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Meditation Fairy

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became A Mom

🌟 3 things I wish I knew before I became a Mom 🌟

I don’t know why we don’t talk about this more, and to be honest I could break these into so many subsections from pregnancy to postpartum to the first few years of life. 

 

Before I became a mom I knew things would change, I didn’t know just HOW MUCH they would change. And when I asked my friends, they were like ‘oh yeah that happened to me too’ – 😱 Why did they not tell me?  So here I go: 

 

🌟  It may take you a while to fall in love with your baby: 

5 months on and I can now say I am truly and well in love with my baby – her smile, her chunky cheeks, I find her adorable – BUT it wasn’t immediate (it was the same with my firstborn) and even though some people are in love with their babies before they are even born – it’s ok and normal if that doesn’t happen to you. 

 

After she was born, I was recovering from a c-section, hormonal, tired, sleep deprived, hurting from breastfeeding and concerned about milk production – there was a lot of survival mode during that time – not to mention that she was our rainbow baby so there were a lot of emotions coming up. 

 

It took time together, getting to know each other and importantly feeling safe and calm to give myself completely. And that’s generally what happens in relationships right? So if you are not completely bawled over with your baby the minute you see them – it’s ok, it will come. 

 

🌟 Postpartum depression doesn’t always hit right after the baby is born 

 

After the initial craziness of the change of hormones I thought I was in the clear with my firstborn. It wasn’t until after 8 months when I went back to work that things started unravelling for me. 

 

It was at this time that it hit me that things would never be the same again and partly I was grieving my pre-baby life. 

 

You don’t have to be the “strong one” or pretend that everything is okay – if you are not feeling well – ask for help. I kept repressing and pretending everything was ok – until eventually it all bubbled up. Had I sought help sooner, I believe I wouldn’t have ended up with migraines. 

 

Having said that, it’s never too late to ask for help – your kids will thank you.

 

🌟 You won’t be able to do everything and that is ok. 

 

This was a big one for me! I wanted to show I COULD do everything – the superhero mom myth – who works crazy hours for her career, yet manages to do everything at home, while going out with her girlfriends and going on hot dates with her husband. 

 

It turns out I couldn’t do everything – or at least I couldn’t do everything I had done before. So I had to re-prioritise and adjust expectations. 

 

This led me to a path of self-discovery and changes in my life. Sometimes I don’t meet up with girlfriends for a while, sometimes it’s a while before we do a date night – what matters is that I’ve created something that works for me. So find what works for you – and if you choose something and it doesn’t work – the beauty is you can keep changing it until you find YOUR balance. ❤️   

Why Having Friends Is Essential For Mother’s Well-Being

Last week I met up with a group of girlfriends for the first time before my daughter was born. 

For the last four months, I stayed at home because I was either too big (near the end of the pregnancy) or still adjusting to being a new mum again. 

As we sat there, laughing and chatting about nothing in particular, I had a sense of contentment and peace. 

All the challenges of the last few months, that feeling of ‘how am I ever going to get through this’ or ‘when will things go back to normal’ slowly melted away as I sipped my tea and ate some scones.

You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? 

I think the saying should also say it takes a village to keep mums mentally and physically sane.

My friends weren’t doing anything special, it’s not like we were having a semi-therapy session instead of breakfast. 

But just being there with them, laughing, enjoying each other’s presence, talking about what was going on with their lives and how mine had been over the last few months made me feel seen, appreciated and loved.     

When you become a parent for the first time, life changes beyond recognition, and often we feel we have lost a part of ourselves in the process. 

Good friendships help remind us that we are still us. 

Perhaps a bit more tired and less able to hold our alcohol or sleep past 10… but we are still ourselves. 

Whether in person or over zoom, spending time with friends is just as crucial for our mental health as spending time in nature or practising meditation. 

So if it’s been a while, call your friends, spend time with them and enjoy their presence. 

And remember that you are seen, appreciated and loved… even if you might forget sometimes. 

The Challenge All Mothers Know: Breastfeeding

About two months ago, we welcomed a healthy baby girl into this world (she is the main reason I’ve been quiet here for a while). 

It had been a very much wanted, anticipated and planned pregnancy. Being a second-time mum, I prepared myself mentally and let go of any expectations surrounding the birth. 

I just wanted her here safely. 

However, one thing I was determined to do differently was breastfeeding. Given my experience with my eldest (a story for another day), this time around, I enlisted help. 

But WOW, I did not expect breastfeeding to be what it was. 

Those first two weeks were brutal. Not because she was feeding around the clock, but because it was so excruciatingly painful. 

I had to do focused breathing exercises EVERY single time to overcome the first couple of minutes.

In addition, we had to supplement initially, make a plan to increase milk supply and then just as things were getting better… boom – mastitis 😱. 

