Many parents that grew up in an athoritarian, strict, cold environment remember how difficult it was on them as kids, and chose to parent differently with their own kids.
Those parents face many hard situations feeling alone, as they try to teach their children understanding, empathy, compassion, and patience in situations when big emotions are being felt because they lack some of these skills themselves.
It’s hard to parent differently, because we only know what we have been taught. So I’m just here to remind you today, that you’re not alone with this battle to do better than what you know, and that your efforts alone are doing great work for your babies and future generations.
Don’t listen to those voices telling you “its not working”, or “you’re spoiling your kids”, or “you need to be harder on them”.
Today I asked the parents what they wished others would ask them about
These were some of the answers.
• The birth story • How Dad is coping • How they can be supported • Learning about transgender children • If they’re okay/mental well-being • Permission before they promise a child something or set a limit with a child • How their kids are and how they can help or spend time with them. • If they need help cleaning • Do you need a break? • What their kids are learning or what they’re working on at home and how they can support that. • What their parenting approach is – to respect it and reinforce it
Sometimes people forget about respect, permission, boundaries, sleep, self-care… the list goes on. Sometimes parents get forgotten about, simply because they’re the parent.
Sometimes, all we need is some acknowledgement and validation 💝
In a post last spring I talked about the un-talked about struggles women face with their pelvic floor. Ashamed to talk about it, scared, or embaressed.
Over the past 9 months I have been doing pelvic floor physio therapy to improve my condition, pain and discomfort. I have made so much progress, and my physio therapist has been absolutely wonderful. One of the most educated, patient, and understanding specialists I have met. So much so, that as much as I am excited that my physio therapy is coming to an end (because I don’t need it anymore), I feel a little sad that won’t get to have her comforting and understanding presence anymore. Finding a GOOD, well educated, pelvic floor physio therapist is HARD. I was so lucky to have found one on my first time – after hearing so many others responses from women about their own PT in the facebook group Association For Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support (APOPS).
So for anyone residing in the kitchener-waterloo region of Ontario, here is my shout out and HUGE reccomendation to Nimmy Thomas, B.Sc. PT, at S.O.S. Physiotherapy in Elmira, Ontario, for the ongoing support, help, and inspiration as well as HOPE you have returned and given this area of struggles in my life.
May those of you struggling with pelvic pain, prolapse, or discomfort feel comfortable and brave enough to seek help and share your journey. It DOES get better. There’s SO MUCH MORE to pelvic floor strength than kegels alone.
Has anyone felt the struggle and tention in a relationship when you have your first child? It brings a lot of pressure to the table; begs for a lot of understanding from both sides.
Some relationships really struggle – like mine. My husband was left feeling like he couldn’t do much. He started feeling left out because the attention was all on our baby.
Eventually we started trying to be able to make more time for each other but as parents know that’s pretty hard to do. When you do get an hour to yourself we’re often left feeling exhausted and tired. You have to muster up all the remaining energy to give to your partner even knowing that doing so instead of caring for yourself will in turn make the next day harder. Because you know your baby’s going to be up throughout the night.
Tensions rise as do emotions. Reactions are exaggerated by lack of sleep and mental drain.
Often the mom ends up being the one to spend the majority of the time with the baby while the dad is away working throughout the day. So naturally the mom knows things and learns things that take more time for the dad to learn. Naturally the mom will speak up if something’s not being done quite right and then the dad is left feeling like he’s doing things wrong. Which adds to the tension. As the child grows slowly parents get their independence back.
Around the age of 2 the child is probably sleeping a little better, for longer stretches. The family can go out and do things that they couldn’t do when they just had a little baby. You can stay up at night and have a couple drinks with friends with a monitor nearby to keep an ear on a child sleeping.
You start to ReDiscover who you are now as a parent.
In a lot of families this is when parents can start to reconnect with each other and rebuild their relationship; but in other’s it is when relationships can start to struggle more and the feelings of unresolved issues in the beginning of Parenthood are left festering while emerging Independence is dangled in front of you like a carrot.
Actions and desires can get misinterpreted. It’s hard when as parents you want to do everything that’s best for your child. Most know that a tense relationship between parents is not healthy for a child so the parents push themselves to find balance.
Sometimes though, the end goal makes us lose the feeling of being heard because you’re more focussed on trying to fix things than understand them.
Because I had had over a year to feel out the motherhood thing. I now know how much love and space your own child takes up in your body, heart, and mind.
Because I had had a miserable time growing up and both my parents were to blame. I went through everything from abuse, neglect, addiction, poverty, bullying, and depression. And to be honest, being a parent has left me with the mind boggling question of how one can do that to their children.
Not to mention once I was able to move on from my crappy beginnings and eventually, ACTUALLY want children of my own, I was faced with pretty slim odds of being able to have one.
2.5 years of trying to conceive, hormone therapy, fertility doctors and 3 miscarriages – we were through the roof when this little embryo decided to snuggle in and put up camp for 9 months.
So, now that I’ve been a mom for a little over a two years now – I never knew that one day (besides the day of my son’s birth) could be so flipping emotional and slightly rollercoaster-y for me.
Mother’s Day for me symbolizes anger, sadness, confusion, happiness, thankfulness and pure joy – especially when getting to see the smile on my boys face.
