Homeschooling My Children While Struggling With PMDD

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After having my third child, I started to feel like my periods were controlling my entire life. During the week before my period, I lost control of my temper, I had extreme brain fog, I started picking small fights with my husband, I started having a lot of anxiety and I was extremely tired. I ended up seeking advice on a Facebook mom group and several women suggested that I may be suffering from PMDD. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe, sometimes disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Although regular PMS and PMDD both have physical and emotional symptoms, PMDD causes extreme mood shifts that can disrupt your work and damage your relationships.”

Homeschooling my children while struggling with PMDD became a big obstacle. I felt very positive and overachieving during some weeks. Other weeks would be full of yelling and breakdowns. Those were the days that I would end up feeling guilty and label myself as a bad mother.

There are several steps that I started taking that have helped me manage my PMDD. 

1. I sought professional help. It’s necessary with PMDD. My doctor and I discussed a plan that will help me balance out my hormones. There are other alternatives available including hormone based birth control, therapy and anxiety medications. It’s best to consult with your doctor. We also discussed diet and exercise. I try to include my oldest child in my exercise regime. 

2. I started keeping a journal of my symptoms. This has helped me learn my patterns and triggers. It’s given me awareness of my body. This helps me plan my homeschooling around my PMDD.

3. We don’t home school during the days that my PMDD easily triggers me. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility. We homeschool year-round and take days off as needed. Alternatively, we play games, go outside, watch educational shows or focus on reading together. We also do Khan Academy as an alternative to our regular bookwork. 

3. I try to get out in nature with the kids more often when I have PMDD. Being outside always helps me relax. The kids are also able to relax better because they can run around freely and make as much noise as they want.

4. I try to spend more time around friends and family during my rough days. I ask for their help with my children for a few hours when I feel like it’s unbearable. I am extremely lucky to have my mother live close to me. She is a retired teacher and always has fun activities planned for them. 

5. I’ve never been strict with schedules but quiet time is a must every day. I allow my children to use screens during this time. It’s so helpful because I can shower, rest, drink my tea, read, exercise, and perform other tasks much easier during this time. This helps me, “recharge my batteries” and avoid being overwhelmed. 

I want to remind every mother struggling with PMDD that you are not a bad mother. Nothing is wrong with who you are as a person. PMDD is classified as a “depressive disorder”. This is something you aren’t able to control unless you seek proper help. The best way to recover from a rough homeschooling day with PMDD is to take a break and snuggle with the children.

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