I'm Louise, aka Mama to Jonny and Skye.
Having trained initially as an Occupational Therapist in the UK where I’m originally from, I always found myself focusing on how the things people do impact their sense of self, and vice versa - referred to in the field as Occupational Identity. Never was this truer than during my own personal reflections on becoming a mama, I couldn’t help but notice how these same processes were at play. It seems obvious: now I had kids of course it changed who I was but as we all know it runs so much deeper than that.
The problem is, they had left this out of the pregnancy and parenting books.
There was this person, or at least parts of, that I grieved for, and times that I didn’t even recognize who I was.
My matrescence so far…
I would be considered one of the ‘lucky ones’. Both my babies weren’t terrible sleepers (not amazing either mind you), I have a loving partner, supportive family, and a very comfortable roof over my head. Yet I would still find myself feeling conflicted and lost. I was fortunate to avoid severe post-natal depression or anxiety but for me it was still a slow burn. There was this person, or at least parts of, that I grieved for, and times that I didn’t even recognize who I was.
My return to work was one of the most challenging times, even though I was excited to do it. Like so many I felt intense imposter syndrome while I was there, and like a complete failure as a parent when I got home. Then when I had the opportunity to care for my son full time, I experienced so much guilt about wanting time away, fighting the pressure from society’s image of ‘the perfect mother’ and the way I was parented, not to mention the heavy heavy mental load, and constant struggle to implement self-care that I knew I so desperately needed (sound familiar?!). These are just a few of the pushes and pulls we feel in motherhood.
It wasn’t until I started dedicating intentional time to recognize where the guilt and shame was coming from and reconnected with my true values, that I was able to give myself the necessary compassion and commit to providing myself with the things I needed.
I bring together these personal experiences, occupational perspective, and the latest on matrescence, to support women to better navigate the many pushes and pulls of motherhood.