You know the feeling. There’s a half hour until dinner, one kid is worried about the homework project that they’ve left until the last minute, another is throwing a tantrum about what you’ve chosen to cook, and you just realized you’ll need to pick up another one from piano lessons in five minutes. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed. But, one of my favorite pieces of parenting advice is don’t join the chaos when your kids are chaotic. For me, that means being a calm mom. One who can be calm in the chaos. It’s no secret that being a mom can be stressful, but learning how to be a calm mom can make all the difference in your family life.
Why does it matter if you are a calm mom?
As a mom, you are the emotional center of your family. When you are calm, you set the tone for your household. Your children will learn how to manage their own emotions by watching how you manage yours. When you are calm, you are better able to communicate with your children, listen to them, and make sound decisions. Being a calm mom can also help you manage your own stress and avoid burnout.
Self-care makes for a calm mom
Being a calm mom starts with taking care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will find it difficult to manage the daily demands of parenting. Here are some pre-emptive care strategies that you can use to help you be a calm mom:
Spend time alone–Make time for yourself every day. Put down your phone and do something that you enjoy. This could be reading a book, taking a bath, or going for a walk or bike ride. It’s easier to give from yourself when you feel as if you’ve got something to give.
Get enough sleep–Sleep is crucial for managing stress and staying calm. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
Exercise daily–Exercise is a great stress reliever. Even just a 10-minute walk can help you feel better. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise when you can though! I find that I manage my calm so much better on days that I’ve taken the time to exercise.
Set up good routines–Good routines can help everything run more smoothly. A good evening and morning routine can help you and your kids get ready for the day ahead.
Declutter your schedule–Simplify your life by saying no to things that don’t bring you joy. Focus on the things that matter most to you and your family.
Declutter your home and life–A cluttered home can lead to a cluttered mind. Take the time to declutter your home and your life. This will help you feel more organized and in control.
Strategies to be a calm mom
Once you have put into place basic self-care for yourself, you can start working on specific strategies for how to be a calm mom. Try these ideas:
Adjust your expectations–It’s important to remember that you can’t do everything. You’re only human, and your kids are just kids. Adjust your expectations and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I’ve noticed that the times I feel the most stressed are when I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to do a lot.
Play with your kids–Sometimes the best way to manage stress is to have fun. Throw an impromptu dance party or be silly with your kids. Playing with your kids can help you feel more connected to them and less stressed.
Think about the consequences–Before losing your temper, think about the consequences and effects of your actions. Will losing your temper make the situation better or worse? For me, I know that losing my cool doesn’t ever help, and I end up apologizing to my kids afterwards
Evaluate your day–Take the time to evaluate your day and identify when your most stressful times are. Think of solutions that can help you manage those stressful times.
Connect with your kids–Listen to your kids and show them that you care. Make time for them every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes of quality time.
Give yourself a timeout–When you feel yourself getting stressed or angry, give yourself a timeout. Take a few deep breaths or step outside for a few minutes to calm down.
Lean on your support system–It’s important to have a support system that you can lean on when you need it. Call a friend to talk or drop off the kids with your mom so you can decompress and feel better.
Let people be wrong–Understand that you can’t control everything and everyone. Let people be wrong and focus on what you can control.
Remember that you are responsible for your actions at all times–As a mom, you are a role model for your children. Show your children how to manage their emotions and handle difficult situations with grace.
Focus on the present–It’s easy to get caught up in the past or worry about the future. Instead, focus on the present moment. This will help you stay calm and centered.
Decide if you’d rather be happy or right–Sometimes it’s more important to be happy than to be right. Choose your battles wisely and try to find a compromise that works for everyone. I find this to be especially important when my tween wants to argue about things that don’t really matter. I’m able to show up a bit more calm if I decide I’d rather just be happy
Get up before your kids–Take the time to get up before your kids and do something that matters to you. This could be reading a book, practicing yoga, or just enjoying a cup of coffee without interruption.
Feel and notice your anger–When you feel angry or frustrated, take the time to notice and acknowledge your emotions. How do they feel in your body? What might be causing your anger. This can help you better manage your emotions in the moment.
Take the time to think about why you are upset–Before reacting, take the time to think about why you are upset. This can help you better understand your emotions and respond in a more calm and productive way.
Think about the big picture–In the grand scheme of things, how important is this moment? Thinking about the big picture can help you keep things in perspective and avoid getting caught up in small details.
Look for solutions before losing your temper–Instead of losing your temper, take the time to look for solutions. This can help you avoid a negative outcome and find a more positive solution.
Take time to understand the situation–Before reacting, take the time to understand the situation. This can help you respond in a more effective way and avoid unnecessary conflict.
Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques—Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help you manage stress and stay calm. Try practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.
Use your feelings as a trigger for something else–Get into the habit of taking a few minutes alone anytime you are feeling annoyed or upset. Use this time to practice mindfulness, deep breathing, or another relaxation technique.
In conclusion, being a calm mom takes practice and effort, but it is worth it for both you and your family. By taking care of yourself, adjusting your expectations, and practicing relaxation techniques, you can learn how to manage stress and be a more calm and centered mom. Remember that you are the emotional center of your family, and by being calm, you set the tone for your household. With these strategies, you can be a positive role model for your children and create a more peaceful and loving home environment.