What kind of parent do you want to be?
There are so many voices telling people how to parent, it can be hard on a good day to figure out what to do. Add in parenting after loss and there can be a lot of confusion, doubt and guilt.
But not anymore! In today’s episode you are going to learn some easy steps to tap into who YOU most want to be and find your parenting style so you can move forward in confidence.
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Photo by Canva
Music by ZingDog on Pond5
Welcome today to the Smooth Stones podcast. I am so grateful for you being here as we record this. We have just had a couple of weeks of just really violent things in the news. A lot of shootings, a lot of hearts are breaking, and I think now more than ever, we need the tools and the mental health skills to get us through.
Modern life. There is a lot going on. There’s a lot of people struggling. It’s important that we know how to manage our minds, how to manage our emotions, how to deal with our grief and how to deal with our fear. Because I think when things like this happen, like children being killed in an elementary school, It’s unimaginable.
It’s shocking. We don’t know what to do, but I wanna help you know what to do, and that’s what we do here every week on this podcast. So I want you to please share this with whoever needs it. If you have other bereaved moms who are really struggling, please share it. Every tool we learn makes life easier and better.
And the more mentally healthy we all are, the better our society is. I, I really believe that everyone needs a life coach. Everyone needs these skills, and if we all did, the world would be a much better place. So I wanna send love out to you. I know if you are just struggling, I feel you. I am right there. I, yeah, I am.
I’ve been struggling too. I have been trying to process through this and just kind of listen and observe. And, you know, figure out what I want to do. And one of the things I wanna do is really help you. So I have opened up Tuesday night, May 31st, 2022. I am going to do an open coaching call for all grieving.
Parents, and that will be a webinar style. So you will not be on camera. I will be on camera. I will be there to answer any questions you have. I will be there for an hour. I, no matter how many people are there, I’m just gonna stay and answer as many questions as I can within that hour. And you can write.
In a q and a box, or I can bring you on and coach you. I just, I know we have so many questions that we want answered and we, we don’t know what to do, how to move forward, how to make sense of all this. So if you have been struggling with this recent school shooting, I want to help you on that open coaching call Tuesday evening, seven 30 mountain time, and that would be six 30 Pacific.
I think nine 30 Eastern, please come and please tell your friends it is free. There’s no sales pitch, there’s no nothing. I just really was thinking, how can I help? And so I had to kind of regroup myself and get my mind straight. And I really want to just open up, open coaching for you if you haven’t experienced coaching yet.
It’s amazing the things we learn here on the podcast. Are 10 times more powerful when you get coached or when you watch other people being coached because you can really see how it all fits together and how much progress you can make when you’re actually coached. So it is gonna be a really special night, probably a tender night, and that’s okay.
It’s okay that it’s emotional, that we have a lot going on. Please bring it there and, and know that you’re gonna come away with. Hope, help and answers to what you can do next and how you can handle this. Please come. I will have the link to register on my Instagram bio, and if you are on my email list, I’m gonna send it out there.
So check both of those places out. All right now. Before all of this happened, I was planning a celebration of my hundredth episode. We are on episode 99. I’m so excited about the hundredth episode. I wanted to celebrate with you and I wanna do something really special, and I still wanna do that because I think we really need it.
We need some. Joy. We need some warmth. And the thing is, the prize that I chose, as for the giveaway I’m doing for my hundredth episode, is a warm, luxurious minky couture blanket. Now, if you don’t know about Minky Couture, it is a woman run business. It has the softest sous blankets, and they are fancy. They are out of the price range for a lot of people.
But I have one for you. And you can win it. It is so gorgeous. It is a white blanket with these beautiful blue and green watercolor feathers on it. It has navy blue satin trim. It’s like a warm hug for your whole body and your whole family. You are just gonna love it. You have to enter to win, and it’s really, really easy.
Here is all you need to do. Review the podcast, especially if you’re on Apple Podcast. All you have to do is scroll down on the podcast and you’ll see the purple five stars. I’d love if you give me five stars and just write a little review. You just click write a review. It takes one minute. The easiest thing to do is just say what your favorite episode is, the favorite thing you’ve learned, what you like about the show and why other people should watch it or listen to it.
Because we live in a world of reviews. People want to know if something is good, right? Uh, I have actually stood in the store at. Like the department store on Amazon looking up reviews for something I wanted to buy, and I bet you have to reviews, just make the podcast more available to more people. It helps in whatever algorithm Apple Podcast has and other podcasts.
