It’s been one of those weekends. Things have been tricky in our household. There have been a fair few tears and tantrums (as much as from me as the kids) and I have raised my voice and snapped at the children more often than I would like to admit. The garden – a space we have been working on to make it as family friendly and conducive to relaxing as possible – turned into a ‘yelling zone’ with me clumsily intervening in way too many squabbles and fights. I worry about what the neighbours think and envision them labelling me as an ineffectual parent with feral children. Even though I keep reminding myself that ‘thoughts are not facts’ and that it hopefully doesn’t sound half as bad as I’m imagining, I can’t help thinking we are the nightmare, noisy family on our row of terrace houses.
It came to a head today when we were getting ready to go out this morning. I requested that everyone come and get some suncream on before we set out and all 3 children scattered in different directions shouting ‘No’. I went into a rant about how it wasn’t too much to ask to come and put suncream on before a nice trip out on a very hot day and just got more negativity back (not a surprise really – a rant like this is never going to bring sunshine back to the household) with the hubby finding me in a pool of tears on the kitchen floor – Happy Father’s Day to him!
Now generally, if I find I am having a hard parenting day, and my patience is wearing thin, I, like Karen at Two Tiny Hands who wrote this recently, tend to blame tiredness. I am pretty used to feeling sleep deprived, getting on average about 6 hours sleep a night (and this is usually interrupted at least once). However the Fitbit recorded that I got a whopping 9 hours and 23 minutes sleep last night (I was ratty and knackered so went to bed as soon as the kid’s did – so rock and roll of me on a Saturday night I know) so it couldn’t really be that. So what, apart from the heat, made me lose my cool this weekend?
Well kids will be kids and who knows what is going on in their own world at the moment, but for me, I think it’s the hormones. And I think I can be more specific than that. I went to see the doctor a few weeks ago and she made a throw-away comment about there being some indications that synthetic progesterone can cause low mood. I do take progesterone in tablet form at certain times and so did a little research. Yes, there does seem to be some links, as you can read here. So when I notice the hormonal changes kicking in and having an impact on my mood I will ‘up’ some of these self-care strategies:
- an early night
- a longer guided formal mindfulness practice
- an evening stroll – as little as 10 minutes of fresh air a day and a mindful walk without purpose (tuning in to the 5 senses to really try and be present) can both lift the mood
- nutritious meals full of fruit and veg (apparently the increase in progesterone can make you crave ‘comfort food’)
- a bubble bath to relax and recuperate.
What self-care tips work for you when you need to show yourself a bit of extra TLC?