A Mother’s Day Ordeal: Not Every Child Celebrates Mother’s DayA Mother’s Day Ordeal: Not Every Child Celebrates Mother’s DayMother’s Day is a day of celebration and joy for families as we cherish the many gifts of mothers around the world. Yet, that might not be the case for everyone. In a healthy mother and child relationship, the bond between mother and child is usually a close and endearing one. For others however, Mother’s Day might be a painful one. For children who might suffer from ongoing emotional, physical and psychological abuse due to the absence of or abuse from their mother, or adults who were abused as children, Mother’s Day might be a stark reminder of that toxic relationship and trigger traumtic memories. The scars left behind in children who experienced trauma as a result of their mother make it difficult for them to celebrate Mother’s Day. Trauma is directly attributed to any type of abuse a mother subjected her child to. Abuse may take many forms (spiritual, emotional, psychological, physical, or sexual), and can be ongoing throughout childhood and into adulthood. In many cases, the source of the abuse may be an untreated mental illness or a personality disorder. Ultimately, an abusive upbringing damages the relationship between the child and the parent. Moreover, all types of abuse are damaging to children and can cause long-term difficulties with their behaviour and mental health. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, let’s remember the children whose mothers do not fulfil the ideal role of motherhood. Let’s extend our love and respect to all those battling with such issues today. For those struggling with Mother’s Day, here are some tips you can follow to make getting through Mother’s Day a bit easier. Tips for navigating Mother’s DayBe honest about how you feel Acknowledge how you actually feel about this day instead of what you think you should feel. It is easy to skip over your true feelings when confronted with idealistic Mother’s Day messages and people telling you how you should feel about your mom. Even though it’s hard, being honest with yourself about your feelings — without judgment — is an important step in navigating difficult emotions surrounding family-centric holidays. Take a break from social media on Mother’s DayTry and take a couple of days of social media to focus and take care of yourself. Being away from social media helps you take your mind off the bombardment of Mother’s Day messages. Celebrate the positive female role models in your lifePay tribute to another female in your life instead – a sister, grandmother, female friend, teacher, aunt. Take this opportunity to let this woman know how much her presence has meant to you. You could also turn Mother’s Day into your own personal celebration of strong and powerful women everywhere. Your self-defined version of Mother's Day is definitely worthy of celebration. Create a plan to take care of yourselfGet out of the house and do something fun to take your mind off things – go for a run, buy yourself some ice cream. You may have a mother-sized hole in your heart, but you can take time today to think about how you can take better care of yourself. Make a commitment to treat yourself with respect, love, encouragement and gentleness. Spend time with supportive friends on that dayReach out to a friend who is always willing to lend a judgment-free ear whenever you need emotional support or some companionship. *Content is republished with permission from Annabelle Psychology.
5 Ways To Practise Self-care As Busy MomsBeing a mom is no easy feat. Whether you’re a full-time mom or juggling motherly responsibilities with a day job, at any point in time you’re probably scrambling to complete to check off a long list of tasks from your list. Pouring your heart out for your children and wrecking your brain for work can be incredibly overwhelming. It is normal to feel stressed and burned out after months and years of mothering. However, mothering responsibilities don't get easier over the months and years, there seems to be no time to afford to solve your stress. In times like this, finding a quick and efficient way to practise self-care and destress is so important. If you’re a busy mother, here’s a few 60-second routines that can help you be grounded and strong amid the craziness of motherhood. Image Source: Shutterstock, Doucefleur 1. Visualization technique The first routine that can help ease your frustration and stress is through regulated breathing and visualizing yourself in a peaceful setting. You may begin by closing your eyes and taking deep, slow controlled breaths, and utilizing your touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing imagining yourself in a comfortable and relaxing setting, say a beautiful beach or at the peak of a scenic mountain. By doing so, it allows your relaxation response to kick in. Make sure you try to focus on all 5 senses to make this exercise effective! This is a perfect way for stressed moms to gain control of their emotions and regain clarity in their thoughts during an overwhelming period. 