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  • Writer's pictureFrancia T

"How to Manage Stress and Stay Sane as a Mom with School-Aged Kids"

Hey moms, I'm Francia of Gracelamp Wellness and I'm here with a mini rant. I have a 5 and a 9-year-old in school and I just want to know why are there seem to be so many activities, events, and things to take care of all at once? I feel like there's always something happening. Just when I feel like I've caught up there is a school email, or someone gets sick, or another appointment. On top of that, almost every week my kids get invited to someone's party, there is some on campus something, and it's always during work hours or conflicting with school night homework. Yes, very grateful to have these joyful things to celebrate and attend, but also we are tired. I am tired. With that being said, let's not even talk about the mom guilt that comes up when you can't say yes to everything that's happening and also the load that is normally assumed that the mom will take care of. We have so much appreciation for the things that keep our kids learning, safe, and well... at the same time it can also be true that we don't want any other things to sign up for sometimes. Am I the only one?

Let's normalize two things being true at the same time. We can have gratitude and also desire rest and pause. I was just talking to another mom friend about this and the desire to have our kids participate in everything and making sure they are clothed, healthy, and fed, but also at times feeling overstimulated. We are constantly holding space and also needing to be held. It really is a dynamic situation and we always figure out how to get things done for our kids, but sometimes we forget to care for ourselves in the process.

We are usually given the messaging in society that this is what motherhood is. Constant busyness and sacrifice, yet only recently have people started to pay attention to how all these things impact our mental health. Even as I write this post I feel a sense of worry if someone will read it and think I (we) are just ungrateful or that past generations had it worse. We are all doing our best and doing a lot. Let's be more mindful of each other and cheer on that mom as you see her out and doing all the things with and for the kids. Do the same at with your extended families and friends and offer to show up. The sense of community I think we had back in the days and the cost of living wasn't the same as today. We definitely can all benefit from more mutual support and permission to say no to some things on our plate.

So you've read this far and you are like... but where are the tips and tricks? Well, the are none. Parenting is very ghetto, 0 out of 10 do not recommend. Ok just kidding, kind of lol.

Here are some things that have helped me navigate on the rougher days:

  1. Say no to something or someone. (This allows you to say yes to yourself for something.)

  2. Connect with mutual support. (your partner, a friend, a support group, your therapist)

  3. Acknowledge the feeling of overwhelm. (You don't have to be happy every second of the day.)

  4. Tap out for a few minutes or a few hours (safely silence your phone, remove non-emergency notifications and apps)

  5. Allow your kids to "miss out" on some extra curriculars (There will always be a next time for something else.)

  6. Pray and meditate on the good; find scriptures that speak to your situation. (There is nothing more calming than when we release control to God.)

  7. Keep a daily glimmer list of things that make you smile and feel well. (Look back at your list as often as you need.)

Let me know any tips you might have to add for our readers. You might help someone and brighten their day. Take good loving care y'all.

Author: Francia Telesford, MSW, ACSW, CLE, PMH-C, Founder Gracelamp Wellness

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