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 the 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 and threw off our schedule.
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 (and feel intense guilt after).
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 could say, We’ll use a different bag tomorrow. Instead of racing through traffic, I could decide, We’re already late. What’s another five minutes? And instead of being upset about books I didn’t return, I could remind myself, I’ll go back tomorrow. It’s really no big deal.
I’ve learned how quickly a hassle can escalate into anxiety and exhaustion. 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 and their ensuing emotions.
Because they’re just that—hassles. Another five minutes out of your day, another task or chore 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 perspective 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 piece of 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.
But I’ve learned the power of changing your mindset and letting it go. About being a more carefree mama and not so uptight all the time.
This isn’t a call to be permissive. Kids still have responsibilities and boundaries, but only where it matters most. Behaviors like hitting one another and tearing pages out of a book need your attention. A messy craft or not doing their laundry, not so much.
Instead, let’s focus on enjoying being a parent. Even with their temper tantrums and messes, we forget how much fun kids are, too. If we let loose and let them be young children, 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 About Parenthood
- On Rediscovering Yourself After Motherhood
Free resources: Feeling stuck in motherhood? Want to enjoy raising your kids again? Sign up for the Motherhood Motivation 5-Day Challenge! You’ll get one actionable tip a day that can make you think (and act) about motherhood differently. You’ll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:
“Wow, this is so beautifully and perfectly written. This message was right on time and a mantra I can use. Thank you for this.” -Erin B.