2. Treat yourself to some self-care time Allocating some time for a skin-care regimen can be a real mood booster and it's an excellent way to work on self-care. Setting aside a time before the day starts and right after it to care for one’s hair, skin and nails can help mothers feel confident and happy in their own skin. Who doesn’t love to feel beautiful after all! An occasional manicure might just do the trick in taking your mind off your problems while improving your mood for the day! 3. Ensure you’re getting the best nutrition This might not be the first time you hear this, but when you're occupied with feeding your growing children with the most nutritious meals and sending them around for their classes, along with a bunch of to-dos at the back of your head, it's easy to forget about the basic necessity of having nutritious meals. It’s not a common sight to see moms finish off whatever's left of their children meal! As the main pillar of families, mothers not only need to fuel themselves with the best nutrition, they need to start prioritizing their diets, because they deserve it! Instead of waiting for your gastric to hit you in the late afternoon, take 5 minutes each morning and afternoon to have a complete meal. You’ll realize how much more energized and happier you’ll feel! 4. Put your legs up the wall exercise This sounds a little odd, but putting up your legs on the wall and focusing on your breathing can help to calm you down. Here’s how to do it: Lie with your back on the floor, raise both legs in the air and rest them against the wall. Set your timer for 60 seconds, and in that position, focus on your breathing. Studies show that this position may help alleviate stress and reduce your headaches and lower backaches and ultimately calm your mind. 5. Do this chest opener. If you're breastfeeding your baby or carrying him or her around, it is easy to get neck and shoulder aches from all the hours of handling them! Try this simple exercise to relieve tension from your shoulders and neck! First, sit on an elevated surface like a chair. Place your hands under your behind your bum, with your fingers pointing backwards. Once you’re in that position, roll your shoulders back and lift up your chin follow but your chest upwards to the ceiling. Now take a deep breath, and you might feel a release of tension. References: https://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/experts-share-their-favorite-60-second-self-care-routines-for-busy-moms/
Juggling Motherhood and Career: An ACT approachIt’s often said that a baby is a bundle of joy to the family. But at 3am when you’ve tried everything everyone in your local mummy’s forum have suggested, we can’t help but feel whoever said the aforementioned phrase should be hanged, drawn, and quartered (hint: it is often the father). It is challenging to juggle motherhood and career at the same time. We worry about… … having to return to a huge load of work while worrying if your child meets each developmental milestone … how our colleagues might view us if we are unable to complete our work with the same level of efficiency as before … the list goes on... All these problems accumulate over time and become overwhelming, especially when sleep deprivation is a real issue for mothers. Taken together, they can snowball into burnout if not dealt with in time. Is there anything we can do to juggle motherhood and career at all? One way to do that is to adopt an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach by: Ψ acknowledging and accepting our experiences, no matter how difficult they might beΨ being aware and being in the present momentΨ using values to guide our actions Mindfulness: Accept, and be present It is normal for mothers to avoid, suppress, or escape from unwanted private experiences (e.g., thoughts, emotions, memories, etc.) associated with the pressure to juggle family and work commitments. After all, to confide in others is akin to admitting that weakness and vulnerability. That said, wouldn’t it be better to accept our experiences instead? Mindfulness promotes the acceptance of experiences related to expectations as a working mother. One mindfulness exercise involves taking deep breaths and writing 5 things about the self and environment. Applications, such as UCLA Mindful, are also available for those who prefer guided approaches. Valued Direction: what’s truly important? Besides mindfulness, the ACT approach involves being aware of what matters to us. When things get tough, it can be easy for us to lose track of what we value, or what meaning we derive from doing certain things. Journalling is one good way to help us uncover these important questions:Ψ What kind of parent would I like to be?Ψ What can I do to foster the bond with my child, while nurturing their development and dreams? Take Action: putting it all together. After deciding on what values are important to us, we can now take steps to align our actions with them. Think about the domains in your life that you would like to address, such as career or parenting, and set relevant goals. On this note, it is helpful to set SMART goals to increase the chances of success. Credit: VComply Suppose you are someone who values work-life balance immensely. Your short-term goal might then look like this:S: I will prioritise my work during weekday mornings and afternoons; evenings and weekends reserved for my family.M: I will spend quality time with my child by focusing on my family during evenings and weekends; I will switch to “work mode” once the next work day starts.A: I will plan my schedule each day to help me be more attentive and aware of my family’s needs, and my work responsibilities.R: This is something I can do over the next few weeks, given that I do not work on weekends.T: I will do this over the next four weeks and see if this works out fine. It’s not easy to juggle motherhood and career. Kudos (or in local parlance: add oil) to all mummies out there for being strong! When things get overwhelming (and they often can and do!), it’s easy to lose track of what is important to us. Learning to take a breather from time to time is important so that we do not react immediately to everything that’s happening. It also helps to remind us that our values are really good guides in helping us decide what we should do when we face obstacles! Motherhood and career are both long-term endeavors; give yourself the opportunity to learn these skills to flourish and thrive in the long run! *Content is republished with permission from Annabelle Psychology.