I’m sure sometimes people may think I/we are just putting on a show, being a little over the top, being fake, or trying to be perfect…
But we aren’t.
I’m just so inlove with being a mom. I have nothing that bothers me about the struggles Jackson has had to face besides that he has had to face them. And I say Jackson, not me, because it wasn’t me having a hard time – it was Jackson.
Yeah I can be a pretty judgy mom. That’s because I can not for the life of me understand how one could consider their child to be too much, annoying, or too much work. How one could roll their eyes at their child. How one could complain about a child’s sleep habits when they’re under the age of ONE. How one can complain that their baby needs them too much. How anyone could take all this for granted.
Just to it all, HOW.
How can any parent be and feel less than I do now.
(This is excluding PPD and deabilitating medical conditions)
Anyway. I was filled with pure joy and elation watching jackson have a blast last year. It was the best way we could have ever celebrated Mother’s Day.
Forget about all the other stuff for a couple hours and just live in the moment of our little’s giggles and smiles.
This isn’t really my area of coverage if I’m being honest; but as a woman and a mom it affects me greatly and I wish it was something I knew much sooner in life.
So let’s talk about it – pelvic health. And more specifically, pelvic organ prolapse.
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
It is when the pelvic floor becomes so weakened during pregnancy, childbirth, or excessive straining, that it begins to be unable to hold up the above organs.
The three areas affected by a weakened pelvic floor are the bladder, uterus, and rectal wall.
You can have one or all three of these areas of prolapse due to a weakened pelvic floor. I didn’t know that, and I definitely didn’t know that this was something that could happen to someone before the age of say 40. I mean, I’m 25 and just found out that besides my endometriosis and PCOS, and other health conditions, the current majority of discomfort I’m feeling while at work is due to the fact but I have multiple pelvic organ prolapses – all three actually.
Just in case I didn’t have anxiety already.
Apparently no one talks about this, because I did loads of research before and after pregnancy and not once did this come up in any of it. Not to mention, nobody warned me of this. Now, I definitely agree unnecessarily frightening new moms is never a good idea. But I do believe this is something that should be mentioned to any woman regardless of pregnancy, so that they can take the necessary precautions growing up and going through life to try to prevent this or prolong it from happening.
Yes, the answer is kegel exercises.
What are the lovely side effects of having a pelvic organ prolapse?
Trouble holding your bladder. This includes laughing, sneezing, coughing, lifting, or exerting any kind of force. Not to mention frequently needing to pee without the symptoms of a UTI. These are the main symptoms of cystocele, which is the fancy term for bladder prolapse, and in layman’s terms your bladder dropping from where it’s it’s supposed be.
Other symptoms of pelvis organ prolapse are difficulty having bowel movements, feeling as if bowel movements are uncompleted, and uncontrolled bowel movements. These are some of the main symptoms of rectocele, the fancy term for the rectal wall bulging into vaginal canal due to a weakened pelvic floor. Honestly, usually in these cases you can also feel the rectal wall bulging into vagina when you an insert a finger in your vagina.
And finally, the other symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse are a pressure felt in the pelvis and/or vaginal canal, sharp sensations in your lower back, hips and cervix, weakened feeling in your pelvis and groin that may radiate down your thighs, and pain during sex – which can occur during any of the organ prolapses. These symptoms are a result of a uterine prolapse. This is when the uterus and cervix begin to drop from where they are suposed to be held within your pelvis. And yes, it can sound and feel quite freeky.
Fortunately none of these conditions are life threatening. However they are very uncomfortable and need to be treated either by surgery, pessary, or with assistance from a pelvic health physiotherapist.
This is my warning to first-time moms.
Literally nobody talks about this. In fact I even posted in about five mom/women groups about this and not one single person had the nerve to talk about it with me.
Embarrassing to share it with everyone? Maybe so.
So quietly take my advice. Doesn’t happen to everyone – only 50% of people. So, I’d try to prevent it if I were you. It’s not life-threatening, just incredibly uncomfortable and life-limiting in certain ways.
There are two types of guilt. Functional guilt and dysfunctional guilt
Functional guilt serve the purpose, it makes you feel bad – guilty – when you have done something wrong. It urges you to do the right thing. For example if you lashed out at your coworker or spouse because you were in a bad mood; Or say as a child, you stole something from someone. In this case, guilt is functional and helps you think about what you did wrong and how to make it right and what to try not to do in the future.
Dysfunctional guilt does not serve a purpose. Like when you feel guilty for something happening that was out of your control or beyond your circumstance. This type of guilt just makes you feel bad without a solution. People dwell on the feeling and allow it to bring them down despite the situation not being a result of the “guilty person’s” direct intent or action. For example, kids often feel bad or guilty when something happens to their parents – like if they lose their job or have no money to pay the bills. As adults we sometimes feel guilty when we have friends or family in bad situations and cannot help them. We feel guilty because we think we SHOULD be helping them, or fixing their situation. The reality of it though, is that you are not the cause of their situation, you don’t have intentions to make them endure a hard time, and this type of guilt does not serve a helping purpose.
You can let go of dysfunctional guilt and accept the situation as is while still showing empathy and compassion.