Swap Guilt/Pain From Affairs For A Bright Future

Blimey, what’s going on with the celebrities this month, we have Tiger Woods and his addictions, John Terry and the girls desperate to become WAGs, and now Vernon Kay with his daft texts.  I feel for anyone who discovers that their partner has been unfaithful in any manner, but I particularly feel for these women, as the whole drama will get played out infront of the media.  It must be much harder in some ways, because they also have to face the most massive public humiliation.  The only upside is that so many of their compatriots will be able to help out, whereas in a more ‘normal’ life these things are often kept secret.  So as BabyNo2 is still preferring the warmth of my tummy, rather than the snow outside, I’ve written this blog, for those women who find it when they are in pain, to show them that there is a chance of a pain free future.

Lets play the ‘Society Says’ game …

  • Society says that affairs are wrong.
  • Society says that the ‘adulterer’ should feel guilty.
  • Society says and the poor ‘victim’ left behind will feel devastated.
  • Society says that ‘other person’ was a predatory horrible person.
  • Society says that if you stay together the relationship will never be the same again.
  • Society says that if you don’t, all your future relationships will be tainted by the pain of the past.
  • Society says that the guilt and bad start means that if the affair continues, it will eventually dissolve disastrously.

Are you planning on playing a life like the game ‘Simon says’ from our childhood?  Do you know how much conditioning of how we are meant to feel affects us?  Hows about ignoring what everyone else says, and instead look for the potential that could come out from the events of your past?  Someone once told me ‘Out of great destruction, comes great creation‘, maybe that would be a more useful mantra?

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not belittling the pain of feeling like your life is falling apart, or the shock of discovering that your partner is not who you thought they were.  There is the feeling of being a total fool, either because you didn’t guess, or because you did, but were willing to be persuaded you were wrong.  There are so many painful thoughts that go through the heads of the people involved, that I couldn’t possibly do them justice here.  However, I don’t need to, because the market is jam packed with books and material about ‘victims’, ‘surviving affairs’, and pain, pain, pain, pain.

My plan is add to the less frequent voice of people suggesting that there can be opportunity, miracle, transformation and an extremely bright future once the storm has passed.  The reason that I go for this camp, is because what I care about is that everyone involved in the affair is able to have a life full of potential, where they can see the opportunities ahead of them.  There are the couples who could remain together, and go on to have a relationship which is stronger and more fabulous than before.  There are the couples who could split up and go on to have the most incredibly relationship of their lives.  There is the opportunity to mentor to our kids that they will survive even the toughest of challenges, so that there is no need to fear pain in the future.  There is the shift in the people involved reminding them of their potential to create outside of the relationship as well.  All of these opportunities will be stifled by fear and guilt.

I’m suggesting that this is possible, not just because it sounds like a ‘nice’ idea, but having had 10yrs of training, loads of clients, and my own experiences.  Some people are able to achieve this all on their own, which is a truly brave and courageous feat.  However, because of the heavy pressure of ‘society says’, many will need some assistance, and it might take some time.  But, that time will be little in comparison to the amount of potential years ahead, so I thoroughly encourage you to be open to the fact that maybe it won’t do us any good to berate the ‘guilty’ or sympathise with the ‘victim’.  I’ve used those terms in my previous posts I admit, so that I could win over your trust and hope that you would continue to listen to me when I got a little more controversial.

Now how I help people through this process is a little complicated to discuss in a post, but I’m going to give you a little insight into some of the steps involved.

  1. It’s important to be sure about why we feel guilty or are upset.  People assume that everyone who experiences the same problem feel the same, but actually we don’t.  If we dig deeper, we’ll find out that we have a very specific description of how we feel about it.  (This is not about the story, but about the character traits or description of the actions of the parties involved).
  2. The other thing that blanks us is to imagine that we ‘would never’ or ‘have never’ done the same thing and that the ‘guilty’ party is totally guilty.  What helps is to see that no one is ‘totally’ a particular characteristic in every area of life, and neither are we quite as perfect and untainted as we might imagine!  Some people call this ‘reflection’; it is the theory that the reason one thing upsets person A, but not person B is because person A is reminded of themselves and by something they have done somewhere in their life.
  3. The next most vital steps in the process are looking for those ‘opportunities’ that I mentioned before.  These are the ‘silver linings’ behind the clouds, and the reasons why we didn’t just gain from the experience, but when we look at reality, we actually don’t want to change the way it worked out.  (Now, don’t throw things at me and say ‘how could you say that’; just imagine how it could feel if I proved it to you!).

Now, I don’t really think that you need loads more complicated detail about the steps involved, but if you would really like to know a load more about the methods I use, then there is much more in depth information on my ‘Dance of Life‘ website and blogs, which are all purely focussed on the Demartini Method.  I can also recommend a book called ‘The Heart of Love’ by Dr John F Demartini.  I also recommend that you read the rest of my blogs under the category of affairs; there will be more to come too!

