First’s and Last’s

This week is a perfect example of the dichotomy of a Mum’s life, the confusion between pleasure and pain, all at the same time (you know, like the ‘muller yogurt’ adverts, where there is no pleasure without pain).

So my ‘little boy’ spent his last day at nursery. I sobbed as I arrived to drop him off, let alone when I picked him up; ridiculous! I sobbed because that time is over. He’ll never be a baby again. Which of course is daft because I wouldn’t want my baby to stay a baby.  He senses the change too, and is both exhausted, scared and excited (you can see from the picture, that exhaustion is currently winning!).

Meanwhile my baby girl can now sit up with no help. She is so proud if herself , she makes my heart brim full of pride.

We love to see our children’s progress and achievements, but at the same time we instantly know that every time they pass another stage, there is no going back, and our hearts ache.

Wow, 3 Months Is a Lot Faster Second Time Around

Wow, Wibee (little pink/Willow Phoebe) is now 3 months old.  I can now pop her in a bumbo and eat at least half my meal without her needing a cuddle.  We have reached that magical second milestone, where she’s transitioned through the squeaky, alien phase, into the gradually becoming more aware phase, and is now in the plump cute looking baby phase where things start to get more interesting.

She is teething; bummer.  Plus she has already rolled once, which might have been a fluke, but means I can no longer leave her on the kitchen work surfaces (not recommended anyway really!).  But it is getting much easier to differentiate her cries, and her dimples are darn cute!

I was worried that it might be the same kind of difficult second time around, and the good news is that it isn’t.  Of course the degree of ease and difficulty in my life has been maintained, as it always is.  I’ll talk about that in more detail another day, but basically it’s about the philosophy that there is aways ease and difficulty in our lives, in equal amounts, it’s just that we don’t always see the other side of the story.  However, I am kind of relieved that it isn’t the same kind of difficulty, however tough it has been.

I called the first year with Monster/Angel Boy the ‘black times’,  NOT because it was horrid, but because there was such a huge shift in my identity and what I valued in life, that I kind of disappeared for a while.  That has certainly not happened again, but there has been another change.  I’m a hell of a lot more focussed on practical stuff right now.  All I’m looking for is a practical car, for the house to work for the family, for my clothes to be washable, my hair is tied back and there are no hoops in my ears (otherwise ‘ouch’ from little fingers!).  I’m just looking for a easy life at the moment, and for ways to make life flow more smoothly.  I’m sure that this will be just a phase of it’s own, but I still suspect that some of these changes will stick, especially the one where I’m so much stricter on my priorities.

In comparison, the first 6 weeks with Max was intense, scary, exhausting, and interminable.  I was all alone, I didn’t know any Mums because anti-natal classes didn’t start until later, and I felt like I was floundering along with no clue.  Then David got made redundant, and all the stress of the previous year kind of fell on top of me for a bit.  The good side to that, is that this is where the ‘Mummy Whisperer’ was born, because my training was great, but impractical for a new Mum to do on her own, so over the coming months I worked out what would work within the resource limitations I was now under and created the ‘Fun Creation Equation’.  The key was that I found that I became increasingly confused by the number of different parenting techniques out there, none of which totally worked for me.  Whereas, when I managed to calm the noise in my head (you know, the worries, and guilt about EVERYTHING!) I found out that I was pretty good at working out my own solutions that matched the family perfectly.  So that’s what I now do for other Mums; help them to learn how to listen to themselves, so that each day can flow a little more easily, with a little more fun and sparkle.

Ironically, this time David had problems with his job again, but within 1 day of her being born, rather than 6 weeks; which suggests that we shouldn’t risk having another child!  But this time I didn’t get the intense 2 weeks of bubble time with Wibee, because after an easy home birth I was thrown unceremoniously back into real life and nursery runs, which initially I found really hard.  I had a long tearful chat with a friend of mine from who uses the same techniques as myself, and I settled after we worked out that the bubble was there, but this time was more widely spread as it included Max, plus I wouldn’t have wanted to have such an intense bubble and upset Max by excluding him.  My body didn’t agree though, and 3 weeks ago I fell very ill and was forced to spend 2 weeks with Willow on the sofa, which was a lovely, if painful opportunity to be with her and learn more about myself.  (See all my blogs about asking for help).

