The How’s of Love: 7 Skills for Loving Relationships

Valentine’s Day is, for me, a reminder of love. I’m not big on the fanfare or gifts or even having to go out and celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I am big on the meaning behind it all–a day to celebrate love in all its forms, and a reminder to really love those we love, all year long.

I’ve been writing about love every February since I started my blog in 2012, so today I decided to search through all I’ve written on love and see what I actually had to say. And you know what? I’ve learned and shared some pretty important things on love, and more specifically on the “how’s” of love.

I’m a “how” girl, meaning as much as I love understanding what to do and especially why I’m doing it, I’ve always been drawn to the question, “But how?” Clients ask me this, my children ask me this, and I ask myself this often. The “how’s” of life can be some of the toughest to comprehend, and the how’s of love are no different.

I want to share with you 7 “how’s” of love, and specifically, how we can improve our loving relationships. If there’s anything Valentine’s Day is good for, it’s to remind us, and hopefully teach us a little something about, how to love.

 

 

7 Skills for Loving Relationships

 

1) Love your loved ones.

It sounds basic, and obvious, and it is, but how often do we fail to actually love those we love? I learned this years ago as I heard another psychologist share a story about a mother and son. They were not seeing eye to eye, and the more they talked, the more they just became frustrated with one another. The psychologist stopped the mother at one point and poignantly said, “Stop trying to love your son, and just love your son.” She sat, stunned, for a moment, and then burst into tears and embraced her son. That is loving someone we love. There are countless other ways to express and show love. I’ve compiled 50 of my favorites for you in one of my favorite posts of all time, “50 Ways to Love Your Loved Ones,” so click, pick one or two, and start the love fest today. Love is a verb, my friends. Get out there and love those you love.

A favorite family moment, my son getting his mission call to FIJI! Be there for the big moments, and the small, and they’ll feel the love!

2) Practice the skills of communication.

Communication is the number one problem couples are facing when they walk into my office. They may have come in for other reasons, but at the core, there’s almost always a block in communication. It’s tough to comprehend another person in a personal, intimate way, a person with completely different personality traits, background, strengths, and weaknesses. Yet communication is a skill. That means it’s something we must learn and practice and develop; it’s not something we’re just naturally born with. Whether you’re trying to improve your relationship with your significant other, with your child, with a friend, co-worker, or anyone, learning the skills of communication is essential. Visit my post, “Improve Communication = Improve Relationships, Improve Yourself” to get started.

The most adorable card my then-8-year-old daughter gave me out of the blue one day. She knew how to love, and express that love, even then.

3) Learn and use The 5 Love Languages.

If there’s one thing I teach clients all the time about relationships, it’s the importance of comprehending and utilizing The 5 Love Languages. Developed by Dr. Gary Chapman, this is an ingenious way to better understand how we give and receive love, and how our partners, children, friends, and family might give and receive love in different ways. It’s like trying to express your innermost feelings about someone, in English, when the other person only speaks Japanese. Unless one, or even better, both of you learn the other’s language, the love is going to get lost in translation. What are the 5 Love Languages, and how can you start using them today? Read “Improve Relationships and Feel the Love with The 5 Love Languages,” and begin to really feel the love.

4) Build intimacy and romance.

Intimacy isn’t just for romantic relationships. It means much more than most of us believe. Intimacy can include physical and sexual connection, but it actually has more to do with getting to know someone on a deep and personal level, understanding that person’s experience, emotions, and world view, and seeking to meet that person at their own level in order to build a relationship of trust, honesty, integrity, closeness, and yes, love. With children and adults alike, we can build intimacy by spending time, asking about their lives, and being interested in what they have to say. We can show up when they need us, be there when things are rough, and help them understand we’ll always be there. The point of intimacy is to actively build it up. We must actively seek to get to know, spend time with, and understand others if we want to grow closer in love. Notice and pay attention to someone you love today, and actively seek to be interested in whatever is interesting to them. And for more ways to build intimacy, check out “Couples & Romantic Love: 9 Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships.”

Watch Motherhood Radio/TV with my fave guest, my husband OJ! This episode on “How to Like Each Other Better” will have you laughing, nodding, and hopefully learning some valuable tools on how to strengthen relationships!

5) Learn conflict resolution skills to resolve conflict positively.

Research shows its not the fact that couples, or families, experience conflict that’s the problem; the real problem comes when they don’t know how to resolve conflict positively. Like communication, however, conflict resolution is a skill we must purposefully seek to learn, practice, and employ when we need it. Instead of yelling, frustration, and heartache, couples and families can learn to calmly address important issues, respect one another it the process, and withhold hurtful comments or actions by learning how to deal with conflict in positive ways. What are some of the best ways to learn conflict resolution skills? Find out here, in one of my favorite posts, with one of my favorite people (my husband), “Making Marriage Work by Resolving Conflict: 20 Tips on our 20th Anniversary,” and for families, check out, “My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy! 10 Ideas To Drive Us Back to Sane.”

6) Let love in.

So often the problem isn’t that we don’t have love coming our way; it’s that we block or refuse or ignore that love. I’ve been guilty of this, usually in times when I’m trying to protect myself, and I can tell you it’s miserable. We eventually realize we could have had love, but we gave it up, and for what? Nothing but self-preservation, fear, and doubt. As important as it is to actively love others, it’s equally important to let their love in, too. Don’t make it hard for others to love you. Choose to soften, open your heart, take a chance, and let yourself bathe in the love that is there from your spouse/partner, from your children, family, friends, acquaintances, and even the person smiling at you on the street. Let. Love. In. Here are “10 Ways to Let Love In” today.

7) Don’t forget to love yourself.

If there’s anyone who needs your love most, it’s you. Without self-love, we don’t have the confidence, patience, motivation, and ultimately self-worth we need to improve all our relationships. We absoultely MUST learn how to practice self-compassion, self-acceptance, and self-love. If this is your challenge, I invite you to use the following resources to get started. Learning to love yourself will make all the difference, not only for you, but for your ability to love those you love, too. Check out Practicing Self-Compassion: How to Give Yourself A Break, & The Pyramid of Self-Worth: Step 3, Practice Self-Love (plus video).

Watch Motherhood Radio/TV “Self-Compassion: Give yourself & your kids a break!

 

What I Know for Sure About Love…

There is so much we can do to increase the love in our lives, and to share our love with others. Let today be a reminder that we can always improve in love, and let it be motivation to begin our self-improvement. If there’s one thing I know for sure about love, it’s that we all need it. It is a core human need, essential to life. Without love, we would simply die. But with love? Ah! We are alive and happy and whole! Love is grander, and simpler, and lovelier than we realize, if we but seek it, learn from it, and freely pass it on.

Learn more about love in “5 Things I Know for Sure About Love,” and “The Power of Pure Love: You are Known, You are Needed, You are Loved.

 

 

 

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, on SoundCloudiTunes, or watch on YouTube!

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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Practicing Self-Compassion: How to Give Yourself a Break

Self-compassion: Why is it so challenging for so many of us? We fail to be gentle with ourselves. We fail to care for our needs. We fail to give ourselves a break, even when we need it most.

We live in a society that values the “go, go, go,” and “higher, better, faster” mentality, and too often we fall prey to these messages that tell us not only how we “should” live, but also from where our value supposedly comes. We feel we can’t stop, slow down, or rest because if we do, then we won’t be _____ (fill in the blank–successful, liked, valued, good enough…).

It’s all a bunch of lies. I know it is, and yet, I fall for it too–believing I don’t deserve to stop and rest, feeling I have to “earn” a break, forgetting it’s self-compassion that’s the key to success in life, and not how much I do.

 

What is Self-Compassion?

There are many ways to define self-compassion.

First, it’s important to recognize that to have compassion means to have an awareness of suffering, in some sense. Thus, self-compassion must, by definition, also include an awareness of suffering–in oneself. Identifying this suffering and responding with love, kindness, and gentleness is the foundation of self-compassion.

