Stress. It’s the bane of all stay-at-home moms (SAHMs), whether you have one kid or five.
A new study pointed out that working mothers are happier than 100% stay-at-home moms. I can totally see how that’s possible. I love that I stay at home with my kids, but I’m a shadow of my former self these days.
What can SAHMs do to kick the stress?
My husband is forever urging me to get a massage. Sure, that will help my aching back and pick me up, definitely. For a couple hours, that is. Real stress busters must keep you on an even keel every day.
There are plenty of things we moms probably aren’t doing for ourselves. Forget bubble baths, these are things basic to human survival, things others take completely for granted. They shouldn’t take much extra effort, rather they may simply require a mindset that says you’re just as important as the rest of your family members. Here are my tips. Add yours below!
Make sure you eat – you make breakfast for your kids but don’t get around to eating anything yourself until 11 am. By then you’re already feeling terrible. What about making sure you eat something (healthy) every time your kids eat?
Cut fruits and vegetables for yourself – Cutting up fresh food just takes so much time. Then you have to wash that cutting board and knife, right? Do it anyway. Your body will thank you. In fact, you probably already do it for your kids. Just cut extra for yourself. And take the time to chew it all properly.
Shower – It’s amazing how many SAHMs have trouble working in a shower each day. But something so basic just feels so good when you do it. Forget the fact you’ll probably be covered in spitup or sticky toddler stuff again in an hour. (I had to bring my kid right in with me if I wanted a shower, but it was worth it!)
Exercise – I know, this is one that’s hard to get motivated for. But I think we all need a physical outlet for stress. The key is to find the exercise you enjoy. A push of the stroller around the neighborhood counts. So does stretching. You don’t have to go to the gym or run 10 miles, ladies!
Go to the bathroom – There’s no reward for holding it all day. Set the baby down, let your toddler watch you, whatever you’ve got to do.
20 minutes to yourself – I’m using this for my exercise, but you could just lie down, read, take a bath or shower depending on how your day has gone. Just keep that time sacred and for you only. Headphones help, as does an understanding husband who is willing to take charge. But 20 minutes every day is easier to negotiate than an afternoon to yourself, right?
Make a routine – A routine may help bring order to chaotic days and put mommy back in control. It’s not for everyone, but having a set of things you do at the same time every day may also keep your kids a little happier.
It’s worth putting the effort in for yourself. After all, when mommy is happy, the rest of the family is happy, too.