I received a wonderful surprise…

I received one of the most humbling, and flattering pieces of news this week….a Mom who had taken my prenatal class about a year and half ago sent me an email and told me that in her school of Naturopathic Medicine, they are using an article that I wrote for “Bearing Witness: Childbirth stories told by doulas” for one of their writing assignments.

This, in itself was exciting enough for me to hear about! But then I noticed that she had attached her essay to the email for me to read. Their task was to read my article, titled “The Great Letting Go” and compare it to how the media portrays childbirth in movies and TV. In it, she shared the shifts she felt from having attended my class and gave insight into how her new relationship to birth influenced her actual experience of birthing.

Very rarely do I have the opportunity to hear about or witness these shifts from parents who attend my class, and as I read I was deeply touched by how this Mom came to find a comfort and power in herself as a birthing Mom. While this story was of particular significance for me, there is a deep value in hearing the stories of birthing women as mothers, mothers-to-be, partners, practitioners, siblings…you get the picture :)

It’s only three pages long and she’s shared it with you here today...take a look.

Self Identity After Baby

It’s mother’s day coming up next weekend. It’s a day to celebrate you as a mother, but do you know who that is? Many women don’t immediately feel like a mother once their child is born, and instead gradually learn to see themselves in ways that fit with the identity of “mother.” In the meantime, the self she has previously known herself to be feels completely out of reach as her daily activities, capabilities and expectations have shifted so dramatically.

Many people understand that life with baby warrants a lot of changes, but what that actually feels like for them is often a surprise. Some women feel themselves drop into the identity of “Mother” right away, and maybe have even identified themselves as Mothers long before their baby was born. But for the women who do not feel like a mother right away, the shift in her self identify after baby can be a place of real loneliness or loss, even while at the same time loving their child and new family.

This month we encourage you to explore activities and events that cultivate your self care and nourish the growing sense of ‘Me’ that evolves alongside your growing children. The Mother’s Day Soirée with speakers Heather Clark, author of “Chai Tea Sunday” and fashion stylist Rachel Matthews Burton will feed your spirit and your fashion sense for a total self make-over. Get out more with your baby by attending our free Baby Wearing Workshop, where you’ll get to try different carriers with your child that’ll enable you to get out of the house (or get more done inside the house) hands free!

Some women will choose to honour their life changes through ritual, journaling or creating artwork. On Friday May 11th, Toronto’s Doula Care organization is hosting a Birth Fire at Dufferin Grove beginning at 7pm. Parents are invited to bring memories, wishes or items that they wish to let go of to burn in the fire.

How might you honour your life changes in motherhood?

You might just take a moment to really listen to the inspiring stories from real life parents in your life, without judgement and without comparing yourself to their unique story. Whatever you do, be gentle with yourself as you gradually grow into your parenting feet. Just as your child takes time to learn to walk on it’s own two feet, you too will take time to learn to walk on your parenting legs with confidence.

*This excerpt was shared from our Spring Newsletter “Self Identity After Baby.” To view the entire newsletter click here *