Self-compassion researcher and author, Kristin Neff, has found self-compassion consists of three components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. In other words, to be compassionate with ourselves we must be mindful, understand we are not alone in our weaknesses and struggles, and practice being kind to ourselves, as we would do for others.

In general, self-compassion is thinking and feeling kindly about/toward ourselves. Self-compassion, along with self-kindness (doing nice things for ourselves), self-care (caring for our needs), and letting others’ love in, is a crucial element of self-love. Only with these four in place can we truly experience that love that makes us whole and complete, that says we’re good enough just the way we are, that leads to a true sense of self-worth. (Read more in my book Who Am I Without You?)

This is my take on self-compassion, but most importantly we must each find our own meaning in self-compassion, and what it looks like in our lives, if it’s to truly work in our lives. That’s what matters most.

Listen to “Self-Compassion: Give Yourself (& Your Kids) A Break,” with guest Kim Fredrickson, author and therapist of 30+ years, on Motherhood Radio/TV, for more on how to practice self-compassion, and how to teach your family to do the same.

 

5 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion Today

How can we think and feel more kindly about and toward ourselves? These five suggestions are a good place to start.

1) Pay attention to how you speak and think about yourself. Identify those things that aren’t: a) true, b) healthy, and/or c) helpful. When are you being too hard on yourself? When might you say something you’d never let someone else say to you? Write down everything you hear/discover. As we identify the harsh and unfair things we say to ourselves, we allow ourselves an opportunity to then change them.

 

2) Set aside time to examine your thoughts and feelings. Once you’ve done suggestion 1, look back at each item and ask, “Is this true? Is this healthy? Is this helpful? Is it what I really want to say to myself? Do I even believe this? This can help you understand which are underlying, or core, beliefs about yourself that might need to be changed**, and which are simply unhelpful thoughts or sayings you’ve picked up from others along the way. You may also use a Thought Record to identify your thoughts, if it’s helpful. (See “Thought Management, part 1,” and “Part 2: How to Use a Thought Record,” with videos, for help.)

3) Search for alternatives. Begin with the “easier” thoughts and ask, “What would my best friend, or closest family member, say about this?” Then, imagine what they’d say. Would they be as harsh as you’re being? Or would they give you the benefit of the doubt and help you feel better? If you’d listen to their good, compassionate advice for you, then why not listen to it from yourself? (Check out Kim Fredrickson‘s books, “Give Yourself a Break,” and “Give your Kids A Break,” for many ideas on compassionate things to say to yourself, and other tools.)

 

4) Write down all alternative, self-compassionate thoughts you’ve discovered and make a goal to use these throughout the day. It’s much easier to believe the compassionate things we say to ourselves once we’ve “proven” they’re true or at least have worked to discover them. Then, it’s all about practicing thinking kindly about ourselves, being gentle with our mistakes, nurturing ourselves through times of suffering, and giving ourselves a break. As we will begin to feel more compassionately toward ourselves, too.

Me, last week, practicing self-compassion with some much-needed sunshine and alone time at the beach.

5) In addition to working on thoughts, work on your feelings. On the flip side, as we practice FEELing self-compassion, we will think more compassionately about ourselves, too.

Sit in a quiet place and breathe deeply. Close your eyes and let your feelings come. What do you feel? How do you feel about what you feel? Do you feel comfortable with these feelings? Or do you feel like you want to run away from them? Do you feel guilty? Angry? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? Sad? Grief-stricken? Depressed? Do you feel anxious? Worried? Stressed? As we identify the negative feelings and sit with them, breathing into them and focusing on them, we find they begin to dissipate, and over time, we learn to let them go. (Check out FEEL: How to Overcome Powerful Emotions, plus Video)

Having compassion with our feelings, and allowing them to simply “be” is essential to practicing self-compassion. Emotions come and we usually can’t control whether they show up and when, but we can control how we perceive them and what we tell ourselves about them. If we’re fighting the emotions or telling ourselves we’re “weak” because of what we feel or “less than,” those feelings will simply intensify, and multiply.

We do ourselves no favors by being harsh when we’re feeling low. Instead, we must FEEL–Freely Experience Emotions with Love. As we lovingly sit with, focus on, and feel the emotions, we find they’re not as scary and powerful as we think. They are, in fact, simply emotions, and it’s what we do with those emotions that matters most. FEELing is the key to HEALing from painful emotions, and self-compassion is the key to FEELing.

 

Remember, Self-Compassion is, and must be a Practice

This is just a starting point. It takes daily, hourly, sometimes moment-by-moment practice to learn self-compassion, and only once we learn it can we model self-compassion and teach it to our children, family, and others. Don’t we want our children to be gentle with themselves, to feel the love in their lives, and to let the rest go?

Yes. And we must begin with ourselves. Gently. Kindly. Lovingly. Nurturing ourselves through the tough times, and celebrating ourselves through the good.

 

**NOTE: If you discover deep, long-held beliefs about how unworthy, unlovable, or incapable you are and can’t seem to find the compassionate response to these, or to your feelings, you’re not alone. It can be especially difficult to change the voices we’ve heard over and over so long in our heads, whether they’re others’ voices or our own. I suggest seeking help to work through these things, with a trusted therapist, psychologist, or faith counselor, who can help you in a deeper way. It’s work that’s worth doing, that’s one thing I know for sure.**

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, on SoundCloudiTunes, or watch on YouTube!

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

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Best Advice Ever- Motherhood 100th Episode!

 

When I was approached by Web Talk Radio, over two years ago, and asked to do a web radio show for them on parenting and motherhood, I was surprised, to say the least! Why me? I had no idea how to host a radio show! How on earth would I make time for a weekly radio program? Would anyone even listen? Would I be able to help more people this way? Was this something I should actually do?

After much thought, family discussion, and humbling prayer, the answer was clear: Yes. This is something you need to do. Looking back, I’m so grateful they saw some spark of potential and reached out and trained me, because even though I’ve since taken the show out on my own, WebTalkRadio started me on this path I would have never otherwise taken, and now “Motherhood” radio/TV is celebrating its 100th episode!

 

Motherhood Radio/TV–100th Episode!

It’s been hard work, with a steep learning curve, but I have loved every minute of it. I love coming up with topics based on what you tell me you need to hear. I love meeting incredible, enlightening guests who have so much to teach me and our listeners. I especially love the listeners, who share their experiences with me–what they’re learning and how they’re growing. It warms me to the core to know these shows are making a difference in mother’s lives around the globe!

Today, in honor of our 100th episode, titled “Mastering Motherhood: Best Advice Ever,” I’d like to share some words of wisdom from a few favorite past guests who were gracious enough to write or record their “best advice ever” to be part of this historic episode, and a couple of my own bits of favorite advice, too.

Of course, I hope you actually watch or listen to the 100th episode (see links below), but in the meantime, here’s some of our best advice ever on how to “master” motherhood, parenthood, and basically–life.

 

 

Mastering Motherhood: Best Advice Ever

When I asked past “Motherhood” guests to submit their “best advice ever” about mastering motherhood, I began with the questions I’ve been asking countless moms across the nation these past months as I’ve been touring to research for my new book, Mastery of MotherhoodThe question is: Do you think “mastery of motherhood” is possible? If so, why? If not, why not Additionally, I asked our guest experts to chime in on, “If so, how?”

The following 20 tips are some of my favorite lines from their wise words, the fulness of which you can watch/listen to on our 100th episode, here, on iTunes, above, or below.

(Oh, and be sure to visit MasteryOfMotherhood.com to take my “Mastery of Motherhood” Survey and chime in with your thoughts and best advice! You may even be featured in my book!) 

 

1. “The fruit of motherhood isn’t how your kids turn out. It’s how you turn out.”

This is some of the best advice I’ve ever heard and learned, and now I share it with you. Let go of the idea that your children (and how they act, turn out, etc) determine your worth. It’s simply not true, and you won’t “master motherhood” until you begin to believe it.

 

2. “Let go of the need to be ‘someone’ or ‘something,’ and just be.”

