I’m sure there is a study or two out there that proves my thoughts (note to self to search for them later tonight). Here it goes: I think moms carry the most stress and are bosses dealing with it (without knowing they are dealing with it). [I can believe it] I want to quickly state that I’m not saying dads don’t have stress or that stay at home dads aren’t a part of this too… but I’m going to focus on us mamas for a moment.
On call 24/7
I can confidently say that I am a better mom to my children because I work. [I can DEFINITELY believe that] Every single mother is different, but for me I believe this to be true. I have the ability to step away from my children for a period of time and act like an adult, a real one, who has real conversations other than what camps I’m late registering for, or the debate over who got more goldfish in their bowl. [This is just a ploy for more goldfish]
This doesn’t mean that I get to step away from being a mom during those work hours. Oh no, mom-mode is real and 24/7. It’s never ending and happens while you pee, sleep, and while you’re actively speaking on a call. I just get to juggle more, and I want to, because taking on more means some grown up conversations and focusing on MY personal goals.
Managing the madness
I’m not an expert, I fake it until I make it daily… really hourly. [don’t give away your secrets!] I’ve spoken to a lot of boss moms who work and manage a family and household. I’ve also read articles and everything you can search on Google to help me manage my stress. One of the best tools for me has been Big Little Feelings, just listening to them talk about how to manage the things I lose my mind over helps, and gives me useful tips to work with.
Here are some of the things that help me stay sane, key word, help… I didn’t say solve 🙂
- Know your limits — what happens when you feel like you’re going to lose it? Does your eye twitch? For me, I start to yell more. [when her volume goes up, I leave the room] I lose my patience (which I personally think is one of my best mom traits), and I start to lose my cool. I know I need to re-set. It’s important to know when you’re hitting your wall and to breathe and take a step back.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate — this was very hard for me after my first child. I’m a pure Type A and need that control. Over the years I’ve identified things I really don’t need to manage, ex. Kids meals while with childcare, and just delegated them out. The less I need to personally involve myself in, the happier I am.
- Be crystal clear — no one can read your mind. Be as clear and direct as possible when you’re handing things off to others. “Can you help with the kids in the morning?” What does that mean? Instead, flip it to “You can handle brushing their teeth and putting on (matching) [those poor kids…] clothes before breakfast, I’ll handle the meal.”
- Innocent until proven guilty — don’t let guilt define you, we all have tons of mommy guilt on a daily basis over various things. When it comes to ‘losing’ the time with them during the day, don’t let that consume you and allow you to overcompensate. I’m responsible for doing this, but there is no need to entertain your kids constantly and there is no need for ice cream weekly or buying their love with toys. [also I think they have every toy on the planet already] Just being present with them is more than enough… and, honestly, all they really want.
- Exercise — the days I work out or even have a dance party with the kids I feel better. I’ve moved my body, not used my mind, and just taken a break. It’s not about calories lost, it’s just about stepping outside your mental state and taking that (fun) break. [I can attest that dance parties are exhausting… especially when lots of lifts are involved]
- There is ME in TEAM! —The most evident one, which drives me nuts when people say moms should do it weekly, is ‘me time’. I’d love to have tons of me-time, but my evening time after the kids sleep turns into dishes, catching up on work, mindlessly scrolling Instagram, and going through the family to do lists. All it takes is once a week doing one thing. It could even be waking up 30 min before your kids do to have your cup of coffee in peace. [then you also wouldn’t have to reheat it a hundred times throughout the morning] If you’re not rested and strong… the rest of your house will fall apart, trust me on that.
How do you manage stress as a working or SAH mom? Share some of your tactics in the comments below!!