After becoming a mother in 2015, I quickly realized that the transition was more than simply having new responsibilities in caring for my newborn. I felt as though my entire identity shifted and I didn't know exactly how to feel about that. In some ways, I was impressed by my new strengths, stamina, and my capacity to love. I also felt like I had lost some sense of my own identity- my independence, adventurousness, intellect, my love of travel, and writing. It was a difficult time for me, but I also found the years after my first child was born to be very transformative and enlightening.
I believe that new mothers face a unique set of challenges, many that are influenced by external narratives and pre-conceived notions of "motherhood."As a narrative therapist, my role is not to influence your experience or map mine on to yours, but to create a space for you to also explore the meaning of motherhood, the pressures you face, the identity shifts that might have taken place related to the arts, passions, or your career. I also learned from a group narrative session ways to face and cope with a traumatic birth.
Motherhood can also influence our relationships to our parents, our spouses, in-laws and our lives. Your experience is your own, and my role is to help you objectively see the role of narrative and how it shapes your self-perceptions, action, and potential.
New mothers might find narrative therapy useful in the following situations:
Confusion around career or motherly responsibility
Feeling torn between values or roles
Depression, anxiety, uncertainty
Trauma related to childbirth
Stress around domestic responsibilities
Relationship conflicts after birth
Giving birth and raising children abroad
Postpartum health, weight, or personal stress
I want to emphasize that I appreciate every mother has her own birth and parenting story. This list is not exhaustive as I believe there are so many lived personal and cultural expressions that are not in my own realm of experience, however, I welcome you to explore those with me. If you'd like to read more about my own birth, you can read my essays published in Scary Mommy, or listen to my About Face podcast episode with Carmen Winant and her MoMA exhibition titled, "My Birth."