Life has a way of twisting and turning when you don’t expect it. Every person has expectations for themselves when they’re young and when those expectations aren’t met, life feels a lot harder than you ever imagined it could be. You feel like a failure; and it’s not a nice feeling to go through. You can be the most kick-ass parent in the world with the most amazing kids who are politer than you could have hoped. And then life muscles in and turns itself on its head and bam; you don’t feel strong enough to be a parent right now.
The thing is, you don’t have a choice.
It doesn’t matter whether you have been served papers for divorce. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had some horrendous news at work and have lost your job. It doesn’t even matter if your personal injury claim after that accident last year still hasn’t been settled. When life does a 180 on you when you don’t expect it, you have to suit up, show up and be Mom. The bricks that are piling on your shoulders right now aren’t as important as getting up and getting the kids ready for school. They’re not as important as completing the science project homework. You have to show up for your kids no matter how tough your life gets, because they need you beyond anyone else. However, none of this means you can’t hold your hands up, close your eyes and ask the universe for a break. It also doesn’t mean that your partner, mother, friend or relative can’t take over for an afternoon so that you can regroup. Here are some things that you can do to stay strong and collected when you really just want to curl up in a ball under the duvet:
Treat Yourself. So, life has become a little bit…difficult. You need to be reminded of life’s pleasures. That means you need to go to Starbucks, or the mall, or the little café in that one place that you love, and you need to get yourself a hot drink and a pastry. Sit and taste your food slowly and sip your drink slowly. Sit and breathe. Sometimes that little pick me up is all you need to continue.
Rant. You need your phone, a quiet place and another parent on your side to rant to. Venting is so important as a parent; just having a whinge can help you to blow off steam.
Breathe. There is no yoga, Pilates or meditation video that you need, but you do need to put one hand over your chest and feel the rise and fall of your lungs as you breathe. It’s not as corny as it sounds. Focusing on your breathing can calm a racing mind and help you to centre yourself. Try it and see.
Life is going to bite you in the behind sometimes. How you handle it is going to determine your strength. You can still be the best Mom, but you need to take care of you, too.