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5 Ways to Reduce Mom Stress for Wanting to be Yourself Again!!
As moms we have a lot of stress in our lives! We worry about our family, about our home, our finances, and a lot more!
But, what about us!
We’re usually fine with admitting all of the things we stress about when it comes to pretty much anything, except when it comes to something about us!
We have mom guilt.
Which is one thing we stress about, and feel selfish if we take any time away from worrying about mom duties, to care enough to stress about ourselves and what we need.
I want you to feel alright with admitting that there are things that you want, that you should feel alright with stressing over to have. I want you to feel like it’s alright to be human and have emotions and take care of yourself.
But, then again, I want you to not have to stress over these basic things, that anyone who is not a mom has no trouble sharing with the world! Such as….
1. Getting Your Body Back
We’re stressed about getting our bodies back, in more ways than just one!!
We stress to get back in shape after having kids. To fit into our pre pregnancy clothes, so we actually have nice clothes to wear again. And, we want to feel like ourselves again.
There also comes a time when we’re silently stressed to get our bodies back to ourselves. Meaning, we carried a baby for 9 months, then breastfed for however long; we want our bodies back to ourselves.
Honestly, I’m feeling this stress myself more and more lately. My body hasn’t been mine for over 6 years, because of my two girls!! I love them to pieces, and I know nursing them til around 2 and a half years old each was beneficial to them; I just want my body back…to myself!
Reduce the Stress
First of all, understand that you’re not alone. It is perfectly normal to want to get back in shape after having a baby. In fact, people expect you to want this and expect it to be a priority for you. There are even specific workout dvd’s dedicated to postpartum fitness!
So, go ahead, take 30 to 60 minutes out of each day and exercise. It’ll help you get your body back faster and help reduce your stress. Even if it’s simply chasing after your kids at the park for a half hour!
If you want to get your body back to yourself, make sure you aren’t trying to do it alone. Talk to your husband, or someone else who helps support you, let them know how you feel. Set boundaries for your children; for example, tell them that they are not to open the bathroom door when you’re in there.
It may be hardest for us moms who are nursing. We want to make sure we provide the best we can for our infants and toddlers; but then again, we want to wear bras that aren’t nursing bras!
Try setting an age in which you start to wean your child, and a rough age in which you would like them to be completely weaned. Tell your husband about these goals, as well. I don’t know how I would’ve been able to wean my first daughter without the help of my husband! He would help get her to sleep at night; if I was the one getting her to sleep all she wanted to do was nurse.
2. Not having enough Time
There is never enough time to get everything done, and if you’re a mom, you understand that!
Being a stay at home mom, it’s even worse. People assume that because we don’t work, that we have all the time in the world to do anything we want.
They have no idea how wrong they are!!
It’s saddening, really, to have one of the hardest jobs out there, and be treated as if we just get to lounge around all day, doing whatever is we want to do. How far from the truth is that?
Yeah…because I totally want to be watching Sofia the First while I nurse my toddler to sleep, because otherwise she won’t take a nap. And, I so enjoy changing dirty diapers (attempting to potty train), and being responsible for everything that little humans will learn for their first 4 or so years on this planet. Yep…not stressful at all. I can totally do the 500 other tasks that someone wants me to do, as well; because, hey, I’ve got all the time in the world, right?
The fact that people think that’s true is irritating and can cause stress all in itself!
Reduce the Stress
My favorite thing to do to reduce the stress of never having enough time in the day is to plan!!
I used to buy those cheap planners from walmart after all the school supplies go on clearance; but, this year, I invested in a planner that has helped me so much more than just planning out what needs to get done in a day!!
And, yes, planning does take time itself, but it is so worth it! It’ll certainly reduce your stress! By allowing you to see what you have time for and what you don’t. It forces you to prioritize if you have too many commitments, and shows you where you may have missed some down time!
Understand that not everyone gets that just because you don’t have a set schedule, doesn’t mean you have ‘all the time in the world’ to do what you want. Sometimes, not having a set schedule as a stay at home mom makes it even harder!
How to Find More Time in Your Day
5 Reasons Your Child (and You) Need a Daily Schedule
3. Craving Time for Yourself
Oh, and heaven forbid we want any time, at all, to ourselves!
Let’s get real here for a moment with the stress us moms go through; I can’t even go to the bathroom myself! The second I go in there, one of my girls needs to tell me something, or needs me. I honestly have a hard time getting away from them. And, I know I’m not the only mom to feel that way!
So, the ‘me time’ that everyone raves is so amazing because they get to read, relax, go shopping (and enjoy it), or whatever else they get to do. For me, this ‘me time’ everyone speaks of, is taking a long shower and hoping my girls will sit still, watch a show, and not try to talk to me while I’m in there (never happens, though).
