When Mom is Stressed. There Are Options.

I’m not saying this note is about me. I’m sure there are other moms who at this very moment are dreaming of a month at the beach, a maid, and a full-time chef, but that’s not me. Not. at. all. It’s for all the other Moms out there. Who may or may not be me. What is my advice to those other moms who aren’t me but who are stressed out at this moment?

I figure there are some options to help alleviate our stress. In no particular order they are:

  1. Binge watch the Food Network. Because there’s nothing like watching perfect people, make perfect food, in perfect kitchens to alleviate stress.
  2. Hide in the closet, light off, with either a.) a pillow and blanket or b.) an entire box of Weight Watchers cupcakes.
  3. Send the children away.
  4. Remind yourself that you were supposed to be Super Mom and why is the house NOT picked up??!!!
  5. Take a four hour nap.
  6. Throw away all of the dirty laundry and dishes.
  7. Don’t shower  and wear yoga pants every.single.moment. of the day.  Rock the messy bun.
  8. Take 20 extra minutes in the bathroom, when you and I both know you don’t need to. The kids are probably waiting for you right outside the door anyway. They’re safe there.

As much as I’d like to eat a box of chocolate cupcakes with no after effects…you know weight gain, basic gross feelings, a slight bit of gluttony….maybe there are some better ideas to relieve Mom Stress.

  1. Go for a Walk. A slow mindful walk, taking in the scenes and details around us that we don’t see when we’re in the car.
  2. Shut electronics off. I know it seems fun to watch t.v. and I’m not saying I don’t do it. (Right now I’m in a hotel lobby watching Ree Drummond on the Food Network, while Anna takes a big ole’ Biology test), but giving our brains a break from electronics can never be a bad thing. I should be working on other things, but I need.a.moment.
  3. Remind ourselves of our priorities.
  4. Write a list of all the things we have to do and organize them into a timely manner, giving ourselves permission to do one thing at a time.
  5. Send the kids away. Seriously. I’m not above calling friends and asking if our kids can hang out with them for a little while.
  6. Eat something healthy. Our tendency is to eat junk food to get that “feel good” part of the brain feeling good, but what our bodies really need is good healthy food.
  7. Play in the dirt. Garden, hike, build a sand castle. Read these articles about how soil actually reduces depression. How Dirt Makes You Happy and  Is Dirt The New Prozac?
  8. Get together with friends and laugh. Last weekend some friends called to see if we were free one night. We were, they came, we played games, we laughed.
  9. If you’re a person of faith, spend time praying.
  10. Bake. Read this. 
  11. Stop, breathe, and take a moment. Tell the kids “Mom’s on vacation” and she’ll be back in ten minutes.
  12. Get a good night’s sleep.
  13. Spend some time near a body of water. Sit and listen.  Get some good Sun Therapy.
  14. Do something creative, remind yourself of a hobby you loved, one that brings you satisfaction and make it happen.

No worries. Stress happens, but it doesn’t have to define us. The trick is to keep in under control, remind ourselves who we are, and who’s we are, remember that life is seasonal, there are ebbs and flows. Toddlers grow up, the teens years fly by, fights don’t have to last forever. Kiss your spouse, hug your kids and tell them you love them.Even if at the moment you’re not feeling too mushy.

Life is good.


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