Counseling Question: Will I Be A Bad Mom Since My Mom Was?

I had been friends with Mary since our grade school days. We were technically sisters from different mothers, and there was no secret between us. We knew all the good and bad points of each other, and we did not care about that.

Mary and I managed to continue our close friends even when we went to different colleges. You see, I decided to stay closer to home and study psychology at a local university. Meanwhile, she went to the East Coast to become a surgeon. There were no cell phones back then, but we were always on the telephone on weekends or sending emails to each other, so it was like we were not apart at all.

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Then, when I got married, Mary was my maid of honor. It was the only time in seven years that she went home. We would see each other between those years, but that’s only because I would go to her place.

What Happened To Mary?

It must seem weird that my best friend had not returned to our hometown for many years until my wedding day. The reason was that she had a lot of awful memories there, no thanks to her mother.

Mrs. Jones was an alcoholic and drug addict, you see. She could only get menial jobs because of her criminal records, and what little money she would receive would mostly go straight to her addictions. It was lucky that Mary was brilliant; she always had scholarships even when we were in grade school. Still, there were many times when Mary would go to school without breakfast or at least lunch money and would have to wait until dinner for her mother to bring home leftovers from the diner where she used to work.

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I honestly did not know about that initially because Mary was so good at hiding her mother maltreated her. She would make different excuses as to why she would not eat with everyone else. I only found out when I went looking for her after finishing my meal quickly and finding her at the swings in the playground without any food in sight.

I told my mother about it, and she felt bad for Mary. She asked around about her family, and that’s how we learned about her situation at home. Mary already said that she did not want the social services to know about it because they would then bring her to the foster care system. To help my best friend, my parents told me to invite Mary to stay with us whenever she wanted to. My mom would also pack lunches for both of us until we were in high school.

At first, Mary was extremely shy about it. She said that she was fine and that she did not need to eat three times a day. But my parents knew better than that. Eventually, Mary opened up to my family, and we became inseparable.

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Present Day

Three years after getting married, I got pregnant with my first child. During that time, Mary also tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend. Because of that, I told her half-jokingly to start the babymaking process at once so that our babies would be close in age and go to school together.

To my surprise, Mary said that she did not want to have a child when I asked why she looked down and revealed that she was afraid of being a bad mother like her mother. “I know I can be a good wife, but bad parenting might be genetic, and I might have gotten that from mom.”

I wanted to give Mary a big hug and tell her that everything would be okay. However, I tried to let my counselor’s side take over because it was evident that my best friend’s fear stemmed from childhood issues that she hid from me. I had always assumed that she was all right because she technically grew up in our home. But that’s not the case.

I told Mary, “Please don’t think like that. Your mother might not have been that way before she developed substance addiction. The alcohol and the drugs altered her brain function, and that’s probably why she was awful to you. Still, you are not addicted to anything, and you know what’s wrong and what’s right. I believe that you can be the best parent that any kid can ask for if you choose to become one.”

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Of course, Mary had to get a few more sessions with me before she finally accepted that. We worked together to unravel all her childhood issues and ensure that they were all out in the open. Then, I helped her find what coping mechanisms would work for her when she doubted herself.

I was the happiest best friend in the world when Mary told me the exciting news that she was also pregnant and could not wait to meet her baby. It’s a clear indication that our counseling sessions worked.

Frequently Asked Questions About Postpartum Depression

Have you ever have that feeling that you wanted something so badly that you can visualize happy endings? For the longest time that I was in a married relationship, all I wanted was to get pregnant and have a wonderful baby. I always thought that when the time comes that I am going to become a mother, I would be one of those badass moms. I often pictured myself as a friendly, outspoken, cool, and easy-to-mingle parent that my kids would totally love. So when I got pregnant and delivered a cute baby boy, I told myself that “this is it.” This is the moment that I have been dreaming of. Finally, I will become the mom I visualized myself to be.

Unfortunately, that feeling faded away so quickly. Instead of me getting a lot of confidence, I started to lose myself and doubted my capabilities not only as a first-time mom but as a person in general. My child’s birth opened my eyes to the reality of life that having a child is not easy. From there, I began to lose all the hopes I have and eventually forgot about what I want to be as a mom. In some instances, I tried to give myself some boost. Perhaps this is just the beginning, and that things will get back to normal again once I got over the pressure of everything. Besides, I just gave birth a couple of months ago, so I guess this is only part of exhaustion and all that.

