Ten Ways to Handle Motherhood Less Stressed

Stress is draining and excruciatingly overwhelming at times. Add it into motherhood and it’s a double whammy. When I became a stay at home mom, we completely cut two incomes into one. That instantly put a complete cloud of stress over my head knowing that I’d have to rely on my husband for just about everything. Learning how to manage expenses while caring for a toddler and a newborn really put a lot on me. Let’s not overlook the stress of motherhood in general. Trying to be patient with two children at home can be tough. A short time ago in the morning while trying to get my son out the door for Pre-K, he was refusing to get ready and I lashed out.

“If you touch one more damn toy before you’re dressed

I’m going to throw them all in the garbage.”

The look on my sons face as he got up to put his clothes on broke my heart. I am a stern believer of disciplining your kids, but this time I felt in the wrong. I had to remember he’s only 4, and he’s simply playing with his toys. He isn’t doing no harm, he’s just being a kid. Having a mother scream at you the way I just did can’t possibly make any situation better. The whole ride to daycare I felt so sick, and fought back tears. I shouldn’t lash out like that to my children. I’m the one who molds them into the adults they will one day be. I don’t want any negativity to run through their minds.

After that day, I started to find ways to destress through my crazy world of motherhood. I get it, it’s hard to find time for yourself when you’re a mom, but I’ve learned a few simple tips to make stress diminish and motherhood run a little smoothly.

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  1. Give Yourself More Time. Fifteen extra minutes a day can work wonders. Although we don’t have to pull out of the driveway until 8:15, I tell myself and the kiddos that we need to be in the car and ready to go by 8. My son is a master at last minute kid excuses. ‘Wait I need to potty Mommy. Can I have something to drink. I need to get a toy to take in the car’. The list could go on forever, so those extra minutes are a life saver when trying to be on time. It also saves me from damaging my vocal chords.
  2. Let it Go. Attempting to have your kids look perfect in the morning is a disaster in the making. If my son wants to wear two different socks, go for it. If he wants to wear pants that are completely mismatched from his shirt, do your thing. Nobody is going to care if your child walks into daycare with a milk stain on his shirt from the ride over. They get it, we’re all raising these little humans. Simply, LET IT GO (in my best Queen Elsa voice). At the end of the day, it gives them character, right? 😉
  3. Have Fun. Leave the dishes in the sink for a night, order some take out, hold out on folding laundry. Go play a game with the kids or build a tower out of LEGO’s, play hide and seek, whatever! Just forget the household chores for the night and have family time. Enjoy yourself. The grow up quick, you don’t want to miss these times. Plus, the kids would probably have a blast knowing Mommy wants to play all night.
  4. Go to Sleep Earlier. As much as I enjoy my alone time when my kids go to bed, staying up super late makes me feel extra drained in the morning. Getting a solid night’s rest can make you feel refreshed in the morning. It can relax your mind to prepare you for the morning ahead. I usually get the kids to bed, take a hot bubble bath, and go right to bed.
  5. Take a Run/Walk. Something about the fresh air and sunlight brings out the best in me. Take the kids for a walk or if you need that ‘me’ time, go alone. Breaking a sweat is a great way for me to destress. It clears my mind and cleanses my brain of all the negativity. It’s a great way to stay in shape and lower stress levels.
  6. Write it Down. Start a journal if you’d like to be more personal and jot down your feelings. Write down what currently struggles you and think of ways to overcome it. Write down some goals, and some motivational tips. You could also do as I did, start a blog! Write about it, learn from others, share your experiences. You never know who you could help just by expressing your thoughts and vice versa.
  7. Ask for Help. Don’t be afraid to hand the kids to your husband/significant other and ask for some time. They are in this with you. Don’t feel obligated to handle everything on your own. It’s natural for us moms to figure everything out and get organized, don’t wait for someone to ask if you need help. They aren’t mind readers, they can’t tell if you’re stressed and overwhelmed. Simply ask and they most likely will oblige.
  8. Break the Rules. Sometimes schedules get broken. Sometimes the kids stay up later than usual so you can read them books. Sometimes they have an extra piece of candy, or we skip out on something just so we can snuggle on the couch all day. If we all accidentally wake up late one morning and we’re late for something, so be it, I’ll take being less stressed. If you’re the rule maker, you can be the rule breaker, just one of the many joys of being a mom.
  9. Find Ways to Save Money. I don’t know about ya’ll, but saving money makes me happy. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I save. I’ve saved so much money with coupons, online surveys, and money savings apps on my iPhone. I’ve gotten back or earned close to $500. The money gets sent to my PayPal account, and it’s there for whenever I need it. It may seem unbelievable when it comes to earning money while sitting on your couch, but I’ve done it and it’s helped out an abundant of times when I was in need of a little extra cash.
  10. Have That Glass of Wine. By have a glass, I don’t mean chug the whole bottle to drown your stress. Sip a glass while reading some chapters in a book, or while you’re in the bubble bath. It’s a little night cap before bed to wind you down.

