All moms are busy, but sometimes (many times) that business can become stressful and overwhelming. Often, just a little planning and organization can help decrease stress! Here are a few tips to help lessen the stress before it occurs and to better manage life and life stress!
It sounds and easy, but it is often something that gets put on the back burner (pun intended!)
One of the biggest annoyances at my house is “what do you want to do for dinner?” My husband does most of our cooking because of his work schedule (only working ten days a month due to him being a firefighter) and due to him enjoying cooking WAY more than I do. However, he does not usually like to pick out what to cook. That is often still my task.
We do best when I can make a meal plan the week before and make sure we have all the groceries in the house needed for those meals. We may not follow the meal plan 100%, but we know we have food to fix five meals for the week without wondering what to cook, what we have at home, or what sounds good. We may change the day we have a meal planned or decide we want something different one night, but we are ready for the nights we simply don’t want to think about “what do you want to eat for dinner?”
2—Pick out clothes the night before school/work (for you and have the kids do it too)
Again, it sounds simple and even silly to choose your clothes the night before, but it is a time and stress saver!
Many mornings I’m tired and groggy and slow-moving and it takes me ten times longer to figure out what I want to wear in the morning than if I pick it out the night before. (I had a coworker I the past that picked out all of her clothes the weekend before, like meal planning, but I’m definitely not doing that yet!)
It also saves time to have the kids pick out their clothes the night before too! If they are young kids, they can help pick out their clothes the night before so there is one less thing to argue about in the morning. If they are older kids, they will learn it saves them time too and is a good routine for them to begin.
Yes, someone else can do something for you and it will be ok!
If you work outside the home, is there anything anyone can help you with at work to lower your stress at work and, thus, lower your stress for when you leave work? If you are involved with a local organization, the school PTA/PTO, or involving coaching your child’s activities, you can also delegate tasks or share tasks with others through these organizations as well. I led my children’s scout troops for years and it made my life just a bit easier when I accepted I could delegate some tasks to others who would be just as good and reliable as I would be!
At home, you can share household tasks with your spouse, significant other, or any other adult that lives in the home. Children can also be given tasks and chores to help around the home. Even young children can learn to pick up their own toys! School-age children can wash dishes or use the dishwasher, sweep floors, dust, and use the vacuum cleaners. Older elementary school-age and middle school-age children can do their own laundry and clean bathrooms reasonably well.
It does take time to teach children how to do these tasks appropriately, but it is worth it, in the end, to help with your sanity and to teach them life skills they will use and need in the future!
4-Get enough sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition
Again, this sounds like common sense, but how many of us actually take the time to do these things??
We need to get enough sleep so we are rested and better able to handle the frustration that the following day may bring. We need to have proper nutrition and exercise to stay healthy and allow our bodies to work to the best of their abilities. It is often easier to put off your own exercise routine to run your child to their sports practice or other extracurricular activity. It is often easier to grab a quick snack on the go or give your child the fruit you were going to eat for a snack, rather than make sure you have that extra nutrition.
It is often difficult for moms to take the time to take care of themselves, but it is so very important for them and for their families that they take care of themselves! Tired, hungry, grouchy mom (or dad) is not fun for anyone!!
5—Plan time for relaxation
Often, it is not always easy to remember that you need a break, much less deserve a break, as a mom. However, downtime, alone time, or whatever personal time you need is necessary so you can take care of yourself and, thus, have more energy to take care of those around you.
Break time can be as easy as enjoying time alone in your vehicle as you go to work or drop off kids at activities. I can be time alone at night to watch a show or movie you want to watch, read a book, or play a game. Downtime at home often tends to be easiest when you can manage to get the kids to bed at a decent time and then have time to yourself or with your significant other before you go to bed. Downtime at home can also be relatively easy to make happen when you plan to get up before your family typically gets up in the morning. The morning or evening downtime typically depends on your schedule and your preference for getting up early or staying up late.
Another great way to get some relaxation is to plan a vacation or stay-cation at least once per year. This can be with your entire family, with your significant other, with friends, or just by yourself. Having some time away from the typical life routine of work and housework is a good way to refresh and destress!
For more ways on how to have less stress as a parent, check out my parenting book!