Today in our Mamas Circle we dove deep into how having a baby - whether it's your first, second, third or more - shifts your priorities. There were collective feelings of frustration, guilt, and complete overwhelm about adding this new role as mom into our already full lives.
We are defined for most of our adult lives by our work outside the home. We get paid to do this work, we often receive fulfillment in doing this work and we're usually pretty good at it. As women, we're most often the ones saying "yes!" and are shaped by our culture to be accommodating, people pleasing, and to do our very best every single day.
Then we become mothers.
And we start to question... "Do I even like my job?" "What happens if I have to put in fewer hours?" "I know I need to put boundaries in place but HOW?!" "What if I want to stay home with this baby?" "Who even AM I?!"
We wonder how we can make it all work and still feel valued.
A dear friend recently told me a story about how her partner asked what she wanted for dinner and, after taking in her blank (and subtly annoyed) expression, said, "your decider is broken, isn't it?"
I'm sure I don't need to explain this to you. Because you also make literally thousands of decisions every single day. And the feeling of decision fatigue is SO HEAVY these days that choosing what to eat can feel like an insurmountable task.
If you'd like some solutions, a simple google search for "decision fatigue" results in about 108,000,000 results. But that's not why I'm writing this today. I'm writing to say what I said to my friend:
That sounds really hard. I totally get it.
Because sometimes, we don't want solutions. We want commiseration, support, and empathy.
My friend had an awful month at work, kids just out of quarantine because of covid exposure, a recent visit from her in-laws, and she just needed someone to say: I've got you.
One of my favorite moments from our motherhood circle this week was when one mom shared: "my 50mg zoloft prescription is a lifesaver!" Last week in our Mamas Circle more women shared their experiences with taking medication for depression and anxiety - both before becoming parents and postpartum (and beyond!).
I love how deeply you all share and how your stories empower others to get the support they need. I wanted to share a few resources this week in case you are seeking (or interested in looking for) more mental health support.
Here are a few evidence-based practices to try:
Thoughts on pregnancy, birth and motherhood.