Motherhood Radio & TV- Exciting News!

Motherhood Radio News! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #radio #tv #momsIt’s been over a year since I started “Motherhood Radio“–one year, two months, to be exact–and what a ride it has been!

It’s been an absolute delight meeting fabulous guests, sharing incredible products and ideas, and imparting “mom wisdom” from in-the-trenches moms who are getting it done.

But the best part, by far, has been connecting with you–moms of all ages and stages around the globe who have become part of our “Motherhood” community.

 

Now, we’re taking it up a notch.

Today begins a new chapter for Motherhood Radio, as I venture into hosting the show on my own website, SoundCloud, and iTunes accounts!

What does this mean? Basically, it means I will have much more freedom with the show, and that I’ll be able to post it on several other podcast apps/sites, making it easier than ever to find, subscribe to, and access! This means the same fun, engaging, high quality shows will reach more listeners in an easier, more user-friendly way!

 

New episodes will continue to air each Monday morning…

So, be sure to check for new episodes regularly here on my Motherhood Radio page. Or, subscribe to have new episodes automatically delivered to your device through iTunes or SoundCloud or your favorite podcast site. (If you subscribed previously, you’ll need to resubscribe to this new platform.)

Yes, you can still access previous episodes through the WebTalkRadio website and iTunes platforms, and soon, you’ll also be able to access these episodes and subscribe to show updates through my website!

 

This week’s new NEW episode is right here and also on my Motherhood Radio page!

 

Finally, and this is VERY exciting…

Coming soon–Motherhood TV! Yes, I’ve been recording videos of the shows all along, but now we are working on forming an entire network of shows/videos all for YOU wonderful moms!

This is going to be a fun and fabulous way to engage, learn, and grow through motherhood together, and I can’t wait to share it with you! In the meantime, you can watch video of each radio episode on my YouTube channel. Subscribe to automatically receive new videos to your YouTube account, and you can also subscribe to my YouTube “Motherhood TV Playlist” and new episodes will pop up each week.

 

Let’s Grow Through Motherhood Together!

Many exciting things are ahead for our Motherhood community, so be sure to join our “Growing Through Motherhood” Facebook Group, if you haven’t already! Part educational, part support group, part community of moms who are in the thick of it with you, this is THE place for learning and growing as moms. It’s also the place where I post updates and where you can connect with my fabulous guests. Tell your friends, and be sure to share who you are, your questions, frustrations, and joys with us there!

I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you as we “grow through Motherhood” together each week on Motherhood Radio and TV!

 

 

Questions? Comments? Leave a comment, below!

 

 

Listen to my latest episode of “Motherhood” radio here, on  iTunes or here, or watch episodes on YouTube or my NEW webpage, “Motherhood TV!.”

motherhoodlogo

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Motherhood Radio News! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #radio #tv #moms
Let’s Connect! 

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Mother’s Day: The One Thing ALL Moms Need

Mother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

There’s a lot of talk this time of year about what to get Mom for Mother’s Day, of what we moms want, what we deserve, and what we truly desire. While all of these are undoubtedly important, I want to talk for a few minutes about what moms actually need for Mother’s Day.

 

If I asked, “What do you need right now?” the answers would vary. “A nap.” “A shower.” “To go to the bathroom without someone banging on the door!” “A couple hours just to myself.” “To get out of the house and have some fun.” “A hug.” “Encouragement.” “Support.” “Help.” “Love.” Our needs are important; as moms, I’d even say they’re crucial. When we fail to address our needs, we, and those around us (especially our children, spouses and families), suffer. We become worn out, burned out, depressed, and ill. As I often say, “It’s called a need because you need it.” (More on How to Get Your Needs Met, here.)

 

 

The One Thing ALL Moms Need

It’s one thing to be told we’re great. From familyMother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, friends, at church or even on TV on Mother’s Day, we hear praise for mothers. Our children’s poems, gifts, and cards tell us we’re wonderful. The question is, “Do we believe it?” Do we feel it, deep inside? Do we let ourselves feel good about the good job we’re doing as moms?

 

I’ve had many Mother’s Days when I didn’t believe this. Mother’s Days when all that praise backfired drastically, leaving me feeling lower than low, guilty for all I wasn’t doing, unable to see all I was. I believed there was no way I could ever be as good as other moms, or even as good of a mom as I wanted to be. All I could see were my faults, how I didn’t measure up. It’s easy to do–to question, resist, and twist the praise into fuel for self-doubt and self-loathing.

 

It’s a miserable place to be, and yet as a psychologist working with countless moms over the years, I know I’m not the only one who’s felt this way on Mother’s Day. It’s tragic–the one day we’re meant to be built up can put such pressure on us, we end up feeling deflated.

I love spending quality time with my kids, but I love it even more when I've had some time to myself, too. How can I ever doubt my worth as their mother when we love each other so?

I love spending quality time with my kids, but I love it even more when I’ve had some time to myself, too. How can I ever doubt my worth as their mother when we love each other so?

 

Through these experiences, I’ve learned it’s not the holiday itself or the words of others that takes what’s meant to be good and makes it something miserable. It’s something going on inside of me. It’s only when I’ve been focusing too much on my weaknesses, or in a period of anxiety or depression or postpartum depression, or intense grief, trauma or heartache; when I’ve been overcome by a wayward child or struggling with my true worth–these are the times when I couldn’t believe the kind words said. And no amount of reiterating would help. The issue needed to be resolved at a deeper level.

 

My 8 year-old daughter gave me this today. I'm believing what she says--that I'm good at loving, caring, & making them happy!

My 8 year-old daughter gave me this today. I’m believing what she says–that I’m good at loving, caring, & making them happy!

 

How can we believe we’re doing great, good, or even good enough as a mother, when we just don’t?

By focusing on building ourselves and our self-worth as moms. We can:

 

1. Identify the thoughts and feeling that hold us down, telling us we’re not good enough. We can challenge and learn to change them, and as we do, we can progress to tackling the unwanted beliefs we hold, too. (Learn how to tackle unwanted thoughts and beliefs in this post and video.)

 

2. We can let ourselves FEEL (Freely Experience Emotions with Love) what Mother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comcomes, so it doesn’t get all stuck inside, causing blockages to our mind, heart, and soul. (Learn how to FEEL in this post and video and in my memoir, This is How We Grow.)

 

3. We can seek Divine help and guidance, remembering the honor of being a mother, no matter how hard it is. We can remind ourselves that we are being led and cheered on by those on High. As we seek, listen, and obey the whispers, we will find a peace and joy in our role as “Mom,” knowing we are doing an important work, and that we truly are not alone.

 

4. We can actively work to build self-worth, not only for our own benefit, but so we can show our children how to do the same. (Learn how to build self-worth using my “Pyramid of Self-Worth” here and in my books Who Am I Without You and 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. Listen to How to Teach Your Daughters Self-Esteem & Self-Worth.)

 

5. Finally, we can choose, just for this moment, to believe. “You are good enough.” “You are a good mother.” “You are actually a great mother!” What if you chose to believe any or all of these things, moment by moment this Mother’s Day? How might that change you for the better? 