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But apparently, that feeling stayed for a longer period. And until now, I am still trying to figure out how to get better. Honestly, I already have an idea of what is happening. I am just in denial because I want to convince myself that this is nothing compared to my energetic and positive outlook in life. But guess what, I am dealing with postpartum depression, and that is a shame.

What are the causes of postpartum?

There is often a dramatic drop in hormones in women’s bodies right after childbirth that contributes to postpartum depression. These hormones are particularly estrogen and progesterone. The imbalance often leads the new mothers to exhaustion, sadness, hopelessness, anxiousness, and depression. In unfortunate cases, these feelings can lead to extreme measures that can influence new moms to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

 How do you get PPD?

PPD often promotes symptoms including sadness and hopelessness. Usually, if a woman shows signs of crisis that bring her uncontrollable emotions, it is an obvious indicator that she is suffering and strongly affected by depression. When her emotional and mental dilemma is taking a toll on her life, it is important to call a doctor immediately. PPD can occur from the first few weeks up to a year after giving birth, and often, women suffering from it are at risk of suicide.

 What is the postpartum period, and how long does it last?

The postpartum period is divided into three individual stages. The first one is the initial or acute phase, which is about 6 to 12 hours after childbirth. Usually, emotional and mental issues in this phase are mild and can easily fade away. Then there is the sub-acute postpartum period. This one lasts for approximately two to six weeks. Depressive symptoms in this phase are persistent but often manageable. Lastly, there is a delayed postpartum period. It is the phase that can last up to six months or more. The severe case of delayed postpartum often leads to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

 How can you prevent PPD?

PPD is common in most women, regardless of their age. To prevent postpartum depression from happening, one should always consider focusing on self-care. It is essential to have a healthy lifestyle that is beneficial for overall health and recovery. Also, a new mom should need to build a strong foundation of her support system. She needs to make sure that friends and family are aware of the signs and symptoms of PPD to help her heal better. It is also necessary to enlist a therapist to ask for professional recommendations regarding possible medication options.

 Why do they say 40 days after birth?

Cuarentena is a period of about 40 days or six weeks. It is when the new mom refrains from having sex with her partner. She needs to dedicate herself solely to breastfeeding and taking care of the baby and herself. It is a strategy that helps new moms deal with postpartum confinement that is usually from 30 to 40 days after their delivery.

 How long does anxiety last after having a baby?

After giving birth, quite a few new moms experience stress, sadness, and anxiety rather than the joy and delight of becoming mothers. Frankly, it is normal since many people experience these so-called baby blues. These feelings are usual parts of postpartum recovery, and they usually go away after a couple of weeks following the delivery. However, if in case the anxiety tends to last, it is best to consult a medical expert for a possible diagnosis of postpartum depression.

 Is it normal to feel anxious after having a baby?

Honestly, both depression and anxiety are more common after a mom’s childbirth. The situation can also become more stressful when combined with the normal challenges of lack of sleep, unregulated eating habits, and unnecessary additional tasks. New moms also experienced feeling overwhelmed by being a new parent that they somehow think they cannot cope with. When things are out of hand and the emotional and mental state is at stake, it is best to seek professional help as quickly as possible.

 How long until your hormones are normal after pregnancy?

Typically, Six months postpartum is an excellent estimate for a new mom’s hormones to go back to normal. It is essential to understand that some hormone imbalance symptoms might stay for several weeks after delivering the baby. It is usually about 6 to 8 weeks. But those symptoms related to hormones while breastfeeding will stay put in the new mom’s body for as long as she breastfeeds.

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 Can breastfeeding hormones cause anxiety?

For some women who breastfeed, their body produces less and less prolactin, the milk-producing hormone, and oxytocin, the hormone that acts on organs in the body, including the breast and uterus. When women breastfeed, their dopamine drops excessively, and the resulting deficit causes a range of symptoms, including irritability, anxiety, and self-loathing.

 What can breastfeeding moms take for anxiety?

There are several options that new moms can take their doctor to decide that prescribed medication is the best route for them to reduce their anxiety while continuing with breastfeeding. Some of the medications to consider include SSRI antidepressants. Examples of these are sertraline, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and citalopram.

 Why do I feel weird about breastfeeding?

Most women would agree that breastfeeding usually feels strange at first and even completely painful. Most new moms suffer from latching issues, nipple chafing, and making too much or not enough milk. Aside from that, breastfeeding can also be anxiety-inducing. That is because their baby gets born, but their body is not done changing yet. Thus, there is a weird feeling that sometimes gets accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

 Can breastfeeding make you feel depressed?

