• Caroline

Postnatal A-Z: Q for Quest for Control

My Postnatal A-Z continues with Q. Not an easy letter to write about but I wanted to write about ‘control’ at some point so here is Quest for control... 😃

Whenever things go wrong in our household, it's often due to my wanting to control everything. But if there's one thing I've learnt as a parent, it's that letting go of the need to control situations and little people (and big ones too) makes everyone far happier (and more willing to comply).

Other mums whose parenting approach I admire seem to approach life in a playful, kind and patient way and it does seem to have a positive effect on them and the people around them. And one of the parenting 'gurus' that I follow - Dr Laura Markham of Aha Parenting - recommends these three key pillars for a good relationship with your child(ren): 1) Connect, 2) Manage your own emotions, and 3) Coach instead of Control your little one(s). So it seems there is scientific advice behind this which is always helpful.

Are you a type A personality - a high-achiever, a perfectionist? Many of the traits that most likely helped to propel you to success in your career and maybe even your personal life could now be causing you stress and anxiety. But the good news is that some of these are just patterns that you've adopted and used over the years and those patterns can be unlearnt.

First of all, be kind to yourself and give yourself time. This is not easy work - in fact, it might be some of the hardest work you do on yourself. I find that meditating, spending time in nature and writing a gratitude journal help to keep me grounded and focused on the things that are important. In other words, try not to sweat the small stuff. It takes both  time and consistent effort to rewire the brain, to create new, more helpful pathways. But it is possible. And it is most definitely worth it. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙏

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