Category Archives for "PND & Anxiety Blogs"

My Breakdown (I was in tears writing this)

“Nobody knows…..nobody knows but me that I sometimes cry. If I could pretend that I’m asleep when my tears start to fall. I peek out from behind these walls…I think nobody knows…..nobody knows, no….”
Pink

Every day, I put on the facade. My friends didn’t know. My husband sometimes knew. And to everyone else, I was easy-going, happy, friendly and coping well with my two toddlers only 16 months apart. To everyone else, I loved being a mum and had it all under control.

But inside was a war zone – with myself.

It was an endless cycle of loving motherhood, hating motherhood, being tired, pissed off, flipping out in anger, feeling guilty and hating myself. I threw things, screamed, swore, then would see the scared looks on my toddlers’ faces and then fall to my knees in a heap, devastated at the mother I had become.

I felt like I was everything I swore I would never be as a parent and felt I was failing miserably.

But there was no way anyone was ever going to know that. I was the achiever. I got things right! I was SUPPOSED to be a good mother. How could I tell anyone that I had failed? How could I even admit that to myself?

So I sat there and suffered day in and day out until finally, after getting so angry, I slammed a knife on the bench so hard in anger, that it bounced off and narrowly missed my (then) two-year old’s head, I finally realised enough was enough. I had to change, so I dedicated my life to doing exactly that!

After retraining myself to completely change the way I felt about parenthood, I began to educate other parents that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and you don’t have to go through this feeling alone.

You can turn all this around and I want to help you to do so. I don’t want anyone to feel the way that I did.

I want you to know that there are so many parents feeling the same way that you do, the way that I did, and I don’t want you to ever feel ashamed for what’s happening for you right now.

You are not a bad parent. You are a parent who just needs a shift in their mindset, an education in self-worth. A parent who is just receiving a wake-up call for their personal development.

On the other side of this you are a confident, happier, calmer and reality-focused parent who is able to share your new found wisdom with your children and help them avoid depression and anxiety in their futures.

This is, undoubtedly, the hidden good in all this. So when will it be time to learn how to change? Today. Don’t leave it any longer. You can do this.

Showing you the way…

Jackie

To find out how we can help you, head over to our Bring My Family Calm Program that will help you to turn it all around.

EVERYTHING is going so shit at the moment!

“Why are they ALWAYS whingeing? They NEVER give me any time out. I NEVER get anything done around here. They’re ALWAYS needing me for something. I’m so sick of dealing with this DAY IN, DAY OUT. Why can’t they just do as they’re told. They NEVER listen to me. NOBODY gives two shits about what I want. I’ve had enough! I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired. Clearly I’m doing something wrong. NOBODY ELSE feels this way. EVERYONE ELSE seems to manage, but not me! I’m hopeless.  Why can’t I get this right. What’s wrong with me? I’m such a failure. I hate my life!”

This used to be a regular conversation that would roll around in my head. Needless to say I would feel pretty crappy looking at my life from this perspective too.

See how I started with one little event and how quickly this little event escalated into meaning something about my whole life!!!

Here’s how I would respond to myself now:

“Really Jackie? ALWAYS. NEVER. NOBODY. EVERYONE ELSE. DAY IN. DAY OUT. These words are making this situation mean something about your whole life, but it’s not really that way is it?

  • The kids do listen to me sometimes. It’s just that they’re not listening right now. 
  • I do get things done around here, I’m just getting frustrated with all the demands, in THIS moment.
  • My family does care about me, but perhaps I’m feeling a bit run down and I need to make some time for myself.  When was the last time you actually planned that time out? Have you specifically asked for some support for yourself? You have to be your own hero, don’t just expect others to know what you want.
  • Not every day is like this. This is just a full on day today. Sometimes we have awesome days where I’ve had enough sleep, the kids are happy and I really enjoy being a mum.
  • EVERYONE! Really Jackie? What proof do you have that EVERYONE is managing, but you? Are you in their heads? The reality is that everyone has challenges and many parents feel the same as you. There’s nothing wrong with you. This is just a tough day.  Other people have challenges and difficulties too. It’s part of life. Even if they aren’t challenged in parenting, they’ll just have challenges in other areas, because that’s how we learn and grow.

