16 ways to Show Your Child Love (with intention) seems like common sense and what would come naturally but, in today’s world of GO, I realize after viewing the 16 ways, how many I miss on a daily basis…and, astonishingly, none of these cost a dime to do!!
1. Keep promises
2. Be fair
3. Comfort them
4. Spend time with them
5. Teach them
6. Listen to them
7. Talk to them
8. Discipline them
9. Recognize them
10. Look them in the eye
11. Hug and kiss them
12. Be thoughtful
13. Advocate for them
14. Get silly with them
15. Help them
16. Be there for them
Courtesy of mommyfriend @ babble.com
When our daughter was one year, I’ll never forget an incident that left me angst-ridden and moved me to write and submit a letter to the editor of Parents Magazine. Here I share the letter I submitted and the subsequent article which we were included in a follow-up article on birthmarks. I would later find-out that my heightened anxiety was a symptom of PPD.
I encourage all new Mom’s to reach-out to other Moms’, family and friends as resources for help, support and information. It’s something I didn’t do initially and think was the primary cause of being diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD).
If you google postpartum depression, the wikipedia definition is listed first at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postpartum_depression followed by an article by the Mayo Clinic at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/postpartum-depression/DS00546. I encourage all new Moms’ to talk openly with their pediatrician and OB GYN about any symptoms they think may be related to depression and feeling down.
I was in denial, unaware of the symptoms and convinced myself that my severe insomnia would resolve itself and that I could not be depressed since I was fully functional. My Grandmother’s passing which resulted in appetite loss in addition to insomnia and then my emotional absence for my father’s grieving landed me back at the Dr’s office where I had previously visited and denied I needed any help. Weak and unable to perform simple daily tasks, I sat and listened as he told me how he could help by prescribing anti-anxiety medication which, up until this point, I had refused to take because of the stigma I attached to being diagnosed and then treated with medication.
Within a week, I was finally sleeping through the night and, in a month or so, noticed a change in my mood. I was more calm, relaxed and a lot less anxious. As I accepted my situation, I also began to share it with others in my baby group and discovered that almost two-thirds of the Mothers’ in the group were also experiencing varying degrees of depression with a few on medication as well. A huge burden had lifted and this was probably the beginning of living my truth as a Mom who no longer felt the need to pretend that everything was fine when, in fact, a lot was not with a colicky baby, sleep deprivation and exhaustion from depriving myself of a break in the day or at all since her birth.
As a new Mom, I encourage you to allow yourself a break. When I did, our daughter was 13 months old and I spent two hours away attending a bikram class. It was nearby and something I had wanted to try: it became not only a stress relief but a break that strengthened me physically and calmed my mind. It was the perfect antidote to the rest of my day. With our second, being proactive and experienced, I avoided PPD with an easier going baby whom we put on a schedule.
A very powerful exercise that was done at a seminar I attended almost a decade ago, had the audience imagine their life 5 years out if they were to make NO CHANGES. The audience was left sobbing, weeping and crying audibly. It was a very powerful moment for those who realized they couldn’t and didn’t want to live the same life…
If you are not happy with life as it is today then changes need to be made. The first step is awareness then the what if and when. Change is unsettling and can be scary but it is also an opportunity and a choice. Create the opportunities and make the choices that will leave you looking back upon today with a smile and not regret. I am living a change that was a result of what will probably be the most difficult decision of my life that was made a year ago. I will share it in an upcoming post. It required every bit of strength and is frightening but it’s a choice I made to live my truth.
Here is a beautiful quote that represents my purpose. My strength will surely come from helping others by sharing my journey…Thank you NM for sharing this quote.
Try this exercise and see what happens:
Take 2 minutes to envision happy (what, who, where) and write down what comes to mind. What you write will most probably be gut driven. Instinct is very powerful and often represents our heart and passion: two motivating forces that can propel you to create changes in your life.
Remember, there are no rules and dreams are meant to be crazy!! All athletes will tell you that when they are in the zone, everything is aligned. In life, it’s the same thing. When you are living in your zone, your life is aligned and you are living at your BEST.
The hardest part is identifying the goals to make you happy and working backwards to distill them into daily consistent actions.
1. Establish your routine of feeding, sleep and life whatever it may be for you as a full-time Mom, part-time and/or a Mom w/a full-time career.
2. If you are a full-time or part-time Mom, I would encourage joining a baby group when your baby is 3 months old. Whether it’s a formal group with a leader with weekly topics or an informal gathering. The support, advice and resource sharing are extremely valuable.
3. Make time for yourself. All Moms’ need a break.
4. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and open. No one is perfect and being the perfect Mom isn’t possible because she doesn’t exist!!
5. Connect, network, share and research. There are many blogs, resources and lots of information out there for new Moms. One can not imagine what it’s like until living it.
6. Be forgiving and kind to yourself…
1. If you have challenges with trying to conceive, this book helped me and a few friends, “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”, by Toni Weschler.
2. At the hospital, if you choose to nurse, make sure you meet with a lactation consultant who shows you the proper latch-on and watches you do it yourself.
3. Read the book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, by Marc Weissbluth.
4. If you decide to co-sleep, my advice is to move your baby to their crib as soon as possible (usually at 3 months or sooner).
5. Take a deep breath and get-out at least once a day. It has been documented that one of the leading preventative measures for postpartum depression (PPD) is getting out whether for a walk or to the grocery store with or without baby.
Thank you all for your support.
I met with a friend yesterday who has a year-old blog and is doing well. Please visit her site at www.newtritionsavvysarah.com to see what she is doing.
Her advice to me was simply, “write what you want”. So I will start by sharing a few things I wished I had been told, asked or knew as a new Mom and go from there keeping my posts short but informative.