10 Ways to Handle Difficult Days

Motherhood is amazing, but it’s also frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming, and (dare we admit) sometimes boring as well. Don’t let the tougher parts of being a mom get the best of you. Mighty Mommy has 10 inspired ideas to try when parenting tensions start to mount.

Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #231

10 Ways to Handle Difficult Days

Even the best moms turn into stressed maniacs when there’s too much on their plate, I know because I used to try and load one week’s worth of “to do” items onto just one morning’s schedule.  No one in the family wins when Mom is rundown and irritable, not even the family dog! .

When feeling overwhelmed and run down, it’s easy to want to run and hide, or worse, get angry, frustrated, and take it out on your family. That’s why Mighty Mommy has 10 inspired ideas to try when the tensions of motherhood start to mount. Each of these stress-busters takes less than 10 minutes so you can easily fit them into your busy life! 

Tip #1: Get Out of the House

It may be easier to stay cooped up in the house when you’re having a trying day, but getting out of the house and soaking in a fresh atmosphere such as the park, a stroll through the neighborhood, even sitting outside in the backyard or on your porch with a cup of tea or to nurse your baby will not only break up the monotony of the day, but the change of scenery can be enough to reenergize you as well. If you can’t get away from your kids for this quick break, check out Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active and you will both benefit.

Tip #2: Take 10 Minutes of “Me” Time

Stop and do something just for you as soon as possible when you’re having a difficult mommy moment. Treat yourself to a hot shower,, if your hobby is taking photos, grab your camera and take some random shots that make you smile, pick up the phone and call a friend, paint your nails, straighten out your make-up drawer, grab your calendar and schedule a date with yourself when your spouse is available (for the same week if possible) so you will have something fun to look forward to. See also 5 Ways that ‘Selfish Parenting’ can Benefit Your Family

Tip #3: Mix it Up

Sometimes stressful days happen because we are in a rut. Every once in a while do something totally different and unexpected, like put on a new music station while getting the kids ready for school, spray fragrance on your pillows before bed, drive the scenic route to work even if it adds a few minutes, buy a box of cereal you’d like to eat and hide it for yourself, or change the part in your hair. Shake it up on a regular basis and it you will be motivated when things are tough.  See also 6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Parenting Life

Tip #4: Go to Bed When Your Kids Do

Mothers are often programmed to jump to work the minute the kids are in bed. Whether it's completing an obligation for work or the PTA, or struggling to get the laundry done so the household has clean underwear, busy moms don’t know when to use their off button. When my kids were younger, I chose one night a week to go to bed when they did and it was the best night of sleep I had each week. Now that I have 6 teenagers, if I’m having a rough day during the week, I get into bed soon after homework is done with a good book or a bowl of frozen yogurt and chill out until the following morning.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.