26 April, 2022
What I Wish a Wise Old Woman had Told Me...
My daughter is 7 months old, it is 2:30am, I am partially dressed for a job that I once loved and as the sheer exhaustion of the past 7 months washes over me I stare at myself in the mirror. Tears streaming down my face, trying to silence the sobs that are screaming to come out so I don’t wake my husband. I look at this woman in front of me and I have no idea who she is. She has my eyes, my nose, my lips and my hair but she isn’t a person I know anymore.
Nearly 3 years on and that moment, at 2:30 in the morning, when I was a complete mess of a person, has been burned into my memory.
Like most women I spent the 9 months of my pregnancy designing the perfect nursery (which the baby didn’t sleep in for 6 months), agonising over the perfect name, researching what swaddles were the safest, the best sleep devices, the best comforters and for all the research I did, for all the blogs I read and the Facebook groups I joined, not once did anyone tell me what becoming a mother was going to do to my identity.
I feel like if I had known what was going to happen I could have prepared. I could have done more yoga and meditation to connect with myself on a deeper level, I could have started journaling, I could have sought advice from other women in my life about their experience of this but I didn’t and maybe I wouldn’t have even if I did know.
So I want to share with you what others didn’t share with me.
Becoming a mother can be hard, it is exhausting on a level that you have never experienced before, it is lonely, scary and a rollercoaster of constant emotions. Indescribable love, raging anger, guilt for not being perfectly content, grief for the lose of the woman you once were, frustration towards yourself, the people who showed up in those first weeks to see the baby but who have now continued on with their lives and the little person in front of you who just won’t sleep, sheer joy and so much more.
It's so much and in the midst of all of that chaos you have become a different person and quite possibly lost complete connection to her.
I’m here to tell you that it is ok, you can find your way back to her, she may different than what she once was but she has grown and evolved.
Through modalities such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), gentle exercise and nutritious food I was able to claw my way back to her. It wasn’t easy and it certainly didn’t happen straight away but the work I put in to my own mental health was worth it. EFT helped me acknowledge what I was feeling without judgment and then release the bombardment of emotions, giving me my power back. I felt in control again, I felt more grounded and present, which then had a flow on effect to my family.
Not only did EFT help me release the emotions I was experiencing at the time, completely changing my reality, it is now a tool I use daily to calm my nervous system and to release anger and frustration when they come up throughout my day.
As an EFT practitioner I hold space for you to feel, acknowledge and let go of all the emotions, beliefs and stories that are holding you back from living the experience that you desire. We clear the debris of emotions that are sitting in your path, stopping you from moving forward. I sit with you full of compassion, empathy and kindness for the road you have travelled and I hold the excitement of your future in me until you are ready to embody it yourself.
This is what EFT did for me and I know it can change your reality even when you feel like everything is hopeless.
About the Author
Kathleen Ford - Perinatal Counsellor
As a Bachelor-qualified Counsellor and EFT tapping therapist, Kathleen is passionate about perinatal mental health and wellbeing. She's completed further studies in the area through Centre for Perinatal Excellence and knows from first hand experience the challenges of mothering.