So we are 3 months in.  David has still got a job; result!  The in-laws have visited twice because of me being ill, and really bonded with both kids, which has thrilled Max.  I’ve realised that I’m just not able to do the day to day stuff on my own (hubby works late and I don’t have family of my own), so I’ve employed a lovely irish granny, and a fabulous local mum to help me out a few hours a week.  I woke up 2 days ago and felt loads better after my illness, but also like I was ‘back’, which I think is just getting to the magic 3 month stage.  I’m not getting a load of sleep, but I get some, so that’s not bad.  Max loves his sister and has shown no jealousy, just a little sensitivity at times which we have to be careful of.  The dogs have been very jealous and very badly behaved just to balance him out!  I’ve got a couple of tests in the next week or two to find out how come I got sick so badly, and then I might have a think about starting to do a little work in while.  And now it’s on to the 3-6 month phase: sitting up, grabbing things, teeth, summer holidays, swimming classes, music classes …. lots of fun and trouble all rolled into a monster/angel boy and a Wibee girl, I wonder if that will feel faster too?

Why Is Asking For Help So Difficult?

I’ve just spent two weeks sick, oh my god, since I’ve been a ‘grown up’, I can hardly think of any times that I’ve had to rest and recuperate for so long.  Now once I got my head around it, I’ve really appreciated the experience, but initially it was blinking hard, because I had to ask for help so much.  There were calls to neighbours, in-laws, friends, husbands having to work from home, and people paid to help out.  I had to pathetically ask people to get me a drink, food, pills, or comfort my baby, just so that all of my energy was focussed on recovering, and I found it at times very distressing.

I had plenty of time to think about it too, and one day I spent a long time looking back and back, wondering why I hated it so much.  Yesterday I read an interesting blog by AlphaMummy about the same sort of thing, and their discovery of a fab charity called Homestart who can help out when things get too difficult.  It was suggested that it was a middle class thing to ‘just get on with it‘, and I must admit there was an element of that.  After-all, someone who was upper-class or very rich, could just throw money at it and employ ‘staff’, and someone very poor can ask for benefits from the government (I know there is an element of generalisation here).  Before I fell sick I emailed my local NCT yahoo group for ideas of how to cope or get help with the evening routine, now that I have 2 kids (no family of my own, no local in-laws, and husband working long hours).  I got one lovely reply also mentioning Homestart, which was quickly followed by another reply from a Mum saying that Homestart was only for people with ‘real problems’, i.e. not available for ‘nice middle class’ families!

The question was, why did I find it so difficult to ask for help?  What was at the root of it all, and what was the basic fear that was being triggered?

With some people it is the wish to be independent, or hate to show vulnerabilities or weaknesses, which I suspect many people would think was my reasoning, but it wasn’t.  There might be a social aspect, where we don’t like to be considered a hypochondriac, or to be a burden on other people.

My parents had the same tendency.  I remember nursing them throughout my summer holidays after my O Levels.  Mum had broken her pelvis, and Dad was recovering from a heart attack.  They could easily have paid for some help, or gone into hospital to recuperate.  But instead they stayed at home and kept it quiet how ill they were.  The downside was a very pissed off teenage daughter by the end of the holidays, who started smoking from the stress of it all; potentially not what they planned for!

The saddest story I’ve heard recently was of a young boy of 11yrs old, who waited in a corridor for a teacher, whilst having an asthma attack that he later died of.  If this is the kind of potential ramifications of my not asking for help and passing on the same tendency to my children, then I definitely needed to get my head around the issue.

When I broke down my fear, I realised that the reason that I was so uncomfortable was because I could never be sure of people’s reactions.  They could jump to my assistance with enthusiasm and willingness.  Alternatively, there were bound to be times when they were plainly irritated, tired or could refuse or ignore my requests.  The earliest memory I could find of not asking for help was as a 2yr old, in my attic bedroom, in the midst of a storm and absolutely terrified.  Looking back it seems daft that I didn’t absolutely scream for help, but I didn’t.  To be honest, it also seems weird that my parents hadn’t worked out how scared I would be.  Instead I imagined an angel watching over me, and hid under my blankets until morning.  It suggests that I was used to not getting an ‘ideal’ response when asking for things, or any response at all, and I had just basically given up.

So, I sat in bed an had a little chat to myself.  I looked at the worst possible thing that could happen.  People could think badly of me, they could think that I was weak, they could think that I was making it up, and they could refuse to help.  But, I remembered that only 50% of the world will think like this, so there will also be people who think differently.  They will enjoy being asked to help, or being paid to help, or knowing that I’m not perfect so they don’t have to try and live up to something impossible.  Rather than focus on the reactions that I didn’t enjoy, I thought about the ones that had been supportive, helpful and comforting, because there were going to be as many of them as the negative ones.  Some of the benefits of my being ill this time, were an much closer bond between my in-laws and my kids, which is really lovely to see.  Plus I have a better understanding of my husband’s values and what his priorities are for a ‘happy home’, which is important as both of us have changed with the arrival of the 2nd child, and maybe it’s time for some adjustments in the way we live.

