Do you ever have days, as a parent, where you are just at the end of your tether?
Today was one of those days.
As a long-term sufferer of GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder), I already had my own struggles to overcome – then everything just seemed to go wrong and nothing seemed doable!
Nothing was working, everything was overwhelming.
When you have anxiety, you are in a constant state of stress. So when you add the stress of parenting and particularly rough days.. Everything can go from zero to 100 in a split second.
Being a parent with anxiety sometimes feels like being a person who’s terrified of sharks being thrown into a shark tank.
But today, I learned something that I knew already knew in theory, but had failed to properly implement.
Throughout the course of what felt like the day from hell, I learned some pretty valuable lessons, the most important one being – it’s okay to ask for help! In fact, it is essential to your mental wellbeing!
What a day! But I survived!
Luna had her 18-month vaccinations today, and after that, she was understandably grumpy and tired.
I put her down for a nap, “Hallelujah, she’s asleep!”, and then within minutes our smoke alarm decided to play up.
Are you for real!?
4 times it went off. 4 times I had to fight to get her back to sleep. Then finally, we both gave up.
I let her shout and cry at me for what felt like an eternity because the poor thing is exhausted and sometimes fails to grasp the concept of sleep.
I don’t blame her, I’d give up trying to sleep too if I kept getting woken up by the most jarring noise known to mankind!
But sometimes, as a parent, you just can’t take it all on.
On TOP of this, I had also had my flu shot today. These always make me feel out of sorts with a bad headache.
It really feels like today has just not been my day!
No matter how much you love your kids, sometimes you just need a break!
I love my girl more than anything that has ever existed, and that is why she deserves the best of me.
So I messaged Jack’s mum, Michelle.
Within 10 minutes of having a chat to her, she was here, picking her up to give me some space to breathe. What an absolute lifesaver!!
Even now I am feeling the anxiety and stress continuing to build in my chest. Mum guilt is the real deal.
At first, I didn’t feel like I had handled it well, by calling in some help, but then a friend hit the nail on the head and provided me with some much-needed words.
“You can’t fill from an empty cup. You are a good mum for being strong enough and humble enough to ask for help.”
Stepfh, you beautiful woman, your wisdom is always a comfort to my soul!
For you mums, dads, grandparents, foster parents… All of you! You don’t have to do it alone. Ask for help, even if the mum guilt hits you square in the face.
Despite having reached out for support, I still resisted it when Michelle said yes to helping.
Being a parent is hard work. Some days are easy and simple, others will test your every emotion.
In the space of 8 hours, I have felt more emotions than an emoticon factory!
Sadness and sympathy for my girl when she had her injections, followed by a huge sense of pride when she handled them like a champion.
Then it was frustrating when the alarm first went off.
That quickly turned to anger which then went onto a complete state of loss and despair.
Not to mention the intense ball of anxiety that had built up in my chest, like someone had tried to suffocate me with cement.
Now I’m feeling an odd combination of ease and guilt for putting my girl in someone else’s hands for a few hours, even though it is the most beneficial course of action.
As hard as today has been, it is all normal. Little miss feels big emotions, and so do I.
I have done my best to remain calm, communicate with Luna and see to all of her needs. All of the things in my toddler tantrum guide.
Despite this it is true what they say, it definitely takes a village to raise a child. I am so thankful for my little village.
There is nothing wrong or shameful about seeking help. You are no good to anybody if you’re burning the world down in an attempt to stay above water!
Just this last Monday I wrote a post on self-care.
Today has been a huge reminder of why self-care is so so sooooo important! It will keep you sane when you feel stuck.
So now I am sitting down in the cool breeze, writing this post and enjoying an iced coffee.
Self-care, Jess style!
Other self-care things I have done today
Today I have done a few things to get my mind and emotions back on track! Here is my list:
- Consistently adding doterra Balance to my feet throughout the day, I definitely think this has kept me on the sane side of parenting
- I called in the troops, Jacks mum and sister now have Luna for a few hours, giving me the chance to breathe and collect myself.
- I wrote this post – an excellent place to let it all out and share my experiences with those in similar situations.
Since I wrote this post, between then and publishing it I have:
- I had a bit of a cry. Don’t worry, this isn’t as sad as it seems. It is really important to just let it out and just release the negative tension.
- I did a bit of stretching, loosen myself up a bit – especially those shoulder and neck muscles!
- Had a cold shower, where I used my homemade body wash which contains Bergamot and Grapefruit – to give myself a positive lift. (You can find the recipe here. I really recommend it if you haven’t tried it!)
These three final things were all done in the space of 20 minutes.
That is all it took and I am already feeling a lot better, less guilty and more at peace with the last 24 hours!
If you don’t have immediate support and help, there are ways you can get through the day.
Even if you need to take the little one into the shower with you, do that and let the delicious water wash away the negative feelings.
You’ve got this, I’ve got this and together we will conquer the bad days!
4 hours after this post was published.
Luna came home from her nanas in a much better mood, and I was in a much better mood as well.
I don’t think I was the only one who needed some breathing space.
Sometimes as a parent it is easy to forget that these tiny little humans have their own feelings as well, ones that are just as valid as ours!
So Luna and I hugged it out and got on with the rest of our day.
I am still incredibly run down and exhausted from all of what has gone on, but I don’t think I would have ended this day on such a positive note if I hadn’t of done a few small steps to care for myself.
When life gives you lemons, turn those lemons into Lemon Essential Oil and diffuse!
Diffuse the oils and you will diffuse the situation. It is something I have learned during my long struggle with anxiety.