You are NOT a failure. So what is the problem that you need to deal with right now and what is the solution?

All stress is a conflict between belief and reality!  Be mindful that your internal conversations are not ‘catastrophising’ a situation that in reality, is just one event in your life that will come and go.

What you’re experiencing right now is NOT a reflection of the rest of your day (or your life for that matter!)

Look at the whole picture…

Jackie

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Stuff it! What’s the point?

 

Ever feel this way?  You try and try and try to do the ‘right’ thing, but you just end up failing….or at least that’s how you see it.

The danger in this language is that it is often associated with depression.

The belief system behind depression is when you have attached your self-worth to a particular identity you are ‘supposed’ to live up to or a way life was supposed to go. You keep trying to get your life ‘right’ in this way, but you wind up experiencing the opposite of what you want, leaving you feeling worthless, hopeless, useless or that life itself is of less value.

Repetition of this perspective in life, leads to you finding more and more evidence of it being true, which makes you feel even worse! What’s needed is a complete change in viewpoint about life, and more importantly a change in your viewpoint about self-worth.

Depression sufferers need to learn that life doesn’t always go to plan and that doesn’t mean anything about your self-worth – it’s just a part of life.

The reality is that we are all learning, growing, and experiencing highs and lows. Our lows are our learning points or our turning points. So what is this experience trying to teach you?

As soon as you stop reflecting on how worthless these events make you feel, and instead start focusing on what it’s teaching you or what you have to do next, you will start to feel better.

Learn an easier way….

 

Jackie

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

I don’t want my child to remember me as a screamer

Parent: I have a lot of time alone with my 3 y/o son. I find I’m losing my temper faster when there’s no one else around. I try to be scream free and quickly forget. I don’t want him to remember me as a screaming mum. Can you help me?

Jackie Hall: Anger and anxiety are often very closely linked. Anxiety is all about control. We are trying to control life so it goes to my plan and prevent anything from jeopardising our goals.

ALL stress is a conflict between belief (what I’m thinking) and reality (what is actually happening) and what we perceive that event to mean about ourselves. In order to stop the anger we need to align with the reality of that moment and look at it from a reality based perspective.

With any aged child we need to expect as parents that life isn’t always going to go to plan. Our children are learning how to behave and especially at the age of three, they are not going to comply with what we are saying or doing at all times. They are busy integrating loads of information about life and forming physical neural connections in the brain that are helping them make sense in the world and sometimes they’re busy just trying to figure out what things are, let alone trying to align them with you wants and needs.

Check out this website www.raisingchildren.net.au to see what is happening in your child’s brain development and some strategies to handle the reality of this stage.

Trapped by fear – 5 tips to overcome fear and succeed at your 2014 goals

Happy Mum 35Jackie Hall  –  It’s a new year! Woohoo! I always love this time of year. It brings reflection on the year just gone, renewed hope and plans for the future.

It’s exactly what I love about a new day, the freshness of a new beginning.

I have big goals for the Parental Stress Centre this year. We want to be the leading centre for parental stress in Australia, meaning that everyone who needs help to feel better about themselves as a parent and learn how to feel calmer, more at peace and to cultivate strength in their relationships will know to come here to get that help.

I spent the last five months writing, creating books, webinars and content for this site with Real Mumma (my wise alter-ego) and now it’s time to let the world know that we exist.

Only that requires one thing….promotion! Suddenly I am trapped with fear coarsing through me at the thought of having to call people and convince them we can help parents (which we passionately believe we can).

FEAR is a predator that squashes our dreams and keeps us trapped in the complacency and safety of what is known. It is the reason why at the beginning of each new year we swear it will be different, only to find that this time the following year, NOTHING HAPPENED.

