At the beginning of the year I decided to instill change within myself and my life, I have not only amped up my activity level and changed my eating habits but I have also set aside non-negotiable time for myself and become more introspective and mindful of my approach particularly when it comes to stressful situations.
Has this worked?
I have to say that without a doubt yes; for example last week my son neglected to do his work properly normally I would have flipped my lid both internally and externally and I would have spent the rest of the evening doing his work with him and negated my evening walk nit this time, I told my son to get started and left for my walk whilst my hubby made supper, when I got back I sat down with him to complete the work and although we went to bed a bit later than usual we got through it in a calm and constructive manner, I got my half an hour or so walk and time to calm down and regroup and could approach the situation when I got home in a much better space, my son also had the opportunity to think through the fact that he now had to sit and lose technology time because he had not completed his work properly and the work that he produced that evening was of a much better standard because he wanted to actually complete it and do it properly.
I feel so much better, our household is so much calmer, I am feeling better, sleeping better and am actually enjoying being a parent instead of constantly running damage control and being on edge and miserable all the time.
My advice to anyone going through a hard time or anyone who feels like they have lost the joy of parenting:
Take time out for yourself, for self care and to process your day, your decisions and your stressors
Find an activity that you enjoy and take time to do it even if it means a 15 minute walk or a 10 minute yoga session something that allows you to release endorphins and release stress with increased activity and focus while also allowing you to step away or outside of the situations that are weighing you down.
Block out some time every week for tech free family time- whether you take a walk down to the local park or play board games
Find someone that is unbiased and that you trust and can talk to- if you cannot afford a therapist there are resources available within Cape Town and other areas that offer reduced cost therapy sessions or if you just find someone who you can talk to do it, talk it out no matter how silly it is; I cannot explain what an hour session a week has done for me, just being able to talk about my day, my week, what is going on or not going on.
Finally I know I am going to get a few eye rolls with this one but optimize your health; drink water, eat good food and enjoy your food. Often as mothers or even just as parents we tend to lose our love for food and our enjoyment in it, it becomes something we simply have to do, something we simply have to make and something that we shovel down so fast because the next thing has to be done and we hardly even get the chance to taste what we are taking in. Be mindful of what you take into your body and enjoy it, our bodies keep us going and if we don't protect and provide it with "high grade oil" and rather just keep shoving in "low quality oil" just because eventually it is going to shut down...
Speaking of oil, my car broke down last week, it is fixed now thank goodness but it was a very expensive experience I will just leave it at that.
A lot has gone down the past few weeks… A LOT
Our therapeutic team organised a mass meeting whereby numerous professionals and person involved and not involved in our case were invited to attend, to put their heads together to try and help our family, which is just amazing guys, to know that around 20 people got together to help us and brainstorm/share ideas is just mind boggling and I feel incredibly lucky that our psychologist has worked so hard to help us get somewhere. The road is long but much was gained from the meeting and I am hoping we can now move forward and can help our son get both his education and therapeutic help.
In the meantime he is home-schooling which has its pros and cons, its good and bad days, a lot that I won’t get to on this space but we are moving along. We had to give him a cellphone which a whole other kettle of fish, my dad gave me his old cell…. OLD so there isn’t anything to be done on there besides message and call but it is scary none the less.