This week we welcome back Shannon Kane, of Birth Narratives for a guest blog. Shannon specializes in birth story listening and postpartum counseling in Calgary, Alberta. If you'd like more info on her awesome services head over to BIRTH NARRATIVES. Shannon is a mother, Doula advocate, and survivor of postpartum depression. Shannon jointly wrote this blog with Angie Wisk. Angie is a mother and came up with the list to support her in her motherhood journey. We'd like to thank both ladies; and hope you find this technique a handy little tool to support your journey in motherhood.
As a therapist, ‘the list’ is prominent in conversations with postpartum mothers. In the weeks or months when things have ‘settled’ a bit more in life after having a baby, you may start to have these feelings about the list. You may not recognize this list as present in your life, but read on. This list maybe be inconspicuous, or nagging, self-doubting, or an invisible reminder of things you feel you may never get to do again. It may cause sadness, shame, loss, and feeling ‘less than’ you were.
This list can pop up as a reminder of what has changed, what is no longer and what life is like now. The list can be a scary reminder to us about losses that occur when we have a baby. Losses we may not have expected…
Does this list have to have this effect, or can it be different? Can this list be more of a reminder of what can be, what is to come, what still is possible, and what has shifted in terms of our values? Maybe, most importantly what we can do now on the list is something we should evaluate more closely. Angie describes what she did with her list-
‘Before my first daughter was born I was so focused on what I needed to prepare for her birth, and what it would take to be a parent. I was focused on everything from getting her the clothes she would need to wondering if I would have the strength to give birth. After the fog of the first three months (4th trimester) had lifted, I began to miss parts of my old life that I felt like I no longer had access to.
I no longer had my job, my friends without babies, and frankly the focus that I had taken for granted in my pre-children years. As the next few months passed I began to feel like I had ‘nothing to show’ from my old life. I began to worry that I would never again have the time to do things that I hadn’t gotten to before I had kids or do the things that I felt like I needed to do now. The thoughts of being disappointed with myself began swirling around and around.
I felt frustrated with myself in the evenings when all I wanted to do was sit and watch T.V. with my husband. I started to feel frustrated with my daughter during the day, and I felt unable to ‘hear’ what she needed even though I could tell she was communicating with me. The more frustrated I got the harder it was to enjoy my time with her. I felt weighed down by new life.
So one morning I made a list, in a nice journal that I knew I would keep for a while. I wrote down everything thing I could think of that I wanted to do but didn’t feel like I had time to do it.
A small sample of my list included:
So what's on your list?
~ Doula In The Wild
By: Doula Sonja
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