by TRANSFORMATIONAL LIFE-COACH RIMA DESAI
SINGLE MOM? MARRIED yet SINGLE??
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY in Advance. This post is dedicated to Moms, Stay-at-home, Working, Single or just simply M-O-M-S; Also dedicated to those feeling very stressed as Moms or having stressful marriages. It may sound funny and yet truly a Mom’s Daily Opera can very well be feeling like they are in a ‘Soup’. Being a Life-Coach for Women (Women Empowerment Coach), I get to see that a lot with my clients. To do or not to do? To say or not to say? To ‘stay’ or not to stay? To prioritize their lives or not? … endless thoughts…
Living as a Single Parent is never easy, I grew up in one. My mom died when I was 6. We were a family of 3 – My dad, my elder sis and me. While we had massive emotional struggles both individually and collectively due to a whole range of factors, today I talk more in terms of Moms / Women who are Married and yet are Single Moms. I mean that hundreds of moms are the ones taking 80% to 100% of the responsibility of child care and home management. I also talk about the moms who were married and later became Single Moms. I fall more so somewhere in between ;)
It has been an interesting and eye-opening ride. I have found immense blessings in the decisions I have taken to free up my internal space, emotional space and sense of freedom for self-expression. It is funny how despite the democracies we live in, thousands of Moms / Women live in relationships where they feel total lack of freedom of self-expression, even lack of freedom of thought! I was that Mom for half a decade! I was that Wife for a Decade! I was that Woman for 3 Decades!!!! Now?? No more! I stepped up to myself, to my life, to my rights, to my child and our future!
WEEKEND BONANZA?! Moms always get it for free ;)
This weekend has been one of those weekends so typical of being almost a Single Mom. From Friday evening my mind’s pool has been scuba diving into this dire need to write a life-shaking article and I finally get to it on Sunday night at 11pm! …
…An article on how we women feel trapped and keep ourselves woven into this endless victim-hood cycle of the necessary sacrifice we MUST do for our family. I don’t mean to generalize this to all women, neither to just women, there are men too that suffer and sacrifice. Yet my focus in this article and in all the work I do as a Women-Empowerment Coach and Psychologist is towards all the Asian, Indian and other Moms who feel culturally hemmed by the rigid beliefs shoved down our throats (metaphor!), literally since our conception.
Yes, since conception! This is because several beliefs are passed on to us through our mothers, the emotions they feel, thoughts they have, any suffering they feel or behavior patterns they have are passed on to us in our womb. In the womb, we receive our first teachings about re-living these emotional patterns of Victimhood, Persecution, Martyr Archetypes, etc. and pass then we pass them on to our children and future generations. Just like any other inherited illness like varicose veins, thyroid, diabetes, etc., it is like a trademark or a tendency we carry with our soul and then it gets activated when we encounter it socially.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??
This means serious good news! It means that we have way more control over our destiny than we ever thought or believed. The genes we carry can be energetically re-woven and socially insulated when we choose to alter our emotional patterns, behaviors and self-defeating beliefs. This can be done in several ways. The one most effective for me and thousands of other women has been COUNSELING, LIFE-COACHING, PAST-LIFE REGRESSION, HYPNOTHERAPY, SRP or FAMILY CONSTELLATION, SELF-HYPNOSIS, GUIDED MEDITATIONS, REIKI, etc.
Believe it or not, in the past 2 years I have opened myself up to ALL of the above therapies and used a combination of EACH and ALL of these therapies to fish out a new baby out of me – a new ‘Self-Identity’ I mean. A new way of thinking, feeling and living. I have TRANSFORMED 280 degrees and continue to move towards the 360 mark! A big proof to that is my TWIN FLAME ACTIVATION and this super powerful journey that I am in. A second huge proof to this is the quality of LIVE VIDEOS, presentation and confidence that so many viewers tell me I clearly depict! A third proof is that now, I facilitate the powerful transformation of others. I can go on with the list of success and transformation I and others have found in me since all the major healing I have done. Above all, the happiness that spills out of me is at a totally different level. Clearing up the Generational Pathology that Women in my ancestral weave have inherited was probably one huge sigh of relief.
