Stress less! Sounds easy enough, right? Here are five things that tend to stress out parents with helpful tips on stressing less. Take a look and see if you agree (and be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom to help eliminate at least one of those stresses!):
Stress # 1: Keeping Up with the Joneses. Whether it’s Suzie Homemaker’s carefully crafted Pinterest Boards, her perfectly posed family pictures on Facebook, or her humble brags on Twitter, it’s easy to feel like you don’t stack up. Maybe you haven’t actually cooked anything that you’ve pinned, your kids won’t look at the camera which is fine because someone is crying and another kid has a black eye, and you’ve never used the hashtag #blessed when tweeting about your kids eating anything. What to do about it: First, stop comparing yourself to other parents. Remember that you’re seeing a snapshot of their life, and let’s face it, a lot of times that is just a small piece of the parental puzzle. Second, know when to ask for help. Heck, ask Suzie Homemaker, maybe she can pitch in, or maybe she’ll tell you that she’s stressing too.
Stress# 2: Crafts. Despite never having much artistic ability my entire life, I think on a subconscious level I thought I’d somehow be blessed with the ability to create and craft once I had kids. Perhaps I thought the maternal instinct also included an innate artistic ability and the knowledge of 101 fun things to do with popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners, but alas, it does not. What to do about it: Give yourself a break. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and if you’re like me, the anti-Martha Stewart, then you just have to play up your strengths…or improvise. For a seasonal example I’ll share that I was terrible at doing creative things with my Elf on the Shelf. Even when I tried to copycat ideas, like building him a pipe cleaner palace, I failed miserably. Thankfully a couple years ago one of my naughtier children took care of our little Elf problem for me, and instead of buying a new one and starting the cycle over again, I created a new helper from Santa. The Troll from the Pole now visits our house and reports back to Santa. He has his own story, and thankfully he’s a little more lax when it comes to antics and movements required by Mom (also, he accepts candy bribes which all seem to be Mom’s preferred treats too). My point is, don’t focus on your shortcomings, play up your strengths!
Stress# 3: Dinner. I don’t think I ever envisioned my dinner routine looking like the Cleaver’s, but I don’t think I was prepared for what had become a daily battle either. The whining! The crying! The tantrums! I’m not even talking about the kids…that was just from me! Somehow I managed three picky eaters who, for the most part, all enjoy different foods. It seems the only way all three kids come to an agreement is when the food is unhealthy. What to do about it: I found a solution from a brand my kids already know and love, but in a new, healthier recipe. Gorton’s Smart & Crunchy Fish Sticks and Fish Fillets are made from 100% wild-caught Alaska Pollock and breaded in a panko coating that gives them not only a great crunch, but a great (kid tested!) taste too. They have 50% less fat than their regular Fish Fillets and just 200 calories per serving. I can’t tell what I like more – the fact that the kids happily eat their dinner or that I’m serving them something I can feel good about. Either way it’s a win/win…just don’t tell them it’s good for them!
Stress #4: Mom-Guilt. This is a big one. Mom Guilt can encompass so many different things. For me, my first dose of Mom Guilt started when I was pregnant and suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (the first of three times and the ONLY thing I have in common with Duchess Kate, I’m sure). Here I was sick – at times hospitalized and even with an IV at home – and racked with guilt that I was unable to take my prenatal vitamins. Not long after birth it was a choice between breastfeeding or not, then for how long…should I stay at home or continue to work? And it goes on and on – some of it comes from others (the I-hate-to-even-bring-it-up ‘Mommy Wars’), but there’s also so much guilt that we impose on ourselves too. Are my kids getting too much screen time? Should we do more extracurricular activities? Are we over-scheduling? Are they eating well enough? What to do about it. Give yourself a break! Have I said that already? Now, I myself fall victim to Mom Guilt too, so I try to remind myself that I’m not perfect and neither is anyone else. It’s Okay to be Okay! That’s not to say that we can’t always strive to be better, but if we truly are doing the best we can in whatever the situation, then learn to be okay with the choices you’re making for you and your family.
Stress #5: Money. No explanation necessary. Am I right?! I think most people, at one time or another, have felt a financial pinch. No time is that usually more apparent than the holidays. Lucky for us, Gorton’s Seafood, who sponsored this post, also wanted to help reduce some of the stress we feel! They’re helping with dinner battles, giving us a reason to feel good about the food we serve our families (those fish sticks and fillets are packed with Natural Omega-3’s), and they’re also giving away four Visa Gift Cards! Use them for gifts, groceries, bills, more Gorton’s Fish Sticks – it’s up to you! Each of the four winners will also have the opportunity to try Gorton’s products for themselves, and in addition to the VISA Gift Card will also receive coupons to try the best of Gorton’s for free! Just fill out the entry form for a chance to win one of three $50 Visa Gift Cards or one Grand Prize $100 Visa Gift Card plus Gorton’s Seafood Coupons!
Find out more about Gorton’s products, recipes, where to buy and more on their website. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates on new products or promotions, and be sure to check out their available coupons here.
This has been a sponsored post where I received compensation and/or products in exchange for a blog post. All opinions expressed here are my own.