Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

So fabulous to be together again, Faith.

Faith

It’s so good to see you too, Lois. You know what? We’re talking about transition and the transition of all the weather we’ve been going through. Oh my goodness. It makes it real, doesn’t it?

Lois                         

It does. You can feel it on the outside and on the inside. That may be good or bad depending on where you are right now. We actually want to thank you for spending these 20 plus minutes of hanging out with us through this podcast. We know your time is very special and precious and every time you share it with us to listen. We are so grateful every week because we are unpacking and unfolding what transmission transmission. That’s right. Transition means for all of us, whether it’s unexpected, whether it’s something you saw coming, it still takes us for a loop, Faith.

Faith                    

It does, and we go through so many transitions in life and very rarely do we focus in and really see what they are and that’s our intent during this whole year is to talk about the various transitions in life.

Lois                        

And some of these podcasts are going to be a little heavier. Some will be lighter, just depending on what transition we’re talking about. And so today we’re on episode 57. Transition: the impact of new life in the family. And this can look all sorts of different ways and this could be something light or it can be something heavy depending on your perspective or if it’s your very first time bringing new life into the family or whether it’s your fourth time, wherever you are at this point. This is a transition that most of us plan for on some level, so we do have some insight going into it, Faith, because it’s not brand new because we know we’re bringing something into our household.

Faith                     

But it’s the anticipation which it gets exciting to know that you’re bringing new life in, but it’s the reality that hits when new life comes in to the family and that is what we want to address today because as much as we want this, as much as we get excited about it, there’s some unexpected surprises.

Lois                       

Oh, there really are. And you know, it might even be an unplanned pregnancy for you or a situation where you need to bring someone into the family that you didn’t anticipate. So there are things that you don’t always get to digest and plan for. So we’re going to try to look at all of this. We’re going to look first though at the impact that a new life has for the family unit that you are currently in. Whatever yours might look like. Bringing home a new life could be one of the best and most beautiful things you ever go through. But there is a huge emotional shift as your body is preparing for giving birth or if you’re planning on adoption and all of the emotions that go through that process as well.

Faith                     

Everything is in transition when you’re in dissipating a life that you’ve never met. We forget we haven’t met this person and this person is coming into our life and of course we love and we get excited, but, oh my goodness, changes the atmosphere. It changes how you move through life. It changes your routine. There’s so many transitions that come with a new life.

Lois                       

And if you’re the partner of somebody who’s anticipating this child or your loved one, you also get impacted by this because what they’re feeling and what they’re expressing is going to rub off on you. Right? I mean the emotions, right?

Faith                   

There’s lots of dialogue that goes on and I think that’s one of the best things about if you’re pregnant, is that it gives you the nine months to kind of transition into what to expect and that’s the purpose of that or adoption. You have this period of time that you are preparing so that preparatory time is key to making the good transition in bringing that new life home.

Lois                       

So how do we prepare for all of this? Well, the first thing we’d like to encourage you with is that there is really no such thing as a super mom or even a super dad for that matter and I think sometimes we’ve been given a bill of goods that we can handle all of this – all of this stuff is going to come into your life and and you could just put this into a little box and it’s all gonna fit together like this puzzle. Well maybe some people do that. I don’t really know anyone like that, but if you think that’s how your life is going to be and from the moment of bringing that new life into your family, you realize, what on earth? Was everybody lying to me?

Faith                    

I know exactly. I love those commercials where they have the first time baby and they bring it home and they’re trying to do everything so perfectly and then they switched to the scene of second and third baby and they’re just random. It’s like they’re trying to get it so perfect with number one, they realize I can’t. So the next one’s just like, yeah, whatever.

Lois                      

Right. Well, and then I remember when I had my first child and wanting to do everything just so perfectly right. I was frightened. I was afraid I was going to make a mistake. One of the biggest gifts somebody actually said to me was, Lois, it’s all about mistakes. Because the minute you do this and realize he doesn’t respond to this, you’re going to try it a different way, but without doing it that way you won’t know. And babies respond completely differently to everything. So you think when someone tells you to do it this way, it’ll work and it doesn’t. You’re going, I must be the worst parent on the planet, and you’re not.