For the rest of you, I hope that I have opened you up your eyes to the potential of hope and an extremely bright future. You don’t have to fear it happening to you, because if you believe I might be talking sense, you know you will be OK.   For those who have experienced an affair; It’s Ok to be a miserable mess or still held back from either guilt or pain, but if at some point you would like to have a future free of the past, I’m here to tell you that it is possible.

Bullying – Summary of what to do

I’ve been blogging about bullying for ages, but it’s a complicated subject and I realised that you might be needing a quick summary on how to start tackling the issue.  Please bear in mind that you will probably need to read my other blogs to get the background situation and examples, plus you will definitely need to read the Bullying Summary of the concepts.

So this is a ‘quick’ summary.  With the proviso, that it is ‘quick’, not thorough, and there are different degrees of bullying, some of which are quickly resolved and some of which you might need some assistance with.

 
Step 1 – Deal with your issues first so you can be objective

This is an emotional subject and you are likely to either be upset because you are remembering what it was like to be bullied yourself, feeling terribly protective, or really mortified because you feel guilty that your child has been doing the bullying.  So in order for you to deal with this, you first need to be able to see the situation clearly.

 

Step 2 – Stand back and have a look at the Support/Challenge

If your child is being ‘bullied’, where is the support/ease/life going the way they like it?  Where are they ‘popular’?  Where are they getting their own way?  Are they ‘over-protected’ somewhere?

If you child is the ‘bully’, where is the challenge/difficulty/unease in their lives?  Are they feeling insecure, lacking in power, bored, or needing more freedom?

 
Step 3 – What are they getting from it on both sides?

 
What is your ‘bullied’ child getting from being bullied?  Why do their so called ‘persecutors’ need to do it?
What is your ‘bullying’ child getting from the bullying?  What are their so called ‘victims’ getting from it?
What do they all need to learn?
What is it directing them to do or not do?

 
Step 4 – Devise a strategy

 
1) Where can you help to re-balance the support/challenge in your child’s life? Does the bully need something to give them more security, or more clear guidelines/boundaries, or for a parent to back off, or for a parent to stand up for themselves more?
Does the bullied child need more responsibility at home, less spoiling, or more consistency and rules.

 
2) Help your child learn directly, what they have been learning indirectly.
Now my son is nearly 4, so I can have chats with him, but I also need to use things like role playing with puppets to get the point across.  If your child doesn’t understand chats, then you might want to look for a media that they will understand for example a story/book/film/TV program that will initiate a conversation.  If they are bullying they may need to understand the consequences of their actions, either with a form of punishment or a look at how it will affect them detrimentally in the future.  How can you teach them the social interaction lessons that they are learning from the episodes?

 
3) Involve the school
Just because I don’t think that bullies are bad kids, doesn’t mean that I don’t think that the school should get involved.  I don’t think that vilifying the bullies will help, or rescuing the bullied.  However, clear signals an rules as to what is expected and allowed in behaviour at school is definitely necessary.
 

4) Create a plan of action & monitor it
Remember you can’t remove bullying from your child’s life, but you can rejig where it displays.  So create a plan of action, and then monitor it over a period of time to see where it is and isn’t working.  Get in touch with me on my fan page or via my website if you require any assistance.
 
 
Rubbish Mummy Cook

Am I a ‘Bad’ Mummy Cook?

Rubbish Mummy Cook
Rubbish Cook in ‘real life’ action

 

I’ve been looking at the Amazon top sellers for parenting books and Annabel Karmel hits the top spot over and over again.

I remember seeing her cooking on TV one day, with her perfect grooming (to be expected on TV), and her supposedly simple recipes, that she was cooking ALONE.  No baby demanding to be held.  No toddler wanting attention.

At that point I realised it wasn’t for me ;o)

Now admittedly, my little monster is now 3.5yrs old, and in the past few months there has been more space for me to cook.  But 3 days a week there is also more pressure; I pick him up at 6pm from nursery and aim for him to be in bed enroute to sleep by 7pm.  Plus, in a very few months there will be another mouth to feed and I’ll probably be back to square one!.

I didn’t puree organic stuff for little monster when he was being weaned.  It would have taken me hours, while he was unhappy, wanting me to be with him, and then he probably wouldn’t have eaten it.

He tried baby rice first, then got a stomach bug and refused anything glupey, so I ended up ‘baby led weaning’, without really knowing it existed.  I was nearly pulling my hair out, when a Mum popped a strawberry in his mouth, and I realised he just wanted to go straight onto solids (ok so maybe a strawberry wasn’t such a good idea in hindsight – but he didn’t tend to have allergies – phew!).

