Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping your connection after baby...

Valentine's Day is a great time to reflect on all the things that are great about our lover, especially if a new baby has joined the family. Sometimes when a baby has entered our lives and everything becomes a swirl in our overtaxed and sleep-deprived state, we can start to feel disconnected from our partners. Fatigue can wreak havoc and make us cranky. As mothers, we can feel like our bodies are no longer are own - nursing, slinging, bjorning, getting spit up on. Often disagreements about the division of labor in our homes can crop up. (I fondly remember when our couples counselor suggested we use paper plates to prevent dishwashing disagreements.) Our days become consumed with everything baby and nothing grown-up....and we may feel a growing distance from our lover...To nurture that relationship and keep connected, I want to recommend three things:

1) Date night - I can't stress enough how important this is! Yes, paying a sitter is a bit of a sacrifice, but A MUST to keep connected! Make it a real date night. Get dressed up, go somewhere nice and romantic. Resist the temptation to talk about the baby all night. Keep the conversation on adult topics. Think about the things you enjoyed talking about and doing together before baby and try to revisit them. Once a month is the minimum, but once a week would be better! ***A friend and former client of mine said that date nights were hard for them to arrange, but that they would take time out when the baby was asleep to have a "coffee date" or a nice candlelit dinner at home. Find what works for you...

2) A "what I love about my lover" journal - It might sound hokey, but sitting down and writing a minimum of three things a day that you love about your partner can be such a   great tool for continued appreciation of and gratitude for your significant other. When you hit a rough patch and bickering abounds, take a moment to read it and remind yourself of all their great qualities. Maybe even tell them the things you think are great about them. That will be great incentive for them to keep doing "the good stuff."

3) Open discussion - As obvious as that might seem, when things are tough, many people don't say anything. They bottle things up, not wanting to rock the boat. This leads to frustration and resentment. Pick a regular time - weekly or better yet, daily - when you can both speak your mind freely. Make an effort to remain respectful, to listen without judgement and with compassion. Recognize when you become defensive and let it go. Don't go to bed mad. Remember you are in this parenthood thing together and a couple that can resolve issues well, stay connected, and demonstrate love and affection for each other in front of their children are setting the stage for their children to have great communication skills and wonderful relationships in the future....

Think about what you adore about your partner today. Give them a great big hug. Love is the gift that always gives back! Love to you all! - Lisa Feuer

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Every Moment is a Fresh Start

As the end of the year approaches, many of us look back at the previous year - the victories, perceived defeats, highs and lows. It can be very easy to slip into the trap of self-doubt, regret, "if only" thoughts. These thoughts can weigh heavily upon us and become burdens that we begin to carry with us into the future. They color our vision and steal our potential joy....The good news is our thinking CAN change!

Every moment of our lives is a new moment, and with the arrival of each and every moment we can let go of everything that has happened and begin anew - a clean canvas...I know what you are thinking. "Easier said than done." Yes, indeed. I struggle every day with letting go. It's a constant battle. I have found, for me, a tool that helps. When I start to recognize that my thoughts are spiraling and a "storm" is on the horizon of my mind, I stop and take a cleansing breath - just a simple big, full breath in and out. Better yet, I try to do a little one minute meditation. I take one minute to focus only on my exhale as I breathe. As thoughts arise, I label them "thinking," let the thought go, and return to my breath. I affectionately think of this process as "sorbet for the mind," like sorbet between courses to cleanse the palette. Give it a whirl. See if it works for you, too.

Days will arise during parenthood that are challenging and make us question our parenting abilities. We spill (soy)milk all over the table. We burn the food on the stove. We get cranky and lose our cool in front of our kids. There are days as a parent where you feel like you did far from your best...but the great thing is you get a brand new fresh start the very next moment! Take a breath and let it go! Choose not to let your heart become heavy, but celebrate the lightness this unburdening will bring. It is then you can be fully open to the joy of this moment with your child. As Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber said, "Every moment of your life, including this one, is a fresh start." 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome and why I do it....

Welcome to Yogini and Bambini's blog! 

I'm Lisa Feuer, the director of Yogini and Bambini, and I'd like to share with you why I chose this particular journey of helping mothers-to-be and their families achieve their desired birth outcomes...

I took Prenatal Yoga when I was pregnant with my son and it was a life changing experience! The class really helped show us what strong women we were and that made me feel so confident in my body, and strong as a person as well! We were informed about a lot of "tools" and comfort measures for natural labor and delivery. Our teacher was also a doula, and she fed us spoonfuls of Childbirth Education in every class. Concurrently, I took a Childbirth Education workshop at my hospital - one that made me come away being thankful for all the great information I received in my Prenatal Yoga class. I felt the hospital's philosophy was very intervention-oriented and thus, I felt there were gaps in the material they presented.

While I can't say with a certainty that my easy labor and delivery were a direct result of Prenatal Yoga, I CAN say with a certainty that Prenatal Yoga helped with my strength, endurance, focus, my ability to breathe through intense physical sensations, and - most importantly - it gave me confidence in my body and my body's ability to birth naturally. Having that confidence and such a great birth experience also gave me self-confidence in all aspects of my life from that moment on, a wonderful consequence!

Years later, I became a yoga teacher myself, and I found myself yearning to pass along the feeling of empowerment and of being informed and prepared that I got from my Prenatal Yoga class. I took additional training and became certified to teach it myself! It has become my passion, and when clients tell me after their births that what I passed along was helpful, I know I am on the right path. More recently, I also became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. I really look forward to instructing couples about what to expect, giving them the information they need to make informed decisions in their health care, and introducing them to the Lamaze Philosophy with its natural approach that aids in alleviating fears and managing pain. In both types of instruction (Prenatal Yoga and Childbirth Education), I also facilitate taking time to feel the connection - the growing bond - between you and your baby. Our lives can be so busy, and finding time to honor and enhance that connection is so important! 

I am very excited as I begin this new chapter of my life with starting Yogini and Bambini and offering my services to prospective parents. I find I enjoy teaching so much that it never feels like work. It's completely energizing and I am always inspired by my student. I am truly grateful to all of them, and grateful for this wonderful life.

Love to all. 
Lisa Feuer