Motherhood, whether you are a new mom, working mom, or full-time mom, is inherently packed full of stress. A mother is expected to juggle various family responsibilities, ranging from handling most of the household chores to meeting job demands (if employed). If you find yourself feeling like you’re in this alone and that your life is spinning out of control, here are some ways you can reduce or even eliminate motherhood stress.
Identify the stressors and how you experience stress
Different people experience stress in different ways. For instance, how do you feel stress? Do you hide in the bathroom or do you take it out on your partner? What situations or events cause you stressful feelings? Do your children, relationships, work, financial decisions or family health cause you stress?
Organize your kitchen
This might seem trivial and possibly stereotypical, but it is very important all the same. As a mother, the kitchen is an essential part in your household. If you’re like most, you probably spend a lot of time in this room. Subsequently, creating a routine of organizing your kitchen, such as every night before you go to bed, can help you create a less stressful home environment. This is also true of other rooms and associated chores.
Gain some time out
Gaining some time and space from the usual home routine can help you feel well and in control of your life. The strategy offers mothers a break from the task of mothering. Of course this does not mean that you neglect your maternal responsibilities. You can hire part time nannies, babysitters, or even call your parents to look after the children.
You may wince at the idea of spending money to get away from your children or trusting them to a stranger, but as a mother taking time for yourself is not an option. In fact it is necessary to help you retain your sense of self and get some much-needed socializing with other adults. Some common ways that you can use to gain some time out include:
- Read a book
- Take a fitness course
- Go to the spa with friends
- See a movie with friends
- Join a walking group
This does not mean that you seek professional help to manage your stress (although if your stress has hit that point, by all means please see a professional). As a mother, other mothers or even your own mother are the best sources of help due to their experience under similar circumstances. If married, your spouse can be a great source of support when you are feeling stressed.
Build your relationship
This means the relationship with your husband, partner, or spouse. Do not neglect your partner, especially if you are a new mother, because in doing so you are also neglecting yourself. Ensure that your partner knows and understands what you are going through so that he or she can offer you full support. If this fails, you can both see a professional for formal assistance.
Motherhood may not be the fantasy of neverending baby giggles and sunshine that you once dreamed of. It’s actually really hard. But if you neglect yourself at the expense of the family, you endanger both yourself and your loved ones. Savor the good times. Write them down if that’s what it takes to remember them. And take care of yourself as a human being who deserves every bit of the love that you give to your children.