 

 

This Mother’s Day, Believe…

Mothers, trust me, you are doing better than you think you are. You are loving, Mother's Day--The One Thing ALL Moms Need, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comserving, getting up and trying again and again, and again. You are sacrificing, weeping, rejoicing, and seeking self-improvement through it all. If one of these things feels lacking in your life right now, guess what? It’s okay. It’s an opportunity to open yourself up and become even “better than better”–to eventually flourish!

 

Motherhood is truly the best soil for personal growth. Plant yourself. You’ll be amazed by how vast and high and far you will grow. Choose to believe it this Mother’s Day. Help other mothers believe it: You’re better than you think you are. You’re worthy, you’re remarkable, you’re doing the most important work. Let yourself feel the honor of bearing the name, “Mom.”

 

 

 

“You are good enough.” “You are a good mother.” “You are actually a great mother!” What if you chose to believe any or all of these things, moment by moment this Mother’s Day? How might that change you for the better? Share your thoughts below, by leaving a comment. 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

“Overcome, become, & flourish” with me by subscribing!

You may manage your subscription options from your profile, here, or above, right.

 

 

 

Listen to my latest episode of “Motherhood” radio and “choose to grow through motherhood” with me!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

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

 

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 Mother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

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Who Am I – in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood? Identity, Full Circle (#PSIBlog Hop 2016)

"Who Am I" in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood?- Identity, Full Circle. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PSIBlog Hop 2016 #ppd #pregnancy #postpartum #motherhood #identity

“Who am I, now that you are here?” It’s the title of a song I wrote about my experience with postpartum depression, after my first son was born. For me, PPD was about so much more than feeling sad or anxious or depressed. It was about who I thought I’d been, who I was now, and who I would become.

Identity is at the core of becoming a mother. It’s an essential part of this experience, from pre-conception until the end, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that our identity—as individuals, women, and mothers—will ever evolve through our mothering journey.

 

 

Pre-Motherhood Identity
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. I envisioned my little "Who Am I?" Identity in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood #PSIBlog Hop 2016; www.DrchristinaHibbert.comfamily (“definitely not six kids,” I’d told my mom. Having been the oldest of 6 , I would never be up for that kind of responsibility. Never say never.). I believed I knew myself well, and I could see the kind of mother I would be. I would play with my children, making memories with smiles, showing them the world, staying home full-time and loving it. They would be my life, I would be theirs, and life would be good. How little I understood of what lay ahead–of how this vision would be tested, of how I would be tested, pushed, pulled and often shoved–pruned, uprooted, and planted again, and again.

 

Before that tiny being is laid in our arms, do we have any idea of what will be?

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

Can we comprehend how much love will flood our heart? Do we sense the tiniest hint of the pain and struggle we will endure—physically, yes, but emotionally, even more so? Are we in any way prepared for the journey for which we are unknowingly enlisting–a journey of self-doubt, self-discovery, and self-transformation like no other?

 

 

Pregnancy Identity

The joy and misery of pregnancy hint at what’s coming, but we don’t realize it, do we? All I knew was my body was changing, my sense of attractiveness lost; I had to pee far too often and slept propped on 5 strategically-placed pillows to avoid acid reflux.

With my first and second pregnancies, I had pains no doctor could explain.

When my first was born, I think I was in shock. You can see a glimpse of it by my mouth as I listen to him cry.

When my first was born, I think I was in shock. You can see a glimpse of it by my mouth as I listen to him cry.

They’d wipe me out for days. Two years later, they could finally tell me what it was–gallstones–and I finally found relief through surgery.

Near the end of my first pregnancy, I couldn’t wait for the baby to finally be out! All we can think of is how uncomfortable, exhausted, and “done” we are. Little do we know what’s just around the bend. A breach delivery should have tipped me off. He came out bottom first, and as I say, “He’s been giving me trouble ever since”—haha! But the trouble was just beginning. And so was the growth.

A growing body and soon-to-be growing family hopefully grow our mind and spirit, too. Pregnancy is the true beginning, the reality, the point of no return when we start to question who we once were, who we are becoming, and who we will be. As our baby grows inside, we hopefully grow internally, too, allowing questions as they naturally arise: “What will this baby be like?” “What will our family be like?” “What will I be like as a mother?” We hope for the best and expect it–at least, the first time. Perhaps in later pregnancies, we still hope for the best, yet we know all too well the challenges we may face once our little one is finally here.

 

 

Postpartum Identity

Identity in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood: Full Circle #PSIBlog Hop 2016 www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

With baby #2, I thought I was better, and I was. But I still ended up with postpartum depression. (My 2 year old is being a dinosaur here.)

I had four very different childbirth experiences; you’d think they’d yield four very different postpartum experiences. No such luck: postpartum depression every time.

Identity in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PSIBlog Hop 2016

Beautiful baby girl was so loved! I only wish the depression and anxiety could have stayed away.

The first time, I penned the words, “Who am I now that you are here?” and put them to music. I’d purposefully dream of my beautiful boy at night, like I used to when I was dating my husband. But I no longer felt like a “me;” instead, I was a perpetual “we.” He was colicky, and I was not sleeping. We moved in with my parents and lived for 3 months on their living room floor because I had no clue what else to do. The first time I left to the store for a pacifier, alone, I felt like I’d broken out of jail.

With my second beautiful boy, I convinced myself I was better. I knew what postpartum depression was. I had my plan and support team. I was ready. My journals betray me, however, with the words “I want to run away. Not forever. Just for a while, so I can feel like me again.”

With the third–a beautiful baby girl–postpartum anxiety was thrown in the mix, just for kicks. And the fourth? That’s a long story. I wrote an entire book about it, but the Cliff Notes version is that after inheriting our two nephews

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

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

when my sister and brother-in law died, giving birth three weeks later, and going from three to six kids, needless to say, this postpartum experience was so much more than depression or anxiety. It was grief and trauma and desperation to help my family heal–to be strong enough to bear it all and to do it well. This postpartum experience was giving it all I had so I could be there for my children ages 11, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 0, even though my world and identity had been ripped to shreds. I was re-building my family, but really, I was re-building myself. “I’ll never fulfill my dream of being an author or speaker. How could I? I have six children! I am not made to handle this like other mothers are.” The things I told myself! Talk about self-doubt; at times, it was more like self-loathing—a sure sign of depression, once more.

Our postpartum experiences are so varied between us, and they also vary within

On vacation, in the midst of PPD, after baby #3. I do love this pic, because I felt happy for a little while.

On vacation, in the midst of PPD, after baby #3. I do love this pic, because I felt happy for a little while.

us. Though the common denominator–a periantal mood or anxiety disorder–is there, the manifestation of that denominator is never exactly the same. As we struggle and overcome and heal and move forward, we change. We grow. We become. And we find it’s the challenges we’ve faced—like PPD—that have made us who we are becoming.

 

 

Mom of Young Children, Teens, Young Adults Identity

Currently, I’m in the midst of all three of these mothering phases. With two in

After visiting my sisters' & other family members' gravesites, at the funeral of OJ's grandfather, we tried to stay enthusiastic about life even in the midst of so much death.

