Stress-busting Tips for Tired, Cranky Parents

Stress-Busting Tips for Tired, Cranky Parents

Nurturing your relationship is essential for a happy, healthy life together, but when parenting a baby or toddler, sometimes it just feels too hard to send your partner or spouse a lot of extra love and attention.

You end up bickering over things that really don’t matter.

It might even be hard to remember the days when you fell in love and hoped for a baby. Maybe you feel sick at heart and nostalgic for the old days.

Or maybe you just feel irritated at your partner’s attempts at intimacy while you’re trying to “do it all” as a mom of young children when there’s always a dirty diaper to change or a meal to make or a skinned knee begging for a band-aid.

There is no instant fix for saving a marriage, of course. Developing healthy relationships takes a lot of love, effort and consistency.

In this episode, I’m going to share with you a letter from a mama who is struggling with adapting to a recent move with twin toddlers and a stressed-out partner. She asks me if taking up walks in nature as a family has a healing effect, a counter to the stress. YES, IT DOES. I’ll tell you why.

I’ll also throw in a bit of Montessori magic for good measure! Our topic for today is Walking on the Line.

Come join me as we find the calm and connect more deeply with our loved ones


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Tips for Stressed Parents

  • If you feel like you and your partner are different people after having children, you’re right! There are literal brain changes during pregnancy and in new motherhood. This goes for new fatherhood, too.

  • In the show, read a selection from an article in The Atlantic on women’s brain changes during pregnancy. "Gray matter becomes more concentrated. Activity increases in regions that control empathy, anxiety, and social interaction. On the most basic level, these changes, prompted by a flood of hormones during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, help attract a new mother to her baby. In other words, those maternal feelings of overwhelming love, fierce protectiveness, and constant worry begin with reactions in the brain."

  • Post-partum depression and/or anxiety can affect partners, too. Emotions are often shared in close relationships. If you need more support, individual or couples therapy might be a helpful avenue. The benefits of good nutrition and exercise also cannot be underestimated.

  • Nature walks have been a mainstay for my family, and maybe they can be for yours, too! There are so many research-backed benefits to exposure to nature, such as lower blood pressure. Try some forest bathing.

  • Remember, the goal in life is not to “be happy”. The challenges are all part of the life you share together.

  • Creating consistent family routines is the important part. Maybe it’s not hiking for you but board games instead, and if so, that’s great!

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Aubrey Hargis