It is often usual for new moms to feel exhausted in the postpartum phase. That is because they need to consider a lot of things, from healing from childbirth, taking care of a newborn baby, and producing breast milk. They also need to make an effort to breastfeed every 2 to 3 hours during the day and night. All these sudden tasks require a lot of emotional and mental energy.

 What are the negative effects of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is essential for babies. It helps and protects them against sickness, allergies, and obesity. But though it is vital for kids, it can cause some side effects for few new moms. These side effects can include back pain since, most of the time, mothers often stay in an awkward position all the time. Then there is bruising, which is common in the mother’s breasts.

 Can breastfeeding affect your mental health?

No. breastfeeding does not damage new moms’ mental health. In fact, it works the opposite way. A good breastfeeding experience can do wonderful things for women’s well-being, such as lowering their risk of anxiety and depression. It also helps them get more sleep and overcome past emotional and physical difficulties. It works well alongside reducing the risk of heart disease, reproductive cancers, and diabetes. Breastfeeding can also help mothers feel confident, empowered and heal birth trauma too.

 What does milk let down feel?

Often, new moms’ may notice different sensations in or around their breasts during milk let down. A couple of tingling sensations somehow feel like pins and needles pinching through inside and outside the breast area.

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Final Thoughts

I understand that the things happening right now are out of my control. As much as I wanted to stay positive, I really can’t. But I don’t have to worry that much because I know with my family, friends, and therapist that I will get better. It might take me quite a while, but I still want to stay positive about my mental health. I want to do this not only for myself but for the child as well.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression and Pregnancy

I was precisely four weeks pregnant when I learned about it. My boyfriend and I did not expect or plan it since we had only been together for a year. However, he promised that he would be an excellent partner and father, so all my worries ebbed away. 

Unfortunately, before the end of my first trimester, I received an email from an unknown sender. Its subject read: “YOU NEED TO SEE THIS.” I was not the type to open such emails for fear of getting spammed, but I did not know what got to me that day, and so I opened it. It was from a girl named Marla, who claimed to be my boyfriend’s wife. She said that he stopped coming home one day, and she begged me to return him to her and their three kids. 

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I could not cry instantly, especially when I scrolled further down and saw my boyfriend’s face in all the pictures that Marla attached. I had no idea what to do next, but I knew one thing: I did not want my boyfriend in my life or my baby’s life. I threw away his clothes from my apartment that night and told him what I learned about his civil status. He tried to explain, but I refused to listen to his excuses.

At the time, no one else knew about my pregnancy. My belly was not showing yet either, so even my coworkers were unaware of it. To lessen my emotional pain, I decided to take double shifts at work and barely eat. It was my way of coping with depression that followed my breakup. And when I wasn’t working, I was crying for the wasted love I gave my ex. 

I soon realized that it was the worst coping mechanism, considering I experienced spotting and almost lost my baby.  

Does crying during pregnancy affect the baby?

Simple crying due to feelings of sadness cannot affect your baby. However, when this becomes a little more than just a simple release of your emotions, this can start to be harmful to your baby. So when you begin to feel depressed, this might have a severe effect on your baby. When this happens, make sure that you can visit a doctor and receive the necessary help that you may require. 

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Is depression a side effect of pregnancy?

Studies suggest that women are more at risk of developing depression when they are pregnant and even after a few weeks of giving birth, which is known as postpartum depression. When a woman is pregnant, her hormone change may affect her brain chemicals, and this will cause her to develop depression and/or anxiety. Some women might see this as the baby blues, but this might be something a little more than that, so make sure that you are consulting a doctor when you start to feel like it is more than that. 

Can your emotions affect your unborn baby?

Yes, your emotions may affect your baby. When a mother feels happy and relaxed, the baby will feel the same way, and they will be developing in a comfortable and calm environment. In turn, a baby may also feel the effects of your stress, anxiety, and depression. This will affect a child’s development from the body to the brain. Ensure that you can address these emotions appropriately, and if you feel like it is more than what you can handle, then go and consult a doctor you trust.

Can you be on depression medication while pregnant?

The answer to this is yes. However, there will be a balance between the risks and the benefits. This is something that, when taken, can help you become better. It will treat your depression, especially when matched with counseling. On the other hand, this may cause some congenital disabilities in your baby due to the exposure to the antidepressants you have been taking. So consult not only with your therapist but also with your OB-gyn to avoid having any further issues, especially with your baby.

