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Resilience from a New Perspective

Photo-of-Nefertiti-NEW-225x3001By: Nefertiti Bruce Poyner, Devereux Center for Resilient Children

There are times in our lives when everything stops; you are forced to focus and take in the experience of the moment. On March 9, 2015, I experienced this moment when I became a mom for the first time, giving birth to a little girl at 9:41 in the evening.  I could use this article to explain the pain, joy, hospital experience, and our moments at home since giving birth, but instead I will focus on a term that I love so much – resilience!

For more than 15 years now, I have dedicated my life to children and families. I have done this as a classroom teacher, case manager and professional development trainer during my time with Devereux.  Despite my experience and education, motherhood is a responsibility I have watched others do with admiration as I have always recognized the daunting task parenting is.  Now, I am on the other side of the window, and it’s my turn to practice what I preach.

After being home with our daughter for just a few days, I found myself with an “empty pitcher.” This phrase may or may not be familiar to you so let me explain.  If we think about ourselves as “pitchers” of our favorite drink, the more we take care of ourselves and nurture our resilience, the more we have in our pitchers.  When we are not practicing good self-care, our pitchers can become empty.   I recognized my pitcher was empty when I found myself unorganized, fussy, and not smiling.  I asked myself, “Are you experiencing the baby blues everyone talked about?”  The answer was no! What I was experiencing was an “empty pitcher”, and for the first time, I was thinking about my resilience from a perspective so new to me – that of a mom.  Once I refocused and thought about what I felt I began to work to “fill my pitcher.”  Resilience from a new perspective has taught me three important lessons:

  1. Stay in the Moment. In my effort to make sure the house was clean, the dog was fed, my husband was kissed, and thinking about if the bills were paid, I started to become overwhelmed. Then one day I remembered the following words: Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Sure enough, each day has brought enough trouble of its own, and I love it! My task is to enjoy these moments I will never see again and to do so by staying in the moment. What about you, could you do better at keeping your pitcher full by refocusing on what really matters?baby rattle
  2. Wonder Woman is a Fictional Character. In trying to do it all, I found myself feeling as if I had a cape and costume, flying about attending to tasks. Motherhood has taught me that the real strength is in taking off my cape, asking for help and delegating. I have wonderful support systems, and I need to turn to these special people when I need them. No, they may not do things the exact way I would, but does that really matter? What about you? Would your pitcher be fuller if you took off your cape and superhero costume?
  3. Take Five. Life with our new little one brings us exciting days of new experiences. Her smile and curiosity bring such a joy to my life. While I could hold, kiss, sing, and talk to her all day, I do also need to take five. Five minutes to go for a walk, five minutes to read a chapter in the new book I just downloaded, five minutes to close my eyes. When I return from my break, Mommy is great! What about you? Are you stepping away from it all when you can?

 

My new role is one I am so fortunate to experience. I’m learning a lot. Resilience from a new perspective is pretty amazing.

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