If you know me or follow me, you will know that I talk about ‘abundance’ quite a lot. It’s something that has come to form a central cornerstone in my ethos around parenting and self-care. I talk about the principle frequently with the mums and families I work with and it’s also underlying in almost everything I do. In many ways it is so simple and intuitive, and it has such an impact on our wellbeing. However, in times of disruption or increased stress, like becoming a parent, abundance goes out of the window.
Abundance versus Scarcity
Abundance is a mindset. It’s an attitude that’s grounded in a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. If you feel safe, secure and fulfilled then you will feel more able to embrace whatever the universe throws at you than if you are in a mindset of ‘scarcity’, overwhelmed by feelings of fear, stress and anxiety. There are lots of benefits associated with embracing an abundance mindset: more resilience, better able to cope with challenging situations, openness to new experiences and a greater sense of calm and wellbeing.
Now this is all well and good, however, for most people, it’s not as simple as flicking a switch and doing your 10 minutes of meditation each morning to get you in the right frame of mind. That being said, for me, abundance is about small steps and little changes each day. It certainly shouldn’t become another pressure on top of everything else you’re trying to manage! There are some practical things you can try to help you develop an abundance mindset.
Abundance and Parenting
In her article, 10 Steps to Develop an Abundance Mindset, Nicolette Stinson discusses how you can recognise where you’re mindset is and some of the ways you can actively create an abundance mindset in your life. For a new mum, it can be overwhelming to embrace change, however some of the approaches are worth a try!
1. Become Aware of Your Thoughts
If you feel there is an area in your life that isn’t going as you want or envisaged, ask yourself if your thoughts and attitude towards it are negative or defeatist. Think about how you can find the positive. ‘My baby isn’t happy’, ‘I’m not a good mother’, ‘I’ve got a bad sleeper!’. Thoughts like these, though so very common for new mums, will without question, compound your situation and make you so much less able to cope with the demands of parenting a newborn.
2. Practice Gratitude
According to Oprah Winfrey, ‘If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you will never have enough.’ I love this statement and think there’s more than a little bit of truth in it. In her article, Stinson suggests keeping a gratitude journal and writing down what you are genuinely grateful for every day. It could be simple things like a walk in the fresh air or a quiet cuddle with your baby. You’ll be surprised how much of the good stuff there really is.
3. Understand the Power of What You Say
‘My baby is naughty,’ I’m a terrible mum’, ‘I look fat’, ‘My baby hates me.’ Whoa, say it often enough and not only will you start to believe it, everyone else will too! The language you use, as well as what you tell yourself and others, shapes your reality. Don’t put yourself down, to yourself or to others. ‘My baby is beautiful’, ‘I’m learning more about myself and my baby every day’, ‘I’m an amazing mummy’. Lift yourself up, because you are enough. In fact, you’re more than enough.
4. Focus on What’s Going Right
Our natural reaction is to focus on what’s going wrong and try to fix or avoid it. We’re hardwired that way by evolution. Like I said, changing your mind set isn’t easy. It’s a journey of lots of little steps. The next time you have a perceived problem, or something doesn’t seem to be going right, rather than becoming overwhelmed or trying to fix the problem, instead, focus on and embrace what’s actually going right.
How You Can Make Abundance Part of Your Every Day
Abundance is about filling your life with positivity, it’s the feel-good factor. Having a new baby can be an anxious time, are they sleeping enough, are they eating enough, are they happy!? These questions and worries can become overwhelming. Parents, especially mums, focus 100% on their babies, of course it seems like the right thing to do, but they forget about themselves.
Tiredness, low self-esteem, a change in your life and relationship with your partner, and less than great nutrition, can lead to lots of new mums feeling that positivity and happiness is scarce. There are some things you can remind yourself of everyday that will help you move towards an abundance mindset:
• Focus on the positives and the love you feel
Sometimes it’s hard to see past the fog but try to focus on the joy and love you feel for this amazing little person in your life.
• Counter every negative thought with a positive one
Little steps, it’s unrealistic to think that doubts and negatives won’t creep in. If you notice yourself feeling negative or hopeless, try to add a positive, happy thought into the mix too.
• Fill-up your feel-good tank
Be selfish and make time to do some of the things you love. Whether that’s taking time out for a warm, candle lit bath on your own, feeling good about getting your nails or hair done, enjoying a green smoothie or taking a long walk by yourself. Giving back to yourself is one of the best things you can do for your baby.
• Create a village of supporters and advocates
Surround yourself with people who lift you up, support your decisions and give you unconditional love. There will always be well meaning people who want to give advice or make you doubt yourself. When you’re feeling most vulnerable, that’s the time to put a bit of distance between you and the doubters!
• Talk about how you feel and listen to the language you use
Many new mums feel ashamed when they find things tough. They feel that asking for help or talking about the challenges they are having is an admission of failure. If I could shout it from the roof tops, I would. STOP THE MUMMY SHAMING. You have nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. This is new territory. You wouldn’t start a new job without some guidance and training. Why should this be any different? Talk about how you feel, but don’t let the negative talk take over. Being honest about how you feel is one thing but try not to be defeated or let ‘scarcity’ take over.
• Remember it’s a journey
Like any journey, there will be wrong turns, bumps in the road and false starts. Those things don’t mean the whole journey is a disaster. Every day is a new day and a fresh start. Just because yesterday was a tough day, it doesn’t mean today can’t be a better day. You are growing and learning all the time so give yourself permission to take the odd detour.
Feeling empowered with knowledge and confidence, taking care of yourself as well as your little one and having a trusted support network, will help you feel more able to parent from an abundance mindset. Most importantly, you will set foundations for good sleep, resilience and positive coping strategies.
If you’d like to chat more about how I might be able to support you and your family don’t hesitate to reach out, you can call me on 0448 223463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here to help.