When I entered motherhood almost 13 years ago, I was pretty calm and patient. But, as baby grew, so did my stress and it didn’t take long before I was angry, frustrated, and worn out. Over the years I’ve picked up some ways to be a calmer stay at home mom, though, and to be honest it’s not that difficult to keep my cool anymore. Usually.
Maybe I have some excuse for my poor parenting early on. I got pregnant with my oldest daughter when I was just 16, and she was born when I was 17. When you’re just a kid yourself, it’s tough to keep your cool. As my little girl moved past the baby stage (which I’ve always found myself pretty patient with), it was tough wrangling a spirited toddler!
Then add in the stress of working, having a second child less than two years later, and running a household it got to me. But you don’t need to be a young mother for those things to get to you too. Parenting is hard at every age, and every stage.
Now I have 5 little darlings and sometimes life is overwhelming and chaotic. Sometimes I scream just to be heard over the screaming! Being a calmer stay at home mom is an ongoing thing that I need to keep working at and revisiting.
How to be More Calm as a Stay at Home Mom
Being a stay at home mom has its own challenges when it comes to staying calm. You’re with your kids 24-7 and most of us never get a break. When we do, it’s often a huge ordeal to make that happen. These tips are perfect for stay at home moms to be calmer because they don’t expect you to do anything outside of what you’re already doing.
1. Find your triggers
Before you can do anything to be more calm, you have to first figure out what it is that makes you angry in the first place. For me, it’s my kids screaming. And when they’re absolutely refusing to listen.
Maybe you get angry out in public? Or is it mess making that gets to you? Find your specific triggers and make note of them. Then you can focus on the areas you struggle with the most first.
2. Create a calming environment
A lot of why I get frustrated isn’t my kids, it’s my kids and everything else. When there’s stuff everywhere and the house is cluttered I’m much less calm.
Be proactive and find ways to make your home a more calming place to be in. Kick the clutter or give the place a good cleaning. Pare down the kids’ toys, especially if they just dump them out. Maybe even add some nice, calming scents to your main living areas.
3. Adjust routines to minimize stress
When my kids are in school mornings can be a huge source of stress and frustration. They’re so slow and can’t seem to do anything on their own. Trying to get the 5 of them, plus myself, ready and out the door can be a huge challenge.
Look at the routines in your life that need work. Is there anything you can do to make them go more smoothly? For me, it’s prepping more the night before and waking up before the kids to get some coffee in me.
4. Work on your physical health
I admit it: I get cranky when I’m hungry. As a busy mom, I regularly skip meals. It then leads me to binge eating or eating junk, which is affecting my ability to lose weight. The problem is sometimes I’m starving at 11am before realizing I haven’t eaten anything yet! I’m just that busy!
It’s important that, as moms, we take care of our health. Not only is just overall a good thing, it will actually make you calmer. Exercise is a known stress reliever! Dehydration can lead to headaches, which would make anyone cranky. Even just feeling tired and sluggish is enough to make a mom’s fuse shorter.
Try and get more sleep, if you can. If you can’t, try and improve the quality of your sleep. Even if that means kicking your snoring husband out a few nights a week or finally night training your toddler.
5. Focus on your mental health
Most of the time a stay at home mom struggling to be calmer is dealing with a lot more than just the kids. Being ‘on’ 24-7 is enough to stress anyone out! Plus odds are you have more than just parenting going on in your life, which can pile on the stress.
Take care of yourself in every way that you can. Or any way that works for you. It might be 15 minutes of reading or journaling before bed. A weekly bubble bath. A Friday night spin class. Try different things until you find something that works.
6. Decide you’re going to be calmer
This is one of those things that only works if everything else is in your favour. Once you’ve created an environment where you can be calm, you have to decide you’re going to be calmer.
What that looks like is starting each day with a positive outlook. Really change your mindset when it comes to how you approach issues throughout the day. Ask yourself: is this really worth getting upset over?
7. Don’t cry over spilled milk
Kids are still learning. You have to keep that in mind! As a stay at home mom, sometimes it feels like the kids are just trying to run you ragged. It’s hard! But you have to keep things in perspective.
You know the phrase “don’t cry over spilled milk”, right? Well don’t get angry over it either. Accept that kids will make mistakes, and it will be frustrating. But how you approach it is still up to you.
8. Remember you’re in control
I know personally I lose control most when I feel like everything is out of control. And it’s true: sometimes we can’t control the world around us. But that’s why we need to focus on what we can control more than ever in those moments.
What are you in control of? Yourself. That includes your emotions, even anger and frustration. You can control if you’re a calm SAHM or not.
9. Start fresh every day
You’re not perfect! Don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes. And definitely don’t hold yourself to unrealistic expectations. Mary Poppins was the nanny, after all. You can’t be like her.
When you have a bad day let it go at the end of the day. Then start each morning with a clean slate and a positive attitude. Each morning is a new opportunity to try again and do better.
10. Don’t give up, you can do this!
If you’re trying to be a calmer stay at home mom it can be difficult at first. Especially if you feel like you’re failing your kids. Even small changes are going to make a big difference here!
Don’t give up trying to be a calmer stay at home mom. You can do this!