A journey of emotional regulation and big little feelings in toddlers

Navigating the phase of emotions with young children can be a challenging phase for new parents. It definitely was for me as a sensitive mama to big emotions anyway.

The big emotions phase

The start of our big emotions phase came just after a bronchitis flare up my son had. Cue an already overwhelmed, exhausted mama from a number of sleep nights plus a visit to hospital to keep check on his breathing. Of course our little man was just as exhausted and overwhelmed too from all that he’d been through.

It was an intense week and honestly when these meltdowns started happening I just melted down too as I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I was suddenly faced with a decision to make. How did I want to support my son through this process of emotional regulation? How could I do that for myself so that I didn’t get so overwhelmed when he had a melt down?

You gotta give it to kids, they really do express AND move through their emotions. If they’re feeling angry they stomp their feet and shout to really express it. We can learn a thing or two from our little ones. I wonder what it would be like if the norm for us as adults was when we felt frustrated or mad we would stop, shout “im feeling frustrated”, stamp our feet, shake it out and move through it and carry on with our day. I wonder how much easier life would be without carrying around all that tension because we’d actually acknowledge and voice how we are feeling in the moment.

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Find tool to support your learning as a parent, there’s no one size fits all


So with this big learning curve I took to listening to audiobooks recently to sharpen my approach to big emotions in little people. Being a mother has highlighted to me just how sensitive I am. One way I support myself in handling situations is to cultivate tools and approaches to help me understand things better. It helps me to stay calm and collected (as much as possible) to not hit burnout and emotional overwhelm, as much.

You won’t always get it right


With the 24 hour relentlessness of parenting there WILL be times where you hit your patience limit. Your ability to remain calm and neutral when faced with a big emotional outburst by your kids will sway from balance.

It’s a given. 

I’m noticing how the early phase of motherhood was physical in terms of breast-feeding, baby wearing and contact naps. It continues to be physically demanding as they start to find their feet and movement.

Then comes the talking phase where they start to be able to interact even more so with you as well as stretching their independence muscles.The emotional phase comes as they figure out their feelings. It’s quite an up and down phase to be in and definitely took me by surprise being mrs sensitive.

It can be at anything and everything that can trigger our little people to hit emotional overwhelm. They wanted peanut butter on their toast, not jam, even though they asked for it. They want their toast cut into squares, not triangles. Some of the meltdowns will come at the most bonkers of things but, it means a lot to them hence their reactions.

When tiredness kicks in for them it easily triggers more big outbursts for them to deal with too.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve struggled with mama rage at times where I have been touched out, tired, no patience and struggling to get one minute for myself as tiny hands request another snack, another book, another game. 

The biggest mirror you’ll have held up to yourself is by the your kids

I am fascinated by watching a little person grow into themselves and learn to handle their emotions. I can see just how integral it is for me to model things in my behavior and communication to support them in learning to regulate themselves. The biggest mirror I have ever had held to me that’s for sure. There is an importance in modeling healthy management of emotions (As much as possible) but also open and honest communication about times we’re not handling things well either. Sometimes those are our biggest moments of teaching. When we have snapped back at our kids we have a chance to stop, pause and communicate what’s moving for us (in as little words as possible so they understand) and explain how we are going to move back into a space of calm again.

You’re not going to get it right every time and as much as I’d like to say I practice gentle parenting I do fall short. Hence saying I practice gentle parenting, because that’s what I am doing, practicing. 

I trial and error things as I go to see what works for our son. I change my tone of voice or the way I phrase things. At the moment he’s going through a mummy phase (he’s totally a mummy’s boy) and it’s been a lot for me to handle. Sometimes I just need him to let his dad put him to sleep.

The Happy Tank concept- A spur of the moment way to explain that its important for self care

My spur of the moment new approach to feeling touched out and needing him to go to dad a bit more was to introduce the concept of filling our happy tanks up when we are feeling low, sad, frustrated or angry. As he’s starting to understand things more I am able to give examples of when he’s been feeling sad and needed “his happy tank filling up” so I can explain that mummy and daddy also need time to fill their happy tanks up.