However, Family Constellation, SRP and Past life regression has its limitations. In that, it can clear up negative, stuck energy and soul contracts and yet we have to do our Inner Work in clearing up our belief systems, be willing to confront our fears, shames, guilts and grief, face the hardest and show willingness to change. No one can change our destiny but ourselves.
It is definitely not easy. It requires one to sit on a wired fence with a fire at the bottom and a sword hanging above. What I mean by that is the ‘fear’ part of confronting a whole new life-style against societal beliefs. Most women chicken out because of the high risk of social taboos and probable social rejection. Courage is one thing I have, for I cannot be a Revolutionary, a Leader if I can’t walk the talk! How can I guide other Moms and Women onto a saner life and path if I can’t show what Speaking Up means, what drawing strong boundaries means while continuing to be kind and unconditional in one’s acceptance of self and others. How can I motivate and encourage you to alter your identity and life-style if I cannot question and confront harmful societal and cultural practices.
Don’t get me wrong. One does not always have to bat out of a marriage or take extreme measures. The aim is ALWAYS to be objective about the next best steps and the final goal. If one can spark the beginning of a two way street, it is the way to go. Sometimes just putting your foot down and stop being the door mat can do wonders. Women are so used to giving endless and feeling empty within, the man almost never realizes how much is being taken for granted. Often times the problem is with us. We need to give less and do enough for ourselves so that our bucket of Love and Joy does not drain out like cooking what we love just as often as we cook what the family loves. Even practices like asking for care from the family when we are ill or drawing a boundary on how much and how often we will entertain guests can be super helpful in the long run. We receive no productive outcome/s when we just about don’t do that and also keep constantly complaining.
But then there are many women that have been or are being seriously abused or ones that are on an endlessly one street dead end curve; where there is almost no hope for recuperation or any real love and cooperation coming from the man no matter what one does. Some men clearly refuse counseling, mutual discussion or anything to do with healing the relationship. They may be in denial or in defensive mode and may even stay there forever!
Ultimately, you are the best judge of your next steps. You know deep in your heart what’s your truth and your sixth sense must be your best advocate. It knows! As long as you can differentiate between your 6th sense and your logic, and follow the deep nudge, you are good to go. As for me too, you may need a lot of VALIDATION in the early steps, and constant ones too! I asked for it more and more, again and again from my experts and my true well-wishers and today I am anything but Thankful a 100 times and more :)
A POT OF ADVICE by ME
“The parents who think that they are staying in the marriage only for the kids are either having an excuse to run away from the fears of separation or are lacking perspective.
If we stay in a #marriage that harbors Bitterness, Harshness, Arguments, Lack of Love, Judgement and rejection despite all efforts, then we are showing our children that Relationships are a Burden and all about Bitterness. That to me, is not #Commitment, that is Foolishness!Killing our happiness by the fear of society or the fear of our children’s future is showing and teaching our children to do the same things in their future. It is Actually Killing their future to see a #Partnership that is Superficial, Contractual in Nature where both parents stay in a partnership merely for the Sake of it. Pretence is never healthy.
Stay in a marriage for #Love, #Unity and #Companionship, our children need to see that. If we cannot show our children that, then we must show them LOVE by Being our Individual selves outside the Marriage. Sometimes #Divorce is Wisdom and a Gift to our children!”
~ Soul Food ~ by Coach Rima Desai ~ Happy Upcoming Mother’s Day!!
This is an EXCELLENT GAME to get to know if anything WRONG is going on in your child’s life outside your knowledge. This game also brings a lot of closeness and bonding amongst family members and helps you discover things about each other you probably did not know. #mustplay #GAMES#family #parenting
Dhreya was very excited and eager for her turn to open the chit. Every chit had a special surprise question to which each of us have to answer. At first I thought this game may hold her attention for long but then I realized she loved it! Kids can surprise us with how well they can respond to ‘new learnings’, after all they are naturally curious and playful.
