Modern Mother’s Day

As a doula I have the special privilege of seeing the truth in pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.  Families will share things with me that they keep hidden away from the rest of the world because they know that I am coming from a place of support and free from judgement.  That truth is something that most people keep tucked away, they bury it deep down inside them and rarely share it with anyone, even themselves. Parenting is not only hard work, but it can feel overwhelming. The thought that you might be swimming upstream forever as the days and nights blend together in a broken sleep cycle.  Our modern culture tells us that we must not only do it all, but look good and enjoy every moment.  Snap back to yourself and be ready, chipper and active no later than 6 weeks postpartum.  The truth that is hiding in all this, is not that this is incredibly hard, we know that though it’s rarely spoken out loud  The truth is that it’s actually impossible because we were never meant to do this alone.

Did you know that the latest statistics show 1 in 7 women suffer from postpartum mood disorder, and 1 in 10 men. The researchers actually believe it’s higher than that but we aren’t catching everybody because many remain silent.   We are expecting so much from new parents and offering very little support.  It seems that our societal demands on families have increased while the support networks have significantly decreased.   When our ancestors raised children they were living in a society that came together to help each other.  Extended family often lived in the same area and “the village” really was a thing.  Help rarely needed to be asked for, it was just expected that everyone would come together to support the new parents. There was a great connection between everyone, a connection that is very different than the one our current technology creates.  This connection was real and raw, you saw all the parts of someone, not just the joyful moments.  There was no Instagram filter to make the dried spit up on your shoulder less noticeable.  Your community knew your struggle, but also they stepped in to support. Rather than a push to “get back to normal” they had a priority and respect for rest and healing.  Sadly, the village is mostly gone and replaced by networks, wires, filters, and glorifying the over scheduled life.  

If you are that parent who is striving to appear as if you have it all together please don’t feel bad about this.  I’m not trying to shame anyone, but the truth I know as a doula is that you aren’t alone and I wanted to you know that.  I have seen the most beautiful Facebook family and I know that they are having their fair share of tears, struggle, guilt, and loneliness.  I want to create the possibility that we let things go and try being real. This Mother’s Day, I want to encourage you to listen to the part of yourself that is screaming “this is so hard” and follow that truth by asking yourself what you really need.  Maybe you don’t know what you need, in that case just listen to yourself, talk to a friend, write in a journal, but give that feeling some space.  Don’t tuck it away and bury it under a filter and a smile.  

There are new parent support groups and warm lines that you can call for peer-to-peer support. You don’t have to be depressed or have a diagnosis or mood disorder  to call these numbers, they are for any new parent who could benefit from talking to someone.  

Asking for help (even if it’s just a listening ear) is so important. When we do this we are modeling to our children that they too can ask for help and communicate their needs and feelings. When you ask for help this also creates an opportunity for someone else to feel needed and useful, as well as the opening for them to be vulnerable with you or someone else.  When we ask for help we are creating real connection. This helps everyone involved become more attached and secure.  As that security deepens within us it allows us to create stronger bonds and support with our children.

Think of it this way, There is a tree that is being watered and nourished just enough to stay alive.  Someone comes along and hangs a swing on one of the branches, someone else starts to build a treehouse on another branch, and another decides to climb it.  That tree is going to have a very hard time continuing to stand upright.  It looks really sturdy to all the people building and swinging and climbing it, but the tree knows that it’s roots aren’t getting what they need. It silently stands knowing all the while that those roots aren’t deep enough to sustain the life that is climbing all around it and that tree is going to fall over.   

The more you ask for help and take care of yourself the more you nourish your roots and feed your soul.  You aren’t alone in the struggle of being a modern mom, and I encourage you to listen to yourself and challenge the expectations of the modern mother.

 

