My daughter (then 13 months) was in a bad mood. You know the type, when she doesn’t want to be picked up or put down. Nothing was going right for her. She had been fed and napped so I knew it wasn’t that. I knew something was wrong but also that it wasn’t serious. I decided we should go to the park and although it was freezing outside I thought a change of scenery would be good. It was stressful getting out of the house with her crying. We weren’t in a hurry but I felt like I wanted to get out as quickly as possible so I felt stressed that I wasn’t getting out quick enough. It takes so long to get out of the house with a baby!
I managed to get her coat on, in the buggy and out. I marched down the road and on a narrow, wonky piece of payment the buggy fell into the road.
OK. Stop. Take a few deep breaths. Calm down. When I did that, she actually stopped crying. I still felt stressed but stopping made me aware how much I was holding my jaw and the tight grip on the buggy. No wonder my arms were aching. This was a reminder that one of the main Alexander Technique principles is that the mind and body work in unity. I carried on walking at a more leisurely pace, it took me a little while longer to fully come back to calm but by the time I got to the park we were both much happier.
Unfortunately the peace didn’t last and we didn’t manage to play for long before she was unhappy again, but I felt a lot more able to deal with it just from stopping for those 30 seconds earlier. It also gave me the head space to have a think about why she was unhappy and I finally realised she was teething and all she needed was a good dose of calpol. Sometimes mummy hugs are just not enough!
I'm looking forward to running a workshop for new parents next week on the topic of pushing buggies with more ease. If you'd like to receive updates on future workshops join my mailing list.