A note from Jeanna Boase, Licensed Professional Counselor and MBB Team Member
Let’s sit down and have a heart to heart. Hear me when I say: you are doing enough; you are enough. Yes – even in the midst of all your perceived failures and shortcomings. I just thought you might need to hear that today and for the next 20-some years. Motherhood can be so – damn – hard…treacherous even. If you’re like me, you’ve wondered if you’re really cut out for this gig called parenting. You might long for a sense of your old self, your previous life, and some semblance of wholeness. Motherhood can highlight our longings, needs, and flaws like nothing else can. Even if you don’t quite believe this yet – you are not alone in this journey. It might appear as if everyone else is doing wonderfully. They have it figured out and are enjoying their little ones with ease and delight. Meanwhile you’re drowning in guilt, tears, rage, and boredom. This was not what you imagined things to be like, so the problem must lie within you…? Or, maybe you’re not as prone to self blame, but feel intense resentment towards your partner’s lack of support. You feel like you are literally keeping the ship afloat all by yourself and are desperate for some relief, assistance, and change. Perhaps your marriage or other relationships are on rocky ground, leaving you feeling even more isolated and misunderstood.
Will you entertain the possibility with me that it doesn’t have to be this way forever? At the very least, you don’t have to muscle through this alone. Isolation is where shame takes root. Will you consider that maybe you could benefit from a consistent safe space to work these thoughts and feelings out? Maybe you long for a friend or the-so-called “village” that everyone speaks of but can’t quite seem to find. Maybe you need just a little time to yourself without overwhelming guilt or fear taking over. Friend, there is so much power in letting a caring person into your struggles. There is freedom in speaking the unspeakable thoughts, feelings, and urges you’re experiencing to a trained guide who has deep empathy and can hold the heaviness with you. Strength and hope are increased when you have an advocate on your side.
Here’s what you can do right now – reach out to a counselor and ask some questions: if they have openings, what type of insurance or sliding scale fee they have available, and if they can offer a free consultation. You can search on PsychologyToday.com, Google, or ask your doctor, chiropractor, etc. for recommendations if you’re not sure where to start. If you’re part of the MindBodyBaby community, we have a list of preferred providers who would be happy to help you find the right fit. It doesn’t commit you to anything to seek out information, so take a small risk of vulnerability and take the next small step. You may have a list in your head of why you can’t start counseling now, or why it hasn’t worked in the past. Take a step anyway. Be willing to try again. Counseling isn’t a magic bullet, but it is proven to be effective. You can do this, Mama!