ways to be a calm mom

10 practical ways to be a calm mom (without driving yourself crazy)

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Life with kids is always challenging. Whether it’s the 5 am wake up calls, their refusal to eat anything that’s not beige or the constant stream of chatter and questions, almost every mom wishes that her life was a little less stressful at times.

Whilst a Zen-like existence may seem impossible to imagine right now, there are certainly some simple steps you can take to bring calm into your life.

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Identify “Why is parenting so hard for me?”

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, and we all have our own unique struggles.

New moms may feel anxious that they’re making the right decisions or worry that they’re not qualified to look after a baby alone.

Parents of multiples may struggle to leave the house for fear of the kids running off in opposite directions as soon as they step out of the door.

And moms of teens may find themselves struggling to deal with their unruly offspring’s shocking behavior.

On your journey from chaos to calm, it’s important to identify exactly what it is that makes parenting hard for you personally, so that you can address this.

If you find you feel just a bit all over the place and unable to identify any real triggers, I’d suggest looking into one of these 3 courses:

1) Practical Parenting

Practical parenting is an online (100% FREE) course to help you set parenting boundaries and give you the tools you need to simplify your day to day hectic mom life!

2) Overcoming Mom Guilt

Overcoming Mom Guilt is an excellent online course created to help you get yourself out of the mom guilt trenches that cause stress & anxiety — ultimately preventing you from being able to show up for yourself and your family.

Learn helpful ways to overcome mom guilt and work through those triggering points with instructor Bryana Kappadakunnel, LMFT, endorsed as an Infant-Family Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, specializing in the care and support of infants, toddlers, and their families.

3) Getting your partner on board

Getting your partner on board is an online course to help you PARENT WITH YOUR PARTNER. That’s right. Say bye to the days where only mom makes the parenting decisions and turn your family into a dynamic household where BOTH you and your partner are going through parenting as a team together.

Because sometimes, feeling like we aren’t alone in this parenthood game is the change we need to ease our frustrations and live life a little more calm.

calm happy mom with kids

Consider the demands of parenting today

Parenting has changed a lot over the past couple of generations. Moms who have full-time jobs spend just as much time tending to their children as stay-at-home moms did in the 1970s.

As well as the tricky balance of family and career to worry about, there’s the overload of information from the internet, which can leave parents confused over which advise is best when it comes to raising kids.

Parenting is hard. But hopefully, this list of tips will give you some actionable ways to bring calm into your chaotic world. 

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Practical ways to be a calm mom without driving yourself crazy

1) Don’t take the things your kids do personally

You ask your child to stop messing around with their drink and five minutes later the drink is all over the floor. It’s a common scenario and one which might lead a mom to have feelings of irritation, failure and hopelessness. Particularly if similar scenes are repeated day after day.

It’s important to recognize that your kids aren’t doing these things to annoy you.

Their short-term memories are still developing and they often don’t have the mental capacity to consider all the possible consequences of their actions.

This is nobody’s fault, least of all yours, so don’t take it personally.

2) Make time FOR YOURSELF

Going to the grocery store on your own may feel like time for yourself, but it’s not.

You need real, uninterrupted me-time at least once a week.

Take a long bath, end the night with some journaling, go for a run, or have coffee with a friend.

Of course, it’s hard to fit in with the demands of parenting, but skip the time to unwind and you’re setting yourself up for a life of pent-up stress.

3) Eliminate ‘Time Outs’ for ‘Time Ins’ (trust me, it’s better for everyone)

Children naturally crave attention from their parents. The principal behind ‘time outs’ is to punish the child for bad behavior by taking away your attention and putting them in a boring situation.

The alternative method of ‘time ins’, however, involves reinforcing good behavior by showering the child with positive attention whilst they are behaving well.

‘Time outs’ on the other hand is time spent AWAY from positive reinforcement.

By swapping ‘time outs’ for ‘time ins’, you’ll fill your child’s “attention tank” in response to good behavior, meaning that they’ll be less likely to act out. It’s a win-win for both of you.

