Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British prime minister during WWII once offered 4 points on being resilient: resilience: noun: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change (from Merriam-Webster)
We all fail from time-to-time (our doing, someone else's doing, something else's doing, a combination of each). It's life.
To be resilient he said...
1.Focus on results. Embrace the fact that results are what we're all really after. Effort and attempts are great first steps, but we need to act with commitment to delivering (just like we want people to do for us).
2.Make lessons of failures. Minimize the tendency to make a failure or mistake anything more than a lesson on how not to do something. We need to learn from our mistakes and truly accept them as tuition for succeeding later. And yes our mistakes might put us in a bind at times and have some uncomfortable consequences but again, that's real life.
3.Continue on. Smarter.
4.Reinforce. Support each other (and ourselves) by continually reminding and encouraging one another to deliver on the first three points.
That's it. Let's practice it more.
Mark and I became parents on December 9. The Mehnert household changed forever. I was a lucky mom. I spent 19 minutes with 3 sets of pushes and out came a beautiful healthy baby girl named Ally Rees. Since she's been nothing short of perfect. She is happy, poops, peeps and sleeps very well. In fact she's sleeping 6-7 hour stretches and she just reach 3 weeks of age yesterday.
There are so many things we want for ourselves and our kids in this life and we aren't able to always succeed. I'm an overachiever. Mark always refers to me as the girl who wants an A+ paper, not settling for an A or A- or B etc.
I decided I give breastfeeding a whirl. In the 70s when I was born no one did it or rarely did it but in these times breastfeeding seems to be the best option in terms of nutrition and providing your children with immunities etc.
Yesterday I made the hard decision to stop. I just wasn't successful with it, no matter what I tried: 25 supplements a day (yes vitamin/herb pills), 3-5 glasses of mothers milk tea, lots of oatmeal and other foods to help, plenty of water, and still no real results. Meanwhile I lost a lot of focus on what's important: the big picture. I've agonized for weeks like many women do who can't breastfeed and beat myself up. WHY? Why isn't A just good enough??
I dont give him enough credit but my husband is to be thanked over and over for his ability to see things I don't. He's told me over and over I'm a good mom, I'm doing my best and he admires all the efforts I make and have made for Ally. He's not someone to be intimidated by what other people think, or what society says is good for our child. He's about what's best for me. I knew there was a reason I married this man and we have a child together :) Thank you Mark for allowing me to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
So Sir Winston Churchill had it right. I'm going to focus on results -- the end result being that Ally needs to grow and she can do that on formula. It's actually very convenient nutritious and she's thriving already. Yes, I failed at breastfeeding but it's okay to fail...at something and alot of things. It's through failure we become stronger. And we are continuing on STRONGER. My emotional health and our family depend on a happy mom. I'm happier today than I've been in weeks. I can now focus on spending the next 8 weeks with Ally bonding and having fun and not hooked up to pumps and in and out of doctor's offices on trying to do something I am not blessed to do.
The last point Churchill makes will be hard for me. Reinforcement is necessary to continue reminding myself that failing is okay in fact it's a big part of being resilient. I'm not perfect, and never will be, nor is anyone else. And that's, OKAY!
Happy New Years -- may you find resilience in your own lives.
*Thank-you Liz Parke for sharing Churchill with me a few days after Ally's birth. Who knew I'd need it now?