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Of course you love your kids to bits... But that doesn't mean that sibling rivalry, a lack of time, waking up in the night, or nasty incidents like paracetamol poisoning don't make you horribly stressed. Whether you work out of the home, at home, or are a stay at home mom, you probably lack time. How can you relax anyway?

Many moms are more stressed when they think they are doing less than others. When you go online and take a look at Martha Steward, or "real life" mommy bloggers who are canning their own vegetable sauce, sewing chair covers, gardening, cooking gluten free meals from scratch, have a job outside the home and look fantastic, it's easy to feel pessimistic. The truth is that these people probably don't exist. Nobody is perfect, and perfection is pretty boring anyway.

Accepting yourself, your partner, and your kids for who you are helps. Perhaps a lot. But you also need time to relax. How you do that is up to you, and you may need to experiment a little before you find something you love. When my children were really little (which is not at all long ago), lots of people asked whether I ever "got a break from them". Doing stuff without your kids may well be your ticket to feeling less stressed and more energetic but it may not be, either.

Some random suggestions that may help you relax and get rid of stress are:

  1. Go for lunch with your friends, with or without kids.
  2. Make a family budget so that you don't have to be stressed about finances so much.
  3. Get a family pet.
  4. Get a babysitter so you can go out with your partner for the night.
  5. Let your kids stay over with their grandparents so you can have a night in with your partner.

What stresses you most? Plan one day a week without it. Your cause of stress could be your job, but also cooking, looking after your kids all day, or anything else. Go and see a therapist. I've been, and being able to vent to someone who will listen because you pay them takes the guilt out of complaining. And they usually have great suggestions on how to cope better too.

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