There is no harder job than being a mom. I don’t care if you’re a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a little of both. You can be a hover mom, a crunchy mom, or a free spirited mom. No matter what type you are; we are all the same… we’re moms. Believe me, we all love our kids. We all want what’s best for them. And we all struggle. We struggle with anxiety, stress, lack of patience, pressure from other moms, etc.
When we first started having babies everyone told me about everything, except the stress. Friends and family would tell me to sleep when the baby slept, and get used to life without sleep. What no one tells you is how hard life is with a toddler and with school age kids, and OMG with kids in sports! Whether your kids are babies or like mine, half way through childhood, the facts are still the facts. It’s stressful being a mom.
A couple Christmases ago I had a major panic attack. I went into the hospital because I couldn’t breathe, and my doctor asked if I was stressed. My answer to him was: no more than usual. I truly thought it was usual to have a panic attack and be stressed. What the what?!?! It was normal for me to have panic breathing and to go into the hospital? After that I made a promise to myself not to accept stress as the norm. Instead I would take steps to relieve my stress. Anxiety is contagious – you and everyone around you feel it.
Here are five ways I relieve stress in my life. Keep in mind my life is crazy. I have three kids, work a full time job and have three dogs. I’ve been using these technics for the last three years and I am happy to report I don’t panic breath anymore. I yell less and I don’t have a weird eye twitch (I did though LOL). These tips work!
- Get Ready for the Day
- I know it’s hard to get out of bed, especially when you have a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, or a toddler who has nightmares. I wake up an hour before the kids each morning so I can shower, eat breakfast, have a miraculous cup of coffee and read my daily devotional.
- Quality Time
- Raising babies isn’t about the to-do list; it’s about our babies and providing them a nurturing and enriching life. Take time each day to spend quality time with your kids. To me, quality time means not reprimanding them, but enjoying them as human beings. I spend quality time by reading to our kids before bed (still to this day and they’re 10, 9 and 7).
- Set a Bed Time
- Kids need a lot of sleep. I can always tell when my kids didn’t get enough sleep the night before. I have always had a slightly early bedtime for the kids, but it’s more of a quiet/rest time before they go to sleep. Our kids start showers at 7:30pm, we read together at 8pm and quiet time starts right after (8:15-8:30pm). Lights are always out at 9pm. That means our kids get 30-45 minutes each night to read on their own, draw, or write in their journal before they go to sleep.
- Once you’re kids go up to bed, take this time to have some quiet time for yourself. Read, watch TV, and catch up with friends and family.
- Once a Week
- Friday’s are for me (before and after the hours of 9am-8pm that is LOL). Trent has Fridays off, so he gets the kids up and ready for school, brings me a coffee and breakfast treat from the coffee shop, and lets me get an extra hour of sleep. After work, dinner and kid’s bed time, its more me time. I like to take a detox bath, use a deep pore-cleaning strip on my nose, drink a glass of wine, and settle in for a movie rated higher than PG.
- Once a Month
- This was the hardest thing for me to do when my kids were itty-bitty. However, I know it’s much needed. Once a month go out and get a pedicure, get your hair cut/colored or go on a date night with your husband. Better yet, combine all three! Go to the salon, get a pedicure and your hair done, and then go out for a date night.
- Don’t have the money to hire a sitter or spend on dinner and a movie? Get creative! We usually hire my mom (haha) and plan a date around coupons or rewards we have. We went on a date Friday for very little money. I had $10 in rewards at AMC using their Stubs program. We went to a matinee, which costs $3.99 for each ticket. We split a drink and small popcorn ($6 with AMC coupon). Dinner we used a buy one get one deal at Longhorn. I did however splurge and pay for a margarita.
I hear all the time how moms feel guilty when they spend time and money on themselves. I understand this completely! I always felt like I was working a full time job and now I am going to take more time to myself and away from my kids? You work HARD though for your family. Raising babies and running a house is selfless work. The best quote I have read about anxiety, quilt, and mommy stress is, “Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can”.
So, take the time to be gentle and kind to yourself. It will pay off!