children

I am broody

Many friends of mine tell me that I should have a fourth.

Baby, that is.

Another one?

Nope.

I'm done.

In fact, when I was preggers with my third child (who just turned six, by the way), I had a very direct and concrete feeling that I did NOT want to have another.

I was crystal clear DONE at three.

BUT.

There's an ongoing problem.

In my line of work, seeing many newborns regularly, holding them, adjusting them - it really messes with my head. 

And heart.

And my ovaries.

But again, when I think about having another newborn, I quickly snap out of it (most of the time) and land back on the ground.

Reality.

This really tested me though over the summer holidays.

I took a lot of time off to be with my family, driving out to France, frolicking on the beach and ocean in the Atlantic, drinking lots of wine, and eating lots of cheese and French baguettes. 

What more could a girl want?

Yum.

Anyway, my last trip wasn't REALLY a holiday. Well, it was, but the main purpose was to help my sister.

I was her birth partner.

For those of you who have had a baby, you know that the last couple weeks of pregnancy, especially if you have a two-year-old running around, it's so exhausting. 

Just take my word for it.

So I was there to help out my sister at the end of her pregnancy while we waited for her to go into labour.

And just as I predicated, she went into labour in the middle of my stay with her. 

Very convenient.

And she went into labour at a very sensible hour right after we all woke up in the morning.

Labour was quick, easy-peasy, and she gave birth to healthy hefty baby boy.

Then I finally got to hold him.

After all that time waiting!

And then the broodiness kicked in.

Oh boy.

He was so delicious to hold and snuggle with. 

Newborns are magical.

One of the most common things we think about when holding a brand new baby, just a couple hours old, is trying to comprehend that this baby was JUST inside another human being living and growing.

That never ceases to amaze me.

And these newborns hold so much purity and potential inside of them.  

That's what they smell like!

I had about nine more days with my sister to help her with her new baby, and I really savoured every minute with them.

(Her husband threatened to kidnap me because I was such a huge help in keeping the baby from crying.)

As the days went by being around my sister's family that went from three to four, I also missed my crazy gang back home.

My kids are much older than my sister's and it's like a whole other stage that I'm in with them.

Yet, it's bittersweet.

Each time I held my sister's baby (or played with her two-year-old), a new feeling came over me stronger and stronger, realising something.

It's the concept that we parents get told by our elders all the time:

"They grow too fast."

Of course, conceptually, it's easy to understand.

And I see it before my eyes with my own children.

But it never hit me the way it did while being away from my kids for over two weeks.

I knew that each day my children were growing and changing, just like all kids, and I was missing those moments.

I wasn't there to do all the things that I normally take for granted.

As mothers, we feel like we're running on a hamster wheel just pushing along trying to keep everyone happy, managing schedules, dinner, laundry, friends, our partners, our relationships.

And it goes on and on, every day.

Being away from my children for 16 days, AND being with my sister's family gave me the opportunity to see things from a completely different perspective. One that made me feel nostalgic knowing what my sister was going through with two children and adapting to everything, as well as another perspective making me see how every single minute of our babies' lives are opportunities to make them feel loved, appreciated, and secure.

When I came home last week, I was able to hug my kids with that new perspective, cherishing so much more how grateful I am that I have them, and that they are who they are, happy and healthy.

NOW I get the concept fully in a renewed way, so much so that I've taken more time to be with them, rather than constantly try to find some of my own free time.

One day I'll be 85, and I definitely don't want to find myself sitting there alone, in my favourite comfortable chair feeling regret about my children, wishing that I had spent more time with them.

I'll never get these days back.

Even now my memory is skittish, not remembering certain moments of my children's lives. Those little detailed things I did like how I potty trained my daughter, or when did they first sleep through the night.

Now I know that I don't want to miss anything.

My eyes have opened.

Which is why I've changed my time and schedule in my practice to fewer hours in order to put my family fully as a priority.

(Don't worry, I'm still adjusting and I can't wait to adjust you all!)

I know at times when the kids are driving me crazy I'll think, "What was I thinking?" I'll want to get away and escape.

But, the difference is that I'll realise that this moment, right now, I get to hug my children more and anytime I want when I spend more time with them.

And when I'm 85, I'll think back and say to myself, "It was alllll worth it."