So how do we get past this black scary monster?

Here’s five tips Big Mumma suggessted to help us all make changes once and for all this year:

Tip #1:Know what you have to do

Often the biggest contributor to not succeeding with our goals is lack of knowledge. We live in an information era. There’s always someone out there who can teach you what you have to do and give you the exact steps required to get to where you want to go.

Seek out that mentor. Hunt them down. Study what they’re doing. If it’s parenting goals you want to achieve, educate yourself on how to change. If it’s career goals, what qualifications and experience do you need? If it’s a work from home business, how do you do that? What have others done to succeed in this area?

Tip #2: Feel the fear and do it anyway

In order to push past your boundaries, you need to push past your boundaries. It’s not going to happen by yourself. My fear is of the telephone so what I need to do is pick it up and start talking to people. Often we find that what we were really afraid of was nothing anyway.

Tip# 3: Know what it is you’re really afraid of and challenge that thinking

My fear of self-promotion centres around the fear that ‘people won’t like me’ or ‘people might reject me’. I need to remind myself that not everyone will like me or want to hear what I’ve got to say and that doesn’t mean anything bad about me. All it says is that their beliefs about life do not align with mine or their priority is not aligned with mine in that moment. That’s both okay and inevitable.

We so easily attach our self-worth to someone else’s opinion of ourselves but the reality is that someone’s opinion, is just that, their OPINION. It means diddly about you. It’s just a reflection of that person’s conditioning on how they view life. Everyone’s experiences are different, so it is inevitable that opinions are going to be different.

When we are stuck in fear we often look for what MIGHT go wrong and we avoid things because of a ‘what if’. But what if it DOESN’T go wrong? What if your experience ends up being the best thing that ever happened to you? The reality of life is that all of our events are linked. All the highs lead to lows and all the lows lead to highs. We can’t have one experience without the polar opposite of the other experience somewhere along our life’s time line.

Just remember that when that fear tries to take over and stop you in your tracks.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to fail

What is it with today’s society where we are taught to think that we should know everything there is to know about everything we ever want to pursue? When I put it like that it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it, yet that’s what we often expect from ourselves.

This week I was on the phone to someone who offered me some marketing training for free. He said he would listen in on my phone calls and give me tips. My body went into instant fear. “What, you mean actually put myself in a position of being judged and ridiculed!” Screamed my fears. “Like Hell.”

But that’s just one aspect of it. How do we know what to do until we experience what NOT to do. Here was an opportunity to learn and grow in my marketing abilities, but if I let fear get in the way because of a silly belief that I should know the answers to everything and that I cannot show people that I don’t know, then I don’t learn, I don’t get better and I DON’T ACHIEVE MY GOAL.

Failure is often the very thing we need to do to get what we want. Failure is not the end. Often it is just the beginning or the platform to launch from.

Tip #5: Be very clear about why you want your goal

When the fear of doing something new outweighs the pain or suffering of what you are currently doing, you will make changes and make it a priority to learn, grow and try new things.

Do whatever you have to do to keep your dream alive in your mind. Have pictures around you. Read stories about people who are making it in the area that you want to make it. Allow yourself to get excited about your goals and know EXACTLY what you are going for (and what you are happily going to leave behind).

Most goals come from a feeling of lack – you don’t have something in your life and the goal will fulfill that void. Remembering what you want to change is just as important as knowing what experience you are aiming for. BOTH of these extremes will fuel the fire that will give you the burning desire to make changes.

Every single one of these tips are what I personally need to do, right now, in my own life. The reality is that none of us are perfect. We each have our cross to bear and our lessons to learn. If you believe that you are worth any less because of your weaknesses, lack of knowledge or flaws, then that means we are all worth less, because you have just described every human being on the planet.

