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Being a mom is hard. Not only must you unlearn the toxic behaviors you learnt so that you don’t transfer to your kids the trauma but you also have to be calm, understanding and be emotionally available for your kids.
And that’s not all. There’s so much more to being a mom than meets the eye.
That’s why it quickly gets overwhelming, stressing, depressing and emotionally depriving. Especially if you’re a working mom, married without help -IYKYK or if you’re a single mom.
My Story to Having a Stress Free Mom Life.
See, before all this calmness that everyone around me seems to be noticing, I was a hot mess.
My neighbors used to call me the crazy screaming lady.
I was always mad, always confused, always super stressed, and I had not learnt the art of looking put together as a mom without actually trying.
Just a hot mess.
And i remember this one time when my son was 3 years. And he had been really fussy the entire day.
So instead of me listening to what he wanted I kept ignoring him and my frustration kept growing.
The more he would fuss the more and more I got frustrated.
And then at around 7p.m, he threw his toy to the ground and it broke into pieces. Thinking about it now it isn’t anything to be mad over. But I was furious.
I shouted at my son who was so scared of me that he started crying.
Remember he was fussing the whole day. I was not meeting his needs and here I was now shouting at him.
That’s the day I realized I couldn’t go on being the stressed single mom. It was hard enough navigating life as a young single mom. I wasn’t about to add any extra stress.
So I slowly added the things I am about to share with you here today. And I can tell you that I’m a whole lot happier. And so is my household and my son.
My son always says that my life has color in it ?? He’s so funny.
So lets jump right into what I started doing to live a stress free mom Life.
Habits to Form that will make you a Happy Stress Free Mom
In reality, you aren’t going to forever be stress-free. That’s a whole lot of toxic positivity.
You’re living and life has a way of always throwing curve balls.
So this is about knowing how to navigate those stressful situations that’s going to make your life alot less stressful and more happy.
As moms we overanalyze, over compromise, overwork… We just do the most. And we forget ourselves.
When we do that we begin to become resentful of our spouse, our kids or anyone who is around us.
But that stops today with these actionable tips.
Stop Shouting at your Kids
Did you know that shouting (generally) increases stress hormones in the blood and increases muscular tension?
This study talks about all that and also the fact that shouting induces fear especially in kids.
So not only is it bad for you, it’s also bad for your kids.
Instead of shouting at your kids, find out what’s frustrating them.
Most times when kids act out, they’re trying to communicate something to you.
In my case, my son wanted my attention and I had been busy cleaning and I was now working online. I had a deadline and so I was really just trying to get him to play with his toys.
The minute I picked him up, played with him a little bit, gave him some tickles, he was ready to go and play on his own.
If you have smaller kids, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what they want. But if you pay attention you’ll notice the patterns in their behavior.
In older kids, it’s easier to just ask how they are feeling. For example if your kid is refusing to take the trash out, ask them why don’t you want to take the trash out instead of lashing out at them.
Youll understand what’s going on with them and you’ll have an opportunity to also express your frustration without shouting at your kids.
With time you’ll start to notice that your kids are more receptive to listening to you when you speak to them vs when you shout.
You’ll also start to find fun ways to help your kids do what they need to do. For instance, picking up their toys can be done by singing songs like the tidy-up song.
And now your mom life won’t be as stressful as you are accustomed to.
Get Some Me Time
The hardest thing I’ve had to do is have one day where I put my needs first because I feel a lot of guilt.
I dont want to feel as though I’m neglecting my own child.
But at the same time, if I don’t take care of myself there will be no one to take care of my son.
I like calling this the airplane emergency Mom hack.
When an airplane is crush landing and the air pressure is high, the gas masks drop, right?
Now, before you put the gas mask on your child, you’re always told to put the gas mask on yourself.
Why? Because if you pass out, nobody will put the gas mask on your child. But in the case that the child passes out, you can still put the gas mask on and they will regain consciousness.
That same law applies here.
The way to do it is really highly dependent on your schedule.
I work from home so I can easily take time off, get my nails done, get a massage, watch a Netflix series or read one of my favorite personal development books. I can also take a walk. All while my son is in school.
But if you’re working, you’ll have to learn to communicate these things with your child especially if they’re older.
When I used to work a 9-5 not too long ago, I would have self care days on Saturdays.
This is when I will go to the salon to get my hair done, hangout with friends and just relax. I’m a single mom if you haven’t noticed already.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not all Saturdays. I will normally alternate these days. So If one Saturday was me time, the next Saturday is family time.
Also, I communicate with my son about my me time especially now that he’s older..
