Parenting & The Guilt Trap: The Side-Effects of Picky Eating

Parenting & The Guilt Trap-The Side Effects of Picky Eating; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #parenting #pickyeating #motherhood #radio

Parenting & The Guilt Trap-The Side Effects of Picky Eating; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #parenting #pickyeating #motherhood #radioDo you have a picky eater? Or a child who just won’t seem to eat what you’d like him to? Do you ever feel guilty, stressed, or fearful about your child’s eating and nutrition habits?

After talking about “Help for Picky Eaters (and the Moms Who Love Them),” on this week’s Motherhood radio show, with Jenny McGlothlin, MS, SLP, co-author of Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating, I invited her to do a guest post to help us better understand, as mothers, fathers, and parents, what we can do to help our children eat healthier and help ourselves let go of the guilt.

Jenny has dozens of excellent tips and suggestions to help us help our children to eat in healthy, happy ways, and it all starts with us. So, check out Jenny’s article, below, and give yourself permission to “ditch the parenting guilt!”

 

Listen to “Help for Picky Eaters (And the Moms Who Love Them)” on Motherhood, www.WebTalkRadio.net,

or watch the video on my YouTube channel just as soon as it’s uploaded!

 

The Guilt Trap: The Side-Effects of Picky Eating

Guest Post by: Jenny McGlothlin, MS, SLP

 

Stress. Fear. Anxiety. Guilt.

 

Any of these sound familiar? If you are the parent of a picky eater, you probably experience some or all of these emotions each day.  Meals keep on happening, and your child must be fed, so there is no rest for the weary. If your child has extreme picky eating, your life may feel like one big guilt- and worry-fest.

 

Why so much guilt?

For one thing, our society has become an incubator for comparison. From social media to online forums, parents are more than willing to judge and give advice based on their own experiences with their kids. But it doesn’t stop there. Family doctors, teachers, family members, and good friends all seem to have an opinion about what children should eat and what tricks will get them eat. It even begins before you have a baby- the decision to breast or bottle feed is a personal choice that somehow ends up being everyone’s business.

 

All of this guilt can be devastating to our self-concept as parents.

 

One scenario looks like this: a 9-month old infant has trouble transitioning to pureed foods, gagging on each bite, so her mom decides she needs to really make presenting the purees a priority so she can “get used to it”.  She is worried about her daughter’s intake because her growth has been slow over the last two months. Mom pressures and begins forcing the spoon into her daughter’s mouth, and within a few days, the baby has begun refusing food altogether, and even starts fussing when presented with the bottle. When she asks the doctor about it, he advises to “get it in her however you can” because “she needs to gain weight or we will have to do something drastic”. The fear and worry have now been intensified and Mom feels like a failure, but hasn’t gotten any actual help.

 

Fear and worry feed feelings of guilt.

One of the biggest jobs we have as parents when our children are infants is to feed them- we Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating, on Amazon.comliterally have to keep them alive.  What a huge responsibility! So when feeding doesn’t go well for a variety of reasons (many having everything to do with the unique traits the baby brings to the relationship), it is natural to blame ourselves.  And others are more than ready to do it for us. Finding ways to channel those feelings into productive change is the key to becoming a competent and confident feeding partner for your child. (Tips for overcoming Fear: “Fear Does Not Prevent BAD, It Prevents Good here. Tips for overcoming Worry: Be Worry-Free with The Worry Tree'”)

 

Creating a supportive and peaceful environment where your child can learn the skills for eating for a lifetime (because isn’t eating a life skill?) can be done. Easing your anxiety (and guilt) about your child’s eating habits starts with understanding where they are coming from. Children are learning every day, and our job as parents is to provide opportunities to learn. Following the Division of Responsibility in feeding provides a framework within which parents can move from ‘getting’ their child to eat to ‘letting’ them learn at their own pace.

 

Seeing your child grow and learn to eat a variety of foods will ease those feelings of guilt and worry. But in the meantime, if things aren’t going as well as you’d like, consider approaching feeding differently. There is much advice out there about feeding your children, but often the advice is difficult to put into practice and can make you (and your child) feel even worse. Our STEPS+ approach strategically walks you through the journey, guiding you when you feel lost and empowering you to take control of the areas you can to support your child and let go of the guilt.

 

And when we feel like we are able to do something—and it actually helps—we can move forward and be the best parents we are able to be, guilt-free.

 

~Learn more about Jenny, her work, and her book, Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating, on her website, extremepickyeating.com

 

 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

Link for this episode: Help for Picky Eaters (and the Moms who Love Them)

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Fostering Dad’s Relationship with Kids: Moms, You’re the Gatekeepers!

Fostering Dad's Relationship with Kids-Moms, you're the Gatekeepers! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #fatherhood #motherhood #family #kids #couples

Fostering Dad's Relationship with Kids-Moms, you're the Gatekeepers! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #fatherhood #motherhood #family #kids #couplesI was particularly inspired by the topic of this week’s Motherhood radio show, with guest Dr. Daniel Singley, founder of The Center for Men’s Excellence. I knew I wanted to do a show on fathers’ relationships with their children. A few years ago, I wrote a post, called In Praise of Fathers, that shared some of the fascinating and important research about the positive impact dads have on kids. Using this post, Dr. Singley and I jumped right in to an enlightening discussion on how moms can help foster dads’ relationships with their children–whether we’re in a relationship with our child’s father or not.

 

There are numerous takeaways from this show, plus Dr. Singley is just a fun and entertaining guest, so I encourage you to download and listen to this episode of Motherhood (WebTalkRadio.net), whenever you can (while driving, doing chores, watching the kids play at the park, whenever!). And/or, visit my YouTube channel or click below to watch the show.

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3 Ways to Foster Fathers’ Relationships with their Children (and with you!)

In the meantime, I’d like to share three main takeaways I got from the show– “aha moments” I took away from my discussion with Dr. Singley. Important facts about fathers, their role in our children’s lives, and what we mothers can do to help.

 

1) Moms are often the gatekeepers to dad’s interactions with his child, and moms can  make a huge impact on fostering dad’s relationship with his children, from infancy throughout the lifespan.

 

The research shows that mothers are the “gatekeepers” to a father’s interactions and relationshipFostering Dads' Relationships with Kids: Moms, you're the gatekeepers! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #fatherhood, #motherhood #family #parenting #couples with his child(ren) (read “In Praise of Fathers”). What I mean by that is that moms can either prevent, allow, or even encourage a father’s relationship with the child by giving him access to taking care of the child and even letting him do it “his way.” This is important, because the research is also clear that dads impact kids for the better in a host of ways. But if we block dad’s access to our children–for instance, because we don’t like how he dresses them or we want to be the ones to take care of them all the time–we are doing our children, and their fathers, a huge disservice.

 

And a father’s relationship with his child can start in pregnancy and definitely postpartum. Dr. Singley focuses on helping dads strengthen relationships with their children from infancy and beyond. Many dads are excited about their baby growing older so they can “do” something with them, but what Dr. Singley does is help fathers understand they need to start “doing” things with their child from infancy. This might mean putting baby in a frontpack and taking him on a walk while mom takes a rest, or it might mean placing baby, tummy-to-tummy, on your chest while you’re on your phone checking email and telling your infant all about your day. These things not only strengthen a father’s relationship with the child, but it also strengthens his confidence in being a father. When mom lets dad “do his thing” with baby, everyone wins. And mom, you win, too, by getting some precious alone time!

 

 

 2) Fathers need encouragement, support, and yes, even praise, from moms, friends, and society.

 

“You can’t really talk about fatherhood without talking about masculinity,” Danny (Dr. Singley) said Fostering Dads' Relationships with Kids: Moms, You're the Gatekeepers! #fatherhood #motherhood #relationships #kids www.DrChristinaHibbert.comin the show. He explains how fatherhood is so tightly wrapped up in a father’s sense of masculinity, and how society and the media too often portray the “deadbeat dad” image, promoting the idea that being a good father is not “manly.” Dads need support and examples to look to when it comes to being a good father, and often, what Danny calls “the man box” prevents them from finding what they need.

 

“To be an engaged, involved dad, and to be an engaged, involved partner to mom, involves breaking out of that ‘man box’,” Danny says. Fathers need to be able to feel confident in their role and responsibilities as a dad so they can say to their buddies, “Sorry, but I can’t go play ball tonight. I’m hanging out with my kids,” and feel good about it.

