Owning Stress

Mumma, please look after yourself.

I know how you work tirelessly, sleeplessly, constantly as a Mum. You are up all night with the baby then the toddler is up at 6am. The true meaning of 24/7. 

 You think your baby has started sleeping through, then they start teething or they are sick or hungry (I have fed my then 2yo steak at 3am while saying to him “Listen buddy, you better be having a growth spurt or I will be so angry!”) How is it that broken sleep is harder after a period of good sleep, you wonder?

When that little three year old hand wakes you up at 3am “because I want to cuddle you Mummy”, you feel angry and loved at the same time.

Getting out the door is a mission. Where did the time go? How has one hour passed already?? How the eff are we late, we were on time a minute ago?? Then your child walks his little muddy boots across the carpet, and you know you have to clean it up immediately, before it stains. You are now 15 min late. Again. Every day. The kindy teachers must think you are so unorganised. 

Sometimes the stress release is screaming into a pillow or crying behind a closed door.

Sometimes it is laughing at the kids, who are deep in conversation about whether Daddy did a poo this morning. “Daddy did a poo” “No, he didn’t. Daddy is asleep” “Daddy did a poo” “No, Mummy did a poo but not Daddy”.

Life is scrambling to tick off the to do list, forgetting that it is PJ day at kindy, reacting to situations and trying to keep up rather than being in control of them. Life is balancing a job, exercise, housework, kids, relationships and half assing all of them. Everyday. On repeat. Motherhood is like swimming while learning how to swim. I get overwhelmed with it, I don’t know about you.

Stress is toxic to the human body. The stress hormone cortisol wrecks havoc on our system. It drains our nutrients, stress activates the Sympathetic nervous system putting us into “flight or fight” mode – when in reality the perceived threat does not require the body to pump extra blood to the limbs and take it away from the digestive system nor does the perceived threat (so this means your own children, or work, or finances, stress triggers) need your pupils to dialate or to pump adrenalin into the system – No, the perceived threat is a signal to you to “check yourself before you wreck yourself”. When you feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious, that should be your signal to say right,  life, today I am owning you. 

A widow I used to work with told me that stress is what killed her husband. She said no job, no amount of money, nothing is worthwhile if it causes prolonged stress. My husband was balancing two kids under two in his managerial position, working what I am sure are illegal overtime hours, and his stress physically manifested itself in the form of scalloped tounge. This was his signal to take care of himself.

Us Mums are so amazing at caring for own children. They are fed with careful thought into their nutrition, we buy supplements, we make DRs appointments for them, we clothe them, we make them laugh, we bath them, fill up their love tanks, we do all we can to give them magical memories while caring for every aspect of their well being. They thrive as a result. So why don’t we treat ourselves with the same love and respect? Don’t we also want to feel happy, loved and as a result thrive? 

Now we have needs, and while it is our job to meet our kids needs, it isn’t our children’s job to meet ours. So keep meeting your kids needs and take every opportunity to meet your own too! Meet a friend for a walk (kids in tow), organise a “whine and a wine” play date with friends, tell your husband to organise date night, buy yourself that nice coat you want, hire help, book in a massage – whatever, be creative and make the time. You would do this for any member of your family, you are just as important as them, so do something.

So today, while I was having a hard day after a hard week after a hard month (but a brilliant, rewarding time, just lots to do all the time, you know how it is #blessed). One kid was at kindy and the other went down for a nap. So I took the opportunity. 

I had myself a warm, Epsom salt and lavender oil bath. 

I made a honey and cinnamon tea and lit a candle. The berry candle by living light candles smells Devine! It is my fave.

I did diaphragmatic breathing and enjoyed the silence. 

Epsom salts are a great way to get magnesium. Perfect for sore muscles post boot camp, for healing and for muscle cramps. They relax the body.

Lavender oil helps with anxiety, insomnia and stress. 

Diaphragmatic breathing is the only voluntary control we have over our nervous system. Your breath is a true tool which communicates with your body all the time eg that it is time to freak out, that you are exercising or that you are calm. Breathing is being in control.

I loved this bath. My 1yo did not wake up during so I got lucky. 

Taking the time to pause and refuel my sanity tank today meant that I was better able to get on with the rest of the day with a smile. Not with a ragey Mum voice and angry face. 

My body is not tense under stress like it was this morning, rather it is like a normal body.

I even managed to shave my legs and put on matching undies when I got out of the bath. So now I feel like I am winning the day when just a couple of hours ago I was sinking under it.

Please, look after yourself Mumma.


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