By Mikki Fisher, founder of The Red Tent
As a mother, sometimes it’s tough to keep your mental health in check.
And I wish that somebody had have told me before I birthed my eldest daughter, that I wouldn’t just be birthing my child, but I’d also be birthing a Mother.
But it was this rebirth that really accelerated my healing journey.
Children do that, they force us to expand, grow and evolve for them.
Everyday I feel as though my kids are screaming at me to level the f*ck up [they may not use those words exactly], it’s usually in the way that they push me to my limits. They ask questions about what golf balls are made of. Or scream at the ground for 30 minutes straight because I gave them the wrong shade of pink spoon with their breakfast.
But once I have time to step away from it all, I recognise it for what it truly is.
“Mum, be better for me”.
I recognised the demand pretty early on in my motherhood journey. I realised that killing myself trying to be the perfect mother was not productive.
Even more than that, it was useless.
My kids did not give a flying fruitcake for anything I had to say, but they watched everything I did.
They watched how I processed emotions; they watched how I treated others; and they watched how I treated myself.
They were watching everything [including how I passive aggressively slam cupboard doors].
This means that our number one priority NEEDS to be ourselves. Nobody is okay, if we’re not okay. By healing ourselves, we have the power to heal generations.
We don’t realise how powerful we are! That by facing our demons, understanding trauma-responses, learning and exploring ourselves we have the power to change the lives of those around us. This includes our children.
So, you want to be the best mother? Focus on being the best you.
And this has never been more important. We are all collectively experiencing trauma. And the best way for us to digest and process the heaviness of it all, is to invest in ourselves.
Professionals exist for a reason. We don’t think twice about heading to the doctor when we aren’t feeling okay, but for some reason we don’t treat our mental health the same way. If you aren’t feeling okay, seek help.
You are worthy of healing and loving yourself.
Do it for yourself. And do it for your children. Do it for the world.
Three Things You Can Do Everyday To Keep Your Mental Health In Check
1 // Take 5 minutes for yourself
Everyday! A minimum of 5 minutes!
Use this time to close your eyes, take some deep breaths and check-in with how you’re feeling.
If you can, try and journal, meditate or move your body! Have a dance! Cry into a pillow! Pass the baby to your partner, jump in the car, give your house the middle finger and duck out to IGA for some milk and take 45 minutes to do it.
Whatever it is, create space for yourself.
2 // Say no to others and say yes to yourself
The NO can be as simple as not replying to a message or as dramatic as saying no to having your in-laws over for dinner.
If it doesn’t feel good, say no!
And saying yes to yourself? Say yes to the good sh*t!
I want you to scream yes at the top of your lungs to yourself! You see a yoga class advertised that you want to attend? Instead of thinking you can’t do it – say YES.
Make your own yes’s! Organise a lunch with some girlfriends! Book a date night! Just say yes to your damn self.
3 // Forgive yourself, often
It’s hard being a parent. You might yell, you might roll your eyes, you might drop-kick a doll across the room. You’re human!
Just like your children, who do the same things [my daughter is an expert eye-roller].
Don’t shame your feelings, reactions or emotions. Instead feel them, honour them and use them as a way to show your children that they needn’t shame their emotions either.