I have been fortunate to have a Masters in Psychology. Even though I have not specialized in Child Psychology, it has helped me a great deal to extend that knowledge to my upbringing and guidance of her and other kids. I am proud of the way she is growing up and the games we play as a family are pure ‘treasure’. This is a game that I have invented just a week ago. My mind bursts with creative ideas in my pursuit to give her the best upbringing that I can. Bonding with others and staying connected to our inner-self, our emotions is the most important element of existence. Today I am sharing this game with you, it is going to give you a huge amount of information about your family members and about yourself which you probably never knew!
AIM OF THE GAME: Finish all the chits or as many chits as you wish and have each one answer every question. Have fun!
HOW TO: All players sit in a circle. Players must know each other well like family members or very close friends because chits involve some personal questions too. Players must be 5 years + and must include at least one mature adult.
One person draws a chit from a bowl of chits. The chit is opened and question is read out aloud. The person holding the chit answers the question first and then the other players take turns giving their answers. Everyone must give an answer to each question, each chit.
WHAT YOU NEED: Chits made for each of the question I write below, water and some fun snacks if you wish
DURATION: You can decide how long you wish to play. To get through all the chits it may take a good 40 minutes but you can divide the game in 2 parts to play over 2 times.
WHERE: You can play this game anywhere where you have privacy. It is a great game to play when you are on a vacation or travelling but if you play in public, make sure you leave out some of the personal questions.
OTHER IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS: Let the participants know that there is no right or wrong answer. All answers are accepted gracefully and that there is no judgment and also that none of their answers will be shared with anyone else if they don’t want to. Ensure confidentiality for any sensitive information shared. Also let each individual know that – If some questions feel uncomfortable, pay close attention to those feelings. Why are they uncomfortable, what are the triggers there?
DISCLAIMERS and REMINDERS
It is important to not avoid difficult questions esp. with children because that discomfort will give you very important clues about what is happening in your child’s life that you may not be aware of but remember to play it only when EVERYONE FEELS COMFORTABLE WITH EVERYONE ELSE IN THE GROUP and to stop when anyone asks to stop or if anyone is way too disturbed to answer or continue. Ask everyone, even small and older children if they are okay sharing their personal likes and stories with everyone in the group. Stop if anyone requests to stop at any point.
QUESTIONS: Note that you can add on your own. When I made up the game, I had 15 minutes before it was our family game time and I quickly thought of the questions I could.
- The sport I always wanted to learn is ____ and that sport that seems least fun is _____
- The one thing I love at school or work is _____ and the one thing I dislike at school/work is ___
- MY favorite person at school/work is _____ and my least favorite person at school/work is ____
- If I could change one thing about myself it would be _______ and if I could gift one thing about myself ____
- If I had a million dollars _______ and If I had very little money _______
- If I could change one thing about my life _______ and the one thing I love about my life _______
- I feel happy when ________ and I feel sad when _________
- I feel confident when ________ and I feel inferior when _________
- I feel comfortable with ________- and I feel uncomfortable with or when ____
- My favorite body part is _______ and the least favorite body part is ________
- I love the touch of _______ and I don’t like when _____ touches me
- My most memorable trip so far is _____and the least memorable trip is _______
- The best moment of my life _______ and the worst moment of my life________
- I felt proud of myself when ______ and I felt ashamed or embarrassed when _________
- I feel loved when ________ and I feel rejected when ____________
As you notice the questions can go on and you can add your own questions as long as they feel ‘safe’ to answer to a child and adult. If there are deep emotions that emerge or discomfort, please be supportive of the person without any judgments or advice. Just hear the person out and say that you understand or that you will like to understand more. PLEASE DO NOT FORCE ANYONE TO ANSWER IF THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DISCOMFORT. Esp. with teenagers or around negative event memories, the aim of the game is to help not hurt more.