December.. Already?

Seriously though, it’s already December? My son is going to be four in 10 days, and my daughter is two months away from a year old… I can’t handle it. I’m pretty sure December is one of the most stressful yet rewarding months for us moms. From the gift shopping, cookie baking, hiding gifts, wrapping, decorating. I’m pretty sure this is the month where I consume the most wine. I’m that mom who wants everything to be perfect during the holiday season. I want my kids to have every gift they want, I want the tree to look perfect, I want the lights hung evenly in the front of the house. I drive my husband insane. I’m sure my stress, makes him even more stressed. Good thing he’s not home with me all day or he’d probably think I’m even crazier then he already thinks I am.

Why I stress over having the perfect Christmas, especially with two small children? Who freakin’ knows. Just the other day, Kyle broke two of my husband’s authentic Irish ornaments he received from his grandparents, which are irreplaceable. I also tried hanging up the lights outside by myself to save my husband some work and somehow I managed to completely shut off the power that runs to the outside of our house. My son loves running upstairs to my room, and I constantly run up the steps like a mad man to make sure the closet door with all the toys is closed, all while Lilly wants to grab every ornament off the tree. Also, if my son says he wants one more thing he sees on TV, I’m pretty sure I’m going to rip the TV off the wall! The Cunningham household is an adventurous time!

I don’t even want to get started on never having a clue what to get family members. For some reason, us moms are the only ones who go crazy picking out the perfect gifts. You won’t ever see my husband step inside a store to holiday shop. That’s okay though, in some weird, stressful way I get joy out of the madness. As for gifts, all the littles ones in my family already have it all. It makes it nearly impossible to find something. As for the kid’s grandparents, their entire houses are going to be covered with “I love grandma and I love grand pop” things before the kids are teenagers, because I’m terrible at thinking of clever ideas (Please comment some idea’s if you have some!). Then of course, you have my husband who refuses to tell me what he would like and says he doesn’t want anything. You ask what I want? Wine… I want wine, and to sleep in until noon with no interruptions. A mom can dream, right?

I’m excited yet nervous to see how pictures with Santa will turn out this year. If Kyle is scared of something or someone, he will make it known, probably throughout the entire mall. I guess screaming “NO” at the top of his lung and kicking makes everything better… but he did pretty well last year so fingers crossed for the same. I’m pretty sure my little Lilly is going to freak out. Hopefully not since her brother will be right there beside her, and she absolutely adores him. Then us mom’s have to stand behind the camera, shake some toys, be obnoxious, baby talk the kids just so they smile. I have no problem making a fool of myself. Mama wants to good photo!

In the end though, after all the crazy store lines, the late nights wrapping gifts, the huge electric bill from all the lights, the Santa pictures, on Christmas Day when my kids’ faces light up when they come out of their rooms, it is one hundred percent worth it. It makes me love all the madness, and I’ll continue to love the madness and stress for years to come. I seriously love being a mom during the holiday season. It’s one of the best feelings ever, and I look forward to it every single year.