Can babies feel when Mom is sad?

The simple answer is yes. The baby will feel what the mother feels. So it is essential to regulate our emotions so that they do not develop into something such as depression or anxiety. Studies have shown that when the mother feels sad or stressed, the baby will feel the same way, and in turn, they will show signs of physiological changes that will align with what the mother feels. So be careful with your emotions during pregnancy.

What happens to the baby when the mother cries?

Generally, nothing happens to the baby when the mother is crying. However, a baby can feel the mother’s emotions, and they may respond by showing signs of physiological changes that will correspond to the emotion that the mother is feeling. It is not something to worry about since mood swings are normal during pregnancy. However, too much of it, leading to depression, can affect the baby’s development for both body and mind. 

Can I take anxiety medication while pregnant?

As with antidepressants, anxiety medication can be taken during pregnancy, but of course, there will be risks involved. Make sure that you consult with both a therapist and an OB-gyn to make sure that nothing wrong happens to both the mother and the baby. This medication can cause congenital disabilities, and it can cause your baby’s development to slow down. Be wise about your decisions when taking medicines as it will affect not only you but also your baby.

Can antidepressants cause miscarriage?

A study in Denmark with a sample size of one million women where 20 thousand had taken antidepressants had found that women who take antidepressants early in the pregnancy have the same risk of miscarriage as those women who had stopped taking the medication before they got pregnant, which means that like alcohol and other vices or addictions, antidepressants can also cause an increase in risk for a miscarriage. Consult a doctor to make sure that you do not experience the unfortunate events of a miscarriage.

Can I get pregnant if my husband is on antidepressants?

Yes, you are still able to get pregnant even if your husband is taking antidepressants. Still, it may be advisable to make a few changes to your husband’s medication to increase the ability to conceive a child. Although there are ways that you can do to improve the ability to conceive without having to change anything with medications, it is still important that you seek the proper medical advice that you will need before going on this journey.

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Can an unborn baby feel the mother’s pain?

The baby does feel what the mother feels, from happiness to sadness to stress and depression. So the mother must be in her best physical and mental state to avoid harming the baby and its developments, especially for their body and mind. Accidents may happen, so make sure that you seek medical attention no matter how minor the incident.

What are some ominous signs during pregnancy?

Of course, vaginal bleeding is a big red flag during pregnancy. There are also fevers of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, fewer movements with the baby, seizures, vomiting, contractions of more than four times in an hour, and problems with your vision. No matter how minor the change or experience, consult your doctor. It may save your baby’s life.

Final Thoughts

My family and friends finally found out about my pregnancy when I experienced spotting and needed to write a contact person once I got admitted to the hospital. It came as an absolute shock to my parents, especially when they found out why my boyfriend was no longer in the picture, but they supported my decision to keep him out for good. When my boss allowed me to get early maternity leave, I moved back to my parents’ home, where I began to heal emotionally, physically, and mentally. By the time my baby arrived, I was already more than ready to become a mother.

Postpartum Anxiety: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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The condition known as postpartum anxiety is a close relative of postpartum depression. The American Pregnancy Association states that 10% of the majority of new moms are affected by it. The typical signs are racing thoughts, feelings of dismay or terror, and extremely worrying. Some worry is pliable. Anxiety is a normal reaction to safeguard one’s newborn, and it is often manifested by hyper-vigilance and over-protectiveness.

This is why, as the Mayo Clinic reported, almost 90% of new parents claim that they are frequently feeling overly anxious with fearful thoughts that their baby might suffocate or slip when they are in the shower or that someone might snatch their baby in the mall. Most doctors agree that many parents experience ‘mental noise’ or chaos of the mind because of these fearful and racing thoughts. When they eventually learn to ignore them, the thoughts stop coming back.

On the contrary, if your anxieties are unreasonable (for example, if you have an extreme fear that your newborn will be harmed if you don’t keep carrying him), and you can’t get them off of your head, you may be experiencing from postpartum anxiety. This usually becomes an issue when it affects daily circumstances, if it disrupts one’s capacity to function, or if panic attacks suddenly arise.

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Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about postpartum anxiety.

 How long does anxiety last after having a baby?

Postpartum anxiety is not synonymous with the baby blues, which usually lasts for only two weeks. This type of anxiety does not often disappear by itself. It is vital to ask for help if anxiety is interfering with sleep or if you are persistently occupied with doubts and worries. In moderate or severe anxiety that is left untreated, postpartum anxiety does not go away and could persist indefinitely.

