Skills are created, learned and used in the neo-cortex of the brain as well as other wonderful qualities. This part of the brain, our Mind, can learn very quickly and infuse our whole being with new learning. Our Mind is able to achieve many AH-HA moments. So here we are … learning about kindness to yourself, your baby and the woman in your life in Phase #2 of pregnancy from 12 -24 weeks of pregnancy. This website has a nice slideshow of the week-to-week development and a clear blurb http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_newborn/calendar/pregnancy_calendar_intro.html
Kind parents make a huge difference to children. Remember back in your life when someone said something unkind to you. They said it once perhaps and you repeated it many times to yourself. As Dr. Phil says: ‘It takes a 100 atta boys to combat 1 negative comment’. The other person might only say one negative thing to you but you repeat it over and over again.
Kindness can curb your mouth when you’d like to say to your child …. ‘that’s stupid’. Know that your child hears ‘you’re stupid’ and then repeats its over and over until they believe it of themselves.
We’re getting a bit ahead of yourself because your baby at 12 weeks isn’t really thinking about anything except its own growth.
Kindness to your baby
Can you be kind to your baby now? Yes, by being kind to yourself and its mother. You can also talk to your baby either by touching the woman’s belly or just in your head as you’re driving to work.
Talk to your child about both the negative and positive things you feel. Why? Your child is only a child for a short period of its life. Your child will grow into a man or woman. You know that life is full of both positive and negative so teach your child how you cope and deal with the negative and how you enjoy the positive. No one has to hear you.
Sometimes you might feel that your child talks back. Is this real or imagined? Who cares.
Tell your child about the simple acts of kindness that you’re experienced by others … not just family members. You can use all those acts of kindness to grow your own. Talk about what wasn’t kind and how you coped or didn’t.
Kindness to your child’s mother
If you’ve been able to grow kindness in Phase #1 then you probably are already feeling better even if some of those acts were not appreciated. No one says that your kindness will always be recognized and acknowledged. You act kindly because that is a good fathering quality not because you need a pat on your back.
If you are just joining now, you can’t make up for what you didn’t know or do … so what. Just get on with it. You don’t have to tell the woman you are growing these qualities, you’re doing this for your own maturity and pride.
Kindness to the woman at this point has a lot to do with just helping out and being able to let her feel safe when she is feeling very vulnerable and doing her own growing. It’s very difficult to having another human being grow inside you. You are no longer alone which is nice and also a bit of an intrusion. All women feel both of these feelings.
If you see the woman having a struggle just ask if there is anything you can do to help. If you’ve been reading from the beginning then you know there are all these other qualities that add to your ability to show kindness to her. In time she will more deeply appreciate how another human being, you, helped to make her life easier.
Kindness to yourself
Boy, this is important always, always, always. We are often not very kind to ourselves. Listen to your self-talk. How many times do you hear yourself say unpleasant things to yourself? More than we’d like to admit to ourselves.
Think about this for a moment. Your baby is hearing all of its mothers negative and positive thoughts. You, as a baby growing in your mother’s belly was privileged to hearing all the terrible and wonderful things she felt.
In fact, men know women inside and out because every single man and woman has grown inside a woman. No woman has ever been inside a man! This means you know how chaotic a woman’s mind can be … and now you have to pay attention to your own chaotic mind.
The one good news is this … you do not have to believe all the negative things your mind says. All humans chatter away inside their minds but you can pick and choose what you want to believe or listen to. If there is too much negative talk, be kind to yourself and tell that voice to shut up and stop bothering you. Then turn your mind to positive things.
Your bottom line
As a man and as you move through becoming a father into being one, one great gift you can give yourself is to learn how to rein in your monkey mind … the one that is all over the place. Maturity brings wisdom if you grow it.
Be kind to yourself every day and acknowledge these acts toward yourself. You deserve it.