A gentle transition to motherhood

A Good Old Slap in the Face

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

I’ll never forget the day my husband slapped me across the face.  It wasn’t with his hand, but his words stung all the same.

My twins were about six months old at the time and I was still struggling to come to grips with my new life as “Mommy.”  Nothing had ever rocked my world like becoming a parent.  Not moving to a foreign country, changing careers, starting a business.  Nothing compared to the extreme emotions motherhood had elicited from me.

One evening, after a flood of my tears which had pretty much become the norm, my quiet, gentle, loving husband — the one who was up with me at night, rushing home from work early to help, involved in every aspect of the bath, bottle, bedtime routine — exploded in a tirade of his own pent up feelings.  “I’m sick and tired of hearing how hard you think this is!  You think I don’t know that?  It’s hard for me too.  And hearing you go on and on is taking all the joy out of it for me.  You need an attitude adjustment!”

He will claim he wasn’t so harsh.  Honestly, he probably wasn’t, but these are the words my heart heard.

Was it true?  Had I turned into some horrible Debbie Downer?  Was I so caught up in the bad that I was missing the good?  It seemed impossible.  I consider myself to be a positive person, glass half full, always pausing to soak in happy moments.  Was it true?

It was.  He was right (he will tell you he usually is).  I needed an attitude adjustment.  And fast.  Sure my life sucked.  Sure my freedom was gone, my always perfectly tidy home destroyed.  Sure my career was on hold, I was covered in spit up, fatter than a pregnant cow and soooooooo incredibly tired.  Sure.

But whether I liked it or not, this was my life.  And, horror of all horrors, my CHOICE.

Years before motherhood, at a time in my life where my acting career was in the toilet, I was living abroad, homesick as hell, and where life just seemed to suck, I had needed this same adjustment, this same shift in perspective in order to enjoy the beautiful life I had been given.   I had realized all those years ago that wallowing in the suckage (I made this word up, but I really like it) was getting me nowhere.  I lived in a first world country, I had a loving husband, friends who made me laugh, a roof over my head, food on the table, family I adored (which is why I missed them so).  There was always something to be grateful for, something to take pleasure in.  It became my mission each day to find it.  And, overnight, I became that happy person I was sure still lived inside the fat, tired, miserable Mommy.

And so, covered in puke, poop and tears, I went in search of that again.  And you know what I found underneath all those bodily fluids?  Tiny noses, chicken nugget sized feet, and a life I wasn’t expecting, but I might just one day adore.

I tell my clients all the time that hypnosis is often just a perspective shift (this is, perhaps, a euphemism for an attitude adjustment).  We are often stuck in a singular perspective, created recently or long ago.  Bypassing the conscious mind and going straight to the source of our creativity and intuition is the perfect way to change perspective.  Showing the subconscious a different angle can often change the feelings entirely.  There is a softness that comes with understanding, with seeing another point of view.  And a forgiveness.

Two years later I still need the occasional attitude adjustment.  Please don’t think that because I found some kind of tool I’m able to wield it every day.  Hardly.  No one can do that.  I’m not some Sage Mama sat atop her unicorn who poops rainbows and fairies.  But that verbal slap in the face was the best thing that ever happened to me.  Now on hard days I think about my son’s face the first time he went to the Aquarium and met his “fishy friends”.  Or my daughter and the way she runs … skittering across the floor like a little elf.  Or my husband, running around the house with a blanket over his head playing “Daddy Ghost”.  I don’t get there every time … I forgive myself on the days that I can’t, but most days I’m surprised by how quickly I can still see the joy in even the darkest of hours.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.  It’s SO hard.  I’m still SO tired (so, so tired).  But there is beauty to be found in every day.  And if I want my children to learn the truth about happiness — that you look for it, you CHOOSE it – then I’d better step up and show them how.

Kira Dorrian and Tracy Adams are Seattle-based Clinical Hypnotherapists and HypnoBirthing® Practitioners, each a mom of twins. Together they have created HypnoMothering™, a class designed to help prepare women for a gentle transition into motherhood, and a safe space for new mothers to be seen, heard, and supported.

One Comment

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  1. Nancy lee

    Beautifully said Kira and applies to so many asprects of life beyond just motherhood. Wish you the best with your hypnobirthing and those two adorable little munchkins you have scampering around your house.

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