5 Ways to Relieve Stress: Are Your Kids Making You Go Crazy?

eggs with stress face getting ready to be cracked

Image by Bernard Goldbach at www.insideview.ie

 Do your children ever make your head feel like it’s going to just crack in half if you have to repeat yourself one more time? I am constantly saying things like “Stop touching your brother”, “Can you please calm down”, “Stop doing that”, “Can you please be quiet”…the list could go on and on.

Sometimes I feel like my oldest son (he’s almost 6) hears another language when I am speaking to him. I might as well be with how well he listens to me. I often can repeat myself ten times and he still won’t listen. He seems to go in spurts with his listening abilities when it comes to my husband and I.

He can occasionally listen perfectly but more often than not we have to repeat ourselves. Although it’s funny that at school he has one of those glowing halos above his head. Maybe it’s an authority figure thing? I much rather it be this way than having him be rotten at school, but I really hope his at home listening skills kick in here soon.

baby angel vs devil
Image by Beth Day on Flickr

Here are a few things I like to do so I don’t go completely mommy dearest on him:

  1. Close my eyes and go to a happy place for a few minutes. Thinking about something else for a little bit helps separate my boggled mind from the situation. Then I can react more calmly than I would in the heat of the moment.
  2. Take deep, deep breaths. Deep breathing is a natural stress reliever. That’s why you always hear it as a tactic to use in stressful situations (i.e. when you’re scared or in labor). Try it! It really works!
  3. Try not to let everything little bother me. If I reacted to every little thing that my children do that I don’t like… I would be a bald woman, in the corner of my house, in a fetal position, constantly repeating “No, don’t do that”. Now, we don’t want that do. Do we?
  4. If I get too stressed out explaining my reasoning for being upset gives me a chance to reflect on the situation. I have to calmly explain why I am upset, what they did wrong, and how we can prevent that from happening again. This also tends to help my son understand why he should listen. Sometimes I get glimpses of that cartoon light bulb turning on above his head.
  5. Take a mommy time out. If I am at my wits end going to another room for a little bit helps clear my mind. I can then go out and tackle the stresses that await me.

Hopefully writing these things out will help me remember to not overact in times of stress. I am a very high strung person so that can be quite a task for me. I have to remember he is just a kid. My kid. My kid that I love with all my heart. No matter what.

How do you deal with stress? Please share! We all could use more ways to take a mommy mental vacation.


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Krystle Cook - the creator of Home Jobs by MOM - put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.


  1. says

    This made me laugh since I couldn’t tell if you were talking about a son who is 6 or 16! My son is 16 his listening habits haven’t changed a bit since he was 3… Worse, now has more confidence and a much better vocabulary and negotiating skills when I finally do get his attention. I’ve used all of your tips over the years and have days when I’m a good, patient mom, and others when my son could rightfully look at me and give me the big “FAIL”.
    Donna Barker recently posted..When I was a nunMy Profile
    Twitter: adisen66gmail.com

    • says

      lol That’s not very encouraging. My son will be six here before long. I can see my son being like that at 16 too but I really hope not. He already has a teenager attitude. It’s hard to be patient all the time especially when they make it so hard. Gotta love them though :)
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  2. Kerry says

    When my kids were little and I was a stay at home mom (and sometimes even when I worked but was home with them) as soon as my husband got home I hit the master bathroom. I shut the bedroom door, locked the bathroom door and would just veg out – or read, or take a bath or just sit on the floor and rock myself! I always thought I was the only one who did that- I now know that a lot of mom’s need a break too!

    • says

      Oh yes! You aren’t the only one. We all could use a break! I feel bad for doing that sometimes because my husband does work all day too. But he needs time with the kids as well :)
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  3. says

    Good tips, thank you. Some of things you say are definitely worth a try. I would like to share an idea that is very unconventional – tree hugging. Many people believe that trees and plants overall can give us positive energy and relieve stress – why not, no one has proven otherwise. In any case – going to the woods and spending time in the nature is a good thing to do for stress relief.
    Best Regards
    Elsa Good
    Elisa Good recently posted..Benefits of hugging a treeMy Profile

    • says

      I do love the outdoors and I’m all for nature things! I think I’m going to try to have a picnic this weekend :)
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  4. says

    Oh my gosh the repetitiveness…I have a 2 and a 5 year old. My 2 year old feels the need to repeat everything over and over and over without even taking a breath between. My 5 year old is like your 6 year old…perfect in school…does whatever she wants at home (so it seems in my exaggerated mind)…Her newest thing is scissors. she cuts paper up all day long. I have no problem with this. But the paper I find all over the place. It’s like someone is walking around my house pooping confetti in random places.

