17 of the Best Tips for Becoming a Calm Mom
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Do you wish you knew how to be a calm mom?
Let’s just take a moment to paint a very common picture (in my life anyway)…
It is 4:30 pm. The baby is in her highchair, crying because she woke up early from her nap and because…well, it’s 4:30 pm.
The toddler is in your Tupperware drawer throwing lids into the air and ‘cooking’ right along with you.
Your preschooler is asking you deep, theological questions like “Why is a tractor a tractor?”.
All the while, you’re standing over the stove trying desperately to whip together something at least somewhat nutritional for your family.
Even while you’re cooking you know that there is a high chance that your toddler is gonna turn up her nose at whatever it is you place in front of her.
You have one ingredient to add when you hear, ‘uh oh‘ from behind you.
Yeah…now there’s a puddle of pee and a bunch of Tupperware sitting in it.
P.S Get some genius tips for keeping a clean house with little kids HERE.
The baby is still crying, the dinner isn’t finished, and the living room floor is still scattered with toys. Sound familiar?
You turn to clean up the toddler’s accident while you’re preschooler persists with asking you WHY a tractor is a tractor (you’re answer of “I’m not sure” just isn’t cutting it).
The baby lets out yet another ear-piercing scream and that’s it…
You lose it.
You yell, you stomp, you glare at your children.
All you want to do is run away from the chaos, but it is all on you. There’s no one to take over and deal with it all.
Oh mama! I am right there with you in the trenches.
These days are long and yet fleeting.
You lose your temper and snap at your children and at the end of the day, you lie in your bed and feel the guilt wash over you.
Your behavior leaves you feeling icky and so sad. How could you have spoken to your children the way that you did?
How on earth are you going to gain control of your actions and be the calm that they so desperately need?
Well, the good news is that you’re not alone. So many of us want to know how to be a better mom and how to be a calm mom.
And there is hope! Keep reading to discover some seriously effective tips that you can start applying immediately.
Stop feeling trapped by mom rage and instead, feel empowered to hold back and keep calm amongst the MANY chaotic situations that will arise during your days.
#1 Try to Stay Rested
I made a point to put the word “try” in there because we all know that staying rested isn’t always a possibility when you’re a mom.
Children don’t just magically not need us throughout the night.
Thankfully, they do end up sleeping better the older they get, but even during the baby and toddler stages, it is important for you to try and rest when you can.
I love using lavender to help promote sleep. Whether you diffuse it before bed or use a lavender scented pillow (like I do!), I think it is a lovely natural way to get your body to relax. This pillow from Amazon is a great option.
I know it is clichè to say these days, but it is still worth noting that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
When I’m sleep deprived, my ability to control my emotions and actions is definitely not as good as when I’m well rested.
That’s basically a global rule. I mean, think about your toddler when they skip a nap. It is usually meltdown central!
#2 Get Up Before Your Kids
As long as you’re not in the super early newborn stage, it is generally a really good idea for you to get up before your children in the morning.
Being able to take a minute to prepare yourself for the day, both mentally and physically, can really help you to cope once your children are up and about.
For me personally, I like to get up about 30 minutes before my children and I much prefer that to having 3 little ones bombarding me as soon as I open my eyes for the day.
#3 Take Time for Yourself
It can be as little as 10 minutes, but make sure to take a moment or two for yourself during the day.
And I don’t mean a moment that includes picking up toys or catching up on emails.
I’m talking about taking at least 10 minutes a day to just do something for yourself.
That could be just sitting and doing nothing, watching a video on Youtube, or reading a book.
Whatever it is that gives you joy and leaves you feeling refreshed…do that.
#4 Prepare for the Chaos
After nap time in our home, not a lot gets done unless it is absolutely necessary. I call it the witching hour, and trust me…it lasts longer than just the newborn stage.
Because I know that after 4 PM it is really difficult to get things organised and achieved, I try to plan for it ahead of time.
This might include using a slow cooker (this one here is a great deal!) for dinner, or making sure that the bulk of the chores are done in the morning.
Think about where your real stress points are throughout the day and see if you can take some pressure off.
#5 Time Block
As mothers, we are the masters of multi-tasking, but sometimes it can be more damaging than it is effective.