Faith                   

Right. And there’s no two babies alike. Even if you have five or six or 10 kids, none of them are going to be the same and to anticipate that it’s all going to run according to plan is just a really false expectation.

Lois                      

And things are not going to get done. I mean, you may have had this unbelievable schedule with your work, with how you exercised with how you keep your house clean. You know, all of those are gonna. Go by the wayside for a little while. It doesn’t mean they won’t come back, but it will change and if those are things that you are, like I am sometimes OCD about, like – I’ve got to get this done, this needs to follow this, the scheduling stuff became really crazy. Because I like schedules. And babies as much as we think they’ll get on some kind of schedule, it takes a little while.

Faith                   

Absolutely, and it also takes a while to discern what your child is really needing because again, it’s the uniqueness of your child and also there’s other factors involved that you may not really know until you’ve been with your child for awhile. So you can read every book on the planet has to offer, but your child is unique and it’s a relationship and so it’s getting to know the rhythm of your child, what works for your child, what works for you, and then weaving that all together.

Lois                        

And part of recognizing that we don’t have to be super parents is acknowledging this difficulty that many of us go through, which is postpartum depression. It is a serious problem for so many people and if you think this doesn’t affect people, ask somebody because this is something we don’t talk about by the way, very quiet. There’s a level of embarrassment for parents who are going through this and it’s really kind of neat to see some very well known people who are out there. Serena Williams being one of them, just saying, you know what? I’ve really struggled with this and this is what’s happened, but it’s hard for those of us who are going through it to actually admit that, wow, I don’t feel like I want to feel right now toward this new life.

Faith                    

There’s a kind of a curtain of shame that I think moms pick up on, I should be so excited. I should be able to do this and know you’re going through something your body is going through and that’s where you’re getting help. This is not something you’re doing wrong. It is something that is happening to you and there’s help for that. And I have worked with several women who have had extreme postpartum and there’s no shame in it. It’s like there’s help and so when you can get the right influence and the right patterns going and even sometimes medication and all the different things of groups, you begin to feel like, I’m not the only one out here. And I have seen these women rise up out of dark, dark spaces and get free and enter into loving the babies, engaging with their babies and coming back into, okay, now I’m a mom.

Lois                      

That’s awesome because you know if you feel you are at risk for postpartum or if you feel like you’re loved. One is at risk. There are a couple of things to look for and that is if you’ve had a history of depression or anxiety, this would be very normal for this then to continue, especially when your hormones are completely out of whack.

Faith                    

Exactly, and having a baby brings up things that we never would have thought of and that’s for any of us, it’s like there’s things that will get stirred up in our subconscious about our own childhood. Sometimes we get that mixed in there and we had no idea that that was going to happen, so we start reacting to things that we’ve never reacted to before. It’s okay. Anything that comes up, it is an opportunity to process it and get free.

Lois                      

If in your relationship that you’re in the midst of while you’re birthing and bringing home this new life. If there is tension in that relationship, you can also expect a higher likelihood for postpartum. These are things to just be aware of as you’re going through and you look and go, oh, wait a minute, I did struggle with that and my marriage or relationship isn’t going so well. Well then this is a likelihood that this could come into play and it’s not an embarrassment.

Faith                 

It’s a trigger point that’s all. It’s a trigger point, and again, most of postpartum is physiological. There’s chemicals that are in your body that need to be helped to balance out and that can happen, and also to know that you are not alone. There are people that can journey this with you and make a difference.

Lois                       

So make sure if you’re struggling with any of those kinds of feelings or symptoms that you’re recognizing in yourself, there are places to turn. And you’re absolutely not alone and please don’t go this alone and look for your support system to say, Hey, will somebody watched the baby while I go and get this care that I so desperately need.

