If there’s only one truth about becoming a mum, it’s that it changes your life – forever.
The ante-natal classes just don’t do justice to that fact. They talk about lack of sleep, changing nappies and how to “burp” your baby, but rarely do they mention the highs and lows, the tough bits and the amazing bits of motherhood.
So, after a mere 4 years of being on this particular rollercoaster, here are 7 musings on motherhood – and how to feel happier while you’re at it!
- “This, too, will pass”
This became my mantra during the early phases of motherhood – particularly once the excitement of waking up at night for feeds and nappies had passed. Nothing stays the same unless you make it so. The 100% most important tool for enjoying being a mum is acceptance and trust that any tough phases will pass.
- You Can Do It!
If we’re learning a new sport, musical instrument or other skill, we often get ourselves a coach or teacher, to show us the short-cuts and keep us motivated. But we jump into life’s biggest lesson with little or no preparation or schooling. Remember: we’re never presented with a challenge we can’t handle, no matter what it feels like at the time. Like Ivor The Engine, just keep telling yourself, “I can do it!” and you’ll get to the top of the hill. You truly are a superstar 🙂
- Celebrate Your Achievements
As a mum, you’ll be constantly having to learn new ways of communicating with your family – and motivating them. Then, whenever we hit on something that works, the game rules seem to change. Rather than getting down-hearted, celebrate your achievements and know how flexible you can be.
- Remember Who You Are
A common problem I see with coaching clients – and myself – is that it’s easy to get “lost” in the role of being a mum and forget who we really are. It’s essential to prioritise time for doing the things you love – and spending time with people who help you be you, rather than “just mum”.
- It’s Ok To Laugh And Cry
Being a mum can be full of emotional extremes. One moment you can be feeling frustrated, like you want to scream and cry. The next you can have tears of joy rolling down your face. And that’s ok. Going with the emotions is essential for long-term emotional health.
- There’s No Right Or Wrong
Just because the latest expert / your best friend / the doctor tells you how to do something, if it doesn’t feel right for you, then it’s not. That doesn’t make them wrong – it just isn’t working for you. Trusting your intuition is one of the most important skills to develop, if you’re going to stay sane. Your square peg child will not fit in that round peg hole, no matter how hard you try!
- To really handle the emotional rollercoaster of motherhood, there’s a useful 3-point strategy you could employ: NAG
It stands for:
Nurture = Nurture Yourself – as the ancient Chinese used to say, “the general drinks from the well, before leading his army.” If you’re at burn-out, you’re not going to enjoy life much.
Ask = Ask For Help – You’re not alone. No matter what your life situation, there will be someone around who could help. Don’t let your pride get in the way. Calling for help when you need it is something your children will thank you for – eventually!
Gift = Look For The Gift – our children teach us more than we could ever teach them. If we approach even the most challenging phases with an attitude of looking for the gift in the experience, then it’s easier to be more patient and loving.
Calling all mothers! If you have tips for coping with the emotional rollercoaster of motherhood, please share them via the comments box below.
Thank you, superstars!