Parenting 101: 

By Drs. Alan Kadish and Chris Meletis

First, some context: The authors of this guild, Chris and I are parents with several now-adult children. Our medical practices keep us seeing new families that are starting the parenting route.

Our heartfelt hope that our book brings you and your family health and wellness. Whether you are trying for your first child or wanting to add to your family, ultimately, the goal of welcoming another human into your life comes with joy and, yes, the challenges of change. 

Dad and baby feeding

 New Landscape:

We are all familiar with the story of new parents reporting the sleepiness nights, feeding schedule issues, baby’s first cold, and the list goes on.  All these will become true at some point in your journey however, there’s so many more positives…. (in a great way)  At Pure Living we will give you the tips and tricks that will made your and your families life better. 

Let us both reassure you that being patient with yourself, your partner, and the new arrival is one of life’s tools that will positively impact the rest of your life.   

Stressing:

A bit of “wisdom” could be summarized as stressing about “things” that amplify the moment or moments. The stressing fails to add anything. Minimize the anguish by using the 4-second rule. Ah, the 4-second rule …. its the time between the upset/stress/trigger and your opening your mouth…. Next time the stuff hits the wall take a deep breath and slowly exhale….approximately 4 seconds and then calmly solve the issue. Maybe some essential oil aromatherapy ?

Women breathing deeply

 

People have been having kids since the dawn of time, changing subjects a tad, literally.  Imagine what it was like for someone 3000 years ago. Their delivery, daily life, and survival were so different than today.  They may have had some less than ideal medical and hygiene issues, but we are all here despite those issues. That is not to minimize the stress; know if they did it, you will and can as well!

old time script

Distractions:

We want to remind you that modern living comes with its challenges back to current times. From life’s input of information overload, with a constant barrage of streaming and thus interruptions all trying to interrupt our being genuinely present. 

Women and baby on a computer

 

Being Present:

What do we mean by truly being present? Take a moment and follow this mind exercise.

You plan a hike in the forest. The plan is to walk 2.5 miles, have a picnic, then walk a couple more miles to a beautiful waterfall. Later on in the day, you have a dinner reservation with friends.  

reservation signhiking in the woods

 

 

First and foremost, it’s a pretty jam-packed day.  Your leisure stroll in the woods has a hard stop with a return time that is not flexible.  The Japanese have coined a term called “forest bathing.”   Hint it has nothing to do with a requisite dip in a lake, stream, or pond. We hope that made you smile.  What it speaks to is truly being present in nature. 

Now let’s take that same hike with mindfulness in mind.  You start the walk with the concept of “seeing nature,” it is more than seeing a tree or the forest; a camera can do that. One a look at nature, but is one seeing it? Perhaps a bit of an expansion on this is the feeling you get from the whole experience.

birds and a racoon

Embrace the smells, feeling your feet touching the ground, the whisp of wind and birds to the chill or heat of the day. It’s the global experience from the environment.

dad and baby in the woods

 This exercise is not esoteric; we promise that there is natural therapeutic science here.

Nature’s Input:

Find a tree as you sit there reading these words in your mind. What is the day and life of that tree? How does its neighboring trees, bushes, shrubs, moss, etc., alter its existence?  Focus on the tree bark, and if it could tell a story much like a trail camera (what story would the tree tell you)? The last weeks, months, years? How does it feel reaching up towards the sun to make its energy via photosynthesis? Oh, is that the sound of wind in the treetops as the wind gentle gusts?  Quiet, a squirrel is climbing the nearby tree, and since you are not on a timeline, you decide to stand still and see who moves first. How cool. How relaxing! That’s the being present we’re describing!!!!

squirrel

 

Did you recognize the decrease in your pulse, the even rhythmic breathing, and of course, the lowered stress chemicals in your body? (it’s a doc thing)

The Present is the ultimate Present (gift). Enjoy the good things on your list of life—each moment you share or don’t share fully in living life versus life living you. The moment will never happen again.

Take-Aways:  Your cell phone is not welcomed on this hike, or for that matter dinner table, during time with loved ones, etc.  Consider an airplane mode only setting for these times or turn it off.

When Present as a next step, consider gratitude that you can enjoy this moment of solitude and relaxation. There are so many studies documenting the benefits of gratitude that we’ll stop here.

 

sharing food at a table

Back to parenting, your new arrivals will need your undivided attention, period. For the first number of years, you’re their only go-to. Trust us, and this too changes over time, so enjoy the time when you’re the focus of their attention.

Life is an adventure that will throw interesting wrinkles into your awareness periodically. Parenting is one of the many rewarding and life-changing events that a human being can experience.

 

couple with baby reading

 

We’re here for you and look forward to being part of your journey. At Pure Living, bringing you to change, learning, and having your family thrive is more than a tagline; it’s our mission.    © PureLiving.com 2022

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