Motherhood has changed me in ways I could have never imagined.
It has shaken and tested me like nothing else. Yet at the same time, I have also felt love in it’s purest form. The love for your child is like no other.
The past few years in isolation had brought up some pretty big emotions for me. How do I continue to support and raise my family in a positive and loving manner when I’m feeling so overwhelmed and over being around my kids?
Finding the calm amongst the chaos is something I’ve always struggled to find. Is it really possible? Quite simply, sometimes it is and other times it’s not and that’s ok. It’s not a race to the end. It’s about being present in that moment.
If you are feeling sad or overwhelmed then sit with those raw emotions, cry and scream it out if you need to. Give yourself compassion and love and know that you are doing the best you can. My favourite parenting mantra when my kids were young was, ‘this too shall pass!’ Remember it’s ok to be not ok at times. Reach out to those around you.
Spend time with friends. Those friends and woman who lift you up and fill your cup with compassion and laughter. That hold you and the space for you to be sad and angry. Those friends of yours that really get you and accept you for who you are. They are gold!
Get your daily dose of nature!
Nature is thy medicine. It heals, it restores, it livens and connects you. Nature is good for both your mental and physical health.
Here are 5 simple but powerful daily rituals you can do to restore and reconnect with yourself:
1. GROUNDING: Even it’s only for 5 mins a day. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot on the grass to ground yourself. Stomp your feet and move around. Read more about the benefits of grounding here.
2. SUNSHINE: go outside and feel the sun on your face and body. Get a picnic rug and have lunch outside or do an activity with the kids. Or even better go for a walk. But if you can’t then simply stand out and soak in the healing rays of the sun.
Just like grounding your feet, holding dirt or touching the earth with your hands also has many positive benefits. Dirt contains healthy microbes which boost your immune system. That’s why we always include mud kitchen play in our bush playgroups. If you have some dirt, maybe in your garden or backyard then get your hands dirty and hold and smell the earth. Of course, if you have a garden go out in your garden each day or start a garden. Grow some plants in pots.
4. BREATHE: this was and still is my go to tool when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s the 5 sec breath. You can do it anywhere and as many times you need to in a day. Simply place your hand on your heart, close your eyes and take a big deep breath. Fill your heart with love.
5. GO FOR A WALK IN NATURE: You can do this alone or with the kids or as a family. We’ve made it a regular weekend activity as a family that we go for a bushwalk and explore. Sometimes we pack a picnic lunch or catch up with friends there but getting outdoors is something we do regularly together as a family. You can some mindful scavenger hunt printables here to do together.
Remember filing your emotional cup is one of the most powerful ways you can be there for your family and others.
We can’t wait to get back out in nature with you all and run our bush playgroups again. Remember you are not alone and if you are needing help and support then please reach out to a family or friend or contact one of the helplines below.
PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline – 1800 022 222
The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) National Breastfeeding Helpline – 1800 686 268
Parentline Victoria 132 289, 8 am-12 am 7 days
Maternal and Child Health Advisory Line – 132 229, 24 hours 7 days
Lifeline – 131 114, 24 hours 7 days
1800 RESPECT (National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service)
And if you are looking for a supportive playgroup that meets weekly in nature, we’d love for you to join our bush playgroup community. Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to receive news and updates and find our bush playgroups page here.
This article was written by Eco Explorers founder, Director and mum of three kids, Melinda Bito