New moms, stay-at-home moms, working moms, single moms, and moms in general have one thing in common – they’re all stressed out. This stress not only impacts a mom’s health, it affects parenting skills, patience, and the desire to bond with their child. When the stress hormone cortisol is released it puts moms at risk for both mental and physical health problems. Lowering stress is the key to improving family life and making sure mom is around for a good long time.
- Create Systems – A little organization can go a long way to alleviate stress. One simple thing moms can do is to prepare for the upcoming day the night before. If mom works, then she, or dad, can make lunches the night before. Outfits can be laid out for the morning and breakfast can even be made in advance. Waffles, egg casserole, and smoothies can all be prepared in advance.
- Delegate – Moms tend to think that they have to do it all and that they’re the only ones who can get the job done right. Identify the tasks that are priority, the ones that absolutely need to get done, and which need to be done by mom. Then delegate everything else. For example, Dad can make breakfast. While babies and toddlers obviously cannot help around the home, older children certainly can. Put them to work and reduce Mom’s stress.
- Set Aside Personal Time – Make time for self-care. It might be something as simple as a nightly bath and a good book. Exercise, meditation, and social outings are all important and help bring balance to a busy life.
- Let Go of Perfection – There is no such thing as a perfect mom or a perfect parent. Perfectly clean houses are impossible and so are perfect meals. The quality is in the experience. Strive to focus less on the details and more on the experience. Leave the kitchen a mess and enjoy family game night. Let the laundry go one more day and take a walk with your children.
- Respect Your Decisions and The Decisions of Others – Moms are often quite hard on one another about their parenting and working choices. Love your choice and respect that other moms have the right to make their own choices. Let go of mom guilt and embrace your life.
Related: Stress Management for Parents
Finally, find support. Moms who feel supported in and out of the home are much happier and better able to manage stress. Support can be found through community organizations, social groups, and from family. While it’s impossible to eliminate all stress from life, small steps to reduce stress can make a significant difference.