 

As mothers, we can not only support fathers in their fathering role; we can, and must, encourage and praise their efforts. Look for the good they do. See it. Tell them what we see. Encourage them to seek out and find friends who are “family-friendly,” and do the same, too, moms. We all NEED support when it comes to parenting. We need others around us who “get it,” and who encourage us to be the best parents, and partners, we can be.

 

 

3) Speaking of partners, the relationship between mom and dad is one of the most important aspects of fatherhood–and motherhood–whether you’re together, or not.

 

Fatherhood is about “dad’s involvement with baby AND with mom,” Dr. Singley reminds us. Both"Focus on Making Memories," from 12 Ways to Become More Cheerful; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com parents need to have time with baby, to be able to interact with baby in their own way, and to remember that their relationship as partners, or as co-parents, is just as important as their individual relationships with the child. Though it’s true that relationship satisfaction tends to go down after a baby is born according to the research, it’s also true that, if we work on it, it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Moms and dads, prioritize your marriage, your partnership, and your relationship. Don’t let it slip by in the busyness of parenting. Don’t let it fall apart because of personal frustrations you haven’t taken the time to properly work out. Work on being a strong partner for one another, on encouraging one another to get social support and have time for yourselves, and to encourage one another in your roles as parents. A healthy relationship is one of the best things we can give our children. 

 

Dr. Singley gives some excellent tips on how to keep your relationship strong amidst the chaos that can be modern family life. First, he suggests that dad takes charge and calls two “meetings” a week. The first is a “Logistics” meeting, in which couples can discuss the logistics of the week to come, kids’ needs, and how they’re going to make it all happen this week. This might only take 10 minutes, but it’s a way for parents to connect and be on the same page about their kids.

 

Then, Danny encourages fathers to call a “State of the Union” meeting. This is a short meeting each week in which mom and dad discuss their relationship. It’s about checking in with one another, and about each person asking how the other is doing and what they need and what “I can do for you this week.” Dr. Singley reminds us this is revolutionary, because dad is the one in charge of asking to talk about the relationship! He also says this will save you a lot of money down the road in couple’s therapy bills, so keep that in mind!

 

 

Now, go listen to the show!

There are so many more excellent ideas and tips in this episode of Motherhood, and I sincerely hope you will give yourself a break and listen to the show. It’s a place of community, support, learning, and growing together as moms, and yes, as dads, too!

And then, join my brand new Motherhood: Overcoming, Becoming, & Flourishing! Facebook group! A wonderful place to connect with other mothers and parents, to learn, share, support one another, and grow together.

 

~Learn more about Dr. Daniel Singley and The Center for Men’s Excellence, here.

 

Moms, do you feel like the gatekeepers? Do you ever struggle with letting dad “do his thing?” Dads, what impact does society and “masculinity” have on your role and relationships as a father? Moms and dads, what do you do to keep your relationship healthy and strong for your children, and for you? Please leave a comment (or two) below! I’d love to know your thoughts!

 

 

 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

Link for this episode: In Praise of Fathers

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

Watch my free, online, video: Postpartum Couples!

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Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

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“Mothering Through the Whirlwind”: 3 Sanity-Saving Strategies

Mothering Through the Whirlwind-3 Sanity-Saving Strategies; www.DrChrisitnaHibbert.com

Mothering Through the Whirlwind-3 Sanity-Saving Strategies; www.DrChrisitnaHibbert.comI have to say this episode of my new radio show, Motherhood, has been my favorite so far. Perhaps it’s because the topic is the one I need most right now–and always, it seems.

Try as I may, I just can’t seem to stop the whirlwinds of kids and family and work and life. I catch myself all the time saying, “It’s a whirlwind right now. Hoping it settles soon!” Yet, it never quite does.

I’ve been in intense whirlwinds that included death and grief and overcoming very difficult things, and whirlwinds that are just part of having a large family at the end of a school year, during the summer, at the start of a school year, or during the holidays (wait, that’s pretty much all year long, isn’t it?).

 

Seasons of Mothering, Life, & Growth

Different whirlwinds also come depending on the season of life we’re in. Whether you’re in the season of babies, sleepless nights, and showerless days; or the season of just trying to keep up with school kids’ schedules and activities; or the season of teenagers keeping you awake at night for a whole different set of reasons—every season has its whirlwinds.

And every season of life carries with it seasons of growth.

From fall, when things suddenly change and shift; to winter, when everything feels cold and dark; or spring, which is unpredictable as you try to grow but then find yourself buried once more in snow; to summer, when it’s your time to shine. The seasons of growth continue to come whether we want them to or not., and can be a major contributor to or creator of life’s whirlwinds.

 

3 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Mothering Through the Whirlwinds

My guest on this week’s show, author Tamara Passey, and I had a fabulous conversation about some of our own whirlwinds, and we each shared a few strategies we’ve discovered to help us get through. It was such an inspiring conversation I just had to share a few of these things with you here! I also hope you’ll visit the link below and give yourself a “break” by listening to this incredible show!
Listen to the whole “Mothering Through the Whirlwind” broadcast here 

or watch it on my YouTube channel !

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(Other episodes of “Motherhood” on WebTalkRadio.net).

1) Be a “dedicated caregiver.”
Tamara shares a moving story about where this term came from (listen to the show to hear it), but

Me with my kids, standing between my sisters' graves. Death has definitely created some pretty tough whirlwinds for our family.

Me with my kids, standing between my sisters’ graves. Death has definitely created some pretty tough whirlwinds for our family.

the main idea is that, no matter how crazy or chaotic life may become, the best possible outcomes arrive through dedication. Dedication to our kids. Dedication to our family. Dedication to our role as mother, and to ourselves.

Dedication gets us up in the middle of the night to care for a sick child when we’re exhausted. It keeps us going in the evening, when the second shift is in full swing with homework, rides, dinner, and bedtime. It keeps us going through the toughest whirlwinds. Dedication is what makes a mother a mother.

Dedication will look different for each of us, but Tamara suggests three things we can focus on: Being engaged, being available, and being ready to respond. I’ve added a few questions you can ask yourself to see how you’re doing on each of these:

Be Available. Ask yourself, “Am I around when my kids need me?” “Am I emotionally available when my kids have a problem or need emotional support?” “What can I do to make myself more available to my children, despite the whirlwinds?”

• Be Engaged. Ask yourself, “Am I engaged with my kids?” “Do I tune them out when I get too tired or busy?” “Am I focusing my attention on the things that matter most to me?” “Do I get distracted with social media, TV, internet, or phone calls when my kids are seeking my attention?” If anything feels lacking in this area, then ask, “What would help me engage with my kids on their level more easily?”

• Respond. Ask yourself, “When my kids engage with me, do I respond readily?” “Do I really hear them when they ask me a question, and do I reply?” “What could help me respond more effectively to my children?”

 

2) Practice regular self-appraisal.
We need to stop and take note of how we’re doing regularly, as moms and as individuals. When the whirlwinds come, we’re especially vulnerable to physical or mental illness, and stress is often one of the biggest causes. It’s crucial to check in with ourselves so the whirlwinds don’t carry us off completely. Here are a few tips:

• Find quiet time each day. I know it’s hard when you’re a mom, but we NEED time to be still, to ponder, to just be. You may just sit and watch the clouds, practice deep breathing, read scripture or a book that uplifts you, practice mindful meditation, pray, and/or journal. Whatever helps you get quiet and hear what’s really going on in you, do that. (This might help you find alone time!)

• Practice self-love. Part of loving ourselves is taking that good, honest look at where we really are, at what we really need. Then, once we know what we need, we must lovingly take care of it, just like we’d do for our children.

• Don’t compare. It does no good to compare where you are or your needs to anyone else. If you want to compare, then compare where you are now with where you have the potential to be—compare yourself to your best self, and then work to become her.

 

3) Be a “self-respecting” mother.
This involves respecting your needs, the things that replenish you, and the things that light you up. Ask yourself, “How can I give myself a ‘place of honor’ in my own mind, in my home, and in my life and my children’s life?” Being self-respecting also means to:

• Live with integrity. Integrity is one of the greatest values, in my opinion. I see integrity as

Later, after visiting the gravesites, at the funeral of OJ's grandfather. We try to stay enthusiastic about life even in the midst of so much death.

