Shame thrives in the dark, unspoken corners of our lives as parents.
Today’s culture makes it hard for new mothers to share how they are really feeling, or to say if they are struggling. You don’t want to be seen as not coping. You can also feel like are the only one experiencing things the way you do.
Social media plays a big part in this. Every day we see glimpses into other people’s lives – but we tend to only see the highlights.
We don’t see the parts in between, the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
We don’t see the struggles that intense tiredness can bring.
We don’t see the difficulty others face without the support they vitally need.
It’s not just social media either – our society is set up in a way that isolates new mothers. Families are often geographically separate, or unsupportive. This past year has intensified this issue, isolating new parents even further.
We are primed not to complain. When we do, we are often met with a barrage of well meaning, but unsought for advice.
There is a lot to be said for just having the space to speak our feelings. For people not to feel like they need to fix things.
When advice is given, it can even make the situation harder. If that advice hasn’t worked, or if it’s a method you don’t want to try. It can sometimes even feel like the advice is laden with judgement (whether it is, or not)
There’s also the unwillingness to complain, for fear of sounding ungrateful. You are meant to be happy at this stage of your life.
It can feel like you are ungrateful if you aren’t enjoying it. Then, there’s the issue of not complaining, because other people ‘have it worse’. (It was never, and never should be a competition)
When you DON’T share how you feel though, you end up feeling worse. The shame cycle continues, and you feel even more isolated.
It doesn’t need to be this way.
For all the reasons above, and more, I am introducing my new offering – the Mum and Baby Circle.
It is aimed at mothers or primary caregivers with babies under one year old.
The circle combines several of the modalities I am trained in into one package.
The purpose is to provide a supportive and nurturing offering to mothers, acknowledging the importance of the bond between the primary caregiver and baby.
Circles offer a mix of parent and baby yoga, infant massage, and other bonding activities, alongside space for deep discussions within the group.
My experience of running women’s moon circles (and my lived experience as a mother who struggled) allows for the focus to be on the physical, mental and emotional well being of the mothers.
The circles provide a safe space, to allow you to share your personal experience of motherhood. Space without the fear of judgement, or the burden of advice. The focus is on mutual support and understanding, as you share and reflect on your experience and feelings. This practice helps to banish shame from our lives, and creates space for growth and connection.
It’s not just for the hard times though. Being able to get together with other mothers, and share the good times is vitally important to enhancing your experience of motherhood too.
If you are interested in being part of such a community, of growing your relationship with your baby AND with other mums too – then hop over to my Mum & Baby Circle page, and see when the next block starts.