So that’s all I’m asking. As we celebrate this milestone of a hundred episodes, will you write a review? Once you’ve done that, I want you to just tell your friends about the Smooth Stones Podcast and how it’s helped you, and then go to Smooth Stones coaching.com/ 100, just the numbers 1 0 0 and that will take you to the podcast page and.
During the week of June, second to ninth, I will be having a contest where you can enter to win, but you can go right now and write that review and share the podcast with your friends or on social media, and then when it’s open during that week of June, second to June 9th, 2022, you just go tell me that you did it.
It’s so easy. You don’t have to do a whole bunch of things. You don’t have to tag your friends, you don’t have to, you know, I want it to be really simple, but. I really want to get a hundred reviews on the podcast for the hundredth episode. That is my goal, and if you would help me get to that goal, I would really, really appreciate it.
It would be just a little bit of, you know, love back for the love I hopefully put into your life and the things that I help you with. Would you just help me by taking two minutes? Writing, reviewing and sharing the podcast, and then enter to win. I have some other little prizes I might be giving away, but the grand prize is this Minky blanket.
It’s so pretty and it is worth almost $200 you guys, so you wanna win this? It’s so good. Okay. That took longer than I thought getting started. So I am going to continue on with our topic today, and I’m gonna keep it really short and simple, but these are powerful concepts. Now I plan my podcast and my.
Everything out in advance. And this week’s topic was how to find your parenting style. And then this school shooting happened and I thought, oh, do I need to talk? You know, what do I need to do? Should I do a different topic? Should I totally change it? What should I do? And then I thought, you know what?
This is actually exactly what we need right now. Because if you are parenting after a loss, You have a lot going on, right? We already know loss. We’re already bereaved mothers and now we, we have these kids. Or even if you haven’t had living kids, you’re thinking, how can I bring kids? Into a world like this where these things happen, where it feels like they’re not safe anywhere and there’s so much pain, and I want you to know that this is the answer.
Finding your parenting style is the answer to that question. How do I send my kids to school? How do I. Bring children into this world. What do I even do? How do I talk to my kids? All of these questions are gonna be answered as we go through these tips in this episode. So I want you to just really open up, take a deep breath.
Let’s, let’s all settle in. It’s been a heavy week. Let’s settle down. Let’s learn together and grow together, and. Find out your parenting style. Now, you might have thought that I was going to talk about, you know, are you a gentle parent? Are you a, you know, a disciplinarian? Are you a fun mom? Are you kind of, you know, a tiger mom?
All the types of parents that we hear, all the books, all the experts. There’s so many styles of parenting. But that’s not at all what I’m gonna talk about. What I’m gonna talk about is gonna apply to every single person in every single stage. And so I want you to apply it to you very specifically and your situation, your children, and just see what happens if you try these on.
So the first thing I want you to do as you try to figure out your parenting style is, You get to choose who you want to be inside. Like I said, a lot of the things we talk about when we talk about parenting is like, how do you discipline? How do you deal with tantrums? How do you do your chore charts? How do you know?
Do you pay your kids an allowance? Right? It’s all these external things, and what’s really, really important is what’s internal. Who do you want to be? What kind of parent do you want to be? And this is entirely on you. It doesn’t. Matter what your children do, it doesn’t matter any of that exterior stuff.
It’s you like, I wanna be the kind of mom who loves her kids no matter what. Right? Or I wanna be the kind of mom who’s can say she’s sorry, who can admit she’s wrong, or any of these things like kind of more the values that you, that are important to you inside of you, the things that you can control. Who do you want to be?
You get to choose that. And you get to choose that today. A lot of times we have this story of, of what our shortcomings are and the things that we, we’ve already done, or maybe we feel like we’ve messed up and it’s too late. It’s not too late. Coaching is all about starting where you are and moving forward.
We can just leave all that in the dust. You can move forward and you just say, this is the kind of mom I want to be inside of me because of the things that are valuable to me. And so you get to choose. So that’s the number one. And you get to re choose every day, right? This is just like, you know, so many other things where we’re trying to change a habit.
A lot of times. We’re of course gonna mess up. We’re we’re going to do the things we said we weren’t gonna do. That’s okay. We’re gonna give ourselves so much compassion, we’re gonna keep on going, right? We are human. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to be imperfect. We’re just gonna keep trying to be the person that we want to be.
And what’s really important as you choose us is to remember your children’s actions. Say nothing about you. A lot of times we measure our success as a parent by how our kids turn out and the world measures this. Also, right? Like everyone, right now, it’s the end of the school year. People are posting like, my kid got on the honor roll and my kid got a scholarship and my kid, you know, did all these cool things.
