Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish; it’s an important part of being a great parent. Protecting our own mental health is imperative to take good care of our children and their wellbeing
Thanks for sharing what’s going on for you. The maternal mind can be complex and challenging to understand when experiencing it. I am not sure if you’ve experienced this level of darkness before, but if you have, what did you do then that helped? And can you incorporate any of those things now? Is it a time to visit your GP and take medication, or will talking therapy help?
My experience is that medication alone will not help. Yes, it can do a fantastic job of helping to take the edge off what’s incredibly painful, intrusive or dark, but you also need to share your emotional load in a safe therapeutic space which can support you.
Becoming a mother changes the brain – it re-ignites early attachment experiences to your mother, which can be unsettling. I know some mothers I meet fear whether they can return to early childhood experiences to heal these wounds. We have to be realistic – the most important thing for you right now is that you build your skills to make your inner world safe before you do any more profound work.
So if/when you seek therapy, make sure you’re clear that you’d like to work on your skills for coping with day-to-day life and making the emotions you are experiencing in the here-and-now safe. When we create a space for those dark parts of our mind (which we all have, but they come out at different times), we begin to make them safe, and a good therapist will help you to do that.
Sharing the emotional and logistical load is essential for you right now.
Anything you do outside of getting through each day is a bonus. Reduce the effort you’re putting into things to create more time for you to stop, rest, sleep and make life easy. I know this may seem overwhelming for some, so have things around you to help you create safety in slowing down. Think about filling your senses with what’s helpful for you – think of books, magazines, podcasts, colouring, crafts, sports, and being connected with people online and in person. Be with people who cheer you on and fill your senses with doing things that make you feel good.
It is possible to balance out the darkness, starting with a connection to yourself and others. And I’d suggest therapy, too. If finances are tricky, then I can help you access excellent low-cost treatment.
If anything in this blog resonates with you and you’d like support to create change, you’re welcome to book a free call with Bethan here to explore your support options. Make sure you download your free 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting to help develop new coping skills for dealing with what’s hard and if you’re looking for immediate parenting support, you join us in the Calm Parenting Club.