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For days when nothing goes to plan - Evita Krumina

I am sure most, if not all parents have gone through phases, where they feel like they are struggling to cope and everything is just getting on top of them; whether it is caused by teething, sleep regression, jabs or anything else that parents face in their parenting journey. The last week with Theo has brought me back to the days when he was a newborn. The days when I felt helpless, emotional and anxious, and felt like I was always doing a very bad job. We all have those days, whether we admit it or not.

I am incredibly harsh on myself and always want to do a great job of ensuring that Theo is happy. I will be honest, each time he is having a bad day, I feel like I have failed him. In this journey I very often forget about myself and my needs, which means that before I know it, things have already gotten on top of me. I have put together a list of things that help me when things don’t go to plan and I am hoping that it might help you as well. *Disclaimer: what helps me might not necessarily help everyone else as we are all so unique and different in our own ways.

 

Top tips for the mum

Exercise
Parents are always tired, always!! I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since having Theo. To be fair, I didn’t sleep too well when I was pregnant either. One thing that has really helped me with tiredness, irritability, low mood, anxiety and self-criticism is exercise. I have so much more energy now that I exercise. I am sure it’s the endorphins that fill me up with positivity and energy. I would highly recommend anyone to try to add more exercise in to their daily routines, whether it’s a workout DVD during the baby’s nap time, a brisk walk with a pram, an exercise with the baby (I used to do a Circuits session whilst holding my baby and he used to love it) or you might be able to find a place locally that does mum and baby classes. I am so lucky to have such a place near me, and Theo and I go there at least 3 times per week. Theo will play with toys and the other babies whilst I exercise. This has helped me so much with my mental health, energy levels and self-esteem.

 

Self care
Self care is so important for each and every one of us, especially for new parents. Self care can involve so many different things. For me they include the following (I do these whilst my little one naps):

  • having a shower;
  • having a hot drink;
  • making myself lunch and eating it;
  • sitting on the sofa in a bit of peace and quiet.

Little things go a very long way and as you find that everyone will treat self-care in their own individual way. Just make sure that you doing something for YOU each and every day, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is.

 

Crying
Most parents cry at some point during their parenting journey and in a way it can be very cleansing. It’s never good to keep the negativity inside. When enough is enough, crying can help you release those negative emotions.

 

Make mum/parent friends
The parenting journey can be very lonely and isolating. Many people tend to lose friends once they become parents. Going to baby groups and classes really helped me to meet people, have an adult conversation, it gave Theo the opportunity to socialise with other babies and children, and actually made my parenting journey easier. There are mums that I chat to on social media, despite not knowing them in person. It’s like having a support network that you can turn to. Having friends that are in a similar situation is very reassuring and has definitely helped me enjoy parenthood even more. If any you ever have a bad day, please feel free to message me. It is always nice to have a chat and find out that the others are going through similar challenges.

 

Positive affirmations
It's easier said than done, but start your day with a positive affirmation. If you are really struggling on some days then make sure you have it written somewhere where you can see it so read it over and over again. Remember that you are a great parent and you always try your best. Parenting is incredibly hard, nothing prepares you for it and therefore we all make mistakes, which is absolutely fine. We all have bad days, but remember that most of the times it is a phase, which will pass and soon be forgotten about.

 

Top tips for the baby

Nursery rhymes
Theo loves nursery rhymes so when everything else fails, I put the nursery rhymes on and sing along. My little one will really enjoy it and will call down, even if he has a really bad meltdown. It works even better when we have our Moredig Baby Light Projector (Theo also likes disco lights) on with the lights off.


Baby carrier
My little one hated slings and baby carriers when he was a newborn. He wanted to be held, cuddled and carrier around but not in a carrier. He has loved it ever since he was around 3 months old so if we ever have an off day, I will put him in a baby carrier and we will go for a walk. I will then describe anything and everything that I can see around us to my little Theo, I will even let him touch leaves and other things that we come across on our walk. The pram doesn’t do the trick for us anymore, it definitely used to be a live saver when Theo was a newborn.

 

Play dates
Theo is incredibly sociable; he is way more sociable than I am. It doesn’t matter how unhappy he is, how bad he is teething, he will always cheer up around other babies and children, It’s like a miracle! I would never turn down a play date as it makes parenting so much easier.

I would like to end this by saying that we are all in it together so make sure to reach out to other mums, to Parentchum or myself as a problem shared is a problem halved.