(Be sure to keep checking my schedule to book yourself in for your next adjustment.)

— Dr MaryAnne

How not to get divorced

A topic that really fascinates me is marriage.

Overall, it's the art and science of relationships that keep my mind busy.

My twelfth anniversary is next week, so I've been thinking about this more these days.

Why does one couple who is crazy, coo-coo-for-coco-puffs in love when married, and seven to ten years later, they divorce?

Or, two people who have never met one another are arranged to be married together, and then learn to love one another making it work for 30+ years together?

I've read books about this topic, listened to podcasts, spoken to many people, as well as heard about what old married people say.

My parents have this spectacular love story.

They met in Tokyo.

My traditional and Catholic French mother decided to go off the beaten path and moved to Tokyo to teach French in a primary school.

My Japanese and academic geeky dad was working in that same school as the head of the French department.

For him, it was love at first sight.

(It wasn't often that there were caucasian busty young women in Tokyo back then.)

For her, it wasn't exactly that, but maybe because her strict French father ordered her NOT to bring home a Japanese man.

(She didn't do as she was told.)

A few years later, they got married, moved to the South of France, and had my brother and then me.

When I was nearly two, we all moved to New York, and my parents had two more children.

They raised us with an abundance of love, always being there with us, teaching us many things directly and indirectly coming from different cultures and backgrounds.

In fact, nearly every day, we had a mix of French and Japanese cuisine.

French was spoken in the household, and we were a family with a fusion of three different cultures mixed together.

Overall, I had a wonderful and loving childhood.

(My older brother beat me up all the time, but I got through it, and now I'm a tough gal.)

Fast forward to 1998, my parents suddenly decided to separate, and eventually got divorced.

It was like the classic case of 'last child leaves the household, and one day they woke up, looked at each other and had no idea who the other person was'.

For the next 7 years, they stayed mostly amicably together, especially during Christmas when we all got together.

All six of us.

In fact, it was like nothing changed.

Then after eight years of living separate lives, they got back together, and remarried.

Crazy story.

Amazing story.

They're such a cute old couple now.

The eight years apart was a blessing to their relationship.

Every time I think about their story, thinking back to my childhood, how they were as parents, wondering how they made it through all the tough times, it leads me to think what they've done to CHOOSE to be with one another.

This is what I've come up with:

  1. Respect one another.
  2. Don't sweat the small stuff.
  3. Accept that it's not about who's right and who's wrong.
  4. Learn that your happiness isn't their responsibility. It's yours.
  5. Be the first one to say sorry.
  6. Consider that you will always learn something new about them every day, every week, every month, or every year.
  7. Your expectation of how you want to be loved is probably not the same way they want to be loved. (The Five Languages of Love)
  8. If you feel resentment or contempt, do something about that and clear it up.
  9. Learn to laugh and joke with each other, especially when you've recently had an arguement.
  10. Constantly tell them "I love you" because conversations 'disappear'.


There's more, but that's the bulk of it.

Nearly every day, I strive to be as great as them in every area of my life as a wife and a mother. 

And now, I'm paying it back. 

To them.

To my siblings.

To my husband.

To my kids.

To my friends.

To my community.

To my practice members.

And to the rest of the world to make a difference.

Chiropractic is also a huge component of that.

I want to do big big things in my life, and coming around to my 12th year of marriage, I've learned so much.

I'm at a secure and expansive point in my life, and I owe so much of it to my parents, and my philosophy with chiropractic.

My gratefulness is enormous.

Thank you.

In love and expansion,

— Dr MaryAnne

A lil' sumthin sumthin

I used to live in Queens, New York when I was little.

That was about forty years ago (holy moley, that sounds like ages ago).

I remember once, when I was about 7 years old, being with my friend playing at our school playground, and some boys were bothering us.

You could say they were being bullies, but at the time, I just thought they were trouble makers.
 
They wouldn't stop calling us names, annoying us, and trying to be tough.

Then, they started chasing us.

I remember feeling scared, not knowing what I did to make them do this, and were they intending on hurting us?

I hated that feeling of fear.

I remember at one point I was running, trying to get away, feeling terrified, and then suddenly, something came over me.

I think my thoughts were saying, "This-is-crazy-I-don't-like-this-I-feel-so-scared-and-threathened-make-this-situation-stop-what-can-I-do"

And I just stopped running.