So I’m not going to run out into the world and ask for help all the time, because that extreme would be just as unhealthy.  I’m going to try and ask for help half the time, and show my kids that it’s OK to sometimes need help and OK to sometimes be independent.  Plus when my daughter screams in the car seat that she hates so much when taking my son too and from school, I will remind myself that it’s better that she lets me know (however horrid and uncomfortable for me that she is crying), than that she ‘just puts up with it’; hmmm, I might need to do a little more work on that one for it to not leave me feeling gutted each time, but it does feel a little better.

Do you find it difficult to ask for help?  What is it you don’t like about it and WHY do you reckon that is?

Another Question: Why Feel Guilty About Needing Some Help

You might have guessed, that my theme this week is questions!  Plus, my blogs have changed a little, as I used to blog when I had resolved a problem of mine, or for someone else’s situation.  Whereas now I’m blogging in the midst of a problem.  I’d be interested to know what you think about the change, as the blogs develop!

My question today is ‘Howcome do I feel guilty, that I really could do with some help for the last 2 hours of the day before the kids go to bed?’.

These hours tend to consist of the baby deciding she would like to be permanently held (but not in a sling, obviously, because that would be too easy!), whilst the generally well behaved 4yr old, gets tired and cranky, thus losing all ability to think rationally.  Recently, the dogs have helped out with a weeks worth of puking, and now the odd pee incident, for no apparent reason.  My husband’s job suddenly changed the day after the baby was born, and he now doesn’t get home at the time he used to, which means he can’t even help with the juggling a windy screamy baby, whilst reading a story and putting a bedtime nappy on the 4yr old.  So the task of cooking a quick meal, feeding the dogs, tidying the house, putting the washing away, and getting everyone ready for bed, has become a new form of very noisy torture ;o)

So howcome, do I feel guilty, when I realise that I could do with some help?  I didn’t feel guilty about getting a cleaner, because I could feel I deserved one as I was working.  I didn’t feel guilty about her being expensive, because otherwise I had to clean after the cleaner went, which kind of defeated the object.  I didn’t feel guilty about buying myself some clothes.  But for some reason, there is a tinge of guilt that suggests that I ‘should be able to cope’, especially as I’m a born coper!

One of the reasons that my stress levels are exasperated is because I don’t have a Mum to complain to daily in order to let off steam (this is my fantasy of what a Mum would be willing to put up with!), and there isn’t any family locally to help out.  All the Mums nearby are of course very supportive, but also going through the same thing, or just escaped the same problem.  The difference is, that I don’t have the carrot of a regular potential visit from a Mum, who would put a duvet on me and take away my responsibilities for an hour (again another TOTAL fantasy, as loads of people don’t have Mums or Mums with duvets).

Now the importance of the question, is because when you ask it, you can face it and see it’s basically daft, whereas before it was an internal niggle that wasn’t getting me anywhere.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Well, people will find out that I’m not perfect, and that my only solution was to bring in an extra pair of hands.  That’s not so bad.  After all, I’m luckily not selling myself as a perfect Mum, so it shouldn’t put people off.

Potentially, people could dislike me because they don’t like to be reminded of their fallibility.  This is very likely, and could affect friendships and work.  However, in life, there are always going to be as many people liking you as disliking you, so it will be balanced out.

Some people will criticise me for having the money to be able to do it, and throw at me the fact that they don’t have family, or a partner, and they can manage.  But in fact what I’m doing is swapping my cleaner (that I didn’t feel guilty about), for more hours with a mother’s help, so ironically it would be purely how I was spending my money that was the issue.  Plus this way, I’m going to be helping out another local mother/grandmother financially, which is I think a very sensible way to spend my money.  However, they would be right, because I’m not great at these last 2hrs of the day.  I LOVE being a Mum, but notice that I do also work part-time because I couldn’t be a full-time mum.  If I was advising me, I would remind myself that we are all great at some things, and not so great at others and that there is a reason that I work part-time.

