Motherhood changes us. As the generation who were told we could do anything and be anything we want to be, accepting the changes that come with motherhood can be very difficult. Our priorities shift, our definition of success evolves, and we find ourselves questioning our addiction to busy-ness. Who are we now? And can we be the best mamas without completely losing ourselves along the way? The Happy Mama Movement is a collection of interviews and insights with real mamas around the world, reflecting on mindfulness, real connection, and the realities of being a modern day mama.
Ep #155 - Why we don't ask for help
So if we accept we're not meant to do this alone, then why don't we ask for more help?
If we understand, on a conscious level, that the Motherload and the Third Shift is unfair and unbalanced, then why don't we speak up more often and lean on those around us?
This is something I've been contemplating a lot lately.
I've needed more help in my own life over the past few months, and I've also been witnessing and observing the women around me struggle to lean on others.
And what I've seen is - it's more than just "I should be able to do this myself."
There's the worry of your children being seen as difficult;
There's the concern that your kids are too much;
There's different disciplines and approaches.
In other words, the reasons we don't ask for help run deep... and if we're ever going to stop this Superwoman addiction, we're going to have to shine a light on them - which is exactly what I do in this episode.
Ep #154 - The Good Enough Mother with Dr Sophie Brock
What does it mean to be a 'good mother?'
When we actually pause and ask ourselves that question, it can be scary what answers we here:
Always there, always available.
Never grumpy or angry.
Maybe even, self-sacrificing.
This is what we've been told, for many many decades:
to be a good mother, we need to be perfect.
And even if you don't think you carry that belief, scratch the surface, and you'll be surprised the stories you tell yourself about who you need to be for your children.
Dr. Sophie Brock knows all about this. She is not only a Motherhood Studies specialist, she's also a mama herself. She's both dived deep into the research around our expectations on women once they become mothers and lived it herself.
In this episode, you will hear insights into why you feel the way you do that will make you cry with relief... and maybe rage with anger. There's a lot here - because there's a lot of unspoken truths about the institute of motherhood.
But what Dr. Sophie Brock will show you is... you will fail your children - it's part and parcel of the role. Your children need to see you do that. What's most important is - they see you forgive yourself in the process.
Dr. Sophie Brock is a Sociologist who specialises in Motherhood Studies, and a single Mother to her 3-year-old daughter. Her work advocates for the liberation of mothers from the myths of perfect motherhood, bringing academic research on motherhood to the public forum. She offers online education through her membership, courses, and individual mentoring, and hosts The Good Enough Mother podcast. You can connect with her further @drsophiebrock on Facebook/Instagram, or www.drsophiebrock.com
Ep #153 - Matrescence and Adoption with Melissa Christian
Matrescence isn't about birthing a child. It is about the whole journey of nurturing and raising children. It is about the way lose ourselves and find new versions of ourselves in and around our role a Mother. And in today''s podcast episode I am sharing with you the amazing story (so far) of an incredible mother of 3, Melissa Christian.
Melissa is currently an adoptive mum of 3 beautiful children via inter-country adoption. Now a stay at home mum, she spent her working life as an early childhood educator in the early years sector. She is now looking to support other adoptive mothers who are navigating the journey of motherhood.
After recognising post adoption depression and feeling alone in her own journey, Melissa attended therapeutic parenting workshops to better understand her own parenting experiences and recognising the guilt we carry as new mums. From speaking with other adoptive mothers and hearing their experiences, she recognised a real need within the adoption community.
Melissa is reaching out to adoptive mothers via her Facebook group Matrescence for Adoptive Mother's. The strong response has encouraged her to continue to reach out and support the greater adoptive community and creating safe environments for mothers to supported and comfortable opening up.
You can find her Facebook Group for Adoptive Mothers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/322601425849084/
EP #152 How our job influences our expectations of motherhood with Edwina Sharrock
"I should know how to do this" - it's the catch cry of so many mamas as they navigate motherhood.
We have grown up with The Maternal Mandate - an assumption that because you are aa woman you should a) want to have a baby, b) find it easy and natural to become pregnant, birth naturally and breastfeed easily, and c) love every minute of it.
And it's something every single woman out there has had to contend with at some stage.
But if you also happen to have been trained in some form to support babies, mothers or children, this extra pressure of 'should know how to do this' is amplified.
Midwives tell themselves birth will be easy;
Child educators and carers believe teaching and playing with their children will be natural;
Doctors and nurses go into it knowing the physical demands of motherhood, but never expect the personal transformation and questioning.
Welcome to matrescence! It's the same for all of us.
In this week's podcast episode, I speak with Edwina Sharrock - a mum of two, registered nurse and midwife, who was shocked and ashamed when she unexpectedly developed perinatal anxiety after the birth of her second child.
In this episode, we talk candidly about the level of 'shoulds' professional women put on themselves when entering motherhood -
no matter what skills and training you have in your pre-baby life - and how our preparation for motherhood needs to be more honest, raw and real if we are to really prepare a woman for the transformation of birth and babies.
If you want to talk to someone about your mental health, anxiety or worries since becoming a mama, please contact the Gidget Foundation's Start Talking Telehealth program here https://gidgetfoundation.org.au/get-support/start-talking-telehealth/
And you can learn more about Edwina's Birth Beat program here https://birthbeat.com/
Ep #151 - The Fairytale of Motherhood with Annie Love
"Our greatest suffering comes from our attachment to our fantasies."
Annie had wanted to be a mum since she was a little girl. Before she had her children she had a very clear idea of what motherhood was going to look like. But her fantasy was a long way from the reality she experienced.
As a mum of three sons, the youngest of which who was born with Down Syndrome and then having to navigate two of her boys getting very unwell in their young years - Annie has had to endure some very tough challenges, way more than most of us has to manage as parents.
In this beautifully vulnerable and honest interview, Annie describes her actual journey and how far that deviated from her life long fairytale, but with such acceptance and grace.
"I think we grow up expecting a fairytale. Marrying the partner of our dreams, falling pregnant easily and giving birth to perfect children, living happily ever after. I have learned the hard way that things don't always (or maybe ever) happen the way we expect them to. And yet, these experiences have led me to be who I am today. They have shaped me and broken me and strengthened me."
Annie Love is a Certified Life Coach, writer, creative spirit, wife and mother to three beautiful boys. Through her motherhood journey, she's navigated significant health challenges with two of her children and grief following the death of her youngest son, so she understands that life doesn't always go to plan. Annie is passionate about helping women find light and joy in their lives, even when things feel hard. She writes over on the Mummalove blog and you can also find her podcasting at 'The Mummalove Podcast.'
Ep #150 - Motherhood and the Heroine's Journey
For the one hundred and fiftieth episode of the Happy Mama Movement Podcast, I wanted to reflect on the journey a woman must make in her life - and the three elements she needs to be able to sustain her in that journey.
Many years ago, I first came across the work of Maureen Murdoch and The Heroine's Journey. And after many years and many thousands of mama's experiences, I can see that motherhood is a Heroine's Journey:
it is the retreat into the feminine, it is the chance to reflect on what was working, it it our opportunity to heal and rebuild and redefine.
And then, through ritual, circles and self-exploration, we emerge -
more balanced, more whole, ready to do things differently.
This is the Heroine's Journey. This is matrescence.