Opokua Britton is a nurse, doula and hypnobirthing instructor. She can title herself writer and she has the pod unconcerned with her sister Asabea Britton - and has several projects going on! For me, Opokua is a large parental model and inspires in lots of different ways in the account @curlydoula On Instagram.
I have talked to Opokua about parenting, feelings and things that are not always as you imagined.
Hi Opokua! Want to tell us a little about what you do?
I am a nurse first and foremost and so I am doula. And then I am a hypnobirthing instructor and have the pod unscruled with my acid!
What does the family look like - how old are the children?
I have a man and so I have a 16-year-old bonus child and a 6-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.
"Sometimes I think it is so obvious that you should be happy, that you think it is like the basic feeling, but it is definitely not always"
What unexpected feelings do you experience as a parent?
I think I, even though I had heard of it, I was not really prepared for how much bad conscience I would have. And it came a little later, now that the son filled about, then I have felt it.
Yes really, it is one of those things you heard but can't really take up before you are there yourself ..
No..You hope that you will not be understood but ...
Mm it probably comes for everyone, no matter how "right" or "wrong" you do .. Do you talk about the children at home? In what different ways do you do it?
Well, with my daughter we have used the emotional card quite a lot. Now she will start school. She talked yesterday that it feels totally sick that she only has two weeks left of preschool. Then I asked "Where does it feel somewhere?" And I try to be open to being angry, be sad and I try to be permissive for both the hard and fun feelings. But even if you are angry and sad, you must not be unpleasant or naughty to someone. So we talk about it, and since the one -year -old it has not been so much conversation with I can't say..haha
"I wanted to show him that" I see you and I love you and right now we have a different focus but I look forward to it being more you and I "
This communication may be done more in other ways.
Exactly. And with the 16-year-old it is a little harder now anyway because he is barely at home but to try that if he is sad, show that it is calm..It is okay to cry .. and a lot of this with being honest With what you feel, especially against yourself. I have tried to push a little extra on that!
What do you want to talk about emotions can give the children?
I think it provides security. That you do not try to escape from your feelings and I think, when you are sad or angry - that it is considered something bad that you should try to avoid. The Going Ju as well as not to avoid, of course, and you learn something from the hard feelings. To try to be comfortable in "it sucks now" .. not to try to escape from it. You notice after a while that it lets go of itself .. And then maybe it will come back but not as intense as when you try to avoid, because then it is and pry in one all the time .. so I think, as well as that, as well as that Yes.. Dare to feel their feelings! Simply! And even the good feelings! Sometimes I think it is so obvious that you should be happy, that you think it is like the basic feeling, but so it is certainly not always..and like appreciating when you are happy and accept when you are not happy.
Speaking of emotions! I understand that you and your husband got married recently, but it was the third time! It sounds so damn nice - to celebrate love with a wedding several times! I think we are often pretty bad at showing what feels or at celebrating the great emotions. Do you want to tell me?
Yes I think that partly I know that my husband hates his birthday, so then I wanted to do something on his birthday that did not have to do with the birthday so he could have something positive to think about when it comes .. and This year we have been married for ten years so this felt perfect - I surprise him with a wedding and it feels like it was extra important to do something nice for what has been - with both children.. first year. . There will be so much focus on the children and trying to get some kind of everyday life, even more now that the children are more, to just stay afloat in some way. Taking care of the relationship has not been something that I have felt that I can prioritize, somehow I trust that we are coming out on the other side and that it will be good later. I wanted to show him that "I see you and I love you and right now we have a different focus but I look forward to it being more you and I".
Really so nice and also perhaps rare that we take that time to do this ..
Yes exactly! It was a lot of work and so but once he got out there out of the taxi and you got to see how happy he was! Then just, damn this was the best thing I've done!
I also think, so good to show the children that you actually take that time and do this!
That is so true. I think my daughter thought it was so fun that I had arranged this. Hope she should remember it then when she gets older..I think she does.
"Just as I work a lot with being patient with my children, I work with being patient with myself."
Yes and whether a clear memory exists or not, there is the feeling of what you have given there.
We have met a couple of times and I experience you as so as well as nice, cool and calm in your parenting. Can you recognize yourself in that picture and have you always been like that?
I think when I got my daughter, then I thought this went really well! And then of course it has been dips over the years .. When you have felt that "but God, do I do right, do I do what is best for my children?"
It came for a short period maybe when she was 2-3-then I felt that I might is Bad, I may not do so well .. but it got pretty short anyway. I try to remember, I do my best, more than that I can't do. And if I have done something that I do not think is good, then I usually try to say it to my children. Although it has been a while, sometimes it takes some time before you realize that this was not good. To say it: "I apologize, this was not what I had wanted".
Mm show on humanity ..
Yes exactly and remember to tell me if there is something that does not feel good. I think you should be patient. Just as I work a lot with being patient with my children, I work with being patient with myself. You can't do everything right, that's just it!
Finally, do you have something you want to add about everything we have talked about? Children, parenting, feelings ..
I think you want to say to yourself that..yes, sometimes your own feelings will not be the ones you want and that just when you have children, it can be okay not to feel like just 100% exuberant love. Without you feel that this was crap! Most often, that love comes later. And that sometimes you get angry with your children, you get sad at them - it's also okay. But that you try to react as you wish they react. I think it's okay for me to get mad at my children, and that I say I'm angry. That it should not be so dangerous for a parent to show emotions. I think it's okay, but do it in a respectful way. This means that you do not scream or do something that you do not want someone to do to one .. To show their feelings in a respectful way - I do not think that someone is losing. That we should keep from crying in front of our children, for example, how can they see that it is okay to be sad?
Yes, it is probably a bit in the time we live in too, how to be as a parent, "Be sure and where!" Everyone is equally confident in their cause. But who should I listen to ..
Exactly and so I think you don't always have to find the answers elsewhere. Try to start with yourself. What do I feel right? You know your children best and yourself best, so start from it in the first place and not any instagram profile or any parental book. First, think about how it feels within you, what you think is right and then you can be inspired by others.
Exactly, that's where we have to get a bit, not to read everything as the only truth ..
That's how it is. It's not easy .. The first child, and you just feel "how the hell have people fixed this?!" And then you realize after a while..no no one fixes it ...
Yes! The first error you make as a parent, you think there is a general solution, a recipe ..
Exactly..and as I said can be inspired by others, not controlled!
Thank you Opokua for sharing your wisdom with us! Follow Opokua on Instagram: @curlydoula