This episode is an interview with Nacia Walsh, a doula and mom of four. She shares important lessons that she learned during her parenting journey, the most important being to take care of yourself. She believes that as a parent, you must be selfish at times, because making sure that you are happy, energetic, and fulfilled enables you to be the best you can be for your children. Since Nacia had her first son at a very young age, she experienced mom guilt for spending time away from her baby in order to graduate from high school and later, college. However, she soon realized that being a martyr and sacrificing herself will not benefit her or her child in the long run. Today, she is an honest and unapologetic mom with the following wisdom to impart:
- It is important to teach consent to young children – Nacia tells her children that if someone says no, it should be respected. Even if it is your sibling, even if you have the best intentions, no means no.
- When it comes to toys, activities, and clothing – let the child lead! Do not force them to participate, play with, or wear things just because they are gender typical.
- Parenting is a lot like improv comedy, because they share three basic tenets:
1.Listen. Be fully invested when your child speaks and hear them out.
2. Use the “Yes, and…” approach. Acknowledge your child’s ideas and requests, even when they are not possible or practical, and add something meaningful.
3. Collaborate. Be able to work with your child and employ fair compromises.
- Do whatever you need to survive, whether that means letting your children watch TV while you take a much-needed nap or giving them frozen nuggets for lunch on a busy day – without the mom guilt!
- Give yourself permission to be away – it is okay for relatives or hired help to take care of your children sometimes. In fact, it is beneficial for them, since it allows them to increase their circle of community, while providing mom with the opportunity to relieve stress and pressure.
- Do not overschedule your children with activities and play dates. It is stressful on the family, does not give the child room to breathe, and it encourages parents to become co-dependent on their children (the parent becomes so wrapped up in their child, that they avoid taking a real look at themselves and neglect self-care).
- Finally, Nacia is inspired by and encourages moms to be real and honest when it comes to their struggles with parenthood. Unlike pretending to be the perfect mother, being honest brings moms together, because many are struggling with similar issues. Acknowledging the struggles also allows room for improvement and growth.
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