Then I turned around, held my arm and hand out signalling for them to stop.

They just stopped in their tracks.

I just stood my ground, breathing out of breath from all the running, and said something like,

"Listen, why are you chasing us? Wouldn't it be better if we all got along, worked something out? We can be friends. I think we could be friends."

You know what?

Just like that, the kids shrugged their shoulders, and just like that said, "OK."

I remember thinking, "Whoa, I did not expect THAT outcome."

In fact, I had no idea what would happen.

My adrenalin was pumping and flooding my body, I probably would have been able to pick up a car.

My fear had turned into action. 

Action to create solutions.

To connect with people.

Find that lil' sumthin sumthin.

It was like a snap and the boys switched from attackers to our friends.

I called my other friend who was way down the street by then, and we all just worked something out.

I think I've always had the natural sense of, "This person is nice. He has love and greatness in him too."

Even at the age of seven.

That's how I've always been.

I always see the greatness in people.

Love is there.

In all humans.

That's how I approach everyone. 

Or at least, that's how I want to be.

Somehow, innately and intuitively, when I was a little girl I accessed that desire to connect with people and speak into their side of love and greatness.

I'm happy I never lost that.

That's what I bring into my practice every day with everyone, all the time.

That's why I love adjusting people.

I love it.

Greatness and love.

To me, it's awesomeness.

— Dr MaryAnne

 

I wanna be a movie star and an astronaut

When I ask my son what he wants to be when he grows up, he usually says,

"I wanna be a YouTuber star, like a movie star. And definitely an astronaut."

Good goals, son.

Easy-peasy, right?

When did that question stop being fun to answer?

For me, it doesn't stop. 

Ever.

Because, actually, thinking like a child, being in the moment, with little or no sense of time, is really the way to view this tough world.

It is rough out there, and sometimes I wish I can literally push the pause button on the clock.

When I was a teenager, there was this American TV show where this girl was half-alien, and she had this one power:

She would touch her two index fingers together and time would just freeze.

Everyone around her would stand still.

Time would stop.

But she wouldn't. 

She could walk around people, tickle them, fart in their face, or whatever.

Time was paused.

Wouldn't that be so cool?

Well, it's highly disappointing, but that power just won't happen.

Instead, I'm thinking about my own way of time travel into the future.

It helps me get through my days now.

You know that sometimes annoying question, "Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?"

I know what my answer is, but I think for lots of people, it's not easy to answer.

For me, it's easier to imagine myself two years out.

Basically I imagine how I want my life to be and look like, and then I scale it backwards and visualise what I'd be doing to achieve that.

For example, one of my goals in my career is to start teaching other chiropractors paediatric adjusting. I have to train more for that and it'll take time to organise.

Also, we've always had plans to renovate our house. I have many desires for my beautiful newly renovated kitchen, and as many Londoners know, getting a house worked on is no joke.

There are so many steps to take with that!

These are just two clear examples, and there are many more, but you get my drift.

I'm very certain about how I want my life to look like in two years, and for me to have that in place, I know what I need to work on, plan, and get into action with.

One constant regular action step that's always there is getting adjusted.

How about you?

Gotta take care of your health, always.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

It's a ruff ruff world out there right now

It's an ill-dog eat ill-dog world out there these days.

Seems like everyone - kids, babies, mums, dads - are coughing, feverish, miserable with some lurgy.

Everyone's fighting something.

And it seems like the lurgies are winning.

On my blog I've written a few posts about fevers and symptoms, and what most people do when that happens. 

See here and here.

Most people who I adjust know that my recommendation when the body is 'expressing health' (AKA 'being sick' to most people) is to:

  1. Get checked and adjusted as much as possible.
  2. Sleep.
  3. Stay Hydrated.
  4. Some good old-fashion TLC (everyone wants their mama when they are not feeling well).

One of my former chiropractic uni classmates and now a very successful and well-known chiropractor who practices in the States, Dr Don Clum, posted this excellent essay on children, fevers, and drugs. 

My blog posts were talking about the same thing.

But this time, I'm bowing and applauding to him.

His post is educational, thought-provoking, and to-the-point informative.

Check it out.

Enjoy!

Now, come in and get your adjustments!

