Spilled milk, a clinging toddler, one missing shoe, and a clock that seems to mock you as it ticks past the absolute last point when you needed to leave the house. Sometimes motherhood seems to pull at every single one of our frayed ends. Sometimes the joys of mothering are lost deep beneath our heavy exhaustion and weariness.
How can we nurture our mothering heart when we feel utterly frazzled?
Sleep: When it comes to motherhood, getting enough sleep is easier said than done. Sometimes, we have no choice but to function on our last reserves. I heard somewhere that when we feel at our absolute physical limits, we have actually only used up about a third of our body’s reserves. I try to remember this when I am sleep challenged. Surprisingly, this simple change of focus is a wonderfully effective method of energising my day.
Healthy Food: Good fats, whole foods and fresh produce are all necessary for keeping our energy up. I try to limit sugar and processed food when I start to feel drained and ‘try’ to increase healthy food in my diet.
Iron and Magnesium: I take a natural iron supplement and use a natural magnesium spray. It always amazes me how quickly my body responds to this little bit of attention. Mothers are easily drained of important vitamins and minerals. A simple boost can make a world of difference.
Flower Remedies: I keep the Bach Flower Remedies: Rescue Remedy, Olive, and Impatiens in the house and use them often. I use Rescue Remedy for those moments of complete madness or for days when everything is topsy-turvy. I use Olive for exhaustion following a demanding day and Impatiens for days when I feel especially irritable.
Herbal Teas: Drinking a cup of herbal tea can definitely calm a hectic mind and sooth a restless spirit. Simply taking the time to make and drink a cup of tea is medicinal all on its own. I love a cup of Rosemary tea (crush a fresh rosemary sprig and infuse in hot water) it is refreshing and brightening. I also love Limeflower, Chamomile, or Fennel.
Hot Bath: A hot bath is of course always a frazzle diffuser. I love to use a few drops of Neroli, Geranium, Chamomile and Lavender essential oils in my bath. These oils are also lovely in an oil diffuser. I also love herbal baths. Sometimes, I infuse herbs into hot water then pour that water into the bath or alternatively I place my herbs in an empty tea bag and drop it directly into my bath water. Dried Chamomile, Lavender, and Rose are wonderful in a hot bath.
Prayerful Meditation: I find meditation to be somewhat of a paradox. I rarely seem to find time to meditate and grow frustrated with myself for my lack of discipline. Some time ago it occurred to me that prayerful meditation can happen anytime and anywhere. We can meditate when we do housework or when we nurse our babies. Even the busiest day is filled with quiet little moments, sometimes simply taking notice of such a moment can ease our stress and relax our minds.
The Colour Green: I Love this! The colour green is immensely relaxing and calming. It is always worth looking for a reason to bring a little bit of green in-doors. A lovely sage coloured pillow or handmade throw make lovely additions to most rooms. Houseplants, artwork, bottles of coloured water sitting in a window sill can each reflect peaceful green thoughout our homes.
Nature: Time spent in nature calms and relieves even the most agitated nerves. If I feel the day starting to fall apart I drag all of us out the door for a walk. We all feel better in minutes. Fresh air, bright light, life all around us, lifts our spirits and helps tame those wild frayed ends.
Please consult with your chosen health care professional before choosing to use herbs, oils or foods, or taking part in any activities you find unfamiliar or questionable.
©photo by Kara Harms is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Starr Meneely is the owner and editor of The Mother Magazine and the author of the children’s picture book “What A Lovely Sound!” (illustrated by Susan Merrick). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Alaska where she studied under Dr. Timothy Smith. She has been a regular writer for The Mother Magazine for several years. Starr edits and writes in a little village in Surrey, UK where she lives with her husband and four children.