August 9, 2011

5 Sanity Savers for Stressed Out Moms


As a mother, I want to delight in my children.  I want them to look back on their childhoods and remember me as a cheerful, gracious and gentle woman.  But some days I am certain they are going to remember me as an angry, impatient dictator.

Sometimes I'm a grumpy mommy.  And a grumpy wife.  And not even that nice to the telemarketers.

But there are some things we can do to help relieve that stress, keep us focused on the things that truly matter, and remind us that our children are a blessing, not an inconvenience.

I am definitely still learning and growing in this area of stress, but  here are some tips that help to keep me from wanting to stab a number two pencil into my eye...

1. Spend time with God every day.   I know it's hard.  I know what it's like to be up at night with an infant and to want to sleep every minute you can before the older kids wake up and demand breakfast.  I know what it's like to tell myself I'll spend time with God later and then never actually do it. I know what it's like to get to the end of a day of tantrums and homeschool and dishes and laundry and physically not be able to keep my eye's open long enough to read a verse or two of scripture.  But let me ask you (and myself) this:  Is there any other relationship in your life that is of value to you in which you would ever consider saying "I'd rather do dishes than speak to you?  I'd rather get ten more minutes of sleep than hear what you have to say to me?"  I didn't think so.  Lets make time with God a priority.  And while you're at it, let go of any guilt you have for not doing so yesterday or the day before that,  because we have a God who beckons us to come to him when we are weary and heavy burdened and promises us His rest.

2. Read something every day that has nothing to do with children or housework or homeschooling or whatever you do during the day.  Read something you enjoy reading.  Cookbooks count if you find them really inspiring. And if possible read it on paper, not on a computer screen.

3. Get clean everyday.  Even if your not going anywhere.  And brush your hair before you throw it in it's ponytail.  Moms and pre-teen boys are pretty much the only people on the planet who need to be told to wash and groom themselves.  A bath or shower can be the difference between feeling human and feeling like dirt.

4. Do something creative every day.  It doesn't have to be anything monumental. You could just arrange a few items on your kitchen window sill in a way that appeals to you or put a pretty braided crust on that pie your baking.  And don't tell me you aren't creative. You were made in the image of the Creator, so create something today!

5.  Always go to bed with a tidy kitchen.  Not spotless, just tidy.  Starting your day with a tidy kitchen is like starting each day with a clean slate. Trying to make coffee and breakfast and today's to-do list with yesterdays dishes still on the counter is just a grumpy mama waiting to happen.
 

What did I miss? What helps you to keep calm on stressful days?

25 comments:

  1. The tidy kitchen does help a lot! It doesn't always happen, but when it does it helps me be less grumpy when I'm getting my daughter breakfast in the morning and don't have to straighten as I do it!

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  2. Get out of the house everyday. I tend to get cabin fever very fast if I don't make it out of the house every day. This was particularly bad when my daughter was very tiny and just going out to get the mail seemed like a monumental task so I made it a rule that I had to get out of the house everyday. When my daughter was a newborn this often meant just checking the mail or walking the dog but it helped. Now that she's a fast-moving 16mo the rule still applies but I tend to make it farther - to the garden to do some weeding, to the playground, to the park, to the library, ... you get the idea. It really helps with my sanity.

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  3. I need this post: Think I will print it out and put on my fridge! :) I especially like what you said about moms and teenage boys needing to be told to get clean! So true! It's just hard to make time for it sometimes.

    I would add to get out of the house, even if you're just going to take the trash off. Some days a change of scenery is all I (we) need to change our attitudes.

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  4. Do you know that you just spoke to my heart? I needed this post very much. Thank you a million times over. xoxo

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  5. Love your tips! It's hard being a mom and not a lot of people provide us with much encouragement... But you're right, learn to do these things, and do them for yourself, not someone else. Be your own reward giver and it'll lift your spirits up!

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  6. Dislike your preachy comments about GOD. Don't worry, I won't ever visit this site again.