After visiting my sisters’ & other family members’ gravesites, at the funeral of OJ’s grandfather, we tried to stay enthusiastic about life even in the midst of so much death.

college, two in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary, I feel like I’m just trying to keep up most of the time. The busyness, the activities, the emotional needs, the school projects! So much to do, so little time, and still, so many opportunities for personal growth.

I have faced non-postpartum depression and anxiety. I have overcome new traumas, losses, and grief. I have experienced so many trials and lows, and yet I have experienced so many joys, and so much love. It’s ironic, isn’t it? The very things that break us down ends up being the stimulus for unfathomable new growth.

As our little ones become not-so-little anymore, our identity changes again, especially as they begin to form their own identities as teenagers and young adults. It’s a new version of postpartum–watching them individuate and leave the nest, and it can pull at our heartstrings, especially when we see them flail or fail. It’s a time of wondering, “Who am I as a mother now—especially if they don’t seem to need me like they once did?”

Questioning brings answers, however, and if we are brave enough to face those answers, we will find our role as a mother isn’t so much fading as shifting once again. The opportunity for a new identity–one of the supporter, advisor, and simply lover of our children presents itself, and we begin to see ourselves evolve as our children do the same. In doing so, we just might find a new sense of freedom we haven’t had since our journey began—knowing our children are their own beings, and we are merely here to support and love them.

 

 

Mothering Identity is Ever-evolving

As mothers, our identity is ever-changing and, if we are willing to continually

Later years are an opportunity to develop new parts of our identity--especially our marriage and relationships.

Later years are an opportunity to develop new parts of our identity–especially our marriage and relationships.

examine ourselves, will be every evolving in positive, joyful ways. Our postpartum journey continues as we become grandmothers, as we nurture our own daughters and sons through their pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting journeys, as we share the wisdom we wish we’d known, and provide the support we wish we’d had. The gift of these new postpartum experiences is that we get to watch our grandchildren grow without the responsibility of being the parent, without the self-doubt that too often accompanies our own parenting journeys. We get to re-experience life through young, fresh eyes, and hopefully, find the joy we might have missed the first time around simply because we were too busy trying to figure it all out to stop and notice.

 

 

Full circle Back to “Me.”

And so we’ve come full circle. As we grow through motherhood, purposefully

Biking along the beach in Belize, with OJ. Gorgeous!

Biking along the beach in Belize, with OJ. Gorgeous!

seeking our truest self, pushing, learning, and taking our lessons in stride, we find we come back to the beginning, at the end. That’s what full circle means to me—coming back around to myself, and feeling more “me” than I ever have before.

 

 

What have your mothering identity changes been like? What’s been challenging for you? What lessons have you learned? How have you seen your experiences come “full circle?” Please leave a comment, below, and join the conversation!

 

 

  • If you need immediate help, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • If you are looking for pregnancyor postpartum support and local resources, please call or email us:

 

 

2016 PSI Blog Hop: Invitation: "Full Circle" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Join the 4th annual Postpartum Support International Blog Hop! Read the guidelines here, write your “full circle” story, and then link up, below or here. Help raise awareness, support and hope, in honor of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month!

 

 

Join me at the Postpartum Support International Annual Conference, June 2016 in San Diego, where I’ll be speaking about postpartum identity, self-esteem, and tools for healing!

More information/to register, click here.

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

“Overcome, become, & flourish” with me by subscribing!

You may manage your subscription options from your profile, here, or above, right.

 

 

 

Listen to my latest episode of “Motherhood” radio and “choose to grow through motherhood” with me!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

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

 

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

"Who Am I" in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood?- Identity, Full Circle. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #PSIBlog Hop 2016 #ppd #pregnancy #postpartum #motherhood #identity
Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

New Year, New You! Top 6 Strategies for Personal Growth & Change

“This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan–My New Year’s Gift to You!

New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps for Personal Growth Success

Beyond Resolutions: Discover your New Year’s Vision

What I’ve Learned about Personal Growth from a Decade of New Year’s Themes

 

 

Exercise as a Family: 50 Fun Ways to Get & Stay Moving Together! (Key 3)

Exercise as a Family-50 Fun Ways to Get & Stay Moving Together www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealth #books from 8 Keys to Mental Health Through ExerciseIn my last post, I shared some of the incredible benefits of exercising as a family–including boosting family members’ physical and mental health and strengthening family relationships! Hopefully, learning about all those incredible benefits convinced you that family exercise is key if we want happy, healthy families.

Now, the question is “How?” How can you get your family moving? And how can you keep them moving, for life? Find out in the following excerpts from my new book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise!

 

 

Exercise As a Family: Before you get started…

When it comes to starting a habit of family exercise, there are a few things it’s important to know and to do:

Since I prioritize exercise, my kids have learned to, too! (In my "exercise room" in "the dungeon," early in the morning.)

Since I prioritize exercise, my kids have learned to, too! (In my “exercise room” in “the dungeon,” early in the morning.)

1) ” Focus on being active, not on ‘exercise.’  You don’t have to ever use the word ‘exercise’ if you don’t want to. Just encourage your family to move—as much and as often as possible.’

2) “Focus on healthmental and physical—not on weight loss. Your goal is to increase your family’s activity in order to increase their mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health, not encourage your family members to lose weight.’

3) “Prioritize physical activity for your own mental health and be the example. If you get moving, your kids and family are more likely to follow.’ (8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise can show you how.)

4) “Make it fun! There are dozens of great ideas for how to do this, below.”

 

 

Family Exercise: 50 Fun Ways to Get (& Keep) Your Family Moving!

  • “Play ultimate Frisbee. (This is a family favorite around our house.)
  • “Play family soccer, football, or baseball.
  • “Explore your neighborhood, looking for animals, flowers, plants, trees, and people that peak your interest.
  • “Play monkey-in-the-middle.
  • “Play tag or hide and seek.
  • “Play catch or toss a football around.
  • “Play basketball games like HORSE, “Knock-Out,” or see who can shoot
    Hiking at Lake Powell. Beautiful, and fun for the whole family!

    Hiking at Lake Powell. Beautiful, and fun for the whole family!

    the most baskets in one minute.

  • “Climb a hill, mountain, or tree.
  • “Do family relay or wheelbarrow races, or play tug of war.
  • “Have a family wrestling or arm-wrestling match. (Just don’t get too competitive!)
  • “Play Twister or Charades together.
  • “Go rollerblading, ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding.
  • “Take a family bike ride.
  • “Roll down a hill and then run back up.
  • “Go swimming, splash, and see who can swim the farthest underwater or tread water the longest.
  • “Have a water balloon fight or an egg toss contest with family teams.
  • “Play racquet sports like tennis, pickleball, Smashball, or racquetball together.
  • “Create an obstacle course, have a Hula-Hoop competition, or try double-dutch jump rope.”
  • Invite children of all ages to join you in your personal exercise. Let your toddler stretch while you do yoga, put young kids in the stroller or let them ride a bike while you go for a jog. Invite teenagers to lift weights with you at the gym or at home.
  • “Encourage your child to participate in and learn new sports, games, and activities. Teach them the skills they’ll need for these activities, to boost their confidence and sense of competency.
  • “Facilitate a safe walk to and from school a few times a week.
    • Exploring the caves and coast of Curacau with our two oldest! Exploring the caves and coast of Curacau with our two oldest!

