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4 Causes of Stress in Parents (and how to manage it)
As moms, we have a lot of stress!
Sure, stress can sometimes be a good thing, especially when raising children; like, help us keep them from getting hurt, raising them to become good adults, and help them have a better future!
But, we don’t need to stress over every little thing when it comes to parenting. Children will make mistakes, just as we all do. And, we can’t protect them from everything, especially when they’re grown.
The stress and burden we carry for them as they grow doesn’t need to be as heavy as we may think, though. Our children are stronger and more resilient than we believe they are.
Sure, there’s A LOT we can stress about when raising little ones. Like preventing them from getting boo-boos and wondering if we’re teaching them enough before they start school. Hoping that our parenting style will raise them to be kind and decent human beings when they grow up, or even the stress of guiding them to become successful as adults.
It’s a lot of stress, but we don’t have to carry the weight of that stress on our own!
1. Raising Children to be good Adults
One of the biggest things we worry about as moms is whether or not our children will grow up to be good adults. By this I mean we will worry;
- Will they be able to take care of themselves, others, and do good things in the world?
- Will they stay out of trouble and be kind, generous, and grateful?
- Did we provide them with the self esteem, modesty, and common sense, needed to make it in the world today?
This is one of the biggest concerns we have as good parents. One thing that we feel we have control over. And, if they turn out differently than we’d like, we may try blaming ourselves for it.
Reduce the Stress
The first thing you need to get through your head about raising children and stressing over the way in which they turn out as adults; is that you are not fully responsible!
There is a lot that goes into how a person acts and lives their lives as an adult.
You are not the only one they interact with as they grow up.
You are not the only person that has influence over their decisions.
It is not your fault if your child makes a mistake. That’s all part of growing up and learning how to live in this world.
Even from a young age children test their limits by doing what you tell them not to do. It drives us crazy sometimes when they do this; but it’s a vital part of learning how the world works and how others react to their actions. The world is ever changing, so we’re not going to be able to guide them through every decision they make in life.
We’re still making decisions as adults and possibly still testing limits and trying to figure out consequences to our actions.
So, give yourself a break; you’re not the determining factor on how your child acts and treats others as an adult. Simply guide them and help them make good decisions while you can, because someday they may not give you the chance to.
2. Worrying about Childrens Future
We all want our children to grow up and be successful, make a lot of money, and be happy when they’re adults, right?
We help them with their homework, make sure they stay in school. At times, we may stress over their grades and how they behave in school, what sports or extra curricular activities they are in.
We want them to have a bright future and some parents will do anything to ensure that their idea of a bright future for their children plays out.
Reduce the Stress
The first thing you can do to stop stressing about your childs future is to understand we can not control it.
Sometimes we may stress over our children getting into the best college there is, and stress even more about paying for their tuition so they can go.
What if they don’t want to go to college? (GASP)
Maybe they want to pursue art or music, instead. Or, work their way up in a company and feel it’s best to start sooner rather than later, and without all the student loan debt.
What we have to realize is that we can not determine their future, or anyone’s for that matter.
If we want them to be happy so much, then we need to take a backseat sometimes and let them make their own decisions!
We need to give them space to make mistakes and learn from them.
If we plan out and do everything for them, or make a bright future for them; how is that going to make them feel?
Sometimes the less stressed we are about their future, the less unintentional pressure we’ll put on our children; the better it may become!
3. All the Dangers in the World
We stress about all the dangers in the world, for our children more so than ourselves. This isn’t just a stress we put on ourselves, though, this can sometimes simply be an extension of our maternal instincts.
We want so badly for nothing bad to ever happen to our children; so we do our best to protect and shelter them. But, sometimes we do this a little too well.
And with writing this, the only thing I can think of right now is Finding Nemo. More specifically in the beginning when Nemo’s dad promises to never let anything ever happen to him. And then later in the movie when Marlin tells this to Dory and Dory says “Well you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him.”
As parents, we tend to think just like Marlin! We stress over every little thing that could possibly ever happen to our kids and try to shelter them from it. We don’t want to see too much of the world too fast!
Reduce the Stress
Maybe we should take Dory’s advice!
We need to let our kids experience this world as it is. Protect them from what we can, but not obsess over what we can’t protect them from.
Instead of sheltering them from experiences we don’t want them to encounter, and ignore that anything will ever happen in their lives; maybe we should be teaching them how to be prepared for situations that could potentially come up in life.
Sure, no one wants their child to have bad grades, get fired from a job, or be treated unfairly (along with A LOT of other things that could happen in life, that I’d rather not write about). But, that doesn’t mean you don’t talk about those things with your children as if they don’t exist!
Prevent some stress and worrying in your life when it comes to potential dangers by talking with your children about them. Let them know what they should do in certain situations, or that life isn’t always fair and they need to accept that.
Explain to them that there are some bad people in this world, but that it shouldn’t stop them from living their life to the fullest! To be wary, but not to avoid the world to stay safe! That’s no way to live.
4. Having to teach Little Ones Everything
Unfortunately, and fortunately, when our children are born they don’t know very much. This leaves it up to us to teach them basically everything they need to know before they start going to school.
This can cause stress or anxiety in some moms; worrying about not being able to teach their children what they need to know by the time they believe they need to know it by.
We want our children to be smart, stay ahead of the game on developmental standards, have common sense, and be successful (for their age) before they even understand the meaning of success.
These hopes and goals for our children leave us more stressed than they need to!
Reduce the Stress
Remember all children really need in their first few years of life is to be cared for and loved!
Children are great at learning without us intentionally teaching them anything. So stop stressing if you are teaching them enough.
Think about all the times your children have learned things from you that you didn’t teach them, maybe even things you didn’t want them to learn.
The human brain is magnificent from day one! It allows our children to be clever before they even know the meaning. There’s natural instincts that help them survive right after birth; and they learn things with such ease, just as we do without even realizing it!
As long as we can be good examples, we will be teaching our children plenty before they start their formal education!
Our Children will be Fine!
There’s only so much we can do for our children before they grow up!
And, whether or not we spend bounds of time secretly stressing over every little thing, will have little impact on how they will be as adults.
We could spend hours trying to figure out how to help our children become kind and thoughtful adults; or we could simply be a good example for them and do what we would like them to do!
We could stress over their grades and save thousands of dollars for them to go to the best University; but it doesn’t mean that they’ll do any better, or even want to go to college after they graduate high school!
Even putting our children in protective, metaphorical, bubbles, won’t protect our children from some of the dangers, or let downs in life. That’s just part of life.
Like I learned from my health class in high school (yes, for some reason my brain is still allowing this memory to exist); you can only have things as good as you can have them bad. Meaning, without great sadness, you can never experience great joy. Without ever feeling great loss, you can’t realize great love. You can’t have good times, without the bad.
So, don’t prevent your children from having an amazing life of their choice because of the fear you have for them!
Guide them and care for them while you can and while they allow you to. Accept them as they are, and always make sure you show them your love!
This is the fourth part of a 5 post series! Check out the first 3 parts!!