Congratulations! You are preparing to enter a powerful and significant new stage of life--parenthood. Often, pregnancy affects the dreams of expecting mothers, and the dreams of expecting fathers too. I encourage you as expecting parents to get in touch with your dreams, for yourselves of course—but also for another exciting new reason. Your future children are going to experience dreams, and nightmares on occasion in your home. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel ready for that?
Here are some tips about dreams to consider while you ‘nest.’
The best way to be prepared to meet the needs of your dreaming children is to first develop your relationship with, and understanding of—your own dreams.
Start with creating a dream journal, in paper or book form, or on DreamsCloud. Choose to increase your dream education by reading blogs on DreamsCloud, and finding reliable sources about dreams. Engaging in this process will help you develop a reverence for your own dream experiences, and in turn, you will be able to better understand the importance of your children’s dreams as well. During pregnancy, women experience hormonal upsurges, a wide range of emotions, depression, and euphoria. Extremely vivid dreams are common during pregnancy. Crying can occur as quickly as the wind changes, and sleep patterns are often affected because of increased trips to the bathroom throughout the night. Waking up more frequently, on the plus side, can increase dream recall—and that is a great reason to keep a dream journal nearby.
If you feel afraid of nightmares, it will be difficult in the future for you to help your children decrease feelings of fear when they have nightmares.
This is because your children will be able to sense your emotions, usually quite strongly. When parents say, “Everything is okay honey, it’s just a dream” but they are only saying that because they don’t understand what’s happening–that doesn’t demonstrate an ability to deal with reality. Yes, reality—the fact that a child has just experienced something that felt scary! What will really help your future children feel better when they have nightmares is, if you are able to acknowledge that something that just happened to them felt scary. Then let your children know you are willing to listen, and offer helpful advice. Other than avoiding the dream! If you genuinely don’t feel afraid of nightmares, your children will relax even if you are discussing it with them. I will cover this more in my next blog in this series: Tips for New Parents About Dreams.
Develop a good understanding of how nightmares can be helpful in the service of healing and wholeness, and learn ways to approach your own nightmares that turn fear into empowerment.
Then you will be able to ‘hold space’ for your children in the future, and your confidence will help them relax. They will sense that they will be able to learn from you how to face their own nightmares with courage too.
Really strange dreams are common at this time, so don’t worry!
As expecting parents, you might have freakish dreams about baby animals, and babies of all shapes and sizes, sometimes even appearing more like grotesque monsters. It’s natural to feel concerned with the health and appearance of your not-yet-born child, but that doesn’t mean you are carrying a baby seal, bunny, kitty, or baby with twenty-toes. These kinds of dreams will usually represent more about your feelings of the unknown, and are very normal during pregnancy. Most of your dreams are going to be filled with symbols, puns and metaphors, whether they are strange and grotesque, or simply exploring your feelings about everything that is happening in your waking life while expecting a child.
You might experience some common dream themes during pregnancy that appear for both mothers as well as fathers. The different ways they appear for you will depend on whether you are carrying the child in your body or not, and other factors related to your waking life experiences.
Some common themes experienced by expecting parents are: small, furry, cute animals, water (amniotic fluid/womb), architecture (uterus), and fertility symbols such as lush gardens with flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Sometimes expecting parents have dreams about the sex of the child, and some have dreams about the name of the child. It is also common to dream about one’s mother or father if you have unresolved issues with them—because as expectant parents you are now preparing to form your own maternal and paternal identities.
If you are in a marriage or partnership as expecting parents, dream sharing can bring you closer.
Because our waking life concerns are reflected in dreams, the transitions and changes pregnancy brings will also be reflected in your dreams—and this goes for expecting men too, not just women. Some concerns that fathers feel about a baby’s physical health, his ability to support a child financially, or nurture a child emotionally—are also reflected in dreams. By talking with each other about the feelings that are reflected in your dreams, you can build more compassion, love and understanding in your relationship, and strengthen your bond as parents.
More resources for expecting parents can be found at www.thedreambridge.com