In this day and age of Coronavirus, we are fraught with uncertainties and fears that crop up daily, even momentarily. We are inundated with a lack of work, financial security, and an uncertain future. Many families and friends are separated due to a lack of safety, and isolation exists- and it’s hard to relate to. With Mother’s Day tomorrow, I have some suggestions that will warm your heart and lift your spirits.
When you think of stress, what comes to mind? Where do you usually feel stress in your body? Your answers may change, especially in recent times if you are stressed and in need of human connection. What thoughts give you peace and comfort, especially when thinking of your mother (or mother-figure)?
I work with individuals, couples, and families who deal with family trauma or the outcome of living with unhealthy patterns. In Psychotherapy, we discover ways couples and families can best relate and heal what ails them. This includes statements of each individual’s truth, and developing better listening and creative problem-solving skills working through the issues.
Here’s Some Possible Thank You’s for Your Mom (or Your Surrogate):
Thank you, Mom, for all these and many more gifts…
For wanting me and giving me life.
For taking care of me when I was young and in need of you.
For giving me the best in you when you could.
Be teaching me by example and with instruction, both silly and important things.
Giving me some tools to move on, get ahead, learn a life lesson, or enjoy what was right in front of me.
Ways you taught me by example; reminding me to be the best parts of myself.
For growing and teaching me that there is always room for wisdom and growth.
For being there for me, when I really needed it, and still need mothering.
Thank you for teaching me to drink in the beauty of nature and its exquisite process of growth and rebirth.
And for showing me all of yourself and your beauty, even the parts still growing.
For letting me learn and grow my way, knowing that I can continue to learn, too.
For loving me, as I have loved you, throughout it all.
Happy, Healthy Mother’s Day to My Mom and to All of the Mom’s Out There (past, present, and future)~ Reach out to me if you need a Therapist to talk with or process your feelings. Most insurances will reimburse you for sessions with me. Scroll to the contact Form and Reach Out. www.LiveInspiredwithNina.com
I want to first acknowledge and congratulate you on surviving the close of summer, and hope you accumulated enough relaxation and perspective to carry you through for a while. Now, as a parent you must deal with the onset of the fall chaos and the process of beginning anew with a brand-new school year ahead. This transition process is part of the cyclical nature of life’s many seasons as you and your child continue to progress. You must constantly adjust to changes as a parent, and now is no different. When getting your kids ready to go back to school or leave home for college, (no matter what grade) you as the parent and all family members feel the adjustment and are affected. With new and sometimes conflicting schedules and responsibilities, the mood of a home shifts.
Similar to what public relations professionals call an “advertising blitz”, parents and their children face a concentrated “multi-task” blitz in the fall. The go, go, go pace is real and the shift is felt as the mellowness of summer fades away and new pervading obligations take its place. The pace of life quickens as your responsibilities, energy output and stress levels may magnify, too. All that is required of you and individual family needs may create conflict or anxiety, so you need to be prepared as leader of the pack.
SOME SPECIFIC STRESS SURVIVAL SKILLS:
Remember what it was like for you beginning or returning to school and how you feel as the school year begins.
Be empathetic with your child. Even if you do not understand their stress, be sensitive to their perceptions.
Prioritize your responsibilities and goals, creating a general “to do” list to work from.
Clear out your living and working spaces. Do it in short bursts or all at once. Just do it.
Factor in time to enjoy physical exercise, stretching or relaxed breathing every day.
Eliminate needless errands, phone calls, busywork and time wasters.
Learn to delegate reasonable chores and responsibilities to family members.
Plan ahead, call ahead, get directions, make arrangements and organize ahead of time (whenever humanly possible). Be flexible and spontaneous the rest of the time.
Prepare meals in advance, use the freezer, and cook in the morning or the day before.
Be sure to stay emotionally connected to your child, partner, friends, and yourself. Share dialogue, smiles and hugs, even at crunch times.
Set limits on over-scheduling. Create space for “down time”, “alone time”, and “family time.”
Balance back to school stress with lightness and a sense of humor. Keep your perspective as you model that to your child.
Listen twice as much as you talk to invite your child’s thoughts, worries, and ongoing feelings.
Brainstorm ways to create positive and realistic expectations, based on personal strengths and an optimistic, calming attitude.
Pay attention to your attitudes and feelings and be an emotionally available sounding board as a conscious parent. You and your student feel the shift in energy and deserve to honor what that brings up for both of you.
