One thing we can agree on in 2020 is that genuine connection is something we're all in need of. During our last Mamapalooza Instagram Live event (catch it HERE!) we chatted with 3 expert mamas to dive deep on all things connection and how we can get more of it in our lives this year, and beyond. Check out some of our favorite takeaways from the event.
Kristin Andrus: Connecting with Your Partner
Set yourself up for success by taking care of YOU.
Give yourself a strong foundation with nourishing food, daily movement and healthy routines. Fill your cup first.
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS ( ).
The fastest way to be disappointed is by having unrealistic expectations of your partner. Remind yourself that you are both trying and communicate your needs.
Play with your partner.
That doesn't have to look like a bike ride or vacation...simply laughing, talking or dancing together is play. Take off your 'mom' hat and let loose
Dr Jazmine McCoy: Connecting with Your Little Ones
First things first—All your little ones need is YOU.
Read it again, say it aloud, remind yourself.
Connect during daily activities and rituals.
When we think about connecting with our children, we often go straight to planning play time and themed events but meaningful connection can be found in your daily routines. Bath time and bedtime are the perfect setting to get quiet, put away the screens and tune in. Ask them questions, let them share with you. These seemingly small moments make a BIG impact.
Tune in to your senses, Mama.
We know the to-do list can seem never ending. If you're finding it tough to be fully present in these moments, try grounding yourself in the senses. Bring your focus to what you can see, smell, hear, touch or taste.
Here are a few age specific tips:
- Infant: The key in infancy is secure attachment. Maximize physical touch and eye contact. Holding, rocking, smiling, singing. Hello, baby fever!
- Toddler: This age is all about independence. Allow them to take the lead and teach you something. "Tell me about that!" "How does it work?" Let them help with daily chores or as Dr Jazmine likes to call them "family contributions."
- Elementary age: A continuation of the independence but just looks a little different. Keep including them in the family contributions, let them teach you, share with you. Try building something together. Even sitting together to watch a movie can be a special time of connection.
Natalie Norton: Connecting with YourSELF
Let go of control.
One thing we all have in common this year is that we experienced a set of circumstances completely outside of our control. Recognizing that is important to be able to identify our challenges and emotions around them.
Sit with your feelings if you have to—they are valid!
After a major change in our lives (loss, transition, having a baby, a global pandemic!), we are faced with redefining ourselves. This comes with A LOT of emotion and that is OK! Your feelings are yours, they are valid, they deserve to be acknowledge and allowed to exist. You are not broken.
Prioritize time and space to align your spirit (mind, emotions, inner self, etc.) and your body. This looks different for everyone—try journaling, reading, meditating, walking, breathing. Our favorite place to re-align is in the shower or bath—take notice what you are feeling, where you are feeling it, let it wash over you.
Be curious about yourself.
Explore what makes you feel full. What brings you joy, laughter, excitement?
Be honest with yourself.
You are your own best friend, treat yourself with the utmost respect and know that even when the bottom falls out, you are not broken. This experience will allow you to become more than you ever knew you had the capacity to be.
We just want to say a HUGE thank you to every single one of our Tubby Todd Mamas for being a part of this incredible community that we love so much. We hope the above tips are helpful to you—we know we'll be incorporating many of them into our everyday. Sending so much love in this time of social distance, don't ever forget that you've got this, Mama!
Want more from our expert mamas?? Check them out on IG!
Kristin Andrus (@kristinandrus), Dr Jazmine McCoy (@themompsychologist) and Natalie Norton (@natalienorton)