It was tough, because obviously he couldn’t get large quantities of food in him, and he hated the basics – banana, potatoes & avocado!  But as the months progressed, I was beginning to have an easier life and my friends were having a more difficult time with lumps and progressing onto ‘normal food’.  A couple of local restaurants with lovely pasta or rice dishes, were my options for igniting his appetite every now and again, and then at 18 months he started nursery, and peer pressure sorted the rest out!

They give you the impression that weaning is over after a few months – but it actually takes ages and ages and AGES and AGES!!!!

I got over the guilt of being a ‘rubbish cook’ early on.  Now I do understand that what you say about yourself, does tend to become true.  But I view my assessment of my cooking skills as a fair view of what I am good and not good at!  I can cook pasta, and rice, and stir fry chicken with an added tomatoe (Tinned tomatoes) or creamy (creme fraiche) sauce.  Curly Headed Boy isn’t keen on lots of veg, but we tend to manage to negotiate on a few peas or sweetcorn, and I haven’t gone to the lengths of pureeing up veg into a sauce for him.  He eats fruit, and doesn’t have sweets/crisps every day.  So I reckon all in all, he’s not got the best diet, but it’s not awful either.

Other Mums are undoubtedly better than me.  They know how to make gravy, ommlettes and stews and can even bake cakes!

But when you look at my history with cooking, I realise that actually I’m doing pretty well.  I’ve definitely improved on my background, and that’s not bad at all!!

To start with my own attempts at cooking have not worked well for me.  There was the time that I ran the whole household at 10yrs old when my Mum was on one of her numerous trips to hospital.  I’m talking full sunday dinners for Dad and my 3 older brothers; I was the business!  On her return home, I was unceremoniously sacked.  Now as a Mum I can understand she was just wanting to reduce the responsibilities on my small shoulders.  But at the time I vowed ‘never to cook again’, and that appears to have stuck!

For a bright girl, cookery classes were the trauma of my life, especially during my General studies A level, as they were followed by double Maths and triple Physics practical; not good mondays (thank God I was doing English too!).  I was just incapable of following a recipe, things would always go wrong, and the more stressed I got, the worse it got!

I struggled through Uni, and then met a bloke who could cook, how fabulous!  About 13 years later we decided to go for a ‘quality’ life in a country cottage and I became all domesticated, with a friend teaching me how to cook and garden.  But what sounded like a good idea at the time, decimated our relationship.  I realised, we are loads better off when I’m a rubbish cook!

But am I really so ‘rubbish’?  Lets look at the genes that I came from.  At other points in history when Mum was in hospital, I existed on toad in the hole and her hospital dinners (poor woman must have been starving, I hope they gave her extra!), so it wasn’t Dad’s key skill either.

And then there was Mum.  Her cooking was notorious!  Let me give you some examples …

  • There was the ‘stock pot’, which looked like Alien growing in one of those vision (cook proof glass) pots, all week on the stove.
  • Hows about the fact that ham was fine as long as it wasn’t green
  • An mold is very conveniently scraped off
  • Or the time I cleaned out her cupboards to find tins in shillings and pence – there was no best before date according to her on a tin!  Bless her, she was a hoarder, and always had to have about a years supply of food.
  • Or another time she went on holiday and I cleaned the kitchen walls to discover they were white, under the thick layer of yellow greece & tobacco.
  • Or when I found that she was buying cold cooked ham and putting it in the freezer, to be defrosted and eaten later.
  • But the best was the discovery of a mouse cooked with the roast potatoes, and Mums solution to pick it out and bring them back – after all, the germs would have been removed in the oven!!

When I went to Uni, I did notice that on arriving home during the holidays, it appeared to take me some time to settle back into the food routines of home, i.e. rebuild my immunity.  As I left home and grew older, I would actually bring my own can of coke, and refuse her kind offers of coffee, just incase.  Bless her, she had managed to raise 3 boys and me without killing us.

I went to one of my brother’s houses a few years ago and found his wife struggling with the same problem ‘but the ham’s fine, it’s not green’ he said!

So after all, I’m not doing so badly.  I’m not doing so well either, but heh ho ;o)

Are you comparing yourself unfairly with people who are naturally domestic goddesses?  Take a closer look, with a strong pinch of humour, and I bet you’ll fine you’re not so bad after all.

Are you a domestic goddess who seriously can’t understand why us bad mummies don’t cook perfectly for our little broods every day?  Before you get too smug, remember, that we might be better at something else that you are rubbish at – we are all rubbish at something ;o)

Breast Feeding or Formula Feeding, What ‘should’ I do?

The whole breast feeding debate is often a Mums first introduction to the world of worrisome decisions that are about to land on their plates, and this one is particularly political and harshly debated.