When we played this game, I was able to validate some answers like my daughter confirmed with me that she has hated the hugs and touch of her uncle which she remembers from 4 years of age. He used to force hug her tight and after several messages to them, he would not stop. Dhreya would come back home and talk about the hug in a fleeting way but I knew as a mom and a psychologist that it was bothersome to her. I finally wrote a stern message involving all concerned family members and ensured that he stopped touching her. Today after 3 years she still remembers that negative feeling! ON the other hand, I never knew that her least favorite body part was her nose!
This game is excellent to also teach your child that negative and positive emotions are normal part of life and that it is very important to be aware of what disturbs us and that it is okay to share it with people we trust! I played part of this game at a temple workshop that I did recently and received many positive reviews for the game.
Please feel free to share your views and how your experience was. Also, I would like you to honor this exercise as a reference to this article and my efforts if you happen to use it professionally or for any group or individual work. Any similarity found with any other similar creation is merely a coincidence.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE TO BENEFIT OTHERS AND FOLLOW MY BLOG FOR MORE RESOURCES FOR PARENTING AND PERSONAL GROWTH. You may like this important family game as well
The most important worry or question any parent has is – “How can I make my child so confident that s/he can face anything in this world and be successful?” This is a million dollar question and here is your million dollar answer. You do not need to do anything fancy and carry a worry worm within you. Worry has no power by itself. If backed with action it becomes motivation, if left at worry it becomes disease and if left with inaction, it becomes a mountain of problems. Hence, here is the list of THINGS TO DO TO KEEP YOUR CHILD BUFFERED.
- ACCEPT: Accept that your child has his or her own bag of karmas and nothing you do will completely change those karmas. They have their rocks and mountains to climb to learn from and some are really born with a silver spoon. It is just what their soul chose. Hence, you are NOT the person in control, you are only the guide!
- CHANGE WHAT: It is important to focus our efforts in the right direction. Do not attempt to change your kids. Attempt to change their behaviour and help them make productive choices. An introvert will remain an introvert no matter how much your try. If the introvert changes into an extrovert that is because either the situations made him so or because the child was always an extrovert but required the right opportunity. We cannot turn wood into iron and vice versa. The more you show your kids that you love them for who they are and that there are STRENGTHS for all kinds of personality, the more they will be confident and love themselves.
- DON’T PRAISE EVERYTHING: Honestly, this is a hard one for me too. It is so easy to WOW everything for our kids. But the truth is that it harms them at some point because it creates EXTERNAL MOTIVATION and a tendency to PEOPLE PLEASE. They must know to self-analyse and be self-motivated independent of what others think. This is a great way to boost their self-confidence.
- CREATE SELF-RELIANCE: I love the Montessori philosophy that – “Don’t do for the child what the child can do himself”. The more independent kids are, the more they are confident to face the challenges of the world. In the Indian culture we tend to over-protect our kids and do a lot more for them than they actually need. Living in USA, I have been awed to see that a 1 year young child eats NOODLES and all meals by himself or herself and that they change themselves by age 2 and more. It is amazing how much they can learn if we allow them to.
- SOCIALIZE: The more you socialize as a parent, the more your child will too. Social skills are critical to confidence and success in today’s globalization. Few businesses or works are in isolation of other people hence teach them to socialize by modelling the correct manners. I don’t mean PARTY while you leave them at a baby-sitter. I host, invite, attend other moms’ homes with the kind of values you want your child to learn.
- LABELS ARE LOUSY: Never label your child as – “Lazy” “Motu” “Fatso” “Darpok” and so on. Those labels may be fun for you but they carve and itch themselves in your child’s brain and then the brain learns to be STUCK on it forever. Growing up, you may see them do exactly what the label says and mark their way to failure. Imagine failing at something only because you were called names a 1000 times in a decade. You may label their behaviour instead – “This sounds like a lazy idea or you are being lazy” which is very different from “you are lazy”.
