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Intuition. Wanna Try It?

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Intuitive parenting - sounds like a superpower, doesn't it? I like to think it is. Now before you say, 'Wait. Hold up B, I don't have kids.' hear me out. We all have the ability to tap into our intuition if we want to. I'm just going to tell you a little (long ass) story with a lot of run-on sentences, as an example.

Single parenting, co-parenting, parenting....whatever it looks like for you or the people around you, it's a task alright. It's filled with emotion, love, pressure, advice up the ass and importance. We are human, so we have our moments (I'm over here waving the white flag often), but we can make this whole process easier on everyone involved. And to be completely transparent, I am writing this while I throw snacks at Nash and he bounces between his play room and the kitchen, asking me random questions and showing me every animal figurine he owns. It's also 10:07pm. We go to bed late around here - living that Spaniard lifestyle, in Lake Oswego, Oregon. I'll probably end up taking a break soon to get him ready for bed, so just an example of why this might take about 10 years to finish.

It's no secret that my Mr Nash is a non-sleeper. Has been since the day he was born. The kid literally thrives off of 4 hours of sleep at his ripe old age of 2.5 years old. I didn't realize this and fought against it for a good 2 years. I know it won't always be this way, but when I stepped back and re-evaluated the quality of our evenings and what would work best for both of us, this is where we landed. Each day is different for all of us and we have different lessons to take from it. To think one way to do things should work for all of us, doesn't seem very intuitive, does it? So my advice is to go with the flow that fits you, your family, your lifestyle and your highest values best. You'll know when it clicks. OK, bath time (for Nash, not me) - hold that thought.

Fast forward 2 weeks and I'm checking back in.... That's how long I got pulled in other directions AKA had other lessons to learn apparently. What kind of fun have you missed you ask? Tantrums, sleep changes, turning words into sentences, repeating everything I say (oops) and starting the potty training journey. I guess I was meant to be distracted because this was not the direction I saw this post going, which brings me to today. I was driving to take Nash to his bi-weekly man bun trim and a song came on, ”Three Little Birds“ by Bob Marley & The Wailers. It's a classic and it's for sure on my healing sessions playlist. I took it as no coincidence though, when it came on in the car and instantly took me back to a particular night late last year.

About 7 or 8 months ago Nash and I, were living in my parents‘ apartment on their property. Since then, we have moved and I look back on that time as the training wheels of this new life for the two of us. A thing that was a big growing opportunity was Nash's sleep, or lack thereof. We were also sharing a room, so like the “oh so powerful“ Wizard of Oz, Nash slept behind a curtain that separated our sleeping spaces. There's a lot more detail but to get to the point....I would try to get him to go to bed at a ”normal“ time around 8pm. That was a joke. I couldn't even wrap up our day in enough time and our whole day was out of whack because of it. So, I went with 9pm. Well, it was a nightly battle of about 2 hours of him crying before he would finally fall asleep AND it still didn't fit into our lifestyle well.

Getting him to sleep was a combo of me; trying to hold him, leaving the room, putting him in his bed with my hand on his back, laying on the floor next to his crib, while I pretended to be asleep (if I got really good, this is when I would text people back or scroll Instagram) and I can't tell you how frustrating this all would get. Especially when all I wanted to do was get an hour or two to myself and work on my healing classes or any of the other life to-do's that were on the list. Not gonna lie, I had my shit together but those nights were hard. They were hard for a few reasons. I was also still accumulating the tools and ability to see what and why things were being shown to me the way that they were. Not to mention, still moments of frustration and sadness that now this was all on me.

There was one person imparticular that I was texting with back then. He'll remain nameless and I actually don't think he even knows he was this person, or will ever see this. But, when I would be laying there frustrated as fuck and my phone would buzz, it brought a lightness, humor and fun factor to the chaos - an example of the universe bringing in that balance, just when I was losing it. This person was another lesson I've tried hard to figure out the purpose of, and as I went to write this, that question was answered loud and clear. Ok, I'm digressing - so many lessons!

So back to picturing me laying on the floor next to Nash's crib, pretending like I was sleeping. Hellllooooo nut job. It was just one of those days and long months of this routine, and it wasn't really working, but we were surviving. It had been hours of this and it was now almost 11pm. At the same moment, I was about to scream (so that would have made two of us), I put my hand through the crib and told Nash, I would hold his hand if he would just PLEASE go to sleep. For some reason this calmed him down but not fully, so I ditched the ”twinkle-twinkle, little star“ that Bob and I used to always sing to Nash. It was always our go-to but since Bob died, it just wasn't doing the trick anymore. So I passed on that song and traded it in for the lyrics from what came to my head first, ”Three Little Birds“ by Bob Marley & The Wailers. Did the smell in your room just change? I promise I wasn't high, but I probably should've been...

