Best Advice Ever- Motherhood 100th Episode!

 

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

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

 

Motherhood Radio/TV–100th Episode!

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

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

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

 

 

Mastering Motherhood: Best Advice Ever

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

New episodes weekly!

Here’s to the next 100!

 

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

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

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

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Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

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

It’s time for a reality check.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

3) “Being mom” can be incredibly boring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

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Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

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Overcoming Mom Shame: #StopMomShaming Solutions (Mom.Life Q & A)

 

If you’re a mom, you’ve experienced it–unwanted advice, criticism, or shaming about your parenting, choices, or lifestyle that leaves you feeling devastated. Why are we so hard on each other? And why are we so hard on ourselves?

 

Mom.Life Mom-Shaming Survey Results

Mom-shaming is unfortunately an everyday part of today’s world, and the consequences can be heavy.

Recently, the creators of the engaging and popular Mom.Life app conducted a survey of over 225 women on the topic of mom shaming, or unwanted criticism of their choices or appearance, to understand the far reaching effects. Here’s what they found:

  • Nearly 80% percent of the women surveyed report being shamed.
  • 53% say that shaming happens frequently or is rampant.
  • The leading focus of the shaming was feeding choice, followed by parenting style.
  • Other moms are most likely to be shamers (70%).
  • Dads were the least likely to shame moms.

Why are these numbers so high? And why are moms feeling the most shamed by other moms?

 

Understanding Mom-Shaming

You would think other moms would be the most compassionate, sympathetic, and understanding. After all, don’t we all “get” how difficult motherhood and parenting can be? Aren’t we all in the thick of hectic schedules, lack of sleep, and worry that we’re just not doing as well as every other mom?

The sad truth is mom-shaming is a rampant problem, and Mom.Life has taken up the charge to do something about it–a cause I heartily support.

I recently sat down with Mom.Life co-founders, Dee Anna McPherson and Charong Chow, to discuss solutions to #StopMomShaming (the title of their campaign), and also did a Q&A in the Mom.Life app (so fun!), both of which I’m happy to be sharing with you. Listen to or watch our entire conversation in this Motherhood Radio or Motherhood TV episode, and read my take on mom-shaming solutions, below.

 

Mom Shame Q & A with Mom.Life and Dr. Christina Hibbert

A short while ago, I was a featured expert for one of Mom.Life‘s incredible live events. These events are geared toward creating a safe, supportive environment in which moms can engage, live, with one another and discuss topics important and relevant to motherhood.

The topic for the event I was part of was #StopMomShaming, and there were excellent questions by app users and incredible feedback that created an enlightening conversation. Below are some of the most helpful questions and answers from this event. My hope is it will get you thinking about mom-shaming, and how you can be part of the solution, too. (Download the Mom.Life app now to follow me and join the #StopMomShaming movement, and leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!)

 

Question 1 (Mom.Life):

What is your take on mom shaming? We recently surveyed our moms, and the results were astounding. About 80% of mom have been shamed, mostly for parenting choices? And most shamers were moms themselves. Could you shed some light into this dynamic?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

It’s awful so many are still feeling shamed on a regular basis, but unfortunately it’s not surprising to me. It’s so easy for us to get stuck in “our way” and then to beleive it’s the “best” or “only” way. This leads to intentional or unintentional shaming about choices, when in reality, it’s CRUCIAL we each do this parenting thing our own way.

No one knows your specific situation. No one knows your specific children. And no one is the expert on your family’s needs but YOU. If we could hold our tongues, see the differences in our situations and what works, and just love one another, we’d all be so much happier and feel so much more loved and supported.

 

Question 2 (Mom.Life):

Love your response and insight! Mom shaming is so hurtful. Why do you think it affects us so much, especially our self-confidence?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

It’s the worst to feel “attacked” at the heart of what matters most to you, and that’s exactly what mom shaming does. We are all just trying to figure this motherhood thing out, and as I said before, we each have our own unique situations. Since we’re all doing this without a map, we don’t KNOW 100% what we’re doing, right? Even if I have 6 kids, I still don’t know what I’m doing with every one of them, because they’re all so unique and what worked for one doesn’t work for others. This makes us vulnerable from the start. When someone criticizes in that vulnerable area, it hits extra hard. It makes us question, “Am I a terrible mother?” when really, the criticism says so much more about the person who gave it. It’s called “projection,” and the things we criticize others for are usually the things WE most need to work on. That’s why they bother us in the first place and we feel the need to criticize.