Political Stances

One of the problems with any debate where people take a ‘stance’ is that the stronger they take their stance, the stronger the opposition takes the opposite stance.  To be honest, I do wonder how much the Formula companies created the NCT (National Childbirth Trust), and whether the NCT’s then strong stance has created the continued focus on formula feeding in new mums.  If possible, attempt to ignore any of the politics and focus on your family!

How Did I Tackle It?

To be honest, I had no idea whether I would manage it.  I decided to go for a goal set approach, of aiming for 6 weeks (people often say, if you can possibly do this then at least it is a ‘good start’ for baby – it gets a lot easier and less painful after this), then 6 months (WHO minimum recommended time), then 1 year, then 2 years (WHO recommended), expecting to finish before 4 years (The world wide average duration of breast feeding).  I was unlucky in that I had to stay in hospital for a few extra days after Max was born as the doctors were worried I might have the same blood problems as my Mum.  But this meant that I was lucky to encounter 2 breast feeding teachers, who were really helpful.  Plus, I didn’t have a caesarian or long traumatic birth, which appears to make it much more difficult for Mums to be able to breast feed.  The other advantage I had was that I’m good at using the internet, so could find info on the fact that you have to eat and drink well in order to produce milk.  (Beware parenting techniques that suggest anything other than feeding on demand, as that can affect your supply).

So How to Go About Making the Decision?

1) Will it work for you?

Breast feeding is incredibly easy once you are past the first few weeks.  I rather think that although it is sold as being best for baby, and very ‘earth mother’, it is actually brilliant for rather lazy Mums like me.  It worked for me, because I never had to worry about Max when he was sick, as it is much easier to BF them than give them formula when their tummies are upset.  You don’t have to worry about their weight, or constipation (horrid to see in a new baby, bless them).  There’s no getting up to make bottles at night, which would wake me up, and I’m not good at falling back to sleep.  I didn’t need to prepare anything to go out, and just needed to buy some pretty scarves.  Plus the nappies didn’t pong as bad as formula nappies.  It also meant lots of bonding and sitting on a sofa, and yummy hormones being released, which I probably needed after a rather stressful and sad pregnancy (we moved house, my Mum died, and my husband was made redundant when Max was 6 weeks).  So in all honesty, it was all about me, having the most relaxed time, and reducing the worries!

Would any of those things work for you?  Write down everything that you think will and won’t work for you, and then double check some of your assumptions in step 3.

2) Will it work for family?

Undoubtedly the scientific research is that ideally it’s best for your baby, but you are not going to ruin your baby for life by formula feeding them, even if they do get digestive or weight problems, it’s still not a ‘ruined’ life.  If you would love to feed or love not to feed, then the key here is to explain it to your partner in a way that makes sense to them, not in the way that makes sense to you!  So if your partner is worried about sharing your breasts, then pop to step 3, and find the things that will help him understand.  Perhaps there is a compromise?  Does your partner want you to feed and you don’t?  In that case, you need to explain it to them in a way that they will hear and understand.  A stressed mummy will cause greater problems for baby, than what they are fed on, so you are extremely important in the equation.

3) What Are You Worrying About?

There are some standard worries (read step 4 for some answers to the more scientific or physical ones) e.g.

– People will hate me feeding in public – actually I never encountered a problem, or if I did, I didn’t notice it.  I was mainly in coffee shops with lots of Mums and family restaurants.  If you are worried about this, think about this – do those people really matter?  Does it really matter if they stare at you?  I promise you, that whatever you do in life, only 50% of the world will agree with you or like it.  The worst thing that can happen is that they ask you to leave, which you could refuse to do!

– My partner will feel left out – if you can explain to him that it’s only a short time and will make their lives easier (if that is of value to them), then it may set their worries at rest.  Explain that your boobs will be back for them at some point!

– It’s yukky, because boobs are for sex – actually no, that’s a misunderstanding, as breasts were clearly made for making milk, as they are in animals.  What are you worried about?  That you might get turned on (extremely unlikely!!!)?  That your child will always remember your breasts (I’ve not heard of mentally scared children with this problem, and on average children are fed to 4yrs old around the world, so they must remember).  What is it?  Face your fear, and find out what it actually is based upon.

– I’m a bad mother if I don’t breast-feed – rubbish!  We are all ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mothers.  None of us do everything that we possibly could, and if we did, we would be so self-righteous and martyred, that no Child would want us!  Be a contented Mum, that is what is most important to baby and make a plan for tackling the downsides.  For example, keep a close eye on constipation, and get advice about it.  Make sure that baby gets held for long times, maybe use a sling.  Make eye contact with baby, and just cuddle them for hours on the sofa.

4) Have you read up about it?