- PERFORM but not OVER-PERFORM: The world is a stage and we are the performers. As parents we are so anxious to MAKE THEM SMART. I don’t understand that concept of enrolling a child in 5 classes to make them smart! School, heavy bag, heavy H.W., lots of classes, late sleep and over burden creates BURN OUT not smartness. Choose 2 classes at a time and use them to the fullest. Allow them to stage perform if they want to or don’t mind it. But forcing a child to be on stage I Have them practice at home to hone those 2 skills. The rest of the time that you used for 3 other classes, instead use for spending one on one time with your child. You can save your Rs. 6000 by playing UNO, SCRABBLE, CHESS and MEMORY with them instead. It will make them smarter than you think, save your money and also save the STRAIN in your relationship with your kid.
- NEVER CRITICIZE, JUDGE, STRIP YOUR CHILD WITH YOUR ANGER: “What a shame that ….” “You don’t even know that much…” “I have told you so many times but you are so stupid…” “You fool…” “You could do better than that…” “I told you to do this but you did not listen…” are the best ways to strip your child off their self-confidence forever. Why don’t you turn around and use all those statements on yourself? Feel great uh? Makes you very confident uh? Worse still, use these statements, angry voice and REJECT your child in front of others. Doesn’t matter sister, mother, close friends, whoever they are to you, to the child they are ENEMIES OF SELF-CONFIDENCE and SELF-WORTH.
- UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: Love your child no matter what. Your child was not born to INCREASE YOUR STATUS and NAME in society. S/he was born to allow you to love and to give you love in return. Keep it simple, don’t pollute it with expectations of the world. A 10th rank doesn’t make your child less lovable, neither does failing. It only means GOD IS TESTING YOUR ABILITY TO LOVE NO MATTER WHAT!Express your love, hug them but not so tight that they feel uncomfortable ;) Use the “I love you” statement not to get their approval or make up for your mistakes but because you truly value their existence in your world.
- APPLY WHAT YOU READ: You have read many articles, now apply all the good stuff you read. Stop, Think and Start applying at least 2 of the above points.
When parents come to me frustrated – having ‘tried’ everything they could for their child’s TEMPER TANTRUMS, my heart goes out to them. Parents are innocent to the extent they do not know what is really happening. After knowing if parents do not take appropriate action then we can call it irresponsible behavior on the parent.
UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM BEFORE JUMPING TO THE SOLUTION
The reason why nothing works is because we have not understood the problem correctly or completely. Jumping to a solution without knowing the actual problem never brings results. So what is the actual problem when a child shouts, screams, stomps, acts stubborn? The problem is in the way we perceive the child’s behaviour. We believe the child WANTS to be difficult, needs that cookie or TV time and that’s why the child is wrong.
The truth is that the child is looking to fulfill another EMOTIONAL NEED through this behaviour. Not all children throw temper tantrums and anyone who sells you into the TERRIBLE TWOs idea is not completely right. Tantrums are a way for kids to express EMOTIONAL PAIN. It is an emotional wound. What would you do when your child had physically hurt, really badly? Would you not rush to soothe your child and do a remedy with ‘LOVE’ vs. criticizing?
Our children scream and shout because and only because they see OTHER ADULTS scream and shout, most likely one or more of their immediate care givers. We have taught our children that ‘shouting and screaming is THE WAY to solve problems’. It is not their fault. They are only imitating us! Think again before you show them CARTOONS, NEWS, TV SHOWS that portray VIOLENCE and POWER as a means of problem solving or ‘winning’ over the good or the bad.
It is human nature to scream or shout when one feels overwhelmed from the situation. It is the ultimate height of frustration.
