Welcome to the show!
If you’re new to me and to this show, this is where we talk about the intersection between your health as a woman & female, your sacred work in your home and with your family, as a wife and mother and how all of that is standing in the way of tapping into your life’s work as a healer & creative.
Today’s on-air coaching call is actually one I wasn’t even sure I want to share with the world because the topic is extremely touchy and sensitive in the life of a mother and you’ll see, my advice for Melissa at the end is one you don’t expect to hear from someone who advocates health.
Some of you know that I am a retired pediatric nutritionist and feeding children is something near and dear to my heart, so I had to sit a lot of time with the decision whether I should air it or not. I decided to air it in the end because I am here to serve you and if there is one mama who’s struggling with this I am sure there are many more out there who can resonate, so I had to remind myself that this is not about me and that playing small or “hiding” is not helpful to anyone.
Today you will meet Melissa who is a wife and mama of four boys under the age of 3 and her struggle with breastfeeding. Melissa is a photographer and loves her job and motherhood is something she is still learning to navigate and grow from. Before we get into the show, I just wanted to give you guys a heads up as the last five minutes of the call you will hear some background noise as Melissa’s kids came home with her babysitter, either way, I hope you can excuse the noise and focus on the fact that this is real life, plus it sounded super cute 🙂
As you listen, consider these questions:
- What is it about your business that is so hard for you to slow down and let go of in order to focus on your kids?
- Do you feel like breastfeeding is your chance to explore motherhood and womanhood and if you don’t do that you are less of a woman or a mother?
- Do you feel judged or compare yourself to other mothers who did breastfeed?
- Do you feel like you don’t trust yourself in making a decision to breastfeeding vs. bottle feed?
- Do you feel like you are going to regret your choice down the road? What are you learning about yourself from this conversation and internal struggle?
- What are you afraid of? Are you also afraid of change?
- Have you also been the child who was trained to clean their plate?
- Do you also have a weird relationship with food and feeding?
- What if I didn’t try hard enough? What if there is something I can do to increase the milk supply,
Alright, so without further ado, here’s my conversation with Melissa.
Can you relate to Melissa?
- Do you feel like your business or sacred work is interrupted by breastfeeding
- Do you struggle with embodying the fact that this baby might be your last one and you won’t have another chance?
- Does your baby also arch its back screaming and all you hear around is the well-meaning but not so helpful advice of “just breastfeed more?”
- Do you also hate hearing “your baby is hungry, you need to feed it”!
- Were you hoping to enjoy breastfeeding your baby but the reality is that you feel like it’s a job and not fun?
- Do you feel like your business is another child and required a lot of your energy and bandwidth?
- Do you also feel like you have to make a choice between breastfeeding and your work?
- Is your business your first baby where you feel really present and expressed and it’s hard for you to let go of it because it means to give up on yourself?
Melissa’s key insights and AHA’s:
- The reason Melissa is afraid of change is rooted in her inability to trust and surrender to
- Melissa said herself that she needs to learn to heal from (or embody) what’s wrong with being hungry at times? There’s more than just one way. There’s more than just breastfeeding. There’s more than just chicken and enchiladas.
- She has to learn how to accept what happened and how to answer to herself and take responsibility on her own wants, needs, and desires that might collide with other people’s needs and wants. Even if this is your child or baby. Whenever the mother has to choose for herself we feel trapped because our needs are not good enough.
- When she did surrender, released and embraced the difficulty of raising her twins her business actually flourished and thrived. Surrender and release is in complete contrast to control and
- When we birth little humans our bodies are depleted
- Your body is communicating with you-you produce less milk and you’ve gotten your period back, can it be that it is telling you to stop breastfeeding?
- You need to move in the direction of joy, give yourself the grace of doing less but being purposeful about your actions.
Here are some practical and tangible suggestions Melissa can try so that she can start embodying self-trust and feel connected to herself again:
- I have mentioned briefly my own struggle with breastfeeding on the call but I wanted to share it with you here and elaborate on it.
