Regular readers will know that I have recently accepted that I have postnatal depression. I am taking antidepressants and things are definitely improving. The medication isn’t a miracle cure though and I have to play my part too. I need to change the way I think about some things to help get through this and I have come up with some “rules” for me to live by.
I actually came up with a number of these before accepting I have PND and was trying to manage it by myself. I didn’t manage and I did and do need the help but that doesn’t mean that these rules are any less valid.
My rules are:
Stop being mean to yourself. You are not fat and disgusting, stupid or incompetent. (Honestly I am meaner to myself than I ever would be to anyone else!)
Be kind to yourself and make more time for you.
Take deep breaths when things go wrong (rather than f-ing & blinding under my breath, slamming doors and stomping around like a teenager – this one may be tricky)
Don’t let the fact that one thing has gone wrong ruin the rest of the day or make you forget what a lovely time you were having until that point. It hasn’t ruined anything and won’t last forever.
Have realistic expectations. Both of yourself, your plans and of the children. I need to accept that perfection doesn’t exist and unfortunately things won’t always go smoothly. If LM is off routine then I must take a deep breath and go with it rather than stressing about it.
Be more organised. One of my biggest stresses about 4 times a day is working out what to feed LM, so I have created a meal plan a week in advance to remove the stress of that multiple times a day. (We already meal plan for the rest of the family.)
Set times to do things and make lists so you can feel you have achieved something (rather than just getting weighed down by a seemingly endless mental list)
Don’t try and squeeze things in when looking after the kids – I get so frustrated when I am trying to blog but have a child jumping on my head or kicking me in the ribs, when really they just want my attention
Have two blogging evenings a week. No TV on those days.
Remember that blogging doesn’t have to be a competition. You didn’t start blogging to win awards etc.
Write and do what makes you happy.
Do more exercise. I have been saying I need to do this for ages but have so far been lazy and not done so! My diet did me well for a while but I have had enough of it for the time being. I am doing lots of walking and that and looking after the kids is helping me maintain my loss but I need to tone up and strengthen my muscles as I am very weak and I have no core strength at all. So I have started some yoga and pilates at home and my brother’s girlfriend and I are starting to play badminton every week next week so that should be fun!
Enjoy the kiddies. Too often I get annoyed when the kids won’t play on their own so I can get on with jobs – when I should be making the most of my time with them and having fun, that is why I am a SAHM after all!
Definitely enough rules to be going on with and I have to keep reminding myself at the moment but I do feel like they are helping me …. that and the sheer quantity of chocolate I have consumed in the lately. I am being kinder to myself…. though I really need to keep up with the exercise so that I don’t put back on all the weight I have lost this year!!
Do you have “rules” that you live by?
Thankyou so much for sharing your rules! Going through something similar, so going to pinch some of them 🙂 xx
AH sorry to hear that but hope they help you too! xx
These are so good, im going to steal some! Im a huge fan of lists, but keep them short and realistic so you can see what you achieve each day. Im also a big fan of keeping a diary, it helps me to keep track of stuff and to plan ahead. Since ive gone back to work, ive had to let some things take a back seat like my diet and exercise and keeping the house as clean as i would like, i am trying to focus more on a happy and content family!
thanks lovely you’re so right about keeping lists realistic, and having to let go of certain things, we just can’t always achieve all of the things we want to, and have to accept that xx
Oh hon, truly feeling for you re the PND, but you are so wise to make yourself a framework and acknowledge the things you need to manage it. So glad that you have be kind to yourself as number 1, because it really is! Thankyou for linking to #AllAboutYou and I am sharing this as perhaps your rules may be of help to others xx
Thank you Zaz lovely and thank you for sharing, I hope the do help others as well as helping me!
One of the biggest things for me was also realizing that I can’t blog and watch my son. Or I set a limit. For example I blog in the morning before anyone is up and if I’m up for it I’ll do a 15 minute youtube exercise video. Even if it is only 15 minutes it makes me feel great, and even if I only blog for an hour I still feel like I’ve accomplished something. If I need to finish something up but my son is awake, I will let him have breakfast in his pjs and watch 30 minutes of youtube ( I have a very curated youtube list of appropriate shows such as SuperWhy, The Little Einsteins, The Mother Goose Club etc).
The rule is he can eat breakfast for 20 minutes and watch a show and when the show is done I turn off the computer, he’s done breakfast and we start our day together. I try never to blog when he is around and will focus on getting housework done.
The best way I find to spend time with him and also get something done is to involve him in everything. Putting away dishes, hanging out the wash, changing the bedsheets, washing the floors, he even has his own broom, mom, bucket … all mini sized!
If I really need to respond to an email and turn on the computer I ‘ll set a timer and tell him I will only be 5 – 10 minutes. He’s learned that I’m not lying and will let me have this time!
It is really hard to find the balance between blogging and staying at home, because on the one hand blogging is something you do FOR YOU, which is IMPORTANT!!! And on the other we have so little time with them as kids so you also want to make the most of it.
I love following your journey and am right here rooting for you!
Thank you Angie, it is so hard to balance sometimes but I definitely feel less stressed now I am not trying to do so much when I am with the kids – and I know it is ok because there are other times I can do it instead. I am glad you have found ways that work for you – some great tips there too! xx
Some very useful tips. Sorry to hear about you going through the PND. I am a huge believer that exercise is vital to keep us happy and healthy. Start slowly with maybe just walking every day, or find exercise you like doing. You will soon see the difference. Well done for writing these down, sometimes that helps me too. Why not to link to my #FtnessTuesday @Fitness4mamas
Thank you, yeah walking has been a great start and now hoping to add some more exercise in as I know it will do me a lot of good xx
Oh my lovely I missed this, so sorry to hear you are suffering with PND, but your rules sound like good ones and I’m sure they will help massively.
