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  • Sandy Green

RECONNECT WITH THOSE MAMA INSTINCTS

**Not a sponsored post. I’m really just an embarrassing mega fan**



A few months ago, Jared asked me a common and fun question - "If you could have lunch with anyone alive today, who would it be?" I thought for a little while and eventually came up with my list. Near the top was my favorite author, researcher, and podcast host - Gretchen Rubin. And somehow, my incredible husband made it happen. I got to have breakfast with my guru! It was a dream come true and I loved every single second of it. My parents and two of my closest friends joined us for what will likely be one of the most memorable conversations of my life.


I first came across Gretchen Rubin’s first book on Happiness, The Happiness Project about 8 or 9 years ago. The cover was friendly and the topic seemed interesting. I bought it and put it on my bookshelf, where it lived for several years. It wasn’t until I was going through a particularly difficult breakup that I was ready to crack open the book and begin my own journey.


Since The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin has come out with a number of books that I love equally - Happier at Home, Better than Before, and The Four Tendencies. She is also the host of a podcast called Happier with Gretchen Rubin with her sister and television writer, Elizabeth Craft. There are a lot of things I love about Gretchen Rubin - she’s down to earth, relatable, and uncontroversial. But I think the thing I love most is that she is constantly giving me opportunities for self-reflection - an exercise I very much enjoy.


So what does this have to do with Motherhood? I think that one of the challenges we face as modern mothers is our inability to listen to our own instincts. Actually, that’s not totally right. It’s not that we’ve lost that ability, but we’re afraid to use it. And when we DO listen, we don’t always trust what we hear. We are constantly bombarded with outside information, judgmental personalities, and our own fear of imperfection that we question and doubt every step and every decision.


And the thing is that as mothers, we have incredible intuition!! You may not be a expert on babies, but I can almost guarantee that you are an expert on YOUR baby. Taking time for self-reflection can help us get back in touch with that little voice inside our heads and help us trust it again. So that’s where Gretchen Rubin comes in. Through her writing and podcast, Gretchen Rubin has challenged me to know myself better and it has made me a better wife, friend, daughter and especially, a better mother. This is why I use Gretchen Rubin’s work with every new mom I work with. It’s fun, thought-provoking, and it’s nice to have something else to talk about besides baby poop.


I encourage you to try it for yourself. Take a moment to really indulge in the self-care that you so deserve and know yourself a little better. If you don’t feel like you can commit to an entire book (believe me, mama, I know that feeling) try the 30 minute weekly podcast. Or you can scroll through her website www.gretchenrubin.com where she’s got lots of great descriptions, quizzes, and resources to know yourself better.


Here are some of my favorites, with links:


My Tendency: I used to think I was an Obliger. But based on our conversation at breakfast, I actually think I’m more of an Upholder (which means that I respond to my own inner expectations and the expectations of others, I love rules and predictability, I’m a list-maker, and I struggle with flexibility).


I’m a reluctant abstainer, not a moderator (I’m not great at doing things in moderation, even though I wish I was!)


I’m a lark, not an owl (this is a major change since having Avi)


I’m an under-buyer, not an over-buyer (and this is why you’ll see Avi in pants that are just a bit too small, until someone tells me it’s time to buy him new clothes)


You can also check out Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Manifesto, Secrets of Adulthood, and her Eight Splendid Truths of Happiness - they’re a lot of fun!