Later, after visiting the gravesites, at the funeral of OJ’s grandfather. We try to stay enthusiastic about life even in the midst of so much death.

actually living the things you value, living authentically and honestly and true to your best self. Tamara considers integrity as “wholeness,” which I love. It’s living life in a “real” way. It also involves being enthusiastic.

• Be enthusiastic. It may seem counterintuitive to try to be enthusiastic about the “whirlwinds,” but how important this is! When we can dedicate ourselves to the process and enthusiastically face our challenges, we bring joy and peace and yes, even a little fun, to life.

• Practice self-care. I’m always talking about this on “Motherhood,” because it’s such an important part of being a mom. If we’re not strong, healthy, and happy, then our families won’t be either. (Read more on self-care here and here, and then make sure to listen to the whole show for more tips!)

I realize these things can be tricky, so listen to the show for a few more ideas on how to actually make these things happen. But, setting a goal and working toward it is a great beginning.

 

Bottom line:
We may not be able to stop the whirlwinds from appearing and picking us up from time to time, but we can control how we handle the whirlwinds when they come.

Rededicate yourself to your role as a mother, no matter how stressful it gets (and even more so in times of stress), make time for self-appraisal, and then respect yourself enough to care for yourself.

You can (and will) survive the whirlwinds with sanity. And if you choose to, they can be some of the best fertilizer for personal growth. Someday, you will even flourish—just be patient until the whirlwind sets you back down.

 

 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

Link for this episode: Mothering Through the Whirlwind

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available now 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

NEW! My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
 TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Mothering Through the Whirlwind-3 Sanity-Saving Strategies; www.DrChrisitnaHibbert.com
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The Family that FEELs Together Heals Together–The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

The Family that FEELs Together Heals Together; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #mentalhealth #radioshow

The Family that FEELs Together Heals Together; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #mentalhealth #radioshowFamily life can definitely be stressful. Whether it’s the daily stress of activities, learning, problem-solving, emotional support, and the exhaustion of it all, or the bigger stressors, like illness, death, divorce, job loss, and financial concerns, all families need a little healing from time to time.

 

When stressful times come, they bring with them powerful emotions, and it can be a challenge to know how to handle both the stress and emotions, and especially how to help our kids and families do the same. As I wrote in This is How We Grow:

  “Powerful emotions can make even the sanest feel on the verge of crazy. Grief, anger, sadness,   pain, fear, can feel intense, out of control, and downright scary. Like caged predators, we box this emotions up and stuff them deep in an effort to prevent the frightening consequences we envision if they were ever to escape. We fear powerful emotions, because we believe they will overtake us. We fear that that once they are free, we may never be free of them again.

       ‘All emotions, powerful as they may appear, are simply that—emotions, like the clouds that float across the sky, which never stay for long. Though they appear threatening the most they can do is rain or hail or snow for a little while. In raining, hailing, snowing, the clouds lose their power. They literally dissipate. So it is with emotions.” (Chapter 15 Intro)

 

There are many ways to deal with powerful emotions–to help them lose their power, and to help our families heal. One of the mostFEEL-How to Cope with Powerful Emotions (plus video); www.DrChristinaHibbert.com helpful tools I’ve learned is something I call “FEELing” emotions. To me, FEEL means “Freely Experience Emotion with Love” (This is How We Grow).

 

That last part is especially important–with LOVE. Too often, we try to force ourselves to feel something other than what’s really going on inside, or we ignore our emotions, or we deny them outright. But none of these will lead to emotional healing. And none of these is loving.

 

When we love ourselves through life’s challenges, and through the difficult emotions that accompany those challenges, we find peace. As we sit with each emotion, recognize it for what it is, let the feelings come, and remember that the FEELINGS are not US, we find that they do dissipate. We do find we do become free. (Read more on how to FEEL, and watch a video on it, here.)

 

 

Emotional Freedom Technique

Another tool for dealing with stress, trauma, and difficult emotions is something I just learned about in Elizabeth Mary Hancock, www.DrChristinaHIbbert.com my “Motherhood” radio show interview this week with my new friend, Elizabeth Mary Hancock–Coach & Host of The Happy Family World Summit. It’s called the Emotional Freedom Technique/Tapping (EFT). In this show, titled “The Family that FEELs Together Heals Together,” Elizabeth Mary and I discuss how this technique helped her overcome birth trauma and led to a beautiful birth experience with her second child, and then she teaches me how to do it, too.

 

When stress or trauma comes, your nervous system reacts, leading to the “fight, flight or freeze” responses–raising your heart rate and blood pressure, making your breathing quick and shallow, and so on. We also tend to have thoughts about the stressful situation–thoughts like, “I can’t handle this,” or “I’m going to die!”

 

The Emotional Freedom Technique uses tapping to help you release both the physical response to the trauma and the thoughts associated with it. The idea is that EFT switches off that nervous system response, and it can work very quickly. Of course, very traumatic events will take longer to heal, but this technique is a simple, potentially powerful way to help yourself and your family.

 

During our interview, Elizabeth Mary did EFT with me, to help me release the stress and trauma of a recent car accident I was in. I found it very relaxing, and I especially enjoyed the positive messages she helped me create to replace the negative, stress-based thoughts I’d been harboring about the accident. It did make me feel calmer, and I actually did it with myself the next day when feeling stressed, and it calmed me again.

 

Below is the chart we promised, in the interview, to share, so you can see exactly where the tapping points are and follow along as Elizabeth Mary “taps” with me. You start by tapping on the “karate chop” part of the hand, as she explains in our radio demonstration, and then, you tap on these specific areas while you express what you really feel and create a new “script” for yourself that’s more helpful and peaceful.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping Points; from The Family that FEELs together Heals Together; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #EFT #mentalhealth #families

 

Family Healing

Because it’s simple and focuses on six (or 7) simple “tapping points,” the Emotional Freedom Technique is something you can also do with your children, and you can teach them to use it

Our family christmas photo, 2007, taken just three weeks after I gave birth and inherited my two nephews, going from 3 to 6 kids. I wrote about this in "This is How We Grow." Don't I look "fine?" Look closer. I definitely wasn't.

Our family christmas photo, 2007, taken just three weeks after I gave birth and inherited my two nephews, going from 3 to 6 kids. I wrote about this in “This is How We Grow.” Don’t I look “fine?” Look closer. I definitely wasn’t. But thanks to hard work and FEELing, I am now, and so is my family.

themselves. It’s just one of many “healing” tools you can add to your emotional health toolbox. So, check out this important show, here, and then try the EFT technique yourself.

 

My hope is that, whether you use the EFT technique, the FEEL technique, or whether you focus on your own techniques, that you will make your family’s, and your own, emotional health a top priority.

 

Be willing to look at tough emotions. Remember they are just emotions–they are not you! Feel them, and then, choose to let them go. Then, repeat again and again, until you feel the healing begin.

More about Elizabeth Mary Hancock: www.elizabethmaryhancock.com

 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

Link for this episode: The Family that FEELs Together Heals Together!

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

Register for the Happy Family World Summit Today! FREE. Online!

www.happyfamilyworldsummit.com

Register for this awesome FREE on-line event to listen to top international experts, including me, who will help you to fall in love with being a parent again! You will feel inspired and ready, fully equipped to create the calmer, happier and more loving family you deserve

 And be sure to check out my interview on June 15, 2015, “Growing through the Motherhood Experience!” (You can even download it and listen later!)

 

 

 

 

For More Strategies on FEELing and Healing, check out these posts:

FEEL: How to Cope with Powerful Emotions (plus video) 

Fear Does Not Prevent BAD; It Prevents GOOD: How to not let fear get the better of you 

5 Steps of Overcoming: Depression, Grief, Anger, PPD, hormones, etc…

5 Tips to Turn a Rainy Day Sunny: Overcoming Feelings of Depression

Grief & The Family

Understanding and Overcoming Anger: “I do not want to be an angry person!”

