Holiday season is a time for celebration for most, but can be a time many of us experience sadness, stress, anxiety, fatigue, and even depression – especially, if we don’t have extended family or many friends.
No matter how many times I show moms the research-based evidence that indicates it is not how much time we spend with our kids, but how we spend it, mom guilt abounds. It’s the quality not the quantity that matters, though. Children are resilient and as long as we address the meltdown (whether it’s ours or our kids’) most of the time and as soon as possible, they’ll be fine. We’re not scarring them for life. This includes us losing our temper, not knowing what to do, regretting our decisions, saying one thing and doing another, breaking our promises, and all the other scenarios you can imagine.
October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. One in five pregnancies end in miscarriage, and six infants in 1000 is stillborn. I wanted to write for those who have experienced a perinatal loss or know someone who has. Whether you have other children or had a subsequent successful pregnancy, the sense of loss does not go away – you cannot get past it, only through it.
One of the areas we often struggle with is setting boundaries. This means saying "no" to certain people, demands, attitudes, and even circumstances. Even when something threatens to overwhelm us, we can still improve the situation by standing up for ourselves and saying “no, this is not ok with me!”
We often find ourselves caught in ''thinking traps'' – ways of thinking that make it difficult for us to see different possibilities, alternative solutions to what we have in mind, based on our previous experiences. This is something we tend to do especially when we are stressed, angry or irritable. To learn how to step outside of these traps, it is important to be able to identify when we are in them. This helps us see them for what they are – thinking patterns that have been honed for years or decades that box us in and limit our capacity to see things from any other perspective. Here are six common traps we find ourselves in: