3 reasons to reduce your stress as a mom - The Bossy House

3 reasons to reduce your stress as a mom

reduce your stress

If you're a mom, you're stressed. This study looking at gender and stress is incredibly clear: women should reduce their stress. They are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men.

And married women are more likely to report symptoms than single women, and more likely to be stressed than they themselves were as single women.

And, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 80% of family health care decisions are made by women, which saddles mothers with the added role of family health manager.

Why does this matter? 

I know from working with all kinds of moms that their stress levels are not being addressed. 

And it MATTERS that you reduce your stress. Here are three reasons why reducing your stress in motherhood matters. For you and for your family. 

reduce your stress

Reduce your stress because you deserve a good life

You deserve a good life, one free of the mental and physical stress that sits on moms.

If for no other reason than you are a human person deserving of a good life, and if you haven't heard this today: 

You are not meant to self-sacrifice for others.

You may choose a job (of motherhood) that is stressful or has periods of stress, but you are COMPLETELY in charge of how that role is managed.

No matter the sexism we were raised with, no matter the gender roles that make our parenting role more stressful, and no matter the difficulties we face setting up a equitable partnership at home. 

We deserve better. 

Subtle messaging: we should do it all

The subtle or not so subtle insinuation that all the household jobs are ours is NOT inherent reality. 

It does not have to be true. 

Sometimes we might feel like all the parenting is our responsibility, or all the thinking and planning are our responsibility

YOU get to set up motherhood however it best suits you. 

You deserve that just because you are a whole person. 

In case that doesn’t hit you, because for so many of us we accept hardship and stress so that others can thrive,

I'm here to remind you: you deserve a good life.

And if that means it's time to reduce your stress, here I am.  

reduce your stress with a nap, mom

Reduce your stress for your family

One of the biggest predictors of the way our children will handle stress is by looking at the way WE handle stress.

So if #1 doesn't hit you, here's #2:

The way you manage stress is the way your family learns to manage stress.

Overeating? Going into regular rages? Withdrawing? t, 

That's what your kids will grow up to do when they're stressed. 

If you'd prefer that they handle stress by taking care of themselves mentally and physically, start taking care of yourself when you're stressed.

That means talking it out, getting more rest, getting time away to recharge, getting help, and lightening your load. 

Do it for them. You'll benefit too. 

Reduce your stress to show up better

When we’re stressed we CONSERVE our energy. 

We withdraw, ignore a cry, lash out when we’re overwhelmed. That is all normal. 

Unless you are getting regular rest and time for yourself, you’re not able to really be there for your family the way you want to. 

Getting time away makes you a better parent when you’re present with them.

If the pattern of your parenting is to completely stress yourself out to the point of disconnection, your kids are missing out on critical connection with you. 

The bottom line is that our kids NEED our energy and love. They need us to be attentive to them, responsive to their needs, there when they cry. 

If we are too exhausted and overwhelmed, we don't have energy for the human side of parenting. 

I'm not suggesting you ignore the dishes so you can attend to your kids' needs. I'm suggesting that getting enough rest, recharge time, and exercise is critical for your health as well as the health of your family. 

Connected parenting is critical for your family

A recent study shows how MORE nurturing mothers actually change the brain of the child. Brain images have now revealed that a mother’s love physically affects the volume of her child’s hippocampus. 

So it turns out, the most important factor in your kids’ growth and development is YOU. 

When you're stressed, you can't provide that. 

Unless you are getting regular rest and time for yourself, you’re not able to really be there for your family the way you want to.

Reduce your stress for yourself and your family

When my daughter was born, I was struggling with breastfeeding. It was SO painful. I dreaded feeding her and had seen a dozen consultants who told me that I should stop. 

I went for her 1 month checkup and her pediatrician, someone I’d known in the community for 20 years, took one look at me and said “you do not look good.” 

I explained how important it was for her to get breastmilk and how difficult it was, but that I was doing it all. 

What he told me has stuck with me all these years later. He said “The benefits of breastmilk are clear. But what is MORE important than breastmilk is the mother’s happiness. If you are suffering, your child is suffering.”

That conversation helped me move from breastfeeding to exclusive pumping, which I did for a year. 

Once I wasn’t dreading feeding her because of the pain, I actually could enjoy being with her when she was eating. I got more sleep.

And when I went back to work, I found exclusive pumping to be really good for a school principal who needed a structured time to pump at the same time every day AND good sleep at night. 


Improving your well being improves the family

Improving YOUR happiness and well being improves the world your children occupy.

The mother is the ecosystem for the baby, but as my daughter has grown I’ve found that I’m still her ecosystem. It’s an emotional ecosystem now. The more stressed I am, the more it impacts her. 

The impacts of parental stress has been well researched. Research has found that the emotional well-being of moms can impact our kids during a really important time of brain development, something RAPID-EC researchers call “a hardship chain reaction.”

That means kids might be fussy, anxious, fearful or worry more. Stressed out moms may be less responsive, which leads to a cycle of stress in the family.

So if you ARE a mom, KNOW a mom, or love a mom, be thinking about how to help her reduce her own stress. 

It's not hopeless

And if this all feels completely hopeless because no one gets it, or o one sees you, or your partner is stressed out enough or you are in a situation that you can’t find your way out of,

Or if you have YOUNG kids, your kids are going through a hard time and need you right now, or you can't financially afford any extra help, 

I understand. But it’s not hopeless. 

Even if you have no extra hours in the day, no available help, and no extra resources, there’s something you can try. 

Start with systems.

Reduce your stress by setting up systems

As a working single mom I’ve never had any nearby family and have had to go through big periods of being desperate for help (and unable to get it). 

But the one thing I have been able to do is put systems in place to make life easier for me at home. 

I’m talking about systems for automating tasks, for delegating some of the jobs that take up mental energy, and using less brain energy to accomplish tasks. 

We’re not talking about organizing your house to have an amazing organized house. We’re talking about setting up systems at home so the work of managing a house and a family is easier on you. 

Sometimes people say “just leave the dishes” but you and I know that the dishes pile up and then it’s harder to do them and then it takes more time. That’s not realistic to say “save energy by ignoring your house.” 

But there ARE strategies you can put in place that allow you to have a workable home and reduce your stress. 

Check out some of my resources or my on-demand workshop to see if setting up systems can support you at home in reducing your stress. Cheering you on from here!