Children get frustrated because they feel misunderstood. They do not have words in their mental dictionary to recognize and say – “I am stubborn for the cookie because IN REALITY I am feeling LONELY or UNWANTED…” It is for US to understand what the underlying emotional need is. Maybe they were ill-treated in school or they feel criticized by other adults. Maybe they feel rejected or simply miss spending time with us and our personal attention. Have you been way too B-U-S-Y lately?Maybe they are being ‘abused’ in some way. We are their only support. Please let us understand our children. A child who regularly or often throws temper tantrums is in IMMEDIATE and URGENT EMOTIONAL NEED.
We must accept that we throw tantrums as well! If we don’t accept our mistakes and improve, neither will our children. We shout, scream, get angry at our children and others. Even if we don’t anger our kids, they watch us communicate with others. They learn by seeing us with others as well.It could be that you are facing tough situations at home, at work or through your in-laws. That is understandable and yet, it is our duty to get support for ourselves so that we can raise children in a stable manner. Some ways to VENT out our frustrations and anger are: Pen it down on paper, talk to a friend who will be non-judgmental, take coaching or counseling sessions (very helpful), play sports and exercise, improve eating and sleeping habits, discuss with your family members how they can improve and support you, move out of highly stressful situations or jobs, etc.
Going to counselor or a coach does not mean something is wrong with you or that you will be ‘CORRECTED’. It means that you deserve UNCONDITIONAL and NON-JUDGEMENTAL SUPPORT and CARE along with expert advice.
Take time out. Understand yourself. Be observant. When your pressures are rising and you are about to hit the frustration mark, let your kid/s know that you are feeling ‘OVERWHELMED’ and need to calm down before you continue the conversation (no matter how imp., take a break!). Tell them that you will come back to them once you are able to calmly talk to them.
Same for your kids. Encourage your kids to take time off saying that it will help YOU understand THEM better when they are calmer. They can choose their CALM SPOT in the house beforehand and a favorite soft toy or God to talk to. Allow them that silence and even privacy if needed (Make sure they don’t lock rooms or other adults don’t go after them).
Attending to our kids doesn’t mean bowing down to all their needs. And an angry child doesn’t mean a child who wants to be DIFFICULT or MEAN.
Do you shout at your child because you enjoy being difficult, mean or harsh? If your answer is NO, same applies to your child. Children don’t want to ‘get into trouble’. Nobody likes being criticized. They are in serious emotional help and if their IMMEDIATE care givers cannot give them the sense of security, who will? As parents, we are the epitome of a SECURE WORLD FOR THEM. If they don’t get it from home, they will never get from anywhere!
On the other hand, let’s say your child is truly ‘out-of-hand’. That your child truly wants to manipulate and ‘get things out of you’. Yet, once again here you the parent have set that behavioural theme at some point. The child has LEARNT that I can get things out of my parent/s if I cry, throw fits, etc. Once again the problem is not with the child but with the parent who thinks “Jaane dete hai. Bechara bahut ro raha hai”. This is the ‘Easy way out approach’.
In reality, often times you don’t want to give in to the child but it is easier than dealing with the drama. If you could stay firm yet polite means clearly state, repeat and then stay silent with the same ‘mantra’, it would help you send the right message to your child.
E.g. – “No matter how you show me your anger, it is not T.V. day today.. However, I would love to spend 10 mins. (or more) of hide and seek (or anything you like) with you. I miss it so much. Tell me when you are ready for it. I will wait for you in my room until then”.
In our original Hindu Scriptures it is clearly written that not only should children respect elders but elders must ALSO respect those younger to them. It is also stated that when an elder person is wrong, a child has the right to correct them. These shlokas are said out during pujas like Satyanarayan puja and if the pujari is wise, he explains it too!
It is sad that our culture today only teaches and even FORCES kids to RESPECT adults and by respect they mean – “Never correct your adults”. On Janmashtami Day I want to spread this message. Lord Krishna is our perfect example who has taught us that wisdom does not come with age in one birth, it comes with the age of the Soul which can be way wiser than any adult and that one must also stop adults with wrongful behaviour/s.
I hope this helps! There is a lot more about Anger Management and Tantrums but this is the basic, most important foundation to it!
Image Courtesy: Google images