    Im not sure what I do to keep myself from blowing up. I feel so on the edge most of the time. Going outside with them really helps me since we have had nice weather. The fresh air!
    Miranda recently posted..Ozio MediaMy Profile

    • says

      What a kawinkydink! I have a 2 and 5 year old (6 in a few months) too! Haha the confetti thing is priceless. My son just likes to randomly tear up napkins. I ask him why and he says he doesn’t know. Ugh. Oh, I feel ya. I’m on the edge most of the time too. Sometimes I forget why we encouraged speaking lol. Gotta love them! The nice weather has been helping us too. Except for the ants that are now coming inside because my son has made them mad outside.
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

    • says

      I give my kids the junk mail and a pair of scissors and let them shred it to their hearts’ content. I give them a basket or bowl to sit with to catch all the paper. Keeps them busy and allows them a non-crazy way of doing what they want!
      Rabia @ TheLiebers recently posted..Friday Fill InsMy Profile

    • says

      That’s a good idea! I will have to try that sometime. Although I do use junk mail to line the bunny cage.
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  5. says

    I have three kiddos-9, 5, and 2. The two youngest are both boys and they are each a handful. When one of them starts to wig out, I (fake) calmly take them to their room and hold them tight and rock them in the rocking chair. The other two know to stay away when this happens. Then I just hold him and rock him until we have both calmed down. Sometimes the tantrums and behavior are cries for attention, so I feel like this really helps. My 5 year old wears his halo everywhere but home, too!
    Rabia @ TheLiebers recently posted..Friday Fill InsMy Profile

  6. Paula @ Simply Sandwich says

    Thank you for the practical de-stressing info! Very helpful for busy mamas! :). Stopping by from SITS!

  7. says

    Sometimes you don’t have time to think. One day all of the girls were in the middle of a teenage shouting match. Dad tried to stop them and I said that he should take a walk. When he got back we were all calm and happy to see me. 3 teenage girls at the same time and we made it. Enjoy your SITS Day.
    Sheila Skillingstead recently posted..Dressing RoomsMy Profile

  8. says

    Happy SITS day!
    If I can walk away, I do! Most times if dad is around, I look on him with a sigh and he usually takes over. My concern is that we sound like a broken record that they have just decided to ignore – like when you work in a store and they repeat the same music that you learn to tune out. Something to that effect? So how do we get them to not tune out? I haven’t found the right answer but what I do is I refer to something they love first and then continue on with the lecture.
    That’s all I can do!

    Khloé Gadson
    KG recently posted..Featured Item Fridays: Holiday Event Inspiration BoardMy Profile
    Twitter: kgstyleinc

    • says

      I probably do sound like a broken record. I know they do lol. I’m hoping it gets better with age. Fingers crossed.
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  9. says

    {Melinda} Such a great post. Yes, our kids always tend to perform better for others than for us. I think they just know that we will always love them even when they’re being rotten. :) Great tips … I think #3 is the hardest for me. But I’ve come a long way in letting go of the little things. It greatly improved my relationship with my kids, my teenager daughter especially.

    Happy SITS Day!!

  10. Mommy's Always Write says

    Since having my two boys (who are now 2 and 4), I have really learned to pick my battles. Some things are just not worth fighting over or stressing about. That has helped me considerably! I also have been known to put myself on “time-out” if I can tell I’m about to lose it. I’ll tell my boys I need a minute to calm down, and then I’ll go somewhere quiet for a few minutes until I can talk to them at a noise level that doesn’t break the sound barrier and without steam coming out of my ears. It surprisingly works to calm everyone down. And besides, who said time-outs are just for kids? 😉 Congrats on being featured on SITS!

  11. Michelle says

    This is great! Congrats on being a SITS featured blogger! That’s how I found you and I’m so glad that I did! I love your style and I also have two very energetic little boys! Things can reach the point of insanity, can’t they? I’m going to try some of you tips! I love “taking a mommy time-out”. I do that frequently and it totally helps! I blog about the hilarity and insanity of a life with boys too if you’d like to stop by: http://www.missbananapants.com. Glad to meet you! I’m a new fan!

    • says

      I know I probably drive my son nuts too because he can’t do everything thing he wants. That’s life though lol.
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

    • says

      You got your hands full. I often say I have 6 just because the two I have feel like that sometimes. I’m sure you have some great tips we all could use!
      Twitter: homejobsbymom

  12. Dorothy G says

    Mommy timeout is something I really need to do more. I fail to do it because I’m so caught up in what I’m feeling at the moment. But I know I should… I need it… and my children need it. Happy SITS!
    Twitter: dtothedoro

  13. Martha @ Running in Mommyland says

    It’s universal, isn’t it? I think we all feel this way about our kids. I have (many times) given myself a time out; locking the bathroom door for a few minutes of peace.

    Glad I found your blog! :)


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