Posted: 17 May 2018
With the stress of modern parenting, over 33% of all parents report stress-induced headaches and sleep changes. If you’re a busy mom, trying to lower your stress levels can add a level of pressure that causes you to defer solving the problem. Thankfully, there are ways for the busiest parents to lower their stress level.
If meditation, yoga, or medication aren’t options, there are some structural ways to lower stress. Putting together a schedule so that everyone knows where they have to be and what’s expected of them can help take the work off your shoulders. While this won’t solve every issue, it can at least organize the chaos.
If you’re interested in more ways that a busy mom can lower stress levels, check out these 5 tips.
1. Give Your Partner a Defined Role
When you’re a busy mom, you need to make sure that you’re not upsetting your household’s balance. While this might feel like one more thing to worry about, it’s important to communicate with your partner about what needs to be done. Often we get into relationships without realizing the tendencies each of us has to either take control or let it go.
Make sure that your partner feels like they have a defined role with clear expectations. There is work that needs to be done and sometimes delegating it can seem like just as much work as doing it yourself. Let your partner know if you feel like that.
Perhaps they just need to adjust their tuning to ensure that they can see what needs to be done. Work with them at first to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.
2. Prepare Everyone’s Meals Together
If you’re the person who puts together lunches in the morning or dinner at night, make sure you prepare all of the meals at the same time. You’re more likely to overlook your own needs than those of your children, but you need to take care of yourself as well.
If there’s no schedule, perhaps it’s time to make one. This can make grocery shopping easier and meal preparation more predictable.
Get kids and your partner on board by talking it through with them. Make sure that everyone gets a little bit of what they want, including you.
Don’t feel bad if you need to take a break once a week on your busiest day and leave meal prep to someone else, whether it’s the lunchroom staff or the pizza guy.
3. Make Sure Your Partner Gives You Time
Your partner doesn’t want to deal with a stressed-out mom who is running around frustrated. They know that they need some time and space to check out, away from kids and responsibilities. Make sure they schedule a time when they’re not allowed to contact you unless it’s an absolute emergency.
Whether it’s just a Sunday afternoon where you have brunch with other parents or a whole week where you’ll be in Hawaii, this time is important.
Keep a good balance by communicating with your partner. Also, leave time where it’s just going to be just you and your partner. Even if you have to save up or exchange childcare with other parents, you need some time with no kids to keep your relationship fun and fresh.
If you’re struggling to juggle your relationship, parenting, and work lives, consider talking to a life coach.
4. Stay Connected With Friends
Whether your friends have kids or not, they’ll understand how important it is for you to have time with other adults. When kids are young, it’s okay to bring babies and infants out for an afternoon in the park. As they get older, they’ll need their kid time and you’ll need your adult time.
Reach out to friends every week or so just to check in and see how they’re doing. Invite them to come over and hang out on the porch after the kids are asleep for a glass of wine or cup of tea.
If you can find a sitter, make sure you’re staying connected and having a dinner or seeing a movie together every couple of weeks.
It’s okay to commiserate with other parents, but also be sure you’re having your own life outside of just raising your kids. Your own identity is as important as your kids’ life.
5. Get Your Kids Interested In What You Like
Speaking of maintaining your identity, make sure that you keep your kids aware of who you are when you’re with them. While it’s okay to indulge them with a marathon of kids’ movies now and then, don’t forget to do things that you like. What you might think is a weird hobby might be fun for your kids.
One of the biggest mistakes that parents can make is to have their kids lead the way when it comes to books, movies, and entertainment. Show your kids what you’re interested in and why it might appeal to them. While they might not be able to enjoy it at the level you, do, they’ll appreciate being able to learn more about you.
As kids grow and get into their own interests, they might diverge. If you’ve set up a way to engage them in the activities you enjoy, you can save money on sitters and enrich their lives.
Take up a physical activity to relieve your own stress. Invite your kids along with you and help them to build healthy habits. Whether you like to go for casual hikes or bike rides, or want to join a kickball team, invite them to come along to play or watch.
A Busy Mom Needs Down Time
Make sure that everyone knows that a busy mom needs downtime where you won’t be disturbed. While you might be apt to take this time inside the house, perhaps you need to get out for a while. If you’re able to hire or ask a friend to babysit, make sure you draw a clear line of contact and even turn off your phone when you’re out of the house.
If budgeting your finances is a cause for stress and busyness, check out our tips to cuts some of the costs for your family.