hard on yourself. No parent is perfect. We all make mistakes. The best part is though is that your kids are extremely forgiving. They love you unconditionally just as you do them. Apologize and all will be forgotten. You have to also remember to let the little things go sometimes. Oh well if the house isn't clean yet. So what if there's toys everywhere. Who cares about the dishes in the sink. That laundry will still be there in a couple hours or tomorrow. By letting the little things go, you'll be much more relaxed right away. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not encouraging you all to let your homes go wild, but for a day or so, sure why not? Lastly, and the hardest by far, don't expect yourself to be perfect. I'm guilty of this. More often I feel as I have not done my job as a mother right or that I'm failing as a parent when I can't keep up, or I do need help, but we just have to come to terms that we're not perfect. We're human beings who can't take on the world. So don't be so hard on yourself. The whole family will be happier if moms happy!
Remember, kids are only kids so long. They grow up way to fast. Enjoy them as much as you can now because before you know it, they'll be teenagers and we'll be trying to figure them out all over again!
Labels: Checklist, Everything Kids, Motherhood