Why Conscious is More Important than Perfect; 3 Essential Practices for New Mamas

Ah, the bliss of new motherhood – those early days of bringing a brand new life into creation, nurturing and bonding with this beautiful soul.

Your birth was amazing and empowering, your little one curled up immediately after at your bosom and began to feed with relative ease.

Your partner was the perfect birth companion, whispering the exact words you needed to hear into your ear, at the precise moment you needed to hear them..you always imagined it would be like this..

{SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!!}

Uh oh, but, wait a minute.

What if your entry into new mamahood just didn’t go like you’d hoped? What if you feel exhausted, in over your head, and, well, frankly, more than a bit traumatized by the whole ordeal?

Mama, if you resonate with this, you are certainly not alone. Growing, birthing, and raising a brand new being are no easy feats. After all, you’re the catalyst who’s bringing the formless into physical incarnation.

Pretty big stuff.

Whatever your pregnancy, birth and beginnings have looked like, I’m here to let you know that you’re pretty freakin’ amazing, and though it may not always feel like it, you are on the right path.

Yep, not all Mamas can bring themselves to admit it, but most of us have felt out-of-control, clueless, and overwhelmed.

And all of us have doubts.

And many of us have trauma, even if others called your birth ‘easy’ or if your children are fine and healthy.

I’m just calling it like it is, cuz there’s no point in pretending to be somewhere (or someone) you’re not.

What’s important to focus on is not that you had ‘the perfect’ birth, or are a 100% natural parent. I, too, had images of these when my first came along, but my 4.5 day labour ended in a drug-laden Cesarean, and her skin was so sensitive, that cloth and eco-nappies gave her a rash in less than 20 minutes. Pampers became our saviour.

There is no perfection to strive towards – there is only NOW.  And now is perfect.  Just as it is.

Motherhood is the ultimate lesson in surrender, in releasing judgement, in accepting what is.

And it’s been my greatest spiritual teacher.

It’s presented me with my 3 greatest spiritual practices. These have kept me going during even the toughest times, and have transformed my life in ways I never would have imagined:

1) Presence.

There is no better teacher on this planet to bring you back to the present moment, than a tiny, helpless baby. Your darling little one has no choice but to be in the moment. Every. Single. Second.

And she will demand that you do the same.

Try to finish reading that article, catch a quick few minutes on Facebook, eat your lunch, or even put on your underwear, with a hungry baby crying. It’s the most effective thing in the world to pull you back to here. And now.

I’ve found that the more I fight against this one – the more I want to detach, shut off, or escape – the more I struggle. Because babies and young children are ultra-sensitive to detachment. They won’t have it. It just won’t do.

So it’s mega-importante that you find some space in your day where you can be baby-free and read your article, walk in nature, just sit and stare at a wall, or yes, put your underwear on (whatever floats your boat), in peace – and allows you to have the You-time you need.

And the rest of the time? If being ever-present is a challenge for you (and unless you’re already fully awakened, it most likely is), then read on..

2) Conscious awareness.

I developed postnatal depression late in my first year with my daughter. It was deep, dark and rough, I tell you. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
It began after months of colic, lack of sleep and bonding, mastitis, fevers, and frustration with just not ‘getting on’ with the whole mothering thang. I was at the point where if someone offered me an hour of sleep, I’d have offered them my baby in exchange. Ok, not really. But close.

I was focused most of the time on how things weren’t working – weren’t going how I wanted, my boobs were in agony, my baby didn’t like the sling, it was raining all the time, my mashed potatoes had lumps, whatever. Nothing felt right. Nothing felt good. I just kept feeding into these negative thoughts, and spiraling down deeper and deeper until I couldn’t pull myself out without help.

I didn’t know all this at the time – it’s only years later that I have the perspective to realize that my own mind created and exacerbated the issue. It felt chemical at the time, but I can see (and feel) now that I contributed (ok, I caused the chemistry).  By the time I’d arrived in that place where I felt like my emotions had control, bringing myself back up was a monumental feat.

So I want to illustrate for you how being conscious of your thoughts and working with them can both alter mental health and create miracles in your life.

My superhero precious baby boy, who’s only 3 months old (at the time of this writing), has been in intensive care since birth. He was born with a diaphragmatic hernia (hole in his diaphragm) and his condition made him the sickest baby in the hospital, with high probability of a very long hospital stay.  He’s needed countless drugs and medications, several surgical procedure (some major) and varying levels of oxygen ventilation, as well as almost 2 weeks on a heart and lung bypass (ECMO) machine.

It’s been the most challenging and emotional time of my life, yet that ‘ol demon postnatal depression hasn’t crept in.  Why?  Because I’ve been workin’ big time with conscious awareness – with noticing my thoughts, how they tend to be focused either on what used to be, what could have been, or worrying about what might happen.

And every time I notice my mind in the gutter of the past or future, I bring it back to the present.

It takes a heck of a lot of practice (I s’pose that’s why they call it a practice, eh?), but woman, I tell you, there’s no better way to silence a worried Mama’s mind from freakin out than to disarm it by bringing it into this moment.