    “Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • “Walk around the block after a meal.
  • “Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials.
  • “Find time to spend together doing a fun activity: family park, swim, or bike day.
  • “Volunteer to help with after school physical activity programs or sports teams.
  • “Go golfing, horseback riding, or snowshoeing together.”
  • “Go hiking, rock-climbing, or try an indoor climbing gym or rock wall.
  • “Dance! Sing, twirl, jump, spin, move, and groove together. Make up a dance routine or just turn on the music and let yourself go!
  • “Try family yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates.
  • “Do an exercise video together. Challenge each other to push harder and do better.
  • “In the winter, shovel snow from the driveway and build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go sledding together, or make snow angels.
  • “Clean the house to music, or make it a race to see who can pick up the
    Family water-skiing, wake-boarding, and getting thrown off the tube by dad is a favorite of ours!

    Family water-skiing, wake-boarding, and getting thrown off the tube by dad is a favorite of ours!

    most things in each room.

  • “Practice doing cartwheels, summersaults, or other gymnastics together.
  • “Play an active video game together like Wii Fit or a dancing game.
  • “On rainy days, try skating in socks on a wood floor.
  • “Make a goal to play at every park in your town.”
  • “Whenever possible, encourage your family to take the stairs. If you have stairs at home, make it a goal to go up and down at least 10 times a day.
  • “Train as a family for a charity walk, climb, or run.
  • “Celebrate special occasions—like birthdays or anniversaries—with something active, such as a hike, a volleyball or soccer game, or playing Frisbee at the park.
  • “Walk instead of driving whenever you can. If you have to drive, find a spot at the far end of the parking lot and walk to where you’re going. Race back to the car, being sure to look out for traffic.
  • “Turn yard work into fun (jump in the raked pile of leaves, or shoveled
    Sydney playing pickleball with her Bema. My mother-in-law loves pickleball, & brings her grandkids to play whenever she can!

    Sydney playing pickleball with her Bema. My mother-in-law loves pickleball, & brings her grandkids to play whenever she can!

    snow or turn on the music and sing as you work).

  • “Plan active family gatherings (hiking, rafting, tag, relay races, dance party, skating, family sports activity, sledding, skiing, and so on). When my husband’s family gets together, we have pickleball, basketball, whiffle ball, or trampoline trick competitions. It can get pretty intense.
  • “Make a game of chores. We like to move room-to-room as a family and set the timer for two minutes in each room. Then, we see who can pick up the most items as we get the whole house done in no time flat.
  • “Sneak activity into other activities, like shopping at the mall (take the stairs and walk quickly between stores).
  • “Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks. March, do jumping jacks, twist, or dance together until the show starts again.
  • “Have a weekly family sports night. Invite friends or neighbors to participate once in a while, too.
  • “Use pedometers to keep track of family members’ daily steps. Issue a challenge to see who can take the most steps each day/week.”
  • “Pick up kids on your bike after school, or on the weekends walk to the city bus stop, take a trip downtown, and explore (don’t forget to stop for a treat). “

 

 

Exercising as a family can be peaceful and relaxing, too--like paddle-boarding together on a still lake at dawn.

Exercising as a family can be peaceful and relaxing, too–like paddle-boarding together on a still lake at dawn.

Whew!

If this list doesn’t inspire you to get up and out with your family, then I don’t know what will! And it’s only the beginning. Use your creativity, ask your kids what they would love to do together, and for more tips, strategies, and ideas for family exercise, check out Key 3 of8 Keys to Mental Health Through ExerciseThen, get out and get moving as a family, today!

 

~The above quoted excerpts are from my newest book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. Available online or at your local bookseller (see links below)!

 

 

In case you missed it, check out Exercise as a Family to Strengthen Relationships, Mental & Physical Health! (Key 3) 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

“Overcome, become, & flourish” with me by subscribing!

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My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

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

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

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
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Listen to “Motherhood” radio, “Overcoming Roadblocks (& Excuses) to Exercise for Mental (& Physical) Health” for more tips on family and exercise!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

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

 

 

 

 

Exercise as a Family-50 Fun Ways to Get & Stay Moving Together www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealth #books from 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

 

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Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise as a Family to Strengthen Relationships, Mental & Physical Health! (Key 3) 

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it fun! (My “8 Keys” Book Launch at Zion Ponderosa Women’s Adventure Retreat!)

Improve your Self-Esteem with Exercise–Key 2!

How to Get (& Stay) Motivated: (Sneak Peak Excerpt from my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise”)

Mom Mental Health Through Exercise: Pregnancy, Postpartum & Beyond!

40 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps for Personal Growth Success

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Beyond Resolutions: Discover your New Year’s Vision

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Get Mentally & Physically FITT: How to create an exercise program that Works!

6 Strategies for Mind-Body Wellness & Empowermen

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationships, Mental & Physical Health (Key 3!)

Exercise as a Family to Build Strong Relationships, Mental & PHysical Health www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealthRaising a healthy, happy family is a tall order, especially considering the many stressors, challenges and roadblocks children, parents, and well, everyone faces each day. How can we raise happy, healthy kids? How can we strengthen our family while building self-esteem and improving family relationships? Family exercise.

Now, I’m not talking about getting everyone in their spandex for a five-mile run or a high intensity step aerobics class. I’m talking about teaching our family to move–to be active, and to have fun while doing so.

“Exercise as a family” is Key 3 of my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” and you’re about to find out just why it’s so important.

 

 

The Family, Mental Health, & Exercise 

At Yellowstone with my family, we went hiking, biking, and had a great time playing frisbee, "keep away" and enjoying the beautiful scenery!

At Yellowstone with my family, we went hiking, biking, and had a great time playing frisbee, “keep away” and enjoying the beautiful scenery! Great for family relationships AND mental health!

“Family plays one of the most critical roles in how we view ourselves—in how we think and feel about who we are, are perceived in this world, and our attitudes toward a host of things, not least of which includes physical activity. Family is also one of the biggest influencers of our mental health. Healthy family environments promote and strengthen mental health, while unhealthy family systems can provoke or contribute to mental illness.

 

“It’s therefore no surprise that exercising as a family is one of the best ‘keys’ for mental health and physical activity across the lifespan. When the family is able to create and foster a positive relationship with exercise and physical activity, the entire family benefits, both physically and mentally.”

 

 

What are the Benefits of Exercising As A Family?

The physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health benefits of exercise for individual adults and children are well-researched, but what can our family gain from being active together?

 

“The family who exercises together…

 

“…gets and stays healthy together–physically and mentally

One Saturday, after my kids had helped me get a little time alone, I took them for a family bike ride. I win. They win. We all win.

One Saturday, after my kids had helped me get a little time alone, I took them for a family bike ride. I win. They win. We all win.

“All of the physical health benefits of exercise [for individuals] can also apply to the children, adolescents, and adults (of any age) in your family. Exercise is important for families because it can control weight, lower heart risks, improve school performance, and increase life expectancy (Bhargava 2014). Additionally, all of the mental health benefits [of exercise] can apply to each of your family members. Family exercise can improve mental and emotional well being, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve happiness and overall life satisfaction for everyone, creating a happier, healthier family unit…”

 

“…grows in self-worth and confidence together.”

