Mother’s day has come and gone. The flowers, cards, and dinners out have been given. The kids may still be delivering on their promises and the hubbies may still be trying to give a little extra hand. But, sometimes, the work of motherhood can be stressful. As much as a mother loves her kiddos, wearing so many hats—nurse, teacher, disciplinarian, taxi driver, coach, chef, trainer—can be exhausting.
Here are some ways to combat the stress of motherhood:
Don’t compare yourself. Facebook, other social networking pages, and parenting websites show mothers with near perfect bodies, clean kids with their hair combed and in perfectly tailored outfits. Thing is, those pictures can be edited and hand-selected and show what those folks want us to see. Don’t look at those pictures and try to emulate them. Someone once said when we compare ourselves to others we put our worst up against their best.
Stop trying to make everyone happy. It’s impossible and you’ll end up resenting everyone you’re trying to please. Do the best you can to love your family, provide for your family, and teach your family. Don’t kill yourself trying to make life perfect. Life won’t be perfect and there is freedom and stress relief in that fact.
Don’t expect your family to be perfect. Just as life won’t be perfect, your family won’t be perfect. Odds are your kids won’t be the star athletes every game or play a perfect piano arrangement at every recital. In fact, think about your own family growing up. Probably some of the stories you laugh about now are the ugly or embarrassing moments you shared.
Don’t wear too many hats. In our culture, busyness is revered as a badge of honor. But it can also be a good mother’s downfall. Try not to over-extend yourself. Pick one or two things to commit yourself to and do them with excellence. Stephen Covey in his “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” says that if a person has more than one or two goals, none of the goals will get done and if anything gets done, it won’t be done with excellence because the person will be spread too thin.
Take time for yourself. This may be the most difficult stress buster in the list. It is so hard for a mom to make time for herself because she is always taking care of everyone else. There is often a dose of mom-guilt that goes along with putting her feet up. There is usually always something to be done and if a mom sits down she feels bad for not working instead. However, when you can pull away for a bit and take care of yourself, you end up renewing your energy and being able to come back and give more to others.