Do you feel like motherhood is similar to riding a constant wave of uncertainty?
One day we can feel like we are failing and the next like we have accomplished life’s greatest achievements.
However, from facing the hard moments we build inner strength and the ability to recover. These challenges are key to increasing our resilience and realising we do not have to be perfect or know all the answers. From this we grow and learn from the mistakes we make. Resilience is having the courage to be imperfect and reminding ourselves that we have or will develop the strength, the skills and the resources to handle the hurdles that come our way.
"Resilience is looking at a problem and asking what’s the solution and what’s this trying to teach me."
Being a mother is a blessing, but it is not without adversity and feelings of stress; therefore resilience building is vital when we enter motherhood. We can never quite imagine the reality of motherhood. So many highs and lows, and moments of feeling overwhelmed.
Resilience is like a muscle in that the more we use it, the stronger it gets. So as a mother, we really are strong due to riding a constant wave of uncertainty. How many times have you been faced with something and thought “I can’t do this?”
But then you do.
Some great ways of boosting resilience in and out of the hard times are:
1) Practicing self-compassion
We can be so hard on ourselves, especially if we do not meet the high standards that we and society can put on mothers. Being kind, fair and forgiving to ourselves is key; and not kicking yourself when you are down, as it delays our ability to get back up. Ask yourself what you would say to a loved one in such a situation. Turning compassion to ourselves fosters a growth mindset and we then learn through the difficult experiences.
As humans, we are much more likely to notice, react to and remember unpleasant experiences as we are hard wired for a negativity bias to ensure our survival. We can train our brains to shift this negative attention by adopting gratitude and openness to the bigger picture. Each morning you wake up, list three things you are grateful for, big or small. Start to see the good and bad, and find joy in everyday moments.
Stop. Pause. Take a break from the situation. This can be a moment to breathe, observe and check-in with our thoughts and feelings. It helps us to practice a response so that we can shift, regulate or accept those feelings. Turning towards our feelings and doing the deeper work creates the real transformation. If we practice mindfulness, it can better prepare us to become less overwhelmed. Some useful exercises are journaling and completing a body scan to check how we feel and let go of any tension.
4) Be intentional
When you are intentional, you CHOOSE to act on what’s important to you and take control. Ask yourself, is there anything I can do to get over this hurdle and if so write down all the possible solutions to see which is the best course of action. Then plan the steps you will take.
5) Connect with others and yourself
We do not have to work through the hard times alone. Being vulnerable and getting support does not make us weak. Connection can help us look at things from a different perspective. Also, do something for yourself, step back, take some time. This does not have to be something big or take lots of time. Connecting with ourselves is not selfish and it benefits everyone.
Don't be afraid to pivot and face your emotions during the hard times. These obstacles, and learning to work through them, build our confidence and resilience and increases overall wellbeing.
We often worry that our children cannot see the struggles we have. But remember that by them seeing you overcome some of the challenges, you are role modelling skills that will help them in life to be grown up and resilient.
This article was written by Charlie Ranchhod, Life Coach and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (accredited with IAPC&M and BABCP). I am passionate about helping ladies get unstuck from overwhelm to build confidence and compassion so they can live aligned to their values and thrive.
If you’d like to work together to explore your values in more depth, then please get in touch.
Sometimes it is hard to even know where to start and how to then put the changes into action, but that is where the transformation starts. I’m here and happy to chat. Here is a link to my diary.
To see more, here is my profile: www.careeringintomotherhood.com/charlotte-ranchhod