At Supportive Therapy and Social Work, our Professional and Qualified counsellors have a passion for supporting people. As the Director, working in the Social Work field means I don’t look at individuals as a problem who need to be fixed, more accurately, we are all reacting from our environment (work, relationships, friends, children) past experiences (traumas, phobias, learned behaviours from childhood). We inform and empower so you can move forward and make positive decisions, not repeating the past negative choices. You are the expert in your own life, we are just privileged to be along for the journey. Life changes, and so should we. Sometimes we need the time and space to figure things out, learn how to grow and make sense of it all.
With this in mind, I am particularly passionate in the experiences of mothers. With pregnancy and childbirth, there comes a myriad of associated experiences that aren’t always welcomed or chosen. I would like to be realistic and not ‘sugar coat’ what parents experience. Those mothers who have ‘perfect unicorn babies’ you know… those that sleep all night, feed easily and are toilet trained by 3 months? This is not realistic for most parents. Did you know that Sleep Deprivation is classified as one of five illegal interrogation techniques in the military? Your little bundle of joy is essentially testing your breaking point. Combine this in with the flood of hormones; sweetly known as the “Baby Blues” which can be undiagnosed post-natal depression and anxiety, with a side of panic attacks, burnout, hypervigilance, lack of confidence, worthlessness and finally isolation – as it’s too hard to leave the house without a nanny, stylist and makeup artist. With all of this in mind, one in three women will experience a traumatic birth that results from psychological trauma, physical injury or long-term recovery after birth. And, the worst thing about all of this, is the cliché responses when mothers reach out for help – “what did you expect, you’ve just had a baby” – “of course your body won’t be the same” – “that’s nothing, my birth was way worse”. What about having a beautiful healthy baby but feeling disappointed about its gender, would you get the standard response “you should be lucky you can have kids”. With all this in mind, how do you think you are mentally available to maintain a romantic relationship? Now that, would make you a ‘perfect unicorn mother’.
Can I assume you are cringing at this moment because I have ‘gone there’…? But breaking the stigma, being brave to talk about what really happens and realising it is extremely more common than we acknowledge. This is what being informed and empowered is all about. You are not the problem. You are reacting to your situation that has changed. If you had a safe space to open up and be honest with yourself, it can make things better – like taking the lid off a boiling pot. To grow individually and learn to cope in healthy ways; you can be informed about mother/child attachment styles, how to use Emotional Intelligence as a parenting technique, acknowledge feelings of self-worth which affect your motivation, establish rules on relationship communication and conflict resolution, understand how to be realistic when balancing life & work. We expect women to work as if they don’t have children and raise children as if they don’t work.
We have to be “smarter than your mother” and reach out for help, start talking more and not make this a taboo topic that we cringe at. Bring this dark dirty little secret out of the shadows and talk about what its really like to be a mum. We all came from a mother, we all know someone who is a mum, and some mothers don’t have human babies, the have fur babies. No mothers experience should be minimised.
At Supportive Therapy and Social Work this is what we stand for; all are welcome. There is no judgement & acknowledge we all experience our own personal struggles that shouldn’t be compared to others.
For things to change and to make a positive difference we need to start the conversation, even if it is difficult.
If you have any questions, comments or corrections, I look forward to hearing from you.