Let’s Get Real: 10 Confessions from “The Psychologist, The Mom, & Me”

Let’s Get Real: 10 Confessions

from “The Psychologist, The Mom, & Me”

 It’s time to get real: I’ve been in a bit of a “funk” the past few days. It happens more often than I’d like—I’m sailing along, the “do-it-all-mom” one minute, and bursting into tears, collapsing onto my bed the next. My husband gently reminds me, “This is just how you are, dear. You have a meltdown and then you get better.” And he’s right. I do have meltdowns, and I do get better.

But last night, not feeling “better” yet, I posted my “confession” on Facebook—that I’d spent all of the day before watching Downton Abbey (Season2) and eating dark chocolate and that I was about to resume with episode 6 and the chocolate chips from the freezer. Then I asked, “Does anyone else have a confession to make?” This led to the most fun conversation I’ve had on Facebook in, well, ever. I was laughing and loving the other confessions (eating a bag of cookies, gelato for dinner while watching The Bachelor, actually “keeping up” with the Kardashians, forgetting to make the kids dinner), but I was especially surprised by the comments like, “I think I love you,” “It’s so great to know you are human!” and “You are my hero!” What? Why? Just because I said it like it is? I guess I should say it like it is more often!

 

Let’s Get Real

See, we all have confessions—those little things that feel huge that we hide from others because we believe that they, in some way, make us “less”. But I would argue that they make us “more”: More human; More open, vulnerable, and teachable; More real. And I believe in being real. In fact, everything I write about stems from my own real-life experiences and challenges, and sometimes I need to go back and re-read what I’ve taught in order to remind myself what I’ve already learned.

So, I have done just that–re-read several of my old posts and articles–and in an effort to be as “real” as possible I have a few more “confessions” to make. Now I don’t mean “confession” in the religious way, for none of my confessions is a sin (at least not to me), but rather in the “stating a true fact” sense, confessing what is real simply because it is. After all, I’d hate for anyone to get the wrong idea about me—to think I’m anything other than a human being working hard, messing up, and getting back up again.

 

10 “Confessions” from “The Psychologist, The Mom, & Me”

1)   I am a stay-at-home mom. I have been for the better part of 16 years, and I’m proud of it! Sure, I have a private practice I work in, but only on Tuesdays. And yes, I’m also a writer and speaker, but I’m usually desperately trying to fit all that in to the tiny spaces when my kids are either all well and actually at school or when they’re otherwise occupied. I am mostly at home, Monday through Sunday, 24/7; my kids can really “Drive Me Crazy,” I “Make Major Mistakes” all the time (and keep on making the same ones!), and for me at least it really is the toughest job in the world. In fact…

 

2)  Parenting is my biggest stressor, by far. It’s true what they say, that the older kids get the more they need you and the harder it becomes. And I don’t care what any inspirational Pinterest quote or article says, having 6 kids is tough!! My morning routine starts with the first round of kids at 6 am and spans 3 schools and 3 hours. After school, they all have homework, projects, and it’s always a battle to keep up with their technology habits (I wrote about it in “Internet Safety for Kids,” but I have a lot more to say!). My older kids are involved in sports and activities that take up most of their afternoons and much of mine, they are dating now (emotional stress for mom!), their grades really matter, and my oldest is starting the college application process. They’re always gone, get home late, and get no sleep! (It’s no wonder they want to sleep all day on the weekends—I do too)! Then there are my youngest ones, who are up early, want “playdates” and need me to entertain them. The contrast is what’s killing me—there are so many moving pieces to this family that it’s hard to find time to sleep and any time to just be “me”.  That’s why I’m always writing about things like “The Let-Go’s,” “Fake It ‘Til You Make It,” “School-Year Sanity,” or “Summer Sanity”–I’m always looking for a way to keep up as a mom. That’s probably why…

 

3)   I feel out of “balance” way too often. That’s why I can write so easily about “Achieving Balance,” and how it’s a “a state of being,” a “by-product of the choices we make”. I’m always examining my choices to see, “Is this right for my family and me?” Yet I still mess up and say “Yes” when I should say “No” and say “No” to those things that must be a “Yes” for me (like rest, relaxation, and the “Things that Matter Most”). In fact, recently, I wrote about how to “Create the Life You Desire,” (and part 2 is coming soon!), a topic I chose because I found myself, once again, stuck in the “rubber-bands” of my life—letting my kids and me get too little sleep, feeling overwhelmed keeping up with the “routine” of everything, and allowing myself to get worn out. I’m working on re-creating the structure of my life so I can get myself out of the rubber-bands yet again. Hopefully this time, for good! Unfortunately…