 Is anxiety normal after having a baby?  

In truth, not all moms are aware that having anxiety or fear or experiencing panic attacks is not uncommon after delivering a baby. About 10% to 15% of new mothers are diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, and approximately 50% of those with postpartum depression will potentially suffer from postpartum anxiety. 

How do you deal with stress after having a baby?  

You can try following these simple tips to help you manage your stress after delivering your baby:

  • Try seeing other people relieve tension and stress.
  • Spend time with family and friends and so something that you enjoy
  • Spend quality time with your spouse
  • Be more expressive – it helps release tension.
  • Find ways to relax
  • Recognize that you need help and learn to accept help from others 

What helps you get over anxiety?  

Some basic steps that you can try to relieve your anxiety include:

  • Eat healthy and well-balanced food.
  • Avoid consuming too much caffeine and alcohol, which further increases your anxious feelings and provokes panic attacks.
  • Take time to enjoy and relax.
  • Get a sufficient amount of sleep.
  • Practice mindfulness and deep breathing
  • Do the best that you can to be better.

How long will anxieties last?

Anxiety typically peaks within ten minutes and seldom persists for more than 30 minutes. However, during this short period, you may go through feel extremely afraid, as if you are out of control or you’re on the verge of dying.

What are the after-effects of anxiety?

Studies are continually being performed regarding the subject. Still, so far, they’ve revealed that some potential long-term after-effects of anxiety include heart diseases, various gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, and a decreased immune system.

How long until your hormones are normal after pregnancy?

Six months after delivering the baby would be an appropriate estimate for when the hormones in your body will return to normal. This would be when a lot of women experience their primary postpartum phase, and that is not an accident. After six months, postpartum hormonal deviations, particularly in progesterone and estrogen, should return to their pre-pregnancy states. 

Can breastfeeding hormones cause anxiety?  

When mothers are breastfeeding, the hormone dopamine is reduced in levels for prolactin levels to increase. Experts suggest that dopamine excessively falls for other women who breastfeed, and the deficit will result in various symptoms, including self-hate, anger, and anxiety. 

How long does it take to feel normal after having a baby?

Complete recovery from getting pregnant and having a baby could take months. Many new moms feel that they recovered in about six to eight weeks, although they reported that it took them longer than eight weeks to feel like themselves again. During this period, you might feel like your entire body has revolted against you. Try not to be very disappointed. 

Can babies sense when Mom is sad?  

Infants differ in their sensitivity, and according to several studies, babies, too, feel and respond to their parents’ emotional signals. In general, they pick up on emotions that their moms give off. Other studies state that when infants are merely a few months old, they can distinguish a cheerful expression from a sad one.

Do relationships change after having a baby?  

Ties with family, friends, and significant others are often different after having a child. The changes that happen from only two in the family to three, or perhaps more, could be among the biggest changes you will face when you are a new parent. 

How can I instantly reduce anxiety?

Some effective ways that you can try doing to improve your anxiety right now include:

  • Take deep breaths
  • Evaluate your thoughts
  • Recognize and accept that you are having an anxiety
  • Practice relaxing visualizations
  • Observe without judging
  • Practice self-talk to boost your self-esteem and improve your mood
  • Concentrate on doing something right now

How do I train my brain to stop worrying?

Here are a few ways to train your brain to stop worrying:

  • Be true to yourself
  • Don’t try to solve things on your own
  • Observe self-care
  • Try to accept that sometimes things can be out of your control.
  • Know your intentions and be conscious of them
  • Practice relaxation and mindfulness techniques
  • Be positive

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If you have tried taking anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications before and found them effective, you might want to start taking them again. However, you need to speak with your doctor or mental health professional about how a specific medication may impact your baby.

Lastly, always keep in mind that whether your anxiety is moderate or severe, it is best to find help at the soonest time possible. Remember that caring for yourself is caring for your baby as well.

 

 

Taking Care Of My Mental Health – How It Seems Impossible

Mental health exhaustion has been a popular topic these days. It can instantly catch people’s attention because of the wide range of confusion it contains. As for me, I get to think about it often because I know my everyday experiences are its contributing factors. Since I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a friend, I get to experience anxiety, stress, and depression everywhere. I feel like there is no time for me to rest, and that just sucks. I pretty much want to pause for a while from my responsibilities and avoid emotional, physical, and mental torture. Honestly, the issue here is not about what stresses my whole life. Instead, it is about the things I can’t do to maintain well-balanced overall health.