I found this brilliant news article today, which summarises a great deal of the scientific research into breast feeding: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1201285/Sorry-breast-IS-best-As-leading-scientist-questions-benefits-mother-sorts-myths-facts.html

Check all your assumptions, because they may actually be incorrect.

5) Making the decision

Right, now you have all the information.  What I would like you to do is list all the Pro’s and Con’s (good & bad things) on a piece of paper.  It’s Ok if you keep coming back and it takes you a couple of days.  The key to this exercise is to keep going until you have AS MANY Pro’s as Con’s!  AS MANY.  It is only then that you can be sure that you are seeing it clearly.  You may wonder then, how to make the decision.  The point is that at this stage, you will see that one option works for you and the family better, and kind of ‘sparkles’.  You are aware of the opposite side to the story and can prepare for it, but your heart, feels that you would prefer this option.  It’s not logic of the head, or emotion/fear of the gut, but a heart centered feeling of sureness.  If you don’t feel sure, then keep going with the list, there is something that you haven’t included.

Conclusion

You are looking to be sure that you are informed, have cleared out the worry’s about it, and that the solution has been explained to your family in a way that works for them, and that the decision works for you and baby.

The above process is based upon the ‘Fun creation equation’, so you might like to check out my other blogs on that.  Obviously though, I’ve only brushed the surface of what can worry some Mums, or the problems of communicating with a partner.  So feel free to either pop a comment here for further clarification or post a question in the discussions on my facebook fan page.

You might want to check out my blog on why Breast Feeding isn’t always possible, to help reduce your guilt <click here>

Feeling Disempowered?

Do You Sometimes Feel Disempowered?

It’s easy as a Mum to feel disempowered. Maybe you’re not quite as fit as you once were, or don’t go out socially as much, or don’t get as much ‘quality’ time with your other half. Perhaps you are worried that you are not bringing in as much money because you are a SAHM or working part-time, or you feel that your work has been affected. Are you unsure about what makes up ‘You’ and feel that your brain has become sluggish?

It’s important to remember that how we feel is just a reaction to a thought that went through our head, which then led our body to release chemicals to create a corresponding emotional feeling. Put simply, how you see yourself, will affect how you feel about yourself.

Step 1 – Kick the Habit!

If you would like to kick the habit, then firstly you need to stop feeling guilty for not feeling fab and work out what you are getting from it. Did you know that we get something out of feeling rubbish?! We do! Sometimes, it’s just nice to whinge. Sometimes it helps us fit in with other people who are also whinging. It gets us attention and care from people. It can just feel good to wallow a bit! Do you need some time out from being capable, which being a bit ‘down’ can give you? Are you always ‘nice’ to people and feeling drained or full of resentment or unappreciated? Sit down with a nice cuppa or glass of wine and have a think about what you are getting from it. Don’t waste time thinking that you aren’t, because I promise you that you wouldn’t be doing it, if you were’nt getting something!

Step 2 – Find Where you are Fab!

Now, have a look at yourself and find out where you are brilliant, skilled, and very good at what you do. Is it making sure the children are clothed & fed? (You get added brownie points for organic, home cooked!). Can you make a fabulous glittering picture? Are you patient when playing hide & seek? Do you do the cleaning, ironing, cooking, gardening and keeping the house together? Are you a great friend? Do you manage to live within a budget? What do other people say about you?

Check out my other blog ‘Pregnant & Feeling Disempowered’, written for pregnant women, but it will work for you too, to get ideas about different areas of life where you are wonderful:

Pregnant and Feeling Disempowered?

Mums often feel disempowered, especially when pregnant.  I’m amazed how quickly it has hit me again, being only a couple of month’s pregnant.

The key to empowerment/disempowerment, is to understand that it is all in the mind!  But how ever imaginary, it can have a drastic effect on your life.  I’m going to concentrate on being pregnant in particular for this post, however the same holds true for any situation, and I’ll write again about it in more depth.

I was shocked first time round by how disempowered I suddenly felt when I became pregnant.  Of course one of the problems can be that our hormones go a bit haywire, so any ‘normal’ worries are also accentuated.  Let’s look at the 7 areas of life and why it happens …

Spiritual – this is all about knowing where you are going and what your greater purpose is in life.  Now if you are worried at all about your options being limited, then you are bound to worry about this.

Mental – well, the brain just goes to jelly doesn’t it!  I’ve just got back from attempting to pick up pills at my homeopath, to find they were shut – I thought I heard open from 10am-1pm, infact they aren’t open until 1pm!

Financial – it is true that it is very likely that our financial health will be affected by becoming pregnant.  It is bound to affect our earning capability, at a minimum for 2 months, but for most of us it could be years.  Plus there is the expense of having a baby/toddler/child/teenager!

