Ultrasound Tech: Congratulations! You’re having twins!!
Ultrasound Tech: So exciting!! Twinkies!
Holy Crap! I’m Pregnant.
Needless to say, my journey into motherhood was going to be big. Very big. This was of course a great time, I had been trying to get pregnant and was very excited to be on that path, but now that it was happening, I mean REALLY happening, I was scared shitless.
Growing up in a family of women, providing for your children was of the utmost importance. But it also came attached to a lot of words like pain, suffering and sacrifice.
I was raised to believe that once you have kids: the party is over; your life is over; you’ll never have money again; and your dreams will die as you turn into a robot with the day to day drone of responsibility.
Hmm…twins you say??
But of course, the delivery day came and so did my two beautiful twin children. A boy and a girl. And boy, did everything change.
The Dark Moments
Unfortunately the first big change was the fact that all of the devices I had used before to protect myself from my fears and anxieties about having children — my obsessive need to get things “right” — FAILED MISERABLY.
I had two beautiful children and all I could feel was a paralyzing fear that I was fucking it all up. My mind was a mess of “shoulds”. As in, I should be doing laundry, washing bottles, breastfeeding, pumping, checking emails for work, prepping them for Harvard and making lots of money to support them.
What followed were the most difficult 4 months of my life. Depression, shame, stress, anxiety, and just plain fear of being a horrible parent had me on my knees.
Then, I got additional support in my life. A brilliant and compassionate woman named Elizabeth Floch, who specializes in parents of multiples.
What followed were the 2nd most difficult 8 months of my life. I ever so slowly started to realize that I could decide to NOT do it ALL, and instead ONLY DO what do what mattered most to me.
One night at 2am I woke up with an anxiety attack so intense I felt like someone had their hands around my throat. I sat down at my computer and looked up Abraham Hicks. Elizabeth sent some of the teachings before, but I never seemed to have the time to listen. However, in my desperation, I really needed something to change, FAST. I ran across a 7 hour clip of Abraham Hicks on a cruise line. Perfect. I put my headphones on and let it ride.
4 hours later, I looked myself in the mirror and finally had enough. I reached the “emotional threshold” and finally made a decision that would shape my life forever:
That decision was simple: I will NEVER AGAIN settle for less than I can be, do, give, or create, just because I have children.
I realize that this is a lie not just taught to me, but something that many friends of mine share, especially when they feel like they have a lot to do with their lives.
Write Your New Parenting Story
More and more people put off having children or suffer greatly when they do because they’ve also been hit over the head with the fear of it signaling an end to their greatest dreams or goals. It sounds something like:
I want to have kids, but I need to wait until I start my business, buy a house, get my promotion, travel the world, do/make this next project (insert any life achievement or financial prosperity item here).
I knew that instead of burdening my children with the story that their arrival signaled the death kneel of my life, that I could give them credit for me achieving my wildest dreams. That there was a way for me to be everything I truly wanted to be, AND take care of my family. I realized I owed it to myself and my family to become the woman of faith, business and integrity I always wanted to be. And it could do it on my terms.
You can too. Here’s a great way to turn every fear or liability about having children around to your benefit. It’s this simple: Write your own rules about parenting. This is the fastest, most effective way to hack away at every limiting parenting fear, doubt or worry you have. Get out a sheet of paper, write out all the beliefs you have about parenting that aren’t helpful and change the story.
Take this fear (financial worry):
I worry about providing for my children. What if I don’t make enough money to support them?
My children will inspire and motivate me to focus on the future that I really want to achieve. That future will help me get clear about what I want, and help keep me on track. I will make more money than I ever have because I will push myself beyond what I have done before.
Take this fear (loss of freedom, loss of self):
I worry I won’t have time for myself, my husband, my friends anymore.
As my priority becomes spending fulfilling, quality time with my family, my level of efficiency and productivity will skyrocket. I will get more done than I ever have before, and manage my time more wisely. I will find ways to stop messing around in the day to day minutia and automate and outsource any task that’s a drain on my time. I am always willing to adapt and change.
Keep doing this exercise for any and all limiting beliefs you have around children. It’s amazing how being willing to accept the gift that is the growth, change and focus on what’s important in life can be your greatest asset. Of course, this list will change and grow over time, that’s OK. For every limiting thought, you can DECIDE to create one that serves you better and gives that challenge a new meaning.
It’s always best to have a network of supportive family and friends during this time. I also coach people through this process when and if the time arises. Either way, make sure you have nurturing, kind people around you who have similar ideas who will support you on your parenting journeys. If there are those who stoke your fears or insecurities by comparison or doubt, create boundaries that will keep them at bay. Talk to your partner and set rules around what to share with others so you keep your inner sanctum holy.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Let me know below and I’m happy to talk about it more. Like this post? Click here to subscribe to our mailing list