He started to calm down and the sense of relief that this moment would be over soon was overwhelming. In fear of waking him up I kept singing and holding his hand. Not sure if any of you have done this, but it's the most uncomfortable position, to lay down and get your hand in a crib, at the angle it needs to be to hold your kids hand. As I kept singing ”don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright” eyes started to well up with tears. In that moment I missed Bob. I missed the partner I thought I was supposed to have through these moments. I also was frustrated he up and made that choice for Nash and me, on his own. Once my human moment had passed, I realized that although Bob took away our chance to parent together, he gave me the ability to see what I'm made of and to push and grow with each situation that was coming my way. So I kept singing, until Nash's sweaty grip softened and I knew I could get my hand out. No way in hell I was going to risk waking the beast. I finally stopped singing, put my arm back in its socket, took a few deep breaths and got up and on with my evening. Yes, my evenings would start after 11pm. I've learned a lot since then. A lot about my journey and the moments we are faced with, their purpose and how we do the best we can with the tools we have at each given moment. Hence, the wonderful gifts we are given when we go through difficult times.

Until I ended up having Nash up late one night (almost midnight), did I accidentally fall on the concept of intuitive parenting. We were both in great spirits and I had let go of the white knuckle grip of forcing him to bed at 9pm. So, I guess you could say I let go of my expectations for that night. Prior to that, I think we BOTH equally dreaded the evenings. He ended up sleeping straight through the night, in his own bed until 6am the next morning. Whiiiich never had happened before. I know some of you might laugh, since that's only 6 hours, or think of course he did he was exhausted. Well let me just tell you, neither of those are ever factors for Nash and his sleep plans. Also those that know Nash know that he comes to life at night. Same with my family, so another reason you might say this aligned with our highest values and “clicked”.

Right then and there, I decided I could force him to bed for reasons of my own, because what others were doing and fight it for 2 hours OR push his bedtime back 2 hours, have less of a fight and get him to sleep within 10 minutes - the latter also fit better into our lifestyle at the time. You guessed it, this new version of me said, fuck it. We're doin’ it. I'm so glad I did. I took my sanity and Nash's into account, our quality of life in the evenings and what my intuition was trying to tell me all along. There's more to this and a bunch of other areas intuition can work its way into parenting, but you get the idea.

Every kid, family, parent, situation and lifestyle is different. You do you. And if you choose to go with intuition and what creates a better flow, just be open to adjusting every once in awhile. Like, late bedtimes over the last 8 months have been our jam. But it's a positive thing. It's not a late bedtime because we fought it for 2 hours. It's because we chose it and the routine is seamless. For us. Will there be a time that it's not anymore? Oh, I'm sure. But I'm not worried about that now, I'll cross that bridge when it's no longer working for one of us or when I get a signal it's time for a shift.

Another thing I've learned through my matter how much you worry or fret about something, (thinking you are trying to avoid it or prep yourself) it does neither. If anything, it fuels the fire for it to come in quicker, more intense and as a bigger shock than you could have ever expected. So let that method go, there are way better and more effective tools out there.

On the note of change, I can tell you it's happening as we speak. Say it's due to Nash's age, the fact that it's summer, growth spurts, you name it, but the last week he's been SUPER irritable around 9pm. Since our nighttime routine wasn't even getting started until after that, it was putting a funk back in the air. SO we are switching it up and I'm going off of Nash's cue's and shooting for an earlier bedtime (probably still later than most his friends though). With work and school ramping up for me, this change is coming at a time that we both could benefit from. Funny how that works out, huh? ;)

Parenting is an ebb and flow process, as is life. I've learned a lot about myself, Nash, parenting and life in the last year. I can tell you that pushing against what isn't working and forcing it, does not naturally create a flow. Now a flow for me, could look totally different for someone else. It's all about that perspective thing again. You know what feels right. You know the end goal, what you want your flow to look like and what your highest values are, so just go with that. Trust your instincts and more importantly start to pay attention to where and when it's trying to guide you. Don't worry about normal (that went out the window for me long ago), what others think, or their opinions. If you root to it and stand by your decisions, because you want to and it makes life good for you and those around you, then you trust your intuition and you go for it. I promise you, if you truly believe it's best, you won't hear anything from others about it.

The ebb and flow is a thing to master. The lessons are fierce, but they can be quick and they are going to come our direction either way, so we might as well use it to our advantage. See it as the universe giving you a hint. There are lots of them; you just have to be aware.

This week notice where you might be pushing against something that might just make life run smoother, if you gave in. I currently use 6 forms of intuition (in sessions and in my own life) to make sure I get the same answer across the board before moving forward with something. Children are also highly intuitive, especially until about 9 years old. By using our intuition, we can teach our kids and those around us, to trust it too. Yes, even Karen in HR can benefit from you using your intuition. The reasons it's not as strong for some kids as they get older, is we instill beliefs, opinions, our own stuff and fears onto them. This is where shit gets confusing on what to trust and how.

Intuition can be our strongest tool out of all the things we have access to. So tune in to what your kids (and self) are trying to communicate to you. Since 93% of all communication is non-verbal, making decisions based off of your intuition seems pretty worthwhile, doesn't it? And going with your gut, never steered anyone wrong.



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