Daddy 101 – The Step-by-Step Manual to Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Fatherhood
Orla Breeze is an author, columnist & parenting advisor who focuses on assisting parents with the transition from carefree child-free living to crazy, chaotic parenthood! She is the creator of the magazine column Rated PG! and have published her articles in a variety of websites both in Hong Kong and abroad. We have conducted an interview with Orla on her ebook for new dads - Daddy 101.
How did you become a parenting advisor?
Before I became a parent, I was already treating individuals for physical complaints using Scenar Therapy, and facilitating regular meditation groups so it felt natural to focus exclusively on parenting once I had found my own parenting balance. Becoming a parent was an eye-opening experience for me, to say the least, and it quickly became apparent that parents don’t get the support they need to get them through the huge changes and challenges that come up for them when they cross the bridge to Parenthood. All energy goes into taking care of baby leaving none for the parent to take care of themselves. My work with parents addresses that imbalance by offering them the support, tools and techniques they need to move through common parenting challenges to a more balanced, state of mind. A typical session with me involves addressing whatever is coming up for that parent – whether that be anxiety, overwhelm, childhood memories resurfacing, worsening of phobias etc – finding the root of the issue and clearing it using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) which I trained in just after my first child was born 13 years ago. My aim is for the parent to leave the session feeling calmer, more balanced, back in control and with some practical tools in their back pocket that they can continue to work with when they get back home.
Which are the key highlights in your ebook for new dads?
Daddy 101 – The Step-by-Step Manual to Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Fatherhood is the result of a course I created for dads-to-be where I gave them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about how much their lives, and the lives of their partners, were about to change! Dads-to-be don’t have to deal with the physical marathon of pregnancy, the mammoth task of birth, or the hormones involved so they are better placed to provide the stability that their new family needs at the beginning of parenthood. When they know exactly what to expect, and most importantly what’s going on for their partner physically, mentally and emotionally, they can really make the difference between getting off to a rocky beginning and a stable start. Plus it allows them to fulfil the need of every father – to protect and support their family. Daddy 101 addresses all of this as well as:
What You Can Do During the Birth
How to Be a Hero during a C-section
How To Read Your Wife’s Mind (yes, really!)
Parenting Pitfalls … and how to avoid them
How to Be the Father You Really Want to Be
What First Time Dads Really Want to Know
Which other publications do you have your articles published?
My magazine column Rated PG! has been running for almost 4 years initially in Hong Kong parenting magazine Playtimes and currently in its new home Expat Living magazine. My articles have also appeared in the following websites:
(all links to my articles on these websites can be found on my website homepage www.orlabreeze.com)
What inspired you the most in the creation of the magazine column 'Rated PG'?
Pretty soon after becoming a mother, I started to feel like I was the victim of a conspiracy, a baby conspiracy to be specific! I couldn’t believe how little I had been told about the challenging side of things. Why hadn’t my friends who were mothers told me how difficult it was going to be? Why hadn’t they told me that excessive crying was normal? That breastfeeding wasn’t as easy as it looked? That sleep deprivation was the worst form of torture? I was genuinely gobsmacked at the lack of honest disclosure. So I decided that I was going to do something about it and start telling the truth about parenting – the whole truth and not just half of the story! Initially, I wrote articles for the online parenting magazine Baby Conspiracy that I both created and ran back in 2005, and over time that evolved into Rated PG! Rated PG! is one of the ways I let parents know that we all have bad days, sometimes quite a few in a row and that it’s ok not to be perfect. It’s always based on real-life stories, always honest and usually funny too!
How is it possible for guilt-free parenting to take place in any family?
The following takes place in every family household:
1. Kids want to feel safe.
2. Kids push boundaries to see if they are as safe as their parents said they were.
3. Parents experience this pushing as repetitive irritating behaviour.
4. Parents get irritated.
5. Parents shout at their kids in an attempt to stop said repetitive irritating behaviour
6. Parents feel guilty.
7. Guilt grows and grows and grows and grows.
Every single parent experiences this cycle regularly. However, it’s not a helpful cycle to be in so getting rid of guilt is an important step. And it’s not difficult to achieve.
• First things first. Guilt loves to keep us stuck. The more stuck we feel, the more it thrives and multiplies. Every time we feel even the slightest bit guilty, we add it to the festering pile of guilt we’ve already created. So the first thing we need to do is to get unstuck. And how do we do this? Acceptance. Yup, whenever you experience guilt over a given situation, accept it. It may not be what you wanted or needed to occur in your life but what happened has happened. You can’t change it so you may as well accept it.
• Secondly, move forward. This is where the magic happens. Once you have accepted it, simply ask yourself what you are going to do about it. Then take that Action. So if you’ve just lost your temper with your 3-year-old, how are you going to prevent it from happening again? How can you change your behaviour? How can you address it in the moment? Can you apologise to your child and explain that you’re tired and took it out on them? Once you start to look for your options, you’ll be surprised to see how many turn up. And once you begin a course of action, you’re no longer stuck and Guilt loses its hold. Rapidly.
• Thirdly practise, practise, practise! Get into the habit of responding to Guilt with its two antidotes Acceptance followed by Action. At first, this may take a little effort on your part but the rewards are more than worth it. If you can master this approach with your kids, then you can master it with anyone. And that’s when you’ll really see your life changing right in front of your eyes.