End of 2019 News and Events
Hi everyone! It’s been quite an exciting year in women’s mental health. I’ve read countless incredible books, listened to unbelievable podcasts, and followed many new Instagram accounts by women exploring the state of mothers, and helping to shatter the stigma that surrounds our mental health. The consensus seems to be that moms are “drowning.” I hear this not only from the media I consume, but also in the mother’s circles I facilitate, and from my own good friends.
Fortunately, women are talking about it. And when you talk about the realities of being a mother, you open up the space for others to feel validated, to share their story too, and to create change.
I want to share all of my favorite resources with you, but it’s simply not possible because of this insane week before the holidays. Instead, I’ll share some of my favorites from these past few weeks:
1. The most interesting and relatable podcast episode I’ve listened to recently came from Katherine Goldstein’s The Double Shift. In this episode, she speaks to one of my favorite authors, Angela Garbes. I’ll just use Katherine’s description of the episode instead of writing my own, because it’s just toooooo good:
“To wrap up this season’s theme, “The Revolution Begins At Home,” we’re talking “mental load” with author @angelagarbes. Because here’s the thing: meal planning for a trip to Trader Joe’s is great. But too often in the face of huge difficulties, we are offered micro solutions and life hacks, telling us as mothers we’re doing things wrong, and that we need to do better. Fuck that. Getting up at 5am isn’t going to solve the problems working mothers face in America, nor is Sunday meal prep hacks or the latest to-do list app. This finale dives deep into how focusing on personal solutions redirects us away from seeing how much TRULY needs to change for mothers to have equity in this society. It keeps our ambitions for what’s possible small. It keeps us quiet.”
During the episode Garbes says, “We don’t exist in a culture or society that has any real intent on supporting us in any meaningful way so the best thing to do is to find your own path and to try to support and build structures that help people, as many people as possible. And what I’ve found though actually is in this research is that I’ve felt free. I am so much less interested in what anyone thinks about how I parent and how I mother.”
How freeing is that?!
2. And speaking of mental load, this recent image and caption by Paula Kuka (@common_wild) captures it perfectly.
“One of the great things about Christmas is that Christmas hats are compatible with mum buns.
One of the not so great things is that it can be a little overwhelming. The school year wraps up. Our kids are strung out. We need to see every person we know in a three week period. We are single handedly responsible for creating magic (a role I take very seriously). We place very high expectations on ourselves for food, gifts and generally neatly wrapping up an entire year (preferably in environmentally friendly wrapping paper). I've recently realised that most of the pressure I feel around this time of year comes from... You guessed it 🙋♀️. So this year I've been much better at keeping a lid on it. Obviously I still have 75357854 things to do before Christmas. 🤷♀️ But the reality is, none of them will really have much of an impact on how happy and festive our holiday is.”
3. A couple articles really hit home that I want to share:
This is What ‘Self-Care’ REALLY Means, Because it’s Not All Salt Baths And Chocolate Cake - Author, Brianna Wiest describes self-care as “often a very unbeautiful thing. It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.” Read the whole article to learn more about what type of self-care will actually make you feel better.
It’s Time To Update The Traditional Baby Shower. Here’s How to Do It - Katherine Goldstein of The Double Shift (I might be a little obsessed) discusses what new parents REALLY need when it comes to preparing for parenthood. She suggests that new parents “need child-care help, meals and groceries, therapy, and social support” and while preparing for the arrival of her twins, she states: “what is increasingly clear this time around is that I don’t need fancy stuff. I need help.”
On a side note, I’d also like to mention a new business doing just that: Be Her Village. I can’t wait for this site to become live so parents can register for services like doulas, lactation visits, house cleaners, childbirth education, fitness classes, and so much more. I wish I had this when I was registering!
I have exciting news that we’ve decided to hold a winter session starting January 21st for the New(ish) Mother’s Support Circle at the Sea Cliff Village Library! Our fall session was a huge success (lots of new mom friendships were formed!) and so we’re doing it again. If you know of any new moms or moms with babies under 12 months, please spread the word!
And last but not least, our January evening group will be held on Tuesday January 14th! Save your spot and email me to register. Space is limited.
I hope everyone has a restful holiday and a new year that brings you much joy.