This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and RESCUE blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. Relieve the stress of parenthood!
There is nothing like becoming a parent to quickly figure out what truly stresses you out. For me, I have about three things that really get under my skin and have made me go a wee bit crazy in the past. As the boys have grown older, I have learned that life happens and not to stress out about it, but it has taken some practice!
1. Spills and crumbs – One time the Captain spilled a whole can of salted mixed nuts all over and under and inside of our couch. I was furious. I tried to hold it together as I stomped to the hallway to get the vacuum cleaner. I think he was 2 or 3 then, and he was just trying to serve himself a delicious snack. We found nuts and salt for months after that, though. I was reminded of this incident tonight when Baby Brother grabbed a bag of popcorn we had bought at the zoo and dumped it all over the carpet. Instead of getting mad, I just stayed calm and vacuumed it up without yelling or stomping or anything. I’m not sure how I reacted when D pulled this stunt and ate dirt out of our houseplant:
2. Sick kids – I know, that makes me a horrible mother. I just can’t deal with sick, whiny kids for very long. I love to hold them, cuddle them, administer medicine to make them feel better, but if I can’t help them, I feel helpless, and that stresses me out. And what’s worse is when they’re sick and cannot tell me what hurts or what would make them feel better. Again, I’ve learned to be patient and do what I can and realize that I cannot always solve their problems. Time will heal them and I just have to make them comfortable.
3. Kids that don’t sleep – Sometimes I cannot believe I’m still dealing with this one. Seriously. Baby Brother is 16 months old and he will go a few weeks sleeping mostly through the night and then, bam! Newborn mode activated. I try to be patient, but being woken up three times between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM is NOT fun. I think I’m patient the first two times but after that…nope. I get mad. And stressed. And hubby usually gets the brunt of it. I’m working on it!
I have learned that yelling benefits no one, kids deserve respect, accidents happen, and we are all human and make mistakes. I have also prayed for patience and matured through my years of being a mother. I think I have done alright, but we all have our moments! I think a big thing that helps is to laugh it off. If I cannot laugh about something, I’m probably more tempted to yell, so I’ve been trying to find the humor in all potentially stressful situations. Along with finding the humor, these are five ways that I relieve the stress when these parenting stressors come up!
1. Ask for help – We moms think that we are showing a sign of weakness if we ask for help, but really, we cannot do it all. I’ve learned to ask for help from Hubby, friends, family, etc, when we need it. It benefits my children because it allows me to lessen the stress and recharge. Last week when I had been sick for ten days, I asked my parents to take the older two boys and I felt better because my sons were being taken care of and not forced to sit around just because Mommy was sick. They got bonding time with their extended family and I got some extra rest.
2. Say no – Some may think I say no too much, but I just have learned when I have to say no to things. If I’m not confident that a situation will be doable, I say no. Sure I feel guilty, but it’s okay to say no!
3. Do whatever works best for your family. People love to give advice and that’s okay, but in the end, you have to do what’s best for your family. I had to wear Baby Brother a LOT when he was an infant because it’s what worked for us. It worked for him and worked for me and we were happy. Same thing with when the Captain had a cot in our floor for when he was scared in the middle of the night. It worked for him, it worked for us, it was better than the alternatives, and we all got sleep. And you know….he did grow out of that phase!
4. Find a hobby you love and let go of the stress. If you have a lot of stress built up, it’s important to let it go. Whether it’s gardening, cooking, watching a movie, running, or something completely different, do what you love and let go of the stress! Channel your inner Elsa and LET IT GO!