It worked, and he let daddy put him to bed so mama could have a moment’s breathing space. phew!

Motherhood has shown me just how important self care, introspection and cultivating open and vulnerable communication is. Especially as we move through this emotional development with our gorgeous and very very busy boy.

I hope that something has landed for you in

Big love, 

Jules 

A challenging first trimester

I am not going to sugar coat it, the first trimester for me this time around was a shit show.

Each day felt like I was in survival mode just trying to get by. 

I know these hard times in our lives can bring us the greatest growth and a I guess for me its inspired me to share and support more mamas to look after their mental health perinatally and through into postpartum once baby is earth side. 

How my first trimester went:

I already knew I was pregnant, I actually had that feeling of knowing which I was quite surprised about. It felt good to have that connection with my body and feel that knowing.

3 days after finding out I was pregnant I got the dreaded covid. Thanks to my man for testing and telling me to do one as one of his work mates had it. Luckily at this point I didn’t feel bad but my test came back positive. Obviously I was a nervous wreck and wondered how it would affect both baby and I. I joined groups online and felt reassured though still quite nervous. It hit me like a tonne of bricks for a good few days, bad head cold and felt absolutely exhausted an hour after waking. Luckily with my man at home I was able to snooze on the sofa and tended to perk up a bit more in the afternoons.

Just as I was getting better and starting to get some energy I got a sickness stomach thing overnight and ended up in hospital the next day with suspected appendicitis. The A+E nurse told me there was risk to the baby if they needed to operate which of course broke me completely. They whisked me over to Huddersfield hospital just in case I needed surgery but thankfully I got better and didn’t need surgery. They said it could be anything but because it hadn’t got worse like appendicitis usually does they didn’t want to risk surgery for obvious reasons. Thank god.

At the same time as this happening we found out my partner’s mum had breast cancer and would need surgery asap. Luckily she was an absolute trooper and before she went in for surgery (that went successfully) we went up to visit them in Northumberland. The thing is, every time we go up there our little one gets a flare up of bronchilitis which we now think is triggered by the family cat. So we arrive back home and have another rough few nights which always triggers me into a PTSD response about his breathing. 

Just as little one gets better and I start to get some energy back after a month of intensity boom, the dreaded symptoms of first trimester hit me. Dizziness, morning sickness and exhaustion hit me like a tonne of bricks. 

From 8-15 weeks I just felt absolutely floored and my mental health took a big dip.  I was questioning whether I was capable of being a mum to 2 kids as it brought up a lot of fear and trauma from my first birth experience. There were times where I started to question my sanity which was a big trigger point for me too. There was a time in the hospital after my first belly birth that made me think I was going to go insane and need to be sectioned.Was I really capable of going through it again? What am I doing? I thought to myself often. It was a really scary place to go to mentally. One of my fears has been going back to that place. Though I have gotten through it once, it’s a really dark head space to be in and I really really don’t want to go back there. As soon as I dipped I booked perinatal counseling sessions to help bring me back out of it. I knew there would be a waiting time, it was 4 weeks and I laughed to myself as I knew that by the time 2nd trimester came about I would have probably listed out of that heavy fog I was currently experiencing. Which thankfully it did. 

The thing is when you’re in that type of survival mode as a mum it can often feel that that’s what life is going to look like forever. I remember feeling it when our first little one arrived. I often thought to myself fuck, this is how life is now. What have I done and where is the joy!

2nd trimester has dropped me into that summer energy much like the menstrual summer/ovulatory phase filling me with life, inspiration and creative spark which I am so so grateful for. Nothing like a good summer period to lift your spirits and bring back that energy and zest for life. It has given me a boost to really put in the work and structure to support my postpartum period this time around. I learnt ALOT from my first birth and pretty much lost who I was during the 6 day hospital stay. It took a lot of coaxing to remember the practices and tools I had to feel like a human again and I am determined not to let that happen again. 