“In Key 2 we discussed how exercise makes us feel better about ourselves and can lead to a greater sense of self-worth… We first learn self-worth and confidence in the home. If we want our children and spouse/partner to develop a habit of exercise for mental health for life, we should also try to demonstrate self-worth and confidence. As we provide our family members with opportunities to be active and try new activities, encourage and guide one another in learning new exercise skills, work together, and yes, have fun, we will grow together in confidence and self-worth…”

 

“…has fun together.” 

With the fam, zip lining in Mexico, last spring break.

With the fam, zip lining in Mexico, last spring break.

“Exercise is not only good for our body and mind; it’s good for the soul—if we do it right. Exercise and activity can, and should, be fun. It should involve play, laughter, and memory making with family and friends. Kids are all about having fun, and games, sports, and activities like jumping rope, playing tag, and doing tricks on the trampoline are fun—and great exercise. But the fun isn’t just for the kids. Parents who make exercise fun for kids benefit by having a little fun, too…

 

“…remains active together, throughout life.”

“…Active parents tend to have active children. One study of 4- to 7-year-olds found that children with two active parents were nearly six times more likely to be active, too. Even more interestingly, they found that children with one active and one inactive parent were still more than three times more likely to be active than children with two inactive parents (Moore et al., 1991). Additional research has shown significant relationships between the physical activity levels of every possible family member combination (i.e. mother-father, father-son, mother-daughter, siblings, and so on) (Seabra et al., 2008), providing even greater evidence that families who are active together tend to stay active, together.”

 

“stays together.”Exercise as a Family, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #mentalhealth #health #family 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise #books

“Exercising as a family doesn’t just create physically and mentally healthy individuals, though that is a huge payoff. It creates a healthier family unit. Being active together doesn’t just help wear kids out so they’ll go to bed earlier and sleep longer (which, let’s face it parents, is a bonus). No. Exercise has the potential to bring families closer…”

 

Exercise as a Family

How can we build stronger family relationships, physical, and mental health? Exercise. Be active together. Have fun together. Live long and happy lives together. Strengthen your family–relationships, physically, and mentally–by seeking to build activity into your family’s life.

And for more ideas on how to do this, watch for “Exercise as a Family: 50 Fun Ways to Get (& Stay) Moving Together”–coming next–to get your family reaping the many benefits of exercise today!

 

~The above quoted excerpts are from my newest book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. Available online or at your local bookseller! 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

“Overcome, become, & flourish” by subscribing today!

You may manage your subscription options from your profile, here, or above, right.

 

 

What benefits have you found from family exercise? How do you make it fun and get kids on board? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment, below!

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

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

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

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile, here, or above, right.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Listen to “Motherhood” radio, “Overcoming Roadblocks (& Excuses) to Exercise for Mental (& Physical) Health” for more tips on family and exercise!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise as a Family to Build Strong Relationships, Mental & PHysical Health www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealth

Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it fun! (My “8 Keys” Book Launch at Zion Ponderosa Women’s Adventure Retreat!)

Improve your Self-Esteem with Exercise–Key 2!

How to Get (& Stay) Motivated: (Sneak Peak Excerpt from my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise”)

Mom Mental Health Through Exercise: Pregnancy, Postpartum & Beyond!

40 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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

New Year, New You! Top 6 Strategies for Personal Growth & Change

“This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan–My New Year’s Gift to You!

New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps for Personal Growth Success

Becoming the Butterfly: The Power of Personal Transformation

Beyond Resolutions: Discover your New Year’s Vision

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

Essential Oils 101- My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids & Families www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #essentialoils #health #wellness #family #motherhood

 

The first time I heard of essential oils was about 8 years ago, from a dear friend of mine. Cooped up with a broken leg, she was telling me how challenging it was to be stuck in bed, unable to walk on her cast yet, and feeling so cramped and miserable. “I started using essential oils,” she said, “and they’ve been my lifeline!” She told me how these oils helped soothe her discomfort and lift her spirits, and she encouraged me to try them out, too.

 

I wasn’t so sure. I thought, “They might help you, but you’ve got a broken leg, and of course ANYTHING will probably help you. I don’t think they’d help me in any useful way.” So, I shelved the idea, for a couple more months, until that same friend brought it up again. This time, she was telling me how, now that she was up and moving around again, she’d started using oils to help in other ways, and how her kids had been using them, too. She’d tell me how “this oil is amazing for a scratchy throat,” or “this one is incredible at helping my kids’ respiratory issues,” and I admit, I was finally intrigued. Could they do the same for me and my family? I decided to give it a try.

 

 

Why I Started Using Essential Oils

I started with just a few “basics”–an immunity blend, peppermint, and lavender oils.  First, I tried the immunity blend, which I use whenever I start to get a scratchy throat or the sniffles, and especially during the winter, to boost my immune system (to find out more about my favorite oil brand and names, register to WIN, below!). I first tried it when my throat was getting hoarse and I was supposed to sing a solo a couple days later, at church. I was amazed at how well it worked for me! My throat felt immediately soothed, and after using this immunity blend, along with chamomile tea with lemon, rest, and taking it easy, I was in good enough shape, come Sunday, to sing, if not at my best, at least well enough. Now, I use this blend in a hand soap, I take a drop each day, and carry a bottle of beadlets of it around with me all winter long!

 

View from my morning jog today--isn't it gorgeous? I'm getting some R&R here in CA. Rest+ exercise + nutrition + essential oils = Wellness & happiness for me!

View from my morning jog–isn’t it gorgeous? I’m getting some R&R here in CA. Rest+ exercise + nutrition + essential oils = Wellness & happiness for me!

I started using lavender in a hot bath at night, to help me relax and have more restful sleep. I started using peppermint to pick me up when fatigued, and also when my nose would get stuffy–a little bit on my pinky rubbed in each nostril would open things up so I could breathe easier, especially at night.

 

Then, I started using essential oils with my children. I loved that they are made from plants and fruits, and that they are safe for all ages when used in the correct ways. I loved that my kids could use some of the oils themselves, and I especially loved how empowered essential oils made me feel as a mother. I still love all these things about essential oils, and over the years, I’ve branched out into using all varieties of essential oils to help me, my kids, and my family. I truly can’t say enough about how wonderful they have been for us!

 

 

What do I love Most about Essential Oils?

So, why am I telling you all this? Because when I find a solution as good as this one, I want to share it. What can essential oils do for you? Well, that’s for you to answer, but let me tell you a little more about what essential oils have done for me, and for my family.

 

The three things I love most about essential oils are:

1)  They are safe for my whole family to use. Essential oils are extracted from plants and fruits, which have been used since the dawn of man to improve health and wellness. Because I use the best quality oils (CPTG certified–see below to learn about my favorite oil brand), I know they are safe for me, my kids, and my entire family, when used correctly. There are three ways to use essential oils (see #2)– Each oil is recommended for one or more of these ways, and when used in the proper way, all are considered safe. Some oils, like lemon, you can use everywhere. I love it in my water or I use it as the secret ingredient in chicken noodle soup and chicken salad. Others, like oregano, require more care; it can be hot on the skin, so it’s important to use it wisely, according to recommended directions. Bottom line, however, is that essential oils are safe for my whole family, and that I love.

