These battle scars don't look like they're fading. Don't look like they're ever going away. They ain't never gonna change…
These Guy Sebastian lyrics pumped out of the speakers into my eardrums as I worked out at the gym this morning.
I began to think of the responsibility involved in raising children and the battle scars our parents and our parent’s parents leave on us. The family we grow up in can often leave indelible marks on our beliefs, thoughts, emotions and behaviours. Some of those marks are positive and functional but some of them are dysfunctional and toxic.
Sometimes we grow up with unfair labels put on us such as “difficult child” or “clumsy kid”. Sometimes we live in families that don’t allow negative emotions such as sadness to be expressed, “You will be fine, just get on with it”. There are hundreds of possible dysfunctional patterns that become a part of our template for raising children as we start our own journeys.
As I cycled faster and faster, I started to wonder if the battle scars ever do go away. Some people seek therapy in the hope that dysfunctional patterns that they may have taken on from their own parents, might disappear through awareness and changing behaviours.
Through my own experiences parenting and raising children and through having the privilege of working as a counsellor with many new parents, I see battle scars a lot. But I rarely see them going away. I see people attempt to get on top of them but then the counselling process gets too scary, I see people who make great progress only to slip back into unfamiliar patterns once again and I see people who make noble changes in their belief systems and behaviours yet struggle on with those giant battle scars, in the background threatening to rear their ugly heads again.
I do think it is possible to come to terms with old scars using awareness and acceptance but for most this is a challenging, arduous and ongoing process. They don’t go away completely those battle scars – they stay with us as testimony to what we came from and how we want to make things better for our children.
About the Author
Melanie Strang is counsellor who specialises in working with new and expectant parents. She completed a Bachelor of Medicine and worked as a Medical Practitioner in General Medicine, Psychiatry and Public Health. She has practised as a Registered Doctor in several Psychiatric Hospitals around Melbourne. Melanie has since completed a Diploma of Counselling.
Gestational diabetes mellitus – also known as GDM, is diabetes which can occur during pregnancy. Many women who’ve been diagnosed with GDM won’t have diabetes after their baby is born, though some continue to have high levels of blood glucose and need treatment. Most women who are diagnosed with GDM have a normal pregnancy, labour and baby. It’s important that GDM is monitored and controlled, because risk factors increase when blood sugar levels remain high.
Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee or two a day and would find it difficult to give up. The good news is that even breastfeeding mothers can continue to drink coffee, or tea in moderation.
With a newborn comes many new skills to learn – one of them being how to safely wrap a baby. Wrapping (also known as swaddling) is a great strategy for parents to help their baby settle. Yet, new parents may understandably feel worried about their baby’s safety and getting it right. Read on for step-by-step guidelines on how to safely wrap a baby, plus some additional tips for safe wrapping.
One small person in a family is a very different arrangement than two, or more children. When a new baby comes into the mix, dynamics change and everyone needs to shuffle around until new positions are found.
Many parents have heard of bottle propping, also known as prop feeding. And most of us have seen babies sucking quietly away on their own.
Bottle propping is when, instead of the baby being held to drink their bottle, they are on their own. The bottle is supported by a pillow or blanket, even a soft toy so that it’s angled with the milk filling the neck of the bottle and the teat. The baby lies in their cot/pram/on the floor sucking away on their own.