My second bit of advice, to follow up the first:It’s okay. You can take the mask off and just be real. Be real on Instagram. Be real with your friends. Be real in your PJ’s, with a messy house, feeling like you’re losing it, or watching a movie with your kids instead of cleaning that messy house because you’re not going to let yourself lose it. After all, that’s the best thing you can be–for yourself, and for your children–authentic, real, you. (It’s also the first step to “choosing to grow!”) (Watch the 100th episode video to see some of my ‘realness!’)

 

3. “Progress over perfection.” ~Tenielle Shenae, speaker, coach, mentor, self-worth advocate

Tenielle’s advice is time-tested and true, and is a perfect follow up to the 2 statements above. It’s not about being “perfect” as a mom, parent, or human. It’s about progressing, one foot in front of the other, line upon line.

 

4. “Give yourself credit for what you do. Be confident, value yourself and your gifts you bring to your role as mother.” ~Sharon Martin, LCSW, licensed therapist and counselor

 

5. “Make time and listen, listen, listen.” ~Signe Whitson, author of 8 Keys to End Bullying & the Activity Book for Kids and Teens

 

6. “As you listen to your kids, they will tell you what they need. Sometimes that means listening with your ears. Sometimes that means listening with your heart.” ~Lindsay Hibbert Elmer, (my sister-in-law!), mom of 3 plus one beautiful foster baby

 

7. “Take care of you FIRST.” ~Kathy Kaehler, fitness and better living expert, host of LA Talk Radio’s “Cat & Kaehler” show

So important! We think we must care for our kids first, our partnership/marriage/relationship second, but we are wrong. Putting yourself first isn’t saying, “Me first!!” It’s saying, “Me too.” We moms MUST recognize that we have to be healthy and happy and whole in order to give these important things, including our love, to our children, spouse/partner, and family.

 

8. “#SpeakTheSecret.” ~Karen Kleiman, perinatal mental health pioneer and author of many books including “The Art of Holding in Therapy”

Karen’s powerful #SpeakTheSecret campaign reminds us that, as moms, we will have our hard times, too. We will have scary thoughts. We will have unwanted feelings. And we can and must “speak the secret” and reach out for help. Karen also reminds us that, if we do so, we will eventually be well. Speak your secret, whatever it may be. It is only in speaking up that we begin to overcome our struggle, become our best self, and yes, even flourish, again, too.

Created by Karen Kleiman and Molly McIntyre as part of the #speakthesecret campaign. Share your thoughts and join the campaign at postpartumstress.com.

 

9. “Begin planning early on.” ~Valerie Lynn, author of The Mommy Plan

Yes! Valerie is speaking of postpartum recovery, which is not only physical, but definitely emotional, mental, spiritual, and social healing, as well. The earlier we plan, the better off we will be, especially if we’ve experienced pregnancy or postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, or psychosis before. This great advice also goes for any new phase of motherhood or transitional or challenging time of life.

 

10. “Find small bits of time and fit yourself in.” ~Olivia Baylor, therapist/founder of Life Revisions

I echo this one. Motherhood doesn’t require us to lose ourselves. Instead, we can get creative and pursue our dreams along the way!

 

11. “Time management is really about energy management.” Robyn Pearce, time management expert and author of Getting A Grip on Parenting Time

Just let this one sink in. Then, listen to the 100th episode to hear Robyn’s advice on how to manage your energy. A game changer!

 

12. “How your respond to your child is the key.” ~Michael Mascolo, Ph.D. speaker, coach, author of 8 Keys to Old School Parenting

It’s not about what your child does. It’s how you respond to what s/he does that’s the key. Listen to Michael’s description of how to respond to your child in the best way (“It’s all about MILK,” he says), in the episode. He speaks to the heart of solid parenting with this advice–that parenting is about us learning to be our best so we can respond to our children and teach them our best.

 

13. “Parenting is more about the parent than the child. That’s why it’s called ‘parenting’ and not ‘childing.'” 

Just another favorite piece of parenting advice, which cuts to the core of all these excellent tips and to the core of what we do on Motherhood Radio/TV–that parenting isn’t about changing our children or making them behave. It’s about choosing to “grow” through parenthood, motherhood, fatherhood, instead of just “going” through it so we can give our best to our kids.

 

14. “You can master motherhood, but you can’t master your children. Remember 3 things: teach, love, protect.” ~Becky Squire, mom and Make Mine Happy creator/blogger

I love this advice. Teach your children. Love your children. Protect your children. That is your job as a mom.

 

15. “Identify and love what you’re good at. Love your strengths as a mom and be okay with them.” Nicole Bolden, LSW, doula, therapist and founder of Thriving with Baby

 

16. “What are you doing to take care of you? Pick one thing to implement and start small.” ~Katie Richardson, founder/CEO of Puj, mom, life coach

 

17. “Your body is on your side. Your ‘symptoms’ are communication to you, from you. Trust your body.” ~Sophia Wise One, bodywork and healing practices expert

 

18. “Think of ‘mastery’ in terms of your absolute best effort.” ~Myrna Beth Haskell, writer and editor of Sanctuary Magazine

Amen, Myrna. It’s not about being perfect at motherhood or having all the answers all the time. It’s about giving your best, always. That best will fluctuate from day to day, but whatever your 100% effort is today, just give that.

 

19. “Try your best. If you feel you’ve fallen short, it’s a good learning opportunity for you and your child.~Erin Joyce, Psy.D., psychologist specializing in women’s mental health

Absolutely. That’s what it’s all about–continuing to learn and grow.

 

20. “Don’t try to love them. Just love them.” 

My final piece of advice is a favorite lesson I learned at a conference years ago. So often, we are trying to love our children, spouse/partner, family in the way we think they want or the way we think we want, but it’s just not getting through. If you really want to love your family, then love them. Stop trying and just love them. That, to me, is being a ‘master’ mother.

 

 

BONUS: Want the Best Parenting Advice You’ll Ever Receive? Watch This!

 

 

What’s your “best advice ever” for mastering motherhood, fatherhood, parenthood, or life? Leave a comment and let us know, below!

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, and SUBSCRIBE on SoundCloudiTunes, or YouTube!

New episodes weekly!

Here’s to the next 100!

 

Take my “Mastery of Motherhood” survey and be part of my new book!

Click below to take the 15-20 minute survey, tell me what you think, and share your stories!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

When You Lose a Sibling: Loss, Grief & Forever After [video]

Last week was 10 years since my sister, Shannon, died. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t just yesterday that she vanished from my life. Time is odd when you’ve lost someone you love.

I remember right after she died thinking, “If I can just let myself grieve through the first year, then I can move on.” How wrong I was. I know the only way to get “over” grief is to go through it, and I tried to push myself right into it. But, because of how she died, and because my brother-in-law had died just before her, and because we inherited our dear nephews who are now our sons, and because I had a baby just 4 weeks to the day that she died, and because we ended up in legal battles with extended family members a few months later, and because we had to create a whole new family when she died, the first year was just survival mode. How could have been anything else?

Shannon and I in my senior photos, recreating our favorite pic of us from our childhood (teenager style). See the original below. (Love the 90’s vibe!)

And so, on that October 17, 2008 anniversary, one year after she died, I found, to my surprise, my own grief process was just beginning. Of course it was! She was my sister! My best friend. The one I grew up with, the one I got married with, the one who married my husband’s best friend, the ones we were having babies with, our best friends. Now, she was gone. They were both gone. Their family was gone, and mine was brand new. And she was no longer there by my side. Of course I was just beginning to grieve.

My sister, Shannon, and I at ages 3 and 4. I miss and love her dearly every day.

When a sibling dies…

“When you lose a sibling, you lose the past and the future.” I still cling to that, because it’s true, and because it gives me comfort that my grief is valid. It’s real. It’s lasting. It’s because I love my sister.

I loved my youngest sister, McLean (Miki), too. She died at age 8 of cancer of the kidneys. I was 18. Her death introduced me to deep loss and grief. It introduced me to that now-familiar ache of knowing they’re really no longer there. It introduced me to the physical symptoms that can come from grief, like irritable bowel syndrome, toothaches from grinding my teeth, back and shoulder pain, headaches, insomnia. It introduced me to depression, and grief counseling at the BYU counseling center–because I was a psych major, I was away from home on my own, and I was at least old enough to understand I couldn’t make it through the crashing waves of grief alone.

