Have you ever wondered where your life has gone, now that all you seem to be doing is looking after the kids, housework and maybe juggling a career as well?
Even though we love our children and want to do what is best for them, we all seem to wonder “What has happened to ME? I used to be fun and outgoing and now all I seem be now is tired, stressed and grumpy!”
The biggest challenge for mums is when they have gone from a full time job/ career, being busy and constantly with people, to an isolated and mundane existence (housework isn’t the most mentally challenging thing, is it?) when we have our babies and this can be a huge shock to a lot of mums. The more isolated and housebound we are, the worse we feel. Then there is the whole guilt thing of going back to work, or deciding to staying home, when the child is older… mums get the rough end of the stick, dont they? It isn’t easy becoming a mum and it is a HUGE life change, one that you need to get used to in a hurry, unfortunately.
Some mums relish in their new lives and it is fantastic if you can do that but most mums have the little niggle in the back of their mind ‘What about me?’, ‘I never have time to do the things I used to do’…….etc.
This first thing you can do, is let go of thinking how you were, the resentment, guilt and stress from trying to keep everything going and start taking more of an interest in YOU! After all, a happy mummy is a lot better parent than one that is unhappy, yes?
So how do we go about feeling differently?
* First of all… Stop longing for the life you had… it is fruitless, makes you feel worse and you end up resenting your family. Children are a blessing and you should be thankful that you are lucky enough to have them. Think of the couples who can’t have (but would dearly love) a child! Children also grow up very quickly, so make the most of the time you have with them.
* Get out and about and socialise! Catch up with friends, go to mother’s groups, playgroups, meeting mums online (in parenting forums such as www.kidspot.com.au, www.bubhub.com.au, www.mumsweb.com.au, www.connect2mums.com.au… there are heaps of sites!) and actually going out and meeting them. The latter options are great because it gets you out of your comfort zone and you have to be your outgoing, social self. It also teaches your children social interaction, communication skills and how to make friends.
*Make time for YOU… before you say ‘But I don’t have time!’.. simple answer: MAKE TIME!
So how do you make time for you and get you feeling like ‘you’ again? Very easily!
* Have a routine/ schedule… this might sound silly, particularly if you are a stay at home mum but believe me if works! Kids thrive on routine and it gets them prepared for school and later in life. Get a diary or a weekly planner and map out blocks for doing particular things and especially include time for you.
* Organisation is KEY! How much time do you waste by looking for things? A place for everything, and everything in its place. If you keep things in a particular place, you always know where it is and you will have a tidy house! Win, Win!!
* Get on top of the housework… do this one weekend while hubby (or grandparents etc) can look after the little one/s while you get everything done or if you don’t have time (or the energy) and the money to do so, maybe get someone in to do it for you. Then once you’re on top of everything, it doesn’t take much to keep on top of it.
* Working mums…. schedule a massage, pedicure or whatever makes you feel good, in your lunch break. Even just having a coffee while reading a magazine is a good “chill out” activity.
‘Me’ time doesn’t have to be all about time and expense..have a long hot bath, get out in the garden or just chill and read a magazine and/ or have a cuppa! Watch a movie… Ipods/ mp3 players are fantastic too… you can zone out to the world and listen to your favourite music.
So what else can I do??
*Keep your mind active! Do crosswords, read, pinch the kids DS and do some mind games…<
*Keep in contact with your friends! It is very easy to ‘cut yourself off from the world’ but it is essential you maintain friendships.
*Accept any help that you can… I know it isn’t easy to ask or accept help but it will be a lot less pressure on you and give you more time for yourself.
*Keep going with your interests… as well as keeping your mind active, you are also doing something you enjoy doing.
Anyway… I hope that this has helped somewhat with what some mums are feeling…..
What are your thoughts???