Coping with Loss & Trauma

Thought Management Part 1 & Part 2 (plus video) 

 

 

 

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
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“Old School Parenting” on “Motherhood” Radio: Values, Discipline, & Authoritative Style for Modern-Day Families

Old School Parenting on "Motherhood" Radio: Values, Discipline, & Authoritative Style for Modern-Day Families; www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #parenting #motherhood #books #skills

Old School Parenting on "Motherhood" Radio: Values, Discipline, & Authoritative Style for Modern-Day Families; www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #parenting #motherhood #books #skillsThis week, I had an intriguing discussion on my new radio show, Motherhood, with Dr. Michael Mascolo, professor and author of 8 Keys to Old School Parenting for Modern Day Families. One hour was definitely not enough time for us to discuss all we wanted to on this topic!

 

As a mom of six, four of whom are teenagers, I was excited to read Mike’s book and even more excited to bounce ideas off each other on what “old school parenting” means and how we can spice it up for our modern day needs. A few things stood out from our conversation that I wanted to share with you. I hope these will spark a few new, or old school, parenting ideas and strategies that will help your modern-day family!

 

Listen to the full episode of Motherhood: “Old School Parenting for the Modern Day” on demand now, or download the podcast at www.WebTalkRadio.com/internet-talk-radio/motherhood/!

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Watch the video of this, and other “Motherhood” episodes, on my YouTube channel!

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Old School Parenting for the Modern Day

1) Modern-day parenting tends to focus on a “child-centered” approach, which isn’t necessarily the best method.

I agree with Dr. Mascolo on this one. Though it started with good intentions, child-centered parenting puts the child’s values and wishes at the center, making the child the head of decision-making. Initially created as a backlash against the old ways of “adult-centered,” “My way or the highway” parenting, child-centered parenting has left children without the direction and values they desperately need. While we may want to foster creativity, individuality, confidence, and initiative, there are other, more effective ways to do this. Putting children at the center of parenting decisions may not be the best approach.

 

 

2) There are actually three well-known parenting styles, and the best approach lies in the middle—authoritative.

Family and parenting experts have long identified three styles of parenting: 1) Authoritarian—high direction and low warmth/support (“I’m the boss. Do what I say,” or adult-centered parenting), 2) Permissive—low direction and high warmth/support (“I love and trust you. You can do whatever you want,” or child-centered parenting), and 3) Authoritative—high direction and high warmth/support (“I have high expectations for you, and encourage you to set high standards for yourself. I will do all I can to help you achieve them.”)

Authoritative parenting has long been shown to be the most effective parenting style, helping children gain confidence and feel loved and supported while also holding them to high standards and values and directing them in how to live up to them.

 

 

3) We are responsible for teaching our children morals and values, and we must model and start the conversation about these—today.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, it’s become almost taboo to talk about morals and values. Yet, we can from "Old School Parenting on 'Motherhood' Radio-Values, Discipline, & Authoritative Style for the modern Day" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #parenting #quotes #education #valuesrespect one another’s differences while still teaching and expecting our children (and ourselves) to live up to high moral values. Values like kindness, goodness, virtue, compassion, contribution, peace, spirituality, and so forth, encourage our children to become the best they can be and to help make this world better.

One of the best ways to teach children morals and values is to live them ourselves. Ask yourself:

  • Am I modeling for my child/ren the things I want them to embrace and become?
  • Do I talk about/discuss these things regularly with them?
  • Do they know which values I value most?

If not, isn’t it time to start the conversation? It’s never too late to begin.

 

 

4) We can also, and should also, help children discover who they would like to be.

Sure, we can watch and help them identify the traits, talents, and possibilities for their future, but what about asking them what they think? This was a point Dr. Mascolo brought up in our interview, and it really struck me. It made me wonder if I had truly taken the time to ask and listen to what my kids feel about this.  You and I can both start now, and ask our child/ren:

  • “Who would you like to become?” “How would you like to be in this world?”
  • “What does it mean to you to be a good self?”
  • “What does it mean to you to be a good person?”

 

 

5) “We’re in the business of making children care. That’s what we do.”

A direct quote from Dr. Mascolo, from our interview, and one that I love. Yes! We show them, “Like this. Don’t like that. Do this. Don’t do that,” and it’s okay! It’s not only okay to show our children what to like, do, and care about, it’s our primary responsibility as parents to show them the way. As Plato said, “Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.” Yes! If we don’t show our children what is right, then who will? It’s our job. It’s one of the best ways we can love our children–guiding them, directing them, showing them the light. Then, we teach them self-discipline and motivation so they will choose to follow it.

 

 

6) Understand the difference between punishment and discipline.

Discipline teaches something. It’s about helping the child learn to ultimately discipline him/herself. It’s "8 Keys to Old School Parenting for Modern Day Families" on "Motherhood" radio, w/ Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #parenting #motherhood #books #skillsabout instilling self-discipline in the child, about creating motivation in the child to follow what’s right and good on their own.

Punishment, on the other hand, focuses on instilling a negative consequence to discourage unwanted behavior. Dr. Mascolo is not a fan of punishment and states that it only works when 1) the punisher is around, and 2) the punishment is severe enough.

I still believe in helping children face consequences, and Dr. Mascolo does, too, in some situations. Often, kids need a good old consequence to help them learn from their mistakes. Additionally, I do agree that our main focus should be on teaching our children through discipline. This means that we don’t go too easy on our kids, but also that we seek ways to motivate them toward good behavior, versus punishing them out of bad behavior.

 

 

7) This model, “Authoritative Discipline in 5 Easy Steps,” is a helpful way to know how to discipline our kids in ways that promote learning, motivation, and self-discipline.

Dr. Mascolo outlines 5 Steps that can be helpful in healthy discipline, in his book (from key 3):

  1) Stop the unwanted behavior. (Stop walking away from me when I call you to dinner.)

2) Acknowledge the child’s feeling/interest (I know you don’t want to eat with us because you don’t like the dinner and you’d rather stay in your room.)

3) State what they did wrong or the rule the child violated. (The rule is that we eat dinner together, even if you don’t love what I make for dinner, and especially that you do not ignore me when I call you to eat.)

4) Provide “interest-relevant consequences,” as needed. (If you continue to ignore me, then you will have to sit on the porch until you’re ready to come and sit with us.)

5) Provide an alternative response. (When you’re ready to treat me with respect and come to the table,   you may join us, and I’ll help you find some food you like from the choices I’ve provided for dinner tonight.)

 

 

8) One of my very favorite things from this book is the following statement, which in my opinion, summarizes all of this up. I’m actually planning to sit my older kids down and read this to them; it applies so perfectly to where I currently am in my parenting journey!

“I am your parent. I’m not your friend, your colleague, your maid, or your chauffeur. You are not my      equal. I am responsible for your safety and development. I am here to teach you how to be successful in the world. Why is this? For one thing, I brought you into this world…For another, I love you and don’t want anything bad to happen to you. But more important, it’s because—right now, and for the most important things—I know more than you do. I know things you need to know to be successful in the world. And I have a better understanding of what’s good for you than you do…I’m going to make mistakes, but when I do, they will be honest mistakes, mistakes I’ve made because I did what was right for you in the moment…However, know this: If you fail to do the right thing, you’re going to find me right there, showing you the way until you can get it right…You are my son or daughter and you’re stuck with me…I’m here to help you get what you want out of life, but to help you to do it in the right way…Why? Because I am your parent. I’m not your friend, your playmate, your maid or your chauffeur…” (page 3)

 

Old school or not, that’s my idea of courageous, valiant, loving, modern parenting.

 

 

 

~For more on these and the other “8 Keys to Old School Parenting for Modern Day Families,” check out Dr. Michael Mascolo’s book, on Amazon or Norton.com!

 

 

What do you think about adult-centered, child-centered, and authoritative parenting styles? What are your thoughts on these “old school for modern day” parenting ideas? How do you feel it’s best to discipline children? What strategies feel most successful for you? Leave your opinions and suggestions below, in the comments!

 

 

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

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 Old School Parenting on "Motherhood" Radio: Values, Discipline, & Authoritative Style for Modern-Day Families; www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #parenting #motherhood #books #skills
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FREE “Postpartum Couples” Online DVD!

FREE Postpartum Couples DVD! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #postpartum #depression #anxiety #ppd #motherhood
FREE Postpartum Couples DVD! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #postpartum #depression #anxiety #ppd #motherhood
For the first time ever, my internationally-sold DVD, Postpartum Couples, is available online for FREE!