And it can feel good as a parent. You can be like, yes, you know, I’m, I’m on the right track. But there are so many people who their kid isn’t doing that well or their kid is struggling. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. And it doesn’t mean the kid who got all the A’s has good parents, right? The parenting.
Is not about your child’s results. This is so important. This is like the key to everything. Even if your kid is, I was just reading a mom who, you know, her kid is getting up in the middle of the night and sneaking all the treats and like sneaking, um, video games and, and doing all this stuff, and she’s kind of at her wit’s end that has nothing to do with her success as a mom.
She gets to decide how she wants to deal with this. And how she wants to love that child in spite of the behavior she doesn’t like those behaviors. Doesn’t mean she’s failing as a mom. It just means her kid likes to get up and play video games and eat candy and what kid doesn’t. All the kids, there is so much dopamine available to them, and this little guy has figured out that this is a way to get it.
So you get to choose what you make it mean. Now I offer to this mom that she can make it mean this kid is smart. He solves problems. It doesn’t matter where you put the candy, he’s gonna find it. Right. How can those skills serve him as he grows up? A lot of times we’ll say, oh my goodness, this child is, you know, on a path to destruction.
They just don’t listen. They don’t understand their, they won’t behave. We really want our kids to behave and to listen. But maybe the things they do mean that you’re doing a great job, that your kid is gonna be so successful in life, that these are traits that are gonna serve them so well. Oh, they are doing the same thing, but it feels so much better to make it mean that you are being the mom you want to be instead of making it mean you’re failing.
Right, because this is the other thing we do. We make things mean something about our child and we make it mean something about us. So what are you making your children’s behavior mean about you? Right. We see this a lot. Like my baby isn’t sleeping even. We’ll say, what am I doing wrong? There’s all these people who will tell us how to sleep, train, and it’s not working.
A lot of times we feel like this is a failure on our part, but you know what? Babies aren’t supposed to sleep. They’re not supposed to have their days and nights figured out. They’re supposed to wake up and eat every two hours. They’re supposed to just sit and be happy at night and be fussy all day.
That’s what babies are supposed to do. It doesn’t mean anything about you, right? It just is what it is. So you get to choose that. And remember, your child’s actions mean nothing about. You. You are the exact parent that your child needs. I want you to feel this deep in your bones because a lot of times we feel like, who is this kid and why?
Why do I have them? The ones that push our buttons, the ones that are hard, the ones that you know, we really struggle with. The ones we feel like we’re failing. Those children are with you for a reason. They are for you. They are your children that you get the opportunity to take care of. Now, if you are religious as I am, I believe that our children are sent to us as a temporary guardian, right?
They’re truly our heavenly parents children, and we get to keep them for just a few years and do our best to help them learn and grow. And when you understand that, You know, they’re not really ours. It’s not our job to make them be a certain way. It’s just our job to love them and to care for them the best we can.
It takes so much pressure off because you know who’s they are, and you know where they’re going, and you just get to love them, love you, and go through the process. These children are exactly the children you are supposed to have. Even your babies who died, right? For some reason, they came into your family and they did not stay as long as we wish they would, but you are still their parent and you get to choose your parenting style for your children who have passed away as well.
Some people just don’t wanna talk about them at all, and that’s okay. Some people want to love them so loud and scream their stories, and some people want to advocate and fight and do so many things in their honor. However, you parent your babies who have died, that’s perfect. You’re supposed to do that.
You’re exactly the parent that they needed, and you are doing a great job. I love it. And I want to also tell you guys that your experiences of loss. Are actually your superpower as a parent, you need to own them. A lot of times we feel like what we’ve been through has not helped us in parenting, right?
Maybe we’re more scared. Maybe we’ve been really sad, maybe we’ve been really tired. Maybe we’ve been, you know, going through pregnancies and loss and pregnancies and loss and it’s just exhausting. And you look at your living kids and you say, you know, they deserve better. Than what I’m doing right now.
That’s a lie. That is a thought. It does not serve you. Our thoughts are always optional, so if you find yourself feeling down and thinking that your grief is a disadvantage for your children, I want you to know you’re wrong. It is your superpower. You have been through something. Yes. And many people would say that grief is a disadvantage, but it’s not.
Your children don’t need you to be happy all the time. They don’t need you to be perfect. They need you to be a human. They need you to teach them how to feel emotions. They need you to teach them how to go through hard things. They need you to do the work to heal yourself and to trust yourself and to feel confident in your parenting after loss.
You are not a worse parent because your baby died. You’re not a bad parent because your baby died to them. You did not fail your baby who died. You did everything you could. You would never have chosen what happened, and you did everything you could. You weren’t supposed to do anything differently. You were not supposed to save them.
