Stress Management for Moms

Article by Ann Gatty

Moms know that their job as “Mom” is probably one of the toughest jobs to handle. With varied family and professional responsibilities, multiple schedules to keep track of, and activities to attend all over the geographic map, it’s no wonder that acquiring the skills of a magician is a valuable asset. It’s easy for moms to become frazzled as you race against the clock trying to complete the many tasks that confront you everyday. To gain a sense of control over your life before it spirals out of control, slow down and follow these steps specifically developed as effective stress management for moms.

Develop A Clarity of Purpose

When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you have a realistic sense of what you are all about? Yes, you can list all of the many roles you fill in a given day, anywhere from taxi driver, to nurse, to cook and housekeeper. But at the end of the day, what really matters in your life? What is the legacy you hope to leave behind? Such a heavy concept may seem to be something you want to put off until a calmer time in your life, but you already know your talents and your values. (If not, check out my coaching programs.)So, what is the message you want to leave for others? “Race against the clock?” I think not! “Take care of everyone else’s needs first.” Not a healthy choice! It may be simply to show respect for others, share your talents and play nice. Whatever your mission may be, having it clarified in your head is great stress management for moms. With so many different responsibilities to address each day, having an overall purpose can keep the completion of your daily tasks in perspective. Knowing what you are trying to accomplish in the long run can help you stay motivated during the rough patches when family and professional responsibilities seem to be overly demanding and you can’t seem to get anything done.

Establish A Well Defined Set of Priorities

Next in the stress management for moms program, establish your own healthy and well defined set of priorities. Having priorities about what matters in life will take you a long way in life and help you remain focused on attaining your goals. Having 3 or 4 realistic goals you want to accomplish at this time in your life allows you to move forward with a set direction. One of the best stress management tools out there is simply allowing your you want to accomplish at this time in your life allows you to follow a set direction. One of the best stress management tools out there is simply allowing your inner compass to chart your own life course. Having priorities helps you make decisions about which tasks are more important to address and when it’s appropriate to say “no” to certain requests for assistance. As a mom, you can’t do it all. Having priorities lets you more easily keep focused on what’s important.

Choose Your Friends Wisely

Stress management for moms includes developing a healthy and strong support network. Living in isolation can make you feel out of touch with the rest of the world and even stay at home moms, attending to young children can feel alone, separated from adult contact. If you are a stay at home mom, you will feel less stress if you develop a strong support system—that small core of trusted women whom you can rely on for advice. Stress management for moms includes having safe, enriching friends who are non-judgmental. You don’t need many close confidants but those who you choose should provide support during both stressful and happy times. Seek to surround yourself with like-minded women who share your core values. Return the favor by being a good friend to your friends.

Maintain a Positive Inner Voice

There is nothing worse than playing the comparison game with other women. There will always be some mom who is more efficient, prettier, thinner, richer, or seemingly happier than you. Daily you balance your family’s household needs (including laundry, meal making, cleaning, shopping and organizing) with time management tasks (including homework, school activities, your own career schedule and doctor’s appointments). That alone takes a lot of energy. Yet, if you fall into the comparison game, you will lose. There is no effective stress management for moms who allow themselves to be influenced by negative inner-voice comments devaluing their worth. Spending your valuable time listening to this negative inner voice gets in your way of living a fully productive and happy life. If you are allowing negativity to affect your life, write down the common negative comments and notice what patterns keep re-occurring. List the comments and rewrite them into positive affirmations. This can take some practice, but keep working at changing negative comments into more positive statements. Stress management for moms includes being happy with the way you are without criticizing yourself for not being perfect.

Ann Gatty is a certified teacher, author, organizational strategist and personal consultant. She has taught in classrooms, museums, boardrooms and employee seminars. She has mentored and coached. She is a mother of two young adult boys. Dr. Gatty has developed self growth curriculum for personal coaching and educational curriculum in organizational leadership, museum studies, and teacher development. She has enjoyed supervising student teachers and mentoring young professionals entering the workforce. From her work and personal experiences, she finds a continuous need among women, of all walks of life, to find answers to questions about their life balance, goals, and health. Ann Gatty earned a Ph.D. in Instruction and Learning from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Education. Previously she received a M.A. in Education and Museum Studies from the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) and a B.A. in history from Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, VA).

 

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