Make no mistake. Just because I’m armed with Reiki, yoga breathing techniques and all these new age tools doesn’t mean every day is bright and shiny. As a mother to highly energetic two preschoolers, there are days that seem to stretch forever and times when I feel the air being sucked out of me.
The thing is, the day doesn’t even need to be overly dramatic for my mood to turn sour. And I’ve made my peace with that.
Let’s take earlier today for example. My morning started at 6am – the kids are early birds – when I heard my boys’ heavy-footed steps and excited chatter. Seriously, who’s this chirpy at this time in the morning?
And then the whining and fighting started. *yawn*
Later, right in the middle of lunch outside (the food was not to the children’s liking pfft), our older kid had a nose bleed. Time check: 11.20am.
I could feel the pressure at the chest area building up, my breathing becoming shallow. We still had to take a 10-minute stroll in the light drizzle (and in suffocating face masks no thanks to Covid-19) to our next destination.
On days like this, it’s all too easy to just start lashing out at the children (and occasionally, the husband). And believe me, I’ve had regrettable moments.
After several years of parenting however, I’ve gotten more skilled at moderating my responses to stressful days and situations. Hopefully these tips are of use.
- Spot the physical symptoms
When my chest feels heavy and my breathing gets laboured, I know it’s time to give myself a personal timeout – it can range from anything from 10 minutes to an hour. And when it gets so loud at home I can’t hear myself think, I will ask everyone to refrain from talking to me while I catch a breath. While mama taps out, they have to figure out how to solve their own problem.
- Find a centring practice
When I have at least 10 minutes of privacy, I lay down and start doing Reiki (one hand on chest and another on the tummy). This is a very comforting thing to do whether or not you actually are attuned to Reiki. You can use this time to rediscover and deepen your breath.
- Go take a shower
There’s something so instantly relaxing about warm water running down the head. It’s like all the negative juju is being washed away.
- Don’t feel guilty
If you’ve said some nasty things, don’t feel bad about it (for too long). Apologise if you have to but be kind to yourself. We are all learning to be better at this adulting gig.
- Wine always works
There’s no shame in admitting this, right?