Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mommy Stress And How To Handle It

     There's a unique set of stressors that Mommy's of young children face. Whether a working mommy or a stay-at-home mom, we all worry and have lives that can be very busy. Especially now, with so many people who are tight financially we worry about our children's future, about their next sickness, if they are learning enough, sleeping enough, eating enough even going to the bathroom enough (if you have a newborn you know what I'm talking about).

     I'm just a mom. I'm not a doctor, I can't give you professional advice if you're unique set of stressors have reach a level you can't handle. But I'm a mom whose been through a LOT with young kids. Job loss, cross-country move while pregnant, living in a small house, living on a single income too small to support a family, having our only car break down multiple times. I can't offer professional advice but BELIEVE ME, I get it. Life is hard! Here's some of my "older mom" advice to you as you face what God has in store for you.

1. Stay in the Word. Don't forget where you help comes from. Find ways to stay in the Word! Will you always have time to sit still and read your Bible with young kids? NO! So listen to the Bible for free online, or download an app, read to your children. Be creative! Don't give up this essential part of your day because you can't make it look like it used to look. Some days you will be able to sit quietly with your Bible and a cup of tea, and sometimes you won't- be flexible and get it done!! God will honor even the quickest "Please be with me!" Prayer if done with a heart that truly remembers it needs Him.

2.Sing! Several studies have suggested that singing is actually a great stress reducer that can  help your baby's health  and lower your blood pressure!  Singing can take your mind off what's stressing you out, can be a fun activity to do with your kids, and if you're singing praise and worship songs, can be another way to focus your mind on God's goodness during stress. You have an awful singing voice so you say? So what! Then don't sing on stage, just sing in the privacy of your own home, sing in the shower, in the car, with the radio up loud to drowned you out. Don't let a lack of ability hinder you, just have fun with it.

3. Smile!  The kids are all sick and you've gotten no sleep. The house looks like a war zone and when you put the baby down for a minute he cries like you just chopped off his right leg. You would like nothing better than to go cover your head or have someone give you a "do-over" for your day. Yup, I've been there. It's time to start singing the chorus to Frozen and "Let it go" ;) Lower your expectations for that day, turn a blind eye to the mess for a little while and snuggle those babies. Find happiness in being needed and loved and smile. Attitude goes a long way in shaping your life, what kind of life do you want? We all need to vent sometimes- that's okay! But when your "venting" becomes who you are, now you've crossed the line into unhappiness. Smiling can produce physically beneficial effects, not only for us, but for those around us who are directly affected by our attitude.

4. Be Silly with your Kids. This goes back to number 3, but kids love to be silly. Teaching your kids how to giggle during life's bumps will help them to keep a positive attitude as they grow up. Don't take yourself too seriously and even when there's times of real serious problems and stress, find a way to share a smile and a laugh with your little ones, I bet they will turn around and make you smile more in return! 


5. Talk a walk. When I was going through my most serious health problems a few years ago there was one thing I could always count on to bring my anxiety level down and help me feel better and that was going outside and taking a walk! Breathing in fresh air and seeing nature in all it's seasons is a proven stress reducer. Now that we are living in the South and near a bike trial, this is a no-brainer for our family. But even when we lived up North, we had snow shoes and warm babywearing coat and we would go out take a hike with our kids when we needed to just get away for a bit! 

6.Find Joy in the Little Things. It can be easy to get so caught up in what NEEDS to get done that you don't take time to find wonder in your world. But there are amazing things all around us, take 10 minutes and go outside with your children, discover something new, catch a lizard (or, you know, a cool rock if lizards gross you out) It doesn't take long to find something AMAZING if you look at life through your kids eyes! 

7. Take a break! If you have ways of taking time away and taking a break then that's great! But I know, not every parent has the ability or the desire to leave their children with someone else. Your child has a unique health concern that's hard to handle, you've recently moved, or your support-base is small. You don't need time away from your kids to take a break, send them to bed early and have a "couch date" with your hubby, or go to the playground and sit on the swings together while they play, even just letting them watch a movie while you eat in the kitchen. My husband and I have a running joke when all the kids fall asleep in the car we hold hands and say "date night!" =) Be creative and have fun. 

     I hope something I have shared with you has given you some good ideas on how to relax and have fun even when life is hard! And if nothing else, I hope my pictures made you smile and laugh! There are many other ways I'd like to share with you about relieving stress including essential oils and supplements that I use to help. I'd like to share with you one supplement that I have been using for a while that I really like, magnesium citrate. You can read more about the benefits of magnesium here at Gwen's Nest. I have been using this one by Simple Health that I really like. It's tasteless and not gritty at all and easy to add to juice or a puree (or a gluccie pudding for THM's!) and it's an excellent for calming.

Please let me know in the comments ways that you handle stress in your life, and if any of the methods I mentioned have helped you! 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.