You know it, I know it, we all know it. Stress. It’s that heavy but quick thumping in our chest as our breath shortens and every muscle tightens.
Sometimes we find ourselves clenching our teeth as we run through the impending events of our day. Sometimes we find our shoulders up by our ears as we count the number of things we must accomplish in a limited amount of time. And sometimes we scream at our kids or our husbands over…. well… nothing really….just because. I for one have done, am doing and will do all three of these things at any given moment in my day, especially if it’s a bad day.
I am a mum, a mum of three kids, a wife, running a business, running a house, volunteering at my kid’s school, staring at the unfolded laundry, trying to ignore the dirty dishes, the unmade beds, and hoping with all hopes that I have something in the fridge for dinner tonight.
The life of a mum is hard. It just is. And by the conversations I have been having with mums of all ages, who have kids of all ages, lead me to believe that it doesn’t really get any easier. We just stress out about different things as the years go on. I know, I know, I am sounding so bleak, but we all know it to be true and see the long ride ahead on a road called “highway stress” as a part of the gig.
First there is the experience of a sleepless baby, or a sick child that seems to be catching every germ known to man for weeks on end, or a snoring little girl keeping siblings up at night, or the sudden realisation that your first child is growing up so fast and acting more like a teenager way sooner than you expected. And that’s just the first 8 years or so. STRESS!
Then they are teenagers, wanting to drive, desperate to be with their friends more than with you, asking to go to parties, pushing the boundaries to stay out later than allowed, and showing interest in colleges far, far away from home. STRESS!
Suddenly they are gone, all grown up and all you want to do is know that they are okay by calling or texting every five minutes, but don’t want to come across as the mum that couldn’t cut the cord, so you anxiously await their phone call that never comes as soon as you want it or often enough…….STRESS!
Finally they are married, maybe divorced (stressed), with kids of their own and you want to give them all of the advice you have so that they don’t make the same mistakes you did with them, with their own kids, but you can’t because they don’t want to hear it, and think they are already doing it better than you and they may even be right. STRESS!
Stop. Take a breath.
All of these experiences and plenty more will happen whether we like it or not. And we will always have laundry to wash, bathrooms to clean and dishes to do. But if we don’t learn how to manage this stress by taking care of ourselves, we will find our physical and mental health on the decline. No matter how impossible it seems, giving yourself 20 minutes or more of physical activity will not only benefit you, but your whole family.
Exercise in any form, whether it be kickboxing, Zumba, yoga, strength training, pilates or just flat out running will not only improve your physical well being, but your mental health as well. And on the days when you feel the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you can’t find an ounce of energy for a proper workout, just lie flat on your back and breathe. That’s right – BREATHE. Deep, slow, conscience breaths. Something we do far too little of and take far too much for granted, even though it is what keeps us alive 24 hours a day. Pay it some mind and breathe.
Click Here for a slow, breath focused workout, to get you through your toughest days as a mama.