‘Sanity Checklist’ For Harried Moms
As a mother, you don’t need me to define what crazy looks like. Just take one day of ‘yours truly’- flitting between meals, one or more kids, events and even a job, time quite literally flies by. Not having a moment to spare for yourself can be a traumatic experience for parents, and for most of us this begins from day one of parenthood.
The baby, his chores, the cooking, maintaining the home, running for everyone else’s work, coupled with well-meaning advise and remarks from all and sundry can take a toll on any mum. Add to that the fact that she works, and there are a different set of issues to tackle as well.
Whatever may be the cause of your stress, sometimes you need to take a moment off and relax. I really do mean this. For a very long time, I was under the impression that if my child could be kept happy, I would be stress-free. It took me a while to realize that kids cannot possibly be happy all the time, and that I must not link my stress levels to theirs.
Consider this ‘Sanity Checklist’ just for you. Read it, make your partner and support system read it too. Then take a day off, because you seriously deserve it.
Some signs you’re stressed out:
- The tear machine is just waiting to crank up. Always rely on your emotional state to guide you.
- You feel so fatigued that you want to stop everything you’re doing.
- You’re not excited about new activities- you dread them.
- You’re losing interest in, or have no time for activities you thoroughly enjoyed.
- Your resent your spouse, or anyone else who seem like they have a better life.
- You resent having children (It is perfectly okay to admit this to yourself).
- If you’ve had to make a major life decision to accommodate parenthood, you may find yourself not wanting to be social.
Is there a way to get out of this spiral of stress and sadness? Is there indeed any light at the end of this tunnel? The answer lies in not waiting for the tunnel to end before you feel better.
- Every day, sleep in for a moment longer. If the kids come knocking, they can sleep next to you. If they are hungry, keep a snack on their bedside the night before.
- If you have to leave home at a certain time every day, try not to do everything before you leave. Prioritize. A dirty house is lower priority than the school lunchbox.
- Spend some extra time in the bath listening to music. It is okay to let the TV babysit for an extra few minutes each day.
- Put the kids to bed early. This is a habit you will not regret. Aim for them to sleep at least two hours before you.
- Take time to bond with your spouse. Keeping romance alive is a great way to feel better.
- For one day each week, take time off from all those responsibilities that you can. Entrust the kids to the spouse and go to the spa, meet friends, watch a movie or just sleep in.
Most importantly, if you always feel on the verge of tears, don’t hesitate to meet a counselor and talk your heart out. Remember, you had a life before the kids were born. You can still have it back, but you have to get certain things in place first.