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Keeping it together, when we’re angry or depressed… for the kids

“I’m scaring my kids,” she said as she sat in my office one summer day. “What scares me the most is that I don’t know how to make this different for me or for them.”

This is a common theme I hear from parents. They’re feeling completely spent, whether they’re going through a rough patch with their spouse, have just begun the process of separation or divorce, or perhaps there’s stress because there simply isn’t enough support to parent effectively.

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Compassion for Early Feeding Choices

The baby was only 3 days old when I received the phone call. It was from a dad and I always know I’m working with a great family when dad is on the phone for the new mama who needs breastfeeding support. And it probably also means that they’re in distress.

The new baby girl, Sofi, was chomping at the breast every time she’d nurse. I knew this meant that mom was in pain and that the baby wasn’t getting much milk (or colostrum, which is the first milk), either. I started asking questions about the baby’s birth.

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Reconnection, Not Perfection

In the other room, a volcano seemed to be exploding. I quickly realized it was my 13 year-old son who had just gotten very frustrated with his iPod and launched it across the room. I was on the phone with a client and my husband was out of town. Seemed like an impossible situation just then. I wrapped up my session and went out to see what had happened.

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Connecting When You Don’t Have a Magic Wand

Everyone wants to find peace. Everyone wants connection. But sometimes that’s just not our family’s reality. Maybe our reality is tension. Maybe there are disagreements and fights. Maybe we find ourselves disliking being around our child or the disconnection just feels bad to us and we want it to be different. Or maybe we’re overwhelmed. So where do we start when we’re far from a place of love, ease, and joy? How can we begin our journey to this seemingly elusive place?

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The Myth of Independence

From the time our children emerge from the womb, we’re bombarded with questions about how well our babies sleep and eat. These questions sound innocent enough, yet seem to seek that deeper question of how much our children depend on us, how needy they are, and how independent they are from day one. It is unspoken, but it seems that the better our answers are alluding to the un-neediness of our offspring, the “better” we are as parents. And new parents are vulnerable. Even if we don’t believe that our children shouldn’t be needing us, doubts can creep in unwillingly to even the strongest parent whose baby is getting up again in the middle of the night at (gasp) 8 weeks old. Or 8 months old. Or 18 months old.