Six things that I think you could do without that might form a bit of a theme for you this year. I talked in my last post about giving yourself grace and I feel that this is one of the ways in which this manifests in letting go of things.
So what are these six things that I think you can let go of in 2019?
#1 You Don’t Have to Be Perfect.
Perfection is something that I know many of us strive for.
So many of us are type A’s, so many of us are used to always succeeding at everything we do and are hard-working. It feels like the equation of hard work equals success should work, but in this scenario when you’re trying to conceive, sometimes you can be doing all the things and still not feel like you’re succeeding.
When we look at perfection in this situation, it’s a really hard thing for us to achieve because it’s hard to be perfect when you’re trying to conceive. Emotionally you’re wrapped up in it all. You might read the books and then decide that you need to have a dairy free and gluten free diet and might need to give up red meat. You might need to give up coffee. You might need to give up all alcohol. You end up taking thousands of supplements. It’s not easy.
You end up with a diet that is impossible to maintain because it’s so strict.
This becomes extremely stressful and if you have one drink you think you’ve failed yourself by not upholding this perfect standard. We can strive for perfecting the latest piece of advice telling you to do one thing, when out there another will say not to do that very thing.
A great example is the Harvard medical study or the nurse’s study which was one of the largest nutritional studies going. It measured the diets of a whole bunch of nurses and it showed that you should have full-fat dairy instead of low-fat dairy. So there’s a piece of advice that is telling you to have dairy.
The study was looking just at women who weren’t ovulating. With only a certain subset of women, there’s always different conditions and situations.
You know, I’m a true believer in bio-individuality that what works for one person might not work for another.
So if you’re putting yourself on these long-term restrictive diets and struggling to conceive, perfection might just screw you over. It’s going to make you more stressed, it’s going to make you feel more tired and more angry at life.
And so number one on things to let go off in 2019 is perfection. You have my full permission. If you would like one drink here and there, if you’re going out to dinner with your husband and you would like to have a glass of wine, you have my permission to do that. Let’s let go of perfection this year.
#2 Let Go of Magic Bullets.
I say enough fertility warriors, Facebook and chat group all the time, and we have serial posters who post one thing after the next. What about DHEA? Then the next one is. Oh, what about eating pineapple? Cool. What about Red Raspberry Leaf tea? What about vitex? What about Maca? All of these things that people think might be the magic cure. Look, let’s be honest. We’ve all been there and we’ve all done things. We’ve all bought fertility charms and thought that just maybe this fertility charm might change my luck around and then this will be the magic bullet that gets me pregnant. We’ve all sat there doing all sorts of positions. I’ve bet so many of you out there have googled like best sexual positions to get pregnant.
I bet that you’ve done the same thing, that these magic bullets kind of don’t really exist if we go back to the very basics of just eating real food, having a healthy lifestyle and putting in strategies to manage the stress that this experience causes. If you do just the basics and don’t worry about like a thousand and one supplements and things like that. I guarantee you are doing like 98 percent of the work.
I want you to let go of the magic bullets this year.
#3 Stop Hating Yourself
When I’ve worked with the clients in my programs, one of the number one things that comes back is women not loving themselves enough and taking care of themselves enough. I’ve had quite a number of women who have this theme that repeats in their head or maybe, “I don’t have a child because I’m not going to be a good mother or because I’m not worthy of having a child.”
This is not going to help us cope on this journey. It’s not going to help us succeed generally in life. It’s not going to help us if we become a mom to be a better parent and to survive the early days of parenthood and it’s not going to help us parent our children either.
I want you to really picture your future child.
Picture yourself with a young girl. What kind of messages do you want your daughter to receive from you as a mother? What kind of attitude do you want your daughter to see you have to your body? How would you speak to your daughter if she was there always saying to herself? Why do you always make these mistakes? Why are you doing this? Surely you would be absolutely mortified if you had a daughter who spoke to herself like that. I want you this year to let go of hating yourself and to really work towards having a loving attitude towards yourself.
Treat yourself as if you were your best friend, or as your mother.
I promise you are good enough. I promise that you are worthy of being a mom.
#4 Keep Your Personal Promises.
Imagine you had a friend who this week said to you, I’m on the Paleo Diet. Then next week said, no, I’ve changed my mind. I’m not on that. I just need to eat all the cake. Then next week changed their mind and said, no, I’m doing this new regime. Do you commit to or say to yourself when you do your New Year’s resolutions that this is the year that I am going to exercise three times a week and then never do it?
We need to start keeping promises to ourselves as a priority.
I said in 2018 that I was going to do a juice cleanse. At the end of the year, I told myself that I needed to fulfill this promise to myself! I actually can do this right now, so I’m just going to go out and do it. Minus the excuses. When you look at a juice cleanse, a juice cleanse can be fairly expensive, so I had all these excuses, oh, what about cost is not the right time, oh, it’s the end of the year. We’re just coming off Christmas and I was like, no, cut it out, Robin. You said you were going to do this. It’s time to do this.
And I went forth and I did it because I want 2019 to be about keeping promises to myself. So I’m done.
#5 Get Rid of Guilt!
I am not going to feel guilty if I prioritize myself, put family before work or feel guilty if I’m not perfect.
So if we go back to number four about not keeping promises to ourselves, I think that it’s really important that we set really steep goals and that we have things that we can achieve.
If your workout doesn’t happen, if you have a drink and you’re trying not to have a drink, if you have dairy and you’re trying not to have dairy, when that happens, provided that it’s not like a total consistent theme, drop the guilt, it’s okay. Look back, acknowledge it happened and move on.
But, did you enjoy that piece of cheese that you had? Did you enjoy that glass of wine that you had?
#6 Things Will Never End Up the Way You Imagine
I never thought that when I fell pregnant with Olivia, she was my very last embryo. I had five in the freezer. We had five. I definitely thought that we would fall pregnant before then, or that we would have five turns of IVF, but no, the embryos did not survive the freeze. And so we were there on our last one, I actually didn’t even think I would fall pregnant. I had multiple retrievals. I had a miscarriage, I had a harpist stimulation, it was the freaking pits, the second time it was on our second transfer when using frozen embryos and it went fairly smoothly and then I fell pregnant and it did not even cross my mind that I would need cesarean.
I just assumed that I’d have a natural birth. It didn’t even really cross my mind that things could go really pear shaped and I would need a hysterectomy. Then, I decided that I would quit my day job. Then I started working for myself. I never thought that I would go back to working in a day job and then I did, never thought Ross would rupture his spleen and be in the hospital for freaking God knows how long and have nearly four months off work.
How you think things are going to play out, I can guarantee you is never how things are going to play out.
2019 could be a really crazy year for you. Ride the roller coaster. My themes for 2019 are grace and gratitude, but on a more general practical level, it’s just holding on for dear life, imagining that this is a rollercoaster. Hold on for dear life. That is my goal or my action strategy for 2019.
Please let go of perfection. Let go of the magic bullets. Let go of hating yourself. Let go of not keeping promises to yourself. Let go of guilt and let go of how you thought it would all happen because it won’t happen the way you think it would.