Taming The Stress Monster

babies & postpartum parenting

Remember when you were first pregnant?  That first pair of little socks you were given?  That first kick you felt?

Newness.  Optimism.  Excitement.

And maybe a little bit of fear.

By the time round three came for me, I understood that with the sometimes unbearable joy little people bring comes hard work, a lot of work, worry, learning, tons of inner growth, and a little bit of insanity.

My kids stretch me in ways I could never have imagined.

We love our kids more than anything else I can think of, and yet there are times they drive us to hit walls and say unmentionables. 

(Yes, I know you have.  And I’ve done it too.)

And then I see a friend’s new baby.  The little hands, the look of contentment, the Baby Smell.  Could I do it again?

The roller-coaster ride of parenting.

One of the things mothering has brought to the surface for me is that stress is a very real, a very raw energy that needs to be managed. 

I see the image of a tornado when I think of stress.  Its energy can destroy beautiful moments, can pull apart relationships, can rip through an otherwise beautiful day. 

Stress leaves chaos in its wake. You can read a few of my tips for managing mama stress in this post but in here I want to talk about something else.

I want to talk about one powerful strategy we can use to lessen our stress in the first place.

I have not met one parent, ever, who is not stressed out by some aspect of parenting.  The cost, the behaviour, the sleep issues, the doubt, the decisions, the choices, the colds, the fear of an insecure future.... if we don’t tame the stress monster it will takes us down.

We are stressed because we want to do right by our kids.  We are stressed because sometimes, though we try to hide it, we lack confidence.

Stress is a physiological reaction based on the perception of a situation.

That’s right.  Perception.  Change your perception, tame the monster.

How do we change our perception?  By gaining confidence.  That's the strategy I want to talk about.  We feel stressed by a situation when we are shaky, insecure.

Lack of confidence leads to stress.

Think about something that you are not the least bit stressed about.  Is it because you have a system, or a plan, or you’ve done it before, or it’s a comfortable place to go for you?  Confidence.

So, what do you do to feed your confidence?

Think about this.... knowledge followed by action brings confidence.  You learn something, you try it out, you gain a little confidence that you could do it again or you decide you need to learn more about it before you try it again.

Knowledge, followed by action brings confidence.  Confidence tames stress.  Confidence allows you to take a deep breath and carry on.

If you're a new parent you can't possibly not be stressed.  You are doing something deep and meaningful that you have never done before.  It takes time and mentorship, knowledge and practice to build the confidence.

And that will ultimately lead to less stress.


About Jess Sherman, FDN-P, M.Ed, R.H.N

Jess is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a trauma-sensitive Family Health Educator specializing in brain health & resilience for kids. She is also a teacher, with a Master's degree in education. Her Calm & Clear Kids introductory course, her Amino Acids (with kids!) Quickstart program, and her signature Resilience Roadmap,  along with her book Raising Resilience, have helped families in at least 44 countries improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, and mood disorders and reduce their reliance on medication. She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work with families, and she continues to bring an understanding of the 5 Core Needs For Resilient Health to the mainstream conversation about children’s mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses, workshops and as a contributor to print and online magazines. 

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The content on this website and in the guides and courses offered here is meant to provide information so that parents can make informed decisions and discuss these issue with their health care teams. It is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or individualized care.