Faith                

Getting support is key. Even if you don’t have postpartum, getting support is key because sometimes we can get so fixated on just being immobilized, like I’ve just got to do this every single day. The same thing over and over and over again. No, you need a break. You know you need to be able to get out. You need to be able to do things and you need a date with your husband or your significant other. You need to do this. Keep that in mind. That support can really go a long way.

Lois                        

As you’re trying to navigate these waters of bringing home the new life. Remember, every single person on the planet has an opinion on how you should be raising this life. They just do. Total strangers in a park. Someone in an elevator while you’re pregnant might actually go out and just touch your stomach. Oh my goodness, I had that happen one too many times, but I mean, what is it about outsiders, people who don’t even know us, Faith who feel at liberty to share with us that our child should have a hat on?

Faith                  

Well, I suspect they think they know more and so they’re going to tell us, right? Yeah. We’ve all had those experiences. I was in Minnesota with my newborn while she was probably about two months old and she was my first born and we were up in Minnesota and I had her bundled and bundled and wrapped in all kinds of blankets. I still had a woman come up and say, you shouldn’t be out here with her.

Lois                       

Because you’re outside.

Faith                  

Because it was so cold there. Yeah, it was so cold and it’s like, okay, that’s your opinion. She’s bundled up. She’s okay. We have to just go with the flow and what I found that I did that helped? I just would say thank you and move on.

Lois                       

Keep that in mind because really if you’re somebody who allows your children to have a pacifier or they suck their thumb, believe me, anything that child does someone will think there is a better way it could be done. And I think really looking at somebody and honestly saying thank you instead of what you really want to say. That’s another transition podcast we’re talking about when you get into rage. Don’t let that get to you because people offer this consistently and where it helped me was I’ve now held my tongue. If I’m at a grocery store and I see something that you know, this person could really…And then I remember what it felt like when someone said something to me and I zip it and move on.

Faith                  

One of the things I have heard that can be really helpful, especially to a new mom, if you have a crying baby. You’re in a store and mother is struggling. She has two kids or one of those is crying – just to say, can I help you? Is there anything I can do to help? Can be a gift and that mother can have the right to say no, I’m okay. And then to say, okay, but they may say, yeah, could you help me pick this up or something? So be kind and enter into a place of offering your services of sort, but that can really benefit the newborn mom.

Lois                       

What a difference though to ask if you can do anything to help, versus can I take that baby from you and do this for you? If you think about the alarm of that, it’s crazy. So if you actually ask, is there anything I can do to help? It takes the sting out of it, Faith.

Faith                  

There’s just someone that’s kind and is available and trustworthy. So think about that as you move through that, but here’s the key. As a mom and as an especially a first time mom or dad, you are going to learn what is best for you and your child. You’re going to learn your own rhythm, so you’re going to have rough days, so what you’ll learn the rhythm of how to do a rough day as well as the days that go through smoothly, so just be patient, take a deep breath and move through it.

Lois                       

Because your instincts are going to kick in. This is something we think initially we don’t know what we’re doing and then people are telling us what to do, but the truth is these instincts that we have, we start resonating – because believe me, this new child has not been a part of your family and you don’t really know. You don’t have this bonding time yet, but after a few weeks you start to feel something different there, where now you know that this cry is about this and not about that, and I can wait a few minutes for this and not have to deal with it in a nano second.

Faith                  

Exactly, and I want to interject here because this is a really good point because a lot of the things we’re talking about here, and you’re gonna laugh at this Lois, but for those of you who have a new puppy or a new kitten, you’re dealing with the same thing. You’re going to have a puppy. It’s going to cry all night long. You’re going to have a puppy that’s gonna whine. You’re going to have a puppy that doesn’t want you to leave the house. You’re going to have a puppy that’s going to make little messes. I mean, all of this takes time. It’s a new life in your home, and so whether it’s a child or whether it’s a new little being of an animal you bring into your home, it’s going to need your attention. And it’s learning even with an animal, the rhythm and learning how to blend this new life with your life.