There are times when I’m trying to reply to an email and my kids are also trying to talk to me and get my attention.
I’m doing my best to respond to them while typing but I can feel that rage building and eventually I end up snapping.
There is just too much external stimulation and I cannot cope.
So here’s a much better solution…time block.
Create a routine where from one time to another you are only going to focus on your children.
Or, just make it for x amount of minutes.
Trust me when I say that it really helps your children to feel fulfilled and it’ll take away so much of that mom guilt that you struggle with.
Plus, if you’re like me, you probably weren’t even getting that email written well anyway.
I really love using the Mom on the Go Planner for scheduling out my days and keeping track of appointments. It is so affordable in comparison to the many other planners out there and it is so beautiful!
#6 Declutter & Clean
A cluttered house often results in a cluttered mind.
We are often very unaware of how much our surroundings affect our mental state.
If you can fit just 10 minutes or so into your day where you can focus on decluttering or cleaning an area that is just stressing you out, it’ll make a big impact on how you cope with all the other chaos of motherhood.
As a mom of three young children, I don’t kid myself into thinking that my home will ever be spotless. However, I do have methods and strategies for keeping things at a level I can mentally cope with.
#7 Have a Coping Strategy
When you are in the think of those chaotic moments, it is super helpful to actually have a coping strategy to use.
Part of that strategy may involve some calm down methods such as taking deep breaths, walking away for a minutes, singing a song, using words of affirmation, etc.
Think about the things that help to calm your mind and start implementing them when you’re really struggling.
#8 Find out What Triggers You & Address it
Retrospect is so valuable!
Use it wisely by looking back at the situations where you just didn’t cope and try to pinpoint exactly why it was.
Sometimes that isn’t possible because it could be a whole bunch of stressful layers one on top of another.
However, there can sometimes be very obvious triggers that you can then work to address and either eliminate or reduce.
At the very least, you’ll know what it is that is making you feel all raging inside.
#9 Don’t Take it Personally
Phew…this one is hard. To not take your child’s behavior personally is no easy feat.
Because we just DO.
Their meltdowns feel like direct attacks on us and it can be so difficult to not get angry and defensive.
But you need to speak the truth to yourself in those moments.
Your toddler’s meltdown is THEIR meltdown. It doesn’t have to be YOURS.
They are feeling ALL the feelings and they’re letting you know about it. However, that doesn’t make it YOUR fault.
You may have said no to something and they did not like it. The way that your toddler reacts to that “no” is THEIR choice, not yours.
Your choice is seeing that you are a GOOD parent by giving them healthy boundaries and then remaining loving, yet consistent even when they dislike those said boundaries.
#10 Step Away ( + Avoid Punishing)
The WORST thing that you can do in these kinds of situations is to punish your child while you’re in a fit of rage.
And I’m talking about ANY kind of discipline.
Discipline is a combination of punishment AND teaching.
You cannot teach if you are angry.
So step away and calm down first. Reassess the situation once you have your own emotions under control and then take command.
#11 Take Responsibility for Your Reaction
Just like your toddler’s reaction to your boundary setting is not YOUR fault, YOUR reaction to your toddler’s meltdown is not THEIR fault.
As mothers, it is so important that we realise we cannot control everything.
We can nurture, we can guide and we can love, but ultimately, it is up to our children to make the choice to do the right thing and change bad behaviors.
The best thing that you can do is own your own behaviors and reactions. Take responsibility for them and never blame your child.
#12 Stop and Breathe
I know what it is like to be in chaotic situations. I have a 4-year-old a 2.5-year old and a 7-month old. Life is crazy 90% of the time.
I wouldn’t change it for anything but I do have to include strategies that work to keep me grounded or else everything starts to fall apart.
When there is so much chaos around there has to be something that is constant. That something is you, mama.
So, when you’re in that moment and you don’t know which fire to put out first, just stop.
Stop and breathe.
I don’t mean a quick breath and off you go. I mean stop for at least ten seconds and take a couple deep breaths.
Chaos tends to creep into our minds and create havoc there too. By stopping for just a moment you can allow yourself some headspace which will, in turn, allow you to think more clearly and react more calmly.
#13 Stop and Think
Allowing yourself some headspace is awesome but the fires still need putting out, so now you need to think.
