5 Fabulous Parenting Hacks for Stressed Moms of Toddlers & Infants

Young boy and an infant playing with a wooden tic-tac-toe board

Dear Selfless Esteem,
I just had a baby and I’m so stressed because I already have a toddler. It’s been so difficult juggling two kids.
I feel like my anxiety is rubbing off on the toddler because he’s acting out. It’s like we feed off each other because I feel more stressed when he’s having a meltdown.
Stressed Mom

Dear Stressed Mom,

You’re right that each new addition to the family requires an adjustment period. (⊙.⊙(☉ₒ☉)⊙.⊙) Even so, motherhood is an ongoing challenge. Thus, check out these 5 parenting hacks.

1. Get Professional Help

First of all, be sure to get a physical exam to rule out any serious issues, such as health problems, postpartum depression, or postpartum anxiety. The doctor will make referrals as needed.

I also recommend that you find a competent therapist to discuss your thoughts and feelings. Some therapists offer telehealth if that works better for you at this time. If you need a crisis counselor 24/7, text HOME to 741741. See the posts, “What is Wise Counsel and Good Therapy?” and “Why You Need a Therapist ASAP” for more information about the process of therapy.

2. Use Your Support System

Build a support system of trustworthy friends, neighbors, and family members so you can swap babysitting. You may benefit from a parenting group, such as MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), especially because the other parents can relate and share techniques that have worked for them.

3. Reduce Stress

Take Care of Yourself

You’re doing so much to care for your precious little ones. Consequently, it’s easy to neglect self-care, but it’s important to take a breather. See the post “6 Effective Ways to Manage Stress” and “How To Stay Positive When You’re Having a Bad Day” for ideas. Also check out “Self Care Ideas–20 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Now!” by simplywithfocus.com and “Mom Burnout: How to Avoid It by Practicing Self-Care” by Sheenia Denae.

couple under a blanket on the couch holding mugs

If you have a significant other, enjoy a date night together. See “24 Last Minute Date Ideas”—there are even suggestions for “at-home last minute date ideas.” (You may also be interested in “4 Ideas To Revive Your Marriage.”)

Decrease Strain on Your Wallet

Now that you have two mouths to feed, you may be looking for more ways to stretch your dollar. Certified Educator of Personal Finance Bob Lotich offers a money management course though his site seedtime.com, and he wrote a new book, “Simple Money, Rich Life.” Also, check out Jeremy Grant’s article, “7 Money Making Tips for Families in 2023.” Both Lotich and Grant are fathers, so they write with the knowledge and experience of balancing a budget, which includes the expense of childrearing.

Enhance the Ambience

Relaxing living room
Photo by Sage Media Marketing and Jenni Marie Photography

Messy surroundings can also increase your stress level. But who has time to clean when you’re raising little ones? See “Everyday Habits To Keep an Orderly Home” by theblogmom.com for minimal steps that make the most difference.

Lower Your Expectations

See the Millennial Modern Mom blog for reasons to let go of expectations as a mother. And then resist any perfectionism, which causes tension. (You may be interested in “How To Overcome Productivity Addiction” and “Defeat Self-Criticism.” )

For example, now’s not the time to pressure yourself to make elaborate dishes. Dr. Tiffany Harrison has you covered with her article, “26 Quick Dinner Ideas for Working Moms.” Whether you’re working or not, you’ll appreciate the time saving recipes.

And if you’re traveling this summer, see “10 Family-Friendly Modern Advancements in Travel Technology” by Via Vanya for ideas to make your vacation with the kids less stressful.

4. Help Your Toddler Develop Coping Skills

Regarding your toddler, I recommend discussing his behavior with his pediatrician. At the same time, you can help him develop ways to regulate his emotions as he adjusts to having a new sibling. For techniques, see “The 15 Best Grounding Exercises for Kids” by Dr. Lucy Russell and “Calming Corners: How To Set Up the Ideal Space” by graceandmomentum.com. You may also be interested in “How To Deal with Aggressive Preschool Tantrums.”

Hands of child holding pink clay

Furthermore, there’s something cathartic about playing with squishy material like kinetic sand, (but it requires supervision so he doesn’t put it in his mouth). For a customizable version, check out this easy homemade moon sand recipe.

5. Pray

Last but not least, express your feelings to God and ask Him for help. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer; it could be a quick unspoken cry for help. A mother’s passionate prayers are certainly heard by God (James 5:16). See the post, “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps” and “The Real Truth About God” for more information.

God cares very much about you and your family. (For more details about God’s steadfast love, see “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem.” ) “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). ( ◡́.◡̀)(^◡^ )

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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  1. Literally Laurie

    Great advice for Moms going through this tough time with a newborn and toddler. Utilizing your support system is key, in my opinion, to get through the transition. Plus, it gives family members and close friends the opportunity to bond with the children!

    1. Gina Leggio

      Thanks so much for your comment. Glory to God. And you’re right; it’s a win-win because of the quality bonding time.

  2. TC

    Some great comprehensive advice in here. 😊 I was especially excited to see that you mentioned M.O.P.S. My brother’s wife gave birth to twins when she already had an 18 month old and she would rave about what a blessing M.O.PS. was to her when she had three toddlers running amuck. 😄

    1. Gina Leggio

      Thanks for your comment. Glory to God! I’m so glad MOPS worked out for your brother’s family. And yes, that household must’ve been action-packed.:D

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