Even by writing this article I have realised that it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to not know how to do something and feel trepidation about what I need to do to reach this year’s goals, but what’s not okay (by me) is to let them suffocate me to the point of paralysis.

I WILL go beyond. I WILL reach the other side. I will seek out mentors to teach me what I need to know. I will DO new things over and over again until I’m comfortable with doing them. I will keep learning from my mistakes and I will achieve my goals of being THE place for parents to come to for parental stress.

Because I have a passion, a burning desire and a vision to see parents in Australia believing in themselves and knowing exactly what they need to do to live happier, confident lives and to know how to naturally pass these abilities onto their children.

It won’t be easy to overcome my fears, but I am committing, right now, to doing it.

Last year I came across a fabulous quote that relates to anything:

“The difference between poor people and rich people is that poor people WANT to be rich. Rich people are committed to being rich.”

So what are you committed to? Or will this be another year where you are just going to allow yourself to keep wanting it?

But there’s just so much to do all the time

16513694_sSo many of you got so much out of yesterday’s blog where I felt annoyed/angry frustrated with my kids and how I investigated further, that I thought this next one might be helpful too. Again it comes from my personal experience of frustration this evening, getting overwhelmed by all the housework I need to do, combined with the non-household related work I needed to do and my ultimate desire to just sit down and do something for me.

My husband is working away at the moment and I am it, so after 4 months of this, it’s taking it’s toll, so I have plenty of opportunity to practice what I preach, that’s for sure.

I actually found this one quite tough to get to the core belief, but I finally got there and I think many of you will relate to it well, especially you achievers.

Here’s another rendition of how the conversation went in my mind (and I am writing it as I’m thinking it). Remember, the whinger me is in italics and the wiser me (the coach) is in bold.

I’m back again and I’m annoyed again.

Why?

There’s always so much to do all the time. Look at this place. It’s feral. There’s shit everywhere. It’s disgusting. There’s shoes and food. The dishes are pile up. I’m tired. I’ve had enough of doing everything in this house. I just want to sit down but I can’t. There’s still so much to do. I shouldn’t even be writing this blog. I should be sending photos to the in-laws like I promised them two weeks ago and Steve (hubby) has been onto me. I’ve just had enough. Why do I have to do everything? No one cares about what I want. No one cares that I might need to sit down and relax, nooooo. I have to be responsible for doing everything. It never ends……

Are you finished?

No, I could go on like this forever!!

Is it helping?

What do you mean? Helping what?

Is it helping you to get everything done?

No.

So why are you doing it?

Doing what exactly?

Rolling around in what’s not happening?

Because I just wish that I didn’t have to do it?

But reality is that you do.  So What is it about your to-do list that you don’t like?

There’ just so much on it. I can’t do it all and my wants seem to go by the wayside.

Really?

Yes.

Hmm, I beg to differ.

What do you mean?

Well, time is not about time, it’s about priorities.  You are making everything else a priority.

But if I don’t do it, it never gets done.

So?

So we live like pigs and it just piles up all the time.

Doesn’t the housework just come back?

Yes all the time.

So if you constantly keep making the housework a priority instead of making yourself one and the housework just keeps coming back, you never make yourself a priority do you?

Well, no I guess not. Okay so I have to include myself in as priority too.

Yes, you do. So there’s one aspect solved. But I want to go back to the frustration you started with though. How helpful was it to keep going on and on in your mind about how bad things were? How was it making you feel?

More and more frustrated. There came a point where I started to getting quite emotional and I could feel it in my chest, my breathing was getting shallower and heavier.

Do you think that was because you had lots of work to do?

Yes.

Really? So if it was the list of work you had to do causing these feelings, wouldn’t that mean that everyone with a long list of things to do would feel exactly as you do?  Is that accurate?

I know, I know.  It’s my thinking that causes me to feel this way.

That’s right, so what were you thinking?

I shouldn’t have to do all this. Why am I the only one doing it? I don’t want to do it. Why can’t the kids respect theirs/my stuff and keep things tidy? 

