Another strange encounter this morning, took my daughter to dreaded soft-play (hate it usually but needed to find an hour of activity) and it was very quiet apart from one other mum of a little girl about a year younger than mine. We got chatting as you do and then she asked “Why don’t you work? I don’t understand mothers who don’t go back to work”
I just stared for a moment.
You have probably realised by now that I have a bit of strong willed young lady on my hands but mealtimes are becoming a real battle at the moment.
My Mum alerted me to BBC Radio 5 Live this morning and Nicky Campbell talking to callers about Post Natal Depression.
The creativity for writing often comes to me when my emotions are highest. The months after giving birth I suffered really badly with debilitating migraines and major fatigue (more so than just ‘child isn’t sleeping’ fatigue) and I really struggled with the guilt of not being able to take care of my child at that time.
5 tips to help us flourish as Mums
Yesterday, I was invited to attend a ‘Positive Birth’ meeting in Bedford, a group to discuss all the ways you can make the birth of your child and those early months more positive. A lot of us tend to reflect on the birth of our children fondly anyway, but the experience can be pretty traumatic at the time, so helping yourself to prepare is always a benefit.
Along with the physical preparations, I think it’s useful to think beyond the birth and how you’ll cope with those tough emotional times. Below is a little handout I gave to the lovely ladies with a few tips you can practice now and exercise on a daily basis to increase those positive emotions.
How to live a more appreciative life – the power of appreciation and positive questions
I recently came back from a week in Paris studying something called ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ – it’s a lesser known method of change management within business focussing on what works well and doing more of it . (And yes, I know ‘Inquiry’ is spelt the American way, it annoys me too, but the founder insists on it). I want to look at it in a less business way here…
It all stems from the feeling of “What we focus on, grows”, so if we focus on the problem, the problem will grow – however much we try to fix it, whereas with Appreciative Inquiry, the idea is to focus on what works and what is going well – so in turn, this grows.
It sounds super simple and actually it is. Ultimately, instead of dwelling on the problem, you create an alignment of your strengths that in turn; make the weaknesses irrelevant.
From Mum to Me – creating an ‘Arrive at Me’ routine.
Let’s start with the obvious sentence, Motherhood is hard. It’s rewarding at times and the combination of love and pride has an incredible warming ability – but it’s tough. Sometimes we struggle through weeks, days and even hours without much understanding of what we’re actually doing. It can be both emotionally and physically exhausting and incredibly frustrating at times – but we’re supposed to enjoy it right? And want to spend every waking second with our beloved offspring.
How to be that little bit braver
Bravery was always a big part of my character, I loved making tough decisions and generally always took the most challenging route, plus I was a big adrenaline seeker in my younger years having trained as an outdoor pursuits instructor. The pang of excitement on choosing a risky path always kept me feeling like I was moving forward – and even if it turned out to be the wrong decision, I felt content knowing I’d given it a go.
Since having my little girl, I haven’t recognised bravery much in myself. The new feelings of requiring security for my little girl and our family seemed to conflict badly with that need for a bit of adrenaline. I wrote a blog last week about the internal character conflict new-motherhood can bring, if you’re interested.