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If you ever feel stressed out, as a parent, as a mother, you are not alone. You might feel like you are on edge or yell more than you want to… it usually stems from something.
Maybe it’s the clutter in the house, worry about your child’s academics, politics, work, etc… Whatever it is, there are parents all over the world feeling the exact same way that you feel right now. You are not alone.
Families are always so busy– and parents are the busiest. We have so much on our plates constantly. Planning, shopping, and preparing three meals (+ snacks), laundry, homework (or homeschool), folding more clothes, keeping up on housework, grocery shopping, working, keeping everyone else organized, etc… It can take its toll on anyone.
Today we have Sarah joining us to tell us how she went from being a stressed-out mama to a relaxed one. Take a seat because she is here to tell us her story.
Take it away, Sarah…
Hi. My name is Sarah and I was a stressed-out mama.
I’m a mom of two young children. In the past month, I’ve gone from a stressed-out, high-strung working mom to a relaxed mom who feels confident in her role as a parent.
I no longer lose my temper with my daughters and I actually look forward to the crazy hours that happen right after naptime and remains until they go to sleep.
So, what gives?
I promise you it wasn’t their behavior that’s changed, but rather, it was mine.
Thinking back on the past month, there are five things I can pinpoint specifically to being a more relaxed and at-ease mom, and I’m sharing them with you today in hopes of helping calm the chaos in your life.
How to Go from Stressed-Out to Relaxed Mama
Quit trying to “do it all”
Moms, it can’t be done, at least not happily. Two months ago, I was working full-time, freelancing almost full-time, and blogging. I would wake up early to get an hour or so of freelancing in, work all day at my full-time job, spend time with my husband and daughters, stay up late finishing my freelancing work and go to bed, only to do it all again the next day.
Finally, I realized enough was enough. While I was able to keep up with everything, I was impatient and rushing through everything. The ones who suffered the most were, unfortunately, my family… my children.
I made a change and dropped freelancing from my plate. In retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner.
I now have more time to devote to the things that are important, the things that matter. They are my three “buckets,” if you will:
- My family
- My job
- Taking care of me (my hobby)
It’s important to take care of YOU if you’ve been feeling on-edge lately. Start by taking a good look at your daily obligations. Do they support those three buckets?
If it’s too much (and being stressed-out is a good sign it is!), drop one or two things from your list.
Pay attention to how you spend your time
It happens to all of us: We’re trying to read something, do our work, finish a task, or even just send a text… but at that same moment, our child needs our attention (right then and there.)
We may get irritated, or even raise our voices that they wait, instead of simply saying it kindly. While irritation, from time to time, can’t completely be avoided, there are ways to manage our frustrations.
This is what’s been working for me – it’s How I Avoid Frustration:
If I’m actually in the middle of something important (such as work, not social media), I tell my kids calmly that I’m working and will help them in a minute. Then, I do.
I don’t let it drag on. I simply finish my task at hand, thank them for waiting, and see what they need.
All too often, I would be mindlessly surfing the internet or scrolling through Instagram when this would happen. The truth of the matter is that our children are young, they still go to bed early. There’s really no reason this can’t wait. It is far more important to be present in my parenting.
Be aware of how you’re spending your time. If your kids are awake, dedicate as much time to them as you can. It’s the truth that these years go by quickly and you can never get them back.
Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram can wait. It will be there later… be with your kids now. It will be there in the morning… go to bed on time.
TIP: Put your children to bed, early, too. They need rest to feel happy and be healthy: See Why It’s a Good Idea to Put Your Kids to Bed at 7
Exercise releases endorphins make you happier and will lower your stress levels (not to mention helps you drop a few pounds!).
Start making exercise a priority during your day and see how your mood and even level of productivity change. Try to sneak in a quick, 20-minute workout.
I do this while my kids are napping, and if not, there’s always the evening hours when my husband is home. Usually, he’ll work out with me (kind of like a date-night!)
My kids are both very early risers (6:30 is sleeping in for us!), but I still do my best to get up before them.
I love having my morning coffee in silence and without having to get up a million times for milk, snacks, and juices.
I love watching the news without worrying about young eyes seeing things I don’t want them to see.
I love the peacefulness that comes when everyone is asleep and the house is still.
I know it can be hard to get up early when the sun hasn’t risen yet or when it’s freezing cold. However, those 15 minutes (or an hour if you are a very early riser) of alone time can really set your day up for success.
If you’re having trouble waking up early, write down three goals you’d like to accomplish before the kids get up.
Examples: Make coffee, check emails, and let the dog out. If you have more time, trying getting in a quick workout or meditation session to jump-start your day!
Having a list gives you a reason to get up! Another key to waking up early is going to bed at a decent hour. I feel the best when I get 8 hours of sleep. Just like your kids need sleep, so do we.
So, if I want to wake up at 6:00 am, that means I need to be in bed and asleep no later than 10:00 pm.
Let your kids be kids
A month ago, I did a little experiment with sibling rivalry. I decided not to drop everything I was doing and run to their rescue with every tear. I wanted to teach them to work things out without my help…. unless it was really needed.
While I still need to intervene often, my girls have impressed me with their ability to move on from an argument rather quickly. I’m a lot less stressed knowing that I don’t need to give in to their every beck and call.
I hope these tips helped! I know that Becky works hard to keep peace & joy in her home by eliminating stress, as well!
As Becky’s said before: The best gift that you can give to your child is the smile on your face when they are with you – when they know that being with them makes YOU happy!
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About Sarah: Sarah Brooks is a full-time working mom of two little girls living in Charlotte, NC. She runs the blog – www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com. She’s passionate about helping mamas pursue their dreams while in the throes of motherhood. When she’s not working or blogging, you can find her baking with her daughters, binge-watching Netflix shows with her husband or spending time outdoors.