If Mama Ain’t Happy
You know the saying—“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
As parents, our emotional and mental states can have a profound impact on our home environment and on our loved ones, specifically our children. If we observe carefully, we can often see our strengths and weaknesses reflected back to us in the words, behaviors, and attitudes of our children. They are like little mirrors showing us who we are, for better or worse.
Sometimes those glimpses of ourselves can be the encouragement we need to believe we may be doing a decent job at this parenting thing. Other times, we’re shown exactly those habits we’ve been subconsciously choosing not to look at only to find we’ve passed them onto our precious little ones.
This gig is not for the faint of heart.
A mother’s mood even impacts her unborn child, according to Psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Verny. “Everything the pregnant mother feels and thinks is communicated through neurohormones to her unborn child.”
Mom’s mood, especially it seems, can affect the entire mood and atmosphere of the household and everyone in it. Have you ever noticed, Moms, that on those days you wake up on the wrong side of the bed everyone else’s behavior heads south quickly? Even if you’re doing your best to shield your kids from internal negativity, the energy is apparent and they just know something’s amiss.
On the other hand, have you noticed when your spirits are high the household seems happier, more peaceful, and runs smoothly?
Much like the weather, the emotional climate of a home can vary and be impacted by various conditions.
Of course, Dad’s mental and emotional state also plus an important role in the home environment. A recent study at Michigan State University showed that “fathers’ parenting-related stress had a harmful effect on their children’s cognitive and language development.” Further, “fathers’ mental health had a long-term impact, leading to differences in children’s social skills.”
All parents want to provide their children with a safe, warm, living, and happy home. One way to ensure that is to take care of the internal atmosphere, so to speak, of their parents.
Here are twelve self-care for parents to do just that.
Go for a walk around your neighborhood or, better yet, in the woods or near a body of water. Simultaneously enjoy the well-documental mental health benefits of exercise and being in nature.
Establish a journaling habit. A few minutes each morning jotting down your thoughts can work wonders. Don’t know what to write? List three things you’re thankful for.
Choose a small chore, task, or to-do item that’s been on your mind and take is across the finish line. Finish something and give yourself an enthusiastic high-five.
Before coffee in the morning, enjoy a tall glass of lemon water. It’s detoxifying and hydrating and also quite tasty.
Break the Fast.
Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson recommends, especially for people who are anxious, eating a large breakfast each morning, regardless if you’re hungry for it or not. He says, “Keep it carbohydrate light. Make it fat and protein heavy.”
Make sure you have something to look forward to. Schedule free time to yourself, a vacation, a fun family outing—whatever you would truly enjoy and look forward to with excitement.
Get to bed on time. if you’re not getting enough sleep, recognize that it’s probably taking you twice as long to get done what you need to anyway. Less sleep doesn’t save time. Regular sleep rhythms and enough sleep allows your body and mind to run on all cylinders.
Get the help you need by asking. people like to help those they love. You are not an imposition. Allowing others of help you strengthens your relationship with them. Someday, when you can, you’ll help them back.
Hug your spouse and your children. Take the time. Pause. Show affection. Let love permeate your home.
Scents can have a powerful effect on mood. Make your home smell wonderful. Cook. Bake. Light a candle.
Enjoy uplifting music. What’s your jam? Turn it up.
…to yourself that is. If your loved ones heard what you say to yourself in your mind, would they be concerned? If so, flip the script and talk to yourself as if you’re someone you love.
By Barbara Danza