 

I never thought I'd be a "make a shake for breakfast" kinda gal, but here I am! This mix, coupled w/ daily vitamins, helps me feel so much more energized each day. I use my single-serving Farberware blender (my FAV!), mix, grab, and go! (For more on my fav "Green Drink" blend & vitamins, sign up, below!)

I never thought I’d be a “make a shake for breakfast” kinda gal, but here I am! This mix, coupled w/ daily vitamins, helps me feel so much more energized each day. I use my single-serving Farberware blender (my FAV!), mix, grab, and go! (For more on my fav “Green Drink” blend & vitamins, sign up, below!)

2) They’re easy to use. As mentioned just above, there are three main ways to use essential oils–topically, internally, and diffused in the air. In our home, we diffuse our favorite oils, like orange, citrus, and “happy blends” as pick-me-ups; or, when the kids are fighting, I put some of my favorite calming blend in the diffuser to help settle things down. I use lemon and lime daily in my water, and even use a green drink blend of essential oils and greens in my breakfast shake each day, along with taking multivitamins that also contain essential oils. I can’t tell you how much more energized I have felt since adding these things into my daily routine! Once you have an oil and know a few of the many ways to use it, the possibilities are endless! (To learn about my favorite oil blends, vitamins, and green drink mix, register to WIN, below!)

 

3) Essential oils empower me as a mom, and empower my family, too. Now that I have so many oils on hand, I have a wealth of wellness at my fingertips. In the middle of the night, I can turn to my favorite respiratory blend, which helps support my children’s respiratory system. In the mornings, when my kids wake up with a scratchy throat, I make them a “cocktail,” as they now call it–with a drop each of the immunity blend, oregano, peppermint, and lemon, in a tiny bit of water. “Make me a cocktail, mom,” they say, and I do, and then they gulp it down. No, they don’t do this because of its wonderful taste (it’s a strong blend, but you can definitely feel it working!). They do this because they know, like I do, how it makes them feel–better. And I love that they can use the oils themselves. My 12 year-old daughter keeps a diffuser by her bed and uses it when feeling stressed, down, or when she really needs to relax (so do I!). My teenagers (and I) use oils, like melaleuca (tea tree oil) for skin blemishes and irritations, lavender to soothe bug bites, and my college boys even took an essential oil kit with them away to college. Now, they are teaching their friends how to use them, and sharing the wisdom!

 

What can Essential Oils Do for YOU?

This is the question. It doesn’t matter what essential oils have done for me. The question is, “What can they do for YOU?” You won’t know until you try, but I hope I’ve at least given you something to think about. Essential oils can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, and other wellness practices. I know they have been for me, and I can’t imagine giving them up at this point.

 

Listen to my “Motherhood” radio episode on “Essential Oils 101: The Many Uses & Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families” to hear two of my favorite essential oil “gurus” and I share education and inspiration on how and why to use essential oils. Then, ENTER TO WIN a FREE “Family Physician” kitwith 10 of the most-used essential oils–a value of over $160! Register below to win, and to learn more about essential oils! I hope they will improve your family’s wellness as much as they have done for mine.

 

Enter to WIN a FREE Family Physician Kit–10 Essential Oils, and worth over $160!

Register by completing the form, just below, to win!

Deadline to enter is midnight March 31, 2016. Winner will be drawn on or about April 1, 2016!

Good luck!

 

 

 

Listen Now to “Essential Oils 101: The Many Uses & Benefits for Moms, Kids & Families” on  “Motherhood” radio!
Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe!

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

 

 

 

 

 

My new book is here!

“8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise” will get and keep you up, moving, and reaping the benefits of exercise your whole life long!

Pre-order SALE on Norton.com: Enter code HIBBERT and receive 25% off, FREE shipping, AND get the before anyone else does!

Official book release date, April 25–

Order today on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local bookseller!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

“Dr…Hibbert (Who Am I Without You?) has created a useful and supportive exercise guide aimed at helping readers with mental health problems…An enlightening and empowering instrument for people who have struggled with mental illness!” ~Publisher’s Weekly (read full review here)

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

#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 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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile, here, or above, right.

 

 

 

 

 Essential Oils 101- My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids & Families www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #essentialoils #health #wellness #family #motherhood

Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

New Year, New You! Top 6 Strategies for Personal Growth & Change

“This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan–My New Year’s Gift to You!

New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps for Personal Growth Success

Beyond Resolutions: Discover your New Year’s Vision

What I’ve Learned about Personal Growth from a Decade of New Year’s Themes

 

 

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 #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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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 #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!

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Postpartum Support International’s 2015

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

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Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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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

 

 

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

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Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go as Children (& You) Grow

Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go as Children (& You) Grow; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comMy oldest child is now officially away at college. After weeks of buying supplies, packing, and trying to teach him all the last minute lessons I could think of, we unpacked his dorm room, I squeezed him tightly, and then I got in the car and drove four hours back home, bawling the whole way.

 

I’d heard of moms who cried when dropping their “babies” at college, but honestly, I never thought that would be me. I’d mentally prepared for months, after all—envisioning what it would be like, and reminding myself often that time is short and to soak it all up when I had the chance. And I was mentally prepared. Though more exhausting than I could have realized, it was smooth sailing getting everything ready for him to go—until I drove away and the emotions took over. Yes, though mentally prepared, I was definitely not emotionally prepared.

 

And how can we be, really? How can we be emotionally prepared for the many times we’re called upon as parents to let them go? We can’t really even know what to be prepared for until we’re there, in the moment, feeling it, like I was last weekend.

 

 

Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go

Now, as I write this, it’s been 5 days, and though I’ve finally stopped crying, it’s taken some time to figure out what I was actually feeling about my son leaving home. I’ve discovered a few important things, and I believe they apply to all the times of parenting loss—letting go when they wean from breastfeeding, when they start preschool or Kindergarten, when they move on to high school and start distancing themselves as teens, when they leave home, get married, and yes, when they have babies of their own. These are all exciting transitions. AND they’re loss. And loss is hard.

 

 

10 Lessons on Letting Go as Children (& We) Grow

I don’t have it all figured out yet. Heck, I’m still not even through this letting go experience. But I have learned some valuable lessons I hope will help you through your times of parenting loss and letting go, too:

 

 

Lesson 1: Seek support, because truly, you’re not alone.Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go as Children (& We) Grow; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

I posted this picture (right) on Facebook two hours into my drive home—because I felt like a crazy woman, literally sobbing while listening to heart-wrenching songs like Jason Mraz’s version of “It’s so Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” and the killer, Taylor Swift’s “Never Grow Up.” It felt like it used to after a tough breakup, but this was just my son moving on, doing what he should be doing, and I felt happy and excited for him. So, why all the tears? Really, I was posting this photo because I wanted support. I wanted to know I wasn’t the only one who cried like a baby all the way home (and yes, pretty much all weekend, too.)

 

 

Lesson 2: Give yourself time and space to figure out what this life transition or loss means to you.

