How to be a stress-free Mum

Being a mother can be one of the most rewarding and one of the most difficult things you will ever do. Being focused on your family is wonderful but you need to remember to take care of yourself as well. They always say, ‘you can’t pour from an empty vessel’ and if you feel frazzled, stressed and overwhelmed you will not be able to enjoy the family you are trying to focus on, nor will you be setting a good example for your children about looking after their mental health. And remember that although we're talking about Mums this time around, the same applies if you're a Dad.

So here are my tips for developing a more laid-back attitude to parenting.

Top stress tips for Mums

  • Get a schedule. Having a routine helps everyone. It helps you feel more organised, to remember and prioritise what needs to be done, and to have structure in your day. It helps your kids develop good habits and attitiudes to getting things done. Obviously, family life can be unpredictable, and a certain amount of flexibility is required. You don’t need to do the washing on Christmas Day just because it’s on a Monday this year and that’s washing day. (Yes, I knew someone who actually did this.)  But without some sort of plan, your stress levels will likely increase as you rush from one task to another!
  • Take a breather.  Just as your kids sometimes need a time out, so do you. If you feel your frustration levels rising, make sure the kids are safe for a moment, walk into another room and just breathe deeply a few times. Decide on the best way to deal with the situation, then calmly go back and do that. If everyone is on the edge go outside and get some exercise – play ball, go to the park. Find another more productive way to use that energy.
  • Remember quality time is about being together and not about what you do. You can have quality time with your kids making the beds, cleaning or baking just as easily as you can at the playground. At first, enlisting the kids may tend to make these tasks take longer, but in time you will have support, and your children will learn good life habits. Just like Mary Poppins, try to make these tasks fun. Have a competition to see who can straighten their bed the fastest, or make the least mess when carrying out a task.
  • Be healthy.  Many Mums have a tendency to grab food that’s quick and easy and eat up the kids left-overs. This isn’t the healthiest way to go in many instances. However busy you are, eating well and looking after yourself will help you deal with stress more effectively.
  • Make sure you have a support system.  Other Mums are often a good source of support because they know exactly what you are feeling. Mother and Baby groups work for some people, or join online communities such as Mumsnet or Facebook groups. Make time for the friends you had before you were a Mum as well, they may have been your support system for years and even if they don’t have children themselves, they know you and what you need.
  • Make time for yourself (and your partner).  Following on from what I just said about friends, remember your children are not the only relationship you have. If you have a partner, make sure you spend time as a couple, as well as being parents. Whether or not you have a partner, try to take five minutes for yourself every day. It can be hard to do but it should be a priority


Author: is a professional stress management coach, specialising in working with individuals and smaller employers to minimise stress and maximise feeling in control. Debbie is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words and has co-written the Hypnotherapy Handbook both of which are available from Amazon.
Find out more about Debbie's services on  or phone 01977 678593