Being a mother is one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences there is… right? Of course it is! Still, sometimes being a mom can be downright stressful. Between the 24/7 diaper changes, the endless packed lunches and the never-ending piles of laundry, you also have tiny minds to entertain, tiny bodies to nurture and tiny mouths to feed.
When you are happy and relaxed, it’s much easier to be the best parent possible. And while you can’t really put yourself first anymore, you can escape the chaos from time to time. So check out these nine tips for stressed out moms.
1. Get some sleep. Not that easy with a screaming baby or a tantrumming toddler, is it? A lack of sleep can turn even the most laid-back of mothers into a woman on the edge. The solution? Nap when you can. Whether you steal some winks while the little one does or ask someone to take the kids off your hands for a couple of hours, a simple cat nap can make the world of difference when you are suffering from exhaustion-related stress.
2. Listen to music. The sound of cartoons in the background can drive any woman crazy. If the only thing your kids will listen to is Dora or Diego, then dig out your most relaxing CDs—the ones you liked to listen to pre-babies—and get your groove on.
3. Get online. Nobody gets this parenting thing 100% right all of the time, and it can be easy to question yourself and your decisions when you are the primary caregiver. So take the time to join an online forum where you can speak with those who are in a similar situation as you. You’ll find a heap of advice and a ton of other moms who are also looking for a sympathetic ear and a chin wag. Joining a mommy support network can help you uncover a plethora of other parents feeling the same pressure you are.
4. Exercise. You don’t need to go to the gym to break a sweat or release those exercise endorphins! Grab a fitness DVD or find some yoga tutorials on YouTube. It’ll not only give you a better overall sense of well-being, but it will likely give the children a laugh as well.
5. Take a bath. Sometimes a bit of pampering is all you need to start feeling like your old self again. If you don’t want to splurge on a spa treatment or don’t have anyone to watch the kids, create your own sanctuary in the comfort of your bathroom after the kids have gone to bed. Draw a bubble bath, light some candles and pull out those expensive products you’ve been keeping for a special occasion. A good book and a bit of peace and quiet can work wonders on even the most stressed of mamas.
6. Clean. This may not be the most obvious way to relax, but a messy home can create a messy mind. So tackle those jobs you’ve been putting off for ages. Spring clean the house, gut out the drawers and clean out the kitchen cupboards. The satisfaction you’ll get when you’re done will instantly leave you calmer and ready to tackle the world. And you’ll feel even better if you make a few bucks off of those items gathering dust. Post them for sale on a buy and sell site like VarageSale, and sit back while the extra dollars start coming in.
7. Get creative. Some people find cooking relaxes them. For others, it’s painting. Whatever your interest happens to be, channel your inner artist and get started. And you don’t have to be any good to enjoy the benefits of being artsy. Studies have shown that the simple act of creating something can be truly therapeutic. So go ahead, get creative!
8. Learn a language. It’s not always easy to start a new hobby when you spend most of your time entertaining little ones at home, but language courses are readily available online. The flexibility of online courses means you can hit the books when it’s your partner’s turn to look after the kids, or after they’ve gone to bed. Having something for yourself is vital when you’re a stay-at-home mom.
9. Meditate. It may not be the easiest thing to crack, but if you can master the art of mindfulness, you will reap the benefits for life. It can take as little as 10 minutes to find somewhere peaceful to practice each day. And if you have to rely on that old electronic babysitter (the television) to get some peace and quiet, go for it! Your mind and body will thank you later.