How to Cope with Mommy Stress
Mom stress is real and can be debilitating if not managed properly. It can be hard to get yourself out of a rut, but once I decided to take action for my mental health, things improved substantially and quickly.
It was only after having the twins and losing an insane amount of sleep their first year that I realized how important I needed to carve out time to care for myself so I could better care for my family.
Sleep deprivation made me into a monster that I couldn’t get under control.
I was smiling but so TIRED here. Having six children – including a set of twins – can make the best of moms lose it, too. No one can prepare you for the craziness.
It was survival of the fittest around my home. Praise be to God, I had my mom and mother-in-law who gave me some sanity back into my days with cooked meals, laundry, and holding a baby.
Postpartum was not fun.
I was feeling down not only because of the dire need for sleep, but I was nursing and not eating as I should. I wasn’t exercising, and my body and back were blah because of the not-so-lovely Diastasis Recti.
I don’t know how many times I cried because I was so overwhelmed with the twins and not being able to get quality sleep.
I dreamt of being able to sleep soundly as I used to (no pun intended). Once the twins got closer to one, I desired a sleep schedule for them – a daily schedule!
After six kids, I realized there is a whole science for sleep for babies. Mind-blowing!
We were just winging it with all of our other kids – outside of CIO (Cry-it-out!)
Taking Cara Babies will save your life; it sure did ours. I was super excited at the thought of sleep and what it felt like to be back to myself again.
Fast forward to now, and I’m getting sleep!! The twins are sleeping 12-hour nights and two-hour naps! We are so blessed!
Like I said earlier, I wanted to feel better, so I could better care for my family, and I didn’t want them to see me as a snapping turtle all the time. Of course, the mom guilt kicks in once that happens.
It’s just not the example I wanted to be. I’m always seeking to be more tender-hearted as God wants.
Have you been there? You want to get out of a rut. Once I started exercising, taking my vitamins, and eating healthier, I felt better. Once my hormones stabilized after nursing, my mood also improved immensely!
Yes, I still have rough days.
Yes, I’m still moody.
But I think having a schedule and a plan to be better has worked for me.
I’ve added some mommy moments below. Sometimes it’s a matter of going out for a while to get some fresh air. Here are 9 ways I manage stress:
1. Sit in a parking lot. If you haven’t done this, why haven’t you? The quiet is immeasurable.
Read your Bible, turn up the radio, or read a book. This also gives me time to think about things I can’t do when the kids are screaming or calling my name. I can get meal planning done, schedule appointments, or call people to talk because children NEVER let you talk on the phone at home, right
2. Treat yourself to lunch. Sometimes cravings hit, and I indulge on a cheat day (or days!), so I may grab an ice cream or a favorite meal I haven’t had in a while. I may choose to dine in or eat in my vehicle.
3. Swedish Massage or Chiropractor. Either of these (or both) is pure bliss and good for you! I prefer a monthly massage.
Knowing that I have an upcoming appointment calms my soul like no other.
4. Pedicure or manicure. If these become too costly, I may get a toenail polish, but either way, it’s so fun – if you’re into that.
5. Start a hobby. My blog is my hobby, but eventually, I want to get into a class of some sort (art, knitting, or piano lessons).
6. Shopping. Who doesn’t like a little retail therapy?!
7. Run errands. I don’t always leave the house to do something for myself. Running errands can be therapy for me, too.
Again, no screaming children, just me, and I are mostly refreshed when I return home.
8. Lunch date with a mommy friend. Pour your heart out to your mommy friend while she does the same. There is nothing like it!
9. Go to the gym or go for a walk. Burning off the stress and calories usually does the trick!
Remember to carve out some time with your significant other, too. Date nights have been essential to our marriage, but so has our love for God.
No doubt, it’s hard managing children (particularly a large family), but I wouldn’t trade being a mommy for anything!
The new habits I have created have improved my mental health, and have made me so incredibly appreciative of motherhood more than ever.
Mommy moments are crucial- whether big or small.
Just take it one day at a time!
(And, if you can’t find the time to get anything done, including a mommy moment, check out my 20-20-20 checklist freebie!)