We have all been there, those days where you are counting down the minutes till your husband or partner walks in the door because the kids are just driving you CRAZY!! You are stressed out and nothing you can do or say will calm you or the kids down and all you want to do is yell, scream, or cry.
I’ve been there many times. The day starts way to early, usually when the baby wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed before the sun is even thinking of rising. Your coffee is NOT strong enough, not that you actually got to drink it before it got cold, or is it still sitting in the microwave from the 3rd attempt at heating it up? The toddler’s attention span is that of a flea and she bounces from one toy to another within 30 seconds and so the house is now a mess. These are the days where I get so stressed out that I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and eat a whole gallon of ice cream.
However, as Stay At Home Mamas we can’t do that. Right?!? We have to find a way to de-stress and cope with our littles. So what can we do? What are some ways to help deal with those crazy days? After to many stress filled days, and R. looking at me and saying “I’m sorry for making you cry mommy, I can’t help it sometime.” I decided I needed to find some de-stressing tips and tricks. After HOURS of searching I have finally found a few tricks that seem to work for me.
Tips for De-Stressing with Kids
- Give the kids a bath. Even if it’s the middle of the day and they don’t really need it. I know R. loves to play in the bath, so when she is CRAZY and stressing me out, I know that I can get a few minutes of independent play time if she is playing in the bathtub. Of course, I am sitting in there with her, but at least she isn’t running around the house. Sometimes, I’ll even throw in some bubble bath, that is always good for a few laughs from both of us.
- Turn cleaning up into a game. I have always tried to teach R. to clean up after herself, but that doesn’t always work. When my sister and nephew came over during Christmas this year she taught us her Freeze Clean game. Put on some music (usually Pandora for us) and while the music is playing you clean. When the music stops, you have to freeze. Before we even start the game, I point out 5-6 things that R. can clean up on her own, so she has a focus in her cleaning and can’t sit there and say she doesn’t know what to do. Depending on how messy the house is, we can usually get it clean in just 3-4 songs.
- Just Dance. Have a dance party with your kids. Turn on some music and move your bodies. Is there anything cuter than a baby or toddler dancing? Music has been proven to help you de-stress so pop some on and have a dance party.
- Encourage them to help with chores. I set the president very early with R. that she could do age appropriate chores. Unloading the dishwasher? R. can sort and put away the silverware. Putting away laundry? R. can sort and put her clothes in the right drawers (the clothes aren’t folded nicely, but HEY they are away, and I didn’t have to do it.) Need to vacuum the floor? I give R. a broom and tell her to start sweeping. You will be surprised with just how much your kid can and would like to do. And if they decided they don’t want to help? Tell them they can either help or go play independently until you are done.
- Do some Yoga. I’m no yogie, but I do know some basic moves like downward dog, child’s pose, and worrier. I have taught R. that when she needs to center herself or calm herself down that we can do some yoga together. We clear the floor and do 5-10 minutes of basic yoga together.
Tips for Preventative Measures:
- Set up a schedule. As a Stay at Home Mama, we have no set schedule, our days are wide open and that can seem really daunting and stressful. Make a list of everything that has to get done each day, and then every week. Include breakfast, lunch, dinner, naptimes, playtimes, laundry, cleaning, cooking, errands. Then set up your daily and weekly schedule. R. knows our daily schedule; which looks something like this… breakfast, mommy works out during Q’s. first nap, then its playtime or errands, lunch, naptime, playtime, mommy cooks dinner, dinner, then bedtime routine. It’s very helpful to me knowing that our days follow the same flow, and R. can rely on certain things happening everyday.
- Try not to stress too much when your schedule has to change. Yes, I know I just told you to set a schedule, but as mom’s we know that sometimes things happen that throw everything off. Doctors appointment, the kids get sick, the baby is teething and doesn’t want to sleep. When this happens, just try to take a deep breath and pick up on your routine after you make it through.
- Get chores done while the kids are asleep. I know one point of stress for me is the kitchen. I love to cook but if I wake up to a messy kitchen, I feel like my whole day is thrown off. Knowing this, I try to do all the dishes, load and start the dishwasher, and wipe down the counters every night before I go to bed. This way when we come downstairs in the morning the kitchen is clean and ready for the day.
- Just breath. When the kids are stressing you out don’t forget to breath. I know this seems silly, who could forget to breath right?!? Try taking a large breath, hold it for a few seconds and then blow it out. Repeat 5-6 times and you will be surprised with how much calmer you feel.
- Find something just for you. Love to craft on your own? Make sure you take time to do that, maybe not daily, but at least weekly. This will also give you a sense of accomplishment. I personally don’t feel good unless I workout everyday. So I make sure that I get that done. R. either works out with me, or I have toys in the room here she can play independently while I get my sweat on. Yes, I get interrupted to open a snack, or wipe a booty, but at least I have worked out and done something for myself.
What are some of the Tips and Tricks you have found that help you de-stress and cope with being at home all day?