Why Disturbed Sleep Isn’t The Problem We Think It is

Disturbed Sleep Isnt The Problem We Think It isSo my baby is now 9 months and a few weeks ago we decided to move him to his own room even though he is still not sleeping through. My husband was then able to take his rightful place back in our bedroom.

When we moved my older son downstairs to his own room I cried my eyes out. This time I realised it was time because he had outgrown the crib –literally. -Although the thought of running up and downstairs all night did not fill me with joy (and still doesn’t several weeks later when we are now both being woken up!).

Also I really miss feeding him from the comfort of my bedroom. Not just as a bonding experience with my baby but also because it was a special time for me. You see for me waking in the night has been a guilty pleasure because it gave me time to watch a range of rubbish TV some of which is too embarrassing to share (but let’s just say a well -known posh constructed reality TV series was involved –  (oh the shame!) – as well as spin offs from The Bake Off and The Apprentice – Well I did say rubbish  TV!– Alongside this I also got to watch lots of documentaries and thanks to the generosity of sharing from The 3 Principles community lots of interviews and talks from them as well. Which led me to discover many inspiring new teachers along the way. This really helped me deepen my understanding. – ( So thank you 3 Principles Community*). Continue reading

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“There is nothing to Fear but Fear Itself”* – Lessons From A Mouse In The House

mouse in the houseSo we have had a mouse in our house. – Eek!! I have gone through several phases of feelings and thinking about this.

At first when I saw it run across the kitchen floor I was in denial. Then evidence in the form of eaten bread in several locations and droppings –yuk!-  led me to revulsion and the compulsion to sort it out. So we got in the pest control and after finding out there were several potential ‘nesting’ points in my house I went into clearing out mode. – Which was needed –as there was a lot of clutter I had been avoiding sorting out that as a result of the mouse, got sorted.  (So there were some benefits.) Continue reading

Lessons From A Bottle Feeding Mum – How To Have Peace Of Mind When Life Doesn’t Work Out As You’d Expected Or As You’d Like

Getting over our beliefs about bottle feedingBefore I start this article I want to state for the record that I really believe in both natural birth and breastfeeding, they just weren’t meant to be for me. By sharing what I learnt from my experiences I hope that this will help give comfort to women who are struggling after having a baby, whatever challenges they are facing.

My first baby was back to back and was born eventually after a 4 day labour by emergency caesarean. Thanks to getting fit before the birth and having a degree of understanding about Innate Health  I was able to see the labour as a moment by moment experience and not be fearful about it. Therefore I was fine about the birth and had no negative thinking or feelings about it afterwards. It was the shock of trying to breastfeed and not being able to that really affected me.

I was so exhausted from the birth I wasn’t producing enough milk so he got jaundice in hospital and I had to start topping him up with formula. We took him home and I sought out lots of breastfeeding support and started on the road of obsessively pumping through the night to try and produce more milk to satisfy his ever increasing needs. In the meantime we fed him via various methods from cups to finger feeding (with a syringe) a mix of formula and breast milk. In the meantime I became so determined to breastfeed to the extent that this became my focus to the detriment of my relationship with my baby and my husband.

Unfortunately all this thinking and obsessing about breastfeeding really affected my state of mind to the degree that I didn’t speak to my friends or really leave the house for about 5 weeks until after he was born. Eventually I felt I couldn’t try anymore and so gave up. This left me feeling very guilty and upset that I had let my baby down for a long time after, as I felt I had not been able to provide for my baby in a natural way. Eventually after about a year a half of seeing my baby was just as healthy as everyone else’s I made peace with myself about it and realised the baby would be absolutely fine.

I have since spoken to mothers who have breastfed successfully but found it very difficult for various reasons, be it mastitis or whatever complications, who managed to carry on but also felt equally effected by the experience. Someone even told me they had extreme feelings of guilt having breast fed successfully for one year but had to give up because they had to go back to work.

