As busy Mums with young kids, we are left to juggle Motherhood and our thousands of tasks while managing high stress levels on a daily basis. So many women have expressed the same issues in our Facebook group and in our Instagram community that we decided to reach out to like-minded Mums for some answers and these 5 amazing women jumped on board to offer their advice.
Jess Wall from Eeb and Ssej
I’m a first time mum at the age of 33. I’m very lucky to have a healthy baby boy (10 months old) & a supportive husband.
I went back to full time work about 4 months ago & stress is a HUGE factor in my life. Mum guilt for not being there for my son, along with wife guilt for dropping the ball at home, along with friend guilt for not “hanging out as much” (or preferring to go to bed at 8pm instead of going out for a drink) ha ha!
For me, the biggest “tool” I have used is – positive self talk & learning that some things are just out of my control & that’s the way it is. I try to remember every single day, WHY it is that I am going to work – ultimately it’s for my family to have a better life. Staying in touch with friends (having a good mummy support network) is important too, to have an outlet & a network to vent to. Even when it seems I have zero time left in the day I always try to reach out to at least one friend.
When all else fails, I go for a drive & have a good cry to let things out before coming home & do some gratitude journaling (even just on my phone if it’s all I have available).
Jane Wilson from Modern Housewives
My advice would be to outsource and take a break once in a while. We all want to be the perfect mothers, to be able to take care of everything ourselves, and many of us are basically left in these situations by our partners and families, because it’s expected of us to be able to take care of everything and not complain about it. Well, the case is quite different in real life. Some of us may be able to go though the day somehow without complaining, but studies have proven long time ago, that such situations lead to stress, depression, stress-related ilnesses, and many more problems, which lead to nothing good. Being a mother is a full time job all by itself, and every mother needs all the help she can get. This is why you shouldn’t feel shame or disappointment when you need help, you should look for it actively and make it clear to everyone around you, that any help is appreciated. And not only when it comes to babysitting, new mums can also use a lot of help with grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and all the other activities they are usually left with. If you’re not receiving the help you need, don’t be afraid to be vocal about it. You already lived through bringing a life into this world, you did enough.
Julia Jones from Newborn Mothers
People often ask how I “do it all” – the answer is I don’t! It takes a village!
In lieu of extended family and the concept of shared care, you are going to have to be pretty determined, and even demanding!
The first thing you need to do is work on your mindset. You do not need to be your child’s EVERYTHING! You are a mum, and a woman too. And there are many other adults who can support various elements of your child’s health and happiness. This was never designed to be a one-person job.
The second thing you need to do is work with what you’ve got. If you are lucky enough to have family around, ask for help. Talk to your husband about working part time, or from home. Call your mum and ask her to have the baby once a week. Do a child swap once a week with friends or neighbours.
The third thing you need to do is change your concept of a village. We don’t live in mud huts anymore. And most likely you don’t have extended family on call, but there are playgroups, a creche, childcare, nannies, cleaners, meal boxes… Paid support is becoming the new village. This is nothing to feel ashamed of or guilty about.
So go do it!! Be determined, swim upstream, get help with domestic and caring jobs so you can find time for your dreams too.
Nikki Knieriem from Mum Me Fit Time
Here are my top 5 tips for reducing stress for mums:
1.Unplug – When you are feeling overwhelmed, try turning down the background noise in your life by ‘unplugging’ some of the electronic equipment – TV, Radio, Diswasher, Washing machine etc
2. Get out into nature! A quick trip to the park or even getting your feet onto some nice green grass (a bit tricky in winter) can quickly lower your stress.
3. 6 Deep belly breaths – the simple act of reducing your breathing rate can lower that ‘fight or flight’ response that your body is dealing with.
4. Pinpoint your trig gers. What is causing you the stress – is it getting dinner on the table in time, is it balancing your work life balance, do you have too much to get through on your to-do list – Identify and then consider ways of changing this to ease the stress
5. Physical activity is proven to lower stress levels. Ever get that rush of endorphins post workout?You don’t need to do a massive workout – even 5 minutes is enough to get your blood pumping.
Lastly, I know I said 5 tips but I need to throw this in here (and have every mum out there HATE me for saying it) stress stimulates the production of the hormone adrenaline and unfortunately coffee can exacerbate this. Coffee reduction will help in reducing stress (sorry!).
Abbey McKenna from The Parenting Co
I have been a single parent, working parent, business parent. Heck, I have even been a couch hopping single mumma with a toddler and a baby parent.
The very first step to managing stress is having the level of self-awareness to recognize when you are stressed. As mums, we seem to think that being busy, stressed and dealing with constant worries is normal. A certain level of stress is actually healthy for us to be productive and to operate in this world, but extensive stress for long periods of times is not.
Get to know the signs.
What does your mind do? Does it race, do you overthink, do you create realities and invent consequences that have not happened yet.
What does your body do? Is your heart racing? Do you have a feeling of dread, angst or illness in your gut? Maybe you begin grinding your jaw, fiddling, or clenching your teeth?
What is your sleep pattern like? Are you tired and unable to sleep, do you sleep all the time?
How about the fridge? Does stress trigger eating in you, or does it make you feel like you are unable to eat?
Mums are so used to living under stress that we also learn to overlook the signs until we are so far in it that we feel like we can’t pull ourselves out.
Getting to know the signs of your own stress is so important. Your signs of stress are the little policeman asking you to pull up, slow down or take a different approach.