Happy Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week! A theme this year is #makingovermotherhood, and mothers all over the world have shared their stories of what being a mama means to them – good, bad, ugly, and (my personal favorite) irreverent. One goal of this particular campaign is to empower women to speak directly to what being a mom looks like to them without the constant Insta-pull to look/act/feel a certain way.
With that in mind, and in no particular order, here are some current thoughts I have on maternal mental health and motherhood. Things I’m enjoying, things I’m working on, and things that are resonating with my clients at the moment.
- Did you read about the Rock-n-Play recalls? I love this article on how we get ourselves into situations with baby gear that could be harmful or dangerous even when the gear itself may not necessarily be a death trap. Exhaustion in particular is such a motivator to doing nearly anything to survive, and we VERY OFTEN suggest, for the mental health of all parents, that in a 24 hour period every single parent needs one large chunk of sleep, three hours or more uninterrupted, minimum. Some new parents read this and think “yeah right,” but I promise outcomes for anxiety, depression, and overall happiness are greatly improved when you’re sleeping just a little bit. I don’t officially recommend letting your baby sleep somewhere that might be unsafe, but other adults, formula, pumped milk/skipping a pumping session, and almost anything else are valid ways to get this kind of sleep.
- On the lighter side, everything Nathan Pyle ever puts out about kids and parenting cracks me up.
- A weekly habit that I read about and have suggested to clients that is working with fun+satisfying results: find a way to incorporate some weekend chores on Friday evening, then enjoy the fruits of your labor all weekend. This feels GREAT compared to spending the weekend dreading Sunday, if you’re a Sunday type of chores person. I usually make a double batch of whatever dinner we’re having, meal prep it, and BOOM, done, productive. Other people clean with wine+takeout+music, listen to a podcast or something else to make it a little cathartic, and people are liking the method a lot.
- Books I love and recommend all the time! The Gifts of Imperfection, The Postpartum Husband, and Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts. All great for different reasons, and everyone who reads them gets something valuable from them.
- For your weekend! Find some guilt-free joy, no matter what that means to you. Laugh at the ridiculous things, take breaks when things feel overwhelming, and get the “I should be able to manage this” thoughts out of your head. I love YOU!