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5 Insights My Kids Have Brought Me

babies & postpartum parenting

When I found out I was pregnant with my third child I imploded on the bathroom floor. 

Don’t get me wrong... I was happy.  I was healthy.  I had two beautiful boys.  I lived in the country. I had a great partner.  We wanted another child. 

And yet that little blue plus sign unleashed from me a primal raw burst of emotion that had been deeply hidden inside.  Oh.  My.  Gosh. I. Can’t. (Or, was it “oh my gosh I don’t want to”?)

When we are forced into corners like this we have two choices. We can take the quantum leap forward into unknown territory, or we can revert back to the same old safe patterns that are keeping us from being our best selves. 

I chose to leap.

It was time to examine my life as a mom and figure out what was “off”.  I was not unhappy.  But I was not happy.  I was in a holding pattern; devoted to my kids and feeling surprisingly... empty. 

But what did I need?  What did I want? I was so enveloped in mommy-fog that I had lost sight of me.

After pushing back the mom guilt, I started soul searching. 

Here are 5 insights that my three kids have helped me learn about mothering.

Insight #1:

We can’t raise healthy, happy kids if we aren’t healthy, happy mamas. Because healthy and happy moms initiate such a profound ripple effect, learning how to live in our “happy place” is an important part of taking care of our kids.

Insight #2:

When life gets busy, our instinct to care of our kids trumps all. Until we think about self care as a part of our parenting, it will continue to be an add-on; something to do when we get around to it. And we’ll likely not get around to it.

Insight #3:

Taking control of my energy is not selfish; it’s responsible. I need to become the CFO of my energy bank account.  I need to know where energy is coming from, where it is going, when I am approaching bankruptcy, and how to balance the books.

Insight #4:

My happiness boils down to two things - strong relationships and a healthy body.  When I feel out of balance, when I feel I’m about to fall apart, I scan those two areas to figure out where I need to do some work. 

Insight #5:

Pregnancy can initiate some very real, very powerful changes that can speedily spiral us down the toilet.  The first order of business if we want to take control of our health is to nourish our bodies with real, whole, nutrient dense food and make sure our hormones are balanced. 

And here’s a bonus point.....The biggest thing my kids have taught me is this:

I can live a vibrant, productive life while also being a devoted mom.

Overwhelm is the default setting for motherhood.  Replacing it with feelings like grateful, vibrant and creative requires some work, a shift in mindset and some tough conversations.  But it’s oh-so-worth it to make that quantum leap.

About Jess Sherman, FDN-P, M.Ed, R.H.N

Jess is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ and a trauma informed Family Health Educator specializing in brain health & resilience for kids. Her Calm & Clear Kids™ introductory course, her signature Resilience Roadmap™,  along with her book Raising Resilience, have helped families in 44 countries improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, autism and mood disorders without relying on medication. She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work helping families get healthier, and she continues to bring an understanding of the power of good nutrition to the mainstream conversation about children’s mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses, workshops and as a contributor to print and online magazines. You can reach Jess at www.jesssherman.com 

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The content on this website and in the guides and courses offered here is meant to provide information so that parents can make informed decisions and discuss these issue with their health care teams. It is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or individualized care.