My Dear Fellow Mama,
The best piece of advice I ever got as a mother is that my child will tell me what he needs, when he needs it, and what is helpful--my only job is to listen. All the books in the world or pieces of advice from other people or judgments imposed on me by society don't matter nearly as much as listening to my son. The way he cries, the way he laughs, the way he is quiet, the way he is not quiet--they are all his own unique ways of communicating with me. All I have to do is listen. Listen with my heart, listen with all of me. He intrinsically knows what he needs and I can teach him so much about being healthy by listening to him and showing him how to listen to, and trust, himself.
This has gotten me through all the years of parenting so far and helped me trust my own intuition as a mother in this most sacred of all bonds that is simultaneously incredibly intimidating and incredibly powerful!
~ A Mom from California
Sometimes small actions can make a big difference. On Thursday, February 11th you have the chance to be an advocate for moms, and it will only take you about 60 seconds. The National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health (NCMMH) is sponsoring the first ever national day of action to support the Federal “Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015” bills (HR 3235 and S2311).
Why is supporting these bills so important?
Postpartum depression is the #1 complication of pregnancy. We all know a friend, sister or loved one who has struggled with mental health concerns during pregnancy or postpartum, or perhaps we have had our own struggles. 1 in 7 women will experience a perinatal mental health disorder and most are not able to get the treatment that they need. How can we expect so much of moms in our society yet not provide the resources they need to experience well-being as they transition to motherhood?
Here’s a summary of what the proposed bills will do:
What you can do to take action:
*Pick up the phone or use social media to message your representatives to request their Co-sponsorship of these bills. This only takes 2 steps:
1. Look up your representatives' twitter handles and phone numbers:
House of Representatives (you have one representative)
Senate (each state has two senators)
2. Tweet or call them on Thursday, February 11th. NCMMH provides these helpful, premade
Tweets that you can use, as well as call scripts:
For the HOUSE: #LoveAnotherMother: @Rep'sTwitterHandleHere Support Mom’s and families! Cosponsor HR3235! Bring #PPD Out of the Shadows b/c #MomsMatter
For the SENATE: #LoveAnotherMother: @Rep'sTwitterHandleHere Support Mom’s and families! Cosponsor S2311! Bring #PPD Out of the Shadows b/c #MomsMatter
Find a call script here if you prefer to pick up the phone and call your representatives in DC. Find a sample script here.
Help spread the word to your friends and family. Together we can advocate for moms!
If you’re like me, working towards new year’s goals over the last month has been challenging. How could it not be? We’re human, life is incredibly busy, and sometimes we create goals that are difficult to make continuous progress towards.
Starting February reminds me that the year is young, and it’s okay to revisit my goals. In fact, it makes sense to do this every once in a while.
One of my biggest goals for this year was to work out more. Unfortunately, this has not happened on a regular basis. I started off strong in January, had a week where I did nothing, regrouped and seemed to be making progress, and then strayed from the plan once again. At the end of the month I was left feeling a little deflated, and honestly ready to throw the goal out the window and just focus on other things and hope the workouts would magically happen on their own.
Instead of giving up on my goal entirely, it occurred to me that I should first re-evaluate the goal. Research tells us that goals should be meaningful and specific. While my goal to work out is definitely meaningful to me, it's not at all specific. Defining the parameters of my goal, such as deciding on the number of times I should work out per week or the number of minutes I want to work out, could help.
Sometimes we also need to be flexible enough to adapt our goals. As I was driving home yesterday and reflecting on how I missed my "window" to work out for the day and, again, didn’t make progress towards my goal, I suddenly had an idea of how to slightly adapt it. I realized I need to make the goal specific—to get to the gym at least 3 times per week. Then, I need to make a contingency plan for the days I don’t make it to the gym. On those nights, I’m going to try and stretch before bed for at least 5 minutes. This way I will feel like I’ve had the chance to get my body moving in some way every day of the week, even if I can’t get in a full workout. Importantly, I can keep up my motivation for my goal.
Are you ready to give up on any goals?
Before you abandon them spend some time revisiting your goals:
*Ask yourself if your goals are meaningful and specific.
*See if your goals need a little tweaking so you can maximize your chance of making progress on them.
*Give your adapted goals a shot, and see how it goes. Remember, you can always revisit them again if you need to!
I'm Lisa, a mother and psychologist dedicated to supporting moms. Read more here.
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