My son was born in November of 2014. I was blindsided by the amount of anxiety and panic I felt after he was born – what does that noise mean? Is he eating enough? How do I do this mothering thing?? I started feeling better with help and time, but this experience ultimately inspired me to identify my favorite population to do therapy with.
In the fall of 2015, I was talking with my husband about my career and was able to finally say that I knew what I wanted to do! I wanted to work with new moms! Ta-da! That population included pregnant women as well, especially since the identify shift starts to occur before baby makes its appearance. I knew a unique way to reach mamas would be to offer therapy in their homes.
Nesting Space Therapy was born in early 2016, and I started putting energy into it on the side of mothering and working part-time as a therapist for more general anxiety and depression. I completed a certificate training in maternal mental health and started reading A LOT. Getting pregnant with my daughter and knowing that I wanted to be mostly at home with my kids after she was born made business generation take on a slower pace than I had originally anticipated, but it’s going nonetheless!
Since my daughter was born, I also felt the need to stay involved and keep giving moms tools to use, and that’s why I published Birth Story Brave. It’s a guide for moms (not just those who have had challenges) to reflect on their childbirth experiences. It’s specifically designed to be open to vaginal AND c-section births – I had both c-section and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) births and know that these birth stories are equally valid and can need space for processing!
I’m married to my best friend. My husband and I are continuing to find new ways that we complement each other, even throughout challenges we come across. We have two littles: a nine-month-old daughter and three-year-old son, both of whom keep us learning constantly. And we love their snuggles!
The whole “work-life balance” concept has been challenging. I’ve felt pulled to be the best mother AND the best business owner, and that has been hard. It is sometimes easy to fall into a place of judging myself for not being able to do all the things! I’m lucky, though, that I’ve had a great deal of flexibility in how much I work, especially since my daughter was born.
Recently, I read about the idea of “work-life integration” in Laura C. Cannon’s book, The Conscious Entrepreneur. That resonated with me. It can be fruitless (and even damaging) to separate our work life and personal life as far as the self we present, so we can work on finding ways for these two things to work together. And, it’s still possible and important to set boundaries between work time and family time.
Motherhood both ignites AND stifles my creativity! It’s so funny how that happens. I might find myself super inspired in one moment (the ideas sparked by spending time with little humans can be endless!) and yet my daughter wants to be held or my son needs a diaper change. Obviously, the mom tasks take precedence in those moments, and that can be frustrating. But, after accepting the journey, I feel that I’m coming more into being my authentic self since becoming a mother, and that is exciting.
Be patient, and be kind to yourself. Set priorities. Be realistic. REALLY realistic. Know that you are enough.
This is a really hard transition. There will be times when you don’t feel like yourself, and that can feel scary and can even make us feel angry. You will get back to yourself, but it can be a journey. And it’s okay, even expected, to need help.
Ready to tell YOUR #MyMotherHustle Story? Submit it here.
Emily is a mama, author, and clinical social worker in Maryland. She provides therapy to pregnant women and new moms who are experiencing anxiety or depression, or who are just needing some help adjusting to this new time in their lives. She is married, has two children, and loves spending time outdoors. Follow her on Facebook at Nesting Space Therapy LLC and on Instagram at Nesting_Space. Make sure to check out her book here.
Photo Credit Stevie T Photography
Access our free Members-Only Portal + get exclusive stories delivered weekly