Remember all stress is a conflict between belief and reality. Is your thinking in alignment with reality?

No, I guess not. The reality is the jobs are there to do and I, being the mum and the sole house runner at the moment, have to tend to these jobs.  The reality is that the kids are still learning respect for things and it is predictable that they will not make it a priority to clean up their things and respect them. This is something they are learning.

And what does that mean about you and your life?

Okay, here we go again – an interruption to my life.

Is it though?

No, there is no interruptions to MY LIFE. There’s just experiences that come and go – highs and lows, wanted and unwanted, enjoyable and unenjoyable.  I’m just doing what I need to do as a mum to look after my family and my home.

While that is a good upgrade, it’s just not enough to change things for you is it? Tell my, why is it always your priority to choose housework over spending some time for yourself?  What’s that about?

No, you’re right. It isn’t enough.  Hmm, that’s a tough one.  Because I want the house to be neat and tidy. Because it  piles up and I would have to do it anyway. Because I want to get it out of the way so I can have me time.  Geez this is a vicious cycle isn’t it…because it keeps coming back, so I never actually get to that elusive goal of finishing it. Of course, sometimes I do, but I just turn around and it’s all back again tomorrow.

So what do you think it means about you to have the house a little messy?

I don’t know. I just need to keep the house hygienic at least. If there’s crap all over the floor and dishes to be done, I can’t just leave it.

Why not?

Because that would be disgusting and irresponsible. I cannot live this way.

{at this point, I’ve literally got back up and continued cleaning up the kitchen which I had stopped doing to write this blog because I just couldn’t handle leaving it the way it is. Only when the kitchen was done could I allow myself to continue this blog. The reason will become obvious as you continue.}

Then that is the priority. Why? What do you get from it when it’s done?

Satisfaction that it’s done. I feel organised. I feel better. I feel like I now I deserve to sit down.

So before you didn’t deserve that? 

I guess so. Hmm, okay, it’s coming to me now. I think it’s all about finishing things. I need to achieve it and finish it in order to feel good about myself. I feel I need to be rewarded for achieving it (like allowing myself to sit down and do ‘me’ things, only I don’t feel like other areas of my life are finished either and feel like I have to tend to that too, so the frustration continues).  That actually makes a lot of sense.

I am the achiever and I have attached my self-worth to finishing the job, getting it done and feeling the satisfaction of a completed job. Only nothing ever feels finished because the list keeps getting longer. Housework just keeps coming back, so I get frustrated that I never complete it and hence never feel that self-satisfaction that I have obviously attached to achieving.

That’s also why I make my ‘list’ a priority over my time out. I have held the belief that I need to finish what I’ve started (ie the housework) before I deserve to finish it

And is that reality?

No, not at all. The reality is that the housework will continue. The dishes will get used again and need washing up. The washing will pile up, need to be folded/ironed/put away and then it will come back again. The floors will get washed, dirtied and washed again and as per usual, EVERYTHING will rise and pass away.

I am reaching for an impossible goal and have incorrectly attached my self-worth to it.

But in reality there is nothing I need to do or achieve to increase what I deserve. It’s okay to take some time out for me without feeling guilty. It all comes down to my priorities.  Maybe I need to set smaller goals for myself and look at what I want my priorities to be instead of what I feel I need them to be in order for me to feel validated.

Like for example, sure, do the dishes and sweep the floors, but I don’t have to have the entire house tidy, fold all the washing, do my Parental Stress Centre work, send photos, have me time and vacuum the floors all in one night. It’s okay to spread it out, and as it is, the weekend is coming up and I’ll have plenty of time to do it then AND have some time out too. So what’s the point of stressing?

That’s right. All this rolling around in your story about how wrong it is, how it should be different, what you’re missing out on etc. is only going to cause you to feel badly, but this feeling is an indicator of what you are really thinking and underneath those feelings was you believing that you need to always have the house clean in order and finish your list to be valuable, but that in itself is in conflict with reality because your list is never really finished, because housework alone is never finished.  It will always just keep coming back.