Yes, losing Miki was my introduction to the reality of life–that we all die, even the good ones, even children, even when we pray and plead and wish it weren’t so. We all die. Our family members die. Our parents, of course, but our siblings, as well. Young siblings. Too young siblings. Always too young.

My sister, McLean (7), and me (18), just two months before she died of cancer.

 

How they die…and how we grieve

Grief is a complex monster that can take many forms and can last ages longer than we ever expected, especially when we deeply loved our sibling. There are over 100 symptoms of grief, and we each experience these symptoms in unique and personal ways. How our sibling dies– how sudden it was, and the manner, circumstances, and consequences of their death–can impact our experience of their loss, and our grief, as well.

The experience of losing Miki was different than losing Shannon, for many reasons.

 

First, because of how she died. Sad as it was, we had some time to prepare, or at least to try and understand that she was really sick, and on chemo, and in and out of the hospital, and even her surgeries prepared us, because her odds of survival weren’t fantastic even from the start. Though we hoped she would live (and I’d say, we believed she might) we still had that small voice whispering, “She might not.”

Shannon, on the other hand, died shockingly, traumatically, in her bed in the night, because of a tragic mistake she made when she was drunk. We found out when the police called my mother to Shannon’s house and wouldn’t tell her what had happened until she was there. I found out from my mother’s sister, a call to my cell phone, while driving down to meet Shannon for lunch before teaching a 2-day postpartum depression training, while 8 months pregnant. Traumatic, shocking, and worst? Her two children she left behind.

 

That’s the second way the deaths differed, and thus the grief has differed–the consequences. For me, the consequences of Shannon’s death were so much grander in the worst possible way. For all of us, the consequences of her death were huge–for her children, and for mine, and for my parents and other siblings, and for my husband’s parents and my brother-in-law’s parents, and for everyone we knew. It was all so terribly sad and unbelievable.

When Miki died, it was sad and unbelievable, too–because she was a child. 8 years old. That is a tragedy, too, and we have grieved and mourned her ever since. But she went with incredible grace and she was prepared as much as an 8 year old could have been, to be with God again, and I know she is. She was just “she,” thank goodness. There were no major consequences of her death other than the obvious–losing our sweet, precious baby sister.

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids, I posed us for a Christmas card pic. Can you see the fear in my eyes as I pulled myself together to be the mom everyone needed me to be?

 

Third, how old I was when my siblings died. I was younger when Miki died, and that made it feel very hard to deal with at the time. I didn’t know grief in such a deep way yet. My grandfather had died when I was 10, and that was hard, but in a different way, because he didn’t live with us, and I didn’t spend as much time with him, and even though he was younger than 60 when he died, he was “old” to me, and I knew grandparents died. I understood his dying to cancer easier than I understood Miki’s. When Miki died it taught me there are no rules. There’s no rule that says a child can’t die, that says you can’t lose someone else after you’ve lost one loved one. Yet I thought that for years after Miki died–that we couldn’t take another significant loss, so we were in some way “protected” from anything more. But then Shannon and Rob died, and I learned the awful truth–none of us is protected.

 

Watch “Understanding Sibling Loss & Grief: 3 Minute Therapy” on my YouTube channel.

Even though it was painful to deal with and understand Miki’s death at the age of 18, I was also protected by my youth. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I hadn’t had all the painful life experiences I’d had when Shannon died, and that made my grief somewhat simpler, looking back. Being 32 when Shannon died meant I now had children who were affected by the loss. It meant I’d lived so many more years with Shannon, who was only 16 months younger than I and whom I’d experienced ALL of life with, and thought I would grow old with. I’d already suffered through postpartum depression and anxiety with my first 3 children, and had already been through consequences of Miki’s death on our family of origin–how losing her changed the trajectory of our entire family, of every person’s life, for better or for worse. All of this made Shannon’s death and the grief I have experienced so much deeper and lasting.

My sister, Shannon, brother-in-law, Rob, and I, two years before they died.

 

Your grief matters!

When a sibling dies, it can feel like our grief is not as important as others’.

I remember feeling like even Shannon’s other close friends’ grief was more “valid” than mine. When Miki died, I felt like I had to take care of everyone else, like I had to be the parent for my younger siblings now, and I was, in many ways, after college–cooking and cleaning for them, helping my siblings with homework and problems. My parents were just trying to deal with the loss of their baby girl the best they knew how, and I felt a need to be responsible for the other kids and help out as much as I could. When Shannon died, I literally took her life over, and I felt like I needed to handle everything possible for my parents and other siblings and especially for my children, of which I now had 6. And I did. For a long time. And then I crashed in grief even harder.

The truth is, if you have lost a sibling, your grief matters! It matters at the start. It matters all along the way. It matters forever! You loved your sister or brother. You miss them, and you will always miss them. You will forever think of them and remember them and wish they were there with you. And that doesn’t take anything away from anyone else’s grief. Your parents will grieve them in their own way. Other siblings or family or friends will grieve them in their way. You must grieve them in your own way.

Me (front) and Shannon (behind), as fairies for Halloween. She always followed and had my back. Now it’s just me.

 

Grief is a sign of love…forever

Why does the grief for your sibling seem to come and go? That’s the way grief works for someone who was supposed to be a part of your life until you are old and gone. Just because you’ve worked through your grief (and again, it must be worked through), doesn’t mean you won’t experience it here and there, randomly and on anniversaries, when life moments happen and you wish they were there, and even when you wake up some days and you just feel heavy again. Yes, it will get better. But it won’t ever go away completely. The body remembers. Your heart remembers.

I have shared much more of my personal feelings about siblings and loss than I expected to when I sat down to write this today. It just poured out of me. I think it’s a perfect example of what I’m saying–that we will always remember and miss our siblings. We will forever be changed by their passing. We will forever need to talk about them and share their stories, and ours, for we have a hole inside where they once lived.

That doesn’t mean we can’t feel whole again. It’s just a new whole. A whole with a hole. And that hole is there to remind us, to bring us back to them time and again, to wish they were with us, cry for them once more, imagine what it would be like if they were here, to honor them by our actions and words, and to love others more fiercely because we once loved them, and will forevermore. Because they are our siblings.

 

I’d love to hear about you and your sibling. Please leave us a comment, thought, remembrance, or whatever you like, below.

 

 

Watch “How long does grief last?” and read my blog post that goes along with it, here.

 

 

 

Learn more about my experiences with loss and “choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, on SoundCloudiTunes, or watch on YouTube!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above!

“Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Mastery of Motherhood: Is it possible? Take the Survey!

 

For the past several months I’ve been visiting with groups of incredible women and mothers all over the country, discussing “Mastery of Motherhood.”

I start each workshop with a question: “Is mastery of motherhood possible? Why or why not?”

The responses I’ve received have varied widely, from “no way!” to “absolutely,” and everything in between. These mothers have had a lot to say about the idea of “mastering” motherhood, including their reservations, hopes, fears, and their personal stories (my personal favorite).

Hearing the stories of these women has empowered me in this task I’ve set before myself–to write a book about the “Mastery of Motherhood.” I have felt their gut-wrenching emotions, I have experienced their doubts and questions, my heart has warmed at their hopes and dreams, and I have delighted in their motherhood successes. Yes, hearing from moms of all ages and stages and places and all walks of life has given ME hope that, together, we can figure this “mastery of motherhood” thing out.

 

I need you!

But I can’t do it without your help. That’s one thing that’s always been abundantly clear: I need your input! I need to hear your stories, to know your thoughts and feelings; I need to share your motherhood experiences, because the more I hear and know from you, the more I find myself on what I believe is the right track to crafting a book that will speak to you, a resource that will feel helpful and beneficial to you and moms like you.

And so, here I am, writing this post to implore you to join my “Mastery of Motherhood” cause by completing my Mastery of Motherhood online survey.

