How are you doing? It’s not an easy time to be parents. A pandemic, a shooting, a formula shortage, a war, all on top of what is already an extremely challenging time. It’s always hard to parent babies. But these days it feels like the walls are caving in.
After I had my daughter I had a phase when I would see something in the corner of my eye, like a piece of fuzz or a shadow, and I’d spring out of my seat feeling my heart painfully quicken. I was so on edge.
Turns out, it was normal. It was my primal brain geared up to fiercely protect my baby. It’s the same instinct the bird has as she sits on her nest watching for threats, or the octopus as she feeds her offspring with one eye out for sharks.
In our section-couched carpeted modern world there are usually no animals threatening to attack our baby and there’s less of a need for us to be on guard in that way. But with everything going on your natural protective stress hormones might be working overtime, keepng you in a hieghtened state of fight or flight. I know I feel it.
So today I want to offer you a few strategies to deal with the intensity of the moment.
- Acknowledge Your Mama Bear.
Notice your fierce protective hormones Does your belly feel a bit tighter these days? Is your chest a bit heavier? Do you find your head or eyes darting to your sides to see what’s there? If you do, it’s normal. Just take notice.
- Focus on the Micro.
When we feel overwhelmed by things beyond our reach and control, the best remedy is to focus on what IS ok, what IS going right, and what we DO have. Ask yourself – in this very moment, am I ok? Is my baby ok? Most likely the answer will is yes. Now be HERE. Use the techniques we use in class. Focus on how it feels to touch your baby, notice their smell, their sounds, and even their taste. Narrow down your vision to what is right in front of you and through that you’ll expand your vision and experience.
You know what reduces our stress level and the stress level of your baby? Connection. Find more moments to hold your baby. Let your baby hold you back. Bonding is the key to our happiness, our soothing and healing.
- Use a Mantra.
Last month my son was having some medical issues that had me worrying all night long. The only thing that got me through it was a mantra I said over and over – He’s going to be ok, I’m going to be ok, it’s going to be ok. I even wrote this little ditty about it (I post my latest ditties to Instagram HERE.)
- It’s OK, not You’re OK.
Here’s one last tip to use with your babies and others around you. When people tell you what they’re going through most of the time they don’t need you to fix it rather for you to listen and acknowledge. Your kids might be feeling heightened intensity right now too. And that’s on top of all the feelings their body is learning to process just by being babies. Next time they fall, cry, tantrum, whine, try not to say “You’re Ok” because sometimes they’re not and it can feel negating. They’re hurt or sad or angry. What you can say is “It’s Ok.” Because it’s ok for them to have all the feelings they have.
So dear parents, I want to say to you – It’s ok. It’s ok to not to be ok, it’s ok to have all the feelings you might be having. It’s also ok to be ok despite everything going on in the world. You’re carrying an awful lot right now. You’re doing everything you can to be the best parent you can and it shows.
And at the same time, notice what is OK right at this very moment. And as you do it, you might even want to sing it like I did.
What have you been doing to get through the stress of these days? COMMENT below and let us know.
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