So take some time to relax. Life is okay with a bit of mess. You just need to pull back, set smaller goals, be realistic about your expectations, but above all, keep mindful about why you are making what you are a priority and keep checking whether this priority has that underlying thread of needing to finish and achieve again in order to prove your worth (or deservability of fun times).

The reality is that life is a journey that we are here to experience everything, not just achieve our goals. Goals set life in motion, they don’t define us as good or bad, valuable or not. They help us to do life, to learn and grow and continue on to have other experiences. Goals are really not about the actual end achievement at all.

Furthermore, throughout your journey, whether you get the goal, don’t get the goal or anywhere in between that you are always valuable and so is you life. There is no destination that you need to get to in order to prove your worth. Just by being alive, you are worthy because you contribute to the world around you and help others to experience and learn.

Human value doesn’t lie in whether your house is clean or not or whether you have nothing on your ‘to do’ list.

If you would like to learn more about how to think differently about the demands you have upon you and would like to learn how to add more ME time into your life, check out A Parent’s Guide to Balance and getting more YOU time and our Give Me Back My Time Program

What’s underneath your postnatal depression?

A current member of the Postpartum depression recovery program, emailed me this evening to say thank you for some words that I had written as part of the program.

Although I know everything that I teach, I sometimes don’t remember how I have worded things, and sometimes (and I hope I don’t tread on any non-spiritualists toes here), I don’t actually think I am alone in what I write.

When I get ‘in the zone’ something else often feels like it takes over and almost writes through me, if that makes sense.

Anyway, when she posted the quote that I had written, I thought that is was so relevant to share with you today, so here it is:

“I think we can all agree that when a baby comes into the world they are 100% worthy, beautiful, pure and precious. That was you once. What happened? What do you think occurred in your life that was so bad that you changed from that beautiful, precious human being that could do no wrong to being this bad person that you make yourself out to be?

The answer is only beliefs. Your worth did not change, but your beliefs about yourself did. These beliefs are probably not even yours. There is nothing wrong with you at all. The only thing that is wrong is your perception of your self-worth and you can always work on changing that.

You are still that worthy, precious and beautiful person that you were when you were born. Now we just need to unravel all those memes [handed down, indoctrinated beliefs] that taught you to believe that you aren’t worthy. It’s time to let go of these self-defeating memes. They are simply not true and this is exactly what you are leading into learning in the coming weeks.”

I cannot stress to you how true these words are and sometimes I just want to scream them out to the world, especially when I hear of all the medical things that are being done to postnatal depression sufferers, like ECT’s (electronic convulsive therapy).

I mean, I’m sure that it has its place and I don’t mean to put down anything medical or any medication for that matter, I just wish that the issue of self-worth was being addressed more aggressively.

Chemical imbalances and ‘bad’ events are repeatedly blamed for postnatal depression, but why aren’t belief systems being just as equally addressed? Why isn’t there massive emphasis on teaching communities about self-worth and understanding the realities of life’s ups and downs, and learning how to accept the times when life isn’t going to plan, so you don’t feel like a failure everytime this happens.

All of your thinking and perceptions about life are what is causing postnatal depression and I have seen it time and time again where people have learnt to change this perception and their postnatal depression disappeared.

Your brain is SO powerful. There’s a reason you got postnatal depression and it’s not because of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Yes, the imbalance was there, but what caused it? The way you perceived life to begin with.

So it was the ‘bad’ event then? No, it was the way you perceived this event. Even labelling it as a ‘bad’ event contributed to your depression over it (or a series of events). Change the way you perceive it and you change the way you receive it with your emotions.

