As I continued to sew, the machine started skipping stitches. I huffed and puffed as I tried to remedy the situation, wondering in the back of my mind if the lodged needle had anything to do with it. Once I got the machine working again it hit me…I had replayed one of my dad’s old records. He used to act the same way when frustrated with me. In fact, the first part of my initial response was one of his more common sayings, verbatim.Some time passed after I had the realization. I didn’t say anything to Logan because I wasn’t sure how to approach the situation. He was the first to break the ice by apologizing for breaking my machine. I quickly let him know that the machine was not broken. That only a needle was lost which can easily be replaced. I told him how I know he was just trying to help, and I apologized for overreacting. I explained to him how I was treated in a similar way as a child which makes it harder for me to not do the same at times. He ended up saying sorry a number of times after that which made it painstakingly obvious that my initial reaction got to him. I now see that the problem was with my perception, not his behavior. If I had looked beyond my frustration with the situation I would have seen how his motive was good. After all, he was just trying to help me. I could have approached the situation differently by showing him where the needles go, and how they work. Instead of connecting with him I created a struggle. Still, it was not in vain. When all was said and done a lesson was learned. Ironically, the lesson was learned by me.
My experience with pregnancy and birth varied greatly from my son to my daughter. I attribute it to the mindset I had going in, as well as how I managed my thoughts as I neared the end. I hate to credit the difference in experiences to a program (Hypnobabies) since I am usually adverse to gimmicks, but in this case it is true.No one had ever taught me how to relax. No one had ever explained in detail why and how our thoughts impact our body. In this way, the program offered so much more than a way to have a baby comfortably. It helped me to conceptualize the amazing-ness of the mind/body connection. It taught me how to align both so that my body could work as designed. The main tools that help with alignment are affirmations and meditation. I prefer the word meditation since self-hypnosis is a dirty word to some 😉 Affirmations are a way to re-frame the mind in the moment, and stay focused on the desired outcome(s). They help to hush the negative thoughts that can create anxiety and panic and keep us stressed throughout the day. Meditation helps to wash away the stress that could not be managed in the moment. The obsessive thoughts triggered by worries, fears and external pressure have been finding their way back into my daily life. It’s been increasingly harder for me to just shrug stuff off. I think a large part of this has to do with me not taking the time to nurture my mind and body. While I no longer have a relevant program to use, I think I have a pretty good handle on the ideas behind the one I used for pregnancy and birth to do it myself. To get started, I’ve written down some affirmations that I plan to use throughout the day when I find myself feeling pressured… I trust in my ability to guide these children in a loving, gentle way. I recognize and release all fear or doubt that might prevent me from responding to my children unconditionally. I remain aware and in control of my negative feelings, as I do not want to pass them on to my children. These children are from me, so they can not be stronger than me! <–That one is more comical in nature. 😉 I also have a few mantras that are specific to what I struggle with as a parent. What I have below may or may not resonate with you. I encourage you to reflect on your past and current situation to come up with your own. My goal as a parent is not to control, but instead to guide. My children are free to experience what they are going through in their own individual way. My aim is to nurture my child’s emotional development according to his/her timeline. My child’s negative feelings are his/her own. I have the power to choose how I react. I found this particular quote while browsing Facebook the other day. I’m not sure who wrote it, but I like it a lot 🙂 I think it’s an interesting way to look at our job as parents. “Our job [as parents] is not to raise mild mannered, compliant, sleeping children. Our job is to raise happy, healthy, contributing ADULTS, and it’s a long road to get there.” –anonymous Do you use affirmations? If so, which ones get you through the day?