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Quick Stress Busting Ideas for Stay-at- Home Moms ( and Dads!)

Updated on May 14, 2017
Even babies this cute can cause stress when cooped up in the house too long or when they have colds.
Even babies this cute can cause stress when cooped up in the house too long or when they have colds. | Source

Immediate Stress Busters to help Keep Sane During the at Home Years


Being a stay-at-home parent is a privilege and joy. Many people think it is an easy task for a parent to be at home with the children all day. But there are days when someone may be sick, or it has been raining for a week, and the kids are stir crazy and taking you with them! And often staying at home doesn't mean just taking care of the kids. It includes making and cleaning up after meals, doing laundry, cleaning the house, baking, paying bills, grocery shopping, etc. Here's a list of 10 ideas that can be safely implemented and will give both kids and parent a better day.

1) Pray

If you are having a day that makes you ready to pull your hair out, ask for the ultimate help from the ultimate helper...God. Even just turning your stress over to a higher power will make a parent feel better and that they are not in this situation all by themselves. Although I loved my children, there were days when I was a stay at home mom that I thought weren't all they were cracked up to be. Especially cold and rainy days, or on days when the kids were sick and miserable. I made sure they had a nap time or quiet time so I could have a bit of quiet time myself. I used this time to drink a cup of comforting coffee, read my Bible, pray and write in my journal in which each entry started with, "Dear God." When I was done, I felt so much better and was able to continue with my mom duties with a smile in my heart because I knew I was not alone in this work of caring for my children. I also found a Bible verse that I taped to my refrigerator and I would often read it as I was preparing lunch. It is from Psalms 121:1 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."

2) Take a Walk

Take a brisk walk outside all by yourself if possible. If no other adults are at home, and a walk alone is not possible, put the kids in a stroller or wagon, and bring them along. Babies and young children will often fall asleep, and mom or dad can relax and enjoy the walk in quiet.Breathe in the fresh air, and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. The fresh air and the sunshine will make you feel better, not to mention the sunlight on your skin will increase your vitamin D intake, help brighten your outlook and keep depression away.

3) Call a Friend

Call a friend who is in the same situation as you are. Talk our your frustrations whether it be a messy house, sick children, or whiny kids. If your friend is also at home with children, they will have had days just like that as well. There is a camaraderie in being at home with children...and sharing in the good times and the crazy times.

4) Make a Play Date

If your children are not sick and can be transported, make a play date with another mom or dad who is also at home with their children. It could take place at their home, or at a park, library or fast food restaurants that have playscapes.

5) Watch a Kids Favorite DVD

If your kids have a favorite movie on DVD or a kids 30-minute program, pop it in, get a blanket and snuggle on the couch with your kids. If you aren't the kind of parent that uses TV as a babysitter, then you do not need to feel guilty about letting your kids watch TV for a bit. Rest your eyes or read a magazine to get yourself into a more relaxed and grateful frame of mind. Being able to stay home and raise your children yourself is a gift, but sometimes we need reminders of that when feeling a bit frazzled.

6) Take a Nap

If you're having a bad day due to being overtired, take a nap when the kids do. If your kids are young enough to be in a crib, so they can't crawl out and get into dangerous situations, taking a nap, even for a short time can really help relieve stress and energize parents to help them get through the rest of the day. Be careful not to leave older children unsupervised though as they could put themselves in danger while you are sleeping.

7) Non-Messy Project

During a crazy day when you just need a few minutes when the kids are occupied with something other than YOU, break out a creative non-messy project and let them go to town with it. You get a few minutes to take a breather, and the kids can have fun. Examples of this might be special coloring books and crayons set aside for just days like this, a roll of long butcher paper taped to the floor and pass out the crayons, Crayola markers and books where the markers write only on those special books, velvet picture packets with markers to color in the patterns, a sink or pan filled with soapy dishwater on the kitchen floor with a towel underneath. Tell them their toys need a bath and put small toys like plastic animals, pretend food and cups and plates, etc.

8) Go For a Ride

Especially if the kids are younger and will nap in the car, tell them today they are going to go for a car nap. Buckle them in their car seats with their favorite blanket or stuffed animal, have older kids bring a book or coloring book and crayons, and head out for a nice slow ride on a country road. If you are a coffee lover, stop at the nearest Dunkin Donuts first to get a coffee, or bring one from home in a travel mug. Play classical music on the radio or DVD player, and you can enjoy a ride filled with beautiful scenery while they enjoy a nice nap. Everyone will return home refreshed.

