Stress Management Tips for Parents

Being a parent can be very stressful.  There are situations that you never thought you’d encounter.  And while dealing with office politics, sucking up to your boss and getting your work done are all skills you need to get ahead in the corporate world, none of these are of any use when being a parent.  Dealing with small individuals with minds of their own can be very stressful.  It’s no wonder that parents have more stress than ever.  Here are some time to help you better handle the stress of being a parent.

  • Take Care of Yourself  – Moms especially feel like there is no time for themselves.  You may work, have bills to pay and dinners to make.  It seems as if the work is never done – and it isn’t and won’t be.  So give yourself permission to do something for yourself – this will help avoid burnout.   Your kids will notice when you’re well rested and relaxed.  Stressed moms lead to stressed kids.   Take some time for yourself – find a babysitter, a relative or a friend who can give you a break.  Go get a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop and sit there for at least an hour.  Read a book, sip some coffee, peoplewatch.  Don’t talk on the phone or check your email.  You will feel relaxed and rested and better able to handle the kids when you return to the real world.   Don’t let more than a few weeks go by without taking some time for yourself.
  • Get Some Fresh Air – if you have small kids, through them in the stroller and go to the park.  Stroll along. look at nature, let them play on the playground while you relax on the park bench – encourage them to play with other kids or each other, allowing you some time to chill out.
  • Dance the Stress Out – Have more silly time with your kids.  Physical activity is a great stress management technique and as a busy parent it can sometimes be difficult to hit the gym.  So get funny with your kids.  Put on some fun music (I like classic 80s) and rock out with the kids. Play air guitar and head bang.  You will all feel better in no time.
  • Get Your Circle – we all need friends – even parents.  Finding friendship, even companionship can help bust stress.  Find a support group of other parents you can talk to – even if it’s just on the playground or at the bus stop – no these other parents do not need to replace your BFF from kindergarten – but your shared experiences as parents will help you form enough of a bond to enjoy each other’s company for awhile.
  • You Are Not A Servant – Parenting small children can sometimes feel like you’re a servant – after all they really can’t do much on their own – except create messes.  As they get older, moms sometimes find it’s easier to do things for their kids than taking the time to help them do things on their own – like clean up toys, set the table, get dressed, etc.  This constant servitude will drive you out the door and to a motel for a nervous breakdown faster than you can say, “Don’t spill…”  So establish some house rules about what your kids are expected to do.  Even having your kids hang their coats and put their clothes away can help reduce some of your chores – and make you feel less stressed out.
  • Ditch Perfection for Just Perfect Enough – Trying to be perfect can be extremely stressful – so don’t try to do it.  Except that as a parent somethings just don’t have to be perfect – like the cleanliness rating on your house.  Your kids want to feel safe and loved.  They are blind to the crumbs, so save yourself so stress and let forget to clean up one night – and don’t get stressed about it.

Nope, no one told you that raising kids would be so stressful for parents.  Oftentimes parents stress about the little things – when really they should be focusing on the big picture – making sure their kids feel safe and loved.  So go forth RichMamas and take some time to destress.

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