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I Get Exhausted As Well

One of the heartbreaking things I often try to accept is that I am responsible for almost everyone. I sincerely get the idea that as a wife, I need to be there for my husband. I have to become the support that he can lean on every time he thinks that things are falling apart. Also, I understand my duties as a mom. My kids are still learning to get a hold of life, so I know I must be there for them throughout their development. As a daughter, I understand that I still have responsibilities to my parents despite having limited resources. Lastly, I know that social connection with other people requires me to exert an effort as well. With all these in my hand, I can say that I am not one of the lucky individuals who can have moments for themselves. Because unfortunately, I don’t have enough time for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about my life, and I understand the value of keeping my responsibilities intact. However, I just want the world to know that I get exhausted too. I feel tired and fed up with stress and pressure all day. Why can I have a break? I simply want to take a deep breath and excuse myself from all the piled up things I need to do, even just for a single day.

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Can I Not Give A Damn About Things?

It is true that the only way I can get through with this mental exhaustion is to not give a damn about everything. However, that is entirely not possible. I can’t just ignore my husband and tell him I don’t want to carry all his desperations and frustrations because I am his wife. I promised to be there for him no matter what. Thus, I have to stick to that promise and take it all in. And to my kids, I can’t vanish and leave them all behind because they won’t be able to handle things on their own. They are too young for stress and more significant responsibilities. I still need to be there for them to teach them everything they have to know and understand. To my parents, I get that I should not have to worry about them anymore since I have got my own family now. But I am still their daughter. There will be times that they will have to contact me for help, and I must be there for them. Because, why not? And to my social connections, I can’t just let go of that. I need them to be there for me, especially when I don’t want to be there for myself. I need people to surround me with positivity so that I can manage to get through. I can’t just ignore these essential things in my life because, without them, I would not have a purpose.

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What Are My Options?

I know, for a fact, that my mental health is essential. That is why I try my best not to allow myself to get drained emotionally and mentally. In fact, I take serious precautions when it comes to my overall health needs. Thus, I engage in routines and a healthy lifestyle that can support that. I exercise regularly by doing an ample amount of chores in the house. I eat healthy foods because I have to put that on the table for my kids. I drink plenty of water because I move my body a lot. And I talk to people often because I continuously rant about all the problems I encounter every day. Unfortunately, that seems not enough.

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Again, I don’t blame the people in my life for all the responsibilities I need to do for them. I love them, so I don’t regret every hardship and exhaustion or whatever it is that is emotionally, physically, and mentally weighing me down. However, I just have this feeling of wanting to be with myself and away from everyone’s nose. Will that be selfish?

The Realizations In Handling Family Relationships

It is not every day that we come to realize our worth. Most of the time, we are too carried away with all the stress and anxiety from small to vast reasons. As a result, we end up negatively compromising, which somehow strains our mental and emotional health. But we need to stop doing that. We must learn to understand that there are specific ways we can consider to overcome life pressures, especially if it involves our relationship with our family.

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Balance Relationship – They say that blood is thicker than water. It is a statement that signifies family relationships as something we cannot deny. Well, it is, since biologically, we share the same DNA. However, not all family members are deserving of our time, effort, and energy. There are family members that do not contribute to our emotional and mental development. These individuals only bring toxicity. Therefore, it is reasonable to shut them out in our lives. We should not let toxic individuals become our priority when all they bring us is negativity, stress, pressure, and judgment. Remember, any relationship works best if it’s balanced.

Trust And Honesty – Usually, our family can be quite a pain in the ass. Sometimes they feel so entitled to dictate everything about our life. They do that even if that invades our privacy and against our will. Sometimes, they also condemn us when we differ with their opinions. But regardless, we never have to explain ourselves to anyone. Our family should understand that we don’t need to do that. Our family should trust us with all their hearts. But of course, we need to reciprocate their trust with honesty. We should never lie to them because when we do, they won’t help us.

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Free Time – When our family needs us and we keep telling them we are busy, we probably are. But that excuse can negatively progress over time until we become distant to them. Remember, no one is entirely busy, not unless they want to avoid someone. If our family relationship means so much to us, we must know when to have time for them. That way, we can spend a great bond with our loved ones. If in case we need to have some time alone with ourselves, we need to inform our family. We should not leave them confused about our decision in distancing ourselves for a while.

