As much as we love the idea of taking care of our kiddos (feeding them, cleaning up after them and acting as the mediator) the school year (for many) is beginning. This symbolizes an increase in stress. The chaos of working (whether you are paid to or not) and taking care of the on-going daily chores, trying to figure out everyone’s schedules for after-school and sports activities, not to mention the stress of NOT understanding your kids homework. Like, I have a Master’s Degree and can’t figure out what half of the math homework is even talking about! Have no fear, therapist mama is here! Below, I have some tips of the trade that I have gathered over the many years of being a stressed out, hair-pulling mama (yes, therapists are allowed to pull our hair too). So let’s get started:
1. Practice self-care in intervals.
For instance, take 15 minutes for yourself, twice a day. This does not mean, doing the laundry, cleaning the floors or anything else. This means taking 15 minutes to feel the breeze on your skin, the sun warming you, or just enjoy those really neat cricket noises that always symbolize (for me) that autumn is coming.
2. Ask for – imperfect – help.
Sometimes self-care means accepting imperfect help from someone you trust, who might feed them junk food, or let them watch too much TV, or simply do things differently than you do. That is okay. Just breathe and enjoy the time that the “imperfect” help is giving you!
3. Say yes.
Just like it’s often healthy to say “NO” to some people, it can also be very self-nurturing to say “YES” to someone else. Offer to proofread your friend’s resume, give someone a ride or make a meal for a family who needs it. It is good Karma. This is creating a deliberate distraction to connect you with other people and remind you of the good you do in the world outside your home. Plus, it helps you reconnect with the other parts of yourself, you know, the ones that we forget exist when we become a mom!
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Samantha Mahon, M.S.,NCC,LPC
Samantha is a proactive and practical parenting expert. She is a Board Certified Counselor and she uses her knowledge of psychotherapy combined with her own personal and professional experiences to bring you the real-life options as parents.