 

Question 3 (Mom.Life):

So, it’s not really about us, then? I love that. Here’s a question from a mom in the app: It seems like no matter who we are we get mom shamed, I am a young mom (20) and get mom shamed by my own mom…how do I shut this down?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

Being shamed by our own parents/in-laws is the worst, and it’s unfortunately quite common. Often it’s unintentional and just your mother’s way of tell you how “she did it”. Other times, it’s on purpose. I think this comes from insecurity, as all shaming does. If we feel that sense of self-worth, we don’t need to shame others.

Perhaps your mother just doesn’t “get” what you’re trying to do as a mom. Perhaps she is jealous of how you are as a mom. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to just sit and take it. Boundaries are a wonderful tool for this. Boundaries are rules you set up to protect yourself and your family. It’s like a fence you construct and you decide if it’s a picket fence or a tall brick wall. You decide what is and is not okay for you as a mom with others, and then you talk with them about what you’ve decided, and if they’re ok with it, then great. If not, you’ll need to be tough and keep your boundaries nonetheless. You can still love someone and have strong boundaries. In fact, it’s healthy.

Question 4 (Mom.Life):

Any tips on not allowing mom shaming to bother you to begin with?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

I think it all comes down to a strong sense of self-worth, and I’ve learned that we moms struggle with this the very most. I believe there’s a difference between self-esteem (or what we think, feel, how we behave, look, and what others think about us–the “outward” things) and self-worth (who we truly are–the inner truth). I’ve developed a “pyramid of self-worth” to help people work on building this sense of self-worth, to FEEL that self-love and KNOW they’re truly valuable and worthy.

Almost all the issues I see clients for, at their core, have to deal with self-worth, and I started to see this pattern of women especially who’d say, “I know YOU say I’m worthy, and I can tell myself that, but I don’t FEEL it.” It made me wonder, “how to you help someone feel self-worth?” That’s when I developed the pyramid of self-worth, which is made up of 1) self-awareness, 2) self-acceptance, and 3) self-love practices. I write about this in both my books “Who am I without You” and “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” as well as on my YouTube channel!

 

Question 5 (Mom.Life):

Here’s a great question from the community: How do you make sure you’re sharing the love when you bring another baby home? How do you make sure you’re there for your partner and also for your other children?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

I used to worry so much about this when I was pregnant with my second! I’d wonder, “How could I ever love another baby like I love my first?” But you do. And it’s amazing how your love just grows and amplifies with other children and meaningful family relationships–as a mom of 6 I can say this for sure!

What IS truly challenging is making time so everyone feels they’re getting “enough” of you. It’s important to also get some of yourself, too, so I suggest writing down your priorities–what matters most, in order of most important to least. Then, write down how much time you’re willing to give to each thing each week (including work, relationships, the house cleaning, etc). Focus on getting your top three done everyday, and you will never feel like you’re lacking. The house can be messy, especially if it means you played with your toddler and spent time with your spouse. Let go of what’s not as important in favor of what IS.

I love the saying, “Saying no to something is really saying ‘Yes’ to something better.” Write this on your wall if you need to, but remember that a little of your time and attention, especially if it’s full of love, goes a long, long way. One other suggestion for bringing another baby home: Give the older child a “gift” from the new baby. It’s a great way for big bro/sis to start feeling like and love for their new sibling!

Singing & rocking my youngest, Sydney. Though I was able to breastfeed her, I introduced a bottle early on. I knew I needed it to help me survive PPD.

