motherhood

The attitude of a 12-year-old

In the parenting world, I'm in what you could call the 'Sweet Spot'.

No nappies.

No more breastfeeding.

No more naps.

They can feed themselves.

They're all in school.

The Sweet Spot.

But, it's not gonna last for long.

My eldest is 12.

And there are more and more moments that reveal themselves to tell me that I'm slowly (not slow enough) coming out of that Sweet Spot.

Teenage attitude has peaked its head out.

And it hits you like, "WHAT WAS THAT?"

And then you go into this denial.

"Oh no no no," you're thinking.

That wasn't really attitude. That was an 'accident'.

But then it happens again.

And again.

Three months of this attitude that pops up more and more makes you, 

FORCES YOU

to get a grip and realise that the hormones have taken control.

Am I doomed?

Am I no longer in that Sweet Spot?

Those hormones are just crazy.

Not only does my daughter talk smack,

she knows how to negotiate, argue a good point, challenge my logic, and persist until I say yes.

I admit, she's good.

(She didn't get those skills from me. My husband's the negotiator. Among other things.)

The other thing about hormones is that I've noticed how much her body is changing.

Mostly for the good, but sometimes it's not fun for her.

And I can blame some of it from all the screen/mobile/device usage:

She's been complaining about spinal pain and headaches more frequently.

Before these changes started, I can't even remember her complaining about those things before.

And since her body has entered into that inevitable phase of puberty, she's come to me saying,

"Mom, can you give me an adjustment. My head is hurting a little."

And this week over half-term, she's had a different schedule, doing different things and activities including a lot of travel, and she's been complaining about feeling discomfort in her back.

And tonight I gave her her 3rd adjustment.

Each time she has laid down on the adjusting bench, I've noticed how her body is going through a big growth spurt.

There's so much development going on.

And I can see some things that are new and different too.

So, like I do for everyone else I adjust, I ask things.

This week I asked my daughter, "Are you excited or nervous about going back to school next week?"

Predictably, she answered, "What? Uhhhh, nope. Um I don't know."

She didn't know.

She's not aware enough.

Also, she's a little stubborn about sharing her feelings or insecurities with me.

But that's another issue I'm working on.

Teenagers go through incredible changes, and it's very important to help support their bodies go through them as best as possible.

The wonderful thing about my daughter's changes is that she's aware enough to know that she needs an adjustment.

There are some weeks where I don't adjust her at all.

And then like this past week, she gets three.

Sometimes our children need those boosts.

We as parents, especially as mums, know when our babies are not at 100%.

It's like the light in their eyes is dimmed.

Or they smell different.

Or, they sound differently when they talk to us.

We know.

That's when they need an adjustment the most.

Keeping their nervous systems and bodies in alignment and balance is so helpful in allowing them grow into their fullest potential.

To help them continually be their best.

So, if you sense that your child is going through a growth spurt, or some big change, or for any reason, bring them in for an adjustment.

One adjustment for a child goes a looong way.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

 

Moms and CEOs

Generally, moms in the household run the show.

The other day during one of my training sessions with my training group, we were discussing how it's the moms who run the household.

(We're all women in the group.)

There were certain theories about that.

No one could point to the real reason why.

Or, we just all couldn't agree on the best answer.

My theory is based on the different brains that men and women have.

(Or if one person's brain is more female than male.)

It's all about the neurology of the person.

It's well known that women's brains use more synapses that cross the hemispheres.

When men use their brains, there are fewer synapses crossing the hemispheres, and more synapses in just one side.

Which leads me to my theory about women doing more jobs.

We have what is called 'diffuse awareness'. 

Men are single-focused.

Jobs and activities at home on the domestic front are often chaotic, and there's a plethora of things to do and to get done.

Kids are running around everywhere.

Laundry needs to get done.

The cat needs to be fed.

Dinner needs to be prepared (what the hell do I cook for dinner tonight).

And the list goes on and on.

Women are generally better are assessing and tackling these jobs at the same time.

Men need to do one thing at a time.

Of course, I'm generalising, but ask any woman and most of the time, she'll explain that she's the one who manages the household.

I don't even bother telling my husband what's happening until the morning of.

And when the kids are on a school break, I tell him, 

"Oh, by the way honey, it's half-term."

He looks at me with big open eyes like it's fresh news to him and he had no idea, let alone was it even on his radar of need-to-know-knowledge,

"Oh? Is it? Ok. What are you doing with them?"

(sigh)

Anyway, are moms the CEOs?

Well, however it is in your household, here's something you can listen to when you're next taking out the trash or doing the dishes.

It's my newest podcast episode.

My guest and I talk about how mothers are leaders, just like the CEOs of the world.

It's a great episode, very illuminating!

Listen on iTunes or on my "You're Doing Great Mom" website.

Be sure to subscribe and write a review! I'd be very grateful!

Thanks!

— Dr MaryAnne

 

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