Oh, hey there! Guess who else sometimes feels defeated and exhausted in motherhood?
This girl right here.
That’s right. Some days get the best of me.
I am tripping over magnetic tiles, and the boys are on their 12th snack of the day because they are staaaaarviiiiing, and laundry is on its third wash: Nope, no mildew smell over here. We are smooth sailing.
These things can make me want to hop in the car and peel out of the driveway.
I wouldn’t even go very far. Probably just around the block a couple of times listening to the birds as the windows let ALL the air in.
But we all know. That just isn’t possible.
These little people inside need me to be home. They need me to be present.
And so, I try to find little ways to make myself happy so we can all hang together in harmony—a little for me and a piece for them.
I call these “Mom Needs a Minute” stress-free life hacks.
So here they are. When the playroom looks like it exploded, and you are on your last sip of cold coffee, take this list and do something that will make you (and your kids) smile.
This may sound obvious, but I mean it. Pack them up. Put them in the car, and leave.
Keep in mind that leaving does not mean you have to spend money. See our list of 50+ Free Ideas Here. Print it. Then take your finger, scroll down, and go where it lands.
Leave even if the house is a mess. Do you know why? Everyone is cranky. Cranky kids clean worse than happy kids. Get them out. Give everyone a break, and come back to clean.
2. BUY AND USE A STROLLER THAT FITS ALL
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…and keep the ones you’ve always had.
Have you seen our quad stroller?
It gets all sorts of reactions as we pass people. Some roll down the window, and others smirk as they pass. It is ALWAYS entertaining to watch and see the responses.
But this quad stroller of mine is my lifeline. It helps me press the reset button and jump back in once my endorphins are given a gigantic boost. What it is not is easy to push. But I feel stronger doing it.
I think of new blog posts and ways to solve personal issues when working out. It is impressive what movement can do for your mind.
We also have a double and single stroller.
Not because we love to spend money on strollers, but because we use strollers every day.
We purchased strollers with good tires to last over four years of everyday use.
Strollers can be expensive, but I find it worth it when they are both physical and mental health. Below are affiliate links:
One trick we stick to is creating a destination point for them to get out and move. “When we get to the grass area down the hill, you can get out.”
3. PHONE A FRIEND
When I was talking with Susie from Busy Toddler about this, she said:
“When I am about to give up, I start to text EVERYONE I know. It’s much easier for parents if someone is sitting with you and you can parent together. SOMEONE always answers.”
Sounds brilliant to me. I need to do more of this. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my schedule that I forget how important socializing can be.
4. PHONE A BABYSITTER
Is that friend not answering? How dare she.
Next up, try a babysitter that you know and trust.
Repeat after me. “It is okay to ask for help.” Now say that three times.
This summer, I used a neighbor 2 hours a week for $10 an hour. It wasn’t much time OR money, but it bought me some time alone. – Actually, time alone means I still have my youngest with me, but it still felt like a much-needed break.
Find someone you trust; get yourself a break, even if that means sitting at Starbucks alone. Who doesn’t love people watching?
5. ADD WATER
Some days you just cannot leave, and you also feel as if you cannot survive. The clock seems to be creeping.
Do you know what to do?
I add water and ice to our outdoor play space and let them have it. Scooping, pouring, dumping, and filling are essential for child development and allow you to sit back for a couple of minutes as you watch them play.
Let them get wet.
My solution to that is when they are finished; you toss the clothes straight into the wash. Then throw them a change of clothes. It is pretty simple.
I stay very close to my youngest (15 months) and observe him. I also fill the large storage bin with just a little water. A swim diaper helps when I have the energy to change it.
You can find a complete list of sensory water activities here.
6. STRETCH YOUR MOUTH
Okay, imagine this. Take your mouth and stretch it all the way open. Now, take your mouth and stretch it in every direction. FULLY EXTEND your mouth in every way.
This will look strange. But it helps release the tension in the neck.
Full disclosure, I tried to Pinterest an image for you, and it was a fascinating search. I don’t suggest it.
#1 was to leave the house a mess. Yet sometimes, when you cannot go, finding something to clean or clean out (that storage closet) can be very therapeutic.
Take just a few minutes to find that closet or draw bothering you and have at it. It will feel as if you just lifted a heavy load off your shoulders when it is done.
8. MAKE A LIST
For #8, I asked my Instagram community what they do when they feel overwhelmed. Many people responded that they make a list. Some even mentioned that “take a shower” gets added if they haven’t yet.
Making a list can be such a helpful tool. You feel accomplished when you cross it out, and it is a visual reminder of all you do every day. I am 100% adding this to my bag of tricks.
9. TURMERIC GINGER TEA
I have found the most calming tea by Rishi. I try and drink Rishi Turmeric Ginger Tea every night before diving into work.
Read all about the benefits of turmeric here from one of my favorite blogs, Nutrition Stripped.
Here are YOUR stress management ideas.
Are you ready for this? They are SO GOOD!
The following are more amazing ideas from my Instagram community that I have not yet mentioned. You guys BLEW me away with your answers. Here are just a few.
You are not alone!
- PRAY. Then make a list of JUST 3 things to get done so I am not looking at my never-ending list.
- Get drive-thru Starbucks and drive around singing silly songs together.
- Stop. Take a deep breath and remind me they are only little for a short time.
- Take them outside if I am not already.
- Count to 10.
- Tell my husband, so the stress and anxiety don’t have power over me.
- Get a peanut butter Oreo milkshake from Sonic!
- Hide in the pantry and eat chocolate.
- Make something easy for dinner, like french toast and eggs!
- Turn on good music to reset, or hop in the shower for a breather. Both work!
- Set a timer. Take a mommy timeout. Pick one thing to complete.
- Lower my expectations of myself and’/or my kid. I also yell and cry.
- Put the phone in the drawer and focus on my kiddo.
- Let my kids play in the shower.
- We play a sensory game. I have my kids get (relatively) quiet, and we listen for five things. It grounds me at the moment.
- It used to eat, but currently, it is exercise!
- Go outside. It seems backward, but it helps to be surrounded by things “bigger” than me.
- When I get a moment to myself, I flip through photos on my phone of my kids and remember they’re not always annoying.
Whichever strategy you choose, remember that in 1/2 day, I had over 100 people message me sharing stress management ideas.
If that doesn’t tell you we are in this together, I don’t know what does!
Comment below! What do you do?