Question 6 (Mom.Life):

One mom writes: I can’t help but to keep blaming myself for my weight gain. It is my fault and I feel worse because I didn’t “bounce back” like everyone else. Any advice on how I can gain my confidence back and stop blaming myself so much?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

Self-blame is a tough cycle to live in. It’s so easy to look at others and compare and think, “They are so much better than I am. I stink!” when really we don’t know their struggles, and they’re probably doing the same thing with us about something else. We compare our worst to others’ best, and that’s a vicious cycle. Our sense of self-worth is so tied up in this. If you don’t love yourself or if you can’t practice compassion with yourself–with who you are, your strengths, weakness, the “good, bad, ugly, and exceptional”– of course, you will blame yourself for every perceived “failure.”

The key is to work on building that sense of self-worth, as I mentioned above. Then, you will feel stronger and able to say, “I don’t like that I haven’t lost this weight, but I accept this is where I am right now.” Then, you have the option to change where you are, to improve. And you’ll be coming at it in such a healthier way. As far as weight loss, my newest book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” there’s a whole chapter on Self-worth, and I don’t even discuss setting up a fitness program until Key 7! That’s because, if we really want to set and achieve goals–like the goal to exercise or be healthy–we first need a LOT of mental preparation. We need to change how we view “success” and “failure,” we need to build our self-worth so we’ll stick with it, and we need to learn how to stay motivated. Working on these things is a great start to eventually loving all of who you are and achieving your dreams! (Join my “Exercise to Mental Health” course here!)

 

Question 7 (Mom.Life):

Here’s another good question from a mom: How can I feel less lonely as a new mom? How do I make sure I am my own person and not be known as JJ’s mommy? Is it selfish sometimes to be my own person? I don’t want to only be my son’s mommy.

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

What a great question! First, let me say this clearly: IT IS NOT SELFISH FOR YOU TO BE YOUR OWN PERSON. I see so many mothers who are empty nesters and can’t even answer what they like to do because they’ve given ALL their time and energy to their children and lost themselves along the way. Our goal as mothers is to raise children who become healthy, productive, independent adults, so we do ourselves AND them no good by not remembering who WE are. In fact, I have seen in my own life and so many others’ the power of being YOU as a mom. As we develop our own talents and gifts and share them with others, we SHOW our children how to do the same. We give them permission to “go for it!” because we’ve done so, too. I took my 11 year old daughter with me to an event where I was speaking and doing a book signing, for parents who had all lost a child. She watched me speak and helped with the book signing and at the end of the day she said, “Wow, mom. You are important. You help so many people. I’m so proud of you!” This has helped her want to do the same. We can’t be selfish if we don’t have a SELF. And trust me, as mothers, we give our children so much more when we let that self shine boldly through!

 

 

Have you ever been shamed? By whom, and about what? Do you feel mom-shaming is a problem? Why or why not? What are the solutions to #StopMomShaming?

Join the conversation below by leaving a comment!

Join my “Exercise to Mental Health” 6-week online course! Visit www.ExercisetoMentalHealth.com for information!

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

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Related Posts/Articles:

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40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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

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Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

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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.

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

 

 

Motherhood Radio News! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #radio #tv #moms
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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

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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
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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)
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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!

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Related Posts/Articles:

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

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

New Year, New YOU! Top 6 Strategies for Change & Personal Growth; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

There’s something about January and another new year that gets my personal growth juices flowing. I just love the meaning of this time of year—the idea of hope and renewal, of a second (or fiftieth) chance, of the unrealized potential just waiting to be tapped and developed.

 

Decembers are always trying for me. Though I love the message and meaning of Christmas and the feel of the holiday season, it seems that, for as long as I can remember, it’s been a time of particular challenge, a time of once again “overcoming.” These past two months have been exactly that– filled with family stressors that left me with physical and emotional challenges, it has been a time of winter both literally and figuratively. Once again, I’ve retreated into my home, into my family and faith, and focused only on the basics as a way to pull through and to grow. And I have. I’m feeling much better—renewed, and ready to emerge once again, as it works with the seasons of personal growth.

 

Now, I get to focus on a new year, a new theme, and hopefully a newer, improved me. As we each emerge from seasons of winter, or as we drift into fall, or blossom in spring, we feel the hope of summer and flourishing, and that’s what January is all about. In fact, the word “January” comes from the Roman god, Janus, god of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted as having two faces, one facing forward and the other back. Let this time of year be your chance to look back and forward at the same time, to learn from the past and move on through the doorway to a newer, brighter future (and you!).