It’s easy. There are only a handful of mandatory questions and you decide how much of the rest you’d like to answer. I really hope you’ll take the 10-15 minutes to sit down and share your M.O.M. experiences with me, and then pass the survey on to all the moms you know.

 

 

Here’s what I need you to do:

 

1) Take the Survey: To get started, visit www.MasteryOfMotherhood.com, scroll down for the survey link, and follow the brief instructions. Or, you can go directly to the survey by clicking here.

 

2) Share the survey image above and the www.MasteryOfMotherhood.com website on social media with all your mom friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers! Without your help, I simply can’t reach all the moms I need to reach!

 

3) Email me your personal stories, thoughts, feelings, experiences, and whatever you think I should know as I prepare this M.O.M. book (support @drchristinahibbert.com). I hope to include as many personal experiences from moms like you as possible.

 

4) Stay tuned! For email updates on the M.O.M. progress and opportunities, please subscribe, above, and include your email on the survey!

 

 

That’s all for now!

 

I am grateful to each of you for taking the time to help me with this important and exciting project. I am doing it in honor of mothers everywhere, who continually astound me with their unending ability to show up every single day and love greatly.Mothers are simply amazing! Give yourselves a hug from me!

 

Questions? Leave a comment below or shoot me an email! support@drchristinahibbert.com

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Mastery of Motherhood: Be part of my book, radio/tv tour!

Mastery of Motherhood

Motherhood Radio: Making Marriage Work: Resolving Conflict- 20 Solutions for our 20th Anniversary

Mommy Fails & Mother’s Day: 3 Things Every Mom Needs to Hear

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

Motherhood Essentials: Empowerment for Family Health, Wellness & Finances

How to Sleep Better (part 2 of BONUS chapter)

 

How Long Does Grief Last? & Video

It’s been many years since my youngest sister died, and almost ten since my closest sister died. It’s been years since my two grandfathers died, since my one aunt died, since my many grandparents-in-law died, and 8 years since my precious father-in-law died. It’s been three years since my dear friend took her life, and a bit less than that since another friend did the same.

My life has been filled with death and loss. Consequently, it has also been filled with grief.

Grief for those I love who are no longer with me. Grief for all I’ve lost symbolically through their deaths. Grief for my children, who have experienced death far too many times in their young lives. Grief for the mental and emotional anguish all this loss has left me with these many years–grief for anxiety and depression and postpartum depression and trauma. Grief for having to always feel like I’m “overcoming” something. Grief for missed moments, memories, life–because of grief.

My sister, McLean (7), and me (18), just two months before she died of cancer.

And though it’s been some years since my greatest losses, I find the grief returns. Usually when I least expect, and want, it to. Like the past few weeks, sending my three youngest back to school, my oldest back to college, my second-oldest off on an adventure, and my third oldest off on a mission for our church, to Fiji, for two years. These positive, wonderful, amazing things have stirred me up and left me wondering what is going on with me.

Emotion is a funny thing. It’s sneaky, and sly, and powerful, and awfully good at convincing me that it is all there is.

But I, fortunately, am also good. Good at recognizing when emotion is more than just the obvious thing in front of me right now. Good at working through painful emotions, over and over and over again. Good at breaking down when it’s least convenient because, well, all these happy, wonderful, positive changes are still forms of loss, and loss is connected, deep in its core, to all other loss.

My sister, Shannon, and me, making memories in the waterfalls of Jamaica. These are the things I miss most.

And so, I suddenly find myself beside myself with grief, again, and wondering why I can be so profoundly sad and missing my sister, or friend, or father-in-law, or grandfathers, or anyone who’s gone, again, after all this time.

That’s just the nature of grief.

We heal, but the hole is still there–the hole where our loved one once lived, and where their memory now resides. At first, that hole is bleeding and aching in pain–a battle wound fresh from the fight. With time, the blood dries and the aching subsides, and the edges smooth over, and we find a new normal. But the hole remains, and life pushes and pulls at it sometimes, until it aches again–perhaps for a moment, perhaps for a long time.

We grieve because we love. It’s a beautiful truth. And if we continue to love, even after our loved one is gone away, we will continue to grieve.

How long does grief last?

Hopefully, forever.

 

Please watch my 3-Minute Therapy video, “How long does grief last?” for more specific thoughts on the grief process and how, and when, acute grief may heal. And SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel for more videos like this.

Please leave a comment, below, and tell us about your experiences with grieving and healing.

 

 

 

 

Learn more about my experiences with loss and “choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, on SoundCloudiTunes, or watch on YouTube!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above!

“Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Motherhood Reality Check: It’s Hard! and I’m Improving

It’s time for a reality check.

It seems with every transition (end of school, summer break, back to school, holidays), we moms have to reconfigure life and reevaluate where we are and where we hope to be. At least, that’s what I do, and I’ve found it helpful to stop for a moment and “get real” with myself during these times. It’s hard to reconfigure and reevaluate all the time, but it’s the process that ultimately leads us to the kind of motherhood “success” we each desire, after all.

As I’ve been on “tour” talking with moms across the US about my forthcoming book, “Mastery Of Motherhood,” I’ve been extra-aware of my own mom reality. Hearing other moms share their thoughts, stresses, worries, fears, and realities about their motherhood experiences has reminded me, once again, that we’re not so different, we moms. We share the same burdens and rejoice in the same joys.

Today, I thought I’d share a few of my “reality checks” in hopes you can relate. Perhaps it might show you some aspect of motherhood you haven’t considered before. Perhaps it might simply remind you you’re not alone. Hopefully, it will show you you’re doing better than you think.

Summer vacation in Oceanside, with a few of my kids. I love vacations!

 

Motherhood Reality: It’s hard! AND I’m Improving!

The following 5 truths are my current “mom reality.”

1) My kids/family/home are my greatest stressors.

I know. This shouldn’t be an epiphany to me. I should know this, should have always known this, right? But I haven’t! This epiphany came last year and was a true “aha!” moment: “My kids and husband and home responsibilities are my greatest stressor? What?! Hmm. Yeah. That makes sense!” I’m superb at helping others see clearly, but apparently not very quick with should-be-obvious realizations when they apply to myself.

I always told myself other things could account for my stress and burnout, but not my precious home and family. Why not? Because, I now admit, admitting this would make me feel like a “bad” mom/wife. So not true. I’d always thought it was my work responsibilities that made life stressful, like if I could just choose not to help others or do what I do for work I’d be without the tremendous stress I so often feel. Not so. And realizing the reality that my family is stressful doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me a normal mom!

Now I freely admit it, shouting from top of my computer monitor, “MY KIDS AND HOME AND HUSBAND ARE MY GREATEST STRESSORS!” And you know what else? I love them anyway. I accept this challenge of being a mom every day when I wake up and do it all over again, and I love that I get to choose over and over again to embrace the stress and mess and let it be, for that’s what motherhood is.

This is reality, and it’s hard, and never-ending, and messy, and makes me crazy and exhausted and burned out. And that is my “normal.” It’s the normal of every mom, isn’t it? AND it’s crazy, beautiful, full, overflowing, abundant life. This is life, and I am grateful.

The whole fam, at our 3rd son’s graduation, May 2017. “May-hem” (as I call it) is SO stressful, but it’s all worth it for memories like these!

2) Being “Mom” IS exhausting AND never-ending.

Every mom knows this, or will know this someday. I’ll say it again, “It’s HARD! It’s STRESSFUL!” Being a mother is the most exhausting work on the planet, I am sure, because it’s 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and then some! There may be fragmented breaks here and there, but most of the time moms are on call, go-go, busy, busy, and just plain worn-out.

The truth is we moms not only have the physical responsibilities for feeding and bathing and clothing our children; we have the emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual responsibility for them. Lately, there have been a lot of emotions running high in our home (with 5 adolescents and one that thinks she’s a teen, it’s easy to see why). It’s all I can do to collapse into bed at the end of a very long bedtime routine (because that’s when teens actually want to talk–at night, right before bed), having listened to each child’s problems and tried to offer the best advice and support and love, only to sleep a few hours and wake up at 5:30 or 6 to start it all over again. It’s exhausting! But again, it’s worth it, right? Otherwise, we wouldn’t do all we do.

