Maternal Mental Health During Lockdown Part 3 of 3

Welcome to the final blog instalment on maternal mental health during covid-19, with Counsellor, Mother and Grandmother, Diane Jackson. Over the last two instalments we’ve looked at the current changes to home life and their impact on mental health, where we can find support if we need it and how to nurture our mental health through selfcare and self-awareness, in order to better support those around us.

In this third and final instalment, we’ll be looking at family mental health and how we can create a positive environment in our homes at this time to support our children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

If you’re anything like me, your home bound kids have slowly been morphing from a manageable  20/80 split of naughty versus nice- to naughty with just enough spontaneous kisses and ‘Mummy you look pretty’s’ to prevent you from setting them on the kerb side with a ‘free to good home’ sign.    The behaviour is challenging- but a lot of it is understandable boredom, I get that.  But I do also worry about what part, if any, is a sign they are stressed, concerned or worried about the current situation and changes.  It made me wonder about how to actively observe and gauge my children and family’s emotional wellbeing at this time.

So, to round off our conversation on mental health with Diane, I wanted to take a look at the potential impacts of being housebound on the family dynamic and our children.

“Living under guidelines that restrict your freedom and enforce a lifestyle that is very different to what you’ve known, will bring up emotions of a loss of control and hopelessness at any age- whether too young to specifically recognise what those feelings are or not.” Explained Diane “Children are incredibly resilient, but they also thrive on routine- it’s why it is so important to a baby’s security, that sense of knowing what will happen next gives comfort and confidence.”

It was at this point I saw my first mistake- the gradual loss of routine as well as being slumped hour after hour in our pjs with adhoc activities and spontaneous food breaks suddenly seemed to coincide a little too well with the kids metamorphosis into endless whinges wrapped in skin.

“It’s really hard, when you have a job to do, a house to care for and to also be a full-time carer to your kids and a support person to your partner who is now housebound too. But as tiring as it is initially to bring routine into action- it pays off- big time”.

Step one to creating and supporting a healthy home environment at this time-is routine!  The first thing I did after I spoke to Diane about this, was to jump into excel and type a doorway to humanity aka a timetable! And by the way ladies- this is a great way to schedule in that time for self-care we discussed last blog- no excuses now!  Also don’t forget as we discussed in our last blog, that when you care for you and your cup is full, you better care for them. Giving kindly to yourself in turn gives to your entire household.

My next question was how to improve the general house mood, because, let’s face it as much as you fill it with different things to do-the same four walls and patch of lawn (if you’re so lucky), can get a bit drab!  Diane had some fantastic, thankfully very easy solutions for lifting the home ambience “The best way to lift the mood in any space is to work with the energy.  Think about how you can incorporate this into your routine. In the morning, when energy is higher- have brighter music, dance as an activity-or play music-based games like statues. After lunch, if your children are past napping, have quiet time- play calmer soft music, have them lie down and imagine a story to go with the music.” “For those who like them, candles and essential oils can really help to lift the ambience in any space- maybe have the children collect flowers if you have a garden arrange them on the table for dinner.” 

Music in particular has been a big winner in our house after my conversation with Diane, we usually have something playing at some point- but it was really interesting to see how dramatically it shifted my little people between times of the day when I used it to accentuate the mood of what we were doing next.  

So, we have some great practical tools to keep things moving and create a positive space- but how do we know if something is amiss- obviously as Mum’s we know when our kids are upset- but might stress in the current climate show up differently under these circumstances?

Diane’s response to this was really comforting as I’d been thinking a lot about how to gauge my still very young children’s mental wellbeing aside from their emotions at this time.  “It is a peculiar situation, but the standard hallmarks of emotional struggle with children, in most cases, would remain typical- if your child becomes detached, introverted, repeatedly uses language to express sadness, if they are visibly frightened- also at times if they become violent or abusive- that is to say they lash out”.  “If you see these behaviours and feel they are becoming excessive/dominating your child’s day/mood, absolutely seek professional support”.

They can sound like scary things- but as Diane said, most children are very resilient, they just may need some additional support through this time which is, even for most adults, intimidating.

As a Mum, I really hope that you find some useful tools and information in this blog post and the other two parts, to better support yourself and your family through the current environment and changes.  Again, if you find yourself needing mental and emotional support- it is totally ok and understandable- and most importantly, still very much readily available! Once again, I’ve included the where to access those services below.

I wanted to leave you with Diane’s concluding remarks as I found them really uplifting- I hope you will too, things are different right now- but they can still be positive and beautiful.  “This is a time for families to come home.  To be together, to reconnect, to play, to finally stop and rest. It is a time for our planet to get a much-needed rest too.  Ideally when we head back out, it will be to a better place, a healthier environment.  And we will go out as better people, appreciating what we have more, loving and appreciating our friends and family more.  Remembering how important our interactions with one another are, how very blessed our lives, and being grateful for the many privileges we enjoy having now known life without them!”.

Feel free to leave a comment below on your own experience as a Mum during this time!  Again if you feel you need professional support at any point confidential services are readily available- you can find contact information below, and via our Instagram @nikisnaturalwipes.


Stay Healthy!


Kat & The Niki’s Team


This week’s Niki’s blog was contributed by Katya Zahn.  Kat is our ANZ Managing Director for Niki’s Natural Wipes and a Mum of two boys aged 1 & 4.

She has a background in Marketing, Events and Operations Management. She also specialises in cutting sandwiches into the wrong shape, reciting favoured bedtime books by heart and accidentally throwing out “treasures” disguised as junk such as empty cotton reels and broken but oh so shiny utensils.


If you need emotional or mental health support, you can access immediate and confidential support via the following resources:


General Emotional Support:

Lifeline Australia PH: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue PH: 1300 224 636


Online Mental Health Tools

Black Dog Institute via


Support For The Kids

Kids Helpline PH: 1800 551 800


Support For The Hubby

Mensline Australia PH: 1300 789 978


If You Are At Risk, Or Feel At Risk For Domestic Violence


If you need counselling and practical support call 1800RESPECT

PH: 1800 737 732






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