 

I’ve seen Postpartum Couples probably a couple hundred times, and yet I still get choked up as I listen to the stories of these three couples–as they honestly share what it was like for them to go through postpartum depression (PPD), anxiety, and psychosis.

 

The men especially get me choked up as they openly express their feelings about their wives and the experience of PPD, getting emotional right off the bat as they describe the challenges and how they overcame them together.

 

Postpartum Couples was actually the first video to explore both the mothers and the father’s experience of postpartum mood/anxiety disorders. It’s also the only video to discuss the impact on the couple’s relationship.

 

I’ve used Postpartum Couples in therapy, support groups, and presentations. I’ve shown it to pregnant and postpartum women, men, and couples; to mental health providers; and to doctors, nurses, and anyone working with postpartum families–to educate, illuminate, and raise awareness of the truth of postpartum depression and the hope of treatment and healing.

 

If you or someone you know might benefit from better understanding:

1) The symptoms,

2) The treatment, and

3) The prevention of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders;

4) The mother’s experience,

5) The father’s experience,

6) and how PPD may impact a couple’s relationship…

and many other important truths about postpartum depression

then, please click on this link, or on the image above or below, for more information and for INSTANT ACCESS to my Postpartum Couples DVD! And don’t forget to share this post!

 

It is my hope that, in making this video available for free online, we can increase awareness, education, and support for families and providers dealing with perinatal mood/anxiety disorders.

 

May all pregnant and postpartum moms, dads, and families feel and know:

You truly are not alone, you are not to blame, and with help, you can (and will) be well! (PSI’s Universal Motto)

 

FREE Postpartum Couples DVD! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #postpartum #depression #anxiety #ppd #motherhood

 

For immediate postpartum support, help, or referrals in your area,

please visit Postpartum Support International.

 

 

 

 

 

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 “Who Am I Without You is the light at the end of the tunnel!”

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The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety): Pregnancy & Postpartum–Caroline’s Story

The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety): Pregnancy & Postpartum--Caroline's Story; #pregnancy, #postpartum, #ppd, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety): Pregnancy & Postpartum--Caroline's Story; #pregnancy, #postpartum, #ppd, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comWomen are particularly vulnerable to depression and anxiety in pregnancy and postpartum. In fact, 15% of pregnant and up to 20% of postpartum women experience depression, while 6% of pregnant and 10% of postpartum women experience anxiety in the form of extreme worry, panic, PTSD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. And it doesn’t just affect moms. An estimated 14% of dads in the U.S. experience Paternal Postnatal Depression, too!

 

I have had my share of postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety, and I know it’s a very hard thing to bear. I also know that I’m not alone in my experiences. Millions of other women (and men) have experienced PPD, too, and we must keep talking about it if we want others to know that they are not alone, if we want others to know help is available, and that, if they seek help and let it in, they will be well.

 

Caroline’s story is another example of the many faces of depression and anxiety. Hers is another face to add to this movement, and another voice to help raise awareness, reduce the stigma, and let all who suffer from (and overcome) depression and anxiety know: “You truly are not alone.”

 

Caroline’s Story…

“I am the face of anxiety and depression.

In November 2006, when I had my first child, a son, I had heard of Postnatal depression and was determined never to be struck by it, I was naive then, thinking I could control such a thing as PND.

‘Overall, my experience postpartum with my son was very positive. I made sure I kept busy and built up a good social network through going to mums and bubs sessions at the local library and joining the local breastfeeding support group and going to meetings. However, there were times when anxiety would kick in, I’d feel shaky and thoughts would rush through my head. I’d worry about dropping my precious baby down the stairs or stress about driving in the car with him. I thought about what I could do to help me feel calmer, I bought lavender and used the drops on tissues under my pillow and in my handbag and in an oil burner. I also started listening to guided meditations both before going to sleep and during the day"The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION"- #Pregnancy & #Postpartum Caroline and taking daily exercise – walking and swimming mainly. While these strategies helped, I really felt I needed to work with a counsellor, so I contacted the doctor (Dr Cate Howell) who narrated the mediation CD I was using and formed an ongoing therapeutic relationship with her and saw her as needed over the next three years.

‘When anxiety kicked in BIG time after the birth of my daughter in December 2009, I was so grateful that I already had a great doctor in Cate, I also knew that Cate didn’t reach for her prescription pad straight away as I had never taken medication for my anxiety before. My second episode of post-natal anxiety was much more intense than the first. I was having trouble sleeping (it’s torture when your baby and toddler are asleep and you can’t sleep!), I was pacing, felt shaky, had racing thoughts and couldn’t make simple decisions or complete simple tasks like packing a baby bag, something I had done hundreds of times before. I didn’t trust myself to be a safe driver as I was so shaky and sleep deprived so I gave my car keys to my husband.

‘I went to see Dr Cate as soon as I could and she was the most supportive doctor I could have wished for. Initially I was shocked, because I was much worse than last time. She said I would need to look at going on medication and she referred me to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist did prescribe medication and also referred me to an in-patient mother-baby clinic. This experience was very scary as even though ultimately it was part of my recovery, it took me on a “medication roller coaster,” as I was determined to keep breastfeeding so could only try “breastfeeding friendly” medications first, some of which caused awful side effects. In the end, I gave up breastfeeding to go onto a medication which I have been on for nearly 5 years, except for a one year break.’

 

Depression, Anxiety, & Medication

‘I tried going off my medication at one point, because I figured I was no longer “postnatal,” so couldn’t experience severe anxiety or depression. I was wrong! My psychiatrist knew that I had reduced my medication, but not that I’d gone off it completely. I was fine for a year without medication, then became unwell again in 2013, very shaky, racy thoughts mainly around being not good enough, like a big bully in my brain was how I described it later to my son. I knew I’d need to go on medication again and didn’t want to risk the “medication rollercoaster” of side effects while being home caring for kids, so I checked myself into a private clinic for treatment both medication and group therapy.

 

 

Health & Healing

‘This most recent episode, while upsetting and disruptive, was also amazingly healing, as I was able to recognise the signs of what was happening to me and seek treatment first as an in-patient and then go on to do some courses as an outpatient. Of particular interest and use was an ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy)/mindfulness course. It also helped me to realise that medication is an essential part of my treatment plan.

‘Even though we don’t choose all of what makes up the rich tapestries of our lives, we can embrace all of life with gratitude and love and be open to the lessons that it holds. For example, I carry a lot of grief over the fact that, because of how severe my post-natal anxiety was and the medication I’m on, I probably won’t have a third, fourth, fifth or sixth child. I feel anger and frustration that I can’t raise the big family that I wanted to.

‘At the same time, however, I realise that the family I do have is such a gift! I have a healthy 8 year boy and a 5 year old girl who light up my life each day, and I have my health and a lifelong commitment to and passion for growth and healing.”

~Caroline

 

 

Help the Movement!

Read & Share Stories from ‘The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” series:

Overcoming the Stigma of Depression & Anxiety: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)”–My Story

Men, Illness, & Mental Health : Pernell’s Story

Motherhood, Postpartum, & Spirituality: Jami’s Story

 

 
 

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Postpartum Support International’s 2015

Third Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

Blog Hop!

2015 PSI Blog Hop: You are not alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

2015 Theme:
You Are Not Alone: Focus on Support Groups and Resources

Read this post for rules, and then link up!

 

 

 
 
 

Join me & my incredible guests, each week, as we “Overcome, Become, & Flourish”
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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available now 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

NEW! My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
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Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (PSI Blog Hop 2015)

Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (#PSIBlog Hop 2015)  www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #mothersday #moms #ppd #postpartum #pregnancy #children #family

Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (#PSIBlog Hop 2015)  www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #mothersday #moms #ppd #postpartum #pregnancy #children #familyIt’s that time of year again–May, or as my friends and I call it, “May-hem!” The end of the school year, commitments galore, graduations, the summer-shift approaching, and all month long, what do we celebrate? Motherhood. How fitting! Between mother’s day, Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month (May) & day (May 7th), I’m in the mood to speak a little truth about good old motherhood!

