What a time to be a mom.

There’s no manual out there to guide the modern mom through the maze of craziness she faces every day: caring for a newborn, working from home, school runs, parent-teacher meetings, recitals, meal prep, grocery shopping, admin, cooking, homework, part-time studies, work commutes, kids parties, trying to have some semblance of a social life (ha), and making time for her partner.

It’s a constant juggling act. So the big question is: how do you survive?

Well, we’re not even going to pretend to have the answer. Every mom’s circumstances are different and unique. So this is not another blog about acing motherhood. It’s rather a list of things to think about, try, or tweak in your own context to help you cope better. 

But before we get into that stuff, let’s all just take a moment to say that it’s ok to acknowledge what all of us moms feel, often at the same time:
  1. We love our kids.
  2. This gig is hard.
  3. Some parts suck.
  4. You need a break.

And to all those things we say:
  • All feelings are valid
  • It’s ok to not “enjoy every moment”.
  • Show yourself some compassion.
  • Tomorrow is another day.
  • You can do hard things.
  • Have a snack. It helps.

Here are 8 ideas to help you cope when mom life gets hectic 

1. Pause

Hitting pause is essential to surviving the crazy parts of parenting. Having moments to find calm will help you take the edge off when things get too much. It will help you find control when you feel like you’re losing it. What might this look like in your context?
  • Limiting social gatherings like kids parties
  • Having an event-free weekend each month
  • Declining an invitation
  • Going on a family weekend away
  • Getting off social media
  • Trying to nap when your child naps
  • Stepping away from a tantrum moment for a few minutes to get calm
  • Spending a few minutes meditating
  • Taking 5-10 slow, deep breaths
  • Allowing the kids screen time in another room while you have a cup of coffee
  • Sitting in the car in silence


2. Plan

Your phone’s calendar app is your best friend. Make sure the whole family is on a shared calendar so that appointments, events and reminders are on everybody’s radar. If your phone isn’t an option, have a family desk calendar or day-to-day diary visible at home.

Planning is essential to staying on track with everything and everyone. Try commit to being a family that plans:
  • Plan meals in advance
  • Shop online where possible (you can even get your snacks online now ;) )
  • Cook and freeze meals over a weekend for the week ahead
  • Review the month ahead with your spouse
  • Have a running shopping list and pantry checklist
  • Assign responsibilities - dog-walking, taking out trash, restocking the pantry, hanging up laundry
  • Do bulk errands as a family on one shopping trip


3. Move

Exercise can be a grind sometimes especially when you’re low on time. But give it a chance. It could be the thing that helps you cope, destress, unwind, shake off tension and boost your mood. Don’t let the thought of a gym overwhelm you. Just move your body in ways that feel good:
  • a beach walk with the dog
  • a few laps in the pool
  • an early morning hike
  • a Zumba class
  • a quick online workout
  • an adult dance class
  • Pilates or yoga
  • a rowdy game of tag with your kids
  • a living room dance party
  • a race around the block, in the park or on the beach


4.  Talk

When was the last time you had a really good heart-to-heart with someone you trusted? Talking is cathartic. It has a way of helping you process and untangle some of the cobweb-like thoughts that make you feel anxious. Even the act of verbalising some of your stresses can help bring things into focus. Motherhood is not easy - we need to share our burdens with others, especially in this busy time of our lives:
  • Go to therapy
  • Attend a book club
  • Schedule check-ins with a trusted friend
  • Do a coffee walk-and-talk
  • Send a friend a voice note
  • Confide in other moms
  • Journal your thoughts
  • If faith is a part of your life, pray out loud


5. Laugh

If you’re going to survive this crazy ride called motherhood, you need a sense of humour! You can’t take yourself too seriously. And nothing helps you feel better quite like a good old belly laugh. Psychologist William Fry, the father of Gelotology (the study of laughter) referred to laughter as ‘internal jogging’, as the physical rewards of laughter were similar to those of exercise. The poet Lord Byron even referred to laughter as ‘cheap medicine’!

There are plenty of ways to focus on the fun:
  • Watch your favourite comedy
  • Play board games as a family
  • Have family tickle fights or playful wrestling matches
  • Try charades, pictionary and guessing games
  • Go to a stand-up show or comedy night
  • Listen to a funny podcast
  • Watch funny YouTube clips


6. Cry

Just as you need a good laugh to keep you sane, you often need a good cry as well. Emotions aren’t meant to be hidden away - you have to let them out. If you’ve been a mom long enough you’ll have plenty of ‘moments’- they’re part of the gig. Whether you step on a LEGO for the millionth time, or you’re just feeling over everything, use the opportunity to just let it out. Find a quiet space, sit with a loved one, or call a friend to vent. You will feel better.

According to Healthline, crying:
  • detoxifies the body
  • helps you to self-soothe
  • reduces physical pain
  • boosts your mood
  • alerts those around you to support you
  • helps restore emotional balance


7. Snack

We’ve all had times that we were so busy that we barely had time to eat, snack or drink something. Not only does your energy plummet, but your mood suffers too. Hello, Your Hangryness! Being prepared for those crazy go-go-go moments can make all the difference.
  • Keep snacks in your handbag to munch on during school runs
  • Pop a few snacks in your car cubby hole for those mid-traffic snack attacks
  • Make sure you have a snack or two in your gym bag
  • Keep your pantry stocked with grab-and-go snacks to minimise impulse buys
  • Try include protein, good fats and whole grains in your meals to keep you full for longer 


8. Relax

By ‘relax’ we mean: lower your expectations. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it’s a way to better navigate your ‘new normal’ and help you manage stress and anxiety. Depending on where you are in your parenting journey, your hands will be tied to some degree. Life now doesn’t resemble life before kids, and that’s ok. Lowering your expectations will help put into perspective the wins that really matter right now. 

For example:
You’ve had a grueling day at work and you are shattered. You have a headache and your emotions are hanging on by a thread. Yet life at home must go on. You could cook a square meal from scratch like you usually do, but that takes time and energy and your picky toddler will likely refuse it. You lower your expectations and decide to avoid the power struggle tonight, and whip up eggs on toast, chicken nuggets or cereal.

Family is fed: WIN.
Kids are happy: WIN.
You have more time to unwind: WIN.
Tomorrow is another day: WIN.
Perfection doesn’t exist, especially when you’re a mom. So instead of trying to hang onto it, why not wave at it as it heads out into the sunset? It’s liberating. By acknowledging what you can do realistically with the time, energy and resources that you have right now, you can block out the other million things you can’t control anyway. 

Remember, it won’t always be like this.

Now go and enjoy your favourite snack, enjoy your kids, and take things one baby step at a time. You’ve got this!
Return to blog

Share this Post