All posts tagged: parenting

parenting and mental health

It’s World Mental Health Day and I wanted to write something about parenting with depression and anxiety. When I am feeling ill, it’s not easy, it can make me shouty, stressed, worried and overly anxious. My perspective can be off and I second guess my instincts. I can stay awake with worry and anxiety, I am tired and I struggle to make plans because juggling is hard and I may not feel sociable. I feel more overwhelmed and less able to cope. When I am well, parenting can still be a challenge but I trust myself more, I am calmer and I am able to cope with the chaos and the noise. I worry less, I feel like I make better decisions, I have more energy, everything feels much easier and it just works. I think I am a good mum, I have been present and I have been able to make time for my kids. I am also lucky that I can function when I am depressed – I can still respond to my …

what did you do for you today?

Discussion: What did you do for you today?

I love this question because, as a busy mum, it always makes me stop in my tracks and think about just what have I done for me? It doesn’t have to be big – the small things matter just as much – but this question can focus your mind on your day and what part of it was for you. Doing something for you can be about doing something that makes you feel happy, proud, accomplished, calm or it can provide a sense of relief, a chance to just stop for a while. It can make you feel like you have some time out, some time to switch off, some time to stop juggling and thinking about what else needs doing. I really do think this is important for all of us when I am busy and struggle to do anything for me, I start to crave an opportunity to just be and to stop doing. Doing something for you could be reading, writing, fitness, walking, having a bath, cooking, seeing friends, going for a …

Parent Voices: A 5 minute speed blog post. Cos I needed it…

Tara wrote this for me months ago but it got lost in the world of emails – I am still publishing it now because it’s still relevant and it’s an important short post about juggling kids, about feeling stretched, about snapping…   I’ve just screamed at my 5 year old. I opened the bedroom door from where I am trying to get our almost 3 year old (going on 18 months) to nap. I opened the door, yelled at his little shocked face and shut it again abruptly. This is the Easter holidays, sorry hellidays… you know all those people posting on social media about their “blessed” moments with their cherubs who are normally at school and how wonderful their “precious” time together is? Yeah, that’s not me. Maybe they normally work and have taken some well deserved (or necessary, childcare ain’t cheap) time off to spend time with their kids but for a stay at home/ full time carer it’s not a bonus to have yet more time with the kids. He’s done just …

Making a rod for my back

I have teenage daughters and I have been reflecting on life as a mother and on those early days, weeks and months with my babies when I felt a bit lost, like I was doing it wrong and being told I was making a rod for my back. Becoming a mother was a huge transition – as it is for most of us. I became more selfless and able and I learnt to trust my instincts. Before I became a mum I was never interested in breastfeeding or co-sleeping – in fact I mocked it when I went to antenatal classes..  When I was pregnant, I started reading and talking to friends who were mothers and they spoke positively – although fairly realistically – about birth and feeding and my thoughts started to change. I read well – Sheila Kitzinger and Ina May Gaskin – and I started listening to my instincts. I booked a homebirth with a birthing pool and I planned to breastfeed – still wasn’t convinced by the co-sleeping though! Armed with good …

mum anxiety newcastle and tyneside

Parent Voice: Anxiety

Anxiety crept up on me. I didn’t expect to have mental health issues. Not when I was 37, not after I’d just about navigated the intensity of having two babies and seeing them through toddlerhood. It caught me out, and I was really cross about it. It’s difficult to accept that it’s ok not to feel great. Even if everything looks great on the outside. My internal monologue went along the lines of “stop worrying, don’t be ungrateful, there are plenty of people worse off than you”. I quickly discovered that even if you know you shouldn’t feel bad it’s absolutely possible to feel wretched. Mental health challenges don’t discriminate, anyone is fair game. This was two years ago and my life didn’t outwardly appear any different to how it looks now. If you didn’t know me very well, and I suspect even if you did, there appeared nothing out of the ordinary about my life. Anxiety: Tipping Point But I was at a tipping point with anxiety. Tipping point makes it sound extreme and …