 

I’ve been at it for over 18 years, and with six kids, now ages 7, 11, 14, 16, 18, and 18 1/2, well let’s just say, I know the reality and I’ve learned a few lessons. As a psychologist, I’ve learned some important lessons, too–the first being that we need to talk about the realities of motherhood, and that we need to open ourselves up to the lessons motherhood has to offer.

 

So, hold on tight and grab a notebook! It’s time for “Motherhood 101.”

 

(And be sure to join me for my new radio show, “Motherhood!” Starting May 18th on WebTalkRadio.net! And don’t miss my exclusive offer–FREE Postpartum Couples DVD!

 

 

MOTHERHOOD 101

Reality #1: It’s hard!

No matter what “season of motherhood” you’re in, it’s the hardest work in the world. It’s a 24/7, 365-day job, and a highly demanding one at that. Up early, no sleep, go-go-go all day long, keep going all night too, worrying yourself awake in the

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids! Talk about motherhood being hard! Some days, I didn't think I could do it. (Read about it in "This is How We Grow.")

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids! Talk about motherhood being hard! Some days, I didn’t think I could do it. (Read about it in “This is How We Grow.”)

early hours, exhausting yourself, giving your all. But we do it because we love our children, right? As I wrote in a song about motherhood a few years ago, “It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done, but somehow, it’s the easiest to do.”

When I ran a postpartum support group a few years ago, the moms struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety would desperately ask, “It gets easier, doesn’t it?” To which, I’d reply, “Yes… And then, it doesn’t. And then, it does…” We are happy to leave behind the sleepless nights of having an infant only to find our house is destroyed by an energetic toddler. We finally leave behind “the terrible twos” only to find the “threes” might be even more terrible as they develop greater independence. Not to mention the teen years! (I have 4 teenaged sons right now! Aye-yi-yi!). But, it’s all worth it. They grow, and hopefully, so do we.

 

Lesson #1: Recognize that it’s hard.

Even if it looks easy on TV or on a friend’s Facebook page, trust me, it’s not. You’re not alone in this crazy thing called motherhood–it’s hard for all of us, and some times are harder than others. Discover which phases and seasons of mothering are easiest and most rewarding for you and which are not, and then, give yourself a break in the harder times and recognize your strengths and put them to good use in the easier times. Oh, and hang in there! It does get easier. And then it doesn’t…

 

 

 

Reality #2: Hormones, brain chemistry, and life experiences can make it even harder.

Women’s mental health is made up of a unique blend of our hormones, brain chemistry, and life experiences. Monthly hormonal shifts, pregnancy,

Me, during my most recent hormonal quarantine, watching Project Runway and eating chocolate with the door bolted shut! Thank you, hormones!

Me, during my most recent hormonal quarantine, watching Project Runway and eating chocolate with the door bolted shut! Thank you, hormones!

postpartum, and perimenoupause can all significantly affect our coping abilities. Hormones also directly impact the neurotransmitters that make our brain feel well, and life experiences do the same. Trauma and loss change our brain chemistry and, over time, can leave us feeling depressed, anxious, or worse.

 

Lesson #2: Understand all you can about your emotional health and take care of yourself.

Learn about Women’s Emotional Health and what it means for you. Then, take care of your body and brain through good nutrition, sleep, exercise, regular health exams, emotional processing and support, and spiritual self-care.

 

 

 

Reality #3: You won’t love every moment, and you won’t feel happy all the time.

As I wrote in This is How We Grow, “I love every moment of being a mother. I even love the moments I don’t love.” Yes, if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that we won’t love every moment. But, joy in motherhood is found in the small moments, and joyful moments are everywhere in motherhood, if you’ll open your heart and seek them out.

 

Lesson #3: Look for joy in the moments.

Happiness in motherhood is found in the small moments—in the laugh, the love, the play, the hug. As we seek out these moments we see them more clearly, we’re more present, and we soak them up. As we connect these moments we find that motherhood really is joy-filled, or it can be if we look for the joy in the moments.

 

 

 

Reality #4: During some seasons of motherhood, it may a struggle to feel happy at all.

Pregnancy or postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis together affect one in five moms and can make it rough to feel happiness or joy; it can also crush your sense of self-worth. Maternal depression is also common and can last for years if untreated.

 

Lesson #4: It’s not “normal” or “okay” to live with depression, anxiety, or even with no self-worth, and it’s definitely not good for our families either, so SEEK HELP.

With help, you can and will be well, which is not only good for you; it’s good for your children, spouse/partner, and family, too. And if you keep working, you can be even “better than better!” Acknowledge your needs and seek help. Then, let that help in. There are fabulous support groups, counselors, doctors, and resources for pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. Postpartum Support International is a wonderful resource, with support coordinators in every state and around the world. Your church or faith community, friends, and family are another good place to start for help, support, and referrals.

 

 

 

Reality #5: We can’t do motherhood alone.

We need each other in motherhood more than perhaps any other time. Support is crucial in motherhood—support for us, support for our children, support for our husbands/partners—we cannot survive without it. We may feel like we don’t know where to turn, or like

My family with my friend's family, sending balloons to her in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

My family with my friend’s family, sending balloons to her in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

we don’t have anyone to rely upon, but we must prioritize building our support system.

 

Lesson #5: Build your support system.

Make a list of everyone who supports you and what they can do. Include your family, including family, friends, faith/community members/resources, support groups, online support, professional support like counselors, doctors, etc. One person might be great at helping with childcare, while another is the one you can talk to when times are tough. If you feel your support system is lacking, then start building a better one. It takes time, but support is out there if you’re patient and willing to work.

 

 

 

Reality #6: Loss is a big part of motherhood.

Whether struggles with postpartum depression or anxiety, relationship changes and challenges, wayward children, death, job/career loss, or sending them off to preschool, kindergarten, college, or beyond, motherhood carries with it a lot of loss. These losses, if not dealt with, can build up and create more trouble for our emotional and physical health over time.

 

Lesson #6: Recognize your losses, then grieve them.

Here’s how.

 

 

 

Reality #7: Motherhood is not just a “job”; it’s a calling.

I’ve long reminded myself that though I don’t really love the “job” of mothering—the late nights, early mornings,

Motherhood isn't just a "job;" it's a calling. My forever family, April 2015.

Motherhood isn’t just a “job;” it’s a calling. My forever family, April 2015.

cooking, cleaning, diaper-changing, problem-solving constant-ness of it all—I do love being a mother. Motherhood is a high and holy calling: I believe that, 100%, though it doesn’t always feel that way. It’s a forever kind of deal, so it’s important to work it out, to believe in that calling, to find our gratitude for our role as a mother.

 

Lesson #7: Motherhood really isn’t about the “job” at all; it’s about love.

The house, dinner, bathtime—that can all come or go. What matters is how we love.  What matters is how we value our role as a mother. Do we recognize the gift it truly is? Do we remind ourselves in the hardest times how grateful we really are to be called, “Mom?”

 

 

 

Reality #8: Motherhood isn’t about how our kids turn out.

So many moms I know focus on the choices their kids make as a measure of how well they’re doing as moms. I’ve been there before, too, and trust me, it’s not pleasant! The truth is, we have no real control over our children’s lives when they get to a certain point. That’s not the way it works, and really it’s what we’re striving for as we parent them over the year—independence and self-reliance.

 

Lesson #8: The “fruit” of motherhood is how we turn out. It’s about how motherhood changes us. It’s about how motherhood transforms us.

 

 

 

Reality #9: It really does fly by.

As I was dropping my oldest son off at college last fall, I hugged him, got in the car and forced myself to drive away, watching him excitedly return to his dorm in my review mirror. All I could think was, “They were right. It really does fly by. We have them for such a short time and then, they’re gone.” I bawled the entire four hour drive home! When I called my husband, he thought I was crazy, and to be truthful, so did I. But it really hit me—it goes so, so fast.

 

Lesson #9: Pay attention and be grateful now.

Years ago, when I’d have those stressed-out, frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted mothering days (and there have been plenty!), my older friends who were missing their little ones would say, “Enjoy it while you can; it goes so fast.” I knew they were right, but I couldn’t feel it in those moments when I just wanted to get through the day and crash to sleep. Then one day, I really did get it. I decided I didn’t want to miss those precious years when they were young because I was stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, or tired. And so, I made a goal to stop and stand still in the chaos. I’d briefly close my eyes and imagine my kids grown and gone and my house quiet and still. Though a luxury in the busy mothering days, I’d let myself feel how a quiet house may feel lonely when it’s permanent. I’d say a little prayer, ask for help to be grateful for this very moment, and take a snapshot of it. Then, I’d breathe deeply, smile or sometimes even chuckle to myself and just say it like it is, “Motherhood is a crazy ride!” And back to business. Truthfully, years later, the chaotic moments are some of the most memorable.