Vocational – the ideal appears to be able to work part-time.  But there are many Mums who find their type of job incompatible with becoming a Mum, so have to take a career break, or alternatively are not able to take time off, so they have to work full-time.  It’s true that many workplaces view Mums as unreliable, because we have to look after our kids when they are sick, and we can’t do the long hours we might have done before.

Social – this was the biggest shocker to me when I first became pregnant!  I found myself treated almost as if I didn’t exist, and often totally ignored.  In particular, there was the male nurse telling me that I wasn’t experiencing contractions, but braxton hicks – I was 3 cms dilated!!!

Physical – it’s the whale comparison that is the problem!  First we just feel fat, then there is the pregnant like on the TV shows stage, and then there is the ‘my god I didn’t know it was possible to get so huge’ stage!  There’s the additional exhaustion and so called morning sickness, and the fact that there is a baby in our tummies sucking everything good out of our food for themselves!  So it’s not difficult to see why we take it badly!

Family/Relationships – Our relationship may suffer a bit if we are worried about Sex.  But apart from that, here is the one good piece of news, as family becomes much more important, so we do tend to gain in our perceived power here.  Although, it is obviously more difficult for single Mums etc.

Put all that together, and we can feel quite rubbish about being pregnant!  If you let it get you down too much, then other people will pick up on it as well.  They feel it subconsciously, but it then affects the way that they treat us.  For example, if your boss doesn’t feel that you value yourself, they may then think that they shouldn’t either.  Plus if you feel unimportant, then people are more likely to ignore you.  In the worst cases, this is one of the reasons for father’s having affairs whilst their wife is pregnant, because their power structure has changed so dramatically.  I’m not blaming either the wife or husband for this, it kind of creeps up on the father without them expecting it, or understanding how come they are less attracted to their wives.  Meanwhile the fact that it is so taboo to be unfaithful to a pregnant woman, makes them ignore the potential for it, and get caught unawares.  So, don’t let yourself feel disempowered, because you don’t need to!

Here’s a beginning view of why you are a powerful, fantastic woman!

Spiritual – the great thing about kids, is that they give you certainty of what you will be doing.  Maybe it’s unclear as to how soon you will be back on track for something else.  But you can be sure that each morning, you will know what you have to do – mainly attempt to get dressed, feed the baby, sort out the rest of the family if there is more, change nappies, feed the baby, and then go back to bed.  You will have an incredibly clear purpose for a period of time.

Mental – whilst forgetting the simple things that we always remembered before, like petrol, keys, coats etc, our bodies are building a new brain.  That brain is learning to beat a heart, move fingers & toes and do all sorts of things.  Plus our brains are focussed on new things – scans, weeks, folic acid.

Financial – instead of thinking of money as an exact amount, think of it as the amount of value in your life.  If you can sit down and look sensibly at your budget & needs, then you can actually increase the amount of value in your life.  You wont need the same amount of money, because things change.  (Check out my free podcast on money and values on my website http://www.MummyWhisperer.com).  You can feel rich without money, or without the same amount of money.  Also, remember, even if you decide to be a stay at home mum, you are actually saving money.  I saw an article recently that put the price of a SAHM at £35k, and to be honest I think that is low!  Try listing what you are worth!

Vocational – think of the project management & multi-tasking skills that you have gained as a Mum!  Plus a company could view Mums as their most loyal and steady employees, because they do tend to be more grateful for the opportunity to work, especially part-time.  For many mums, it actually creates a new career, which is a scary, but exciting option.  Realistically, all sorts of things can go wrong in a Man’s career as well, so they may have to take a step back at some point.  Perhaps, it isn’t the drawback that we think it is.

Social – ok, so this might seem a bit cheeky, but you need to learn the power of the ‘pregnant card’.  This requires not holding back & going for full on pregnant tantrums – they won’t ignore a CRYING pregnant woman!  It got members of my family into action following the death of my Mum, and got me seen by a midwife when I knew I was in labour ;o)  It’ll get you a seat, which you need on a train/bus – it’s not a weakness, it’s a sensible thing to do, to take care of yourself & the family.  Remember, you are creating the new society, we have the power in the end!

Physical – there are women who love being pregnant, so it is totally possible!  The pregnant form was the earliest goddess symbol, and is inherent as a picture of growth and potential.  If you encounter people who find it unattractive, remember, it is not because of you, but something to do with their upbringing, because it is not ‘normal’ to dislike it (i.e. they have some ‘issues’!).  Check out the books that show you what you are growing each week.  Enjoying aqua-natal classes, or yoga for mums and learn about this new body (with great boobs!), that you have got.  It will connect you to something primeval that you didn’t have before, and not everyone is able to do it, so that makes you special.  Plus, your baby will think that you are beautiful.  Max is 3.5yrs old and tells me every morning that I’m beautiful, despite the muffin top & cellulite ;o)

Family/Relationships – they do take time to adjust and grow, but be patient and your family will blossom over the coming year.  This is a time for you to create your own family, and you are the heart of it.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner, or grand-parents.  People will arrive to fill those boots, and you will still create the family that works for you.

