Today I want to address the reality of stress. I mean you are a mom, so I’m sure you are like I NEVER have anything to be stressed about. My day is a constant state of zen!
(If that IS you please come to my house and teach me your ways!!!)
But really, what do we do when life gets crazy? My husband was away in Denver last week for work and when he returned he walked in with the flu. This momma was on her last ounce of holding out for reinforcements and my reinforcement came home a hot mess. Just as I was about to downshift, I had to keep myself in ‘go’ mode. So 3 boys, plus a sick big ‘boy’, and my kids are out of school this week…Yeah, it was all I could do to not have a momma melt down this morning. Stressed out and tired.
I wish I could say I was a shining light to my boys, instead I found myself barking orders with a not nice tone of voice. Do the dishes, start your homework packet, STOP fighting, etc.
I was reminded once again that my tone sets the emotional tone for the whole house. And today it was not looking pretty.
So what can we do in these moments? The next time you have one of these days here are a few things to try:
- Take a 5-10 minute time out. Use that time to really figure out what is going on that is causing you to react with such intensity. (For me, it wasn’t that today was over-scheduled, it was that I was just flat exhausted from a week alone with the boys and then my plan of help coming was thrown off. Expectations can be killer!)
- Don’t be too proud to call a friend and ask for help. We have all been there and understand the “Can I come over for a few so I don’t lose my mind moments.”
- Take another 5-10 minute break at some point, (usually for me it’s when the 2 year old is finally occupied), and do one of the following…
– Relax. Just sit and sip on some tea or stare out the window!
– Clean. Like a mad woman. If doing the dishes will help you feel less stressed, do them with force!
– Journal or meditate. There are so many meditation apps you can get on your phone that allow for a quick 5-8 minute relaxing moment.
– Pray. Ask God to give you the strength you need to get through this day. “Give us this day our daily bread”, is not only about food. Some days (okay, everyday) I’m like Jesus I need patience, love, grace, etc…
- Sweat. Exercise releases endorphins which helps us feel good and chill out.
A couple things NOT to do…
- Please do not go on a food binge to deal with your emotions. It’s tempting, trust me I know. Friday night it was all I could do to not stuff my face with pizza and chocolate because I was annoyed that my man was sick. (I sound like such a loving wife, right?! LOL- I do love him! My kids had just wiped me out!) But what happens after the food is gone? You feel even worse! Guilt, shame, that you just ate a whole bag/carton of _____________________! Food won’t help our inner world.
- Don’t lose sight of reality. In stress moments we can forget that it’s just that, a moment. When we start to believe that it will always be this way is where we get in trouble.
Don’t forget to say you’re sorry if you were a little crazy with the kids or your partner. Be quick to let them know that we all make mistakes. I had to apologize to my middle boy this morning, just a simple, ‘mommy was a little stressed out and wasn’t talking nice, right?’ Then we get to teach them that they will have moments they feel stressed, but it doesn’t mean they can just act however they feel. They need tools like I mentioned above.
Okay friends! There you have it, my not so pretty momma day. But the win? Baby is napping, ahhhh. I did my workout. (I mean I have my 21 day group going and I can’t let them down!) I stuck to my food plan that I have lost 5.5 pounds in 7 days in. (SO close to pre-baby #3 weight again.) AND…I don’t feel like that crazy stressed out lady that I woke up as.
I hope this encourages you next time you have one of those crazy momma days or weeks. You are not alone.
Granted, this was not a ‘stress’ that is long term. If you are facing something like that, a recent death/loss, job/home transition, new baby, etc…my tips will just touch the tip of the iceberg. My #1 recommendation for you is to get a counselor who can help you walk through this season. Do you research, my counselor started out as my grief therapist when my dad died unexpectedly almost 2 years ago. But since then we’ve moved onto other topics and I’m so thankful she is there to help me process my ‘world’!