Do you find yourself yelling at your kids or husband a lot? Or do you bottle up your feelings and then burst out one day because you can't hold it in anymore? It's normal because all of us have been there at some point in our life.
Motherhood is not always a comfortable journey, some days you feel like you are winning, and other days, you have a lot of "mum guilt." Whether you are a SAHM or a working mum, "mum guilt" is prevalent at different degrees.
When we don't get enough sleep, feel overwhelmed by the amount to-dos, or stressed out by life circumstances, it can take the slightest thing to trigger us into a rage or burst out in tears if we are not aware of our mind and our feelings.
I didn't think I was a yeller. One fine day, when my then one-year-old son refused to nap after lunch, I just lost the plot! I started shouting and crying at the same time and out came all the things that bothered me, like how I needed "me" time and how exhausting it was to be with him all the f*cking time. At that moment, it felt like such an out of body experience! A wave of "mom guilt" swept over me, and I had a massive cry sitting on the toilet bowl.
The incident shook me, and also surprised my son! It made me reflect on my outburst and checked-in on what triggered me. At that time, I was feeling the stresses of a new mum, and I was overwhelmed. I wasn't taking care of my needs and didn't ask for help because I felt guilty. It was only my husband and me taking care of my son, and we couldn't afford to hire any extra help.
I decided to go back to my meditation practice, which I started when I was pregnant with my son but didn't keep up after his birth. After months of meditating regularly, I found it easier to slow down my reaction towards my son when he is refusing to listen or whining like a bitch. (Yes! I said it!) I can check-in with myself and tell my husband when I'm not feeling 100% so he can take over.
I'm not saying that I will never raise my voice anymore, but I found the tool to help me become aware of my rising reaction. And I'm able to pull back a little, just enough to take a deep breath through it or at least cut my response short, so it doesn't escalate to a point where everyone is shouting and crying. It is a constant work-in-progress.
Another thing that happened through meditating is that I am more present with my kids and my life. I appreciate the little things like the smell of my morning coffee, the sound of my kids giggling in their room or the cold crisp air on my skin when I take a walk.
As mums, we are always multi-tasking and planning, which means we have a lot on our mind all the time. It can rob us of being able to enjoy what we have right in front of us- being alive, being healthy and grateful that we can watch our kids grow up. As Master Wu Gui from the movie Kung Fu Panda says, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That's why they call it present".
Meditation will help you let go of mental distractions, decrease stress and anxiety, regulate your emotions, promote better sleep and increase mental sharpness.
Watch this Ted Talk by the founder of Headspace on how 10 minutes of meditation a day can increase focus, calm and clarity in your life.
I hope you give meditation a try and allow yourself to experience the benefits. If you are interested in trying out meditation, let me know how I can support you.
Take care of your mental health, mama. Remember, your needs matter too.