Well, that’s my life summed up in a picture. One child is always looking for the spot light and the other is always running from it. I may not have a baby in the mix anymore but this picture is proof that I survived the long, sometimes dreary days of new motherhood…twice!
Here are 7 ways I conquered those baby blues:
1. Kiss the Sun
Look around. Are you sitting in a dimly lit room right now as your little one drifts off to sleep?
So often us Mamas are in dimly lit rooms for days and we don’t even notice. And what’s worse? The longer you stay inside in the dark the less you have any desire to go outside. Our bodies and minds NEED sunlight to function properly.
A few months after having my second child, I felt very out of whack. After some blood tests, I discovered my hormones were fine but my vitamin D was low. Easy fix! I needed sunlight. I started taking Vitamin D gummies…yes gummies, because you have to treat yourself sometimes. I also made it a point to get outside. My husband and I started a vegetable garden. At that point I had very little desire to go outside but I didn’t want my plants to die…and I needed talk to an adult. Being outside made me feel a little more connected to the world and the Vitamin D boost really helped my mood.
2. Fight BrainFog
You know the feeling. You can’t think clear enough to form a coherent sentence. Your brain literally feels stopped up. You feel like you are in a dark tunnel.
My doctor told me it was normal post-partum stuff. I told myself, “no way, Jose” and did my own research.
My first contact was my mother! She is even more one with the earth than I am and she researches a lot of natural remedies. I can count on one hand the number of times she has been to the doctor in MY lifetime. For my 34 birthday, she put together a self-care basket for me and it changed my life. Here were the contents and what continues to be my daily regimen:
- Lavendar Chamomile Tea
- SAMe 400mg a day (You can take up to 1600mg a day)
- MegaRed Fish Oil
- StressTabs B-Complex Vitamins
Within a week, the dark tunnel disappeared. Within a month, I felt like a human being again. As the weeks went by I felt more cognitive than I did in years. For more info on these supplements Read my Busy Mom’s Guide to Fighting Brain a Fog
3. Find your Favorite Essential Oils
Obviously, essential oils are popular right now. You probably have a host of Facebook friends selling their favorites, but don’t think you have to sell your soul to the devil to get on the essential oil band wagon. I buy 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil at Walmart and on Amazon. Are they as good as your friends online store? I really can’t say, but it works! Put oils in a diffuser, in your bath water, on your pressure points etc. My favorites are lavender and eucalyptus. Put a few drops in the bath tub, put on Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill album and soak the blues away.
4. Quiet Time: We need it just as much as they do.
THIS. This is everything for me. In the early months it is very quiet, too quiet and then they learn to scream and whine and tug at you. I would hide in the bathroom just a little longer than necessary. I had to learn to say, “Take over Dad, I’m taking a bath” Cue essential oils and Alanis. As my kids got where they were sleeping regularly and I didn’t feel like such a zombie, I started waking up an hour earlier than everyone else. I spend this time reading my Bible, praying and writing. On Saturday mornings I like to sing, play quitar and write songs. I really feel the impact on my emotional state if I do not get enough quiet time.
5. Write it Out
Journal your thoughts. I love my Dreams and Schemes journal my 10 year old bought be for Christmas. And though I am a more pencil to paper kind of gal, if I am on the go I will break out the Notes app on my phone and type away. This helps get my thoughts out of my head and helps me gain some perspective. Most of the time by the time I have vented all the frustration on paper, I’m exhausted and totally over it and ready to move on.
6. Know Who Your Co-Pilot Is
You need someone in your life that KNOWS you and will tell you when something is not quite right. My hubs is that person for me. I DID have to be specific about the kind of information I wanted him to give me- Something that sparks my brain to make me check myself. Pretty much, I gave him permission to say “You are whack, girl. What’s up?” and then I go through my list.
Am I hungry?…lol. Literally, this is the first thing I think of. Then, did I take ALL my supplements? Am I holding something in that I need to get off my chest? Is my house so messy I can’t function?…usually…yes. Then we all chip in and clean it good enough for MOM to function. How long has it been since I have been outside? It is abnormal for my family to go more than a day without soaking up some sun. How long has it been since I had a bath? See where I’m going with this…it’s so easy to stop doing the things we know we need to do for ourselves. Having a co-pilot is SO important. I am lucky to have my husband around me all the time since we work together. For you, that might be someone else. A friend. A sibling. A parent. A dog (if they are awesome like that.) Remedies are great if you are remembering to use them!
7. Be Kind to Yourself
There are days I do not want to go outside. There are days I forget to take my supplements and tell myself that I do not have time for a bath. There are times of the year when I.can.not. get up an hour early for quiet time. And there are times when I give a big eye roll to my co-pilot just because he did his job and then I have to apologize later. We have to give ourselves grace…sometimes a whole lotta grace. Be kind to yourself because you are definitely working hard raising awesome human beings.
Author: Kitty B.