Some people might criticise me and ask how can I help other mums with my blog and business, if the only solution I could find to this problem, was to pay for help?  Which would be a valid comment too.  But, it wasn’t the only solution.  Actually, I’ve been tackling this issue for 9 weeks now, bit by little bit.  I’ve helped the 4yr old with his insecurities, and added in a star chart, which is really helping him.  I’ve taken the baby to a chiropractor to reduce the screaming in the car and enable her to sit comfortably in a bouncy chair.  I’ve changed my priorities, so that there is as little as possible to do in the evening.  There have been lots of little steps.  In fact last night, I interviewed someone for the job, and the house seemed calm, so I wondered ‘maybe I don’t really need help?’.  But just as she walked out the door I discovered the dog pee in a corner, realised I hadn’t emptied the tumble dryer, was shouted at for not playing by the 4yr old, the baby woke up and screamed, then the internet shopping arrived late, and I still had dinner to cook, a 4yr old to get to bed, and then a sick husband walked through the door!

So what I need to do is remind myself that I’m a great Mum in my own way, and my little boy would prefer I spend the money on someone to be an extra pair of hands, so that I can give myself totally to the job of being the best that I’m able to be.  Meanwhile, I got an email today from a master practitioner of the methodology that trained in, asking for help with finishing a self-session.  It’s made me feel great to be asked, and in no way have I judged her.  In fact it made me realise, that I could then swap a session with her, and pay the mother’s help to cover me, in that way making me even more fun for my son to have around.

If you are feeling guilty today, try these questions out too, because they might make you feel better …

  • What are you feeling guilty for doing/not doing?
  • Why do you feel guilty for it, is there really reason to feel guilty about it when you look at it?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen: face the fear and guilt, it might not be so bad.
  • How could you and your family gain or benefit from it?
  • If you are judging yourself for being rubbish at something, what are you great at, and why does it suit your family that you are the way you are.

Thanks for listening, it helps to sort my squashy brain out when I write it all down! I’m also not going to feel guilty about the fact that I’m going to eat a chocolate bar now, because since I ate one yesterday my milk has been back on form ;o)

Money Saving Tips

Are You Struggling Financially? Tips For Appreciating What We Have Got And Worrying Less

Money Saving TipsWith the recession, there are some winners, but in general most people seem to be down 10-30% if they are lucky, and then there are those people who have lost even more.  Of course, it appears even more difficult for parents, because there are so many ‘necessities’ for the family.

Getting stressed about money makes lots of ‘brain noise’, which means we miss potential opportunities.  Plus we end up spending a lot of time worrying about what is, versus appreciating what we have.

At the very least, I hope that this blog will help you to appreciate the things that you do have and worry less about money.  Remember to check out all my other money saving and cost cutting tips.

Three Aspects To Money

Money is undoubtedly a complicated and emotional subject.  I ran a ‘Financial Breakthrough’ workshop for a few years before the kids came along.  It was not about becoming a millionaire; just about becoming financially healthy and looked at 3 aspects:

1) Firstly is you and your relationship with money

Do you know how to actually manage it practically in a way that will bring more in, rather than let more out?

2) Secondly is your relationship with your financial heroes

Who you think have been really successful? Which means that you think that they are better than you, which means you are not seeing your own potential.  The number of who people wanted to be as rich as Richard Branson, but didn’t want his problems, hair, teeth, children who think he is a wombat for trying to kill himself in a balloon going to space, and having to sell his most loved business.

3) Thirdly is you and your relationship with your financial anti-heroes

Who told you that money was bad or rich people were horrid, or that you didn’t deserve it?  It is important to understand that money is just an energy that you can quickly transfer into any area of life, nothing more, nothing less.  So, if you can see how money would help everything you love in life, and why you deserve it, then you are more likely to attract it.

Tip For Appreciating Life

Here is a tip for you, to improve your weekend, and help you love your life more, about appreciating what you have got:

When you give your kids something and they are really grateful, isn’t it enjoyable?  Don’t you just want to give them more?  When you do something or give something, and in the next moment they are moaning about something else that they don’t have or want, isn’t it unpleasant?  Doesn’t it make you want to automatically refuse?

The world works like this too.  It doesn’t matter whether you look at it from a spiritual perspective of ‘attracting’ energy, or a scientific energy of matching vibrations (a thought is a vibration), or a psychological one of a self-fulfilling prophecy, it still works.

I’ll give you a couple of real life examples, so that you can understand the difference.