 

 

My Top 6 Strategies for New Year’s Change & Personal Growth

The following are 6 of the best strategies I can offer to help you create a new you this year, based on many years of my own personal growth and of helping others “choose to grow,” too. Use these suggestions to inspire, motivate, direct, and guide you into this new year’s opportunity.

The past is gone, and the future is yet to be written. Today, the present, is a gift, a clean slate. So, grab a pen and begin to write–a new future, a new you!

 

 

  • Get clear on your mission and vision. After you know where you are, it’s important to envision Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create Your Life's Vision"; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comwhere you hope to be. Or rather, envision who you’d like to become. Creating a mission statement can help; it can give your life focus and purpose and remind you of what really matters, day to day. My free gift, “How to Create Your Mission Statement” is a great place to start (coming next week–subscribe, top right or below, for first dibs!). Once you know what you want for your life’s purpose, it helps to create your vision. This is the shorter term application of your life’s mission. Use your mission statement to see your future, and then keep that future in mind and apply it each day by living with vision. These posts, Personal Growth Tools: Creating Your Life’s Vision & Beyond Resolutions: Discovering your New Year’s Vision can help. (And join my “This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group, season 2, for more on how to discover & fulfill your life’s mission & purpose!)

 

  • Push yourself, but not too much. Just enough. What if you could be just 5% more loving, or 5% better at a talent you’re developing, or at your work? Imagine how that 5% would add up, over time. Becoming the Butterfly-The Powerf of Personal Transformation www.DrChristinaHibbert.comAnd it’s not overwhelming, is it? 5%? It’s completely doable for all of us. We must push ourselves out of our comfort zones—that’s what personal growth is all about. But we don’t have to jump out of the nest before we’re ready to fly. Focus on believing in yourself. Actively develop a strong sense of self-worth, and remind yourself each day that you can, and will, continue to grow, if you choose to do so. Then, use the 5% rule to push your comfort zone and prepare to take flight! (Read “How to feel Self-Worth: The Pyramid of Self-Worth” and check out my book, “Who Am I Without You?” for a 52-week guide to developing self-worth.)

 

  • Set one, two, or a few achievable goals or, instead, try a yearly theme. One problem too many of us create for ourselves is trying to do too much at once or tackling something that’s too big or we’re not ready for. Change is a process—one that’s more like a spiral staircase we ascend and descend several times before we get to the top (read this to learn more about making lasting change). We have to be ready to make change in order for it to actually work, and we have to set goals that are realistic, achievable, and measurable. You might try what I do, instead, and select a yearly theme. This is a way to focus deeply on one important trait or quality you’d like to become, for an entire year. Then, you can set smaller goals to help you along the way. Whatever you do, however, don’t overdo it. One step at a time is all it takes. Trust me. (For help and ideas, read “New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success.)

 

 

  • Do it your way. While these are my best suggestions, learned through years of focusing on change and growth, both personally and professionally, they may not encompass what you need to make change. There is no one way to fulfill your life’s purpose or to achieve your goals. The best advice I can give is to find what works for you and do that. Don’t compare to how others are doing things. Don’t turn to social media to see if you’re “measuring up.” Do it your way, and let it be good enough, because it most definitely is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Listen to my new episode of  “Motherhood” radio, “New Year, New You–How to “Cultivate the Good Life & Record It,” available Monday January 4, 2016, for more ideas! Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe to the show.

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Share your best strategies for New year’s resolutions, goals, change, and growth, by leaving a comment, below!

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

My NEW book is almost here!  “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

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“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

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

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6 Strategies for Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment

6 Strategies for Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #mind #body #wellness #mentalhealth #healthThe body and mind are inextricably linked. What we do to one affects the other. When we care for one, we care for the other. How can we take better care of our bodies to improve our physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual wellness?

 

Body-Mind Connection

First, it’s important to really understand this body-mind connection. As I wrote in my forthcoming book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise (coming early 2016!): “The research is clear: our brain, immune and endocrine systems, nervous system, and our body’s organs share a chemical language with our emotional responses. They are literally in communication with one another continually (Gordon, 2000). The mind and body are basically inseparable.”

