Mommy to Momster

Happy Halloween! We all have those times when we go from our loving and kind selves to MOMster Mom in 0.2 seconds flat! For me, those times happen when I’m trying desperately to pick up the mess in my house and I step on a sharp little toy that I’m sure was left there lovingly by one of my two littles for ME TO PICK UP. OR when I’ve worked hard all day only to lay down in my own bed and feel CRUMBS all over. WHY ARE THERE CRUMBS IN MY BED????? Well, because apparently my adorable children decided to eat the crumbliest of granola bars (I’m talking to you Nutrigrain!) and they wanted “more pieces” so they broke it up into said pieces and used my cozy, clean bed as their cutting board.

Anywho, it’s these moments when we are drained and tired that the MOMsters can come out in full effect. Don’t worry! There is a way to tame the beast within each of us. Here’s a few tricks from a fellow MOMster: 

Know Your Triggers. In substance use therapy we refer to the term “HALT” in order to help people understand triggers for potential lapse or relapse. This term refers to:  hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Yes, these feelings apply to us too. Remind yourself to HALT before reacting, and to take care of your needs when you can. In the wise words of your favorite air lines “put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others”. Now, these aren’t the only triggers you can have – one of my personal faves is feeling unheard, like no one is listening to me at all. What are yours? Once you identify them for yourself, you can have more control over them. Until then, they control you – cue your inner MOMster! 

Self Soothing. Do you ever find yourself sighing during the day? I used to do this at work and my coworkers would point it out to me (I didn’t even realize I was doing it!). This is your body attempting to self-soothe. Sometimes it’s not intentional and other times you have to force yourself to do it. Yes, we teach self-soothing to our children, but do we really know how to implement it ourselves??? Start with your breathing. Anytime you are holding your breath your body will hold onto anxiety. Even when you feel like you’re about to blow – remember to breathe! Helpful hint:  use diaphragmatic breathing techniques. 

Take a Time-Out or Time-In. Stop what you’re doing. Walk away, and take 5 minutes for yourself. If that’s not possible, then take a time-in with your child. This looks like getting on their level, giving a hug, or listening to a favorite song together in the car. Maybe even start smiling and laughing (even though it’s the opposite of how you feel).  Refocus your energy from whatever it was that let your MOMster out and onto something more positive with your child. 

Once you’re away from your child, do something for yourself! Shower, eat a snack, journal, read, do your favorite activity – anything to rebuild some of your emotional reserves. Being a parent is tiresome and exhausting. You are not going to cure this exhaustion from just implementing self care. No amount of self care is going to take away the parenting woes. Parenting is supposed to be hard. It’s literally THE hardest job you will ever have. (This is called Radical Acceptance! – It’s a good thing). 

We all have the ability to be MOMsters and DADculas. We are (mostly) human after all. But you don’t have to stay that way. Turn it around for yourself and make something good out of the beast that parenting can turn you into. Enjoy the good moments and remember, the MOMster is there inside you, waiting to be let out if given the chance (cue evil laugh), and it WILL get it’s chance. Knowing how to survive is your only choice. 

Happy Halloween!

Stay good my friends!

Stephanie Kemme

Published by annkendig

I am a mental health and addiction therapist in Cincinnati Ohio. Happy exploring and may all beings be well.

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