As a coach for pregnancy and early motherhood, (as well as a fellow mom), many of my conversations revolve around the many choices we need to make as we care for our children. Often there is no clear choice, or the information is so overwhelming that it can be hard to know what to do.
What we all need are the tools to help us filter all of the information (from within and from outside ourselves), so that we can feel more at peace with our choices – I call this “Mothering From Within”. Mothering from within is caring for yourself and your baby “in awareness”. It has nothing to do with being a “good mom” or doing the “right thing”. It has nothing to do with attachment parenting, sleep training, breast vs bottle feeding etc. A woman who “Mothers in awareness” is not confined by a label such as , being a natural mom, a crunchy mom, a checklist mom etc. Mothering in awareness also has nothing to do with attachment parenting, sleep training, breast vs bottle feeding etc. In fact, you might do all of those things or none of them and still mother in awareness.
When a woman is aware of what she is feeling emotionally and physically, and she is in her self awareness, then she is gentle with herself and those who are working with her. She is acting and speaking from a deeper knowing. When she can’t change what is happening out there , she brings attention to what is happening inside her. She does not abandon herself and her inner child or her spiritual practice.*
Finding the information can be easy, but learning how to use it, is a skill that takes a lifetime!
Consider a question you have about mothering your baby. Perhaps it is a controversial topic online, in your mother’s groups , or in your relationship. You have to make decisions every day about how you care for your baby. Things like whether you co-sleep, vaccinate, feeding choices, whether to go back to work, or when . The list goes on. Trying just to make the decision only with your head, might leave you feeling like there is never enough information to help you feel settled.
When you need to make a choice in relation to your baby, you might do lots of research, and maybe even asked friends or family for their thoughts. At the end of it all, you might feel more confused. This is where awareness comes in.
Before you explore the questions below, I invite you to try a simple breath awareness practice for 5 minutes to settle your mind and connect with your body. Try this link here
- Helpful Awareness Building Questions before “information feeding frenzy” *
- (portions adapted from Pam England, www.BirthingFromWithin.com)
- What do I really want to know?
- How will I use this information?
Helpful Questions to ask yourself after an “information overload” (pick a couple and explore)*
- So what do I know now?
- What do I feel or know in my body-mind?
- Do I feel more peaceful? More confident? More open to mothering my baby?
- What would I do if I knew that no one would judge me?
- What am I most scared of trying?
- What is the next small step I need to take in relation to this question? (small step!)
- If I could ask a wise grandmother, a compassionate, wise woman who has raised many children , what would she say? Maybe she doesn’t have the answer, but what words would she say to you to help you ?
After looking at this information, you might also want to be able to talk out your options. We aren’t meant to figure these things out alone! Set up a postpartum coaching session to help you integrate the information and consider your options with your mind and your heart. Click here for more information.
Want to read more about how to ask really great questions from your health care providers so you get useful information before you make a decision? Here is another blog post on how to gather information as a new and expectant mother
*Pam England, BirthingFromWithin .com