Stress can be a two-headed animal. Stressors can cause anxiety or fear as well it can promote positive action. You learn how to tame or escape it as you see it coming. On one hand, stress can motivate, energize and create a sense of urgency, causing a shift of mental and physical gears in one’s life. The immediate shift of focus and urgency can help you to create workable strategies to improve or deal with goals and issues that are in front of you. Productivity is imminent, despite uncomfortable feelings. So, in that sense, it can be positive to have multiple obligations with external deadlines designed to focus on getting the tasks done. You create a system, even if it is a haphazard one, to accomplish what you must do. Stress, on the other hand can also be overwhelming, frightening, exhausting and debilitating to one’s health and relationships, if not managed properly. During this time of the year, it is a good idea to plan things out well, pace yourself and be clear about your intentions before you leap onto the “multi-task rollercoaster” of this transitional big push time. Plan out your goals and priorities, manage your relationships with love and put your stress management strategies at the top of your list!
You somehow get many of the details attended to, seemingly in one long burst. The degree of doing and going, usually without stopping to take a breath, relax and recharge is quite commonplace, especially for parents. There are deadlines, clothing, books and supplies to buy, school forms to fill out, doctor’s appointments, new friends and clothing to sort through. The adjustments to new and busier schedules, more obligatory driving, less sleep or relaxation and a stricter routine are all issues that arise. When you forget to stop, take a breath or take good care of yourself and your loved ones, the process becomes even more taxing. It will take its toll on you eventually, if you aren’t mindful of how to organize it all.
It’s how you manage your schedules, your responsibilities and the care for yourself and your family that matters most. You will probably get everything done; at least accomplish the priorities, at least some of the time. It will benefit you to improve your skills around time, stress and clutter management. Work on good planning, compromise, effective interpersonal communication skills, and how to delegate fairly and creatively in order to improve the whole process for all of you. You will (all) feel better, as a result!
Essentially, we are talking about coping skills; building in more effective and more personally empowering skills to deal with life. Add in the rushed pace of our society and the rapid increase of life’s pressures, personal responsibilities and you have more to cope with. You have both the challenge and the opportunity to drown or excel in your response to stress. You have to consciously choose to take the steps toward a path of time and self-management principles and routines to make this shift possible. Just like any venture, remember to take it one step at a time and do your best. You will make it work for you!
Remember too, that although summer is officially over and you are now in the throes of a fast-paced fall, you have some control over how it goes. You at least, have control over being accountable for how you handle the whirlwind. Your attitude and your focus can help you stay centered. Like Dorothy said,” Everything I always needed was right in my own back yard!” Use your strengths to help guide your path both at home and as you model for your child how to handle the world. Take charge, be alert, work on organizing your life and your time. Take good care of you, your child and your mental health. With the right mix of love, understanding, and tools that work- you will definitely survive…the key is doing it with consciousness.
Contact me for therapy, co-parenting (Inc. post-divorce), speaking, life coaching, “Parenting for Life!” group coaching, and Live Inspired! The Program for Women group @: www.LiveInspiredwithNina.com. Look for my book, “Parenting for Life!” Live Inspired!® Nina~ Like me on Facebook @: Nina Sidell, Inspiring Lives. #parenting #consciousparenting #coparenting #schoolstress #depression #anxiety #copingwithstress
“What do you remember as a child? What do you want your child to remember? Nina Sidell, M.A.”Parenting for Life”
When you are in the throes of parenting, the dynamic feels immediate, momentary, and specific to the interaction or developmental stage. What we often need to be reminded of as parents is that every interaction builds your lifetime relationship. Every interaction offers a deepening of love and respect, trust and safety between parent and child. Every interaction has the potential to create a memory, whether positive or negative, and offers life lessons that reach far beyond the moments you both experience, especially for the child.
To parent well over time you must be aware of consistent practices to support your strongest lifetime relationship.
Here Are Some Tips to Add to Your Parenting Toolbox:
Be aware of your own feelings and attitudes as you react or respond to your child.
Notice your triggers from current or past unresolved issues to help you be a mindful parent in the present.
Take care of your unmet inner childhood needs as you build empathy and sensitivity skills as a parent.
Welcome life lessons, “insight moments”, and “lifetime insights” while teaching this openness to your child.
Be sure to model healthy boundaries and accountability around your words and actions.
Get support if you need to gain healing, strengthen your boundaries, or personal accountability.
Learn about your parenting style and parenting goals, building tools that reflect both.
Notice the many positive interactions and behaviors that support your child and your relationship.
Create a home that feels like a safe place, a sanctuary for all.
Remember that everyone’s needs matter in a family.
Reach out to me for a free phone consultation if you need individual, couples, co-parenting, family or child therapy and support. I also work with parents and families during and post-divorce.
” Be willing to be your own internalized mother or father, capable of the specific nurturing you still need. Be an attentive parent to your inner child.” Nina Sidell, M.A.