Mother's RageMom rage is an issue that many women face. Although it has many mental and physical health implications on both you and your children, it isn't talked enough about. Image Source: Shutterstock, Microba Grandioza Parenting can really test one’s limits and while you might be doing your best to stay calm, there can be times where you just can't control your anger. Lockdowns showed how easily parenting can make one cross their tipping point. Even if you previously never had temper issues, a whiny child with 10 daily meltdowns can easily enrage even the most patient mothers. You'll need a lot of mental strength to stay calm and composed when facing the difficulties of motherhood. The impact of mom rage Anger is a normal feeling but when you’re dealing with a toddler, expressing your anger by throwing a tantrum probably won’t teach them anything. In the heat of the moment, flying into a rage might make you do things you aren’t particularly proud of. Simply appearing to be out of order in front of your children is enough to make you feel mom shame and that you should set a better example. If you have young children, raging can scare them and teach them to act impulsively. As for older children, frequent raging might make it too normalized for them to notice abusive behaviour from others. Why are you angry? Have you ever asked yourself why you’re always raging? Have you just grown to have a short temper from years of mothering? When it reaches the point that you're screaming at your toddler although they’re just doing child things like spilling their food, don't accept that your short temper has become part of your personality. Mother's rage is a real thing and can be solved. It stems from repeatedly stifling your anger and frustration from the a everyday stress of a mother. One or two events of your daughter refusing to eat her food or whining might seem like nothing, but if the repeats over a hundred occasions, all the tiny bouts of annoyance you feel may culminate into an impending melt-down. Know that this can bed fixed, and it starts with identifying the root cause. Identifying your triggers can help you understand why you’re angry so often. Triggers could be literally anything. In fact, they could be totally unrelated to your children’s actions. If you’re having trouble noticing a pattern then jot down what happens every time you start raging then look closer for specific triggers. Sometimes, a noisy house is just too much after a long tiring workday. If your children aren't listening that too could be a trigger. As a mother, you might be so busy caring for everyone else you might forget your own needs. Sleep, nutrition, unprocessed emotions or any other unmet needs can trigger rage. Each one of these needs might not trigger raging on its own but having many unmet needs pushes you closer towards your tipping point. Coping with mom rage Once you’ve identified what your triggers are, the next step is working on your rage. When it comes to dealing with your triggers, deal with the ones you can control. For example, if you notice that noise after coming from work is your trigger then a pair of earplugs might do the trick if your children are old enough to stay unattended or if someone else is looking out for them. Other triggers you could deal with are unmet needs, feeling overwhelmed and that you don't have any support. You can also try exercising or meditating to calm you down whenever you feel like exploding. Raging is bad for both you and your child's mental and physical health. Raging can also impact your physical well-being by increasing your chances of having a heart attack or conditions like low blood pressure. Know that although not many mothers talk openly about mom rage, it’s a real and common issue. Try talking to someone who can relate to you or seek professional help if needed! Sources: https://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/mom-rage-is-a-real-thing-heres-how-to-deal-with-it/amp/
Postpartum Depression In Young MothersBeing a new mother can be hard especially if you're still young. Along with the challenges of childbirth, depression is surprisingly common among new mothers. But what does this influx of feelings even mean and what should you do if it gets out of hand? Image Source: Shutterstock, Pixel-Shot Having a baby is an emotional rollercoaster. A new mother can go from being excited about meeting her new bundle of joy to being worried sick from doubting her capability to be a mother. Having mixed feelings is perfectly normal. However, when negative feelings linger and grow over time, that may pose a big problem. If you’ve heard of the term ‘baby blues’, it is something most mother’s experience after childbirth and it may include symptoms like mood swings, sadness, anxiety and feeling empty or emotionless. Baby blues usually resolve in about two weeks. However, about 1 in every 10 women experience a more severe form of depression called postpartum depression. Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression If your baby blues don't go away within 2 weeks of childbirth and you experience the following symptoms then you probably have postpartum depression: IrritabilityChanges in appetiteMood swingsCrying spellsAnxietySadnessEmptiness and hopelessness Facing your postpartum depression can be hard. You may feel like you're a bad mother but rest assured that countless other women have gone through the same experience! After all, your postpartum depression can be explained by hormonal changes after childbirth so it's nothing to feel bad about. Giving birth as a young mother Becoming a mother and getting used to life as a parent can be hard especially if you're a young woman. Transitioning from having no one to care for other than yourself to having a little one who's entire existence depends on you can be an overwhelming reality to accept. Did you know that younger mothers are at greater risk of postpartum depression? Along with being young, factors that increase your chances of getting postpartum depression include going through an extremely stressful event, job stress and financial issues. Seeking help At this stage in your life as a young mother, there's just so much going on in your life it can be hard to process what's going on. If you feel like you have postpartum depression then make sure you talk to your doctor since this condition requires medical attention. If you feel that you might harm your child or don't have the energy to deal with their baby then urgently seek help. Things you can do to feel better include sleeping whenever you get the chance to, making time for socializing and getting help from your friends and family. Sharing your problems with an understanding loved one is always a great solution. Having someone to talk to especially if they've gone through the same experiences can provide you with an outlet for your emotions, and most of all give you the needed support and perspective. References: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617 https://evolvetreatment.com/blog/the-importance-of-maternal-mental-health/
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