So what do I think about when I notice my mind has wandered?

I thought you’d never ask 🙂  Read on..

3) Raise Your Vibration.

This one’s super powerful because it encourages an action you can do which creates space for presence AND conscious awareness.

So what do I mean by vibration? Everything is vibrating, from the smallest pebble to a blue whale. We just can’t see that movement and the particles which make us up unless we get ridiculous close-up.

For those who aren’t down and cozy with quantum physics (not that I am, I just find this particular topic fascinating), even our thoughts are vibrating.

In fact, our thoughts ARE vibrations. But anyhoo..

Different types of thoughts have different frequencies of vibrations. Like a radio has different frequencies (or channels). And dark, negative depressing thoughts have a much lower frequency (or vibration) than positive, blissful, hippy-dippy happy ones.

Now, I know that it’s not always easy (understatement) to catch yourself in a negative thought and just change it. And even if you CAN do this, it’s still not always genuine. Meaning, you may think it, but ya probably ain’t feelin’ it.

So the best way to switch it up if you’re feeling negative, is to focus on something that makes you FEEL good.

This can be a thought, a dream, a flower, dancing, kissing, singing, sleeping, reading or listening to some spiritual wisdom, eating something delish – whatever. And if it genuinely makes you feel good (now AND later, as opposed to drugs which may make you feel fab now, but you’ll crash hard later), then guess what? It also raises your vibration.

Or maybe it raised your vibration hence you feel good.

Whatever. Anyway, practice focusing on what makes you feel good. It works, I promise. ☺

Now it’s your turn! Let me know in the comments if motherhood has been a spiritual teacher for you. If so, what’s your most powerful practice?

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Clarity & Guidance CD cover

 

Are you a conscious mama who’s looking for more writings or guidance to help you grow during challenging times?  Check out my Clarity & Guidance Meditation – it’s the perfect place to start.

 

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Want more amazing articles and inspiration for new Mamas? I’m part of the fabulous New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop! This is one to share & spread with other new Mamas, cuz there’s something for everyone..

Being a first-time mama is an amazing experience. The New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop is a celebration of this life changing event! Follow the links to discover more unmissable advice, stories and essential tips. And if you’re a new mama who wants to rock motherhood without guilt, overwhelm or losing yourself, check out the New Mama Welcome Pack here.

New Mama Welcome Pack / Lotte Lane / Dreaming Aloud / Zhendria / Birthing in Conscious Choice / Natalie Garay / Eli Trier / Knecht Ruprecht / Lise Meijer / Naomi Goodlet / A Lifestyle By Design / Story of Mum / Like a Bird / Holistic Mama / Birth Geek / Joyful Parenting / Stroller Packing / My Healthy Beginning / Mums and More / Kate Beddow – Growing Spirits / Ellen Nightingale / Stacie Whitney / Maternity Leavers / Photography for Busy Parents / Close Enough To Kiss / Atelier Susana Tavares / Offbeat Family / Katie m. Berggren ~ Painting Motherhood / Winship Wellness Blog / Liberate From Weight / Jessica Cary / Art + Craft / Raising Playful Tots / Peaceful Mothering / Play Activities / Lauren Nenna / Nurture You / The Adventure Mama / Be Wise Be Healthy / b.a.d.momGoodmom / Doula in Your Pocket / Making Mom Strong / Adrienn Csoknyay / Joyful Parents / Alison Hummel / Simple Solutions for Photos / Lynne Newman / Euphoric Birth / Mumpreneur Mentor / A Walk in the Clouds / Parenting on the Fence / MiaMily


Comments

Why Conscious is More Important than Perfect; 3 Essential Practices for New Mamas — 11 Comments

  1. LOVE this post, Stacie. I think you’re one of the few mamas I’ve met who really *gets* this mindfulness stuff I keep banging on about! (Yet, as a new mama, I was horrible at it too!) It only took me 15 years to finally connect, become aware, and allow…! But that’s really okay, too. Nothing is good or bad – it’s all just lessons <3

    ~xoxo~
    Krystal

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  5. I completely agree with you – my kids have gifted me greater presence and self-awareness too. And they are such a huge inspiration for me to act in the way I would like them to act. If I want them to be happy and resilient, I need to find ways I can be that too. I haven’t explored vibration before, but I’m definitely a big fan of focusing on what makes me feel good – it took me a couple of years of motherhood to even remember what that might be (and some of those feel-good things have changed along the way), but now I often find it really useful to just pause and look at the sea – there must be some serious vibration going on there! Lovely to find you via the blog hop x

  6. You, or rather Life and Motherhood, are possibly the hardest AND most loving task-masters! Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are not easy. Yet I suspect (and you know) that they are fantastic spiritual practices.

    Yes motherhood is (by far) my greatest spiritual teacher so far. As for my practice? I think I’ll follow you. ‘Trying to survive’ is great as far as it goes, but thriving in the face of anything, and in service to the universe, would be nice too.

  7. Wow. You are one seriously awesome mama. I’m sorry to hear of all the stress that you’ve been through but I can see that your tips must be helping you get through each day! Thanks for sharing your beautiful gifts. x

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