Lois                       

Because your instincts do. Finally they take over and kick in. They really do. You know, there are so many people who will say, I’m not ever going to adopt a puppy because I don’t want to start over, and yet when you go see the kitten or a puppy, you say, oh, this is so special. All of the things we’re talking about, you are so right. Faith. It’s funny, but it’s real because for some of us, that’s what we’re bringing into our homes now. A new life in the form of an animal. I haven’t bonded quite as closely with the Geckos that I have in the house, or the fish, but with the puppy and the kitten, you are absolutely right and it can really affect you.

Faith                  

Oh, it does. It does. So just keep that in mind that we’re all talking here about bringing a baby into the home, but anything young, anything newborn, it’s small. It’s young. The brains aren’t developed yet. That means you have to do a whole lot more work.

Lois                       

That’s right. We are in episode 57, which is the impact of new life. Whatever that life is in the new family and one of the things that will go by the wayside for a little while is a thing called sleep. It just is the truth and usually if you are bringing a child to term and you have been pregnant, you know the last few weeks your body is already getting ready for because you can’t sleep. You’re uncomfortable and all of those things. But when you bring in a new life, whether you’ve birthed this child or adopted a child or it’s a new animal, you are going to lose sleep and it’s something you have to acknowledge. You really do and say I’m losing sleep and find other moments in the day where you can catch that sleep back because you can’t change this. They are going to wake up. They don’t know yet the pattern and the rhythm of life.

Faith                

Exactly, and you also need to communicate and work out a plan with others that are in the home. And especially if you have maybe a parent or something that comes in for those first few weeks or a week or two after the birth of your child, then let them help you. Let them take care of the baby at night so you can sleep a little bit or in the daytime so you can sleep, take advantage of that. They’re there to not to just do certain things, they’re there to help you get restored and get renewed along with helping with the needs of the baby.

Lois                     

And while Faith and I have both had young children and parented had young children, we have not written books on babies and we probably have loads of advice if you wanted to ask us and there are people who are out there with really great suggestions. You know “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and then “What to Expect that First Year, Second Year.” Some of those books are phenomenal even though they were written decades ago and there are others who have written books that are fabulous. Dr William Sears is one of them that you just mentioned that your daughter loves and that’s how I definitely dealt with all three of my boys.

Faith                    

When you can read what other people have written that have really done some really good research. That is such a huge help. One of the things is that we don’t always understand what that baby knows and what that baby doesn’t know, and we tend to project onto that newborn things that we believe or how it should be rather than really knowing what is really going on here. So the more you know, the more you’re going to be able to respond to this new life. That’s what really matters and now you’re in relationship with this new child.

Lois                       

And bring in your partner in the people in your household into those conversations and into the book readings that you’re doing. Because when you’re all on the same page, it’s far easier to manage a crying child or times of sleep if you’re trying to set some kind of rhythm or schedule. If you’re on the same page, so you work together, believe me, that will flow far smoother than if someone says, no, I’m just going to do it this way. So get on the same page about how you want to do this and hopefully you’ve had those talks prior to bringing home new life into the home.

Faith                   

Not after the third week home and then you’re all upset.

Lois                        

And the really good news about all this is to Faith’s point, which we bring up a lot is that nothing lasts forever. No, it doesn’t. It’s trial and error for the first several months and really pretty much for the next 18 years, but really for the first few weeks in particular and we think, is this ever going to end?

Faith                   

It doesn’t. They do grow up all too fast and all too soon and then you go, oh, I wish I had that baby back. That’s transition. The transition of your newborn, your puppy or kitten is going to go so fast and what they were today is not going to be what they are tomorrow.

Lois                        

And the really good news about all this is to Faith’s point, which we bring up a lot is that nothing lasts forever. No, it doesn’t. It’s trial and error for the first several months and really pretty much for the next 18 years, but really for the first few weeks in particular and we think, is this ever going to end?

Faith                   

Not after the third week home and then you’re all upset.

