Minding mum: Life coach Laura Guckian tells us how to take care of ourselves

Ladies, we’ve some work to do. A bit of a rewrite on motherhood needs to happen.

We need to talk more honestly about the struggles so we can take the pressure off ourselves. Why? We’re at breaking point.

Don’t believe me? Here are some figures: research carried out last year by Mind Mommy Coaching surveyed almost 2,000 mothers across Ireland and the UK. Taking a deep dive into the mental health of women during their years of motherhood, it found that 37 per cent of mums had – even just for a single moment – regretted becoming a mum.

This was mainly attributed to feelings of not feeling like a good enough mother as well as the unexpected contrast between expectations and reality. 90 per cent also admitted that their reality of motherhood felt much harder than what they expected it would be, prior to having children.

These statistics are the unspoken reality for many mothers, yet as a society, they are admissions that don’t often get brought to the forefront of conversation.

So, let’s start speaking the unspoken. Let’s start a chain of honesty and call it as it is.

Confused about how to put this in to practice? I spoke to Qualified Life Coach and Founder of Mind Mommy Coaching, Laura Guckian to get a steer on how to start.

The Tools

Laura has helped almost 4,000 mums achieve positive maternal mental health, by giving them the tools they need to take care of themselves. But Laura isn’t talking about bubble baths and long walks.

“For me” she says, “it’s about tuning into what I need and want and giving myself permission to do it without guilt. But in order to do that we need to stop talking about self care. ‘Self care’ is a word I hate. ‘Self care’ suggests that a few deep breaths or a bubble bath
is all a mother needs to feel better. This is not true.

I help my clients redefine what self care means to them by moving the focus to reserves. We all have different roles and responsibilities in a day. Then we all have our limit. Everything in between is called our reserves. When our reserves are high we have energy, feel happy and everything feels easier. We are better able to navigate the challenges of life and motherhood. When our reserves are low or depleted, that is when our capacity to deal with any challenge is reduced. The key to navigating the challenges of motherhood is to fill up your reserves.

But the most important step to any Mum filling up her reserves is to start accepting that she cannot take care of her children unless she is taken care of too. It’s about accepting that taking care of herself is not selfish but essential.”

Let 2024 be the year that you mind you.

How to fill up your reserves

  •  Get up 15 minutes before your children every morning. This will help start your day feeling in control and calm. This will ensure your reserves are not depleted by 9am.
  • Get rid of the shoulds! There are no shoulds in motherhood. The shoulds are the things you feel pressure to do. By removing the
    shoulds, this will instantly reduce any feelings of ‘Mom Guilt’ and also get some time back. Almost 37 per cent of Mothers go to bed feeling guilty 3-4 times per week.
  • Get into your FLOW. Flow is a positive psychology term that is used to describe an activity that when we are engaged in it, we don’t notice time pass, we are completely mindful and we have lots of mental energy afterwards. Find your FLOW and start doing this for 10 minutes a day.
  • Start challenging your inner critic with hardevidence. Ask yourself if what the inner critic is saying is fair, realistic or achievable? Most of the time, this will help you recognise that you are actually doing your best and that your best looks different every day. Almost 74 per cent of Mothers stated that they don’t feel good enough.
  • Do a social media audit. Unfollow any account that makes you question or compare. If that media does not educate, entertain or inspire you, unfollow.

The survey was carried out in September 2023 amongst 1902 mothers across Ireland and the UK.


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