There’s no doubt that mum life can be stressful.  Fighting kids, dinner to be made…every night, washing to do, phone calls to make, jobs to go to, parent teacher interviews to attend. Not to mention the worry over schoolyard bullying, behavioural issues and financial stress just to name a few.

I know all too well that trying to do it all for your kids, and do everything perfectly, can result in you feeling pretty average.  Us modern day Mum’s put so much effort into our children having the perfect life that we ultimately forget about looking after ourselves. But guess what? – your kids would be just as happy to celebrate their 3rd birthday with 8 of their closest friends, a cake and some games as they would with 100 guests, half the zoo and a marching band. Our kids don’t put this pressure onto us – we do!  And it’s high time we give ourselves a break practice a bit of self-care because, happy mum = great mum!

This is not about eliminating stress, because let’s face it, that’s never going to happen. This is about managing your RESPONSE to stress. Whilst some stress is healthy and normal, chronic daily stress can take its toll on our health & wellbeing. Headaches, sleep problems, digestive disorders, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed & unable to cope, irritability, increased heart rate, tense and aching muscles, even anxiety and mood disorders – these are all signs that may indicate that you may need to manage your stress better.  So what can you do to balance yourself out?


Quite simply the easiest and most beneficial action you can take to control your stress.  Feel yourself getting worked up??  Just remember 6,6,6.  Stop, breath in for 6, hold for 6, out for 6.  You’d be amazed how effective this is.


Simple, right? But probably one of the most neglected. During times of increased stress, nutrients are used by the body more rapidly and need to be replenished regularly. Choose nutrient dense, whole foods to nourish your body and avoid processed and packaged foods and sugar. Protein rich foods at each meal help to balance blood sugars and stabilize mood, and magnesium rich foods such as red meat, nuts and seeds and cacao help promote relaxation.


In times of stress you might feel like you need a coffee to get you back on track but it actually promotes the same response as stress. Stress stimulates adrenaline & cortisol production, so avoiding stimulants is so important as it can heighten the effects.


Move, jump, dance, run, exercise – anything to get your body movin’! Exercise is proven to help with stress and improve brain function. So, want to reduce stress and get smarter…shake it off!


I literally can’t emphasise this one enough. Schedule time for yourself. Even if it is just 10-15 minutes a day. Have a cuppa in the sun, read a book, run a warm bath. We recharge our phones regularly, so why don’t we recharge ourselves?


Because we all have things to be grateful for. When you’re feeling stressed or annoyed that your kids are running around screaming, that you have a mountain of washing to do or that you are running late for work….instead, be grateful. That your kids have the ability to run, that you have fresh clothes to wear, that you have a job to go to.   When life feels like it’s imploding around you, take a breath, stop and focus on 5 things you’re grateful for. It’s hard to stay stressed when you acknowledge all the amazing gifts in your life.


As busy Mumma’s, it’s important to set realistic goals. Recognise what is important, and what can wait. Let go of “perfect”. Perfection feeds anxiety. Stop comparing yourself to others. Laugh. Connect with friends. Be present; live in the moment more. Get out in nature and find time for yourself amongst the chaos of life – you deserve it!


Tara McTeigue, founder of sitter app, Mumaco  –