I absolutely love being a stay at home mom. And I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to do it. But man is it hard work. Don’t get me wrong it
With all that being said there are times where it is downright hard and even a little miserable. There are days when your toddler is clinging to you, you need to get your oldest out the door in time for school, the house is a mess, laundry is piling up, and there are a million and one other things you need to get done. And you have to do it all while walking around with the baby in the carrier because the only way he stops crying is if he’s strapped to your chest.
On days like that it’s easy to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and like you might be reaching the edge of your sanity. It’s the reason why there are so many jokes about motherhood and wine. But sometimes you reach a point where even a glass of wine isn’t going to help you relax. For those days I have 6 easy tips and tricks to help you make it through.
1. Reduce the Noise
Mom life is LOUD. There’s crying, questioning, tantrums, and tons of “hey mom look at me”!! Not to mention cartoons and requests for you to sing old McDonald for the millionth time. The first thing to do when you are starting to feel stressed out and overwhelmed is to reduce the amount of noise.
A few ways to reduce the noise are;
- Keep the TV and radio as low as possible.
- Let your kids watch their favorite movie while you go into another room and relax or read a book in quiet
- When your kids are napping or sleeping turn off the TV.
- Don’t use the TV as background noise while cleaning, reading, or surfing on your phone catching up on social media.
- If absolutely have to have background noise turn on soft music and keep it at a low volume.
- Find quiet activities/toys for your kids to play with. If you have to go ahead and remove the
batteriesout of those loud and annoying toys.
We get so use to constantly hearing noise that it can be hard for us to be in a quiet space. But when we became stressed and overwhelm that noise can make it even worse. Some times the best cure for overwhelm is to simply sit in silence and let yourself decompress.
2. Prioritize and cut out unnecessary tasks
Once you’ve cut down on the noise and your brain has some room to think, take a minute and make a list of everything that is stressing you out and/or overwhelming you. It can be a mental list or you can write it all down. Now look over that list and try to come up with ways to makes those things less stressful. Can you change how you do these things? Is there someone else who can do it for you? Or can you stop doing something altogether?
Here are a few idea’s
- Avoid the trip to the grocery store by ordering your groceries online and picking it up at the store. This way you don’t have to get the kids out of the car or waste time wandering the aisles. I like to schedule my grocery pickup at Walmart for right before I have to pick up my son at preschool which saves me from making a separate trip.
- Dinner time stressing you out? Buy a week’s worth of premade freezer meals from the grocery store and use paper plates and plastic silverware. This will give you some breathing room during the evening rush. You might even be able to get the kids to bed a little early and get some free time to yourself!
- Use Amazon Prime to order things and avoid going to the store altogether. (If you’re not already a member click the link and you can give it a try for free for 30 days – Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial )
- Need a break from playing with the kids? Let the kids have a movie marathon while you relax in another room reading a good book.
- Agreed to bake cookies for your kid’s preschool event? No one is going to care if you bring in store-bought cookies. You can even put them in Tupperware to give them the look of being homemade if that makes you feel better. (just make sure to check your school’s allergy policy first)
- Enlist your kids to help you keep their bedrooms and play areas clean.
These are just a few ideas. You can get creative and find things that work for you. Remember these don’t have to be longterm fixes. They can last for a few hours, days or however long you need.
3. Reduce the clutter and the mess
Although I am all about cutting out tasks and letting a few things fall by the wayside when you are feeling overwhelmed I am also a firm believer that being surrounded by mess and clutter only makes felling overwhelmed worse.
Walking into a dirty house only adds more stress to your plate because every time you walk into a room you’re now adding all those cleaning tasks onto your every growing mental to-do list.
By no means am I saying you need to deep clean your entire house (unless you find that relaxing
Once you’ve determined which areas are your priority give them a quick speed cleaning focusing on the following tasks:
- Clear paper clutter
- Empty and load dishwasher
- Throw away trash
- Clean and declutter counters, the kitchen table, coffee table, and other surfaces
- Pick up dirty clothes
- Vacuum the floors
If your kids are old enough assign them cleaning tasks. Not only will this help take some of the load off you but it also teaches them responsibility. My oldest now
4. Cut back on the caffeine
I’ll admit that I am a
bit of a coffee junkie, I absolutely love the stuff. But caffeine, whether it’s from coffee, sodas, or tea, is a stimulant. And to much of it can make stress and anxiety worse. During those times where I am feeling tired and overwhelmed, I find myself drinking more coffee than normal to give me the energy I need to through the day. Which tends to just make any anxiety I’m having even worse. It’s a vicious cycle.
So even though it might sound counterintuitive, when you are experiencing stress, anxiety, or just a general state of feeling overwhelmed step away from the coffee (soda or tea). Choose caffeine-free drinks like hot water with lemon or herbal tea.
5. Get some fresh air
As a stay at home
Go for a walk around the neighborhood, take the kids to a local park, sit outside on your porch and let the kids play while you sit down and relax.
One thing I like to do is wake up before the kids in the morning and sit outside on the porch reading a book ( weather permitting). Being outside when the sun is coming up and its quiet is really refreshing and when I get time to do it I feel more ready to take on the day.
When dealing with stress, anxiety, or any overwhelming feelings writing them down can do wonders for your mental health. Getting your throughs down on paper can really help to unburden you and is a great stress management tool. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed putting pen to paper is a great way to help reduce your mental load and help you get a little clarity as well as de-stress.
Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated. Actually when it comes to journaling the simpler the better. When you’re feeling overwhelmed I would stay away from fancy and complicated bullet journals. Stick with a basic notebook, don’t worry about having perfect penmanship, drawing pictures, or writing with multiple colors of ink. Just simply write how you’re feeling and don’t let the way your journal looks distract you.
If you’re not sure where to start you can try some of these journaling prompt ideas:
- What are the things that are causing you stress/anxiety and what are two things that can be done to help the situation?
- What does your ideal day look like and what steps can you do to make that happen.
- What is something that happened today that made you smile?
- What are three things you love about being a mom?
- What is your proudest motherhood moment?
- When you look back at this moment in time what do you want to remember about it?
- What is one small goal you can easily tackle today/tomorrow to make your day better?
Being a stay at home mom is hard, we’ve all had our fair share of difficult days (despite what people on Instagram will have you think). Admitting that you’re stressed or overwhelmed does not mean that you’re “failing”, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not grateful. It’s completely normal, it happens to the best of us, and you’ll get through!