I get so stressed and overwhelmed when I don’t get any time to myself, that I have resorted to getting up at 3am!
Yes, three in the morning, to simply write and drink my coffee in silence! That is my time to myself, and sometimes I’m so exhausted from the day before that I sleep in. You know, sleep in til 4am (the time I need to make sure my husband is up for work by).
That is how hard it can be to get some alone time as a stay at home mom!
Reduce the Stress
Pretty much the only way to reduce the stress of needing that time to yourself, is by getting some time to yourself. If you’re an extrovert, than you may not feel that strong craving of needing to be alone once in awhile. But, I sure can tell you how strong the craving is for us as introverts!!
One way to get some time to yourself could be by communicating with your husband that he needs to watch the kids so you can finally take a real break, even if it’s just for 10 or so minutes.
Or, you could always ask a relative or friend to watch the kids for a little bit for you, so you can get your sanity back!
If you’re stubborn and won’t ask for help, then I’d recommend you read How to Find Me Time as a Stay at Home Mom (when you’re stubborn and won’t ask for help). This post will give you five more ways to find time to yourself during the day!
4. Plain Old Mom Guilt
One of the most stressful things us moms goes through is simply feeling guilty that we aren’t spending enough time with our children, or doing enough for them!
That’s probably why we can’t get any alone time! The stress from mom guilt is stronger than our craving for ‘me time’. We feel guilty if we spend any time away from our kids for any reason, whatsoever! And then, we feel guilty if we even think about having any time to ourselves.
No wonder we’re so stressed!! We get stressed when even thinking about ways we can de stress because it would take time away from our children…even though we already spend every minute of every day with them!
Reduce the Stress
First, understand that you’re not alone in this struggle!
Second, set some boundaries for yourself and your kids! Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean that you’re not your own person anymore!
It’s alright if you want to leave your kids at a friends while you go get groceries by yourself. And, it’s alright if you’re the one who has to work so the bills get paid. Those things are just a part of life.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for trying to provide for you family, or get a little peace and quiet to stay sane once in awhile! I know, I’m probably a hypocrite for saying it, because I have mom guilt, too. It’s a struggle, and I don’t know if we’ll ever not have it.
Just know that you are not alone!
5. Not Being Heard
Another tough thing about being just a stay at home mom, is that we aren’t heard as well. It takes a lot of effort for us to get anyone to listen to us, especially our kids. Although, maybe it’s just that kids don’t like listening to their moms in general.
It is super stressful when I tell my older daughter to do something and she completely ignores that I said anything! But, it’s even more frustrating when my husband tells her to do the exact same thing, and she goes and does it immediately!!
Sometimes we may wonder if sound is even coming out of our mouths when we speak.
Or, maybe it’s just me. Because I know I’m quiet.
And, it’s not just our children not listening to us; it could be anyone! Our husbands, other family members, friends, that random call center rep on the other end of the phone. It’s like ‘ do you even hear what I’m saying!!’
Reduce the Stress
Try not to yell. Yes, counter intuitive, but it can prove effective! When you yell, others won’t respond to what you’re saying, but how you say it!
Or, if you’re having trouble getting someone to listen to you because they’re on their phone or watching tv; if you feel comfortable with getting between them and the device, do so! If it’s your children, take the phone, tablet, or turn off the tv to get them to notice and listen to you.
Also, let others know, when they aren’t distracted, how you feel when they don’t listen to you, or completely ignore you. Not the call center rep, obviously (just hang up and try again, you’ll eventually find someone who’ll listen, I used to work in call centers and I have a psychology degree); but people in your life all the time.
If they can understand how it makes you feel, then maybe they’ll start listening; or maybe they won’t, but you won’t know unless you try. And, at least if you try, you’ll no longer have to stress wondering about it!
True, it’s not all about you, but…
Stressing for your own health and body back is part of being a mom. So is having mom guilt; completely normal. But, you don’t have to go through these struggles alone. Tell others how you feel, find a support network or rely on your friends and family for comfort to help reduce some of the stress!
Communicate how you feel to your husband and other people in your life. If you’re an introvert, let them know you would like some help with the kids once in awhile; so you can reflect on your life or have some time to yourself to preserve your sanity!
Let others know what your day to day life looks like. Go ahead and write down what you did in a day, and then if someone assumes you can do something because you have all the time in the world show them how wrong they are. You have the right to use your ‘free’ time, any that you can possibly find that is, to do with what you want. Life can get chaotic as a stay at home mom, and not many people understand that; so let it be known!
And, if you only take one thing away from reading this; know that you are not alone in this stay at home mom life, I’m right there with you! (Along with almost every other stay at home mom out there!)
This is the third part of a 5 post series! Check out the first 2 parts!!
What Causes Stay at Home Mom STRESS?
How to Worrying Stressing about your Families Health!