As any mum (who doesn’t have a team of nannies!) will tell you, raising children can take its toll. And is it any wonder – taking care of their emotional, physical and financial needs is ALL ON US. Gulp.
But if we don’t take care of ourselves, looking after our children becomes that bit harder.
So with that in mind, we've compiled a helpful list of the best ways you can navigate the worries and stresses of being a mum:
1. Cry if you need to cry
We mums are dab hands at stoically holding in our emotions, but crying is not a sign we’re failing, it’s just another way of self-care, of acknowledging our feelings – and it can be so cathartic and healing. Of course, we don’t want to cry in front of our children, so take a moment away by yourself and let it all out. Your problem might not necessarily have gone away, but by letting out that negative energy, you’ll feel much more able to deal.
2. Cut yourself some slack
The ‘perfect’ mum is a myth, so when you think you’re failing miserably, remember that life can be tough, and everyone has their bad days. Those mums you think have it all figured out? Trust us, they don’t, even if it looks that way on Instagram and Facebook.
3. Make time for YOU
“HA!” you may laugh, “chance would be a fine thing!” – but we can’t stress enough how important it is for your head to take some regular ‘you time’, even if it’s an uninterrupted half hour each day with a magazine and a cuppa. Oh, and when you finally get some time alone, please don’t feel mum-guilt – remember, you deserve this.
4. Plan ahead for peace of mind
One helpful way to deal with worries is to think of the worst that could happen – and then deal with it. That way, you know you have a contingency plan, whatever the circumstances. A good place to start is to sort out your life insurance, so you have total peace of mind that your family will be taken care of.
5. Have a ‘bad day’ game plan
It’s a fact of life that’s sometimes we’ll have bad days – you know the kind of day when your heel breaks, your toddler has a tantrum and you forget where you parked the car. So it’s a good idea to pre-prepare a ‘bad day first-aid kit’. So whether it’s a family member you know you can call to mind the kids for a few hours, a DVD and special chocolates, or a swanky an indulgent bath bomb, it can turn your day right around.
6. Budget month-to-month
Financial stress is part and parcel of family life for most of us mums, so doing up a budget for the month ahead can go a long way in reducing it. This way there will be no nasty surprises – you'll know exactly what bills have to be paid, what the kids need, and what you'll have left over to spend. We find this especially handy before Christmas when we're trying to budget for presents, food and all the other expenses that come with the season.
7. Look on the funny side of life
While it’s not always easy, looking on the funny side of life makes dealing with everyday stresses a lot easier. So much of being a mum can veer into the ridiculous, so make the time to chat to other mums regularly and laugh about your similar (often crazy!) experiences.