Welcome to the eighth episode of the Pick Me Up Podcasts. Today’s episode is all about those challenging and difficult phases that we can find ourselves experiencing with our children. It looks at how we can approach them with positivity, along with some key strategies that we can put in place to help us get through these times.
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Transcript of This Phase Shall Pass
As I sit down to put this podcast together and share all the nuggets that I feel are relevant and can hopefully be of help to you all, I think of the amount of times I used the phrase “Ah, I’m sure it’s just a phase” in my mummy journey over the last 18months or so. But the truth of it is, that any difficulty I have experienced has indeed passed and I’ve come out the other side and even managed to smile and hold on to my sanity (ah the end I must admit, definitely not during these times).
As I was thinking about the phase I feel stuck in at the moment (which admittedly feels like it’s lasting a little longer than others this time), I just thought to myself that it’s this kind of stuff that I vowed to share with you all in my attempt to keep it real, honest and hopefully of some support to you.
So today’s podcast is all about the phases that we find ourselves in as Mummy’s, how we can set up our mindset to remain as sane and maybe even positive as possible during these times, as well as some key things that I believe we can do to help take all of that added pressure, stress and guilt off ourselves. (Have you listened to the podcast on letting go of guilt yet by the way? Be sure to head over and have a listen if you haven’t)
So what do I mean when I talk about a phase?
Well you know the times when the baby has been sleeping through the night but now decide to wake up for 2hours of playtime in the middle of the Night. Or the times when you feel like you are just getting through each day and not particularly enjoying it like you thought you would. Or the times when they won’t settle unless you are giving them a cuddle. Or when they cry every time you dare mention the word “no”. You get it: Those difficult and challenging times that you and or your baby experience that feel all consuming and like they will never end, but they do eventually, and you make it out the other side of it, thankful that it’s over and glad you’ve got through.
I remember in the very early days of having my son and experiencing all the little hiccups that you do, along with many other mums too. Things such as changes in sleep and feeling I couldn’t take it much more. But I found talking about it with those who are also going through it too massively helps. I’ve said this on a few of my podcasts now, but creating a support network around you really can make the world of difference. We were incredibly blessed with the most amazing bunch of people at our ante-natal classes but I know this isn’t always the case for many so it may be beneficial to look at an app such as Peanut. You can check out my review on my website if you haven’t come across this before.
Anyway, back to the phase. What I very quickly realised is that is would intact pass and it would get better. Taking this approach alone during any difficult time massively helped with my ability to deal with it. However, what I do absolutely know during these periods is that they are tiring, intact, what am I talking about, they are exhausting. They feel all consuming, like they will never end and they push you to the absolute edge of your limits. It has only been recently during what has felt like the most demanding and challenging phase I have encountered so far, (thanks to Covid, lockdown, personal circumstances and pregnancy) that I have realised that something had to give. So I hope that in sharing some of these things that I have tried it will also be of benefit to you too. I guess what’s important to say is that these will change the situation, but they will help to change your mindset and navigate through a tricky time.
The first approach I found helpful was to know that it’s OK to take the pressure off yourself and to not be perfect. So for example, I am a huge believer that food is fuel for our bodies, and if we provide our body with the best nutrients it will run at best performance to keep us healthy, fit and well where possible. However, providing balanced, home-cooked, all from scratch meals and snacks every single day just is not possible. Especially during these phases. So yes, we will get back to wholesome nutritious foods, with lots of colour and variety at some point soon. But now is not one of those times, and actually my son and my unborn baby will survive if their diet consists more of cereals for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and quick-cook pastas for tea.
Another good approach is to see if that if you feel good, so will your child/children. So if you are tired and want a chilled day at home not doing a lot and your children entertain themselves more that day, or you don’t have quite as much engaged structured play that day it will not affect their development. But, if it leaves you feeling slightly more refreshed, energised and more upbeat for the following day then you will all benefit hugely.
This leads me nicely onto the next one, which is all about balance. A great way to look at this I think is to think about it in terms of seasons, so for example, over Winter you tend to spend more time indoors watching TV, perhaps drinking hot chocolate, eating warming comfort food, so overall eating more, moving less, perhaps socialising less as we have that inclination to hibernate more. Now if we were to do that all year round we know that it would do our physical or mental health no good at all. But compare that to summer when we tend to spend pretty much all our time (where possible) outside, eating colourful salads, being active. You can see that is soon evens itself out. This is just the same I think in parenting sometimes: We end up allowing our children more screen time for example, but then sure enough at some other time you’ll be spending more time playing, reading or engaging in activities with them.
Going easy on yourself is another one I’ve found helpful (it has taken some work). I don’t know about you but I always have a to do list as long as my arm, and just as one thing gets crossed off another two things seem to get added on. This in itself is enough to add despair to our days, so during trying time we certainly don’t need this additional stress. By simply asking ourselves what is crucial from our list to get done, and what would be the worse thing to happen if other bits didn’t get done, it can help us to take a lighter approach and go easier on ourselves.
Finally, by being kind to ourselves we can hugely affect our ability to deal with these phases. I think they are challenging enough without us adding unnecessary guilt, stress and negativity to them. We can be kind to ourselves by following any of the previous points and also by knowing that we are doing the very best we can in that moment.
So there you have it, my 5 top tips for helping us through those challenging and difficult phases that we find ourselves in. So commit to yourself that you will implement them the next time you find yourself in one of those periods, and know “this too shall pass.”
Sending love, as always
It has been great to connect with you
Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you found it useful. Please feel free to share any comments or questions you have below, and if you have any requests of topics you’d like to hear then I would love to know.