 

4)   I am “all-or-nothing.”  I try not to be, but my thoughts are full of all-or-nothing thinking. I take on the world, give it 100%, and then end up hearing myself say, “I can’t handle any of this!” and wishing I could run away (which, I confess, I have done before–temporarily). I think that’s why my husband, OJ, doesn’t get too caught up when I fall apart and simply reminds me I’ll get better again; we may not always see eye-to-eye (especially when I’m stuck in all-or-nothing thinking!), but he knows how I think even when I can’t see it (17 Secrets for Making Marriage Work). It’s definitely given me lots of practice in “Thought Management, which is especially helpful because…

 

5)   I am highly sensitive to shifts in hormones, and it really clouds my thoughts and emotions. I struggle each month to just feel “normal” for a few days or a week before my period. I’m always shocked by how I feel and it’s silly that I’m always shocked–shouldn’t I know what’s going on by now?! It’s one of the hardest things for me to deal with, this constant shifting of emotions, and I can’t help but want to reach out to others who might be feeling the same, to help others see the “3 Components of Emotional Health,” how our hormones and experiences can create “The Emotional Earthquake,”  and how “The Menstrual Cycle & Moods” are related. After all, I’m living it and it is hard! Speaking of emotional turmoil…

 

6)   I’m a terrible sleeper and terribly affected by lack of sleep. I mention the importance of sleep often (6 Insomnia Causes & CuresPPD Treatment: SleepEmotional Tool Box Basics) because it’s something I’m always working on. I don’t really even like to sleep—I’d rather be awake, and when I do sleep it’s so light I hear everything. Yet, I can’t seem to be nice when I’m too tired, and that’s almost always an issue I’m working on. And yet…

 

7)  Every few months I completely burn myself out. I really do strive to make choices that keep me healthy and strong—better sleep, regular Exercise, and I do think carefully about anything else I add to my life, but the truth is, my life is very full. Just with my kids, it’s enough to fill all my time, and especially in May, September, and December—the times when my kids’ schedules suddenly shift and burst out of control—I lose the battle. The only good thing about getting burned out is it reminds me to “Slow Down & See,” and practice “Self-Care” so I can be healthy again. But it can take a while, you see…

 

8 )   I’m supposed to be finishing my book, This is How We Grow, but I have been completely stuck. Because I hit “burnout” in December, I’ve been slowly working my way back to my work. Overwhelmed by too many opinions and ideas of how it “needs to be,” I’ve been opting instead to spend my time writing articles and posts for my website, which are important too, but I need to finish the goal I started first (my book). It’s part of my process of “Learning Self-Love” and “Making Lasting Change,” and I’m going to have to cut back on my website and social media and trust myself in order to do this right. Writing about my past has been a great challenge, but I will do it, that I know. It’s just that…

 

9)   My past comes back to haunt me more than I’d like. It’s no secret that my “Dealing with Grief” series comes out of the most painful years of my life. I revisit those emotions on anniversaries and holidays and sometimes out of the blue, and it drives me want to help others navigate through their grief and life struggles all the more. Having had Postpartum Depression and Anxiety 4 times, I have a strong desire to help others through those experiences too. Each week, when I facilitate my Pregnancy and Postpartum Adjustment group, it reminds me again of how much we need to nurture and support our new moms and dads; it wasn’t long ago that I was postpartum too. But the voices of my past are what drive me into my future, and for that I am always Practicing Gratitude. However…

 

10)   All of the things that “drive” me in my life also drive me crazy. I love to write, teach, and learn. But those things drive me crazy too. I have too many ideas and I’m always having to reign myself in. I am a mother and wife first and foremost, that I know. I know that “Joy is In The Moments,” and I always remind myself, “All Frustration comes from Expectations.” I just love what I do and wish I could do it all. But I can’t. And that’s my final, bonus confession: I cannot do it all. At least not all at once. At least not all right now. But, I must confess, I am ok with that, for that is what is real, and you know how I love to be real.