Throughout this time, I kept hearing similar tales from my friends, all ending with but “we got there in the end.” 

At the time, I thought maybe breastfeeding is NOT wonderful after all, how could anyone do this for six months, let alone two years.

But I also thought maybe it’s a lie, perhaps I won’t get there in the end, and all this effort has been for nothing. 

And even though I wanted to quit, I reminded myself of the reasons for my decision, I kept at it, adapting and trusting that things would get better. 

Then one day, “we got there.” 

She latched on quickly, there was no pain, and she was gaining weight healthily. It certainly wasn’t the end, but we got there. 

The same thing happens in many aspects of our lives. So many of us quit before “we get there”. Perhaps because it’s:

  • boring
  • hard 
  • taking too long
  • overwhelming 
  • tiring 

I tried meditation several times many years before and quit before I got “there” – to that sense of peace and relaxation that I had read about. 

Until one time, I decided to keep at it, learn, adapt, and trust that it would all be okay. And I stuck with it long enough to “get there in the end”. 

Perhaps you are in the middle of the grind now, wondering whether it will work out… remember that it will. If you adapt, keep at it and trust, you WILL get there in the end. 

How To Stop Yourself From “Losing It” With Your Child?

How many times a day do you lose it? ⁠

With your kids, with your spouse, with strangers on the street, with a neighbour, or even with the TV.⁠

This question isn’t about making you feel bad about losing it, because we all do, but rather to help you become aware of how many times you allow yourself to become upset or “lose it” because of a situation, a person or your kids. ⁠

You might think… “ if it weren’t for everybody and everything else, I would be the calmest person ever!” … but the reality is that you can’t control whatever or whoever is outside of you.⁠

However, you can control your own reactions. ⁠

If you are struggling to be a calm parent and practice gentle or positive parenting, that is because it’s tough to be kind and calm to our kids when our own internal state is a mess. ⁠

It’s difficult to step back and think how to react better to this situation instead of shouting when feeling overwhelmed, tired and stressed out. ⁠

And this is exactly where meditation can help, in giving you that space and that ability to take a step back instead of constantly reacting. ⁠

In How to calm the F*** down Parent Edition, we dwell deeper in understanding ⁠
🌟 your stress triggers ⁠
🌟 how stress affects your parenting and ⁠
🌟 developing awareness ⁠

So that you can become the parent you want to be instead of the parent your stress has created by default. ⁠

If you want to get a glimpse of what we cover in the sessions, go to the “courses” section of the website.

The course is now online, so you can start today and take your first step in becoming a calmer parent and a calmer YOU. (Btw you still get live monthly Q&A sessions with me 😃, I would love to see you there!) . ⁠

Stress Triggers: How To Identify Them

identifying stress triggers

I was in the neurologist’s waiting room fearing the worst. 

After feeling dizzy for about a month I actually decided to see the doctor. And after a series of tests I was now waiting for the result. 

Anticipation, I’ve come to learn, is generally always worse than the actual event.

Thankfully it wasn’t something serious, but something called vestibular migraines. They are like regular migraines except they make you constantly dizzy with some vertigo thrown in for good measure.  

The doctor explained that just like other migraines, they usually occurred in response to a trigger and that I had to find mine. 

After weeks of going through the list of possible food and drink triggers it turned out that my trigger was (thankfully not chocolate), but in fact just plain old stress. 

Saying that stress was a trigger was like saying that some or all fruits were a trigger. I needed to get more specific, was it apples, bananas, a combination of both? 

It’s the same thing with stress, except that unlike fruits, we cannot just simply cut it out of our lives.  At any given point we are all under some kind of stress. 

So what do you do, live with it? … well, No! 

In overcoming my vestibular migraines I realised 2 things: 

1) There are some stressors that you can remove from your life. We are usually embarrassed, ashamed or feel guilty about removing them. 

2) Your reaction to those stress triggers will dictate how well (or badly) that stress affects you.  In my case how badly my migraines would become. 

This is part of what led me to meditation. I wasn’t trying to become enlightened or a monk, I just wanted to feel better, to feel like a normal person again.  

Eliminating triggers doesn’t mean you have to change your entire life. But it does mean you have to become more observant and aware to be able to identify them.  

For example, during my parent’s course I ask students to focus on identifying their stress triggers in the week ahead. Recently one of them said this exercise made a massive difference in her life.

She realised that after having inadvertently agreed to pick up a friend before a lesson 3x a week she found herself constantly hurrying and pressuring her son to finish his homework. Homework for those 3 days a week was a battle, mum and son were constantly upset and frustrated with each other.

After realising this, the solution became immediately obvious. To tell her friend (even though she felt guilty about it – but that’s a topic for another email)  that she was no longer able to collect her. 

