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Helpful Tips for Frazzled Mothers

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 pic black and white

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.

 

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Teaching Children Gratitude

In our busy lives it is so easy to forget to be thankful. It is certainly easy to forget to demonstrate thankfulness. As we come out of a heavy winter and welcome each and every sign of sunshine and warmth, springtime is an excellent time to reconnect with this value and remind ourselves and our children how important it is to be grateful.

Send ‘Thank You’ Cards

This is the most obvious way to teach children gratitude despite it being slightly out of fashion. It is much more convenient to drop someone a text or a Facebook message to say ‘thank you’ instead of sitting down with our children to create and post a ‘thank you’ note. It is for this very reason though, that ‘thank you’ notes are so valuable and that going through the process of creating (and mailing) them helps to teach our children to be consciously grateful. Take time to write ‘thank you’ notes for gifts or when someone has been thoughtful. Such notes can also be a simple follow up after friends have come to visit; “…it was so lovely to spend the day with you and your family, thank you for coming around!”

Say ‘Thank You’ at Home

Do we really need to say ‘Thank You’ at home? Is it necessary to thank each other when we just meander through each day together ~ behaving normally? Of course it is. Expressing thankfulness is, in many ways, just a habit – a good habit – and like any habit it needs repetition to stick. Thank each other for simple things. Practice naturally tacking the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ on to all questions and requests;

“Can someone please turn on the hall light? Thank you!”

“Will you please pass the salt? Thank you!”

“Thank you for putting your shoes in the basket”

If gratitude comes easily at home it will come easier in all of life.

 Model Gratitude

As in all things, children learn through observation and role play. If they see us modelling gratitude they will learn to be grateful also. We can model gratitude by thanking each other and demonstrating kindness. Let our children believe that gratitude is an important element in all of our relationships

Bless Each Meal

If we were thankful for nothing else, being thankful for food and the fact we are able to share meal times together must be the most important thing on our gratitude lists. Taking time to eat together and can be celebrated with a simple blessing such as this Waldorf blessing:

Blessings on the blossoms

Blessings on the roots

Blessings on the leaves and stems and blessings on the fruits

And blessings on the meal.

Care and Respect Belongings

We learn to be thankful when we begin to realise the value of things. We can encourage our children to treat things with care – not because they cost a certain amount but because we are thankful for the things we own. We can do this by taking time to tidy and care for even our smallest belongings

Encourage Children to Say ‘Thank You’

Words are powerful. When something is said out loud it takes on meaning, it effects change. This is true for negative language but it also true for positive language. Just as words can hurt, they can also heal. Positive words strengthen relationships, they build confidence, and they create joy. Saying ‘thank you’ is one of the simplest ways to use words positively. ‘Thank you’ represents humility, respect and gratitude; even if it is said just out of habit. Quietly and gently remind children  to say ‘thank you’. Practice it together until it comes easily and automatically.

©photo by D. Sharon Pruitt is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

 

starr pic black and whiteStarr 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

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Issue 61 – November / December 2013

To Buy this Back Issue Now Click HERE!

In This Issue of The Mother Magazine

Looking Back with Kindsight (Editorial) by Veronika Sophia Robinson
Lapps, not Apps by Dr. Richard House
Raphael’s Birth by Cath Bibian-Dalle
Miscarriage by Amanda Moon
Mothering in Real Life by Starr Meneely
Creative Motherhood by Lucy Pearce
Contraception: a Holistic View by Kathryn Los
Chasing Dreams at Sea by Caylie Jeffery
It Takes a Village by Samantha Parker
The Wisdom of Homeopathy by Ellen Lahnam Dart

To purchase this issue click here or check it out on our Back Issue Pages.

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Issue 60– September / October 2013

To Buy this Back Issue Now Click HERE!

In This Issue of The Mother Magazine

Editorial: Is The Mother Magazine Sustainable? by Kathryn Los
Choose Your Birth Place Wisely by Kathryn Los
A Letter to My Midwife by Clare Cole
A Parent’s Guide to Tetanus by Robert Schecter
Yoga and Modern Family Life by Clare Cooper
My Barefoot Pregnancy by Jelena Bozac
The Art of Henna Belly by Ana Warren
What Age Should Children Start School? by Dr. Richard House
CEASE Therapy for Autism and Modern Diseases by Ellen Lanham Dart
Holistic Marriage: Keys to Intimacy by Veronika Sophia Robinson
Montessori At Home by Kim Fazackerly-Sale
Saying Sorry to Your Children by Keean Manktelow

To purchase this issue click here or check it out on our Back Issue Pages.

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Issue 59 – July / August 2013

To Buy this Back Issue Now Click HERE!

In this issue of The Mother magazine –

The Cruel Mother (Editorial) by Veronika Sophia Robinson
Solid-Ground Parenting, by Clare Cole
The Quest for Independence in the Montessori Setting, by Kim Fazackerly-Sale
Imperfect Parenting, by Caylie Jeffery
Adolescence: The Alchemist’s Mirror, by Veronika Sophia Robinson
Feminism and Motherhood: Feuding Sisters? by Sara Simon
Fever: the Fire of Life, by Viera Schiebner
The Ethics of Vaccinating, by Kathryn Los and Pan Tekosis

To purchase this issue click here or check it out on our Back Issue Pages.