- How to embody surrender and release? First, let’s talk about what does surrender even mean? In short, it means getting out of your own way. It means allowing the divine or the universe, or whatever you believe in to take the lead and not try to control or manipulate your circumstances. When something is out of your hands, like in Melissa’s case – her body is not producing enough milk to feed her baby, there are a lot of things that are going to be outside of your locus of control. But what you can control is how you respond, react, how do you engage in the situation, what kind of actions do you take, who do you choose to support, where you spend your dollars – all of these things you do have control over. So this is where you will have to become uber intentional and deliberate and make a decision that even though might not feel good at the moment, it will give you space, freedom and the creative force to be the mother and business owner that you want to be. Because, at the end of the day, if breastfeeding doesn’t bring you as much joy as it used to then ask yourself, is it worth it? Remember that control is a fear and stress response, surrender and release is a trust response.
- Melissa mentioned that she is not very good with change. In other words, she is not good at adapting or being flexible when life “asks” her to morph. For Melissa, this is manifested in her feeling torn between her role as a business owner who does work she loves to do and being a mother, which has its own set of requirements. She didn’t necessarily use these words, but I am filling in the blank here. The truth is that there is a difference between big breakthroughs and small incremental changes over time which are the ones that create long term sustainable healing, growth and change. What is required of Melissa really? Is to be able to mother her child (feeding is a part of mothering) in a way that is right for everyone and not just for her. She is required to be able to be flexible with the idea that there’s not just one way to feed a baby and given the circumstances and the fact that there are four little humans under the age 3 who need her to have the mental capacity and the physical energy to show up for them.
- When it comes to using the wisdom of your body try this. Ask yourself, how does control feel in your body? How does it feel in your body when you are trying to control things? Do you feel expansive and open or do you feel constricted and debilitated? Tune into your body and follow its cues.
- Use the mantra: It is safe to let go of what no longer serves me along with practicing yoga daily, even if this is just for.
- It would also be interesting to explore why Melissa puts breastfeeding on the same level as her business. I think it would be a good idea to ask yourself the question, what is my current relationship to Money? Health or even your body image? In many cases when you do give yourself the time and space to dig into these questions in your journal, you will get to the core of it which would often be unworthiness, feeling not enough or not good enough, fear, abandonment or scarcity. Because the opposite of control is surrender.
- Whenever you have a challenge in your life use the wisdom of your body and get out of your head. Ask yourself
- Use humor and laughter to dissolve the charge from difficult moments in life. At the end of the day, life is built from moments and the beauty is realizing that challenge and struggle is just a moment, just like joy and fulfillment. This is not an eternal state of being, as human beings we have feelings and many times what we really need is to allow time to heal and do the work. In Melissa’s case, it is evident that she is in the trenches, and it’s hard. It is life sucking, it is joy-sucking, it is soul-sucking. But, in these moments live beauty, tenderness, vulnerability, pure authenticity, along with cute little bums, smiles, and hugs. As mothers, we all know how it feels to love so hard that your hearts almost explodes and at the same time to be angry, exhausted and resentful. This is a skill you develop in motherhood, and you need to learn this to help yourself to get to the next level of emotional mastery. To be able to support your children who will have many moments where they feel like they don’t understand what is going on inside of their bodies, why they feel like they want to scream, hit, pinch, grab or hurt someone they love. Children learn best through modeling, and in this case by watching you. So drop the idea that you have to be so strong or perfect that they will never see you cry or lose your shit. This is an illusion. Yes, you do have to be composed and grounded but not all the time. It is ok to have a meltdown and have a tantrum, but then you have to be able to pick yourself back up and show up for yourself and them. This is how children learn emotional mastery, from us, one day at a time.
- btw, I have connected with Melissa after the session and was so happy to hear that she came up with a solution that is in alignment with who she is. She decided to let breastfeeding go and have a video session where she recorded the last time she breastfeeds her son for the last time so that she can remember this again. Maybe this was the only time when breastfeeding didn’t have to compete with her business or vice versa.
If you enjoy this show and feel called to help me share this message with more moms and women please write an honest review on iTunes! This is the best way of showing your appreciation and also showing me that you care about this message and these words help you become a better version of you as a woman, wife and a mother. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being a listener and for showing up for choosing yourself every single day, because guess what, you matter. You are worthy. You are divine. You are a child of God. Sending you much love and healing. See you next time!