If we can simply admit, “It’s exhausting and never-ending,” we won’t be fighting ourselves trying to pretend it’s something that it’s not. Doing so has helped me tremendously over the years–to feel less overwhelmed and to take more breaks, naps, and even to get away when I can, because I know it will replenish me, at least for a time, before I come back and wear myself out all over again.

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

3) “Being mom” can be incredibly boring.

There, I said it. I feel bored “being mom,” more often than I should.

When they were little and I was a stay-at-home mom, it was hardest for sure. I did my best to do crafts and play toys or go to the park or Target—you know, all the things we moms do to entertain the kids (but really ourselves) when they’re young. But I’ve never been the best “play on the floor with my kids” mom, and it was a struggle.

Now, I’m usually just trying to keep up with my family, but in the summer especially, and even some school day afternoons when I’m home and my kids are busy doing what they’re doing, I feel bored. Allow me to rephrase that: I feel like I’m always waiting, and that, to me, is incredibly boring.

I’m waiting to know everyone’s schedules so I can fit myself in. I’m waiting for the older ones to get home so we can attempt a family dinner. I’m waiting for the youngest to come in begging for a friend to play, or for that friend to get picked up, or for my husband to get home, or etc, etc, etc. Waiting. Boring.

It’s the worst in the summer, when they’re all home and they’re bored, and I feel like I can’t start anything or do anything for myself because inevitably the moment I begin, someone will come in and “Mom, I’m bored,” or “Mom, I need a ride,” or “Mom, can I…?” or “Mom, what should I do?” So, I feel lazy and unproductive and like I’ve “given up” in the summer, because in a way I have so I don’t get frustrated being “interrupted” every 15 minutes.

But in a way, I’ve also reminded myself that I can use a little “bored” down time, just as my kids can. My go-to response for my kids’ “I’m bored-s” is, “Good! I’m glad you’re bored. It’s good for you. It means you have the opportunity to figure some things out for yourself!” The same applies to me.

I learned last year, coping with a very long concussion recovery, that I need more down time than I allow myself, and that it really is good to feel “bored” sometimes. I admit, I used to judge other moms and say, “That mom is bored? Must be nice! I don’t have time to be bored!” Now, I repent: “Forgive me, moms everywhere for my judgmental ways!”

Motherhood inherently includes some “boredom,” and that’s just the way it is. It’s okay to feel bored. Especially if we can use it to rest, relax, nap, or get creative and actually turn our boredom into some new experience or memorable memory.

Motherhood is hard, but on the whole, oh how beautiful! A favorite moment recently, my son getting his mission call to FIJI!

4) It’s easy to get completely burned out “being mom,” and it’s up to us to prevent this by prioritizing self-care.

The past year or two, I’ve been feeling really burned out, mom-wise. My husband has been feeling the same. We’ve been at this parenting thing now for just about 21 years! I now have three who’ve graduated from high school, and it’s hard in a different way to send them off into their futures, but once they’re off I always realize, “Hey, wait. I’m not done. I still have 3 at home!”

Parenting and mothering is forever, and that’s a fact. It can feel easier in some seasons of motherhood than others, but it’s relentless on the whole. That’s why it’s crucial we watch out for signs of burnout so we can prevent or relieve ourselves from such a state.

Over the years, I’ve become progressively better at recognizing when I’m getting burned out and preventing it. I can tell, when I’m way too tired, always feeling overwhelmed, constantly thinking, “I can’t handle this,” and/or saying things like, “You kids are driving me crazy!” that I’m either on the road to burnout, or I’ve already arrived. I’ve had to practice and learn how to stop. How to check in with myself and answer honestly. How to fulfill my needs and practice self-care, for, I have learned, self-care is a form of self-love, and self-love is crucial to fully loving others.

How can you tell if you’re burned out? Some simple questions to start: “Am I getting a relatively “normal” night of sleep most nights?” “Am I feeling emotionally ‘well’? Or am I struggling emotionally?” “Am I practicing self-care?” “Am I regularly feeling overwhelmed, stressed to my limits, completely exhausted, like I desperately need a break, and/or feeling like I just don’t want to be here?” All of these questions can help you determine if you might be getting to the level of burnout. If you find you are close or already there, then it’s crucial to stop and practice self-care immediately, today, right now! Here are some simple ways to begin practicing self-care, today.

5) I’m way too hard on myself, and most moms are, too.

Over the years, as I’ve counseled and spoken to moms, and as I’ve been doing this “Mastery Of Motherhood” tour lately, the same issue keeps coming up, clearly: We moms are harder on ourselves than anyone could ever be on us, or on themselves.

Why? Because we care. A lot. We are doing the most important work of all, and we want to do it “right.” We want our children to grow up to succeed, to feel loved, to become all we see in them! But, in case you haven’t gotten this point yet, it’s hard being Mom! It’s truly the hardest work on the earth.

We are tireless in our efforts to guide, save, advise, teach, learn from, and love our children. It is endlessly demanding when they are little. We have so little control as they get older. Our hearts break for them over and over. We lose sleep, our minds race with worried thoughts.

And I’m no exception. It’s something I have to work on every single day. Forgiving my flaws. Letting go of the blame baggage and guilt trips. Reminding myself I’m truly working my hardest to do my very best; AND my best isn’t always going to be perfect, or sometimes even good enough, for my children, but that’s okay, because that’s just the way it is. Forgiveness—of them, of myself, from them, from myself, from God—is the only way to master motherhood, and ourselves, in the end.

You can do this, too. Forgive yourself for all you feel you haven’t done “right,” and commit to simply do your best–today, each day, moment by moment. Take time to discover your current “motherhood reality check,” and then go easy on yourself. See how far you have come, how much you have learned. You really are doing so much better than you think.

 

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, on SoundCloudiTunes, or watch on YouTube!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV showwith me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

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Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

Overcoming Mom Guilt

If there’s one topic that keeps coming up in my work with mothers (besides the need for self-care!), it’s “mom guilt.” If you’re a mother, you know what I mean. Guilt over our own frustrations, weaknesses, and learning moments and what these might have “done” to our children.Guilt over not doing enough, not being enough. Guilt that maybe we really aren’t good enough.

Last week was Mother’s Day–a day on which moms everywhere should feel celebrated, appreciated, and loved. But in my experience, too many moms, instead, feel guilty. Hearing of other mothers’ successes, they feel like “I’m not as good as that,” like “I shouldn’t be celebrated,” like “I’m failing as a mom.” We’ve all been there. At least, I know I have. So, why is it so easy to fall into the trap of mom guilt?

Mom Guilt: Why is it so Common?

First, we feel guilty because we love our families. We love our children, our spouse/partner, and we want the best for them. It’s therefore easy to feel down on ourselves when that “best” isn’t happening. Postpartum depression, anxiety, motherhood depression, hormone shifts that wreak havoc on our emotions, and major life events and stress can make us feel like we’re “weak,” like we can’t do the job we so desperately want to do in the way we want, need or feel we “should” do it.

When kids make poor choices, we moms often take it upon ourselves, making us feel like we’ve somehow failed as mothers. We feel guilty when we’re exhausted and need a break, when we need help, and even when we’re feeling good and just want some time to ourselves. We feel guilt when we don’t “love” every moment of motherhood, even though that’s just part of the deal of being a mom. And the list goes on…

All of this can lead to feelings of self-doubt, guilt, shame, and even self-loathing that bring us down, down, down in a spiral of negativity and despair. This is what guilt does, and why I always say, “Guilt is good for nothing.”

The 2 Types of Guilt

Actually, I used to say “Guilt is good for nothing..,” but now I add, “…unless you use it for something better.” There are actually two types of guilt, and understanding the difference between these is crucial to overcoming mom guilt.