The fact is that powerful emotions, when unfelt, remain in our muscles and body. Emotions like grief, pain, heartache, fear, anxiety, and sadness can get stuck inside, causing all sorts of physical problems. If we want to be mentally and emotionally well, then we must remember to care for our bodies.

 

Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment

Body-mind wellness can begin with either the body or the mind. When we work on one, we help the other. In this article, we’re focusing on caring for the body; that’s why I’m using the term “body-mind,” instead of “mind-body.” If we want to be well–body, mind, and soul–then we must focus on caring for all parts of us.

The beauty of taking care of our bodies is that it can empower us. It not only makes us physically stronger, but it also helps us realize that we have the power. We have the power to make change–to overcome mental and physical distress by working to bring more balance into our lives. As I say about balance, “it’s all about choices.” We each have a choice–to continue to run ourselves ragged, to neglect our bodies and therefore our mental and spiritual health, or to do something. To make choices that empower our physical and mental health, leading to greater health, energy, healing, and to greater joy.

 

6 Strategies for Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment

The following six strategies are a great starting place if you want to increase your body-mind wellness and if you want to empower your body and yourself. Start by practicing one of these strategies, and then when you’ve got a grip on that one, move on and practice another. These are all things that can be done at home, and they’re all things that can make a huge difference in your life, so make a commitment to care for your body (and mind) today!

 

1) Physical Activity (yes, Exercise).

When many people see that word, “exercise,” they immediately run away (pun intended). But the Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, www.exercise4mentalhealth.com #exercise #health #mentalhealthtruth is that exercise is the single best thing you can do for your physical and mental health. And it’s not as hard as most people think. It’s really about being physically active–in whatever way you can. It’s about finding activities you enjoy, about moving your body as often as you can, and about taking it slowly, one step at a time (literally.) As I wrote in 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise (coming early 2016!), “Were exercise available in a pill, everyone would take it. It’s that good.” If you want a strong, empowered body and mind, then exercise is the way.

Stretching is crucial to overcoming muscle tension, to keeping us limber as we grow older, and to helping us relax. Try yoga, pilates, or light stretching in the morning, after activities, or before bed.

Cardiovascular exercise, like walking, bike-riding, or even playing with your kids in the yard, not only improves your heart and keeps you in shape; it’s a miracle drug for your mental health. It is one of the best ways to increase energy, mental clarity, and to overcome feelings of depression, and it also increases oxygen flow in your body, which can help reduce stress and tension.

Resistance training, like lifting weights, doing push-ups, or using bands to build muscle and tone up is wonderful for relieving anxiety and tension in the body. If you’re feeling stressed and tense, go lift some weights. (For more on exercise, read: 40 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Exercise, or Get Mentally & Physically FITT: How to Create an Exercise Program that Works. And visit http://www.exercise4mentalhealth.com for more on my new book!)

 

2) Breathing. 

Simply put, our bodies and minds need oxygen! When we feel stressed, worried, or depressed, we often hold our breath, or we get so busy in life that we forget to practice breathing in ways that calm and help us.

Deep breathing is one of the best things we can learn to reduce stress, to tackle problems in life, and to increase physical and mental health. This video can show you how.

 

3) Sleep.

Quite frankly, most of us don’t get enough sleep. Our bodies need sleep to restore health and wellness, and our minds desperately need sleep to be fresh, energized, and well. Sleep recharges the brain, solidifies memories, increases learning, and gives us the rest we so desperately need every single day. Sleep deprivation builds up over time, and eventually can create or exacerbate symptoms of mental illness, not to mention how it can lead to physical illness, injury, and pain.

Most people need 7-9 hours a night, and if you’re not getting it, then it’s time to focus on repaying your sleep debt. Naps, sleeping in on days off or weekends, and for parents, getting someone to watch the kids while you sleep, are all great ways to get a few more zzz’s. This article, Sleep Better, Cope Better: 6 Insomnia Causes & Cures, can help, too!

 

4) Rest/Relaxation.

