Many of us know friends and family members who have lost precious loved ones. During those heartbreaking times, it’s so hard to know what to say and do to show our love and support.
What are meaningful acts of service? Which gifts are appropriate? Is there anything we should or shouldn’t say?
On today’s podcast, we hear from a mother who has been there and has so much wisdom to share. Several years ago, Rachel Gainer lost her two-month-old daughter, Daphne, and was engulfed in sorrow. She talks about her journey to “rebuilding” her sense of self after Daphne’s death, and she shares invaluable insight into what it’s like to grieve and what we can do to serve those around us who are hurting.
This is an episode that everyone should listen to–because, at some point, we will all inevitably need to support someone whom we love who is grieving. You won’t want to miss Rachel’s ideas for specific, heartfelt gifts we can send and meaningful words we can say. You’ll also want to hear all about her angel baby, Daphne.
Rachel is the mother of four children and an angel baby, and she is a personal trainer and mindset coach who focuses on body positivity and life-long wellness.
Ink Puddles by Karin (custom artwork for families): https://www.etsy.com/shop/InkPuddlesbyKarin?ref=l2-shopheader-name
**This portrait was done for a family who lost their baby:
Five years ago, I realized that I needed to go to counseling. I had been coping with stress and heartache through both undereating and overeating for almost ten years, and my negative thoughts about myself had become debilitating and all-consuming.
I sought treatment from an outpatient eating disorder clinic, and I fully expected my counselor to teach me how to control my eating; instead, my counselor went to the root of the problem and taught me how to control my thinking.
I learned that destructive behaviors (such as eating disorders) are part of a three-part cycle: we have a negative thought about ourselves, we then feel a negative emotion about ourselves, and we then cope with that feeling through a destructive behavior. In order to stop this cycle, we must have strategies to stop the negative self-talk that starts it all in the first place!
Whether or not you’ve ever struggled with an eating disorder, I think this episode will benefit you. I share three of the best tools that I learned in counseling: these strategies halt negative self-talk and replace it with encouraging, empowering thinking.
I truly believe that almost no skill is more important for women and mothers–so I hope you will listen, and let me know what you think in the comments.
Unhealthy Stress or Habits? Break the Cycle (podcast with Power of Moms)
Listening to and Loving your Body through Intuitive Eating (podcast with Power of Moms)
“It Is What It Is” (article with a list of coping strategies)
“The Surprising Way I Confronted my Eating Disorder” (full narrative therapy)
Though you may never have defined it as “soul fever” before, all parents have witnessed this malady taking over their children from time to time…when kids have had too much excitement, too little sleep, too much sugar, and too little downtime–and their behavior shows it!
On today’s episode, Carrie Thomas Scott–a licensed professional counselor and a mother herself–uses the four pillars of Simplicity Parenting to teach us how to protect our kids from catching a “soul fever” this holiday season.
Listen in for concrete strategies on how to help your children stay balanced and soul-healthy this holiday using these four pillars:
4. Filtering Out the Adult World
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
This week, my family has been through a terrible loss: the death of my son’s birthmother, Katie. We’ve had an open adoption with her and she became part of our family over the last seven years.
We are grieving deeply, and I couldn’t go on with business as usual on the podcast; so I took a break from our usual show format to record some thoughts on how we can find hope, even in the darkest of trials.
Listen in as I share three scriptural phrases that gave me strength during my long battle with infertility and the ups and downs of the adoption process. Whether or not you’re religious, whether or not you’ve ever adopted, I think these messages of hope will uplift you. They are universal.
- Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
- He gives unto them beauty for ashes
- When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
Hold your families close this week. Much love.
In Memory of Katie Rose Stratford
My experience was a little different than most mothers—I wasn’t the one in the hospital bed that night. I was standing beside my son’s brave birthmother as Noah came into the world.
After years of failed infertility treatments and adoption possibilities that didn’t go through, I was finally a mother.
Three years later, this time on a hot summer morning, we were blessed a second time. After going through Invitro Fertilization and an incredibly difficult pregnancy, my second little miracle was placed in my arms.
Sally Grace was bruised and battered from a posterior delivery, but she was here and she was ours.
And the focus of life just zooms in for a moment—for a day or two—and everything feels clear. There’s peace and perspective and happiness when a new baby joins your family.
But then the focus zooms back out, because it has to—because there are meals to make and families to support, and very complicated, very real adult challenges that come to us in life—
And even though you know that those babies in your arms are what you most treasure and what you want more than anything, there are moments when you wonder if you can really do this. There are times when you hardly recognize yourself in the midst of your discouragement or your yelling at your kids, and you mourn a little bit for the happy mother that you wanted to be—that still you want to be.
Motherhood is beautiful, magical, and good—but it is also very hard at times. We all have our own unique situations and struggles and heartaches.
The hard stuff will never go away completely, but what if we could minimize it? Manage it a little better? And what if there were simple things we could do as mothers to maximize the joy?
That is the premise and the goal of this podcast: to give moms like you and me practical, doable takeaways to try with our families each week—strategies that will help us create more meaning in motherhood.
Please listen to the entire introductory episode to learn more about being a part of the 3 in 30 Podcast community of moms!
Rachel’s writing on Power of Moms