Here is a really helpful video that breaks down the difference between ‘time ins’ vs. ‘time outs’, along with how to implement them by one of my favorite toddler behavior Instagram pages @southbaymommyandme

View this post on Instagram

Hey folks, I'm Bryana. If this message around gentle parenting resonates with you, please follow @southbaymommyandme⠀ ⠀ I felt inspired to share the other day on my stories about my experience with doing time-ins. This concept is largely founded on the principles of infant mental health and co-regulation, two things I am deeply passionate about.⠀ ⠀ In the video, I explain what happens when we do time-outs (as they are traditionally done, in the more punitive fashion where the child is left alone) and what happened when I did the time-in with my son, Matteo.⠀ ⠀ Feel free to utilize this video as an opportunity to reflect upon your own thoughts and needs around regulation and co-regulation. I encourage you to think about your unique situation and see how it can apply to you personally. As a gentle reminder, parenting is not so much about what we say, it's how we say it. It's less about what we do, but how we do it. So having the conscious awareness of ourselves in these difficult moments is always the first step to building healthy relationships with our children.⠀ ⠀ I offer virtual classes to continue your learning. At the moment, I do not have availability for therapy (CA residents, only); but please check in with me if this is something you need, and I can let you know what my availability is.⠀ ⠀ Much love to you all!⠀ Bryana⠀ ⠀ ⠀ PS: This is not medical advice. If you are struggling with regulating yourself or your child, and you are finding your child's behaviors overwhelming for you, please discuss with your pediatrician. There are lots of helpful, qualified clinicians who can give you the individualized support and guidance that you need.⠀ ⠀ #childdevelopment #newmoms #newmommy #attachmentparenting #respectfulparenting #gentleparenting #mindfulparenting #consciousparenting #parenting101 #parentingwin #parentingtips #parentingtheshitoutoflife #raisingtinyhumans

A post shared by Bryana | Mama & Tot Support (@southbaymommyandme) on

4) Try practicing meditation

Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress, lower anxiety levels and cultivate more creative problem solving. These are all things that will be of incredible benefit to anyone who desires to become a calmer mom. 

If you can find five to ten minutes per day to meditate, you’ll soon reap the benefits.

Even one minute per day spent practicing mindfulness is better than nothing, and we’ve all got time for that, even if you have to hide in the bathroom.

A simple meditation technique you can try at home (even on the craziest of days) is this:

  • Sit or lay down comfortably
  • Close your eyes & breathe naturally
  • Let your mind clear of all thoughts
  • Focus mind on feeling & listening to each breath you take
  • Allow every exhale to rid you of tension and stress

Practice this simple technique as many times a day as needed. It’s very basic and great to do when you’re on the go or feeling trapped at home.

5) Find someone to talk to

A problem shared is a problem halved. Even knowing that others are going through the same stresses as you can provide you with a sense of relief. 

If you don’t have other mom friends in your area, check out Facebook groups where you’re sure to find other lonely and stressed parents who are up for a chat.

6) Pick your battles

Unless you’ve somehow spurned little robots instead of children, your life will never be perfect. They will do things that annoy you, forget to listen and act out. It’s natural. 

It’s hard, I know, but you’re always going to have to let some of that bad behavior slide and reprimand only the worst of it.

Because what’s the alternative? Being a naggy mom that criticizes every detail of their child’s behavior won’t make them behave any better. It’ll just make both of you stressed out and unhappy.  

7) Create a flexible routine

There’s definitely a sweet spot on the scale between a military-type agenda and just winging the whole day.

For the least stress, plan the outline of a routine, but know that you can deviate from it when you need to.

8) Don’t react out of anger

If you have a temper, it’s vital they you recognize your anger so that you can take action to immediately neutralize it.

As soon as you feel those feelings of anger, you should physically distance yourself from the situation (even if that’s only by one step).

Employ relaxation techniques such as counting to ten, meditation or even just taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly.

9) Be more present

It’s a cliché, I know, but they’re not little for long.

Take time to enjoy living in the moment and enjoying your children, rather than planning your next move or worrying about what’s gone before.

10)  Eat healthy and exercise

There’s a lot of truth in the saying “healthy body, healthy mind”.

Yoga is great for boosting both your physical and mental health, whilst preparing and eating meals made from fresh ingredients is a great way to spend time as a family.

By applying these practical tips & techniques to your day to day routine, you’ll be well on your way to be calm mom & practice more mindful parenting!

Other MOM LIFE posts:

What other practical ways to be a calm mom have you tried?

practical ways to be a calm mom

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