With my second baby I tried again for a natural birth but never went into labour so ended up with another cesarean. Again my baby fed well in hospital but was too hungry and I couldn’t provide what he needed so I had to top up with formula. Again I got breastfeeding support and again I hired a pump and pumped when I could. The difference was that this time I realised that maintaining a healthy state of mind and building the bond with my baby as well as looking after my toddler was more important than obsessing about breastfeeding. I did what I could when I could but to no avail, so I ended up with another bottle fed baby. I made peace with myself very quickly this time because I realised I was only hurting myself with my thinking about feeling guilty and he would be absolutely fine.

The reason I’m writing this is to say that it’s not breastfeeding or bottle feeding that is the problem. It’s what we do to ourselves by taking our thinking and ‘our beliefs’ so seriously and judging ourselves that’s the problem. While I experienced the prejudices of people against bottle feeding I know breastfeeding mothers experience prejudice about their choices as well. We can internalise this and get upset about it or we can just let it wash over us and let it pass, because the more we internalise it and take it seriously the more we are hurting ourselves and no one else.

This experience helped me to see that beliefs are just thinking that we take very seriously. They are not right or wrong. As Grayson Perry says in one of his tapestries ‘Hold your beliefs lightly’. – This is something that thanks to this experience I am learning to do.

When you care passionately about something and life doesn’t work out for you in the way that you’d anticipated, it’s very compelling to beat yourself up for it, which leads to enduring feelings of guilt. By doing this you are only hurting yourself and prolonging the pain. If you can learn to accept that we all do the best we can in any given moment (given what we know at the time) and that none of us are ultimately in control, no matter how much we’d like to be. – Then you can make peace with circumstances you find difficult in your life rather than keeping them alive with your thinking and prolonging your pain.

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If what I’ve written resonates with you and you would like some postnatal support via Skype or in person get in touch to find out about one-to-one sessions either by calling me on 07901 514 113 or filling out the form below.

Being In The Moment – Lessons From An Aware Toddler In Love With The World And Its Wonders

The joy of rainThe other week I woke up in a bad mood and was going to a friend’s house with my baby and toddler. It was cold and wet and grey which reflected my mood. I set out with the buggy and the toddler in tow trying to control his umbrella. As I was walking I began to feel more and more miserable and sorry for myself – it’s so annoying that the weather is so bad and I can’t drive, and it’s always such a schlep to get everywhere etc.  etc . My mind was full of negative thinking and I could feel my mood dropping further.

Then my toddler said ‘Mummy look at the face in the tree’ and I looked up and sure enough there was what looked like a face in the tree we were passing and the next one. Somehow his childish enthusiasm and excitement snapped me out of myself as I felt he had opened my eyes to the simple beauty in nature that I often miss because it has become wallpaper to me. Continue reading

An Insight About Insights From Potty Training

lightbulb moment in potty trainingFor the past few months I’ve been trying to potty train my 3 year old. A friend of mine who has 6 children and a good knowledge of the 3 Principles told me that potty training is just like thinking in the sense that when we are ready to drop thought we just drop it. It’s not something  we can make ourselves do – ie If you’re in a bad mood or have negative thinking about something the more you tell yourself to stop thinking about it the more you think about it! – Just so with potty training. If a child is ready to go to the toilet they are ready and no amount of cajoling bribing and anything else can make them.

I’ve discovered this is very true! The nursery my son went to was encouraging me to potty train him a few months ago when the baby was born and even though we had misgivings about it, we tried but he just didn’t seem to care if weed or poohed wherever he was. Despite trying to encourage him onto the potty with sweets and other incentives he just wasn’t interested. So we put him in pull ups and just took him to the toilet regularly.

Continue reading

Too Much Choice! – Are Too Many Options Bad For Our Health?

mobile phone choices I just had to get a new mobile phone because my old one had stopped working deleting my entire address book from when I first got a mobile phone in its wake! Joy! –Not even putting it in rice as my 3 year old suggested could save it this time!

