Wondering how to cope with parenting stress? We've got some tips to help you look after yourself.
Is parenting stressful? We think so! Whether you’re dealing with small toddlers, big emotions, or just day to day life, being a parent can be stressful. It can impact on your mental health, your marriage, and on the ways you react to your child. And if your child has additional support needs or a health condition, that can add a whole other layer.
But as parents we often feel we need to be seen to cope, be strong, show our children resilience! We’re here to lift the lid on that myth. Showing our children a range of human emotions will help them grow into mentally strong humans. How will they know how to cope when they’re stressed if you don’t show them how?
So, we’ve got five practical ways you can try to help yourself manage stress. Let us know how you get on – and share your tips on our social media
Five tips to try to manage parenting stress
1. Practice self-compassion.
You don’t have to be perfect all the time. So when you’re not, let yourself off the hook. We don’t expect our children to be perfect at all times, they’re learning – and so are you! So give yourself the same grace that you’d give them. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you give to them. Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can.
2. Connect with other parents.
Knowing you’re not alone is one key to reducing stress. Finding others who are going to similar challenges can really help. So, find your tribe. Are they at a local group, online parenting groups, or on social media? Where can you connect with other parents and share your experiences? Finding ways to connect with other parents can help you learn new skills and strategies to manage stress. To find support with Wee Seeds, join our Calm Families Facebook Group
3. Do one thing every day for yourself.
Creating space every day to feel grounded can help to reduce stress. Find space in your day for you. This could be just a few minutes in the morning to drink a cup of tea, or five minutes stretching first thing. Maybe you can even manage a few minutes breathing each day. Whatever it is, ensure it brings you joy and helps you feel calm and centred.
4. Practice gratitude.
Gratitude is a powerful way to reduce stress and boost overall wellbeing. You can write down three things a day you are grateful for, or join the Wee Seeds Parents Gratitude Group. Encourage your children to share their gratitude each day too – maybe at the dinner table. We have instructions for creating a Gratitude Jar in our Wellbeing Toolbox.
Laughter is a great stress reliever, so finding ways to bring humour into your life can help you feel more relaxed and positive. Watch a funny movie, read a humour book, or listen to your favourite comedian. There’s even laughter yoga classes! One great way to laugh is to find ways to laugh with your children – tickle them, laugh with them or read joke books together. It’s good for them, and good for you!
6. Bonus Tip
Do you find it difficult to make the space to relax, or bring calm to your life, because there are young children around? Then why not include them? You could try doing our mindfulness exercises for children together. We know that parents benefitted from our fun, easy, mindfulness activities while teaching their children. Children’s mindfulness can start as early as 3 years old. Try our mindfulness activities for young children for free with our 7-day trial and see if it’s for you and your family.
Whatever you try, remember that reducing stress shouldn’t be stressful. This isn’t about being perfect, or having all the answers. It’s about finding strategies that work for you, and for your family. Giving yourself permission to look after your own wellbeing is the first step.
If you’d like to get mindfulness activities designed for children aged 3-8 and support from other families 👉the Wee Seeds Nurturing Wellbeing programme is for you. 👈