Car Crying – 3 Steps to Grieving While Driving

Ok, your first step is to actually park your car. I’ve mislead you a bit with my subtitle. It’s true, I have driven while crying, that’s not unheard of. But let’s be clear, I’d really like you to pull over and then cry.

I’ll get to my 3 steps shortly.

I’m not opposed to showing my feelings, however, the thing I’ve noticed about myself is that when I’m with my kids, I’m in “Mom-Mode” and apparently “Mom-Mode” doesn’t have a Cry Function Button.

I get busy with all the mommying I need to do – wiping faces, bums, feeding them, cleaning up after them  – that there doesn’t leave much time for crying or processing my emotions.

The kids actually saved me when Steve, my husband of only 4 years, died suddenly over 2.5 years ago. The kids gave me my smiles. They gave me a reason to go on, to get up out of bed. I had to do it for them. And I had to do it for him. I was a solo parent now. And I promised him I would take care of the girls. But they never saw me cry.

I quickly found that the solitude of my minivan was where I felt comfortable enough to cry. All alone, windows up, parked.

It’s really important fo you to let your emotions out. We bottle them up and then let them rip on people we love or they turn into chronic stress which leads to or worsens a whole host of chronic diseases.

So here are your steps to Car Crying. (Take it from the expert)

  1. Park your car – the first reason is for your safety. If you are balling your face off then you can’t really focus on the road. My favourite spots were facing fences, backs of stores or in the driveway where passersby couldn’t really see. And if they did, who cares!?
  2. Pick a time – it’s best to do your car crying at the end of your day or when you’ve got time to mop up afterwards. Some people it’s obvious that they’ve been crying. My sister has always been jealous of me that I don’t really look like a hot mess after crying. (Sorry sis! I don’t know what to tell you.) And if people see you’ve been crying, who cares?! It’s healthy to let out your emotions. Please refer them to this blog 😉
  3. Pick your tunes – create your “Songs to Cry to” playlist. When my emotions get pent up and I know they are going to explode, I just put on my playlist and it’s much easier to let them go. Some of the real kickers are “To where you are” by Josh Grobin and “See you again” by Carrie Underwood. Also thrown in there is our wedding song.

I feel so much better after a good cry. Sometimes my emotions can be stirring and under the surface for a week and they just need to get out. And then I feel better. Give it a try. This doc recommends it.

If you can’t stop crying… ever… or if it’s really bad during your PMS time and not getting any better, come see me. Book a free 15 meet the doctor and let’s chat about how to get you feeling more like yourself.

Talk soon,

Dr. Whitney

Bubble-Wrapped Babies

17% of new moms are suffering from postpartum anxiety versus only 5% who are suffering from postpartum depression. This is at an all-time high!

So what can we do about it?

Here, I chat about some moms from my practice and my online mommy group Guiltless Grace.

There are 3 steps you can start to take to decrease your mommy worry.

  1. 100 Deep breaths a day – simple and safe strategy to start decreasing the stress
  2. Take it off – take things off your plate. You don’t have to be super mom or wonder woman and do it all. Your standards can change when you have a baby. You have so much more on your plate, so take some things off.
  3. Ask for Help – ask me for help – we can talk about supplements, diet and mommy mentoring strategies to help you feel sane again. Ask your friends and family for help. You don’t have to do it all.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’m here for you!

Talk soon,

Dr. Whitney

Click Here To book a free meet the doctor visit with me to see if we are a good fit for working together.

The Hating is Dissipating

My youngest daughter is enjoying her gymnastics class a lot. It’s a parent and tot class so each of the little ones has a parent with them to assist with all the cute moves they’re doing.

A couple weeks ago there were just 4 kids there with an adult. We did their warm-ups of jumping, bear walks and walking on tip toes. It was already 10 minutes into the class before I realized that all the other parents were Dads. I was the only Mom there. A year ago I would have noticed immediately and have been devastated, hating the Dads and their cuteness with their kids. Their loving hugs and connection with their children.

But the hating is dissipating. I don’t feel as angry. I don’t feel as empty. It’s there still…the sadness, the longing for the way things should be. But peace is slowly creeping into my life.

Learning to live this new life is a day to day exploration. Figuring out how this is going to work without Steve. He was a light and rock in our lives. He was our cheerleader.

So, if your life is not working out the way you’ve hoped here’s some of the things I’ve done to help me over the last 2 years.

  1. Take Care of You – I’ve put a big emphasis on taking care of me so I can take care of my kids. Going to bed early, eating well, seeing my counsellor, going to the gym etc. What small changes can you make to your day which would be a bit more kinder to your body, mind and spirit?
  2. Find your Passion – I’ve done a lot of self-reflection over the last year. When death hits so close to home people often reflect on their life. Are they living the life they want? I’ve refined my business to grow the parts I really want to do more of. I’ve tried out different hobbies and keep exploring who I am so I can find joy today and not put it off. I know too well that life is too short.
  3. Enjoy the Now – I have been actively working on my inner game, my mental state. I could complain about how hard my life is (sometimes I still do) or I can embrace the gifts I’ve been given. My 2 healthy, brilliant little girls who are strong-willed and funny. It’s not all roses and picture-perfect moments but I’m grateful for my kids. So, each day, I’m learning to enjoy the now, the present moment.

