What to Do when You feel like Crap, and You still Need to Parent
That’s why I tell everybody that giving birth was the easiest part
When my child calls me “Mamma”, I still fail to grasp the enormity behind such a simple word.
How can someone so flawed, fearful, and continuously soul searching as I am, be a mother?
How can someone always in need of reassurance and love, support someone’s else growth?
And yet I love tremendously; I change nappies, I make dinners, I buy clothes. All in all, I parent full time, and I parent from the deepest and loving place in my heart.
I know my daughter is my everything, and I couldn’t breathe without her, but there are days when I wake up, and I would love to have the opportunity to hide in a universe far and far away. Sometimes this need it’s caused by too many sleepless nights and unpredictable tantrums; some other times is created by a lack of self-worth or the immense fear of failing in business and life.
It is hard to be on top of my game on days when I wish I could cry and be cuddled by a warm embrace.
Many people describe anxiety as feeling stressed, or by the inability to breathe; to me anxiety comes under the form of feeling inadequate, of needing doing, doing, doing instead of being. It doesn’t cause my heart to palpitate or my skin to sweat, but my thoughts become unclear and scattered, I become sad, and I don’t know what to do with myself.
I used to feel that way every single day. Then I worked on it, and it became exponentially better.
The reality is that it’s tough to run away from something that we do create, perceive, or believe in.
On days when the world is too much for me, I always go back to nourishing my body, proper rest and hydration, and…
I shush comparison away
Like a bite I need to scratch, whenever I don’t feel good enough, I start comparing myself to others, even to people I love, and I genuinely care for. When I hit rock bottom, I even compared to my husband, which is the most loving and support being I have ever met. Comparison is all about perception. We perceive that other people are rocking life when we struggle to finish breakfast without getting overwhelmed by worries. We even compare ourselves to our future self or someone we should be based on our dreams and parental pressure.
Now, when I struggle, I steer away from technology, as I have found out in the hard way that social media are just a reflection of a tiny part of a bigger picture that is called reality.
Doesn’t matter if that mum in LA has a thriving business, although she has three kids, she is younger than me and more fashionable. I’m where I’m, and where I’m supposed to be. Full stop.
I can keep comparing and dwelling in misery, or I can dress up, go out, and have a coffee instead.
I stop doing
When adulting becomes too much, I take a pause to recharge. Back in the past, I would only allow my pauses to last somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Now, I have learnt to take half days or even full days off, without shame. I’m working towards taking a week for my wellbeing and mental sanity, and I will let you know when I reach that epic achievement.
Stop doing has a different meaning for different people; it doesn’t mean freezing in the middle of a room and avoid moving until the end of the day. Most of the time it means taking myself somewhere lovely for lunch (what I’m doing now), or calling a friend I haven’t heard for a long time. It can also mean going to sleep at 8 pm and kiss goodnight to everyone, without being afraid of missing out. Stop doing, to me, means taking care of my health, my values, and my wellbeing.
I watch my daughter
Yesterday I spent a good hour under the blankets with my toddler, serving each other imaginary cups of tea; it felt good. She masters the meaning of mindfulness; she is present and entirely focused on whatever she does. She is entirely in tune with her body and what she needs, from hunger pangs to cuddles time. I know she will lose that connection in the process of growing, but for now, she is one of my best teachers.
She teaches me stillness, unconditional love, patience. And most of all, she shows me that also if I spend an hour playing in the sand, my business will keep on growing, my body will be much more relaxed, and I will feel much more at ease and peaceful when the night comes along.
Gratefulness is such a widely used word; I don’t think I have fully grasped the concept of gratitude until I started being…grateful! How did I do it? I bought a journal, and I jolted down my thoughts and all the reasons why I was grateful. It didn’t come easily in the beginning, but I persevered, and it got addictive.
Whenever we do gratitude and appreciation, our body cannot do stress hormones production.
In simple words, the more grateful I am, the less I get stressed, and the more productive I become.
Does it work? Yes, every time.
And it’s free, easily accessible, and it can be done…now. So why not giving it a go?