Gosh darn it I love the Stylist sometimes. Issue 308 had a great article in it from 9th March (yes this is how long it has taken me to read it).

Being a stay at home mum these days, despite the lack of a ‘job’ to go to, a crazy commute, checking the Blackberry every waking hour etc you’d think I was permanently, off-my-face happy! Truth is it can all still be stressful. ‘But how!?’ I hear you cry – you have no real problems (surely I slob around all day in my jym-jams, feed the kids sometimes and do a bit of hoovering whilst they watch the latest on CBeebies). Below is a list of some of the key points I thought were really insightful because they can apply to us all. Take stock of yourself and ask – ‘are you feeling spiky? Huh punk?’

How do we get Prickly: Prickliness makes you react in such a way that your primitive brain takes over rather than letting you problem solve and react appropriately. This can manifest itself by eye rolling, sighing, a sharp retort etc. Cortisol is the chemical that makes you feel all angry – it can take 3 hours to shift it. But if you’re active it goes faster… GET MOVING

Lack of human touch: We spend more time interacting on computers / smart phones than we do asleep! We’re in each other’s lives without having to be present – so when someone does touch you (a loved one) and you get pricky, sometimes you feel like they’re invading your space. DITCH THE COMPUTER TIME… THE TV TIME TOO & GET TOUCHING, PEOPLE

Time is precious: This is relevant whether you work, care for the kids… or both. Apparently the average woman has 17mins to herself a day – so you become protective of it. I hold my hands up. When AJ wakes up too early I get upset because He’s eating into my own personal time. Generally a mother has no time to herself anyway – it’s always filled with something, the never-ending cycle of cleaning, washing, preping. And I think it applies to working too. Once one thing is solved, something takes its place. You constantly feel like you are on a hamster wheel. MAKE & TAKE TIME for yourself. I used to do it sometimes on my commute too, sometimes it’s actually the best place… ear phones in, close your eyes and switch off

Fear: The source of the tetchiness is often fear: fear of being inadequate, being devalued, ignored, rejected etc. BE MINDFUL: take the time to assess before you blow up: was the attack real or imagined.

In short, whether you are at home or at work, you do NOT need to be ‘available’ 24 /7 and constantly on high alert. Carve out time for yourself, the kids can manage for 2 hours a week without you if you fancy going to a gym class… as can work. And get offline, switch off, literally, get some sleep and of course… get hugging.

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