See you soon.

— Dr MaryAnne

If only I could get my hands on you

Yesterday I sent an email with a video of me adjusting a child.

I've started to become good friends with his mother and what warms my heart is that I know that as long as they are in my life, that kid (and his siblings) will probably get regular adjustments for the rest of his life.

What breaks my heart is when I hear about children who are suffering from health issues, some common and some more complicated, and if I could only get my hands on them to check and adjust their spines, their health would probably improve.

This morning a woman I've known for a while was telling me about her 8-year-old son who had to go to the A&E for some complications with his brain.

(I won't get into the gory details here.)

I was surprised and also very curious about what happened.

She explained it to me blow by blow.

So, my doctor-thinking-cap went on and I started to ask her everything, starting from birth.

She told me that the birth was difficult, especially at the end, and pushing took a while.

Then she noticed that when he was 7-months, there were already problems with his muscle development.

She asked the GP if it was normal.

They said yes.

Then at age 2, she noticed that he didn't speak very much.

The GP told her it was normal for bilingual families to have children who have speech delay.

But she knew something wasn't quite right.

He also started walking later than most children.

She also noticed that he was clumsy.

Then at age 4 he developed a squint.

More and more, she noticed something subtle, but the GPs always told her it was nothing to worry about.

"He'll grow out of it."

But her mummy instincts always sounded the alarms.

What's a mother to do?

I didn't say this to her, but I wish I had seen this boy at birth! Or even at age 7-months when he was a baby showing signs of interference in the nervous system.

And now, this boy at 8-years-old, the mother was proven right. 

The neurosurgeons had to do a relatively minor procedure in his brain.

Finally, the neurosurgeons, with the clear tests showing he had an issue, took action to correct the problem.

Thank god they found the problem in time.

But, was this avoidable?

If I did have the chance to adjust this child since birth (like I believe all children should), would he still have developed this problem?

I can't answer that because we will never know.

But I bet that regular adjustments would probably have helped in some way.

Luckily, he's still young at 8.

Now that I've told his mother about chiropractic and what it can do to help his nervous system and spine to clear up any interferences in his system, we can see how the regular adjustments makes a positive improvement.

He's still going to the neurologist and the paediatrician for tests regularly.

Yes, that's important.

But I have a strong feeling that this boy will heal much better and faster if his spine and nervous system are in optimal condition from the regular adjustments.

This is such a passion of mine.

I wish I could somehow tell everyone about this.

But I can't just shove it down people's throats.

That would probably scare off a lot of people.

They'd think I'm a crazy person.

I need your help.

Tell people about chiropractic.

Share your story with people.

Tell them about your child getting chiropractic care.

I'm convinced that it's the good that will make a positive difference in this world.

Thank you!

Have a good night!

See you at your next adjustment (don't wait until you're in pain!).

— Dr MaryAnne


 

At first it might be scary, but after a few goes, it's great stuff

My most difficult individual to adjust?

An adult in severe pain.

The next most difficult person?

A two-year-old.

(Or nearly two.)

Oh boy, they can be defiant.

Especially the first few goes.

Then, after a handful of adjustments, they turn into butter.

I love it.

Most mums tell me that they are very surprised at how still and calm they are during the session.

"Wow. He's so calm!"

You know I love kids.

And you know how much I love adjusting kids.

It's my favourite thing in the world.

(After ice cream, chocolate, wine, my kids, and my husband - and not in any descending order {husband is vulnerable to this}.)

Here's a nice video of one of 'my kids' that gets adjusted regularly.
 

 

It's important for kids to have their spines and nervous systems checked regularly. It helps their bodies work optimally because the nervous system is free of 'short circuits' (called subluxations).

Kids sleep better.

Stronger, more efficient immune systems (and fewer necessity for drugs).

Calmer and more relaxed kids.

And happier child too!

They are all benefits of regular chiropractic care for children!

What parent wouldn't want that?

Forward this email to a friend with kids and introduce them to the awesomeness of chiropractic!

Enjoy!

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

PS - Book your massage with Darren, skilled in amazing deep tissue massage in our relaxing new massage room! Or book with our new student massage therapist Anastasia at £25 per hour! She's learning, so you're helping her as well by being a guinea pig! Book with her now!

 

 

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