As a child, we are given the caregivers that we inherit. The variation of mothers, fathers, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents raising children spans the globe. In honor of Mother’s Day, in specific, this blog article is written. Mothers worldwide deserve our place in the conversation.
As children experience childhood, they need a safe and consistent nurturing figure with whom they feel loved, protected, respected, and well-modeled. Often a mother fits this description. In today’s world, we have so many configurations of parenthood adding to the primary mother, that is a modern reality.
If you want to increase your appreciation for your mother and pass that on think about these ideas:
Mom’s learn how to mother from their mothers.
A Mother is the first woman and teacher in their child’s life.
All Mother’s do the best they can with the skills and awareness they have at the time.
Mother’s teach about safety, security, and the freedom to explore.
A Mother is a child’s first love object and attachment figure.
A Mother is a child’s first playground.
Mother’s love, accept,and see their child’s brilliance and uniqueness.
Mother’s cherish their babies, even when they are all grown up.
Mother’s are invested in their children’s happiness and well-being for a lifetime.
Mother’s give of themselves without being asked or thanked, just for the desire to give to their child.
All Mother’s are the most powerful role model for their daughters.
All Mother’s are the most significant female role models for their sons.
With unconditional love and respect, a Mom and her child can continue to evolve.
The relationship between a Mother and her child lasts for a Lifetime; there’s endless love and growth potential.
You can be an inner parent to your inner child, seeking healing if you need to resolve trauma, conflict, or childhood wounds.
The gift of good Mothering effects children’s entire lives.
Mothering is at the heart of our society, if we would acknowledge and cherish it, instilling individual, family and social growth.
Happy, Healthy Mother’s Day to all Mom’s! Thank you for helping to create happy children, families, and conscious parenting practices that help build a happy and healthy society.
” Being willing to consciously parent is an essential skill. Being willing to co-parent well is a gift.” Nina K. Sidell, M.A.
“Free yourself from antiquated ways, ineffective parenting styles and strategies or knee-jerk reactions by committing to parent with awareness. By making a conscious commitment to living with an open mind and heart, you free yourself from old habitual patterns, belief systems, and unconscious, inappropriate, or defensive responses. Try an expanded view and version of the old or ineffective style and strategies. Learn to do what works and release what does not. With awareness, you build acceptance and strength to deal with your child and his (or her) needs, both for now and for the future. Sometimes, that is much easier said than done. Let illusions of reality- outmoded ways of thinking, responding, and living that do not support your or your family go.” Parenting for Life, Nina K. Sidell, 2015.
When you marry or cohabitate and then bring a child into the world, the future success of your initial relationship is unknown to you. Hopefully, the relationship is sustained over time and the experience of being together with children grows in every way. Couples connect based on feelings of love, need, attraction, shared values or goals, and romantic commitments.
Whether you remain an in-tact unit or become single parents, you are responsible to keep the welfare of your children top of mind and heart at every turn.
As you help your children cope through the difficulty and pain, and as you all begin to heal, so will your co-parenting. The gift of growth and healing is present for the taking.
Here Are Some Tips to Consciously Co-Parent Well:
Whether you are coupled/married or divorced, remember that the goal is to provide consistent love, safety, protection, guidance, and support for your children.
Maintain healthy boundaries by keeping adult issues and conflicts away from your children. Your children get only one childhood and it’s significant for their lifetime.
Take ownership if you over-share adult issues and conflicts in front of your children. Apologize and self-correct so to not repeat the behavior.
Be responsible for how you deal with your co-parent, especially in front of your children so that you model self-control and respectful behavior.
Work on resolving your individual and marital issues with a trusted therapist and/or parenting coach. Find a safe place to “dump”, be heard, and strategize.
Work with a therapist and/or parenting coach to create a workable Parenting Plan- that covers the basics and specifics of childcare for your family.
Agree to communicate with your ex in an agreed upon manner (privately) about children’s needs, schedules, changes as helpers in co-raising your children.
Determine who is responsible for what as the parental responsibilities and goals are determined for the best interest of your children.
Build-in flexibility and good problem-solving skills when unexpected scheduling, interpersonal issues, and emergencies arise.
Encourage that your children have a positive relationship with the other parent.
Have your children “catch you” saying positive things about themselves and the other parent.
Healthy boundaries help you and your ex move on in your own personal/dating lives.
Create clear boundaries around who are the safe caregivers for your children and who are not.
Be sure to discuss safe adults with your children. Encourage and invite open communication about their needs, wishes, and feelings with active listening.
Schedule time for fun. Reinforce the importance of fun bonding time with your children and both parents.
Take good care of yourself. When you feel good, you are a better parent and co-parent.
Feel free to reach out for a Free Phone Consultation. Call: 215-628-0282 or Email: Nina@LiveInspiredwithNina.com I am here to help.