"I had a baby and lost myself"
This is what I hear from most of the clients I work with and something I once felt myself. So although I don’t know exactly what brings you here, I suspect it might be because you have lost your way since becoming a mother / parent.
You feel that you are never quite good enough in any area of your life. Particularly now you are responsible for a small human.
Even if you
... have done personal development work
... found success in your career
... felt secure in your relationship
... had a clear sense of identity
having children disrupts EVERYTHING that you thought you knew about yourself and your life.
Meanwhile, images of perfect parents living happy uncomplicated lives in immaculate minimalist homes are everywhere. Other people seem to be able to juggle everything. No-one talks about just how hard it is.
It’s like you are on the outside looking in, unable to fathom how everyone else is managing everything.
"Why am I finding it so hard?"
Even if it feels like you are the only one who is failing, you are not alone. From my experience working with mothers / parents over the last ten years, there are 5 main factors that contribute to burnout after having a child:
- The fantasy of perfect motherhood - much of what we think is ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ for mothers is socially constructed
- The seismic change of matrescence - the physical, physical, emotional, hormonal and social transition to becoming a mother / parent
- The challenge of breaking cycles - having your own children often forces you to confront what was missing or damaging in your own childhood
- The legacy of unresolved trauma - whether or not you had a traumatic birth, difficulty bonding and feeding, or postnatal anxiety and depression, having a baby may trigger deeper issues
- The expectation that you can do it all and do it alone - when the reality is that we are hard wired to need support as a social species
Any of these factors can make it almost impossible to stay well regulated and emotionally available for anyone else, including your children.
So you end up feeling lost, overwhelmed and with a deep sense that it is your fault and you could do better.
How I can help
I’m Ali, a psychotherapist, coach, and mum to a pre-teen who continues to delight and challenge me in equal measure.
I’m passionate about empowering mothers / parents to reclaim their sense of self after having a child.
I can help you to
- step outside of the cult of perfect parenting
- return to work without feeling like you are failing at everything
- develop a grounded and authentic presence in all areas of your life.
The Everything's Fine Trap
Back when I was struggling most as a new mum, people would ask me how I was doing and I’d say ‘everything’s fine’ even though it wasn’t. Because to admit I was struggling would have allowed the whole facade of perfect mother, partner, daughter, home-maker, worker, and friend to crumble, which was too scary to contemplate.
You might find yourself caught in what I call the Everything’s Fine Trap: trying to keep everything together and everyone happy, while you are falling apart.
Right now you may feel overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted, constantly on the edge of anger, or distant and withdrawn. You worry the impact this has on your children, your relationship, your ability to stay on top of things at work. You strive to do more and be better each day, only to succumb to stress and anxiety, leaving you even more self-critical by day's end.
I offer the tools to break free from this negative cycle. I am qualified as both a psychotherapist and coach, so I can help you to understand why you feel this way and how to do something about it.
Together, we'll address the patterns that hinder your ability to be present for your children and manage the other roles you are having to juggle. With my support, you will increase awareness of your emotional reactions and build cues of safety in your body.
You have probably heard of the analogy of putting your own oxygen mask on first. I focus on helping YOU feel safe and grounded as the foundation for any changes you want to make. Because it's only by building a secure base for yourself that you be truly present and authentic in all the other important areas of your life.
Have a look around my website and book a free discovery call to find out more.
Work with me
Experience mind-body healing. Address underlying trauma and triggers at the level of the nervous system. Work on birth and breastfeeding trauma, relationships, family patterns, attachment issues and so on.
Work With Me
I bring a powerful blend of psychotherapy and coaching to enable you to make a lasting shift in how you show up in life. Move from feeling stressed and overwhelmed to feeling grounded and in control.
Learn about some of the 'shoulds' that get in the way of confident parenting. Tune out external noise and opinions. Turn towards your own instincts and what matters to you.