Rest and relaxation is not the same as sleep. It might include a nap or some sleep, but resting is really about recharging your body, mind, and spirit. Relaxation may be different for each of us. For some, it

My husband took this pic of me revising my new book, "8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise," while eating lunch and chilling with the dog in a hammock. It's one way I can put a little more "relax" into my day, even when I'm on a deadline!

My husband took this pic of me revising my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” while eating lunch and chilling with the dog in a hammock. It’s one way I can put a little more “relax” into my day, even when I’m on a deadline!

may be going out to dinner with friends. For others, it may be reading in a hammock, watching TV, or playing golf. Whatever recharges you, you need more of that!

Your body needs to rest from its labors, and so does your mind. Focus on what relaxes you and do a little bit of that each day. 10 minutes is a great place to start, if you’re short on time, but be sure to add in an hour or more every week. When we push ourselves too much, our body suffers, as I’ve learned the hard way. And when our body suffers, our mind does too. Make rest and relaxation a priority!

 

5) Massage Therapy.

I am a huge believer in massage therapy. This entire article was inspired by my Motherhood radio episode, “Body-Mind Connection, Wellness, & Empowerment,” with my extremely knowledgeable massage therapist, Cori Getchell. A couple months ago, I was in a car accident and experienced some pretty intense whiplash as a result. I started tri-weekly therapy with a chiropractor and some intense weekly massage therapy. There’s a difference between the relaxing spa massages you think about and this kind of therapy. This is intense. Painful. But so worth it. Through massage, I’ve been able to heal my headaches, muscle pain, tension, and other aches I didn’t even know I had!

Massage can release the emotions that are trapped inside; I’ve had several experiences where I just start talking and even crying about things I’ve been through because the therapist has hit a powerful trigger point. As she works out the physical pain, I heal emotionally.

I realize massage can be expensive, but it isn’t just for the rich and famous. It’s also not an “indulgence,” like many people believe. In many cases, it’s a necessity; it’s a tool for healing and health, for wellness, and yes, for empowerment. It’s for anyone who wants to heal their body.

Try a massage therapy school, where they have discounted rates. Train your spouse/partner to apply pressure to sore areas or to do myofacial release, or lifting of the muscles to lengthen and heal them. There are home techniques you can try, and you can learn all about them in this episode of Motherhood, so check it out, either by downloading the podcast or by watching the interview on my YouTube channel!

 

6) De-stress your body to de-stress your mind.

This is what I’ve been working on lately. I’ve had a wake up call that my body is over-stressed. When I sit and type all day, or sit and listen to other people’s problems all day, my body pays the price. When I push myself, fail to get enough sleep, and keep adding to my “to-do’s,” my body pays the price. Extreme pain, illness, and exhaustion are the result of over-doing it, and then, my mental health suffers as a result.

We mustn’t keep piling on to our bodies. We must stop, notice what we’re doing to our body, take a deep breath, and then make change. The consequences are too great if we don’t. I don’t know about you, but I want to live a long, healthy, happy life. That can only be achieved by slowing down and practicing serious self-care. And that starts with the body. What can you do to care for your body today? (Read Stress Management: 15 Proven Ways to Stress Less (& Smile More) and 5 Steps to a Clutter-Free Mind (& Life!)  and 10 Ways to Simplify Your Busy Life! for more.)

 

 

What is your biggest block to caring for your body? What helps you be physical and mentally well and empowered? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, below!

 

 

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

Link for this episode: Body-Mind Connection, Wellness, & Empowerment

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

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6 Strategies for Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #mentalhealth #health #mind #body
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My new book!

Advance Praise for “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise”

“[A] useful and supportive exercise guide . . . . As Hibbert makes clear, she has not written a workout regimen or weight-loss how-to, but a guide to using exercise to become both mentally and physically stronger. . . . [A]n enlightening and empowering instrument for people who have struggled with mental illness.” — Publishers Weekly

“The 8 Keys books series provides clear, concise, empirically supported evidence for anyone from beginners to experts; 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise is certainly no exception to this mantra. . . . Dr. Hibbert works through the process of change with an array of exercises and reflection questions that ease even the most ambivalent reader into the process. . . . [A]n eye-opening read not only for those searching for the motivation to commit to adding exercise to their routine, but for anyone striving towards self-empowerment. Dr. Hibbert synthesizes a large body of research into a captivating argument for how and why exercise serves as an immensely powerful mechanism for improving mental wellbeing.” — Somatic Psychotherapy Today

