You know that feeling you get when you realize you slept in and you’re supposed to be somewhere in 20 minutes.
That feeling of OH. MY. GOSH!!! You’re sweating, trying to breathe, trying to remember everything you need to do before you leave the house (put on a bra, wipe off the mascara from yesterday’s makeup, throw hair up in a ponytail, brush your teeth, shoes! etc.) and get yourself out the door in record time?
Yeah…That crazy stressed out overwhelm is how life can feel as a working parent. There are just so many things to do, events to remember (it’s YELLOW day at school the Kindergartner needs a YELLOW shirt!), and places to be.
Parenting by itself is no joke! Whether you are a stay at home mom or working mom, we all need ways to manage the inevitable stress of caring for and raising our precious spawn 🙂
#1 Make a Plan
There is nothing better than having a plan and being prepared for the next day. Organizing a few basic things around your house and creating a daily routine will give you structure and will help your feelings of overwhelm and stress.
TIP: Write down the times of day that really cause the most stress for you. Think about what is happening during that time. Then make a plan for how you can plan ahead for those difficult moments.
For example, my kids ALWAYS lose their shoes. We have shown up to 2 places without shoes. This makes me CRAZY and turns me into a stress monster! Our new rule, you don’t get in the car without shoes on. We also created a place for them to put their shoes as soon as they walk in the door.
Ways to Plan Ahead:
- Clothes picked out and ready for the next day (yours & kids)
- Shoes ready with socks in the shoes (my kids ALWAYS lose their shoes)
- Create a meal plan for the week (4 – 5 pm is when the kids breakdown into Hangry Monsters)
- Organize a drop off station or mud room: have a place for you, kids, and hubby to put their things when they come in from home/work
- Create reminders around the house before you leave like a post-it note by the door or a note on the mirror.
#2 Be Flexible
Ok yes, this sounds contradictory, but really we are all human beings and almost always things do not go according to plan especially when you have kids. Sometimes we are going to be late and sometimes our kids need us a little longer than we expect.
Create your schedule, but learn to roll with the punches. It can be so hard to let go of our plan or expectations especially if you are a Type-A personality, but letting go can help alleviate stress that we place on ourselves.
#3 Learn to Say NO!
Saying NO is totally acceptable. You are amazing and gifted and talented, but there is only one of you and time is a non-renewable resource. Learn to prioritize the things that are important in your life in this season of your life.
Over committing yourself to events, volunteering, projects, etc. adds unnecessary stress to you and your family. Just say no!
You may be rolling your eyes at me this very moment, but seriously exercise of any kind can really get your endorphins going. It’s also a nice quiet space to have a complete thought, by yourself, without any interruption.
Sometimes if things are really bothering me at home or at work it feels so much better to “work it out” during a jog or yoga class. There are some really affordable options like the YMCA that can offer you monthly membership based on your income, or you can get a workout video to do from home when the kids are sleeping.
#5 Make a Friend
Mom’s spend so much time working, caring for their families, and doing ALL. THE. THINGS. that their identity can get lost. Working moms and stay at home moms can start to feel isolated when they don’t make time for friendships.
There is just something special about having a woman friend in your life. And there is no better feeling than having authentic laughter that makes you cry. It’s just good for the soul.
Sometimes women know how to support each other in things that your spouse just might not get because they don’t live the same routine as you. Make a point to connect with a friend whether it’s on the phone, at a playdate, or a girl’s night out.
#6 Make Time with Your Family Count
Be purposeful in creating time for your family to be together. Make a point to turn off your phone or at least put it away while you are with your kids. We all long to be connected to other people, so create that space with your family. You can have wrestle time with the kids, read a book together before bed, sit down at the table and eat dinner together.
Our lives are so busy, but these family moments will create a lasting impact on your kids and your personal stress.