Strong Words – We often think that because they are family, it is okay to hurt them emotionally and physically. Maybe because we somehow know they will forgive us no matter what and eventually forgive what we did. But if we continuously make our loved ones cry, we are also making it hard for ourselves. We are not fair to those people who only wish us better. It is essential to realize that our words hurt more than our actions. Therefore, we need to be mindful in choosing and using certain words.

Silent Treatment – In most instances, silent treatment has become the most used tactic in getting rid of almost any family issues. It works best in avoiding an argument. It also serves as an excuse not to deal with the annoyance of people in the house. Sometimes, it reminds everyone to keep their boundaries. However, this strategy is not always necessary since it can cause a relationship gap between family members. The constant practice of silent-treatment usually ends in negative behavior such as disrespect. With that, we must understand when and how to use silent treatment whenever dealing with a family member.

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Reputation – In a family relationship, everything is related to reputation. Everything we do always affects the people surrounding us. So when we choose to do well to others, our family benefits from our actions as we make them proud. But if we do bad things, they are the first ones to get hurt. They are the ones who get judged, and they are the ones who suffer the consequences of our inappropriate behavior. The next time we make decisions without considering the possible outcome, we need to at least think about how it can affect our family’s reputation.

Commitment – Of course, we know that we commit to our family. We are committed to protect them and always keep them safe and away from any harm. Thus, we need to always be there for them whenever they need us. But those are just minor responsibilities we need to accomplish. As members of the family, we are responsible for their emotional, physical, and mental growth. Thus, we need to care, love, and support them as much as we can.

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Handling a family relationship is not easy, especially when things are not often going the way we are expecting it. But through the challenges we face in life, one thing is sure. Our family will be the ones who will be there for us no matter what.

 

 

Home Gardening With Your Kids During Quarantine

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to a “new normal” of practicing physical distancing. As work shifts to remote set-up and children’s education to homeschooling, parents have more time to spend with their kids. That’s why it is now an excellent time to introduce them to new hobbies that they can turn into habits. 

If you have an empty plot in your yard or an extra space in your balcony, you can practice home gardening. This activity is an excellent way to keep children occupied while learning something new.

Furthermore, gardening is therapeutic and can provide us emotional comfort amidst the situation that we are all facing. It has a natural calming effect that is beneficial to both physical and mental well-being.

Gardening For Children

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Gardening allows children to learn essential life skills that they don’t often teach at school. It is also a hands-on way to teach about environmental awareness and nature exploring.

As Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. explains, “Getting in nature and under trees can lower cortisol (the stress hormone), lower blood pressure, and boost parasympathetic activity (the rest and digest system).” 

Here are other knowledge skills that children can develop through planting and gardening:

  • Understanding cause and effect in the process of planting
  • Responsibility when caring for plants
  • Creativity in finding ways to grow food
  • Physical activity and productivity
  • Knowledge about food and nutrition
  • Self-confidence from successfully growing a plant
  • Love for nature

Tips For Gardening With Children

If you want to make your quarantine period productive for your kids, this is the right time to introduce gardening! Here are some tips on how you can engage them with the act:

  • Provide A Personal Garden Bed

Give your child a sense of ownership by giving them their separate garden bed. It encourages them to have a sense of responsibility and boost their confidence at the same time. Try to keep it small and make sure that it is the right spot to plant. 

A productive garden bed must have access to good soil and sunlight, and it should be free of weeds and tree roots. You can use containers, pots, ground plots, or raised beds to plant on. If the growing condition is not ideal, it may be better to relocate it.

  • Keep Them Involved

Make sure to keep them involved in the entirety of the gardening project. Children learn best when they understand the reason and context behind the activity. Let them do the preparation, the planting, and the harvesting of their crop.

Keep them engaged by letting them decide on what to plant and ask them for their opinion. And always keep them updated with the progress of the project. By doing this, children will learn that gardening is a fun activity that contributes to sustainability. 

  • Start From The Seeds

By starting with a seed, children will be a part of its growing process. This part is a highly valuable experience for young children, and it boosts their self-esteem and sense of responsibility. Usually, you can start to plant seeds indoors, and once they sprout, you can transplant them into pots and garden beds.

  • Help Behind The Scenes

Depending on your child’s age, they may need some help with the gardening task. You can do these while they are not looking, since they may not be up for the job all the time. As much as possible, try to maintain their sense of ownership of the plot.

  • Give The Right Tools

To make it more realistic, let them use tools that are necessary for the activity. Plastic materials can break easily and frustrate young kids. You can try sawing the handle of huge garden tools like hoe and spade to match their height. It would be best if you can find gardening tools that are especially for children.

