Even Mommies Get The Blues – Help For Overwhelmed Moms

Face it, it’s tough giving advice to others, especially people you really care about, and in areas of great importance.

You want so much to share with them what you have learned through your life’s adventures (and misadventures…) and experiences, but you don’t want to sound discouraging. You also don’t want to “jinx” them or imply that something negative or less than optimal will happen in their situation.

It’s just that you have been around long enough and been through enough to know that life is pretty much about challenges, curves and learning opportunities. Of course, these can all be turned into lemonade, “the best thing that ever happened”, and life changing events (in a good way), but sometimes they are really tough and hard on people. Sometimes they are not viewed or guided to potentially be something amazing. So sometimes they lead to divorce, depression, disease, family discord, financial difficulties or ruin, disease, etc.

Why do I bring this all up now? Because I was thinking and reading about overwhelmed moms and reflecting back to when I had wee ones. I distinctly remember thinking (on many occasions) “this is the biggest, toughest, most grueling job there is! Am I really gonna make it through this?”

After all, it is a 24/7, sometimes thankless, often draining job that you sooooo want to do really well and create a happy ending for everyone. You want your kids to be happy and healthy, to grow up and be financially successful, in relationships that are amazing, in careers that they love, with abundant health, be in a happy loving family, and have no addictions. etc. Perhaps they can even paint like DaVinci, play the piano like Beethoven and soccer like Pele, be as successful and positively influential as Tony Robbins or Oprah, and as admirable as Gandhi or Mother Teresa, but hey, somewhere close to this is fine too.  : )

I remember back when Mami first told me that she was getting married and how I really wanted to share things that I hoped would help her lay a foundation for the most amazing long-lasting, mutually fulfilling, passionate, ecstatic marriage possible. This would of course lead to a picture-book perfect family life with many visits to my house.  : )

I also remember when she told me she was pregnant and how I really wanted to say things that would help her be perfectly prepared for every hiccup and bump along the way (you know, sleepless nights, morning sickness, impact on your relationship and sex life, financial challenges, family sickness etc.) and all the many decisions she would now be faced with (like breast or bottle feeding; cloth or disposable diapers, immunizations; daycare or stay at home; pacifiers, types of toys and clothing fabric, etc.).

But I don’t really think I said a whole lot in either situation, just expressed my joy and support with a few words of encouragement and suggestion…Knowing that, in the end, we are all on our own adventure and have to find our own way.

The truth is that life, parenting, and relationships can be very challenging. Energy draining. And, at times, just make you want to scream or pull your hair out (maybe both simultaneously)…

But they are also the most amazing opportunities for learning and growth; for bonding and modeling how to be an admirable human being to another and for helping to shape the world of tomorrow by helping to shape tomorrow’s people.

So, I gathered some nuggets of wisdom from other moms and threw in a couple of my own to help any mom when you notice you’re at your wits end (aka emotional fuel tank on “E”), check them out and see what you think:

1 – Start by getting some rest of some kind, and when you have, sit quietly somewhere and reflect back on the blessings you have in your life right now.

2 – Reprogram your thinking and perspective (as much and as often as possible) to the “glass is half full” way of thinking. This is a way of saying, focus on the positive. You may have to reinterpret things, like if your baby is fussy and needy because they are teething, be thankful that they are developing as they are supposed to – just imagine if they didn’t get teeth at all and how distressing that would be! If the kids are leaving their toys all over everywhere, appreciate that they are happy and active; creative and enjoying life – imagine if they laid in their bed all day with the covers over their head or were unable to do these things due to sickness or some other reason.

3 – Do your best to simplify life. Make your meals and cleaning schedule and habits flexible and as simple to accomplish as possible. Think of healthy simple snacks to keep yourself energized and nourished. Consolidate shopping trips, etc as much as possible to allow more time for other things. Incorporate peaceful activities (like reading books, watching a video together or playing board games or doing puzzles) to help guide the household in that direction.

4 – Remind yourself (and your partner) that the kids will grow up and many of these things will be very different as well as that they will be capable of helping out in many ways in the not too distant future. If you can believe it, you will probably end up missing having to do some of the things you currently do at that time…

5 – Maintain some friendships even though you may sometimes feel like they are just one more thing to work into your very busy schedule. They can provide some much needed enjoyment, encouragement, camaraderie, support and even possible friendships for your kids (if they have children as well). It is also much better for the long haul and can help prevent loneliness as a habit.

6 – Make your relationship with your husband/partner a priority too. Have conversations that put you on the same page as much as possible about this being a challenging and time-consuming period in life, but come up with a plan together to make it work, even if it means that intimate time is greatly reduced. Learn how to make love in other ways, like very passionate kisses and hugs, cuddling in intimate ways while holding the baby or watching a movie as a family, noticing regularly what an amazing, handsome and admirable partner you have and tell him (this strengthens that muscle  : ).

7 –  Build and cultivate a support system of some kind. This could be other young moms or parents, it could be a church or special interest group that you have things in common with, it could be family members or any combination of the above. Life is easier and more enjoyable when you can share the joys and the heartaches with others.

8 – Remind yourself that this is a temporary phase of life, family and development. Incorporate in quick grounding pick-me-ups (like taking a deep breath or stopping to look up and enjoy the beautiful blue sky or smell some lovely flowers in the garden, etc.). If your connection with God, the Universe, Jah, Allah or any other inspirational person or deity brings you peace, joy and tranquility incorporate that in as well. If you can swing it, work in exercise, nature walks, yoga and meditation or prayer regularly (rotate these if you can).

Remember, this too shall pass and one day you will be reflecting back on it all (like me), and watching as your own Sweetie is getting married, having babies and building a life of their own, and a whole new adventure unfolds.

Wishing you the best in your parenting adventure and creating a happy, healthy child and family.

Blessings to you and thank you for all the loving parenting you do; it makes a better world, one Sweetie at a time.

Hug attached,

Koolma  : )

Do you have any other nuggets of wisdom or techniques that you have used to have happier, easier days?  Have you read or run across any other books, blogs or articles that have really great suggestions or quotes for dealing with overwhelm?

We’d love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section so we can help each other; remember, we are all in this together!

 

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