Being a new mum is hard sometimes.
It doesn’t really matter if you have one child, twins, or five children.
Every mum has days when she feels on the edge.
There are days when all you want to do is lock yourself in a room and scream.
It happens to all of us!
I have two one-year-old rascals as I write this post. And I often feel drained after only a few minutes spent with them.
Let’s take, for example, the process of learning to eat with a spoon.
It usually seems promising at first. But after a few minutes, the meal flies all over the place.
I’m sure you know this too…
When putting the shoes on takes 30 minutes or more, when the changing turns into a wrestle, or when they throw themselves on the floor (just because).
However, the worst is the baby’s cry.
When my children constantly cry for a long time and there is nothing that would settle them.
This feels like someone drilling directly into my brain.
When Yaw finally returns from work on a day like this, I just hand the children over for his ‘shift’ and sit down in the garden where I just stare into the empty space.
Sometimes, children don’t need to go to the extreme for us to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Sometimes it can be just tiredness or a bad day that makes every little thing seem way worse than it actually is.
This is absolutely fine, too.
Just as children have ‘one of those days, so do we.
Every mum tries to get through the situation using her own ways. Some meditate, some scream, some count to ten, some punch the pillow…
All these (and many other) methods are fine as long as they make you feel relieved, you can channel that energy, and no one gets hurt :).
Here are my 8 tips for surviving the extra tough mummy days!
1. Picture your children in the future
I like to picture my boys as teenagers or adults.
What are they going to be like?
What is their life going to be like?
What will they love?
What will they fear?
Are they going to be good parents?
Are they going to be good friends?
Will they be successful?
Will they be happy?
Questions like this help me realise the importance of my role as a mother.
A mother affects who her children will become to a great extent.
She shapes their personalities, values, opinions, and attitudes from the very beginning.
Being a mother is a huge responsibility and I remember that every time I forget about it. 😉
2. Realise they won’t be this small forever
When I feel the day is endless, I remember the sentence I’ve heard from probably every mum I know or have met: “Enjoy them while they’re small.”
To be honest, this piece of advice tended to raise my blood pressure in the early stages of motherhood.
However, when I gave it a thought, I realised that every moment with the kids really is unique and temporary.
When you have a difficult day, try to imagine your child in one month’s time, one year’s time, ten year’s time…
Remember you won’t hold them in your arms anymore. You won’t spend so much time with them anymore.
So dive deep into the present and sense every movement, sound, smell, and touch of your baby as though is your last chance to remember them the way they are today.
3. Stop trying to be perfect
Every mother wants the best for her child.
However, we often get caught up in the effort to be perfect.
If you feel it’s too much for you, stop and relax.
Your child will survive a moment or two without you.
You don’t have to give them 100% of your time. Make sure they are safe, sit down, and have a cup of tea (or anything else that will help you relax).
If you need any help, ask for it. It took me a while to realise that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
On the contrary, it is a sign of strength.
You are not a superhero and a mum’s role does require more than two hands.
Feel free to ask your loved ones to pop in the store or watch your children while you go for a walk.
Don’t worry that you are bothering anyone. People are flattered when asked for help. It shows how important you feel about trusting them in times of need.
Any kind of exercise is cathartic.
Even 10 minutes of exercise can do real miracles.
It clears up your mind and gives you an energy boost.
Personally, physical exercise was crucial when I was recovering from postnatal depression.
I still regularly go to the gym and always get back with a completely rebooted, refreshed, and balanced mind.
5. Meditate or practice yoga
For those who do not like “classic” sports or want to expand it by a mental dimension, there is nothing better than meditation or yoga.
When I practice 10 minutes of yoga in the morning, I immediately feel relaxed and feel like I can get on with anything that day has in store.
If you struggle making it routine, put it in your calendar.
Once it is a ‘task’ you are more likely to do it.
6. Appreciate what you do each day (you do more than you think!)
How often do you appreciate yourself for what you do every day?
Children, household, partner…
A mother’s job is the hardest job in the world, and yet the least appreciated by mothers themselves.
Before going to sleep, go through the events of that day in your mind and appreciate yourself for everything you did that day.
And believe me, there is PLENTY of amazing things you do each day.
Is your child sleeping each night in a clean cot? Are they loved and fed?
Wonderful! They already have more than the most children on the planet!
7. Make yourself happy
Do what you enjoy, go shopping, get your hair done, try a new hobby, get your nails done, get out with your friends…
If not always affordable may be a lunch around a friend’s place where a partner or loved one can keep an eye on the children to give you a break.
It just allows you some space to be yourself without worrying about the little ones.
Sounds so simple but the effect this has on your mental wellbeing is beyond magical!
8. Look at the old photos of your children
This works miraculously!
When the boys are asleep, I often go through their pictures and it immediately makes me forget about everything bad.
I don’ know why or how, but watching their photos and videos really do erase everything negative from your mind.
Here you go!
I hope these tips will help you just as much as they have helped me!
What would you add to my list?
Do you have your own secret tip that helps you on those bad days?
Let me know in the comments!