There is no doubt that mum life can be stressful. Worry over why your child won’t sleep, eat, behave…not to mention the complete upheaval and lifestyle changes that having a child can bring, and sometimes financial worry when you’re on maternity leave. You name it and yep, being a mum can be rough.
Anxiety, depression and high stress are experienced by many mums. What I like to call ‘mum stress’ can really build up and affect your day to day life. Indeed, it has been estimated that post natal depression affects at least one in five mothers of full-term infants.
I know all too well that trying to do it all for your kids, and do everything perfectly, can result in you feeling pretty average. After just under two years of being a mum, and now with two children, I recently reached a point where I was overloaded, burned out and needed help. I just couldn’t function anymore. I was diagnosed with severe postnatal depression and anxiety.
"I know all too well that trying to do it all for your kids." Image via iStock.
But, I’m learning how to cope. And you can too.
I’m not an expert. Far from it. However, through counselling and research there are things I’m trying to do to de-stress during the hectic-ness that is mum life.
Get the good endorphins flowing. Yes, it might feel like the last thing you want to do, but that hardest part will be actually getting moving. Once you start, you’ll feel amazing. And the buzz will set you up for the rest of your day and week.
Sounds easy, right? Let me tell you, when you’re in the middle of a panic attack breathing properly can be the hardest thing in the world. But try to focus on your breath, even if you’re dealing with a screaming child at the same time. There are breathing techniques all over the internet - do some research and take even just five minutes a day to breathe deeply or even meditate.
Mia Freedman talks about how she manages her anxiety. (Post continues after video.)
Take yourself out of the situation
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed and/or angry to the point where you feel you’ll fall apart, put the babies/toddler/child somewhere safe, for instance in their cot or in their room with the door shut, and just be alone. Stay that way until you calm down and recover enough to think clearly, then go back to them. A psychologist gave me this advice and I’m definitely keeping it in mind.