Parenting stress can make it hard to enjoy motherhood and being a mom. Learn how to stop feeling stressed and be more carefree.
There’s something about stress that makes your day ten times worse than it needs to be.
One time, I drove to the library to drop off overdue books only to find that it was closed. Great, I thought. Now I have to go back another day. I just wasted 20 minutes driving here for nothing. I can barely manage my time.
Then, the stress filters to the rest of your day. I got frustrated with my son when we had to walk back to his classroom for a forgotten lunch bag. This extra time only made us even later to pick up his brothers from preschool.
I found myself racing through traffic, trying to beat the clock. We finally arrive at the preschool, only to have one of the twins refuse to sit in the car seat.
And this is what our patience is up against—no wonder we lose it so quickly.
How to enjoy motherhood
But then I wondered, what if I treated these incidents like they were no big deal?
What if, instead of stressing about a forgotten lunch bag, I said, We’ll use a different bag tomorrow.
What if, instead of racing through traffic, I decided, We’re already late. What’s another five minutes?
What if, instead of flipping out about library books I didn’t return, I reminded myself, I’ll go back tomorrow. It’s really no big deal.
I’ve learned how quickly a hassle can escalate into the rest of the day, and how tough it can be to turn a bad day around. That’s why it’s so important to be more carefree about these hassles.
Because they’re just that—hassles. Another five minutes out of your day, another task to add to your to-do list. But at least that’s it. They’re gone the next day, if not sooner.
Let’s say you come home to a pile of dishes that’s been sitting in the sink since breakfast. Instead of heaving a sigh of frustration, what if you say, It’s there, but I’ll deal with it at some point.
Or, say your baby didn’t take a nap, even after rocking, swinging, or pushing him in a stroller. If you’re like me, your baby napping or not can be the defining factor of your day. And I get it—it’s frustrating rocking a baby to sleep for an hour and he doesn’t end up sleeping.
But imagine how much different your outlook would be if you accepted the circumstances. If you remembered all the other times he did nap.
One time, one of my twins wanted to use his toothbrush cup to spit water for fun. The kid just wanted to practice sloshing water in his mouth and spitting it out in the sink. I was about to say no, but then I thought, What’s the big deal?
Another time, his twin brother wanted to glue bits to a paper, an activity he hadn’t done in the past. Again, I was about to say no, but I asked myself why. I realized I assumed he’d make a mess, instead of seeing the moment as a fun and learning opportunity for him.
I’ll admit that the little stresses can trigger my stress and frustration. Being late, hearing the kids whining or disobeying on purpose—these things that can easily set me off.
But I’ve learned the power of letting it go and being more carefree—not so uptight all the time.
This isn’t a call to be permissive. Kids still have responsibilities, but only where it matters most. Hitting one another and tearing pages out of books need your attention. A messy craft or wanting to spit out of a cup, no.
Instead, let’s focus on enjoying being a parent. Even with their tantrums and messes, we forget how much fun kids are, too. If we let loose and let them be kids, we remember how to enjoy their company—and what a privilege that truly is.
Get more tips:
- 7 Reasons You’re Not Enjoying Motherhood
- THIS Is Why Your Child Is Testing You
- These Are the Things Your Kids Will Remember About You
- 5 Maya Angelou Quotes that Can Teach Us about Parenthood
- On Rediscovering Yourself After Motherhood
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