Do you know the difference between I should and I get to? Do you maintain high vibrations in life and everything you do?
When I was suffering from postpartum depression in 2007 and felt stuck in an endless cycle of self-doubt, overwhelm and guilt, I sought professional help. First, I went to see a clinical psychologist who wrote on a prescription pad that I needed full eight hours of sleep per day.
I get it. She was happily divorced with two grown kids and the newborn days far behind her like a distant memory. She had a Ph.D. and a successful practice that made $200 per hour. I’m sure she had a lot more options to escape her harsh realities as needed. She was a success story: The woman who is brave and strong enough to leave her unhappy marriage and begin a new life without her ex.
But her words didn’t help me at that time.
Instead it made me feel worse because I knew there was no way I could get eight hours of sleep with a 22-month-old toddler and a 2-month-old baby who needed me around the clock. I got some help from family, but not without tremendous guilt. Hiring someone to watch my kids as a stay-at-home mom felt wrong.
In fact, I never even considered hiring someone to help me because I was under the false impression that mothering was ENTIRELY MY JOB and that needing help was a major sign of weakness and failure. I was scared to speak up and ask for help even though I needed it so desperately. I was scared not because I was worried about other people, but because I was so used to acting strong. I tried.
I tried so hard to make it—but I just couldn’t fake it anymore.
That would be the last $200 I spent on her hour of talk therapy and I sought someone else. I knew I needed to get well because I was the primary caretaker of my two daughters and I was pretty much on my own. My husband was busy building a business from the ground up and was preoccupied with providing for us financially. As grateful as I was for his hard work, I sometimes wished he could understand even a small part of my pain and isolation. (I have to add that this was a huge learning lesson for both of us. My husband became much more helpful and hands-on as we learned about postpartum depression.)
Then I found a female psychiatrist who is able to prescribe medication. I needed something, anything to get me through the day. My brain was in a deep fog and this dark cloud followed me everywhere. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t function, I couldn’t dream of a brighter future. I felt stuck with no way out. It marked the dark ages of my life.
Looking back, I knew I was meant to sit in her office that day because she gave me good pointers that I continue to use.
First, she told me I need to raise my vibrations: I wasn’t just depressed, I was trapped in negative and self-doubting way of thinking. I was using the words “I should” instead of “I get to.” When you feel “you should do this,” and “you should do that,” it leads to feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. It lowers your vibrations that can be felt by yourself as well as your surrounding.
Now replace every “I should” with “I get to.” These days I do this without even thinking twice about it because I completely changed my thought pattern. When you begin seeing your responsibilities as something you “get to do,” it feels more hopeful, empowering and positive. We get to spend time with our kids, we get to cook for the family, we get to clean the house, we get to wipe a baby’s bottom 10 million times a day...
This doesn’t mean mothering stops feeling like work because it still does. But it becomes work we’re privileged to partake in.
This shift in perspective doesn’t fix all the problems, but it greatly improves our situation when we don’t have too many choices but to simply endure.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired and disconnected from motherhood, you are most likely emitting low vibration thoughts and words. We are all guilty of this—so don’t beat yourself up for it. Just strive to become more aware of your thought pattern and work on maintaining high vibrations in everything you do, even the mundane day-to-day tasks.
This doesn’t mean we hide our pains and fake our smiles. This simply means that we change our thought patterns and become active participants of motherhood by owning and embracing everything—even the not-so-pretty and not-so-glorious parts of motherhood.