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/square-head-shot1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. And believe me, she’s learning a lot each and every day![/author_info] [/author]

 

 

 

What confessions do you want to make? You’ll feel better if you do—trust me! Leave us a comment and “get real”!

 

[box] SUBSCRIBE to Dr. HIbbert’s Monthly Newsletter & Updates (see form above, right), & “Like” us on Facebook for more inspiration on Overcoming, Becoming, & Flourishing![/box]

 

 

 

Related 30 Second Mom Tips!:

Improve Family Relationships by Improving Family Sleep!

Give yourself a Break (literally) and Take Time for YOU!

Improve Communication & Relationships by Stating Your Needs

Pay Your Sleep Debts: Your Body & Mind Will Thank You!

Hormones, Moods & Your Brain: What Every Woman Should Know!

For Less Stress, Say “Yes” to the True Meaning of “No”!


 

 

 

About Dr. Christina Hibbert

Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She really hopes you’ll join the Personal Growth Group and choose to grow together!

Comments

  1. Julie Brinton says:

    I want to move up North and be your BFF! Seriously you are amazing! Tonight someone told my husband and I that there is a place saved in Heaven for us. I would say the same about you and OJ, and I’ll bet Shannon is making it extra special for all that you have been able to do for her. You can’t do it all, and you don’t have to. You do the best you can, and if the best you can do is stay in your pajamas and get takeout then who cares. ENJOY IT and try again the next day. I think it’s a great lesson for your kids who sound like they have a lot on their plate as well. Thank you for being real! Some of the greatest things I learned from Michelle Lacy came when she was able to open up just a little and share some of her real self with me. I know it’s a fine line in therapy, but it is oh so helpful to know you are not alone in the craziness of life!

    • Wow, Julie–I am humbled by your kind words. It warms my heart to hear such things and I truly am grateful. I wish you could move up north and be my BFF too, for I know that there is a placed saved in Heaven for you too. We have a lot in common, you and I, and I especially appreciate our common desire to grow through our challenges. I agree with your thoughts on opening up a little in therapy. In fact, I started a little discussion in my Private Practice Facebook group, asking what they think about “being real” with clients. I’m happy to report there are more and more therapists that see the value in sharing a little of ourselves with those we are helping. As long as the goal is to be helpful to the client, I believe that sharing a few bits of my own “craziness” does exactly what you said–it helps others know they are not alone. And that is what we are all looking for, isn’t it? Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your wisdom!

      • Amber Seneres says:

        I am so very very happy to hear all of this. I have struggled in my work with children and families because I tend to be “real” with them… but then wonder if its “professional.” I do it because I have found that it helps more people to know that they are not alone. That life is hard. And that wisdom comes from struggles. Can I move closer to you too… I could use the office on Mondays and Thursdays. 🙂 Thank you for your blog. I find it so refreshing.

        • Haha! I’d love it if you lived closer! And, I hear what you’r saying, Amber. I used to struggle with that a lot, because of what we’re taught–tight personal boundaries. But, working with mothers and parents, I’ve found a little “truth” goes a long way. They know I know what I’m talking about, not just because I’m a psychologist. Because I live it! Good luck to you! 🙂

  2. Sharon Williams says:

    Wow! It is so nice to see I am not the only one out there that operates like this! I also work in mental health, about 10 hours per week, and I only have 2 kids and do not write, so I cannot imagine how chaotic your life must be. It can be so hard to not compare yourself to others, to see how seamlessly other women appear to operate, and feel you are always falling short. I know I do this on a regular basis. We have to understand that we don’t know the whole story and we are all individuals and handle circumstances different ways. It is reassuring to see a wise, smart, busy person such as yourself has her moments, too! Thank you so much for sharing part of yourself with us!

    • Thank you, Sharon! I couldn’t agree more–we never know the whole story, and what we “see” is not always what’s “real.” I’m sure you find this all the time as a mental health professional–people who seem one way on the outside but are really struggling within. It’s such a relief when we can just let go and be real. I wish you the best in dealing with your “moments” and thank you for stopping by to read about mine.:)
      (And thank you for the compliments! I sure do love a compliment!)

  3. You could certainly see your skills in the work you write.

    The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid
    to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

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