Hi, Jackie Hall here.
Those of you who have followed my blogs or read my book The Happy Mum Handbook, would know that when my children were little, I struggled with being a mum....BIG TIME!
It wasn't until a particular incident with my son, the emotional breakdown and the epiphany that resulted from that moment, that I worked out the real cause of my misery. That cause was - MY THINKING.
You see it wasn't the things going on around me that was causing me to feel sad, depressed, anxious or the numerous other emotions going on, it was how I was perceiving those things going on around me.
Once I had made the connection between what I was thinking and what I was feeling, something really strange occurred.
It was like there were two very distinct me's that began to occur inside my head.
One of those 'me's was absolutely miserable (herein known as moody mum for the purposes of this blog). She was constantly seeing the glass as half empty and pretty much hating herself and her life as a mum with two small kids under two. She would endlessly ramble on about how wrong life was, how much she was missing out, how things should have been different, or could have been different if only... and finally, how useless, stupid or incompetent she was. Here are some of her common thoughts:
"Why do I have to do everything around here".
"Why didn't they sleep longer".
"When do I get time to myself".
"I'm sick of living my life like this".
"The house is too messy."
"I'm not spending enough time with the kids".
"I should be doing a better job".
"I'm going to stuff these kids up with the way I'm raising them".
"I'm not a good mother. Look at those mums. They're doing a better job than me."
"Nobody likes me, you know".
"Why does Steve [my husband] love me anyway? What's there to love?"
This incessant chatter would go on and on and on in my mind, inevitably causing me endless misery.
The other 'me' (now known as Real Mumma) was completely different though. At first she would just observe moody mum's negative conversations. becoming aware with curiosity and interest, noticing how quickly moody mum's thoughts would end in painful emotions.
But overtime, Real Mumma began to learn how to manage moody mum, recognise the signs of her taking over, and how to effectively put her back in her box so she couldn't consume my life anymore.
As Real Mumma practiced her new thinking over and over again, she grew strength and started to become the dominant conversation inside my mind, allowing moody mum to take a well earned break.
As Real Mumma was doing this, The Happy Mum Handbook was born. Because I wasn't able to find specific information for mums to help stop my own stress, depression and anxiety, I was determined that I was going to write a step-by-step handbook for mums to follow, after I had learnt to stop these emotions for myself.
I didn't want any mum to have to suffer what I went through, so I created this website, the book and wrote many articles about how to change your mindset.
However, something has been happening more frequently lately that I'm not a fan of. People are beginning to believe that I think like this ALL OF THE TIME and that I have 'got it all together'.
And while, yes, I enjoy the accolades that come with these incorrect assumptions, it's not aligned with my intentions for why I have written all this material.
Because here are two things that can happen when people put you on a pedastal:
1. They can start to think that what they are doing is 'wrong' and feel like they have failed, or aren't good enough; AND
2. They sometimes think that what the other person has is not achievable to them
Neither of these assumptions are a very good platform for change and growth.
So here's what I'm going to do. Through my blogs, I want to show you and other mums the continuous battle that goes on in my mind and how Real Mumma stops and takes over whenever that moody side of me tries to step up and rule the roost again.
I want to show you how to change your mindset from misery thinking to the thinking of a happier parent by showing you how Real Mumma works. Firsthand examples of my life and eventually, conversations with how other parents think and Real Mumma's responses will hopefully begin to teach you how to train a Real Mumma (or Real Papa) to emerge within your own mind.
I want you to know that if you are feeling stressed, depressed or anxious, that I have been in all three of these states, and sometimes I am tempted to revisit them too, but with Real Mumma at the forefront of the battle, I am happy to say that these emotions will never consume me again. Sometimes they try to pop their heads in for a quick visit at times, but things have changed and Real Mumma is always ready for action.