10 Points on Children for the New Parent
I remember when my daughter was born, later my son. According to many well meaning individuals, I should've done this, should've done that and maybe improved in some areas.
Most times I appreciated their pearls of wisdom because they made sense. At other times the line dividing the 'yes we can talk about this' crossed over into 'the no go zone' and I would bristle and spit like an angry cat! In the end, for my sanity, I did it my way.
I'm a granny now and I now provide well meaning advice to my daughter who is much like me - you can well imagine what she's thinking!
I returned to the workforce within 12 months after each pregnancy, and every time I found I was in conflict with me. One part of me wanted to get out there again, and the other didn't want to leave my children. Although I was getting my life back, inwardly I still wondered whether I was doing the right thing or not. I worked through it with the support and love of very dear friends and now am glad I did things the way I did. I'm proud to say my children have turned out to be exceptional individuals who love me as much as I love them.
The following worked extremely well for me and may also do likewise for you:
1. Take the words of others in good grace - accept what you know will be the most congruent for yourself and family. At the end of the day, friends, acquaintances and other family members who give advice on how you should be doing it, live under a different roof.
2. If confused about all the advice you receive from others, take some time to ask yourself "what is important to me in all this?"
3. Do yourself a favour - arm yourself with the knowledge that if you join support groups or socialise with others, there will be times you're going to receive unsolicited advice. Just smile and nod.
4. If you find yourself in states of hopelessness, sadness, and gloom you're unable to shake regardless of what you do - seek help from professionals. I had post natal depression with both my children and it wasn't until I actually started to receive the help I needed that I could finally see the light around me.
5. Make a list of three different things you do each day that creates anxiety for you. With each point ask yourself the five questions below:
"What is the purpose of doing this?"
"How important is doing this, really?"
"What do I need to do now that will help reduce my anxiety?"
"What is the positive aspect of this?"
"What is it costing me?"
When you're done, put your list away and come back to it later. Once you read the list again, check if you still feel the same about the three points. If you do, brainstorm a few ideas on how you could do things differently. If the points no longer having pulling power and you're ok with it - congratulate yourself!
6. Start a meditation program. Use this opportunity for some 'me time'. If you're new to meditation, there are some great how to books out there, CD's and meditation workshops. There's even an e-book titled 'Book of 10 Colour Meditation Scripts' so you can record your voice using these scripts written by yours truly.
7. Slowly start doing some of the things you used to prior to baby arriving - it is possible. Start with the absolute smallest and gradually work your way up. I started writing bits of poetry, and lists, I often wrote lists and loved it.
8. Retain your identity by keeping in contact with friends - even if it's only by phone.
9. Self esteem may plummet to an all time low; sleep deprivation a common event, and you may experience discomfort as your identity shifts from the old you to the new you. There is an upshot to all this (there's always one). You've taken on one of society's biggest roles - that of motherhood with your child potentially a future leader of this country!
10. Enjoy and make the very most of this precious time because it will pass much too quickly. Although a grandmother now, I still remember the day my daughter and son was born. It's as clear as if it happened yesterday.
I've never been more exhausted than when my children were little. Sleep deprivation was torture so in order to cope I let go of being the perfect house cleaner, cook, and social butterfly - the perfect someone. It simply wasn't important anymore and knew it was all there waiting for me when the time was right, and know it will for you too.
Michaela is a Transformational Coach, certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), writer and Metaphysician who is totally committed to helping others create positive and action oriented changes to their lives (see http://www.michaelascherr.com)
Michaela is the author of several e-books including Book of 10 Colour Meditation Scripts and publisher of a monthly newsletter called From My Desk.
Married to David, Michaela has two children and a grandchild and currently lives in Brisbane Australia.
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