Posted by Patapia Tzotzoli 47 Days Ago
Having a baby is a life changing experience. As with any transition in life, such a change has an impact on our lives and future. We each respond differently to such challenges, but how we respond has longer term effects on our relationships with ourselves and others. As a society, we still stigmatise people who aren’t coping well and this means we sometimes fail to support those who most need it. But as mothers facing the difficulties that motherhood poses, you will know how important it is to take care of yourself. My Psychology Clinic is here to help you achieve this by offering psychological sessions and a crèche facility!
From woman to mother and back
How was your life before having a baby? Were you exercising regularly or attending a regular book club or dance class? Did you spend time with friends and enjoy spoiling yourself with shopping or spa days? Did you enjoy late nights out or travelling? Were you able to sleep through the night uninterrupted or wake up late in the morning? Perhaps you were at the peak of your career or you still had dreams and aspirations to fulfil. Perhaps you were still making peace with your past or were still figuring out life.
Then a baby came along, and life changed overnight. Amidst the inevitable social isolation, mood swings, and sleep deprivation, the insecurities or worries you have about your personal effectiveness, parenting, career, relationship, personal image, or life in general have likely found the perfect ground in which to grow and trouble you. Yet, there is little time to address these worries because you are now faced with the challenging task of finding a different balance and rhythm in your new life. Even the more stable and secure among you will feel experience these effects at some point. It’s hardly surprising therefore that, for some of you, what is cutely termed the “baby blues” doesn’t remain for just two weeks.
Instead, you take on all the pressure and can end up feeling all alone. Over time this struggle can turn into a problem that has long-term effects on your life, as well as your relationships with friends, family, your partner, and your child. In particular, your ability to bond and engage with your baby is of the upmost importance as it can have a damaging impact on your child’s development. In the first years of our lives we all need stability and unconditional love in order to develop healthy frameworks and internal resources to draw on later in life. Therefore, it is imperative that we collectively acknowledge and support mothers as it could ameliorate the mental health crisis among our young people.
But your own personal biases and society’s expectations act to make many of you feel you should be coping (as everyone else appears to be!), that it is your fault, and that you will look weak or inadequate if you are struggling. You are afraid to appear as if you are failing and as a result you withdraw further and isolate yourself more within your difficult everyday reality. As a society, we ought to destigmatise these experiences and embrace people who are not coping well. As mothers, we can reach out to new mothers around us and admit that we too have gone through the same experiences. And as someone who is not coping well, we should remember that it is within our control to take care of ourselves and sometimes we can do so more effectively by reaching out for help.
My Psychology Clinic acknowledges the difficulties that mothers go through and the barriers to seeking help. Therefore, we are offering face-to-face sessions for mothers who want to work with a psychologist while your baby, toddler, or older child has fun at our crèche!
NB: This article was originally published here.
I imagine a world where we understand and openly embrace mental health in our lives, because the relationship with our mental health determines the quality of our lives and those of others. For years I have dedicated every day of my life to understand and improve people's psychological health and wellbeing.... [read more]