“Exercise is essential in maintaining good health—both physical and mental. . . . Hibbert’s book should help readers stick with a successful plan.” — Booklist

“As a therapist, I’m a big proponent of exercise for its positive effects on mood. I frequently talk to my clients about the positive effect of exercise on the body and mind. But even when you know all the positives, you don’t always fully utilize exercise as a way to get or stay mentally well. This is why 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise is such a useful tool. . . . [I]t’s full of reflection questions, writing prompts, and action items. . . . [G]reat for those of us who want to experience more of the benefits of exercise, but need a bit of help creating a plan and overcoming the mental blocks to doing so.” —PsychCentral

“These 8 keys hold the potential to change your life! In this wonderful book, Dr. Hibbert provides us with effective and easy-to-implement tools that allow the mind and the body to unite, change, and heal. A must-read for anyone seeking to change their bodies in a holistic way.” — Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of The Conscious Parent

“Exercise is a magic pill for mental well-being; it clears your mind, calms your body, and makes you feel good about YOU and what you have accomplished. Dr. Hibbert has captured this mind-body connection, and why we must all move toward improved mental health through exercise.” — Kathy Kaehler, celebrity health, fitness, and nutrition expert and bestselling author

“A delightful synopsis of why exercise is so essential to our mental health. With a narrative that is both a pleasure to read and superbly sensitive to the common barriers that get in our way, Dr. Hibbert shows the reader how to harness the motivation for self-care and well-being. Hibbert’s clinical skills and down-to-earth guidance can make a believer out of the most resistant exerciser!” — Karen Kleiman, Founder and Director of The Postpartum Stress Center, author of Therapy and the Postpartum Woman

“I love this book because it combines solid research with practical, easy-to-follow steps to achieve the motivation and skills to exercise for better mental health. Being at your ‘personal best’ and, for parents, being a great role model to your children, means taking care of yourself first. If you’re serious about getting fit mentally and physically, this book will help you to flourish!” — Dr. Rosina McAlpine, parenting expert and author of Inspired Children; winwinparenting.com

“An incredible, accessible, and useful tool for ANYONE hoping to get exercising. Dr. Hibbert offers guidance, support, and tangible solutions to assist the reader through physical or mental roadblocks in order to strive to be their best self. I can’t imagine anyone finishing the book without finding themself an improved individual. I’m grateful it has been written so that more people can benefit from exercise and tackle it through these carefully designed steps.” — Dana Pieper, creator of EveryBody Fitness

 

Join me for one of my Upcoming Book Events!

Join me for one of my upcoming speaking or book-signing events.

Or if I’m coming to your area, contact me about scheduling a book club, workshop, fireside, or other smaller event at the same time! Email me using the form above, right; I’d love to connect!

For more information on booking me for a keynote or other speaking engagement, click here.

Dr Christina Hibbert, Upcoming Events, Summer 2016

 

 

 

 

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise 

Supplemental Materials

 

Worksheets

Earthquake Assessment Chart, p. 37

Exercise Motivation Self-Evaluation, p. 94-5

Exercise 4 Mental Health SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet, p. 111-116

Thought Record, Part 1, p. 134

Thought Record, Part 1, Example, p. 137

Thought Record, part 2, p. 139

Thought Record, part 2, Example, p. 141

Exercise 4 Mental Health SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet, p. 111-116

My “Exercise 4 Mental Health Plan” Worksheet, p. 202-7

 

Videos

How to FEEL Powerful Emotions

Change Your Thoughts Using a Thought Record

Using Thought Record, Part 2

 

 

 

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Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com


With exercise for mental health, it should be a long, healthy, happy life!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: “Spirit Meditation” [video]

#Meditation for #MentalHealth, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #video #YouTube #blog #spirituality #personalgrowthI haven’t always been a meditator. I used to think it was kind of strange, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to try it for a long time. But about six years ago, when I was going through some of my hardest trials, a craving for peace, personal, and spiritual growth began pulling me toward mindfulness and meditation. I was in need of something–something new, something to calm and center me, something to quiet my mind, something to bring a greater sense of mental health and wellness.