  • Show Off Their Work

Give them praise and reward during and after the gardening activity. Take a photo of their garden bed and send it to their friends or their grandparents. Giving them and their work attention can motivate them to continue the project or even come up with new ones.

Conclusion

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As families have more and more time at home, there are many ways to keep children engaged and productive. When starting your gardening journey, it is vital to have a variety of resources to get you started.

It is a guaranteed way for kids to learn new things and have fun while being isolated. It is also an opportunity to have a breath of fresh air from all the stress and anxiety around.

Parenting Tips During The COVID-19 Outbreak

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected families all around the world. Schools and various establishments remain closed, everyone’s staying at home, and the once crowded cities are now empty streets. As parents, you want to assure your family the safety and warmth they need right now. Your kids may not directly say it, but they may feel confused and also alarmed with the sudden changes in their lives.

It can be hard to navigate family life in the middle of a pandemic. Here are some parenting tips to help you and your family to cope with the new, hopefully temporarily, normal.

Build Stronger Relationships With Your Kids

With the free time that you have right now, it is the perfect opportunity to bring the family closer and build stronger ties. Give them one-on-one attention to make them feel secured and loved.

For young children, you can read stories together, play with their favorite toys, or help with their school work. For teenagers, you can chat with them about pop culture, cook meals, or exercise together. It’s your chance to make up for the lost time and get to know your kids on a deeper level.

Maintain A Positive Attitude

Staying at home means that you’re going to be with your kids 24/7. They may drive you crazy now as much as before, but you have to stay calm and positive. It’s crucial to maintain a positive attitude at this particular time, even when painful. Praising your kids when they did something right will likely encourage them to do it again. It will reassure them that you’re noticing their good acts and you care.

Use positive and respectful words when telling your kids what to do. Provide clear instructions and consequences for their actions. Level your expectations as well as what their abilities are. Don’t expect them to do their school work all day long without feeling bored and tired, they’re kids, and they need to play as well.

As much as you’re grappling with the hardships of the pandemic, your kids may get anxious when they know you’re worrying too. Avoid adding to the anxiousness of your kids, speak to them calmly and understandably. Help your kids to stay connected with their friends online. Communication in trying times like this can help with managing stress and anxiety.

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Handling Conflicts

When conflicts and tension arise while your family is in quarantine, encourage timeout and space for everyone to unwind and spend some time alone. Lead your family in establishing boundaries and leveling each other’s expectations. Leon Hoffman, M.D., says, “During times of stress, anger and irritability are common emotions in everyone.” You have to understand that there will be frustrations, but as family, you have to solve issues together. Most importantly, right now, when the world is experiencing a crisis.

Due to your children’s incapacity to leave the house, they may display troublesome behavior. It’s relatively healthy since the normalcy in their lives was disrupted. As parents, comfort and discuss with them their emotions and struggles.

Create a schedule and chores so that everyone will take part and ownership of the responsibility at home. This process can also ensure every member of the family working and bonding together. Parents should remain calm and avoid conflicts as well, as their children are looking upon them for guidance in times of uncertainties like this. Children model their behavior to their parents.

Juggling Work At Home

If you’re working from home, it can be hard to keep your children busy and meet work requirements at the same time. If it’s possible, address your challenges to your employer and ask for flexibility. Most notably, if you have younger kids, they may need more attention and time with you.

Share the workload with your partner. Since there are no schools, divide the responsibility of homeschooling to your children. Introduce new activities to your kids to keep them occupied, such as gardening or painting. Maintain a suitable workspace at home, and don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Your family needs you to be strong and healthy right now.

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Create A Routine Schedule

To make children feel secured and better behaved, create an organized but flexible schedule that they can follow. Assemble a consistent daily routine like fun activities and school timetables. In this way, they can look forward to doing something every day while at quarantine. It’s better to include exercise to stay healthy and manage stress while at home.

Silence and secrets do not protect children. They already know and feel that something is happening in your community. Answer their questions truthfully and be supportive of their feelings. Check your children if they’re okay and let them understand the COVID-19 pandemic.

How To Spice Things Up In A Marriage

Intimacy is essential in every marriage. In fact, it is considered as one of the key ingredients to a successful marital union. People who are married need to do develop and nurture intimacy all throughout their relationship. Without romance and intimacy, couples have a high tendency of getting a divorce or growing apart from each other. This is why it is significant to focus on your romantic life if you want to keep your marriage healthy. Here are some of the tips on how to do it:

 

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