We SAHMs know that momming 24/7 is intense at times and can put a strain on the mental stability of a mother. It’s no secret. So in light of Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought I would get some tips from my friend and mental health expert, Bonnie Bastin (Pastoral Counselor), on how we can maintain our mental health. You know, just trying to keep us all alive and well. And not to mention sane! For all involved.
Let’s see what Bonnie has to say about maintaining our minds.
Create your own standards to “mom” by
In this generation, social media has become a platform for a lot of things. Trendy “momming” being one of them. While I like the recipes and to receive good ideas for keeping them busy, I have also had to learn to unfollow or mute the ones that result in me feeling pressured. Note: If you feel shame or guilt when reading someone’s post about how they “mom” on any given day, UNFOLLOW. Shame and guilting another mom for her style or choices for parenting her child, can lead to comparison (theif of joy), depression, and anxiety. Mental health is more important that any trend!
Know your limits.
SAHM’s deserve the title of Superwoman. But even superwoman has her limits. While we as SAHM’s attempt to take on everything to our plates, it is completely healthy to recognize when stuff starts falling off the plate. Rather than grabbing a second plate, delegate! When your hands are holding two plates full, how effective are you? Probably less effective than if you only had one plate, and had one free hand instead. Delegating does not make you less SUPER, it makes you wiser!
Self care is important whether you are a SAHM or not, but SAHM’s have an even greater need for it. Why? Because they spend 100% of their time caregiving non-adults. Adult women need adult women! It is recharging and empowering to take a break or a DAY of self-care. How much better will you be for your children post a spa day, or bike ride and hair appointment, 3 day girls trip, etc. Recharged moms are more equipped than wiped out mamas! Relaxing and recharging are a boost for mental health!
Find yourself getting snappy? Less tolerant? Be self-aware enough to process what you are feeling. This can be challenging, again, because SAHM’s job description consists of “caring for offspring”. Caregivers need to caretake. If you are functioning in your feelings that you haven’t processed, you won’t be your best self. Mental health is more important than just taking the overly selfless route and letting it build residue and scar tissue, until you just burst one day.
Everyone needs them. Deep breathing reduces anxiety. You hold the biological capacity to lower anxiety and stress no matter the chaos going on around you. I encourage certain times of day to let everyone just breath. Whether it be in their own rooms (without tv and video games) or as a family during some down time. Teaching self-soothing is good for kids as well as a reminder for the moms!
Great tips right!? Good! Now use them!
Love you sister, J.E. Berry