 

The Power of Meditation

Enter meditation. I first attempted to meditate by sitting still and breathing. I’d been practicing deep breathing for years and had done visualization exercises plenty of times with my clients and myself. But this time, I was trying to quiet my overstimulated, overwhelmed mind. I was trying not to think. I was trying to let go of every thought that came. It was extremely difficult. I found myself thinking about all kinds of other things; my mind wandered and I seemed at a loss to bring it back. I felt frustrated and defeated.

 

I attempted again, many times, and yes, it became a little more “do-able” over time, but mostly, it was a struggle for me. I’d studied and knew of the many benefits of meditation, and I wanted those benefits. But, I figured, maybe I just wasn’t cut out for meditating.

 

I was wrong. A couple years later, having given up on meditation, I attended a women’s conference and the speaker led us through a powerful meditation. As I write, in This is How We Grow, “I could actually feel my spirit. I comprehended, even for a moment, that it truly has no beginning and no end. When I focused, I could expand my spirit even bigger than my body, allowing me to experience just how vast each soul truly is. Meditation–I’d been trying to do it for so long, yet [the speaker] converted me in a five-minute experience. I was hooked.” (p. 363)

 

 

Meditation for Mental Health: Benefits

I was hooked, and I still am. Meditation has become a staple of my mornings, along with exercise, Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth- Spirit Meditationprayer, and scripture study. It has become a portal to greater peace, focus, and awareness in my daily life, a gateway to a deeper spiritual connection and power throughout each day. When I meditate, I feel more focused and efficient in my work, more patient in my parenting, and more loving in my relationships. When I forget to meditate, I feel the difference, and I miss it greatly.

 

Meditation and mindfulness have been studied often and shown to improve mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Here are some of the specific benefits meditation offers:

1) Greater sense of peace and calm.

2) Clearer mind and thinking.

3) Helps you focus on the present, bringing a greater sense of awareness to your world, loved ones, and blessings.

4) Improves the immune system, which means less illness and greater overall health (which is also great for mental health!).

5) Helps reduce and manage life stress. Mindfulness meditation not only lowers stress; it leads to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

6) Helps reduce negative emotions, and can benefit emotional health after the meditation is over because it changes the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.

7) Shown to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain.

8) Can actually change the brain in positive ways that may protect against mental illness.

9) Can improve sleep!

10) Meditation has been shown to increase compassion and a desire to “do good.”

11) A wonderful tool for personal growth, calming the thinking mind and opening one up to a deeper sense of who you truly are.

12) Can increase spiritual awareness, openness, and connection with God and the Divine.

 

 

The Spirit Meditation

I’ve experienced all of these benefits, and that’s a big reason I keep making myself practice mindfulness and meditation each day, and why I’m hoping you will give it a try, too.

 

Below is a video of my favorite meditation. It’s based off the one I wrote about above, the one that opened me up to the true power of meditation. Though there are countless ways to meditate, and I often try different techniques, this one is my favorite. It’s the one I do most days, and I want to share it with you. I also share it in my new book, Who Am I Without You?, along with several other tools that can help anyone going through anything, so I hope you’ll visit the link just above and check those out, too!

 

What can Meditation do for YOU? Let’s find out…

Click on the video below and give yourself the gift of 7 minutes today. Only 7 minutes to see how meditation might benefit you! Then, leave me a comment, below, or on my YouTube channel, and tell me all about it. I hope it’s one of the best things you learn to do for your mental well-being, personal growth, and spirituality, too!

 

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DmVyvXdgnRTg img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/mVyvXdgnRTg/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 
 

What are your thoughts on mindfulness and meditation? Have you practiced meditation? If so, what kinds of exercises do you prefer? What benefits have you experienced? Did you try the “Spirit Meditation ” What did you think? I’d love to hear all about it, so please leave a comment, below!

 

 

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

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Coming March 1, 2015!

 
 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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

 
 

 

 

 

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth- Spirit Meditation
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Related Posts/Articles:

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

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