First is what I call “Depressive Guilt.” Depressive guilt is that downward spiral I described above. It drags us down and makes us feel low and useless. This type of guilt is good for nothing, for the more depressive guilt we have, the worse our situation gets.

The second type of guilt is “Motivational Guilt,” and it is good for somethingif we use it for something good. Motivational guilt comes when we’ve done something wrong and we know it. It comes when we feel remorse for our words, thoughts, or behavior, and we know we need to change. Motivational guilt has the potential to lead to change; in fact, by nature, this type of guilt is meant to help us change.

Allow me to explain, using my favorite metaphor for guilt: gasoline. Gasoline is a good thing when we use it for good things, like helping a car to drive or a lawn mower to mow. But, gasoline is also highly flammable. If we pile up gasoline in our garage, or rather, if we hold on to depressive guilt, allowing it to fester or rot or bury itself deep inside and adding to it over and over, eventually, all it takes is one little spark and “Boom!” the whole thing goes up in flames. If, however, we use that gasoline (or motivational guilt) for some greater purpose; if we put it in our car and drive somewhere beautiful, or if we put it in the lawnmower and make the lawn beautiful, then we’re actually using it for change and growth. Motivational guilt can help us apologize, forgive, repent, and seek a better way, leading us to that “somewhere beautiful” we so long to be.

How to Overcome Mom Guilt

So how can we use this understanding of the two types of guilt to overcome our own mommy guilt?

1) First, acknowledge the guilt. We can’t do anything until we acknowledge something needs doing. Only once we’ve identified, “Yes, I feel guilty,” can we truly begin.

2) After you acknowledge the guilt, examine it. Ask yourself, “What is this guilt all about?” “What am I really feeling guilty for?” This will help you determine if it’s guilt for something you feel remorseful about and want to change or guilt that’s just pointing fingers, filling your heart with despair, and dragging you down.

3) Ask, “Is this depressive guilt or motivational guilt?” Answer honestly. Remember, guilt is a feeling, an emotion. It’s not a reflection of who you are.

4) If it’s motivational guilt, pointing you to change, then it’s time to start the process of change. You might go and say you’re sorry right away; you might take some time to formulate a plan for change in your parenting approach; or you might need to take a whole lot of time as you work on true forgiveness. As long as you use the guilt as fuel for change, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. (Read about the Spiral of Change, here.)

5) If it’s depressive guilt, then the answer is to practice letting go. I know “letting go” is much easier said than done, but it’s an essential element in overcoming mom guilt, much of which tends to be of the depressive sort. How can you let go? That’s a big topic for another day and another post (coming soon), but to start, you can do the following.

  • FEEL. “Freely Experience Emotion, with Love” (This is How We Grow, p.184). You can’t let go of something you haven’t fully experienced yet. You must FEEL the guilt in order to heal from the guilt, in order to let it go. Tell yourself you can feel the guilt and that, even if you don’t like feeling it, you will survive feeling that emotion.
  • Lean back from the emotion. As you FEEL the guilt, lean back from it, reminding yourself that it is not you. (Watch this 3-minute therapy video, “How to Overcome Powerful Emotions: FEEL,” on my YouTube channel.)
  • Remember letting go is a choice we make over and over again. Yes. Letting go is a continual choice only we can make. When I work on letting go, it’s helpful for me to ask myself, “What would I feel like if I didn’t have this emotion? If I didn’t carry this burden? If I could really just let this go?” I then imagine how I’d feel, and let me tell you, it is a hundred times better than carrying things around I can’t change and don’t need. Try this, and then cling to that imagined feeling of release, and choose to let things go. Repeat as often as needed until it has gone.

 

My daughter and me, walking along the beach. It’s moments like this that remind us, “You’re doing better than you think you are.”

Remember...

I hope you realize you ARE better than you think you are. You ARE enough. You ARE worthy of all the time, appreciation, care, and love you and your family wish to give. I hope you realize “Guilt is good for nothing…unless you use it for something better.” And I hope you choose to work on overcoming guilt so you can feel these things I’m telling you and begin to believe them for yourself.

 

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to my one-on-one Motherhood Radio “session,” Overcoming Mom Guilt, here,

on SoundCloud, or on iTunes!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV show with me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

How to Sleep Better (part 2 of BONUS chapter)

 

 

The Benefits of Postpartum Depression

Yes, you read that title right.

I have long been an advocate for postpartum depression awareness, understanding, and education. I’ve helped hundreds of mothers and families heal through warmline support, support groups, education, and therapy. I’ve written articles about postpartum depression treatment, about the spectrum of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, about postpartum OCD, the stigma of postpartum psychosis, and produced an internationally-sold DVD, Postpartum Couples (now free online, click here). I’ve even shared my own experiences with postpartum depression and anxiety, including my biggest struggles and what I believe others most need to know.

But today, I want to take a different approach to this topic that’s so near and dear to my heart. Today, I wish to focus on the benefits of PPD.

 

After baby #3, happy in the hospital. PPD & anxiety set in just days later.

 

PPD is HARD.

If you’re in the thick of postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, or psychosis, you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind. How could there be benefits to this thing that intrudes into your life in the very moment you most want to be at your best, that attacks your identity, sense of self-worth, and the ability to connect and bond with your baby, partner, and family?

If you’re mid-way through the healing process, you might feel some of these benefits, or you might not—yet.

If you’ve made it safely to the other side of PPD, you’ve hopefully experienced some of these benefits and understand first hand what I’m talking about, but again, maybe not. Each of us is different, and our experiences are unique.

Wherever you are in your PPD experience, one thing is abundantly clear: just because I’m writing about the benefits of postpartum depression in no way takes away from the pain, suffering, and heartache of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It in no way takes away from how hard it is to finally find a way to overcome these disorders, to find the right treatment, and to do the work required to heal. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are absolutely among the most difficult of life’s challenges.

Loving my baby girl, but exhausted. This is reality.

 

The PPD Paradox

The paradox is that while postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and psychosis are gut-wrenching experiences for the whole family, they are also some of the most fertile soil for personal growth—if we “plant ourselves and grow.” (As I write in This is How We Grow.)

Yes, PPD is hard. AND, it also yields fruit, gifts for our growth and development. As a psychologist working with postpartum women and a 4-time PPD survivor, I’ve seen it over and again. Just like the “gifts” of grief and loss and heartache and other life challenges, of which I have also personally experienced many, if we look for and see them, the benefits of postpartum depression are plentiful.

 

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids, I posed us for a Christmas card pic. Can you see the fear in my eyes as I pulled myself together to be the mom everyone needed me to be?

Top 10 Benefits of Postpartum Depression

So, what are they–these gifts? The following is my top 10 list of benefits of postpartum depression. You might have some of your own to add to my list. I hope you do. If nothing else, I hope this gets your mind focused on the belief that perhaps I’m right. Just maybe, postpartum depression can end up bringing benefits that somehow make it all worthwhile.

1) Understanding. Not only do we understand postpartum depression, or anxiety, or whatever it is we’ve gone through after childbirth; we understand similar experiences better, too. Experiences like death and loss and heartache and illness and pain and general life distress become more real and relatable after going through PPD.

2) Compassion and Empathy. This understanding brings greater compassion and empathy, which I’ve long believed to be one of the greatest benefits of going through PPD or any major life challenge. We simply “get it,” because we’ve been through it. That makes us more likely to know how to be there for others, as well, in ways we otherwise couldn’t have done.

3) Humility. When you’ve hit your lowest point, there’s no other way but humility. Humility in admitting something’s wrong. Humility in seeking help. Humility in letting help in. Humility is, ironically, one of the most powerful traits we can develop. It means we are teachable. It means we’re willing to see what needs to change and change it. It means we’re letting go of the ego and achieving personal growth.

4) Character. We’ve all heard how life challenges build character; sometimes we might roll our eyes hearing this, especially while in the midst of those life challenges. But it’s true. We develop newfound strength, fortitude, skills, and abilities through overcoming PPD. This has the potential to make us into someone even greater than before.