As you know I firmly believe us ladies judge ourselves way too harshly (myself included). Try and be kind to yourself as much as you possibly can. Raising kids is bloody hard work! HUGE hugs xxx
Thanks lovely that’s ok and you are right. We need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and just relax a bit I think… much easier said than done though sometimes! xx
Some excellent rules for life whatever your circumstances. Being kind to yourself is key as so much flows from that. Silencing that inner voice of criticism really helps. We are way harder on ourselves than anyone else.
Hope they’re helping you do what you’ve got to do. #allaboutyou
Thank you and you are so right, we reall are way too hard on ourselves! x
Those are some awesome rules for life and so true that I have had to take a step back on occasion and live by those rules myself. I did not know you were suffering with PND, oh chick 🙁 Take time out for yourself and just take a breather when you can – we are all here for you! Sim #WeightLossWednesday xxx
Thanks so much Sim, I am trying to put less pressure on myself and hopefully that will help me get through this! xx
Sometimes I do think you think like I do sometimes ! You definitely need to be kind to yourself as you always look so pretty in pictures when out and about so don’t forget that. I find exercise, blogging evenings and time with hubby nights keep me sane. As for blogging with Arianna? Forget it lol. Good luck lovely xx #thetruthabout
haha I’ve thought that too sometimes Sarah! Thank you honey xx
These are excellent rules, whatever the circumstances, I need to follow some of them myself. I’m glad that you’re starting to feel more in control x #allaboutyou
Thanks Sara! xx
Do you know what, I read an article about self-esteem recently and there was a list of things you should and shouldn’t do… I can’t even remember all of them but I do remember, stop engaging in negative self-talk and I think that is actually quite difficult but it helps immensely to just give up that bad habit and start telling yourself you’re bloody brilliant instead (even if you don’t believe it, it’s like ‘fake it til you make it’). Getting the blog/life balance right and finding time to exercise – I’m still failing at those two! Thanks for linking hon Xx #thetruthabout
It makes sense really doesn;t it? it is so easy to talk yourself out of something or convince yourself you can’t do something – when surely it is better for us to talk ourselves up rather than down! haha will let you know if I achieve it :S xx
I try and handle moods like the kids. Have a strop and then move on. I think as adults we don’t let things go and we can learn from our kids with this. Brave post and all the best x #sharewithme
haha def a good plan 🙂 thank you xx
For me the biggest one is stopping negative thoughts in their tracks straight away. Especially the late at night, beating myself up about something daft from years ago thoughts. I force myself to try to think of when someone else has done me a similar wrong. If I can’t remember anything chances are the person I’m worrying about upsetting can’t remember either.
oh I totally do that too and it is such a pointless exercise isn’t it? Highly unlikely anyone remembers those tiny accidental slights from years ago! xx
It sounds like I could also do with following your advice 🙂
I definitely need to work on some of these, especially having realistic expectations. And I need to work on sharing responsibility instead of trying to do everything myself and ending up frustrated because I can’t. Thanks for sharing so honestly x
Some good rules to stick by! I agree that you need to be kinder to yourself! My mummy beats herself up all the time too!….she also strops around like a teenager!! Thanks for sharing on #sharewithme x Hope your PND eases x
Its not rainbow colored with us lately too. I wish I can do more exercise as I notice that helps but I am just too caught up with problems =(
A great list of “rules”. I think it’s important for us all to remember why we blog and not get stressed by not getting the stats or awards we would like. Family always comes first. Good luck with it all. xx #FitnessTuesday
My dear you are absolutely not fat and disgusting! So sorry you’re going through this and I think that these pointers will help greatly. I’m definitely borderline PND and have had similar conversations with my hubby about changing my mindset as you’ve described, it helps a lot. Good luck lovely! Thanks for linking with #BloggingToJogging xx
I love your positive thinking and your list could help anyone are a parent and blogger. I really need to take your advice and have nights off from blogging and know it’s not a competition and who can do the most which is feels like sometimes. I am glad you got medicine and it’s helping. I think your positive attitude and sharing your experience helps too. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
I hope all is still going well with this lovely xx #maternitymondays
I love these rules. They are ‘gentle’ rules, and I could certainly do with applying a few of those to my own life!
I really hope you c&u Bauer this and with this plan I’m sure you will. It’s a horrible condition and I really feel for you but you sound like a fighter. Keep us updated on how it’s going as I’m sure the support will help too.
These are great rules and good luck with it all, you’re doing fab! 🙂 #maternitymondays
I read another great tip which was about a teacher turned mum who said she just spent her time yelling at her kids whereas what she would do in the classroom would be to get closer. I am trying this out now, as well as being calmer and deep breaths!! I do find the calmer I can be the better though it is easier to say than to do #MaternityMonday
What a great list. If I have a bad day, sometimes just making the list makes me feel better is that weird?
You must take it easy but I am guilty of all those things too. Big hugs xx
Great rules! Being a mum is hard and we are extremely hard on ourselves. Thank you for sharing #maternitymondays xx
PND is challenging; good on you that you’ve faced it head on. Coming up with rules is definitely helpful. The not allowing a bad moment to take away from all the good moments especially resonated with me. I also find it less stressful going with the flow with my little man. Oh, and I could really do with being more organised. I think lots of mums will identify with your rules, PND or not.
Thanks for sharing. #MaternityMondays