For example I’ll tell him. “You know how you go to school Monday through Friday and you get to stay home on the weekend. Mom works so hard during the weekday so that you can get everything you want and wants to be there for you forever. But she also has to take care of herself so she can do that every day for you. “
I’ve also learnt that reassuring your child that you’re always going to come back to them when you leave eases their separation anxiety.
That way they learn to trust that you can never leave them voluntarily.
Take Time Out When You Feel Frustrated
It’s not always easy to deal with the frustrations that come with raising a kid/kids. And you’re not always going to be in a mental capacity to be calm and talk things through.
And thats okay.
Time outs are not only for your kids. You can also take a time out.
This works really well if you’ve already instilled time out in your house for the kids.
If you feel yourself getting angry/ frustrated tell your kids that you’re giving yourself a time out. And during time out you can’t speak to them and they can’t speak to you.
That will allow you to cool down if your angry.
It will also allow you to think things through if you feel overwhelmed by the tasks that you need to get done.
And finally it will help you pull yourself out of that situation you’re in and find a better solution.
Remember this can also work if your frustration or anger is directed at your spouse.
Now, when you do withdraw, the best thing is not to dwell on what you’re feeling (the anger, frustration).
Instead, validate yourself and say it’s okay that I’m feeling that way. I deserve to feel that way.
Then identify what is making you feel that way. You might be shocked to find out it’s not what you initially thought the problem was.
Then ask yourself what can I do or ask the people around me to do that will change this thing that is making me feel this way?
Now if you don’t have any time outs in your house, you can simply tell people that you need to think and they need to keep quiet and give you space to think.
Honesty is really the best remedy here.
Talk to Your Kids About Bad Behavior
Kids will push all the buttons they possibly can. They will teach you patience. But in that, you also need to learn how to make kids stop those bad behaviors.
Start treating your child as an adult.
Instead of scolding them about a bad behavior, tell them how it makes you feel when they do it.
Remember kids always want to make you happy. When you’re happy with something, they tend to do it over and over again.
So when you tell them that something makes you feel sad. Or you feel scared when they jump Infront of cars. They are more attentive than when you scold them.
Also, explaining to kids why they shouldn’t do specific things gives them perspective of why that is. For example I don’t like it when you say bad words to people. They make you look like a bad child. Are you a bad child?” That gives them perspective of why whatever they’re doing is bad. I get afraid when you jump on the road like you did today. A car can hit you and you’ll never see your mom again. Do you never want to see mom again?
That way you don’t get your high blood pressure boiling when they do something wrong.
After all, they’re kids. They are meant to be messy, crazy little nutheads. All they need is direction.
Keep Your Kids Occupied
This is for my mamas who have little ones. It can be hard if you have a 1-month old and you haven’t figured out how to make them sleep throughout the night.
Youre sleep deprived and still have to take care of yourself not be stressed. Sounds impossible.
Well, the first step is to get your baby to sleep throughout the night.
That will be a game changer.
Two, keep your kids occupied. At that age, anything that dangles is very interesting. And the best part is you can make any dangling toys from kitchen stuff – apart from knives and forks.
They will find the colors interesting. And you can do different colors and types every day. Ie today you hang up cups. Tomorrow you hang up spoons, the next day you hang up coins.
That way you keep them occupied long enough for you to relax, watch Netflix, even shower without your baby screaming.
Ask for Help
There is no mom I know that asks for help with their kids unless they’re asking their own moms. ??
So this still goes out to my overwhelmed mamas.
If youre overwhelmed and you have a spouse, boyfriend or friend, ask for help.
Ask to take a nap while they hold the baby.
And also be willing to take the help.
There are many times when my friends would ask me. How can we help? And I would just stare at them like a zombie. And straight up say I don’t know. When I knew damn well what I needed.
And i get it. It’s hard to ask for help. But it takes a village to raise a baby so don’t shy away from getting help.
It doesn’t make you less of a mom. It makes you human.
Be Realistic With Your Goals
Affer reading this, you might be thinking. I got this. I can be a stress free mom that’s happy with where she is.
And you can. But you must also be very realistic.
These changes in habits will not happen overnight.
Youll have to consistently work on them. And with time, you’ll find that youre getting better at it.
So i suggest taking the one habit that makes you feel like you’re just losing your shit and work on it as the first step.
For instance if your kids drive you nuts, start by taking time out and shouting less.
If your partner doesn’t help in the house, ask him to help you with the kids because you’re overwhelmed and it’s making you unhappy and stressed all the time.
Then slowly build up to all these 5 habits I’ve mentioned here.
Let me know in the comment section what y’all mamas do to live a stress free mom Life.