For Support in Lane County Visit www.wellmamaoregon.org

For Support Anywhere visit www.postpartum.net

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  • Heathir Brown- Doula Trainer
    5.0
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    Carlette Y Davidson
    Carlette Y Davidson
    2018-11-12T01:05:56+0000
    Heathers delivery style was very calm , she is very knowledgeable and answered all our questions in a clear concise manner , her passion for her work and eagerness to train others was very obvious , I would recommend anyone who wants to become a Birth Doula to attend one of her training session .
    Kathy Halverson Kinard
    Kathy Halverson Kinard
    2018-09-29T01:58:42+0000
    She was an amazing trainer. What she taught was very easy to understand. She was very patient with all my questions. The knowledge i gained from her training has reslly help my confidence and i feel ready to do this.
    Desiree Joyce Southard
    Desiree Joyce Southard
    2018-02-26T03:21:44+0000
    Heathir was such a joy to work with! She is so full knowledge and made my class so fun! I can’t wait to jump in with what I’ve learned!
    Robin Saporito
    Robin Saporito
    2017-09-18T20:22:41+0000
    I took Heathir's Doula training this weekend. I learned more than I would have thought possible. I'm so excited about becoming a certified Doula.
    Lora Casco
    Lora Casco
    2017-03-21T18:07:41+0000
    Heathir is an excellent trainer! I just completed a training with her March 2017 on Maui. We had a great class full of lively discussion, hands on learning and I walked away with more skills in my bag of doula knowledge. I have been a doula for a while and wanted to train with Birth Arts because they are a great support to their trainees and I am not disappointed at all! I am so glad I chose BAI and I look forward to serving my community here on Maui.
    Marie Vila
    Marie Vila
    2017-03-20T19:33:14+0000
    Samantha Millbrook
    Samantha Millbrook
    2017-03-04T17:36:56+0000
    I traveled ALL the way to Eugene, Oregon from Nashville, Tennessee to take this course with Heathir and I am SO glad that I did. I have to admit, I was worried that I would travel all that way and be disappointed. Heathir made me feel so comfortable and welcome. She explained things in a way that made sense to me and always left the floor open for questions. If I am ever giving birth in the proximity that Heathir could help me I would call her in a heartbeat. Thank you Heathir for helping me start this journey as a Doula off on a great start. I can't wait to learn, grow, and practice this work with the support of the strong, educated, and wonderful BAI community.
    Mary Wright Johnson
    Mary Wright Johnson
    2017-02-24T06:14:29+0000
    Heathir is a wonderful teacher. My experience at her workshop was so incredibly inspiring. She is skilled, and knowledgeable, and she creates an atmosphere of comfort that is ideal for learning. Her support and encouragement really increased my excitement about entering into this fulfilling new career.
    Kelly Langhorn
    Kelly Langhorn
    2017-02-21T00:32:08+0000
    I loved Heathir! I feel so excited and prepared to help the families in the Rogue Valley!
    Teresa Ostrander
    Teresa Ostrander
    2017-02-20T21:38:11+0000
    Heathir is an amazing Instructor. She has a good flow of information, one topic flows smoothly into the next. Heathir is easy to speak with and easy to approach with questions. She made the workshop a pleasant atmosphere and a fun learning environment. It was a peer learning setting instead of a student teacher setting. 100% positive!
    Princess Taylor Maynie
    Princess Taylor Maynie
    2017-02-10T13:08:25+0000
    I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of Heathir's BAI labor doula workshop. Heathir is a very knowledgeable and wise doula. She pours out every bit of knowledge that she has attained as doula to her students. Her experience in and compassion for pregnancy and birth shows through her teaching. I'm happy that I had the opportunity to sit under her tutelage. Thank you Heathir for a wonderful experience.
    Deborah Candelario
    Deborah Candelario
    2017-02-10T02:40:19+0000
    I took my Doula class with Heather and it was so much more than I expected! I learned so much. Heathir created a fun and safe environment for all of us to learn and share. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about becoming a doula to take Heathirs class!!!
    Gina Gerard
    Gina Gerard
    2017-02-09T23:13:51+0000
    If you ever have the opportunity to attend a workshop with Heathir Brown DO IT!!! After months of feeling "stuck" in my doula training, I decided to invest my time and money and let me tell you, it was worth it. Heathir's workshop was educational, inspiring, and therapeutic. She was patient as I asked every question I could possibly think of, and she answered them all! Heathir has years of experience and knowledge that she is happy to share with her students. After reading my student materials, many books, and attending a birth, I thought I knew a lot about being a doula, but I was WRONG! We covered TONS of information and when it she saw that I was struggling with the postpartum depression part of the training, she offered me a sincere hug and kind words. It's not everyday you find someone so genuinely kind and caring. It's evident that Heathir's work comes from the heart. You'll never make a better investment for yourself and your doula career than a training with Heathir Brown!!!
    April Fools
    April Fools
    2017-02-09T18:56:37+0000
    I attended a workshop with Heathir in October 2016. The information she gave was very in depth but not overwhelming. We did a bunch of hands-on activities to help us to retain the information we learned. We talked, we laughed, we opened up to one another. The workshop definitely exceeded my expectations. Did I mention? Heathir is sooooo sweet! Thank you so much Heathir for being you and for the time and love you dedicated to our class!