Some of you may know that I am 1 subject and 18 clinical hours away from becoming a licensed therapist.
It has been a long journey that has taught me so much about myself.
I went into this study thinking that I could save 1 could save people from themselves. Little did know it would save me from myself. It always starts with us right.
But it also helped me understand where I could potentially struggle as a parent and theoretically how my little one would develop, milestones he needed to reach and how to raise an emotionally mature child.
Have I got it right! ABSOLUTELY NOT! There is one thing about learning something theoretically there is a complete other thing about actually doing it.
Parenthood has a way of really giving us a mirror into who we really are. It brings out all the hidden stuff deep inside of us that we just don't like. It can be so challenging, exhausting and yet so amazing.
So here are my top tips as a new mum. (note: I'm no pro, just sharing what I've learnt)
Routines are need. I am all about letting kids be kids. Gentle Parenting, letting kids just be in the flow experiment and explore their entire world. I like being out and about and enjoying this incredible world. But when push comes to shove, a routine is something that is NEEDED.
As adults we have routines all the time. We have our morning routines, our evening routines, our work routines etc. Routine are essential, and even after a nice long relaxing holiday, we all look forward to going home and have some routine back in our life.
Why is it so needed? because it provides a sense of security.. which is one of our core needs as a human.
In the same way, our little ones.. NEED IT. Routines give our kids a sense of security. They know they can depend on mum or dad to do XZY, which makes them feel safe. Chaos only creates uncertainty, which is scary for al little child.
On the plus side: routines also give us a much need break. At the moment I have a flexible routine of two naps a day and I tell you what, I love the fact that I know between 2-4pm my little bundle of energy will go down for his nap. At first he cried and fought the time. HE didn't want to sleep. He wanted to party. BUT he needed it. So after a few long hard weeks of training, my little boy now goes does down, and sometimes will even play in his cot until he sleeps. He loves it. It's his own time to just relax and get what he actually needs. But on the other side, its time for this mum to get a break. I get sit down, relax, workout or even just have cuppa and read a book. It's my time to recharge and take a break, or write a blog like right now. When I didn't get this break, I was stressed, over stimulated and just a plain old bitch to be around.
Communicate. I know I know. It's a over told story of communicating, it's all over social media and it's the first thing every self help coach wants to tell ya.
But really it's the first thing that goes when we become new parents. Unless we make an active effort to communicate, we become bitter, angry and frustrated and often times, our partners cop the brunt of it.
Now I'll be the first to put up my hand and say... I AM CRAP AT COMMUNICATING! I really suck at it. I hate confrontation, I don't like rejection (I mean who does) but it's all really excuses for me.
I have learnt so much about communication from my husband! He is an expert at it! But communicating with your partner is only part of the equation. The first part.. is actually learning to communicate with ourselves. If you don't know what you actually want or need your communication with be up shits creek without a paddle.
For example. I can be tired, overwhelm and be struggling. I can feel like my son is a lot of work and I have no time for myself. If I don't know what I really need, I'm going to demand my husband does more, I'm gonna sit around and do nothing, I'm going to nag, threaten etc etc. (which are all unhealthy and damaging ways to communicate) Or I can actually know what I want. I need sleep and some time out to recharge. Then that's what I was communicate "I am tried and need some time to recharge." If we don't know what we really want or how we are really feeling, we are going to blame everyone else (including your partner) for why we are feeling that way. It's ugly, it's sad and it's only hurting ourselves. But it can be changed quite easily.
Take Advice. In a world obsessed with blaming our parents for all our problems while take no responsibility to change it or heal it .. we often refuse to listen to what the older generation have to say.(yep I've done that too.... eeek) We think we know everything, because we read a blog, took a course or let social media decide what was best. We have grown so much in our knowledge (which is good) that we think we know more than than everybody else and poohoo any advice that was not current. But there is something to be said about learning from those who have walked the path before us.
Okay, so we may not agree with spanking, or putting blanket in our babies bed, honey on their dummies etc etc, but that doesn't mean we write the older generation off and label all their parenting as shit! They know so much! They lived through tough times and they did they best they could with what was given to them and they should be honoured not shunned.
One of the best pieces of advice I've learned, came from my mum. She taught me how train my son to be on a schedule. Believe you me, it saved my sanity. She also taught me how to teach him to play by himself. (and yes I play with him too... but it's actually called Interdependency training.... which is what you want, in your child, to be a healthy functioning human being)
My nan taught me how to hold my newborn and get the gas bubbles out. She taught me how to find them.
A dear friend of mine, who's kids are few years older, taught me the important of self soothing. Also life saver.
All of these things, I didn't learn from book, or a course, but from listening to wise women who know who I am, my struggles and are willing to jump in a help.
So there they are. My top three tips to navigating motherhood. I'm sure in a few months.. I'll have found a new set that have changed my life. I'm just new to this journey. To be honest I don't know much. But these tips, passed down from old woman and friends who have help me, walked with me and taught me... they have saved my life that many times.