So yes, the hating is dissipating. It’s being replaced by love and gratitude. I hope your hate is leaving too.

If you want more support, click here to join me in my private Facebook group Guiltless Grace.

Talk soon,

All Hands Deck – Ask for Help

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned being a solo parent is to be ok with asking for help.

I can’t do this alone. If I try, I will be too stressed out and tired. That’s no good for me or for my kids.

Also, when I ask for help, the others who help feel better. They get to help the girls and I. And they also get to see and bond with the girls if what they’re helping with is watching the kids.

Even the small things with parenting – ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone.

We used to live in close-knit communities with multiple generations that leaned on each other, cooked together and supported one another. We’ve become too self-sufficient.

My challenge to you this week – pick one thing on your to-do list and ask someone else to do it. Then let the outcome go. Things don’t have to be perfect. Talk soon,

 

 

 

His Funeral was My Funeral

 

His funeral was my funeral in more ways than one.  It was my funeral because it was the end of my life as I knew it. It was also a glimpse at what my funeral would look like.

Steve died so suddenly that we didn’t have a chance to speak of his wishes around a funeral or celebration of life. I knew what he did for both his parents who pre-deceased him. And I knew the core and essence of Steve and who he was. So, choosing how to celebrate his life was easy. My wonderful sister was the project manager and dealt with all the details and delegated with the rest of the family and friends who were helping. His Celebration of Life was exactly how he would have wanted it to be.

But it was my funeral too. The life that I knew was over. A chapter was closing. One that I didn’t want to close at all. That I was extremely happy with.

It was like my world was a snow globe and someone shook it so hard that I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t walk straight and the snow storm flew all around me. When the snow settled, I didn’t recognize my world anymore.

However, one of the lovely things about his Celebration of Life was that it showed me how much love and support we have and I have. Our family, many of my friends, old camp friends, networking colleagues and supporters came out, quite of few of whom had never met Steve or only met him a couple of times.

It showed me how much I was loved. I could imagine what my Celebration of Life would look like with all of these amazing people.

So why do I share this with you? Because there are people around you who love you and support you. You are not alone even when you feel like you are. There are people who would do anything for you and show up for you. They believe the world is a better place because you are in it. So reach out. Ask for help. Ask for a hug. Ask for what you need. You’re worth it and the people who know the true you know you’re worth it too.

Dr. Whitney

For more about living our lives as while raising our kids, join me and other moms as we raise happy, healthy, & hearty kids without the Mommy Guilt in my private group called Guiltless Grace.

Our Future: Foggy but Hopeful

One of the things that makes me so sad is thinking about my family in the future.

All the dreams and plans we had for our family of 4 were shattered and scattered on the floor the day my husband, Steve, died a year and a half ago.

Just days before, we had celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and we toasted and asked each other what we hoped for for the next 4 years. We talked of what we wished for each other and for our beautiful young daughters. We dreamed of vacation plans and a trip that Thursday to the local zoo. I couldn’t listen to the song “Mommy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow” for months.

Despite the ending to our story, our anniversary dinner by the lake was a beautiful moment in time and I’ll treasure it always.

Now, what makes my heart ache the most is what won’t be. The family trips, the walks to the park, the family bike rides or just movie nights all cuddled together. These will never be exactly as I had imagined. My world was turned upside down and for a long time, I couldn’t look more than 2 weeks into the future. It hurt too much and was too scary.

A friend recently brought something to my attention… now I can start to see a future for us again. I can look longer into the distance.

I’m learning that life is not the fairy tale I was lead to believe it was. That there are happy endings to chapters but then a new chapter begins. I didn’t want that chapter with Steve to end..

I also know that many people have lives that aren’t turning out the way they expected. That I’m not the only one who’s had suffering. Illness, divorce, infertility, and death can affect us all and change the way our family looks. It doesn’t matter if we are “good people” or “deserve” happiness.

I’m still saddened by the fact my girls’ Daddy won’t be there every step of the way in the little moments and the big ones.

But I’m not alone as we watch these young girls grow. I have amazing family and friends who love and support us and are thrilled to be there for those moments.

And now, through the fog I can start to dream that I may love again and this new person may walk with me and my girls as we go forward. However, if I love again, it won’t be my “happily ever after.” You need to have “happily now, in this moment, in this chapter.”

So I want to acknowledge all you moms out there who are making it work. Who are making memories with your children with the cards you’ve been dealt. Life may not be turning out exactly as you planned but we can still be hopeful through the fog while we are enjoying our kids right now.

Dr. Whitney

For more about living our lives while raising our kids, join me and other moms as we raise happy, healthy, & hearty kids without the Mommy Guilt in my private group called Guiltless Grace.