 

 

 

Reality #10: We mothers need to be a little (or a lot) kinder, more compassionate, more forgiving, and more loving toward ourselves.

We’re harder on ourselves than any other group on the planet! It’s such a shame, because I’m convinced no one works or loves harder than mothers.

 

Lesson #10: Practice self-love.

Self-love involves: 1) Self-care—take care of your physical, emotional, mental/intellectual, social and spiritual needs. It’s not selfish Motherhood 101-12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasons Psychologist & Mom of 6 www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #ppd #postpartum #ThisIsHowWeGrow #books to practice self-care. In fact, it’s the only real way to be healthy and strong as a mom, and it teaches your kids to do the same. 2) Self-compassion—forgive yourself, accept your weaknesses, be gentle when you make a mistake. 3) Self-kindness—do nice things for yourself. Time alone or with friends, a bath, a nap, a walk, a “girls’ night”—whatever feeds your soul, do that. 4) Let others love you. Let your children’s love in. Let your husband’s/partner’s love in. Let your support system’s love in. Let God’s love in. Open your heart and let it receive love. Then, give and open again and again and again. (more on Self-Love here or in my new book, Who Am I Without You?)

 

 

 

Reality #11: At its core, motherhood is really about love.

That’s what it’s really all about–growing in love. Receiving love. Giving great love. Motherhood is truly all about a beautiful cycle of giving and receiving love.

 

Lesson #11: Love greatly.

When hard times hit, love. When great times are rolling, love. When you’re fearful, worried, overwhelmed, at your limit, love greatly. It is love that overcomes the pain and stress of motherhood. It’s really all about love. Again, love greatly.

 

 

 

Reality #12: Motherhood is a crazy ride.

Trust me, I know! In fact, if you google, “My Kids are Driving Me Crazy,” my blog posts come up on page 1, so it’s really no secret. But oh how exhilarating! It’s the up, and down, and spinning around, upside-down ride of your life! And it doesn’t end there. Motherhood is forever. So, learn your lessons, buckle up, and hold tight!

 

Lesson #12: Enjoy it while it’s here.

Don’t take motherhood for granted. Don’t wish away your moments or your days. Identify your challenges. Seek help. Let help in. Choose to grow through motherhood. Then, sit back, buckle up, take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride. It’s the greatest ride of your life!

 

 

What are some of your motherhood “realities” and “lessons?”

Leave a comment, below, and join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

An Invitation to YOU!

Join us for

Postpartum Support International’s 2015

Third Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

Blog Hop!

2015 PSI Blog Hop: You are not alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

2015 Theme:
You Are Not Alone: Focus on Support Groups and Resources

 

Read this post for rules, and then link up there or below!
And be sure to check out the other incredible posts linked up, below!

 

 

 

Link Up Here!

 

 

 

 

Check out my NEW, Exciting, Exclusive Offer:

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Tune in to my BRAND NEW Radio Show,

MOTHERHOOD!

Starting May 18th on WebTalkRadio.net!

Oh, and be sure to tell your friends, and your mom!

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

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

Available now at TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 “Who Am I Without You is the light at the end of the tunnel!”

“So much more than a breakup book, this is a guide to self-worth for anyone, all in a neat little 52-lesson package!”

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (#PSIBlog Hop 2015)  www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #mothersday #moms #ppd #postpartum #pregnancy #children #family

 

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

16 Things I’d Like My Postpartum Self to Know, 16 Years & 6 Kids Later (PSI Blog Hop 2013)

Motherhood Mental Health: Self-Care & Letting Help In–the 2 Most Important Things (PSI Blog Hop 2014)

Moving Beyond Shame: The Ultimate Power of Support & Time (PSI Blog Hop) 

Beyond Depression: Understanding Pregnancy/Postpartum OCD (Part 1)

Pregnancy & Postpartum Emotional Health

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Dads & Partners

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Couples

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Sleep

Postpartum Depression & Men: The Facts on Paternal Postnatal Depression

Mom Mental Health (& Happiness): The Importance of Alone Time

The Baby Blues & You

Postpartum Survival Mode

Pregnancy & Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders: Are Women of Advanced Maternal Age at Higher Risk?

In Praise of Fathers: 10 Research-Based Ways Dads Impact Kids for the Better

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Pregnancy & Postpartum Loss, Grief, & Family Healing (Part 1)

How to Cope with and Treat Perinatal Loss & Grief (Part 2)

Link Up! PSI Blog Hop 2015–You Are Not Alone: Focus on Support Groups & Resources

2015 PSI Blog Hop: You are not alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

2015 PSI Blog Hop: You are not alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.comIt’s that time of year again! Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month begins on May 1, and in honor of this important month, Postpartum Support International is sponsoring it’s third annual blog hop!

I have been a member of/volunteer with Postpartum Support International (PSI) since 1999. Over the years, I’ve served as a warmline volunteer, an AZ state support coordinator, and even as the PR Chair on the PSI Board of Directors. I continue to serve as a PSI Trainer (heading to Ohio next week!) and a frequent speaker at their incredible annual conferences.

I can vouch for the amazing work this fine organization does: from their toll-free, bilingual support line, to their many resources for pregnant/postpartum moms, dads, and families, to their online webinars, to their fabulous conferences which educate medical and mental health providers, families, and support people.

That’s one thing PSI has excelled at over the years: helping thousands of mothers, fathers, and families PSI Blog Hop 2015: You are Not Alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.comrecognize they truly are not alone and connecting them with the resources they so desperately need. The past two years, I’ve been privileged to participate as a host and write articles for the 2013 and the 2014 PSI Blog Hops, and this year, I am thrilled to be part of it again!

The Blog Hop begins on Friday, May 1, and will run throughout the month of May–Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. Please review the guidelines, below, and then, write and submit your post for review, link up (below, starting May 1), and that’s it!

It’s a great way to share pregnancy/postpartum emotional health stories and resources, to provide support and encouragement, and raise awareness of Perinatal Mood/Anxiety Disorders. I hope you’ll join us, and spread the word! (See the invitation below for details and rules.)

An Invitation to YOU!

Join us for

Postpartum Support International’s 2015

Second Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

Blog Hop!

2015 PSI Blog Hop: You are not alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

2015 Theme:
You Are Not Alone: Focus on Support Groups and Resources

 

In May 2011 Postpartum Support International (PSI) declared May as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. An increasing number of states, counties, provinces, and countries have designated May as a time to bring awareness to maternal mental health. The maternal mental health awareness month blog hop is one of the many awareness events — please write to us if you have any questions, and send your entry.

Our PSI blog hop is meant to be inclusive and is also meant to promote emotional safety and comfort and hope for all contributors and readers. To that end, we welcome your participation but also please keep in mind some editorial guidelines meant to promote comfort and safety.

 

This year we have also designated May 7 as International Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day. We want to be active on social media that day. #IMMHAD2015 #YouAreNotAlone.

 

 

Editorial Guidelines:

  • Name: Include your real name, we don’t promote people with online disguises. Anonymity can be arranged if you write in a pen name – Contact us to discuss.
  • Length: 500 – 1000 words
  • Keeping in this year’s theme: You Are Not Alone: Focus on Support Groups and Resources

Potential Emotional Triggers:
For the purpose of this blog hop and its focus on messages of support, we want you to do your best to avoid psychological triggers in your posts. Please do not write about detailed suicidal or homicidal thoughts, feelings, or plans. If you have any questions or concerns about that, please don’t hesitate to contact us at psioffice@postpartum.net.

Inclusive: Editors will not tolerate any negativity directed towards individuals or groups

Commercial Interests: Please refrain from self-promotion of your website or sale items

 

Beginning May 1, 2015

  1. Write your blog post and send a link or attachment to psioffice@postpartum.net. This will help us keep track of all of the posts, and contact you if we have questions or suggestions.
  2. Go to the Blog Hop Host:

Dr. Christina Hibbert (link up below!)