I truly believe that, and maybe that thought is, is a hard one for you to reach right now, but I want you to open up and maybe take the baby step of it’s possible I wasn’t supposed to save them. It’s possible that they were only supposed to be with me for a few weeks and I did a great job because when you think anything else, when you fight with reality, you’re only causing yourself pain.
You cannot change what happened. You can only choose how you want to be as a parent after the loss of your baby. Right. So whatever you wanna do, however you wanna live your life, it’s perfect. It’s just what you’re supposed to do. Now, another thing I want you to know as you figure out your parenting style, is that you need to always be open to adapting based on your children, their ages, their stages, and everything that life throws at you.
Uh, I see this a lot when you have. Maybe your first living child was easier and kind of went with the flow and was really obedient. And then this other kid comes along and it’s like, oh my gosh, what is happening? Like, they won’t do anything. I ask them, they’re into everything. They’re, they just push all my buttons.
That’s okay. You can adapt your parenting to each child. It’s, you don’t need to be the same with all of them. You. You don’t need to be the same with your first as you are with your last. It’s okay to adapt. It’s okay to grow and learn and evolve because here’s the thing, when you figure out your parenting style, that comes from within you, right?
The first thing I taught you about this episode, when you decide I’m gonna be the kind of mom who loves my kids, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. It doesn’t matter what they do. It doesn’t matter how they act or what you know, extracurriculars they choose to do or whether they really prefer to stay in their room reading a book instead of being on the football team like you maybe thought It just, when you know who you are, you are so confident in yourself that.
All the time that circumstances are changing around you, you know that you’ve got this, and that’s what I want for you. No matter where you are in your parenting, no matter how old your kids are, no matter how far you are from your loss, you know deep within yourself that you are in integrity, you are in alignment with what you want.
And that also means you gotta give yourself so much compassion, because like I said, nobody is perfect. Even if you decide I am gonna be the kind of mom who does not yell at her kids, you’re probably gonna yell at them sometimes. And you know what? You gotta give yourself grace for that. It’s okay. Then you just decide what kind of mom do I wanna be when I mess up?
I wanna be the kind of mom who apologizes and moves forward, who doesn’t beat herself up, who? Who just starts a new day fresh, and you can control that. So that’s what I wanna leave you with today. You get to choose what kind of parent you want to be, and then you get to just enjoy those kids. Your loss is not a detriment to your parenting.
It is a superpower. Use it that way. Watch the way you’re thinking, watch what you’re making. Your children’s actions and choices mean and watch what you’re making your own choices mean. You don’t have to make them mean anything terrible about you. You just get to be a person who is parenting out in the world and doing the best that she can.
Especially given the circumstances all around us. We cannot control this world. We cannot actually even control these beautiful souls that we’ve been given. But we can control ourselves how we think about ourselves, how we deal with our own mistakes, and how we just keep moving forward in gratitude for these kids.
I can tell you as a parent of six living kids, that you get lots of time to practice these things over and over and over and just keep on going. I wanna give you encouragement and hope. Life is good. People are good. Your child is gonna have the exact life that they are supposed to have, and you just get to be a witness to that and what a beautiful gift that is.
I’ve loved this month on Parenting after loss. I gotta tell you, if you are struggling in your parenting after loss, you gotta come and talk to me. In my three month coaching program. We find out who you are and maybe that is who you are as a parent. Maybe that’s the place where you feel the most pain and like you really need support and help and tools to manage all of this, especially in light of the things that have been happening.
You don’t have to feel like you’re floundering. I know it’s summer. I know that you are thinking, I can’t do coaching right now, but you can. You have 45 minutes a week to give to yourself because you know what? It’s going to make all the difference. It is going to make all the other minutes of the week so much better.
When you know how to be the parent that you want to be, so I understand, I’m super flexible. You just come, go to smooth stones coaching.com and you just can scroll down to the bottom. There is a link that says Sign up for a consult call. Come talk to me. But. Truly, I want you to know that you get to choose your parenting style, but make it come from inside of you, not outside of you.
The rest of it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you figure out what you value and you take care of your mental health as your parenting. It’s not always easy, but it is so worth it. And it’s a lot easier when your mind is managed and when you trust yourself and you’re confident. So I’ll leave you there.
Have a great week, and I’ll see you next time for our 100th episode celebration. Are you tired of feeling like your baby’s death was somehow your fault? Go tostones coaching.com and get my free mini course. How to Stop Blaming Yourself After Loss.