De vloek die vergelijken heet

Veel moeders vergelijken zichzelf constant met andere moeders op Instagram, Facebook of Snapchat. Als je sommige moeders op social media moet geloven, is elke nieuwbakken) moeder zielsgelukkig, super zelfverzekerd en ziet ze er altijd tiptop uit. Ze heeft geen last van post-partum kwalen, een uitgezakt lichaam of onzekerheden. Ze straalt van oor tot oor, vindt het moederschap het leukste wat er is en doet alles zonder pijn of moeite. Herkenbaar?

Dit is totale onzin natuurlijk. Geen enkele moeder voelt zich na de bevalling meteen geweldig en vol zelfvertrouwen. De meeste moeders klooien maar wat aan en dat is heel normaal. De quote: “Die andere moeders doen ook maar wat”, is de meest gebruikte in mijn praktijk. Want echt, we doen allemaal maar wat! Het moederschap is nu eenmaal wennen, bij tijd en wijlen super zwaar en soms vindt je er gewoon geen snars aan. Als je na de zoveelste slapeloze nacht beneden komt, de was drie verdiepingen hoog opgestapeld ligt en je nog steeds niet in je skinny jeans past. Continue reading

7 tips on how to keep your head above water during the  Corona crisis

7 tips on how to keep your head above water during the  Corona crisis

I think it’s the craziest time I’ve ever lived in: the Corona crisis. Who would have ever thought the whole world would be shut down by a giant flu virus? I most certainly don’t want to downplay this, because Covid 19 is as real as it gets. My husband is a surgeon and is currently working intensively on the best possible care for all the Corona patients in the hospital. This means that beds have to be made everywhere in order to create IC places. In addition, all nurses, maternity nurses, midwives, police officers, supermarket employees, garbage collection services, teachers, and many other professions work hard to keep our country going.

We are suddenly home teachers

Now that we are all at home as parents, suddenly our multitasking ability is being called upon. Working from home full-time and having your kids there 24/7 can be challenging. But we are also renamed as a home teacher all of a sudden. Something I have not aspired until the Corona virus hit our country hard. But moms do it anyway, because this is how we roll. We put our backs into it and just go with it. In addition, this insecure situation we’re currently going through is challenging. We are chronically overwhelmed by the care for our children, the household, work, the fear of contamination and the constant stream of news that enters your house through your TV, tablet and phone.

How am I going to manage all of this?

It is completely understandable that it sometimes can feel like you are almost drowning. Many mothers ask themselves daily: how am I going to manage all of this? The homework schedules are being send to you, weather you want them or not. We get e-mails and messages all day long, tips and tricks on how we should tackle this quarantine situation as a mother. Does this make us happy? Not necessarily, I think.

If you have just become a mom or dad, this period is completely intense. The initial period after giving birth is already intense, let alone if you also get a Corona Crisis as a gift on top all of that. The hormones are rushing through your body, you barely sleep and you have to get used to your new role as mom. Add that to the cramps your baby is having and the enormous sense of responsibility you experience, you can probably imagine new moms are having a very tough time. Because, new parents are struggling enough as it is after giving birth and have their hands full handling all of this. If you also have to deal with a pandemic on top of that, it is a lot to take.

Whether you just have given birth or already have older children. Whether you have one child or a whole bunch of them, these are the 7 best tips to get through this Corona crisis as well as possible:

  1. Develop a routine that suits you as a family so that you get more regularity in your days. This way you and your child (ren) know exactly where you stand and you can also get some peace of mind every once in a while. So, for example, you can have a cup of tea on the couch while your baby is sleeping or the older children can watch TV and you can catch your breath for a minute.
  2. Set a timer when you need to feed your baby, when your kids have to do their homework or when something else important needs to happen. Any help is welcome, so just set that timer. That’s not weird, that’s just being smart.
  3. Don’t be fooled by everything you read on social media or news sites. It is very tempting to search all websites for the latest information regarding Corona. That gives a sense of control. But actually this is nothing more than creating false security for yourself. The pandemic will not all of a sudden change if you consult the CNN website twenty times a day. This will costs you a lot of energy. And you need this energy for yourself and for your family.
  4. Try to accept that you will not know or understand everything there is to know about homeschooling right away and that this is completely fine. You don’t have to know everything all at once, mama! And although it seems as if some mothers seem to handle it all effortlessly, that is not the case. Those other moms are struggling too, really!
  5. Talk to friends and share your experiences with them. Sometimes it can be a huge relief to have a nice chat or let your tears flow. You don’t always have to be strong. The recognition that you find with other mothers who are in the same boat can be so nice. Laugh together or shed a tear: everything is allowed!
  6. Plan half a day during the week (or one per hour) for yourself. No, that is not selfish and no: this doesn’t make you a degenerate mother. I understand that this can be very tricky mid Corona crisis, because you and your partner work a lot from home. Or, if one of you has a vital job (or perhaps you both have). As a mom you also have to be able to recharge and that is only possible if you make some time for yourself. Do what feels right for you or whatever makes you happy. For some moms that could be sports, for others reading a nice book. There are many options for home workouts on Youtube for example or reading the latest books on your e-reader. The most important thing is, that you can recharge and regain your (mental) strength!
  7. Embrace the uncertainty and despair that you sometimes feel during this challenging period in your life. The harder you resist fears, gloom and loneliness, the harder you will make it for yourself. It is just looking for that new balance in your life right now. For both you and your partner, this Corona crisis takes a lot of getting used to and, moreover, putting up with. So, if you keep looking for confirmation or comparing yourself to other moms or families, that will probably will make you feel even more insecure. Try to say to yourself, “I am a good mother for my child(ren)” or “Well is good enough, it doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.” If necessary, repeat this a couple of times a day. Be kind to yourself! That really, really helps!

Need a helping hand?

If you have read the above and feel like you’re fully recognizing this and could use a helping hand, please e-mail to info@froufroubegeleiding.nl. I see a lot of moms through Zoom or Skype and help as many moms as possible who are currently struggling in this Corina crisis.