  1.  Look for their post called: Link Up: PSI 2015 Blog Hop – You Are Not Alone: Focus on Support Groups and Resources (this post!)
  2. Link up your post to that blog post in the Linky provided at the bottom of the post.
  3. Grab the PSI logo code provided, below.
  4. Feel free to promote your blog and the blog hop on social media!
  5. Please post these notices:
    • If you need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
      • If you are looking for pregnancy or postpartum support and local resources, please call or email us:

    Call PSI Warmline (English & Spanish) 1-800-944-4PPD (4773)
    Email support@postpartum.net

 

Social Media Links:

 

 

Link Up Here!

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

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

Available now at TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 “Who Am I Without You is the light at the end of the tunnel!”

“So much more than a breakup book, this is a guide to self-worth for anyone, all in a neat little 52-lesson package!”

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

2015 PSI Blog Hop: You are not alone! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

Related Posts/Articles:

Motherhood 101: 12 Realities & 12 Lessons from a Seasoned Psychologist & Mom of 6 (PSI Blog Hop 2015)

Motherhood Mental Health: Self-Care & Letting Help In–the 2 Most Important Things (PSI Blog Hop 2014)

16 Things I’d Like My Postpartum Self to Know, 16 Years & 6 Kids Later (PSI Blog Hop 2013)

Moving Beyond Shame: The Ultimate Power of Support & Time (PSI Blog Hop) 

Beyond Depression: Understanding Pregnancy/Postpartum OCD (Part 1)

Pregnancy & Postpartum Emotional Health

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Dads & Partners

Postpartum Depression Treatment: For Couples

Postpartum Depression Treatment: Sleep

Postpartum Depression & Men: The Facts on Paternal Postnatal Depression

Mom Mental Health (& Happiness): The Importance of Alone Time

The Baby Blues & You

Postpartum Survival Mode

Pregnancy & Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders: Are Women of Advanced Maternal Age at Higher Risk?

In Praise of Fathers: 10 Research-Based Ways Dads Impact Kids for the Better

5 Reasons Self-Esteem is a Myth

Womens’ Emotions & Hormones– Series

Achieving Balance–Why You’ve Got it Wrong, & How to Get it Right

Pregnancy & Postpartum Loss, Grief, & Family Healing (Part 1)

How to Cope with and Treat Perinatal Loss & Grief (Part 2)

Becoming the Butterfly: The Power of Personal Transformation

Becoming the Butterfly-The Power of Personal Transformation; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Becoming the Butterfly-The Power of Personal Transformation; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of personal transformation. It started with Easter, which, no matter your faith or belief system, is really a holiday about our potential for transformation. I know and love that we have the potential for incredible transformation.

 

Throughout my life, I have been transformed. Often, transformation has come through hardships. Despite my attempts to ignore, push away, or run away from these “growing opportunities,” I’ve eventually learned to take a deep breath, submit, and let myself grow and transform. Sometimes, transformation has come by choice—inviting an opportunity to learn, improve, grow. No matter the means, the outcome is the same: I know the power of personal transformation; I have experienced it time and again.

 

That’s the beauty of life—we’re not meant to stay the same. It’s obvious as we watch our children learn and grow, so why can it feel so hard to believe that we, as adults, must continue to grow, too? Why can it feel so impossible to believe we can not only grow, but we can be transformed?

 

Becoming the Butterfly

I think of the caterpillar, crawling about her business, content to roam the earth on her belly, until one day, she feels the call—the call to start building something, the call to transform. Does she know what she is building or what she is destined to become? Or does she simply listen to the whispers and follow her heart until she is tightly wrapped in her chrysalis? Does she realize, as she lets herself be wrapped and canstockphoto4610098molded that she is sprouting wings to fly? Does she see her own beauty, as she finally breaks free? Do we?

 

Yes, I have been transformed, and I believe it is a divine call for each of us—to allow this transformation to take place. To courageously step up and say, “I’m ready to become who and what I am meant to be.” It’s not about becoming rich or famous or popular. No. It’s about becoming more and more authentic, loving, whole, and complete. It’s about living with meaning and purpose and fulfilling your unique life’s purpose. “I believe in being complete…Living authentically—listening to the whispers and doing what’s right, being true to who I really am—helps me appreciate the good and the bad, for I see them as opportunities to grow. The more I grow, the more perfected I become: she who has ‘attained her purpose;’ feeling ‘so good nothing of the kind could be better;’ ‘complete.’” This is How We Grow, p. 271.

 

Personal Transformation

I remember so many days—when I was overwhelmed by the reality of raising six children, when I was sleep-deprived from nursing a baby all night and nursing five other kids, and myself, through loss and growth all day—I remember how I thought I was experiencing my final transformation. We are transformed when we leave home, we are transformed when we marry, and we are most definitely transformed when we become a parent. But now I was a mother, six times over! “I’m needed here full-time,” I reminded myself. “This is the most important work I can do, and I am determined to succeed.” And it was, and I believe I have succeeded. But, mistakenly, I believed that meant I wasn’t needed anywhere else, that there wasn’t any other important work for me to do in my life. I thought I’d never fulfill my dreams—of becoming a writer, an author, a speaker, a songwriter.

 

Fast forward, and here I am. I was transformed into a confident mother of six, and then into an author, a few times over, and a speaker, and a songwriter. As the time has been right, new transformations have taken place. That’s the great thing about personal transformation—it never ends, if we allow it to continue to unfold. Unlike the butterfly, we can rebuild and reenter our cocoons of transformation and become beautiful new creatures, over and over.

 

It requires faith, and listening to those whispers. And it requires the desire to transform. Lately, I’ve been seeking to understand what my new dream should be; I’ve been praying and listening. And the most unusual opportunity came along in an unassuming email—the opportunity to host a parenting radio show. At first, I didn’t know that it was right for me. I had no desire or dream to be on the radio. But, I’ve come to see that this was the answer to my prayers—my new transformation, my new opportunity to grow, and my new opportunity to help many others grow and transform, too.

 

 

As I wrote in This is How We Grow, quoting and commenting on Marianne Williamson, “And what is the light we see, when our minds are reconciled to Truth? We see not only that we are one with others, but also that all of us carry seeds of the divine.’ I love helping others find their divine, for that is how I find mine.” (p. 395) I welcome this newest transformation, and I hope you will join me in the months to come as we seek to transform and grow, together.

 

 

The Steps of Personal Transformation

How do you find your divine? How can you give yourself over to the power of personal transformation? How can you become the butterfly you are destined to be? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have a few—at least, this is a good place to start:

  • Recognize what and where you already are. If we want to become something new, we first need to know who and what we already are. Take time to search within and see the truth of who you are, and the truth of who you desire to be. Be honest with yourself about your current weaknesses, and strengths, and what might be blocking you from getting where you want to be.

 

  • Discover your life’s vision. Envision who you want to be, and what you desire to become. Let go Becoming the Butterfly-The Powerf of Personal Transformation www.DrChristinaHibbert.comof the tethers holding you down—the expectations, words of others, false beliefs, and especially fears. Let go and dream. (Read “Discovering Your Life’s Vision” and “Overcoming Fear”)

 

  • Build and enter your chrysalis. Butterflies don’t just magically pop out of caterpillars. It takes work to build the cocoon of transformation, and time to enter and remain until the butterfly is ready to emerge. Take your time setting goals, understanding the process of change, and working on the change you desire. Work on your talents. Practice. Seek new learning opportunities, and share what you have to offer in small doses. Let yourself be in the “season” of life you’re in. Give yourself space to prepare.

 

  • Don’t overstay your welcome in the chrysalis. We’re not meant to stay in the cocoon of transformation forever. Have faith. Believe in yourself. If you lack self-confidence, then work on it. Believe you are the butterfly as you prepare to emerge. (Read “The Pyramid of Self-Worth” and my new book, Who Am I Without You? –it’s all about transformation and self-confidence!)

 

  • Emerge and be the butterfly. Believe in your beauty. Believe in your wings. Emerge, and let yourself fly.

 

What is your experience with personal transformation? Do you believe we each have “the divine” within? How can we allow ourselves to be transformed? Please leave a comment, below!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

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 “Who Am I Without You is the light at the end of the tunnel!”

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