It’s a juggle isn’t it… this crazy thing we call motherhood. It’s a whirlwind of ups and downs, highs and lows and sometimes there’s so much to think about that our brains feel like they’re about to explode.
We feel all of the emotions including shame and mum guilt that leads us to believe that we’re the only mums in the world feeling this way, but it’s not true, is it? We’re all in this together just fumbling through. None of us really know what we’re doing and just when we start to think that we do, life throws another challenge at us.
Managing my mental health & motherhood
I’ve had my fair share of struggles over the years and when I had my girls, I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on my mental health. I battled with postnatal depression after having my first baby and postnatal anxiety after having my second.
Both experiences left me feeling very lonely. I felt like I couldn’t relate to anybody around me and started to believe that maybe I just wasn’t cut out for this.
6 years into motherhood, I still struggle with my mental health at times but I’ve learnt a lot over the years.
As soon as I realised, I wasn’t alone and I found posts just like this one on the internet, I instantly felt a small sense of reassurance. I’ve done a lot of work on how to look after my mind whilst looking after my children and I want to share a few things with you.
Tips on looking after your mind whilst looking after children too
1. You’re allowed to struggle.
Yes, you heard that right. I think this is something that we all need to remember. Despite knowing how lucky we are to have these beautiful babies in our lives, we are allowed to struggle too. The motherload is real.
2. To be able to give your best, you need to feel your best.
Self-care isn’t just bubble baths and hot cups of tea (because that’s not always possible) it’s going to bed earlier so that you can get more sleep, it’s buying yourself that bunch of flowers, getting outside for fresh air, going out with friends, reading books, and doing more of what makes YOU happy.
Motherhood may have changed you but you are still YOU. I’m happiest when my girls are happy but they are happiest when I am. We bounce off each other and by looking after me, I’m looking after them too.
3. Find a hobby that will help you to keep your mind busy.
I run a small business making self-care gifts and it’s something that I started for that exact reason – to keep my mind busy whilst also helping others.
Find something that interests you and go with it. In your spare time, work on this instead of letting your mind wander. Staying busy is key. Perhaps focus on something as simple as setting yourself a challenge, it could be a self-care challenge or it could be a money saving challenge. Either way, setting and reaching goals can really help your mind to feel like you’re winning.
4. Change it up a little bit
Doing the same mundane tasks day in and day out can make you feel unmotivated and bored. When my girls were younger, we stayed in a lot due to my struggles with anxiety but as they’re getting older and my anxiety becomes less and less, we try and spend more time outside doing different things when possible.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, stop and ground yourself.
Maybe the kids are playing up and you just need 5 minutes to yourself or maybe you all need an early night. Breathe. Leave the housework for later and put yourself first.
Don’t ever forget that you are a priority too and you are just as important as your children. Without you, none of this would work the way that it does.
You are pretty amazing, believe it or not.
*This post is also proudly featured on Emma’s Diary.