The S-Mum, Maria, discusses how important it is for parents to support one another.
As parents, we are often afraid to say or type what we are really thinking or feeling, incase it comes across as silly or unreasonable. We are afraid of being criticised or judged.
We have thousands of worries and fears and thoughts in our heads every hour, and we sometimes feel that if we were to voice them, we would be labelled as mad or silly or irresponsible.
Since I began my blog, I have found that usually, the posts that I think twice about posting; (because they are too honest, or too blunt, or calling BS on what is Sanctimamially acceptable); these are the posts that will get other Mammies commenting.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing the words “Yup. Me too!” or “I could have written this.” They make me feel better instantly. They make me feel like I am on the right track and that if someone else feels like this, then it’s OK. I’m not alone. I’m not weird. I’m just a normal Mammy trying to keep my wee boat afloat.
Over the past three weeks, I had the pleasure of attending “Minding Mammy” with Sarah Barr from New Beginnings Counselling Service.
I had helped Sarah to launch the pilot of her programme, by speaking about the blog very briefly at the first one and then giving a short presentation on Social Media (Social Mammia!) on Friday.
For the rest of the sessions however, I listened. I listened intently. And I took part. And I learned so much.
Minding Mammy is an original wellness programme aimed at Mammies of ALL ages. It deals with issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, positivity and the stresses of parenting, in a friendly and confidential environment.
It was brilliant and Sarah was brilliant.
She is lovely. She is humble. She is a natural at leading a group in sensitive and sometimes emotional conversation, and most importantly, she is qualified to do so.
We can all chat and share experiences, but to have someone present to give authentic, professional advice to us on situations and how to deal with them, was brilliant.
The Mammies were so relaxed and the group discussions were so brilliant. For me, listening to other Mums talking about their daily worries, stresses, triggers and feelings was uplifting. To realise that we are ALL in the same boat, despite different circumstances, was wonderful.
And we are you know… all in the same boat.
Some boats are huge, Some are brand new. Some have two captains, Some are being kept afloat by only one. Some are special. Some are shiny on the outside. Some are broken. But regardless of the type or size or state of the boat, the one aim of its captain is to keep it afloat and to protect the passengers. The Captain will do everything in their power to keep those passenger fed and safe, usually forsaking themselves and their own needs.
As Mammies, we are the Captains…And Captains get tired and they doubt themselves and their decisions. But what Minding Mammy has verified to me, is that the Captain sometimes needs to stop, take a breath, have a chat with other Captains and remember that all Captains are struggling to steer.
These 3 sessions were just that. A breather. A chance to listen to a professional, to share (or not), and to relax in the realisation that it’s NOT just YOU. That you are NOT alone and that there are so many other Captains available to help, if you just ask for it.
Sarah is bringing her “Minding Mammy” to Donegal Town next week, then to Stranorlar and back to Letterkenny at the end of the month. I’m delighted to have help her launch this Baby Ship, and I know that she is going to help so many Mums of all ages, all over the county.
So if you’re a mum; a young Mum, a not-so-young Mum, a mum-to-be, a step-mum or even a Granny…Heck if you’re a HUMAN; think about taking part in this programme. Sarah provided us all with a toolkit of strategies for dealing with the waves and storms our wee boats hit some days (every days!) and I for one, gained so much from it. I can’t recommend it enough.
And remember, Just keep swimming…or sailing…or both.
Check out Minding Mammy on Sarah’s New Beginnings Facebook Page.