We’ve all been there at one time or another, at home with a baby or small child, or maybe one of each or more. The endless monotony of meeting somebody else’s constant needs as the arms of the clock on the wall seem to start ticking backward.
I felt this way a lot when my daughter was very young, particularly around eight weeks old when she decided naps were for losers. I couldn’t get a break even for five minutes. I still feel this way sometimes now when my mummy cup is empty and I’m stuck for ideas to fill the long hours till Dad gets home and I can throw our child at him as I run for the car yelling about some errand I HAVE to run.
In the early days, during those weary times I would head to my local Westfield with about a thousand other mums, we would all be doing laps up and down the corridors with our tiny babies in carriers or jazzy prams and we’d smile wearily as we passed each other over and over, or at least I think they were smiles, it was hard to tell through our swollen, dark ringed eyes.
It doesn’t matter how old your child is there can still be times when we feel drained and find it hard to cope, they aren’t kidding when they say it takes a village to raise a child. These days a lot of us are finding our village online. Recently a new mum asked what things mums did to help get through these times, the number one answer unsurprisingly was eat chocolate closely followed by getting in touch with nature, deep breathing also featured a lot as did meeting up with friends whose kids are at the same stage.
Each of us is different, we all have different interests and find various things that bring us joy, the important thing is to find what works for you, but if you are unsure here are some great ideas from real Mums just like you, making it though one day at a time:
“For me, nature is my nurture. Fresh air and sunshine. I love water- ocean, river or a lake. Being outside (away from housework) really helps”
“Nature for me too, even if its just digging out a few weeds, or walking away from conflict to stand outside and breathe it in for a few minutes”
“Meet up with friends”
“Trip to the beach”
“Candlelit bath (who am I kidding, I've never done this since having children!)”
“I hide in the pantry and eat liquorice allsorts”
“Channelling your inner child! Either a gym session or block of chocolate and Netflix.”
“Music. Try to laugh. Have a cuddle. Food. Get outside. Essential oils.
Get out of the house, meet friends with kids the same age as mine, coffee, chocolate.
“Go to the beach. Breathe in the air and dig my toes in the sand. Or go outside at night time and look at the moon and breathe in the cool air. Xoxo”
“I eat a jar of nutella. Preferably the 1kg jar coz it lasts a couple of di-stresses
Also, bath, read a book, go for a walk, take myself for a swim, a shower, or even just lay down for 10 minutes”
“Chocolate. .... or exercise! A bit contradictory”
“^^Same for me!”
“On those days I take a nap at naptime and don't do any chores. Then once everyone's in bed I eat chocolate and binge-watch things I've recorded.”
“Walking or listening to music are my go to strategies when the day is going a bit pear shaped!”
“With the kids hanging off me or not? shower with them, fill the bath with bubbles and epsom salts etc, garden with a back wrap and give my toddler a hose. Mindfulness/meditation/ body awareness thingo when laying feeding. Eating ha! Call a friend. Go to mum's and work in her garden while she looks after the kids.”
“I go somewhere beautiful which helps me get perspective. I take off my shoes and get sun on my skin.”
“I do yoga. And buy my favourite (but expensive!) chocolate....”
“When I feel super overwhelmed I usually go outside barefoot and stand on the grass. Grounding myself always helps a lot and I release my frustrations through my feet into the earth to be recycled into positivity. I also like to hide in the pantry and eat snacks.
I hid in the car (parked in the garage) yesterday and fell asleep it was good lol”
“Nurture myself, for example with chocolate or a morning walk babywearing.”
Hello, my name is Celeste. I am a postnatal doula, a breastfeeding counselor and a mother.