Signs of Stress….Of Parenting

I had a little chuckle today when I was going through my blog’s statistics.  There, listed under “search terms” of how folks find this blog, was the search term “signs of stress of parenting.”  It was sort of funny to me, I don’t know why, but  I thought, “If you are looking up for signs of stress in parenting then either you are not a parent and you are doing a research paper, or if you are a parent and you are looking this up, then …well, you probably are stressed!”  It seems like most of us who are parents know all too well the signs of being stressed and harried!

But then I turned myself to a serious note, and thought about this person.  Maybe it was someone who really is feeling on the edge and was searching for ways to combat that awful feeling.  I have talked to a lot of mothers lately, and this time of year does tend  to make many mothers feel on edge – finishing up school, lots of competitions and performances for those children involved in outside activities.

So, here are my top ten signs of parenting stress:

1. You feel harried and hurried.

2.  There is never enough time.

3.  You are irritable with your spouse.

4.  You feel resentful your spouse gets to go to work, leaving you ALONE to do everything.

5.  You are so tired that you could check yourself into a hotel and sleep for a month.

6.  The usual stash of hidden chocolate (don’t all mothers have this somewhere?) is not working.

7.  You are yelling at everyone.

8.  There is absolutely no time, not even fifteen minutes, for just you and you alone.

9.  The house is a disaster.

10.  You are crying a lot.

Sigh, What to do?  Here are few suggestions, do take what resonates with you:

Pray:  “Dear Lord, I am in this big mess of too many things to do and too many places to be.  Please help me discern what you want me to do!”

Slow Down and Prioritize – what absolutely has to be done?  Where do your children absolutely HAVE to be?  Do that and no more!  Can you take a day off of practice or rehearsal or a day off of something and just be home?

Get Your House In Order – I think many women cannot function if their house is not in order.  It is good to use some time to do that, even if you have to “miss” a morning of homeschooling to do it.

Get Sleep!  Are you going to bed and getting up a consistent time?  Are you getting enough sleep?  Where is your after-quiet-time lunch?

Diet:  Are you living on coffee, caffeine, sugar?  Getting your diet in order will make you feel better before, during and after your menstrual cycle and make you just plain nicer to be around.  Smile  Of course, doing this will no longer help you mask the fact you are doing TOO MUCH.

Lower Your Expectations:  I talk to mothers all the time who have four or five children (or more) under the age of 7.  Please, please, lower your expectations! You are doing great if all the children are fed and playing with no emergency room visits by the end of the day!

For Chronic Anger, try this back post (remember this post, long time readers?):

Fit in fifteen minutes of exercise.

Ask your spouse for help if you have a spouse or partner available; if you are single parenting, round up your resources and ask for help as well.

Be easy with yourself as much as possible.

Know when to cut your losses. For example, at times you just need a day to get out of the house, and take all the children to the park instead of doing school.

Hope you all are having a sunny day!



9 thoughts on “Signs of Stress….Of Parenting

  1. I also love long showers. And although I have not done this in years, I think I am due to take myself out for a nice dinner. Just me. Silence and good food.

  2. Love, love, LOVE this, Carrie! Of course, you weren’t thinking of me, were you?;) Today, I think I felt all ten of those stresses at some point and tomorrow is a day for prioritizing! Just the boost I needed…thank you as always! xo

  3. This is a great post! Something very dear to my heart and something I talk about a lot! I am all about controlling our will and keeping things in order, BUT sometimes you just have to pack it up and head to the park! There have been times in my schooling/mom career when that has happened more that once in a week. Always because of my own imbalance, but on those days, I don’t want to expose myself to my children in a way that will leave a lasting emotional mark, so breathe…walk into my room…put on my shoes…find my smile…and announce a park day {cheers and excitement} then we pack up snacks and a lunch and we are off.

    Motherhood and homeschooling are some of the most humbling experiences we will ever encounter. Just let it wash over you.


  4. I find myself more uptight when my (one and only) 20 month old son heads into a new phase (whether it be throwing the drinking cup, or running from me when we try to put on shoes to go out, or suddenly loathing bath time) until I get a handle on how to respond to him. Deciding how I want to respond/feel normally doesn’t change his behavior at all but it does make me feel better/more in control.

  5. I have had this post waiting in my inbox for a spare moment to read it…..I think it was good timing I opened it tonight! for 2 days now I have been in a bad mood….i can’t seem to shake it and then I get even more annoyed at myself that I can’t shake it! I could tick off most things on your list… I have had such a big year already, I really feel the need to pull back to bare basics, but finding it hard to do. Lots of pressure from friends who don’t understand my need for privacy and simplicity….your writing is such an inspiration and the calm voice I often need as a young mum…. 🙂 Thankyou, Carrie…

  6. Pingback: Being A Gentle Parent – Fresh Start | A Little Bit of Everything

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