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    1. it's kind of funny, usually when you dislike something you just move on. I think you liked it!

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  7. Love this post, love your site! I will definitely forward this to all my girlfriends!
    I've started to notice that if i start my day singing & quietly worshipping God and continue to sing throughout the day, both my daughter and i seem to have that peace that truly surpasses ALL understanding! Its like turning our focus to God just takes the edge off all those little inconveniences that could easily begin to build up the tension and frustration. And its so rewarding to see my 18 month old with her little hands in the air singing and praising God, it just melts my heart!

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. Now whoever commented as anonymous what's the point of being anonymous and talking trash and then saying you wont visit this GREAT site again if the blogger doesn't even know who you are? Typical! Ps. You clicked on the faith tab to read this post right? So expect the author to talk about her faith...anyways on with better things... this article is so inspiring. I'm learning as I go but if I get all this packed down right my baby sure will remember me as a cheerful mommy and not a grumpy one. "I learned the kitchen part on my first month as a new mommy, got to get the rest together" Thanks for posting this.

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    1. No, this was not under the "Faith" tab. It had the title "Stressed out Moms"

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    2. uh-oh! You visited this site again...

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  10. Hi there,
    I happened upon your blog accidentally and thought I'd check the Faith section while I was looking at decorating ideas. This was a lovely post I really needed to read today. I am also a mother of five with a family of 7 sharing one bathroom :) Lately I've been a very grumpy unsmiley sort of person to live with and have been feeling very flat and uncreative for months. Thank you for this lovely post.

    I will now get out of my jammies and brush my hair, that would be a good start.

    Oh, mums also need to be told to eat properly, we either eat junk or skip meals!

    God bless you and your family,
    Angela

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  11. Love, love, love this post! Thank you for it! :)

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  12. I feel as if I have spent hours reading through this entire blog! You are blessed and such a blessing to others. I often feel the internet and technology is one of the many detriments to this world, but you use it in a postive way that is such a alight and a strength to others!!! :) I pray God blesses you and your family in the new year!

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  13. I stumbled upon your blog while trying to find ways to organize clothes for my girls (6 and 2.5). Loved going through your blog. You have a lot of ideas that are simple and practical that I can actually use. I esp. liked what you say in the stressed out moms section. God had taken a back seat since I had my kids. I am not christian, but God is God in any religion and I can definitely use the advice to try and do a bit more. Reading about what other moms go through everyday and find a balance in life......Sometimes that is all the encouragement one needs. Thank you and Good Wishes to you!!

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  14. 1. Spend time with God every day. I wasn't expecting that one. I loved it, very inspiring and much needed. Mom's do become overwhelmed and busy and sometimes need a reminder. Thank you!

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  15. You are so encouraging! I have been trying to bring God back to center of my life since having a son, thank you for the great reminder!

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  16. This is beautiful. Thank you so much for the honesty and inspiration. Have a great week!
    -Sandy

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  17. I love this post! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only grumpy mommy and I'm not the only one struggling to make my morning God time.

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  18. This blog is amazing! I found you trying to learn how to create a rag quilt for my daughter and after browsing through everything i just wanted to say thanks! God absolutely led me to you for a much needed refresher! I really cherish these tips!

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  19. Very inspiring and touching...needed to hear that.

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  20. I just wanted to say that I too, feel like God's led me to your blog, and have gradually been working my way through your posts. I find you really honest and inspiring. I'm not a mum, but I am a wife and home-maker, who loves Jesus, and is trying- but some days are hard, right? I'm spending this week having a really good 'new year' clean, but think the little and often approach to the kitchen sounds much better!! Thanks :)

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  21. I have to tell you, I enjoy your blog immensely. My six month old and husband both benefit from your tips on spending less time on how the kitchen looks and more time with them, whether it's playing, cuddling, or going to the butterfly house here in Sioux Falls. Thank you for taking this journey to better yourself and get closer to Jesus. I hope to follow closely on your path :)

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