What struck me about this was the amount of choice and options I had and how much information there was to steer me in different directions. I went into 2 phone shops on 3 days running to look into what I should get and then spent an additional 2 hours on the computer checking my bill history and researching further. As we all know with the internet there is no end to the research you can do and in terms of reviews you can always find someone who has found a fault with something!  – And even though we know that’s the case part of us wants to doubt our choices and use the ‘research’ as evidence. Even when I thought I had chosen the phone and the tariff and was about to make a purchase I was given even more options which led me into another spiral of thinking and doubt. By then I’d had enough of the overthinking and analysis so just went with the phone I had agreed with my husband was a good option the day before. Continue reading

How One Change Of Thought Can Build Into An Avalanche!

Explosive bad moodI recently returned from a family holiday. On the last day of our holiday everyone decided to go to the waterslide park. I put my swim suit under my clothes and agreed to go along and sit outside with the baby because he was too young to go in, with a view to possibly going in later. After about 10 minutes my sister and my husband came to see if I was Ok and ask if I wanted to go in. I wasn’t feeling that well, so as the baby was asleep I said I was happy to stay outside and have a rest which I did. After about an hour I woke up and decided that now I did actually feel like going in, so I did quick looks around inside to try and find everyone to no avail. Each time I went inside (abandoning my post) I got more and more into the thinking of how I wanted to go in and couldn’t someone else come and watch the baby. Then the baby woke up and I took him inside looking everywhere even the changing rooms for my son and husband but to no avail. By this point the baby was screaming and I had started to feel very angry. Continue reading

Contemplating Lack Of Sleep – Is It A State Of Mind?

Lack of sleepIf you go to any classes about the 3 Principles you will often hear people talk a lot about ‘State of Mind’ and ‘Levels of Consciousness’. What they mean is that we are all going in out of moods all the time and this effects how we see the world and our lives, and this is completely natural. So to explain ‘Levels of Consciousness’:  if you imagine a lift on the outside of a high storey building  and  on the bottom level all you can see is what’s directly in front of you, for example the grass and the trees surrounding the building. As the lift rises to different floors you begin to see more and more, so the tops of the buildings, the surrounding area etc, etc. This is similar to our state of mind. – At the bottom the lift you just see the crowded thoughts in front of you and they seem very real and very compelling. As you rise in the lift you see more and more of the bigger picture and thus gain more and more perspective, so that the thoughts from the bottom of the lift don’t seem so compelling any more. The lift can stay on a floor or move up and down.  Sometimes you can be on the bottom floor for a while maybe a few days or longer. Sometimes you can be up and down the lift at different points in the day, depending on how much you are taking your thinking seriously at any given moment.

Someone once said to me ‘lack of sleep’ is a state of mind and I really didn’t get it because to me it seemed so real that it must be an exception to the rule. Now I’m not so sure… Continue reading

Learning To Go With The Feeling In Other Words Learning To Trust Yourself

Doubt - Questioning oneselfIn the 3 Principles world there is a lot of talk about going with the feeling rather than your intellect.  In other words you could say going with your gut instinct, or intuition rather than your rational weighing up of situations.

As a professed Overthinker I have spent many years overthinking everything and going with the feeling is something I still struggle with as I’m so used to relying on my rational mind. People would often say to me ‘ George you need to learn to trust yourself’ and I guess what they mean is trust your feeling (or intuition) rather than asking everyone else’s opinion all the time. Continue reading

Adults Have Tantrums Too – Learnings From A Low Mood

Low Mood WordsIt’s now over 10 weeks after the birth of my second son and even though I’m in an amazingly good space compared to when I had my first baby, I can’t deny that exhaustion is setting in. – Recently this resulted in me dropping my phone down the toilet. I think that is proof enough!

A few weeks ago we were due to go to dinner at my parents which me and my elder 3 year old son were really looking forward to. But then my husband got home and said he was too tired to drive. After much emotional tooing and froing we made an attempt to go, but the traffic was bad and my husband decided to turn back.

I was very upset and thought that my 3 year old would be so disappointed he would throw a massive tantrum that would last until bed time. How wrong I was! – In fact it wasn’t him that had a complete meltdown it was me! I felt very emotional and upset and my thinking started running wild! Continue reading