Someone attended my financial workshop, and a few weeks later angrily told me that she hadn’t got any more money despite following my tips.  Now, firstly I do focus on having more VALUE in your life, as much as MONEY, because money is meaningless and can easily just disappear out the door again.  But secondly I asked her about her new clients.  Her attitude was that she was going to get them anyway.  However, her lack of appreciation later affected the client relationships, quickly losing her some of them.

Or there was the client running a business, who complained that her revenue hadn’t gone up.  However, when I pointed out that her costs where less, and therefore over-all she was making more, PLUS she wasn’t DOWN like most people in her business, she was chuffed.

There is a lovely writer I know, who exudes a feeling of ‘richness’, even though it is obviously not in financial wealth.  She has a wealth of knowledge, and fascinating people that she has met, plus a great eccentric husband and two gorgeous daughters.  She never whinged about how to get her house fixed, and sure enough an insurance windfall looks like it’s going to enable her to do a complete rebuild.

I made a HUGE decision when I was pregnant with Little Dimples to ONLY focus on my Mummy Whisperer business, and not the more lucrative personal development business. It gave me more time with my son before he started school, less stress, and now I would never go back because I’ve discovered a love of writing, won awards for my blog and got a best-selling book!

How To Look For What We Have Got

What do you have in your life today?  A house?  Children?  Family members?  What are those kids like, what do you get from them, what do they give you (apart from the headaches!)?  I may not have parents, but I do have a brother who attempts to fill the gap, plus a son I was told was impossible when I was 19, and a house and car.

What do you do?  Do you work, part-time work, stay at home, have any hobbies?  What do you get from it?  I couldn’t not work for my own sanity, but I’m blinking lucky to be able to work part-time, even if it isn’t currently the most lucrative job in the world.

How is your health and body doing?  Look around you, why are you lucky for the body you have?  Mine has miraculously got me pregnant again at 40, which is pretty good going considering it’s not meant to have a fertile bone in it’s body!  I might be on the ‘curvy’ side, but it all works and is pretty sturdy ;o)

Where is your wealth?  Is it your friends?  Your knowledge?  Your skills and abilities?  Your family?  Your spirituality?  Your potential finances when your business idea gets off the starter blocks?  Your enjoyment of your job?

Go on, get a cuppa and sit down tonight before bed and have a think about what you HAVE got, versus what you haven’t got.  At the very least you will wake up a more content person.  At best, I might be right and over the next couple of months you’ll improve financially as well!

Let me know how you do!

 

Fear of Losing Your Little Ones

 

Now the problem with Fear of Loss, is that it gets in the way, and can make you needy, hence pushing what you are desperate to keep, away from you.
There is a scientific law, that you can’t create or destroy anything it just changes form (for example, try it with water, which can become steam or ice, but not disappear totally).  And this is the one to bear in mind when fearing the loss of something or someone, because what you are thinking is that there was nothing like it in your life before.  But in fact there was.  Just in one or more different packages.
You can apply this concept to anything: Loss of Job, Money/Object, Qualifications/knowledge, Loved One, Recognition, Health, Way of Life.  I looked at the fear of losing my little boy, after he had an accident and ended up in A&E on our first evening in America.  He was OK, but I was freaked!  
I’ll talk you through how I approached it:
Step 1 – Is to list the things, or characteristics of the person/thing that you believe came into your life when this person or thing appeared.  List as many as you like and then fine-tune them down to a short-list.
My main one for my little boy was being my ‘Being Guide’, which might sound a bit esoteric, but I meant was that it would feel as though a part of my soul had gone if he wasn’t there, which was the bit that guided me to ‘be’ who I was deep down.  Have you seen film of the ‘Golden Compass’?  It was the scene when the young heroine Lyra was about to have her Demon (sort of like a soul companion) cut away from her by a machine, that had me in masses of tearful hysterics, that sort of explained how I imagined it would feel.
Step 2 – Is to look at who or what was there beforehand.  It might be in a very different area of life, so this takes an open mind and the ability to think out of the box, e.g. Spiritual, Mental/Learning, Work, Financial, Physical, Social, Family/Relationships.
Max obviously primarily affected my family life and work life. But when looking back I found many guides, primarily in Physical (e.g. fitness), Spiritual and Mental.
Step 3 – Is to look at what were the upsides, benefits or advantages to the way it was beforehand?
For me that would have been fitness, weight, being a size 10, learning from my many teachers, earning money.
Step 4 – Is to look at what the downsides, costs or disadvantages where to the way it is now with the person/thing that you are scared of losing.
This isn’t about not appreciating this thing or person that you love.  Just about seeing them more clearly, so that you are less desperate to keep hold of them, after all, everything has an up & downside, it’s just that we can be blinded to the downsides sometimes!  By this stage it was getting easier for me and the downsides where things like lack of sleep, difficulty to work and all the worries that came along with the package called ‘Max’.
Finally – keep asking the questions until you feel that you no longer fear losing them, even though you appreciate them still.
For me afterwards, it felt as though a silk veil had been lifted between us and I could suddenly hold him closer than ever before.  I would have said that we had a close and good relationship beforehand, but looking back I do remember feeling as though I couldn’t hold him close enough or express my love for him enough.  In fact he appeared to pick up on the shift as well and now regularly demands a tummy-to-tummy cuddle, almost as a reflection of the fact that there isn’t anything keeping me from him any more.  I’ve even been able to teach him the idea simply, if he is missing someone or something, and he is just 3yrs old!