By the morning after the drop-off, however, I no longer wanted to hear any of the very sweet and considerate comments on my Facebook post. It was starting to feel like everyone was telling me how I should feel, but I still had no idea what I was really even feeling yet. The most common comment, “I know exactly how you feel,” while comforting at first, started making me think, “Really? Well, if you know how I feel, then maybe you can tell me what I’m feeling, because I have no clue!” Other comments just missed the mark for me: “This is good for him, so don’t be sad,” for instance. I wasn’t sad, exactly, and I didn’t even feel like I missed him yet. I thought, “Yes. I know! I’m actually happy for him, but I’m still crying!” And some very sweet friends encouraged, “Now you’ll have more time for your work that you love!” “Uh…” I wanted to remind everyone, “I still have five kids at home!” I couldn’t go with what this meant for anyone else. I had to figure it out for myself.

 

 

Lesson 3: FEEL what you feel.

This was one of my strangest experiences, because I had no thoughts about what I was feeling. Just pure emotion. When I tried to think about and figure out what I was feeling, my mind was a complete blank! I wasn’t thinking, “I miss my son,” or even “I’m so worried,” or really anything. I can’t recall a time in my life when I felt such an outpouring of emotion with no thoughts attached. That led me to realize I just need to FEEL, which, in my book, means Freely Experience Emotion with Love. That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do. (More on how to FEEL here.)

 

 

Lesson 4: You’re experiencing loss, and that means you need to grieve.

I eventually identified what I was feeling as “loss.” I’ve had a lot of experience with loss and grief, and this felt very similar. A friend asked, “Does it feel like heartache?” (which, I must say was a very helpful question since she wasn’t telling me what to feel but rather trying to understand what I was feeling). Yes, it has felt like heartache and loss and grief and some sadness, but again, none of these feelings were related to any thoughts. It was like my body had just reached a marathon finish line and it was exhausted and pouring out emotion. It has mostly felt like loss, and I know that all loss must be grieved. (More on “How to Grieve,” here.)

 

 

Lesson 5: Letting go as kids grow is all about change, and change is hard, even when it’s positive change.

First day of school for my middle/high schoolers. They're getting so big so fast!

First day of school for my middle/high schoolers. They’re getting so big so fast!

I’ve come to realize, for me, this is all about change. It’s a major life transition—not only for my son, but for me and for our family. Things are changing, and they’ll never be the same again. Yes, he’ll come home, but not like before. Even having “only 5 kids” feels strange, and they are feeling it, too, praying for their brother and missing him already. My next son is a senior, so he’s leaving in a year, and it’s just going to keep coming. Though I welcome the future and I really do love and encourage personal growth (which this is) for my kids and for me—growing and changing is hard, and yes, can even be painful. Change is hard, even when it’s good change.

 

 

Lesson 6: Actively choose to let go.

Right after I left my son, I said a prayer as I was driving. I told my Heavenly Father, “He’s all yours now. Love him and be there for him when I cannot. I know You will. I know You love him even more than I do.” I could physically feel myself letting go, and that’s when the sobbing began. Like losing a piece of my heart, I could feel it stretching and growing me.

 

 

My baby isn't a baby anymore=More "growth" for me! First day of second grade, a few weeks ago.

My baby isn’t a baby anymore=More “growth” for me! First day of second grade, a few weeks ago.

Lesson 7: It’s good to “Live in the Paradox”—to feel the positive emotions while also feeling the hard stuff.

As I wrote in This Is How We Grow, “Human brains don’t do so well with paradoxes…When faced with two contradicting…feelings…the brain tends to feel stressed…We feel elevated joy and deepest sorrow all at the same time. This is just the way mortality is, and I have come to understand that it is okay to live in the absurd contradiction of paradox.” (p.59) These past days, I’ve been experiencing all these wonderful positive emotions—joy, excitement, and especially deep love and gratitude—all while experiencing the loss. I’ve tried to remember and feel the good stuff even while feeling the hard stuff.

 

 

Lesson 8: The hardest parts of life can help us appreciate the “normal-” and “good-hard” parts—like letting kids go as they grow.

My family has definitely known the “bad-hard” stuff—like death and suicide, traumatic loss and pain. I know better than to take for granted the “normal- hard” stuff, like teenaged pushing back or parenting troubles, and the “good- hard” stuff, like kids growing up and moving on. In fact, that has been my prayer this summer, that we would have a break from the hardest stuff and get to experience the “normal-” and “good-” hard stuff instead for a while. This is an answer to my prayers, and I do not forget that, even through my tears. I’ve also been very mindful of all the moms who will never see their babies again. Those who have had to do the ultimate letting go. It’s not lost on me that what I’m experiencing as my son goes to college is a blessing and a gift. I must never take these experiences for granted.

 

 

Lesson 9: Just because it’s not “bad-hard,” doesn’t mean it’s not real; it doesn’t mean it’s easy or in any way less meaningful than other’s losses or life transitions.

Don’t compare to what others have had to endure. Your loss is your loss, and as I said before, all loss is hard, even the “good-hard” stuff. At first, I told myself I was “ridiculous,” because this wasn’t as hard as other things I’ve been through. But that is ridiculous. Just because it’s not as hard as other experiences doesn’t mean it’s not valid. Life is hard, and we can do hard things. Honor your own experience. Feel and take it in. Some day, these memories will be a comfort to you.

 

 

Lesson 10: When we let go as they grow, it forces us to grow, too.

That’s the ultimate lesson for me at this time of my life. It’s hard to grow, but I’m doing it. Learning to let go is hard, whenever we must do it, but we work at it because we know it forces us to grow right along with our children. A later curfew here, a driver’s license there, more freedom in their own choices—we let go, and they, and we, grow. That’s what parenting, and love, and family, are all about. (Read Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child)

 

 

Have you had to “let go” with your child(ren) lately? What did it feel like for you? What lessons have you learned about parenting, loss, and letting go as they (and you) grow? Please leave a comment, below!

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“My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!” (again) Why Parenting is so darn Tough.

"My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!" (Again) Why Parenting is so Darn Tough; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #parenting #motherhood #fatherhoodI don’t usually post this often–3 times in one week–and I don’t usually hit the keyboard furiously the second I finally get all my kids out the door. But today, I can’t help it. My heart is racing, my head is pounding, and I feel like, if I don’t write, I may just hop in the car and head to an undisclosed location for an undisclosed amount of time.

 

Why is parenting so darn tough?

Today, I lay the “psychologist” aside and speak as “the mom,” and really, just as “me.” Why is parenting so tough?? It shouldn’t always have to be tough, right? We should feel like it’s tough only sometimes?

To me, it feels like it’s always something. Maybe it’s because I have six kids. Maybe it’s because with so many, the needs just keep flowing like a never-ending river. Maybe it’s because my four oldest are all teenagers now, and that means they live in a universe in which they are the center and everyone else must fall into orbit according to their daily gravitational pull (or mood). Maybe it’s because my husband’s been out of town most days the past weeks, with another trip coming up, and I’ve been going solo for too long. Maybe it’s because, try as I may, I never seem to get a full night’s sleep (except a week ago Saturday when my husband “took charge” for a day and I actually slept for 11 hours!) The more tired I am, the more “crazy” I feel (and act). Maybe my hormones are starting to kick in again (let me check the calendar—a little over a week away? Maybe. Maybe not.)