Lois                        

One of my three sons had a wonderful issue of projectile vomiting that he would do kind of wherever we would be. It would just go across the room and you know, we had him checked and he was okay, but he just had this force when he needed to get rid of the breast milk that he had and it would just go across the room. And now we can laugh about it. I have pictures. I mean I could tease him about it, but in the moment it was mortifying and I just, I remember thinking, this will never end. I’m going to have a scourge on me that I have a child that does this and now it’s become a wonderful conversation piece as he is 25 years old and embarrassed to death that I would even bring this up. So that’s, just remember that you’re going to see some of these things later in life as humorous, but in the moment I totally get it. It is not easy and it is very, very challenging. So reach out also to people who would be able to suggest things to you. A mom who is a mom of a year old child, that would probably be great, or someone even older. I mean find someone you can talk to and say, is this abnormal? Is this usual? Of course your pediatrician as well. I’m not saying that, but you probably are seeing your pediatrician regularly, but get that confirmation from other mothers or other fathers who are doing what you’re doing so you know that you’re kind of in community. It’s so important.

Faith                   

But also weigh that because a lot of other new moms have the answers for you too, so be careful when you’re doing this. Get the support, but also keep coming back to – I can consider what they’re telling me, but I also need to do this the way that works best for me and my child.

Lois                        

That’s so great because when you do that, you’re amazed at what you accomplish. You sit there at the end of the day and go, Oh my word, I was able to handle this. I didn’t die. They didn’t die. We made it through yet another day. Isn’t that the biggest fear when we’re having a new baby? Like what if I do this wrong and it actually causes real harm, right?

Faith                 

And we get through the weirdest things in life and we the bumps, the bruises, the mishaps, the diaper that we forgot to change. You know, it’s all okay. It all works out.

Lois                       

It really does and acknowledge that your life is going to change. I think one of the things that happens is once we get through some of these first few weeks, we go, Oh, you know what? I’ve got this and I can go back to doing X, Y, Z. And our life is different and sometimes we forget that this is why it’s different because we have this whole new life in our household.

Faith                   

And the change and the transition of new life. The best part is all the joy that comes in, all the laughter and the engaging and you fall in love with this new life. No matter what that life might look like, you will fall in love.

Lois                      

Oh, it’s so special. And then some moms and dads go right back to work weeks after some choose to stay home. This is the piece where you have to go into, Faith what you’re talking about, you’ve got to go into yourself. Where do you resonate and what’s right for your financial situation, for your family situation? Make sure you’ve had that conversation because this is the one piece where the outsider is not a good voice for you. You need to know what’s best for you in this moment, for the age of this child, for you to go back to work or for you to stay home or find something in the middle.

Faith                   

Right, and sometimes it is not optional like you just said and that it’s something you have to do. Don’t feel guilt or shame about it. It’s going to be hard, but you’ll get through it and you’ll find the rhythm again. Even in that process.

Lois                      

You really will and communicate as much as you can with those who are close to you. Lean on your family, but as Faith is saying, don’t listen if it doesn’t jive with what you feel is really important for you to do with yourself and with this child.

Faith                   

And the little side note on that is that oftentimes our closest family members, your mother or your mother in law, or father-in-law, will start telling you some things to do and that can create a lot of conflict within the family dynamic. So be sure you talk this out as to how are we going to deal with additional family members when they try to influence how you and your spouse or significant other raise your child.

Lois                      

Because this transition does bring up a lot of stress and our goal for as you bring this new life into your family is that it is one of joy that is filled with joy.

Faith                   

Absolutely. We hope some of these ideas resonate with you. If you’re among those preparing to expand your household with a new life.

Lois                      

We are excited about all the transitions that we’re getting to share with you this year and if you want to catch up on our transition podcasts, you can go to our website moretolifewithfaithandlois.com

Faith                   

That’s where you’ll find our latest podcast on the impact of relocation, the impact of living with someone and the impact of illness or injury.

Lois                      

Thank you so much for listening and join us next week for transition: the impact of rage versus civility.

Faith                  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website and please subscribe.

Lois                      

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.