Even though it was only 15 extra minutes, they made a huge difference. She no longer felt she had to hurry and was able to enjoy helping her son with his homework. Their relationship improved and they got homework done faster!  

Eliminating stressors are not always about changing jobs or ending relationships, sometimes they can be small things like having an extra 15 mins with your child that make a huge difference to how you both feel. 

So tell me, do you know your stress triggers

How To Handle Kids’ Meltdowns

Going back to school after the holiday break is hard for kids.  

But you know what’s harder? Going back to school after lockdown. 

Emotions are running high on every side, and the moment kids are back home from school, they are likely to let all their emotions out. 

On you… 

And maybe you’ve heard this is actually a compliment because it means they trust you and feel safe enough to have that emotional outburst knowing you will not stop loving them.  

But I know that at that moment, it doesn’t feel like it. 

So how do you get through them? 

In breathwork, there is a saying: “If you resist, it will persist.” 

I believe something similar applies to meltdowns/tantrums/emotional outbursts. 

If all you are thinking at that moment is: “OMG, please let this be over soon,”… it is likely to take longer. 

Instead, here is my suggestion: 

Allow space for the emotional outburst and become an observer instead of a participant to it. 

When you become an observer, you can emotionally detach yourself from the result. 

As long as they are not hurting themselves, they can be angry, shout, cry or be silent. 

Sit with them through it. Observe it without judgment and be willing to offer a hug if they need it. 

Remember, it has nothing to do with you. They are processing emotions. 

Then talk about it when they are calmer. Label the emotion, ask what they were feeling. 

For example, you seem, angry sweetheart. How does that feel in your body? Does your belly or head hurt? 

This type of communication is key to help them become aware of how they are feeling and why. 

And really, this is why I encourage learning meditation. It gives children core skills to learn emotional regulation. 

How I taught my 6 yo about Manifesting

How I taught my 6 yo about Manifesting.

How I taught my 6 yo about Manifesting.

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Last summer we went hiking in an area in Switzerland called Grindelwald. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen.

Here is a pic of our hike:

Half way through the hike it started raining, actually a full-on thunderstorm with lighting starting pouring down. 

My son was scared (and if I’m honest I was a little bit scared too), we were in open plains with no cover in the middle of a heavy thunderstorm. 

He started crying and said “I don’t want to walk anymore, I want to be at the hotel”… unfortunately we still had about an hour’s hike to get down not to the town, but only to the next ski lift where we could catch a ride down. 

We sat down next to some bushes to wait the worst out. I kept repeating to my little one that he was safe, that we were all safe, that soon the storm would pass and we would be able to get down. 

Even though we were wet and a bit cold, we all huddled together and kept repeating that it would be ok. 

But S also kept repeating he didn’t want to walk anymore, he just wanted to get to the hotel… “no more walking mummy” he said time and time again. 

As the storm started subsiding, we started walking again and after less than 100mts around a bend, I saw it. 

A BUS! 

Halfway up this mountain, there was a bus about to leave for the centre of town right in front of us. I couldn’t believe it. 

S turned to me and said, “I told you I didn’t want to walk any more mummy, let’s get on the bus”. 

To say I was shocked to see the bus would be an understatement. 

I’ve done some good manifesting in my life. 

But manifesting a BUS halfway up a mountain, that we had no idea would be there AND that was only there a few times a day… that was some next level manifesting. 

 

We can create with our thoughts. 

Instead of saying to my son, “oh that was lucky” or brushing it off I seized the opportunity to congratulate him on making the bus appear out of nowhere… i.e. manifesting it. 

I explained to him that we can create things with our thoughts – good and bad-. 

And that when he dearly wished with all his heart to be safely back at the hotel and not to walk anymore – his wish was manifested through that bus. 

You may say that this is just encouraging him to believe in “magic” or that he may become lazy and sit back waiting for things to appear in front of him. 

There is a big difference in teaching (or enabling) someone to be lazy and encouraging self-confidence and self-belief. 

For example, I’ve taught him to help put his laundry in the washing machine since he was 4 – this way he knows that laundry doesn’t magically appear in his bedroom. 

But I’ve also taught him that visualisation and breathwork can help him perform well in his school plays. 

And when we were on that mountain I didn’t let him or encourage him to sit there in the bushes and wait for a miracle… we still had to walk a bit more. 

It was there, after having picked himself up and walked a bit further – when he didn’t want to walk anymore- that the magic appeared. That single act taught him resilience AND self-belief.   

It’s all about balance. And I want him to believe in equal measure that hard work is as important as the thoughts he thinks every day. 

As someone who struggled with depression and burn out, I KNOW this to be true. Because no matter how hard I worked to get through it, it wasn’t until I put my mind and thoughts into it that things started to change.

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