It has been interesting looking back on my journey and how the birth trauma I experienced with my first baby is showing up during this pregnancy. Nothing is ever fully healed, something I didn’t really realise or accept until recently which opened up a lot of space to be okay with things coming up again for me. Our bodies hold so much and of course pregnancy was going to bring up some things for me to work through, especially when the first 2-3 months had me in survival mode much like my first postpartum experience did. The triggers differ in impact on me but I see the growth and strength I have and have a new confidence and power in advocating for myself. Though it feels uncomfortable letting people into our “crazy” mind, speaking it takes away its power.

When I noticed myself dipping I started speaking to my support network about it, I realised I needed to get back into my journal and clear my monkey mind. Journaling has always been a game changer for me being an air sign and very much an overthinker it does me wonders to purge and make space in my mind. Its actually a great reminder that as an overthinker I have to really put energy into embodiment practices to drop me out of the mind and into my body.

Through all of this challenge I have experienced during my first trimester I felt quite disconnected to my body and the growing baby. It made me feel quite guilty that I wasn’t making the most of the experience, especially if this is our last child which I do feel it is. There is a bittersweetness in it being the last and I want to feel it all as it’s the biggest ride of my life that I know will forge the older woman I am to become in the future. 

Mental health in pregnancy and motherhood is so so important. It’s a really life altering time in a woman’s life if she does decide to have children. Because of my experience I am in ideas phase of creating a motherhood wellbeing collection to support you in a number of ways for your mental health.

4 ways to support yourself in the first trimester

Speak to your people

To your partner, your family and your friends. Go to your safest people and speak out about any “craziness” you feel in your head. Don’t hold back, set up the conversation by stating and intending that you are reaching out because you need to be held and heard. Tell them beforehand the support you need whether that’s just being listened to, or whether you need advice and support. 

Look into perinatal/postpartum counselling

If you have birth trauma from a previous birth It might be worth looking into trauma informed therapy to help you work through and process what happened. I cannot stress the importance of going to therapy through out lives. We are messy humans always journeying something and therapy in whatever form works for you can only be beneficial to opening you up to my joy, happiness and confidence in yourself in your life. Im not saying going to therapy isnt easy, of course its going to bring up challenging things for you but on the flip side you are are allowing them to not hold as much power over you which then opens up sooo much more for you on the other side. I’m a big believer of a little motto I have in life which is from all negatives can be positive growth, as long as your willing to go through it and face those challenging elements of our lives. 

Embodiment work and somatic practices

I cannot stress the importance of cultivating a connection with your body. To drop out of your mind and allow yourself to really feel your body and what it does. She speaks to you and will you so much if you are able to slow down and feel all the feels. Search up somatic practices to support you in getting back into your body. 

Journaling

One of my fave tools to allow you to open up space in that monkey mind. It also helps you have a safe space to talk about your “crazies”. I say crazies in the most lighthearted of ways, believe me, I have been to the point of thinking i’m going crazy and not coming back from it. I’m owning it, and there is power in that. In your journal practice ask yourself questions about what experiences are bringing up different thoughts, feelings and emotional responses in you.


How to run a business that supports your wellbeing

Going self-employed and deciding to start your own business can be a scary step to take in life. 

But also the most exciting. 

Taking the steps to turn a side hustle or a dream you’ve had to run with it into a business can totally shift the way you approach your life and how you do things.

Four years ago I started a job at a debt management company that was meant to be very “staff focused”. They had all sorts of things in place to “look after their staff”. I put this in inverted commas because well, it was a load of shit.

I had, let’s say, a problematic root canal which ended up with me experiencing my first panic attack. If you have never had one before, I’m really glad as I genuinely thought I was having a heart attack in the middle of a busy office. It was really intense. I had no idea where it came from and why I was feeling that way and promptly got sent home to the doctors only for them to shrug it off. I felt so silly. The thing is, my body was screaming at me that something wasn’t right. 