Self-worth lies at the core of all depression (and all other stress-related illnesses too). You have perceived that this event (or series of events) deems you a failure. If you are depressed in the area of motherhood, then you are perceiving that you have failed in this area of your life and it is this perception that is causing the physical chemical reaction causing it to become out of balance, just like there is a chemical reaction if you were fearful over a spider crawling down the wall beside you. The chemical would be adrenaline though.

You have so much power over your depression and it makes me crazy that I can’t reach the world as quickly as I want to and give them this message.

You are perfect just the way you are and you are the one who needs to learn this. You can take medication and be under the guise of a doctor for as long as you want, but until you believe that you are 100% worthy no matter how your life unfolds (that’s right, whether it’s going to plan or not), you will continue to live with a cloud over your head. It may not be a deep dark completely depressive crowd, but there will always be that lingering worry that life might go ‘wrong’ and send you back to that dark place again.

Understand self-worth and how to perceive life’s ups and downs and you won’t have to live in fear over you getting depression again.

My Postnatal depression recovery program will help you with this. I can only hope that you can see this too, or find someone else who can teach you to know your true self-worth and change those beliefs in your head that make you believe that you are failure whenever things go ‘wrong.’

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Why did I choose to be a mother again?

Happy Mum 35Hi, Jackie Hall here. In the last couple of weeks, we have put Foxtel in our home.  With that I have re-discovered The Supernanny series and a show called Real Simple. Real Life where they help women get their lives in order (it’s mostly targeted at mums).

Watching these programs of late, it has fascinated me as to why we choose to become mothers.  I mean granted we have no idea what we are in for in the beginning, but we go back and have more babies, and more often than not, despite the hardships it brings, most of us would do it all over again if given the chance to turn back time.

But when you look at it, why on earth would we want to do it all over again, given the chance?  From the outside looking in, we start off getting very little sleep, are overwhelmed with repetitive, groundhog day tasks of nappies, crying, housework, little adult contact, loss of career and independence, loss of spontaneity and the freedom to be self-indulgent.  We lose our body shape, hand our breasts over to another person only to have them return empty, shapeless, droopy and scarred.  We are clung to, suffer from sore backs, bad posture, lose our style, dress daggy, have very little time to groom and generally look and feel drabby….and that’s just the first 6 months or so.

As our children grow older we are likely to be screamed at, kicked, bitten, had our hair pulled, embarrassed in the shops, and issued demand after demand.  The house gets messier, the list of chores gets bigger, you then try to add work into the equation and balance all that just to make ends meet and life becomes a constant struggle to keep everybody else happy and slipping in little moments of bliss for yourself whenever you can.

When you look at all of this chaos that occurs in a mother’s life, from an outsiders point of view, who the hell would EVER opt for a life like this?  Why on earth do we go back and do it again, and again?

What on earth do we see in this motherhood gig that is so powerful that we would do it again, go back and have history repeat itself. What makes us believe that it is the best job in the world? I decided to pose this question to Real Mumma.

This was her reply:

Real Mumma: The answer is simple – love.

Because when you look into your child’s eyes – I mean really look at them.  You see underneath the behaviour and look to the pure, unconditionally loving little being that they are, and all of that stuff melts away.  You see the innocent looks, their priceless smiles and their inappropriate laughs at situations that you think are serious.  You watch them as they sleep and see their innocence and beauty and feel the sudden urge to scoop them up in your arms and cuddle them (even though it just took you ages to get them to sleep) just because you realise how much you love them and how much they mean to you.

You then watch them grow, learn and take on some of the lessons you taught them. You begin to see the pride they have in their own growing abilities and how proud they are of something they’ve worked hard for.

You see the pure love and sensitivity they have for other people and how, while one minute they can be angry, feral and disruptive, the next they could be giving you the biggest cuddle in the world, giving you a carefully picked yellow weed flower and saying those magic words ‘Here you go mummy, I love you.’

You notice their funny little facial expressions, the words they get mixed up that sound so cute, and hear their priceless little giggles ringing in your ears.