So now you have got some ideas, think about each area of life and look at what you have got, gained, and the value that you bring because you are pregnant.  Keep listing things until you realise that you are truly powerful in all areas.  Because you are. Rose Kennedy’s mission was to create a family of world leaders, and she did that with the kennedy boys.  You are about to create the future.  I may have learnt loads about personal development, but Max was my greatest teacher in my life, and if you go into it feeling empowered, rather than worrisome, you will be able to make the most of the opportunities your child is offering you.

Be you, the beautiful you xxxx

Bullying Pt11 – More Insights into the Bully

This weekend, I met a ‘bully’ and gained even more insights into their psychology.  I think that the important thing to remember is that each person and situation is unique, and to remember the concept of balance.

What are they balancing out within their family dynamic?

What are they balancing out within themselves?

What are they balancing out within the social/school/work dynamic?

What reaction are they tending to get?  Is it the same or different in the alternative situations?

 

For instance, I talked in a previous blog about a child, who was balancing out her mum’s very peace loving nature, because in a family there will always be a balance of war/peace or gentleness/aggression.  In her situation, she was gaining her Mum learning to get in touch with her tougher side, in order to give that little girl clearer boundaries.  She was not only going to gain from the boundaries, but also from a stronger Mummy who would learn to take care of herself more.  Here, the family can just redress the balance of gentleness/aggression and learn to love their un-peaceful sides, to bring the family back into balance.

 

But you can also get a child who has bullied because they are ‘bullied’ at home or at school.  So it comes from the fact that they are feeling very powerless in one area and are wanting to redress the balance and regain the power.  Here, if the ‘bullying’ is at home and the family can be shown how to regain control using calmness, then the child’s need to bully will reduce.  If the bullying is at school, then the child can be taught how they are wonderful, and given more self-belief, so that they no longer feel a lack of power.

 

In a social or work situation, they will be balancing out that the ‘bullied’ is getting loads of support from elsewhere.  This was certainly the situation for me one evening this weekend.  I suspect it was infuriating for the ‘bully’ who expected to walk into the social situation with a position of power, to find me already nicely ensconced.  Meanwhile, I had assumed that the evening would go as other’s had done, so my protective boundaries were down, and I was unprepared for the situation.  However, I gained from it, some practice into what my lovely PR girl calls a ‘rat trap’, which was a much better way to do it, than in front of a journalist, plus I didn’t handle it as well as I might if I’d been prepared, but I did OK, so I came out looking alright from it, which is important to me because it was the easiest way to prove to some of the other people there, that they will be safe in working with me in the future.

 

So what does a ‘bully’ gain when someone stands up to them?  They are getting a reminder to bring themselves down a notch or two.  If they learn the lesson, it makes them a great deal more attractive to other people, because being arrogant is not a characteristic which tends to be popular.  Of course, some are generally just bored, because they have an easy life of it elsewhere, so they are actually looking for a bit of excitement when they upset the ‘bullied’ and hence get a good argument going.  So what they are getting from it, is very much to do with the type of reaction that they get.

 

When people let the ‘bully’ get away with it, then they are gaining power, and improving their self-worth.  If they have gained a following, which often happens at school, then they will then continue with the tactic in order to maintain their position and feeling of belongingness.  I remember a girl at school who would pick on me repeatedly.  But then one day her best friend decided to become best friends with my best friend (girls!!).  So they came to me and this girl and asked us if we would be best friends in order to make sure that we were not alone, and we duly complied!  It totally worked, she got the same degree of belonging by being my friend, as she had from picking on me!

Bullying Pt 8 – Why Bully?

Understanding why a child bully’s and helping them is much more complicated in my view than the bullied, but still possible.

As I’ve mentioned before, they are balancing out the support/challenge (ease/difficulty) in the bullied child’s life.  However, the question is, why them, why are they balancing it out, rather than someone else?  What is the balance of support/challenge in the bully’s life?

The first hint, is in what they gain from it, which is the opposite to the bullied child.  The bullied child is being taught to stand up for themselves in some way. The bully is being taught to be more humble and understand how other people feel.

We all bully in some way, but the question is, what leads them to be bullying so extremely with the kids at school.  Where they bullied themselves, so they are getting a view of the ‘other side’?  We all do this, criticize someone for doing something and then end up finding ourselves doing it somehow.

Plus of course, they maybe unaware of the bullying and see it totally differently.  When I went back to several school reunions, (the last one being 20yrs – how scary!), the ‘bullies’ met me with what appeared to be really genuine pleasure.  They were remembering the times that we had got on, whereas I had remembered the times when I had been upset.  Looked at objectively, they couldn’t possibly have been bullying me 24hrs a day.

