As a mom of three, I can say with absolute certainty that we all reach a boiling point at one time or another. It happened to me only last week where I reached a point of being totally overwhelmed with events. My job as self-employed consultant was challengingly demanding as always. The baby was cranky as he was down with one of the latest bugs from his kindergarten. And my two eldest children were acting out on their sibling rivalry. In short, just a typical morning not much different from the one before.
This epic Friday morning, I felt it rise in my body, starting slowly from within and then radiating out in all directions. At this point, you always have the choice to keep the waves in check or to just let yourself go. I know from experience that letting it all out actually makes you feel worse afterwards. But this fateful morning, I did just that. There was this uncontrollable surge of so many different feelings and emotions that took the word “overwhelmed” to a whole new dimension.
Overwhelmed is a concept expressed by many women (mothers, friends and even my own mother). In a mama’s world the bucket can get very full very fast. What started as joy giving my daughter a pep talk about self-confidence while the baby drums the floor with a wooden figurine ended in a full blown tirade with many “OMG”s expressed. What a mess. The result was me in tears at the baby’s kindergarten trying to explain why I felt so bad about having shouted at the kids. I had to call in sick that day, adding to my anxieties around financial freedom “if I don’t work, I earn no money”. But healing needed to happen. I had to take care of me first before I could possibly take care of my children, or my clients.
I decided to have lunch and a heart touching talk with my friend, Marta, that day to lift my spirits and to bring myself back to the healthy, happy mama I want to be. To be able to present the best possible version of myself to my children.
Tending to our own wellbeing and exploring self-healing is something we should prioritise more. So if you’re a mama and you’re struggling to keep it all together, here are a few tips to help you stay aligned, to keep you connected to yourself, your children and circumstances.
- Catch it before the volcano erupts
This is about knowing yourself and knowing what will trigger you off. When you notice that you are starting to enter a stage of being overwhelmed, just take things one at a time. Stay in the moment. If you’re making lunch for your children, but you also need to empty the washing machine and put the shopping away and make up the beds and… Don’t. Just make that lunch.
- Give yourself a break
Like I said earlier, you always have the choice. It’s a choice to blow your lid. And it’s a choice to stop for a moment and just breathe. Screaming hysterically in your house and kicking the ironing basket full of clothes down the stairs really won’t help a thing. You’ll just feel worse afterwards (didn’t you mom?). So make the healthy decision to just pause and breathe deeply for 10 minutes.
- Give your body a workout
Nothing makes you feel good like doing some sport. Get those energy levels up. If you’ve got your act together, you’re taking regular yoga classes, or any other workout class, at least once or twice a week. Spice up your other days by doing a quick 7 minute workout or whatever you like doing in the comfort of your own living room. Just do it. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
- Get creative
Creative expression brings happiness to the home. Find whatever you like doing: cooking, baking, painting, gardening, writing, singing… Do what you love doing in life. That’s the whole purpose. After all, your kids just want a happy mama.
- Practise earthing
I can’t stress enough the benefits of walking barefoot in the grass. It makes you feel connected and relieves stress. So take of your tootsies and let your toes curl around in the grass. Extra bonus if you include a meditation session out in nature.
The core message to all mama’s is this : take time for yourself. Just a few minutes of meditation or focusing on your breath can take you a long way. This is a time for recharging and nourishing yourself. A time for you to be having a conversation with yourself. Where you become your own coach. Where you become your own fan club. This is important because being a mom can sometimes be so solitary. But darlings, you know you are not alone. You are sharing this journey with mothers everywhere.
— Tremelo, Belgium (May 2017)