Suddenly your heart just bursts with love and no matter what has happened, for this brief moment, you are the proudest, happiest and most in love mother you could ever have hoped to have been.

Love is the most powerfully healing emotion known to man.  For a person to go through all that we do as mothers, but have that all melted away within an instant because of this emotion of love, just goes to show how much of it we need in our lives.

Yes, this motherhood gig is tough.  Yes it comes with the biggest workload you’ve ever had in your entire life, but why did I choose to be a mother?

Because it is the best job in the world, and that’s not because it’s full of only warm and fuzzy huggies commercial type moments, but because I experience a love that is so rare, so pure and so rewarding that I would never EVER give that up.

Next time you feel overwhelmed by motherhood, just remember this awesome feeling and do whatever you can to bring it back into your life so that all that bad stuff can just melt away in that instant again.

All that surface stuff and surface behaviour we experience that causes us to be consumed, stressed and dragged down?  It doesn’t matter.  It’s not what counts.  Look for what’s underneath.  Look for the human behind the behaviour.  The meaning in the mayhem.

Love is what matters.  Love is what heals and the love between a child and a mother, is irreplaceable. Invite this feeling of love back into your life as much as possible and the chaos will become unimportant.

 

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Depression, sadness and anger can be a blessing

On Saturday my eldest son will turn six.  It seems like just yesterday he was born. the years have gone so fast. Yet in my memory I still vividly remember how I felt those sad, angry days in his early years when I thought I was the worst mum in the world and that I was always ‘stuffing him or his brother up’ in one way or another.

I felt like those long days with the kids changing nappies, cleaning the house and being bored out of my brain would never end.  I thought that my life had no purpose, no meaning and no direction, and that I was just existing from day to day in order to do everything for everyone else.

Although this is where I was at then, it is not how my life continued.  In fact being in that sad and angry place was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it took me to the place I am now and to what I am now doing with my life.

Without those moments, I would never have written books and programs to help other parents to stop their parental stress.  Without those moments I would never have learnt the information that teaches me to be a happy mum and teaches my kids the realistic version of how to be happy.  Without these moments, I would not meet and speak with many other inspirational parents like I do.

You see every moment in life leads to the next one.  Sometimes it may feel like your challenges are never going to end, but believe me they do.  Everything rises and passes away!  Whatever is going on in your life is a stepping stone.  Whether you are doing well in life right now or going through the hardest thing you have ever had to face, it is always temporary and eventually moves on to something else.

We don’t have to know how life will unfold, nor do we need to get it to unfold to our desires all the time.  We can’t possibly know what is going to happen next in our lives and will never know what good is going to follow our current bad.

There were times when I wanted to run away from how hard I found being a new mother with two young boys, but imagine if I did what I would be missing out on right now.

I am an author, a public speaker and a happy mum of two healthy and happy boys whom I can now help to learn to look at life in a healthy way and to be there to lift them when they feel in a similar way to how I had felt.  Because I’ve been there, I can teach them with conviction how to move themselves through those times quicker.

That time of my life where I was sad and angry all the time, propelled me to another level of my life that has now marked the beginning of something truly inspirational.  Your life can be this way too.

Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of believing that whatever is happening for you define’s your entire existence.  Never give up on believing you are important to this world.  If you don’t know why you are important to the world, then that doesn’t mean you aren’t. You just need to learn how to search for that evidence.

We each play a special role in life that is always giving something to someone we are in contact with.  We do this through existing.  You speak to others, participate in group activities, love others, live with others and leave with them a part of who you are JUST BY BEING ALIVE.  They learn from you and you form a part of how their life unfolds.

You are important now!  And always will be.

If you’re feeling low about your life right now and that ‘this is it’ for you.  Stop and imagine what uncrossed roads may be ahead of you.  You don’t know what amazing adventures are in store for you and you don’t know that what you are going through right now may end up being the very thing you need to occur in order for you to live a more amazing life than you have ever dreamed of living!!

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”
Albert Einstein