Now I don’t know if it was the failed root canal that triggered this or a combination of office life sucking away my soul, probably a combination of the two but anyway, it was a tell-tale sign that something in my life had to change. 

It was time for a change

At the time I was starting my personal development journey and diving into wellbeing and embodiment as a woman. Creativity was something that called to me but honestly, I didn’t have any kind of consistent practice of making art. I was more of a bystander and avid pinterest oodler of artwork that sparked something for me. Business was also something that intrigued me. I studied creative arts and events management so had business in my sphere but there is a big difference to writing about it to running your own. 

Since leaving university I was always doing bits of research about how to work from home so that I could travel and live flexibly around work. A 9-5 job just didn’t satisfy my soul, and clearly my body knew that too hence the onset of panic attacks. So I pooled all my online skills together and reached out to social media that I was setting up as a Virtual Assistant. Supporting online businesses and entrepreneurs to share their work with the world. My intention behind this was to learn all the back end of running a business. From blogging, social media management, to finance and running an online shop I dived right in and have been researching and implementing like a maniac with lots of trial and error along the way (of course).

Creating a business that supports my wellbeing

While running my business as a Virtual Assistant alongside the women’s work I’ve done into cyclical living around our menstrual cycles (to honor our fluctuating energy as menstruating people) I have been able to integrate running my business in line with my wellbeing. It’s something that’s incredibly important as a business owner as oftentimes it’s lonely and there’s so many elements to running a business that it can get overwhelming. 

It is so important to figure out what fills you up and what depletes you whilst running your business. To learn about your cycle of working in creative mode and in business admin mode so that you can work with your personal process so that you don’t hit burn out or loose passion for your business.

Working your business around your cycle

One way I infused a soulful wellbeing approach to my business process is learning about your menstrual cycle as a female, menstruating business owner. It can teach you so much about your fluctuating energy levels and you can strategize and plan certain tasks for phases in your cycle. This allows you to have periods of busy, outward facing social work and time of gentle work and well deserved rest.
If you want to learn more about your menstrual cycle and cyclical living go check out my e-book A Guide To Cyclical Living, it comes with an Integration Journal so you can put into practice what you learn straight away! Honestly though, it’s a game changer.

5 Ways to look after your wellbeing whilst running a business


If diving into the energetics of your menstrual cycle is a bit too woo for you that’s cool too. Here are some other ways that you can infuse an approach to running your business that nourishes you:

  1. Make time for play! Allow yourself to step away from work and play. If you are a creative/artist do you schedule in time to make art/work that isn’t driven by making an income?
  2. Take note of times during the month you are high energy and times in the month you are low energy. Can you plan your work according to your energy levels so that you can do both outward facing work and times you can take it slower. 
  3. Delegate. Are you at a point in your business where you have too many jobs to do any can’t manage them all yourself? Delegate by using a virtual assistant. You can hire a VA on a monthly retainer or one off basis (hi, hello, im a creative virtual assistant and can help you with this)
  4. Find your community. Do you have a community that you can tap into who are also fellow business owners and know the struggles you face? A space where you can also celebrate your wins too? Having a community around you as a business owner is SO important. Some people don’t get what running a business takes and it can really put a downer on you if you’re not careful. So find your people, find a business support group, network and put your feelers out. 
  5. Celebrate your wins – life can be serious and intense at times so make sure that all these small steps in your business journey are celebrated. It will spur you on and lift your spirits. 

We start these businesses because something comes alive in us. Something sparks us. We want to make a change and do things differently, on our terms. It can be incredibly rewarding (and yes challenging along the way). So let’s stick together, support one another and keep finding things to implement in our business to make life a little easier. 

I would love to hear how you approach your business as it varies from person to person. If you would like to reach out to work with me please don’t hesitate to connect with me by popping me an email at [email protected] or DM’ing me via my social media pages.