Stress, it creeps up on you even when you try so hard to keep it away. This past week was a rough one. It wasn’t bad or anything like that it was just kind of hard. I had so much on my mind that I knew I needed to get done and my children wouldn’t let me do much of anything. As the to-dos began to pile up so did my stress level.
Friday came around and I had enough. I decided I was just done. I was done trying to get things finished. I was done trying to get the kids under control. I was done trying to manage life for the day. I sat at the top of my staircase so overwhelmed. The screams and cries of the kids flooded my ears and my thoughts raced through my mind. I felt myself starting to have a panic attack. My chest got tight, my breathing sped up, and I could hear my heartbeat loud and clear. I was so stressed out it brought on anxiety. I took that moment to tone the kids out and take some deep breaths. I did cry a little bit but once I was done I felt all the weight that was on my shoulders lift.
With stress sometimes comes self-doubt. For me when I leave my house a mess for longer than a day I feel like a bad wife because my husband has to come home to a messy home with toys thrown everywhere and the dishes piled high. If I don’t get to play with Bradley because Ali Rae is requiring extra attention I feel like I’m neglecting him. When I’m trying to get laundry done and Ali Rae is screaming I feel like a bad mom for allowing her to scream for so long, and when I don’t get the laundry done I feel bad because now my husband doesn’t have clean clothes or he has to dig through a basket to find what he needs. All of these things make me question my ability as a mother and a wife. Thought such as “am I a good enough mom?” “Does my husband deserve better?” “Am I neglecting my children?” “Am I doing something wrong” “maybe I’m not cut out to do the things I would like to do.” Etc.
My confidence drops and I start to feel like a failure.
So, what do I do? How do I manage the stress that comes with some days and keeps those nasty doubting thoughts out of my head? Here are some things that I do:
Listen to Worship Music
I do this mainly in the morning when I can feel our day is off to a rough start. Say Bradley is cranky and Ali Rae is non stop crying. This can make me start to feel rushed and like I can’t do anything so then the anger and frustration start to build up. I’ll put YouTube on the tv and play some worship music. This helps uplift all of our moods. It gets me to have a more positive attitude, Ali Rae calms down, and Bradley gets happy dancing around.
This one may sound a bit odd, but sometimes it’s good to walk away from the chaos or whatever it is stressing you out.
If my little ones are going wild and I’m trying to get things done I will walk away from what I’m doing and just go into a room for 5 minutes just to be alone. During this time I block out EVERYTHING. My to-do’s, the kids, my thoughts, all of it. It’s a short amount of time but it helps recharge my mind so that I don’t explode.
Take Some Deep Breaths
As I said before while I was sitting on my stairs I sat and took a few deep breaths. This helped me relax and helped me calm down before I had a full panic attack.
Crying is something not many of us like to do especially in front of our kids. We hold in the tears as best as we can until the feeling goes away. Crying can be good though. It helps release all those negative built up feelings. I am one of those who hold in my tears, but sometimes I just let go. I cry in front of my kids, while I’m using the bathroom, in the shower, before bed, sometimes even while I’m cooking. My day can be a lot sometimes and holding in my feelings just doesn’t work. After I cry I do feel A TON better!
Talk About It
I know to some people it sounds like complaining & talking about what stresses us out doesn’t get things done, but it does help just to vent. My husband or my best friend is my go-to people. At the end of my day, I’ll just talk about how it went and what I needed to get done but didn’t get a chance to or how the kids were acting. It doesn’t “fix” or “change” anything but it gets it off my mind which is a big relief.
I find myself talking to Jesus through my day all the time. When I feel angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, annoyed, happy, excited, whatever the case I’m talking to him about it. When it comes to things that stress me out and overwhelm me Jesus is the one I run to. Talking to Jesus helps me focus on what’s most important at the time. It helps the ugly feelings go away and the good ones overflow.
Now as for battling with self-doubt this one is tough for some of us. I do a couple of different things:
I affirm myself who I am. Who I am in my children’s eyes, my husband’s eyes, and God’s eyes.
To my children, I’m the best mom in the world. They don’t care if my hair is greasy and there’s food on my clothes. They don’t pay attention to the organization of the toys or their clothes. They enjoy when we play with the toys and picking out what to wear in the morning with me.
To my husband, I’m a wonderful wife who cares for our children during the day while managing to get chores done…sometimes. My husband doesn’t complain about toys being scattered across the house, he knows the kids and I must’ve played hard today and cleaning up wasn’t an option.
To God, I am HIS child. He made me just the way I am and he knows I am capable of being a mother and wife because he placed me in these roles.
I name the things I’ve done in the past that I didn’t think I could do. Doing this reminds me that I can do even the things that seem hard no matter how long it takes, whether it’s a day or a week the things get done and that’s all that matters.
Stress is there no matter what we do, it still manages to sneak upon us. If we know how to handle it in a healthy way then we win every time it comes around. Self-doubt is hard to avoid sometimes and when you’re stressed it can feel magnified. Remember who you are. Remember what you’ve done. You are a wonderful and highly capable mama. You have accomplished so many things and will do even more. Some things will take longer than others and that is okay.