Then there is the very aggressive child with the really gentle and ‘nice’ parent.  The parent is repressing all their anger and frustration, and the child tends to display it instead.  When the parent is stronger with the child, giving them boundaries and clarity, then the child calms down.  This is the balance of aggression within the family.  I remember a really lovely girl looking at me desperately as her daughter smacked Curly Headed Boy over the head again, and in her sweet quiet voice saying ‘I just don’t understand why she does that’.  The answer was that the Mum didn’t like upsetting people, so she didn’t express her true feelings and the daughter was attempting to push her to do so.

Or is one or both of the parents aggressive with them, so they feel powerless at home and are trying to feel in control of at least one part of their lives?  It would be natural to then copy their parents habits wouldn’t it.

Then look at what the bully is attempting to achieve?  Is it to have Freedom/Choice, Power/Recognition, Love/Belonging or Fun/Progress (Thes are 4 psychological needs according to Dr William Glasser’s Choice Therapy).  What do they think that they are going to get out of it, and are there other ways for them to get it that we could teach them?

For example, if they want freedom/choice, then they are feeling that they don’t have enough of that elsewhere, maybe they have a very domineering parent, who could do with stepping back a bit?

Or if they would like more Power/Recognition, then maybe then need to feel useful and be given a role and responsibility.  Are they picking on the other child because they are being reminded of their own powerlessness?

If it is to do with Love/Belonging, are they concerned that they are not loved, in which case, is there a way to help them to feel more confident?

If they are getting enjoyment out of it, maybe they need to understand the consequences and have their fun reduced by some kind of punishment, with additional encouragement and ideas of alternative ways to have fun, so they aren’t bored any more.

Punishment alone is unlikely to help, as it won’t address the child’s problems.  I’m not say don’t punish, it depends on the situation and scenario.  But what is more important is to address their perception of where they have Freedom/Power/Love/Fun and looking at any imbalances at home that can be addressed in the support/challenge balance.

Decisions Made Easy

The problem with making decisions is that often they go round & round in our heads, and we come at them from the perspective of which is going to be the ‘better’ one.  Here is a new way of looking at making a decision, which is from the perspective that all the decisions are Ok, and have as many ‘good’ things to them as ‘bad’, i.e. pros and cons.

By looking at it in this way, you get a couple of big benefits:

1) You can make a plan for the potential downsides of what you do pick

2) You end up picking the one that works for you at the deepest level, by combining the logic of the head, with the instinct of the gut, to join together with the wisdom at the heart.re you wondering about whether to work or not?

3) You get everything written down and out of your head, and can feel that you have made the best effort to investigate all the options

So here are the steps:

– Take all the options
– Then start to list the Pro’s and Con’s for each one – look through all areas of life and how they might be affected e.g. Physical health, Family & Relationships, Social, Mental knowledge, Work, Financial, and Spiritual/View of Life.
– Make sure that you make them specific, rather than very general by drilling them down.  E.g. If I went back to work, I would earn more money, and with that money I could do x, and x, and x and x, which would help with paying for my child to go to nursery, where they could get different input and learn about art, crafts, water play, sand etc – anything that you don’t like doing.
– The difference to this process is that you then KEEP GOING until you have AS MANY Pro’s as you have Con’s for each one
– You are only finished once all the options are equally as good as they are bad, so it’s OK to take a few days over it.
– You then make the decision, because one just feels more right, it kind of ‘sparkles’, which means it suits yours & your families values better
– The key to this is that you are combining the head, with the instinct of the gut, to get the wiseness of the heart.
– Plus you already know what the potential downsides could be, so you can make a plan of action for them.

– Take all the options

– Then start to list the Pro’s and Con’s for each one – look through all areas of life and how they might be affected e.g. Physical health, Family & Relationships, Social, Mental knowledge, Work, Financial, and Spiritual/View of Life.

– Make sure that you make them specific, rather than very general by drilling them down.  E.g. If I went back to work, I would earn more money, and with that money I could do x, and x, and x and x, which would help with paying for my child to go to nursery, where they could get different input and learn about art, crafts, water play, sand etc – anything that you don’t like doing.

– The difference to this process is that you then KEEP GOING until you have AS MANY Pro’s as you have Con’s for each one

– You are only finished once all the options are equally as good as they are bad, so it’s OK to take a few days over it.

– You then make the decision, because one just feels more right, it kind of ‘sparkles’, which means it suits yours & your families values better

Let me know how you do with trying out this technique.  I promise you it works – there’s a large multi-national company in the USA which pays a coach trained in the same system as myself $3000 per day to take them through this process when making strategic decisions!