9) Take a Time Out

Having a bad day and feeling like you're going to crash and burn? Lock yourself in the bathroom for a 5 minute time out. The kids will think it's funny that Mom or Dad is in a voluntary time out. Take a few minutes to splash water on your face, brush your hair, etc. and head back out to face the troops feeling a bit more under control.

10) Take the Kids Outside

Fresh air is great for kids, and they can go outside even in the Winter as long as the temperature isn't too low. If children are dressed warmly enough, even ten minutes outside is good to get a little exercise and sunshine. If they are too young to actually play outside, a walk in the stroller, wagon, or being pulled around in the snow on a sled gives them some fresh air and a change of pace from the same old environment inside the house. In the Summer, kids can play outside even in the rain as long as there is a garage or covered porch available. Have them bring a few of their toys outside on the porch to keep them busy, and they will get fresh air and not get wet. If the weather is nice, playing outside is always a great choice. You can use the time supervising them to read a book, cut and file coupons, write a letter to a friend, etc. Everybody wins on this one.

In years to come, the children will get older and be out and about much more. They will go to school daily. There will be rides needed to lessons and sports and practices. Before you know it, there will be trips to explore colleges, graduation ceremonies to attend and emails to write to your college students. The time with them when parents are home with their young children is fleeting so cherish it while you can. Most days will be wonderful, but there will also probably be days when at home parents feel ready to explode or pull their hair out. Hopefully, these tips will help on days when there seem like too many diapers to change, too many dishes to wash, and too many squabbles to referee. Here's to peaceful childhoods and special memories of at home parenting.

Love This Book Giving Kudos to Stay-At-Home Moms!

Double strollers are great for taking 2 children for a walk! This one has an extra seat in the back.
Double strollers are great for taking 2 children for a walk! This one has an extra seat in the back. | Source
Taking a nap can help, but only if your children are young enough to be in cribs where they can't crawl out and get hurt or open doors and leave the house on their own.
Taking a nap can help, but only if your children are young enough to be in cribs where they can't crawl out and get hurt or open doors and leave the house on their own. | Source
Taking a walk outside in the woods or communing with nature always helps to lessen stressful moments.
Taking a walk outside in the woods or communing with nature always helps to lessen stressful moments. | Source

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good suggestions Karen! Going for a drive has always been my go-to source of stress relief.

    • Madison22 profile image

      Madison 4 years ago from NYC

      All great tips! Thank you:-))

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Madison22,

      Thanks for your comment. I had fun remembering the days when I used these tips periodically to give my 3 kids a happy childhood with a happy mom!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      billybuc,

      Me too. I just had to adapt it when my kids were little and bring them along. We had a Taurus station wagon with a backseat that faced the back of the car and my 4 year old son would stay back there with his small toys and books and my one year old twin girls napped contentedly. It made for some great, relaxing afternoons and kept us all happy and refreshed!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I used to love going on walks with my son in his stroller. As for my daughter, there was nothing so magnificent as carrying her in my arm and going for a walk around the yard. We have a creek adjacent to one side of the house, and along this creek grew some tall and majestic spruce, willow, and fruit trees. In the shade of God's canopy, I would share stories with her. I enjoyed talking to my children as if they were adults...and now I'm paying for it because they are outstanding debaters. Thanks for the fun memories your article triggered, yet another remarkable indication of your outstanding writing, Karen.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      hawaiianodysseus,

      That's great about your children being great debaters due to your influence in those early years. I loved being out in nature with my kids also. Now that they are grown, the only time we talk is in the car, and I miss those days when we had each other's undivided attention. But I am glad we both had those days with our kids. They were important building blocks for the young people they have become.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love the pathway you posted, I could really destress taking a walk there! Great suggestions for parents, especially the nap -- it's amazing how a quick nap can rejuvenate a body. Voted up.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      teaches12345,

      The power of nap is so underappreciated! I think the people in Spain and Mexico have it right with their daily siestas. If it works there, it can work anywhere if people would just accept it. I think in the U.S. we as a country find naps embarrassing...as though in taking a nap we can't keep up. But we are only human, and a nap energizes the body. The pathway is in a CT state park and is a very peaceful path to walk on.

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