The intention behind this series is to shine a light on some beautiful, inspiring and connected mamas and what Post Partum looked, or looks like for them.
I feel very passionately about this vital period in a new mamas life so i wanted to shed an honest and authentic light on it by asking a few beautiful mamas to shed the light and sometimes the dark side, on this vulnerable and transformational period in their life.
Meet Steph, a beautiful earth mama to two little ones, a birth junkie, and a vegan. She’s healing herself as both a mama and a woman and doing it with much self love & integrity. I am so honored to have her share her story with you all, as well as share her ‘Unique Post Partum’ with so much grace.
Name and Age: Steph Parsons, 31
Children/Infants name and age: Lincoln, 4 & Lydia, 1
Relationship to self or another: Wife and best friend, student of life, healer
How has becoming a parent changed you?
Parenthood came unexpectedly for me. Our first was unplanned and at the time we were in the midst of exploring and traveling the world. But, growing, birthing, and raising him was the sledgehammer that knocked down a locked door which led to a whole new part of myself I had never known. Prior to being a mother, I never truly identified with womanhood. I couldn’t, and didn’t particularly want to, see how being feminine was a wonderful, powerful thing. My view of femininity was skewed, damaged, conditioned. Becoming Mother the 1st time allowed me to begin to heal my divine feminine and take my power back.
With my daughter, becoming Mother a second time has been a potent salve in healing the “The Mother Wound” I bare because of my own estranged mother. (Note: if you have a toxic or challenging relationship with your mother, I recommend ‘Mothers Who Can’t Love, A Healing Guide for Daughters’ by Susan Forward)
Bringing another little woman into this world challenged me to tear down the separation and disconnect that has been wedged between us as women for centuries. The whole idea of mothers and daughters being destined to go head to head for no other reason than the fact that they’re both females is horse shit.
Her presence in the world has taught me the importance and value of viewing other women as SISTERS, friends, teachers, and supporters.
In those first few weeks Post Partum, what did it look like for you?
I am so incredibly blessed to have
a supportive and involved family, part of whom are in-laws who live very close, and made post partum as easy as possible. They came for company (as this time has the potential to be very isolating). They came for housework. They came with food. They came to take my older kiddo out for the day. And my husband, who has always been supportive and understanding just got better with experience, allowing and encouraging me to sleep, bathe, and be alone if I needed. Every new mother deserves what I experienced. If your post partum team isn’t doing these things, or you don’t think they will, ask. Speak up for yourself so you have the time, energy, and mental space to care for your baby.
How did you feel?
All that said, shits still hard. The first time around, I was a deer in headlights, learning only as I went, trying to care for myself and my son, all while grappling with this new found identity as a mom and how that fits into, or with, who I was before.
And the second time, many of these challenges were lessened because of experience, but now I had a 3 yr old who still needed to be fed, cared for, loved on, and know he was still very special to me on top of caring for myself, and nursing baby around the clock.
It was a peaceful, overwhelming, special and shitty time. Which is sort of how I think most parents would describe parenthood in general.
Did you feel pressure from friends, family or society in general as to how you ‘should’ parent your new baby? If so how did gently handle that sort of pressure?
A good friend once told me while I was pregnant with our son, to listen to everyone’s advice with open and eager ears, choose what suits you and your family best, and then forget the rest. I’d like to add to it by saying, forget the rest without guilt or ‘shouldn’ts’ .. and when no one’s advice seems to fit, listen to your gut.
This is how I’ve handled well intentioned pressure, opinions, or comments along the way.
What was the transition into parenting like for both you and your partner within your relationship?
We miss each other. Things are so different now. But now and then we enjoy commiserating (or taking a walk down memory lane?) About how we used to do things, or what we used to do. It helps me to remember that we’re not just parents, but people, who love each other, and have a separate connection that has nothing to do with our children. It’s so easy to forget or loose sight of that. I also know that this deep immersion in parenting is just a season and one day we’ll have more time for each other. I hope that we’ll come up for air at one point, look at each other and say.. “whoa! What a wild ride!”
Did you make time for YOU during your Post Partum period? If so, what was your favourite thing to do to get back to YOU?
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Sometimes taking time for me is as simple as locking the door to the bathroom while I peed, leisurely brushed my hair, cut my nails, or took the time to floss. I had a wonderful friend gift me a big jar of dried herbs and flowers for a healing p.p. bath, which my husband would encourage me to take after the kiddos were asleep and I also planned several weeks worth of meals before having baby, and put them in the freezer to have as an easy meal at the end of a long day.
And, my forever go-to self care act, postpartum and beyond, will be massage therapy.
If you could go back to your gorgeous pregnant self, what loving, nurturing support would you offer her?
I would tell her she’s doing an incredible job following her intuition. I’d tell her that this experience will heal wounds she’s unaware she carries. I’d tell her that her priorities will change, and she will be challenged HARD, but it’ll all be worth it. I’d let her know that although she loves who she is now, and where her life is headed, she doesn’t need to get back to that version of herself after baby, because motherhood will only add deeper, more colorful layers to her life story. That she ultimately won’t want to go back to who she once was, once she sees how much richer this experience makes her life. I’d tell my Dec 2012, 5 week pregnant self, to trust the process. That it’s normal to be petrified but that she’s safe and being guided every step of the way.
Post Partum & Infant Connection eWorkshop
Are you seeking a deeper knowledge of what to expect within your Post Partum period? Do you crave a supportive, non judgmental environment? Are you ready to be informed and to feel empowered on your new and exciting journey into parenthood?