Being scared of losing your children or loved ones, is totally reasonable, and I’m not suggesting that it’s possible to totally remove it, especially as a certain degree of fear is what keeps our eyes open for potential dangers for our children.  However, there is ‘healthy fear’ and a fear that gets in the way of your relationship, driving them away and running your brain and your life.

The problem with Fear of Loss of anything, is that it gets in the way, and can make you needy, hence pushing what you are desperate to keep, away from you.

There is a scientific law, that you can’t create or destroy anything it just changes form (for example, try it with water, which can become steam or ice, but not disappear totally).  And this is the one to bear in mind when fearing the loss of something or someone, because what you are thinking is that there was nothing like it in your life before.  But in fact there was.  Just in one or more different packages.

You can apply this concept to anything: Loss of Job, Money/Object, Qualifications/knowledge, Loved One, Recognition, Health, Way of Life.  I looked at the fear of losing my little boy, after he had an accident and ended up in A&E on our first evening in America.  He was OK, but I was freaked!  The reason I am talking you through this process, is because I didn’t think that I had a big fear of losing my little one, but even so, the results from working through this process were amazing and brought us even closer together.

I’ll talk you through how I approached it:

Step 1 – Is to list the things, or characteristics of the person/thing that you believe came into your life when this person or thing appeared.  List as many as you like and then fine-tune them down to a short-list.

My main one for my little boy was being my ‘Being Guide’, which might sound a bit esoteric, but I meant was that it would feel as though a part of my soul had gone if he wasn’t there, which was the bit that guided me to ‘be’ who I was deep down.  Have you seen film of the ‘Golden Compass’?  It was the scene when the young heroine Lyra was about to have her Demon (sort of like a soul companion) cut away from her by a machine, that had me in masses of tearful hysterics, that sort of explained how I imagined it would feel.

Step 2 – Is to look at who or what was there beforehand.  It might be in a very different area of life, so this takes an open mind and the ability to think out of the box, e.g. Spiritual, Mental/Learning, Work, Financial, Physical, Social, Family/Relationships.

Max obviously primarily affected my family life and work life. But when looking back I found many guides, primarily in Physical (e.g. fitness), Spiritual and Mental.

Step 3 – Is to look at what were the upsides, benefits or advantages to the way it was beforehand?

For me that would have been fitness, weight, being a size 10, learning from my many teachers, earning money.

Step 4 – Is to look at what the downsides, costs or disadvantages where to the way it is now with the person/thing that you are scared of losing.

This isn’t about not appreciating this the child that you love.  Just about seeing them more clearly, so that you are less desperate to keep hold of them, after all, everything has an up & downside, it’s just that we can be blinded to the downsides sometimes!  By this stage it was getting easier for me and the downsides where things like lack of sleep, difficulty to work and all the worries that came along with the package called ‘Max’.

Finally – keep asking the questions until you feel that you no longer fear losing them, even though you appreciate them still.

For me afterwards, it felt as though a silk veil had been lifted between us and I could suddenly hold him closer than ever before.  I would have said that we had a close and good relationship beforehand, but looking back I do remember feeling as though I couldn’t hold him close enough or express my love for him enough.  In fact he appeared to pick up on the shift as well and now regularly demands a tummy-to-tummy cuddle, almost as a reflection of the fact that there isn’t anything keeping me from him any more.  I’ve even been able to teach him the idea simply, if he is missing someone or something, and he is just 3yrs old!

Now, as a Mum, I don’t expect to totally tackle the fears we have of losing our children, whereas I have done so for other things that I care less about for example, money, or jobs or other people.  So I will probably repeat this exercise regularly, whenever I feel any sense of distance between us, or an inability to express how much I love him.