Lately, I have felt like a sun-baked dog turd on the street of life, the kind of turd that has been there so long it has grown a furry coat. Things have been getting to me, getting me down and basically kicking my mum balls. So instead of moping, I have decided to take action, and I thought my actions might inspire you to take a little mum action of your own to conquer your mum mood.
I don’t do motivational, and I don’t do peppy, so feel free to take each of these ideas with a grain of salt, or throw the whole damn plate in the bin if it’s not to your taste.
Pre-mood booster – before we can get out of a rut we must first embrace the crappiness. Feel free to wallow, cry and be cranky for whatever period suits you. Institute a PJ day, ditch your kids in aftercare and eat all the cake in the house or curl up and watch some trashy Mc Trash Town TV. Once this becomes too painful, you are ready to move onto the mood-boosting phase of this operation.
*Note – Individual results may vary – time required in the moping stage may range from one day to um, a lifetime.
Ready to step out of the grump fog? Here are my top 5 mum mood boosters. No cute Pinterest quotes required – I promise.
Read more about self-care:
- 7 self-care tips to save your sanity as a new mum
- Self-care for mums: 8 ways you should treat YOURSELF like a toddler
- Have we got self-care all wrong? The HUGE problem no one is talking about
Mum mood booster 1 – Sort it out
I always feel better when things are organised. This does not mean cleaning the whole house from top to toe (although, if you’re that way inclined drop me an email and you can bring your services my way.) It means taking control of one thing. Here’s a list of my go-to sort outs for when I’m feeling a bit blah.
- Fold the freaking washing. When the washing couch is available to sit on life seems to be full of sunshine and rainbows.
- Pre-cook a dinner. Stick something in the slow cooker, and you will feel like a champion tonight.
- Wipe down a sloppy sink, misty mirror or streaky window. Insert your own “seeing things clearly” metaphor here.
- Organise your shoes, your wardrobe, your sock drawer, your adult toy collection. I just wanted to see if you were still reading.
- Wash your bedsheets. No judgement on how long it’s been between washes.
- Wipe the front of your kitchen cupboards. This is a game changer! Who knew that sauce drip was even there?
NOTE: This exercise takes energy. It can also lead to a frenzy of sorting and cleaning. Limit yourself to one job. Then give yourself a scratch and smell reward sticker and sit your mum butt down on the couch.
Mum mood booster 2 – Get creative
This is going to fly in the face of all my “Sort it out” suggestions. What is mum life if not a giant contradiction? So, if you’re creatively inclined, I give you full permission to ignore the mess, step over the pile of crap and sit yourself down amongst the crumbs with your favourite crafty pursuit. Knit, paint and create your way outta that funk.
NOTE: Colour and craft make me happy! If you would rather poke sewing pins in your eyes than endure creative pursuits, feel free to move onto mood booster number 3.
Mum Mood Booster 3 – Get moving
I KNOW! You don’t want to do it. Neither do I, but the truth is once we get our butts into gear we feel better. I dragged myself out for a joggy jog this morning (after locking my boobs down with two bras), and while I won’t be winning any endurance races, it felt bloody good to feel the sun on my face, see prancing puppies and say good morning to cute nannas in parachute tracksuits. It doesn’t have to be jogging; it could be a yoga class on YouTube, a trip to the pool, a bike ride behind the kids or a swift shuffle around your local shops.
NOTE: This one is the gold standard if you are really intent on improving your mood.
Mum mood booster 4 – Find a friend
Sometimes when I am in the depths of Poo Town, I put myself in an isolation tank. I reject invitations and spend more time with the couch than is necessary. It’s times like times when I most need a buddy. Someone to chat to, someone who might be in Poo-Town too, or perhaps somebody who has recently emerged from their own crap and is ready to listen to your crap. Basically, any human who loves you but doesn’t live with you is your go-to here.
- Neighbours rock because they are within walking distance.
- School mum mates are great because the kids can have a play while you get your whinge on.
- A chat on the phone to an old friend works wonders because old friends who knew you before all this mum stuff attacked your life remember you for the hilarious, witty, up-to-date, high heel wearing mega-babe you once were, and will no doubt return to after this bad mood passes.
Mum mood booster 5 – Put yourself first and get the hell out of there
Of course, we all get enormous amounts of pleasure from signing permission slips and completing five loads of laundry. If Groundhog Day has hit, it’s time to put your big mum pants on and take yourself out on a hot mum date. I know you are already formulating excuses:
- “The house is such a mess; I should really tidy it.”
- “I spent a fortune on the kid’s new uniforms so I shouldn’t spend any more.”
- “I’m too tired to leave the house.”
- “I have nothing to wear.”
Ok, I hear you. I live most of those excuses every damn day. But what if for one day (it could be today, it could be next Thursday, it could be next month once your tax return comes back) you let yourself off the budget/housework/kids activities hook and just did something (or many things) that you LOVE! I know that might have confused you. Many a mum has fallen into the “what do I even like?” rabbit hole. You need some prompting right?
Here’s some excellent stuff that you might like to do:
- Visit your local library and strut straight past the kid’s section to the magazines. Sit and devour all the magazines that you never buy at the shops because “they are so pricey these days”.
- Take yourself out for an epic breakfast where you drink your own hot chocolate and eat the damn marshmallow too.
- Walk along a shopping strip and check out all the lovely clothes in the boutiques (you could even be brave and try some on).
- Hit up a daytime movie. Cinemas with wine are a great option.
- Meet a friend for a walk.
- Meet a friend for a drink.
- Meet a friend for anything other than a doctors appointment or a chat about your child’s future.
- Go to a gallery. Not only is there fantastic art, but it’s also really bloody quiet – it’s a win-win, baby.
- Browse a bookstore.
- See a show with someone you love. Book a matinee show and enjoy arvo drinkies.
- Visit a place from your childhood.
- Book a massage or facial. Just don’t book a wax – today is supposed to be enjoyable.
- Paint your nails.
- Book a makeup lesson and splurge on new makeup.
- Book a stay at a hotel or Airbnb.
- Take yourself to a fancy pants high tea with your partner/lover or bestie.
- Try a new class – Zumba, painting or whatever takes your fancy.
- Create something – spend the whole day sewing, baking or creating things you love.
- Go rollerskating (This is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE bad mood buster – extra happy points if you sing Xanadu in your head while cutting laps past young children).
You get the idea. It’s time to think about yourself and do the things that will make you a better mum. Kids will survive a night with a babysitter (or Grandma). No one will notice if you skip footy training this week. Go and do something JUST FOR YOU, remember you?
Who knows what will happen once your mum mojo returns?!