Motherhood can be tough but be sure to take care of yourself so you can take care of everyone else.
WORDS TEO KUAN YEE
Being a mother brings much joy but the flipside is that motherhood can be exhausting and even frustrating. There are the bad days when you are on the verge of breaking down. The triggers are plentiful, ranging from lacklustre sleep due to your little one’s demands in the middle of the night, or the toll of juggling household chores and childminding duties.
What gives? You certainly don’t wish to lose your sanity due to the constant need to place your kid’s needs before your own. Here are eight ways to a healthier and happier you:
1. Let it Go
Everything has its ups and downs, including motherhood. Just don’t be hard on yourself if you’re having a rough day with the kids and you find yourself in an angry upheaval – feeling stressed is part and parcel of parenting. To become a happier mum, recognise that you are doing a great job raising your kiddo. Say “I love you” to your kids once your emotional dark clouds have dissipated and wait for them to reciprocate with a hug or an “I love you too”.
2. S is for Snoozing
This sounds like common sense but it’s what the majority of mums suffer from: sleep deprivation. Whether your child is an infant, pre-schooler or in early primary level, the duties of a mother never cease, whether it is feeding, bathing, or cleaning up after your kids. This makes the job of a mother unique, yet so demanding.
Take a well-deserved break by having a power nap
during the kids’ downtime. After all, you’ll need to
recharge in order to shoulder on.
3. Have Some Leeway
Sure, you may be a stay home mum who supposedly has a lot of time on your hands. At times, we all need a little help, even if we are at the workplace and swamped – don’t worry, it is not a sign of weakness. Share your burden with an understanding relative who does not mind babysitting your brood for a couple of hours while you take a breather.
Do you really need to be the one to clean the house all the time? How about paying someone to help out, say once a fortnight if finances allow for it? Do you need to cook every single meal? Why not order takeaway such as pizza or better yet, engage a food delivery service?
4. Inject Some Fun
All that multi-tasking you do to fulfil your role as a mother means undergoing daily cycles and watching your time like a hawk. Instead of being stuck in a routine rut, how about slotting into your schedule things that you enjoy? Bring the children to the park in the afternoons or to their favourite slide in the neighbourhood if the weather permits. Let the power of nature heal and infuse its calming effects on both you and your child.
5. Shake it Off
Designate some “me-time” say every mid-week when you can take a breather and focus on...yourself. Instead of donning your daily ensemble of a T shirt-and-pants combo, try to doll up a bit in a simple dress and light make-up. Arrange an appointment with your hairdresser to get your tresses pampered or treat yourself to dessert or a cuppa at a café.
6. Connect with Your Honey
Don’t neglect your spouse. Try to keep the lines of communication open – talk about your stresses, understand the challenges that each of you face and provide the emotional support that each of you need.
Be grateful that you have each other and appreciate
your marriage, no matter how moody you may be feeling handling
your mundane tasks and managing your rowdy kids.
Have some couple time – if a movie date is out of the question, how about grocery shopping together?
7. Devote Time to Exercise
Sure, we may be busy every day with errands to complete, however, that alone may not account for sufficient exercise the body needs, especially to release the feel-good endorphins to chase away the blues. No time to spare? Take 10 minutes to climb the stairs to your flat when you reach home instead of taking the lift and engage in some stretching poses with online yoga lessons in the comfort of your own home.
8. Think Positive
Write down three best things that happened to you or things about your kids which you are grateful for, every day in a journal, for two weeks. Raise your positive thinking by gathering with your extended family over a meal or an outing or call or connect with your girlfriends. According to experts, happiness is more than just a fleeting feeling – it is feeling connected to something larger than yourself – this is when you feel that your life is filled with meaning and things that you do are worth the while.
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