5) Self-confidence. Watching ourselves overcome PPD shows us we can do it, and if we can do this, we can do anything. We have the ability to do hard things. PPD can show us just what we’re made of, which in turn can lead us to overcome other life challenges, too. As we strengthen our self-confidence, we’re more likely to speak up when we need something, to ask for help before we get to a breaking point, and to talk to others about PMADs so we can help them do the same. (Watch “How to Speak Up, Ask For, & Receive What You Need,” or listen on Motherhood Radio/TV.)

 

6) Self-worth. Self-confidence is just one aspect of self worth, which is often crushed by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Feeling embarrassed, guilty, self-hateful and worthless are part of these heart-wrenching disorders. I’ve found I almost always need to work on rebuilding self-worth my postpartum clients. However, doing the work of postpartum healing can lead to a deeper sense of self-worth, which can fuel your confidence, belief in, and even love for yourself moving forward. Such an important gift!

7) Charity. When we understand something like postpartum depression and have that newfound compassion, and empathy for others, along with a stronger self-confidence, character and self-worth, we often desire to give back. So many of the best PPD support persons, organizations, treatment providers, and advocates are PPD survivors. We’ve been there. We get it. We want to help others. This help is invaluable, showing others they’re truly not alone and modeling for others that healing is not only possible but we can flourish after PPD, too. (Watch “When the Bough Breaks: The Reality of PPD,” or listen on Motherhood Radio, here.)

 

8) Appreciation and gratitude. Those who have suffered greatly often find a new appreciation, awareness, and gratitude for life. We recognize the good and work to never take for granted when things go well. We feel grateful for ours and our family’s health and wellness, because we know how easily it can be taken away. We express that gratitude more, knowing how important gratitude is to our own, and others,’ healing and happiness. Yes, appreciation and gratitude are keys to flourishing.

8) Joy, hope, and love. Starting off with so many challenges may seem antithetical to hope, joy, and love, but in truth, it is an opportunity for greater abundance of these things. Being without hope or unable to feel joy or love shows us just how valuable these gifts are and just how badly we desire them. Working on feeling these things again can lead us to never take them for granted once they are replenished, and can lead to a greater ability to share these powerful experiences with our family, friends, and others, creating a cycle of joy, hope and love that repeats.

10) Deeper sense of who you truly are. All of these things help us see and feel and experience our true potential. We’ve overcome PPD. We’ve become more of who we’re meant to be, and now, we can use these experiences to flourish! Postpartum depression just might be the thing that leads us to become our best self; it certainly has been for me. PPD has fueled my work and compassion and service and love–for my family and for all others. As we receive all these gifts, these benefits of PPD, we just might find that without PPD we wouldn’t be who, and where, we are today. I know I certainly wouldn’t be.

This is us, Christmas Day, 2016. Hard to believe how far we’ve come–and how far I’ve come, because of the gifts of PPD.

 

What benefits of PPD have you discovered? Do you agree that PPD, as with all other major life experiences, offers gifts? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings, so leave a comment, below!

 

 

 

 

 

Join the FREE “Birth Healing Summit” and listen to my interview, “The Benefits of PPD,”

along with a dozen other remarkable expert interviews on healing after baby–body, mind, and spirit.

Ends soon, so click here to join today!

Watch or listen to my interview on “Motherhood” Radio/TV with Lynn Schulte, creator of the Birth Healing Summit, here, or below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV show with me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

Tune in to “Motherhood” Radio & TV!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Pure Love: “You are Known, You are Needed, You are Loved”

Today, I speak from the heart. I’m not editing or re-reading or changing anything today, to make it perfect. I’m simply speaking what my soul whispers, and I hope it is received by those who need it most.

Yesterday, I was able to go to the temple in San Diego where I’m enjoying a few days away from it all. The temple is a place that always brings me peace, but yesterday it brought me something more. As I began the service I provide in that holy place, a woman volunteering there saw me coming toward her. “Good morning and welcome,” she said brightly, her eyes shining in delight. “I am so happy you have come here today.” Her words were common enough, at least for the temple which is always a place of welcoming, but the way in which she spoke the words was powerful. In those few phrases and in the one or two minutes we were together as she helped me on my way, I felt the power of her love for me. For me! Someone she’d never met and would likely never see again. Yet I felt it, and her love for me was so powerful, it brought me to tears.

A pic I took of the San Diego temple, yesterday. It is truly a remarkable building–beautiful.

 

I didn’t know I needed to feel that kind of love yesterday. I arrived happy, grateful, at peace, and feeling love for my family at home and for those I was seeing along my way. But this kind of love was different than the kind we profess to feel and “have” for one another. This is the love that transcends all–the pure love of Jesus Christ, as we call it in my faith–charity. Charity, though we’ve come to think of it as giving to the poor and serving the less fortunate, is so much more than these holy responsiblities. Charity is feeling God’s love for each of us, being filled to the brim, and then pouring that love out to all we see.

 

This woman yesterday was brimming over with this pure love, and as soon as she poured it onto me, I began to be filled as well and couldn’t help but then brim over with charity myself and seek to fill all others I came into contact with throughout my day. Even today, that pure love fills me, and as I sat to write a post today on some other topic, I couldn’t help but focus instead on sharing that love with all of you.

 

This week is the week of resurrection, of redemption, for all those of the Christian faith. This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was put to death and we celebrate the potential of redemption and resurrection for each and every one of us. Not just the future redemption and resurrection of the body, beyond the grave, though that is a miracle and wonder and gift beyond words. But also the redemption of each of us each day, through this powerful love that Jesus Christ possessed completely and couldn’t help but share with all He came into contact with as he “went about doing good”–even charity.

 

Through this charity–this purest of all loves, which “seeks not itself” but seeks instead to bless all others–we can be redeemed.

 

Through this love we can…

  • Feel our true, divine potential, a reminder we are so much more than our thoughts, feelings, bodies, and behaviors. We are more than others say we are, and so much more than most of us believe. We are true daughters and sons of the Highest Being!
  • Remember what we once knew–that we are important and that we came to this earth, every single one of us, with an important work to do, a work only we can do.
  • Overcome the thoughts that drag us down and tell us we’re not good enough, because hear me when I say: “You are good enough! In fact, you’re a walking miracle! The world needs you! You are so very loved!”
  • Make our weaknesses into strengths. Our biggest challenges can become our greatest assets, and as we rely upon the Divine guidance to feel this Great Love, we will see not only that our weaknesses help us grow, but that they are the very thing we need to become something divine ourselves.
  • Increase our love for all others. As we seek this Love, and allow it to fill us, we can’t help but share this Love with all around us. We will possess greater patience and compassion for our children and spouses and friends and family. We will speak up and smile and offer a hand to all those around us we see in need. We will share the good things we think about others ever more freely, for we will see them as they truly are–their divine nature, their weaknesses that can become their strengths and their strengths that the world needs–and they will see the true us.

 

Pure Love is a cycle. It must be received even as it is given. With every drop of love we receive, we fill ourselves with love; and as we become full of love, the drops begin to fall onto others. The cycle keeps us all full–every one.

So, please, do not block this love. Don’t let the truths I wrote above slip in one ear and out the other. Don’t push them away or disbelieve them. Let them in. Give them some thought, and feel the love I have for you in these words, in this post, written from my love-filled heart.

 

One of the best things of my job a psychologist is the opportunity I have each day to practice seeing the very best in others, seeing their strengths and the potential for their weaknesses to be transformed into their greatness. I feel this love for my clients, and I feel this love for you.

 

It may seem hard to believe. You may be thinking, “She doesn’t even know me.” Well, I may not–yet. But I desire to know you. And trust me, you are known by One ever so much greater than I. You are important. We need you. “I am so happy you have come here today.” I truly am.

 

Feel the love that I, that your God, your Higher Power, has for you. Seek this Great Love. Seek to feel it and to believe it and to let yourself be filled. Let love in, then pour it over all you see and let the cycle begin, with you, today.

 

Please take a moment to share your thoughts and feelings with us by leaving a comment, below. I would love to hear what you have to say.

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV show with me! I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak! In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins. Learn more here, or click the icon below!

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