Do you know when I find myself yelling at my kids? When I’m tired and overworked. When I find myself laughing and enjoying my days more? I’m well rested and my love tank is full.
I know it can be difficult sometimes to be a calm mom. As a mother to four children, I know that moms carry a lot on their shoulders, and it can be hard sometimes to keep it together. Motherhood can bring up a lot of emotions. Feeling overwhelmed and tired can make it harder to fight anger and stay calm. This is especially true if you are a stay-at-home mom.
But staying calm is crucial, not only to our well-being but our children’s. Intentionally raising kind and gentle kids starts with being a calm mom, even in stressful situations.
How to Be a Calm Mom
When it comes to being a calm mom, you’ll need to discover strategies and practices that work best for you. Staying calm is daily work and I still work on this skill, over a decade later.
1. Take Time to Rest and Refuel
The most important thing is that you take care of yourself. I know that mom guilt can creep up, but just like all humans, you need time to rest and refuel. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Eventually, you will have nothing to give your family. Don’t forget to do something just for yourself at least once a day.
Even if it’s getting up early so you can enjoy your cup of coffee in peace, or taking a quick 15 minute break before dinner time, do something that’s for you. If you’ve got a helpful partner, work with them so you both have breaks and time for yourselves.
If you’re wondering how to practice self-care, I have three tips for you here.
2. Spend Less Time on Your Phone
I’ve written before about how more time on our phones isn’t always the best thing for our mental health. Spending less time on your phone can help you feel better as well as free up time for more important things such as sleep and other hobbies.
I know this is easier said than done as we are constantly connected to our phones. Social media is my job, which makes it extra difficult for me. Whenever I feel depleted energetically, I take a quick 24 hour break from social media and find that it does wonders.
3. Get Enough Sleep
I know your little ones will wake you early in the morning, which is why it’s so important to go to bed at a reasonable hour. This can be hard when you feel like you only get alone time once the kids are in bed. But sleep is also crucial to staying calm and working through stressful situations.
If you’re running on fumes, it can be difficult to prevent yourself from feeling angry. Try your best to create a restful sleep routine for yourself, so you can get your seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Exercise is crucial to us as human beings. Not only can exercise help you stay fit physically, but it’s amazing for mental health and learning to be a calm mom. Exercising can help us get out all of that overwhelm and stress trapped in our minds and bodies. Keep in mind that your exercise doesn’t need to be an intense workout at the gym. It can be as simple as taking a 15 minute walk outside or doing twenty minutes of a yoga video.
Figure out what works best for you, but be sure to move your body and get some kind of physical activity everyday.
5. Manage Your Expectations
Sometimes we expect too much from our children, especially our younger children. Maybe you had this amazing day planned, but your kid is having a meltdown because they’re exhausted. We’ve all been there, and it’s so frustrating. But the reality is that our kids are still growing in every sense of the word.
They might not be able to get through the amazing day you had planned and it’s not their fault or yours. There are many things in parenting that can’t be controlled, and our kids’ emotions are one of them.
Therefore try to keep your expectations realistic and cater your plans to what you know your kids can handle. Give yourself and your children more grace.
6. Figure Out Your Triggers
Learning your triggers is crucial to staying calm during difficult situations. Understanding what causes you to get upset means you can find ways to avoid those situations. This might mean practical solutions or emotional ones.
For example, coming home from work and still needing to cook dinner might stress you out. The solution could be using your Instantpot more or asking your husband to cook more during the week. Or if your finances allow, consider a meal planning service.
For me, a major trigger is a messy home which is hard to prevent with 4 kids and 2 dogs. I used to spend too much time fuming and stressed over something I had little control over. So now I make sure to invest in regular professional cleaning service as this leads to a happier and calm me.
Other triggers may require more emotional work on a deeper level like therapy or meditation. You may need to work through childhood trauma or other deeper emotional concerns that are causing you to lose your cool.
I find that parenthood is an important time that reveals all that needs to be addressed deep down inside and now may be the time to face them as adults.
Regardless, it’s crucial to identify your triggers so you can become a happier and calm mom for our children. They deserve the best version of us.
7. Find Ways to Stay Calm
When things get difficult, you need coping strategies so you can be a calm mom. This might mean taking a few deep breaths or even going into a separate room for a minute. You can even scream into a pillow or go for a drive if that’s helpful. Have a few strategies in place that you know work for you.
This might take a little trial and error. Figuring out your triggers is important because if you know why you’re upset, it’s easier to calm yourself down.
I personally find that journaling helps me to process my emotions and I always feel lighter after a good free writing session.
8. Listen to Your Kids
We often think we already know what our children are saying, but we don’t always. Sometimes we think we already know what happened and how something got broken or why something went wrong. But we’re not always correct.
During stressful situations, take the time to listen to your children’s words. Turning the situation into a conversation might help keep everything calm. Then you can talk through solutions together depending on the situation.
9. Bond With Your Kids and Don’t Take Things Too Seriously
Being with our children and being able to focus on them can be so joyful. You want to be able to enjoy your time with them, which means taking of yourself so you can be a calm mom. It’s so much harder to cherish our time with our children if we’re already feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and tired.
This means we need to meet our basic needs first, so we can meet theirs and have fun with them. Then you can set aside dedicated family time during which you do something fun, even if it’s as simple as building a pillow fort or watching a funny movie together.
Lastly, don’t take things too seriously. Kids will make mistakes, they will make a mess, they will do things that they are not supposed to. That’s part of childhood. Instead of seeing it as stressful, try to see it as a part of the stage. If you find that this is hard for you, you are most likely tired and overworked.
If you want to be a calm mom, learning how to take care of yourself is essential. Learn how to avoid mom burnout too so that you can stay present for your kids.
What do you do to become a calm mom? Share your ideas below!