What needs to be dealt with first?
If it were me I would be tending to the puddle of pee on the floor. Toddlers have a knack for making a mess and then making it ten. times. bigger.
You need to prioritise.
I know I’m guilty of believing that I need to get everything done when in reality I’m the only one with such high standards.
Leave the toys, mama.
Focus on your children and then dinner.
The toys will get picked up eventually and hey, they might be a good distraction for your toddler while you tend to the baby, the mess, and getting dinner finished. Mamas are superheroes, right?
Make a list in your mind of what REALLY needs to get done, and then shuffle that into the appropriate order.
Check Your Expectations
When you are caught up in a stressful situation and you can feel the rage building, stop for a minute and check your expectations.
Are you expecting too much from your child/ren?
Are you expecting too much from yourself?
You don’t HAVE to do it all, even though you may be convinced that you do.
I don’t ever want you to think that I’m belittling your battles because they are VERY valid and real.
What is it that they say? Something like “Just because one person has cancer and another has a broken leg, doesn’t mean that the broken leg doesn’t hurt”.
Our struggles are relative.
In saying that, it can be really helpful to step back in your mind and view the situation for what it is.
Yes, it is a struggle. Yes, it is stressful. However, it is most likely going to be short-lived and you’ll make it out the other side.
#14 Embrace it
I need to get better at this.
There are some days though when despite my best efforts, everything seems to be falling apart and I just can’t seem to catch up.
The children are unhappy and the house is a tip. On those days, in those moments, I have the choice to be angry or to embrace it.
Embrace the chaos.
Stop making dinner.
Put it aside and ask your husband to get take out, or make toasted cheese sandwiches later. Clean up the toddler puddle, but instead of worrying about the rest of the mess, take your babies and play or read with them.
Spend time with them.
Hey, sometimes I even put on a movie and we all cuddle on the couch. The kids love it and it helps me to get my attitude in check.
Most importantly, mama…laugh.
Laugh amidst the chaos, because the reality is that 90% of life with children IS chaotic.
If you can’t learn to laugh in the chaos then you probably won’t laugh very often, and I can assure you that there isn’t a child that doesn’t love to see his mama happy.
Step back and see the big picture.
What do you want your children to remember? A joyful mama, or one that is frustrated and angry.
I know I tend to fall into the latter category far too often, so these tips are as much for me as they are for you, my friend.
You can also find some really helpful tips in THIS post that I wrote about surviving (and thriving!) with two under two. 🙂
#16 Apologize to Your Family
I will tell you that one of the things that had the biggest impact on my relationship with my mom was the fact that she apologised to me when she made a mistake.
If she screamed and yelled (although, I probably deserved it) she asked for my forgiveness.
If she wrongly accused me, or snapped at me without thinking, she said sorry for it.
Apologising to your children when you have done wrong will not make you weak. You will gain respect in the eyes of your children and they will find you a lot more approachable.
#17 Give Yourself Grace
Did you know that anger often stems from hurt?
It is like we can’t express that hurt properly and it results in frustration and yelling.
Give yourself grace, mama. Once you’ve asked forgiveness from your children, make sure to also forgive yourself.
No, you’re not perfect, none of us are, but you were chosen to be the mother of your child/ren for a reason.
You’re not perfect, but you’re trying and that is what matters.
#17 Share Your Feelings with Someone Trustworthy
A good old vent session can help SO much at times!
We tend to pile all the little issues and struggles on top of one another until they turn into a great big looming tower.
If you’ve got someone close that will listen to you and give sound advice, take advantage of that.
Just talking about all the struggles out loud can take a huge weight off.
In fact, it is great when you can talk to other moms about the struggles you’re having and realise that you’re totally not alone.
Positive Affirmation Cards
When you’re struggling with self-doubt and negative thoughts, it is so important that you speak TRUTH to yourself.
That’s what these affirmation cards are perfect for!
Download and print them off and you can put them all around the house in the places you spend the most time (hello kitchen sink!).
Remind yourself daily of the truth and before you know it, your mindset will have changed dramatically.
Being a mom is hard and beautiful and amazing and really, really difficult.
However, it is also one of the very best refining processes out there. We step further and further away from our selfishness and become better moms and human beings in the process.