 

My kids are driving me crazy—again!

Yes, my kids are driving me crazy–again–and it’s a cycle that seems to repeat about every six weeks or so. They get incredibly lax on things like, oh, chores, getting to bed, getting up on time, remembering to do homework or take it to school, personal hygiene, etc, etc, and I get pushed and pushed by the piling of these “little things” until I go on a rant of some sort, which makes them listen and makes me feel guilty (I really do not like getting so frustrated with my kids!). This motivates us all to regain some order in the home, to make apologies, to work a little harder. And this brings peace once again…ahhh…until we start to get too tired and too busy and too lax again, and voila! The cycle repeats. (Read “My Kids are Driving Me Crazy! 10 Ideas to Drive Us Back to Sane)

 

It just makes me feel better to let it out…

I know I may be facing social media mockery and isolation by writing my true feelings—or rather how I truly feel today

Left the milk out, and their breakfast. And, two "forgot" their lunches this morning, again.

Left the milk out, and their breakfast. And, two “forgot” their lunches this morning, again.

—about my kids and parenting. All I ever seem to see on Facebook are posts about how great other people’s kids are. Yes, I have posted my fair share of “success moments” with my kids, too, so yes, I get it. But most days I really want to post, “I’m so proud of my six little kiddos! They stopped fighting in time to actually listen to me (the fourth time they were asked) and do their chores! How did I get so lucky? What a proud mama I am!”

I know, that’s sarcastic, and so far I’ve refrained, because I don’t believe in shaming my kids. Instead, I believe in encouraging them to do better, and today, I did just that. Instead of going on a rant, yelling about all the things they’re not doing right now, (and by yelling and rant, I mean a very long, intense talking to in which they sit perfectly still because they can see if they push even one bit my head might just explode). Instead of this, today, I tried a new approach. Ok, yes, I did “rant” a little after they left by taking pics of all the things I’d asked them to do a million times–for proof, later, if I need it. But, overall I was very impressed with my non-ranting solution.

 

“Kids!–Do This!”

Like my “Lame-o-list”—which I made when I reached a similar point of frustration with my husband and myself (yes, I

It's not pretty, and you can see from my handwriting I was working through some issues. But my "Kids! Do This!!" list is definitely effective.

It’s not pretty, and you can see from my handwriting I was working through some issues. But my “Kids! Do This!!” list is definitely effective.

expect all of us to do what we’re supposed to do—even, and especially, me). Similarly, I grabbed a colored pencil (because of course all my pens are lost—again), and in my building anxiety, began to scribble all the things my kids need to remember to do each day and each week, and all the time.

I wrote at the top, “Kids! Do this!” and underlined it twice. Yes, instead of ranting about all my kids have not done, like I would usually do, today I focused on what my kids should do. This is a great psychological and parenting principle I learned long ago: teach kids what to do instead of telling them what not to do.

So, I did just that. I wrote a list of all they need to do, because, maybe they just can’t remember on their own. Maybe they just need to be reminded. A million times. Yeah, right.

Well, now, they are officially reminded, as you can see, to the right. They are reminded to change their underwear and put away the milk and do their homework before before school the next day. They are reminded to take the lunches I wake up very early each morning to make for them (because I’m nice like that), and to thank me for making them. They are reminded to turn out the lights and pick up the toys and shoes off the floor so the dog won’t chew them to bits while they’re at school (like she did to every one of her leashes and the items pictured below!). They are reminded to remember everything they need for school before they leave or they just won’t have it, and to actually

The remains of a maraca, Pinkie Pie pony, pants, packing tape, and a sleeping bag after our dog, Coco, had her fun this morning.

The remains of a maraca, Pinkie Pie pony, pants, packing tape, and a sleeping bag after our dog, Coco, had her fun this morning. This is why we pick things up, kids!

listen when their dad and I are trying to help them or give them important advice. (Seriously, why don’t kids just listen to us? It would make life—theirs and ours—so much easier, wouldn’t it?)

You get the picture.

Writing this list calmed me, and I even saw a few of my kids read the list, and behave extra respectfully to me after they did. Apparently, they can get the picture without me having to say one single ranting word. They can, instead, read my suggestions and do them—or not, but we all know what the end result of that choice will be.

 

Parenting is tough, by nature, but it makes us grow.

The hard truth is that parenting is tough, and sometimes, it’s really tough. It pushes us in ways we never expected and

This "zone" was supposed to be cleaned last night. My husband and I both asked two kids to do this three separate times. Ugh.

This “zone” was supposed to be cleaned last night. My husband and I both asked two kids to do this three separate times. Ugh.

can make us feel things, and act in ways, we never wanted.

Writing this, I feel like both a terrible parent and a great one all at once. Terrible, because I wish I could just handle the stress that is a natural part of parenting (and especially parenting six kids) without getting pushed to the edge of sanity. Great, because I am learning to handle these frustrations in more and more creative and healthy ways. Yes, parenting is tough because it forces us to grow.

In fact, I am now recalling I posted something similar to this not too long ago. Let me check… Yes, the last time I wrote about this was in my “Parenting Teens” article, 9 ½ weeks ago. So, maybe I am actually improving. If I can last almost 10 weeks in between my parenting meltdowns, I must be. Yippee!

 

One more time: Parenting is tough because it forces us to grow.

In my first Skype-in This is How We Grow book club, the other night, the group asked eagerly, “How are all the kids

Yes, my sons were making dorky faces on purpose, ruining an otherwise cute pic, but I still love these crazy kids. They sure do help me grow.

Yes, my sons were making dorky faces on purpose, ruining an otherwise cute pic, but I still love these crazy kids. They sure do help me grow.

doing now?” It’s the most common question I get after people read my memoir. I told them the truth—that they are great kids, trying to do the right thing and be their best, working hard to excel in life. And, they struggle. They’re going through the regular ups and downs of teen and tween years; they make mistakes, grief still hits at times, and they argue just like normal siblings. “It can be hard for us, as parents, to know how to parent each of them in the individual ways they need and not just treat them as a group whole,” I said. “But, I try to see them as individuals and give them individual attention, even while holding them accountable to the same rules and expectations. It’s tough,” I admitted.

“So, it’s just parenting. Still,” one woman wisely said.

“Yep,” I replied. “It’s just parenting. Still. Forever.” And parenting is just hard sometimes–because it forces us to grow.

There are so many moments of beauty and joy and delight as a parent, and there are all these other moments just trying to keep up and get it as right as possible. Parenting is a tough job, but when we dig in and plant ourselves, it’s the best ground to make us grow.

Here’s to growing as parents! And, may the force be with you; if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna need it!

"My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!" (again) Why Parenting is so darn Tough; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Check out Parenting Skills: “My Kids are Driving Me Crazy!” 10 Ideas to Drive Us Back to Sane!

Ok, let me have it. Do your kids ever drive you as crazy as mine seem to? How do you handle yourself when they do? What are your thoughts on the tough job of parenting and how it’s designed to make us grow? Leave a comment, below! 

Listen to my episode, “Why am I Frustrated and Yelling at My Kids Even Thought I Promised I Wouldn’t?’ with Dr. Rosina McAlpine, on  “Motherhood” radio! Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe to the show!

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