MUM LIFE AND OVERWHELM...
Updated: Aug 7, 2020
Last week was a heavy week, for myself and also others I have chatted to along the way.
Some of us are still struggling with home schooling, tired of the restrictions, worried about how the lift of restrictions will play out, navigating the “new normal”…
Plus everything else that goes on in life. Having access to social media and the constant barrage of information can be overwhelming. Feeling the need to be constantly up to date, working out what rules apply right now and what rules don’t, constant government announcements…
It’s just so much to take in when you also have kids to raise, homes to look after and jobs to go to or businesses to run.
Then when you add to it differences of opinion and people taking other people down for it, it can be a lot to process (I have witnessed a lot of that this week, both directed at me and others. It makes me sad that humans can be so mean and nasty, and when called out, have absolutely no remorse around it.)
We might have been thinking that coming out of restrictions would mean things would get easier, but if you are like me, I am finding it more challenging.
I have been tired of the goal posts changing every week in my life. Homeschooling changing with each week, only to get in to a routine for a week or two and now they are going back. Now it’s time to adjust to a new way of life again.
Having George working from home 50% of the time has been amazing considering the hours he usually works. Breakfast, lunch and dinners together were almost becoming unheard of prior to isolation. I am sad that soon they will become a thing of the past again.
The learning curves we have all had to be on from the beginning of this pandemic have been exhausting and they continue.
It has been hard to navigate my feelings this week. Last night I came across a Powderfinger song which reminded me of a time in my life that was very different for me. A time pre children when I had far less responsibility, more energy, things just seemed easier. I was less aware of what things were like in the world, young and naive. I’m not saying it’s a better way to be, but you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s hard to navigate this world right now, even harder when you have to do it with small humans. With all the changes and uncertainty right now, it has helped me solidify my decision to not have a third child, something that was hard for me to put to rest. This pandemic definitely helped me close that chapter.
I don’t feel guilty for that moment last night when I wished for a second I only had myself to worry about. Taking care of our children is hard. I could run around after my kids all day, but the mental and emotional stuff is sometimes too hard to bare. What is happening in the world becomes amplified even more so when you have children because it's not just about you anymore. The trajectory of the world is your children's future.
So I laid on my bed and cried listening to that song. Sometimes just laying in the foetal position letting it all out is a form of coping for a Mum and that’s ok.
This week I have had to implement some boundaries to protect my mental and emotional health, because it’s important that when we feel like we are reaching our limit we put strategies in place to help us get through, remembering our health affects not just us, but our family too.
Here’s few things I have done that has felt right for me:
Monitoring of Social Media - I had consciously put my phone further away from me, had it on silent and turned off notifications. I have been conscious to have periods of time without going on to Instagram and Facebook because it can be too much. The mindless scrolling coupled with the bombardment of information and other peoples opinions can really cloud my thinking and make me feel confused. Not a good way to be.
Taking a step back with my work - I love my work but when I am overwhelmed I don’t work as well. I chose to put less pressure on myself this week, because if it doesn’t get done right away, its not the end of the world. I can be a perfectionist and put a lot of pressure on myself, I chose to release that a little this week
Asking myself what I need - if I need a break, I take it. If I need a walk, I get the girls and go out. If I want chocolate, I eat it. If I needed to cry, I did it. Basically if it was what felt good, I went with it.
Getting people out of my circle - this week I did a bit of a cull/block on social media. Being true to myself and protecting my emotional health is choosing to not take in information that affects me. I chose to unfollow a page which I discovered was quite a toxic community and whilst some of the content I found funny, the influencer who ran it and what the page stood for and was in direct conflict with my values and crossed my boundaries. We are the gatekeeper of our thoughts and what we consume. Taking control of that feels good.
Sleep and moving my body - I chose to sleep until my kids woke up instead of getting up before them as well as push myself to do at least 15 mins of exercise each day. I usually do more but this felt good for me and it helped me to get moving in the morning. I never feel like exercising when I am not in the greatest head space, but I remind myself that it gives me an endorphin boost which is a better way to start the day!
We can’t control everything that’s going on in this world, but we can do our best to take control of our health, what we read and listen to, who we surround ourselves with and where we choose to spend our time.
It's ok to set your boudaries. It’s ok to need time to adjust.