Our culture has set new mothers up to constantly feel like we're failing or falling behind.
The 'Good Mother' Myth
Know what, Mama? The challenges you're facing actually began long before becoming a mother.
From early in our lives, many of us were taught to be independent, to do it all ourselves and make sure it’s done just right. This generation of mothers is used to striving, finding answers quickly and excelling in being good. The good daughter. The good student. The good worker. The good business owner. The good partner. The good friend.
And now, the good mother.
Guess who defines 'a good mother'? It's not the mothers! It's our Western culture where we constantly hear that good mothers birth their babies in a certain way, feed their babies in a certain way and have babies who sleep through the night.
Good mothers are selfless, organized, productive and dedicated to mothering 24/7 but also make time for self care and ensuring their families have clean, tidy, screen-free homes.
Good mothers cherish every minute and love motherhood.
Good mothers never feel frustrated, angry, envious, impatient, regretful, resentful or bored.
Good mothers never long for their lives pre-motherhood.
It's an unwinnable game, with standards that no human can attain.
Mothering is a wild, stressful, joyful, miserable, exciting, raw, revolutionary ride.
Striving for the perfection built into “the good mother” only results in coming up short…followed by guilt, shame and burnout.
Why didn't anyone tell me?
Most of us are taught that early motherhood is only about navigating sleepless nights, learning what works for feeding a baby and trying to figure out what’s normal baby behaviour.
If you're like many of the mothers I meet, you've wondered wonder why no one told you and no one has asked you about everything else that's left you thinking…
“This isn't what I expected. Why do things keep changing? Why can't I figure out what's going on? Am I doing enough? Why does it feel like everyone else has it together and I'm falling apart? Is my body supposed to feel this way? Is this amount of exhaustion normal? Why don't my relationships feel like they used to? I keep hearing it takes a village to raise a baby – where the f*&% is that village?”
And, while you're all caught up in these thoughts running through your mind, you're…
…missing out on nourishing connection with your baby and the moments of joy that are available
…craving predictability and structure (in a season of life that's often unpredictable and constantly changing)
…spending valuable time and energy looking outside of yourself for the answers, when so much of what you need is inside you!
Matrescence: The Journey of Becoming a Mother
As we navigate the tasks of early motherhood – the feeding, the sleeping, the caretaking – while carrying the load of our culture’s definition of a good mother, there’s even more unfolding under the surface – massive shifts in body, hormones, nervous system, mental processes, emotions, identity, values, boundaries and social connections. How we look, think, feel, relate and who we are – it all changes.
It’s no wonder mothers are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, exhausted and disconnected (from themselves, from their children, from their needs and from supportive community).
We’ve all been given an impossible task – do it all on our own, figure it all out, hold it all together. All. The. Time.
While on the inside, it feels like we're completely unravelling and alone.
Most support available through this time focuses on the 'how-to' of feeding, sleep and maternal-infant health. It can absolutely be helpful and bring significant relief. It’s where much of my work has focused supporting families over the years as a naturopathic doctor and lactation consultant, and they've consistantly noticed improvement in how they're feeling.
Over time though, I’ve learned that when we only focus on the how-to – the day-to day – we miss all of what’s unfolding in a new mother’s internal world – the shifts in body, mind, emotions, identity, values and spirit – and the ways that these shifts going on under the surface along with a lack of inner resources and energy to navigate them, can create obstacles for health and wellbeing.
Who and what is holding new mothers?
Who and what is supporting them to feel resilient and resourced as they traverse one of life’s most impactful transitions – one that calls them to deepen more fully into who they truly are, how they desire to mother, who they long to be connected with and what they’re here to do in the world – all while nurturing a tiny human?
The Well Rooted Mama Collective is a space and program focused on cultivating community and resilience on our mothering journeys, so we have the internal resources, energy and confidence for navigating all of the day-to-day unfolding of experiences and the deeper transformation we’re called to.
The Well Rooted Mama Collective nourishes community.
We journey in community because mothering was never meant to be done in isolation (our bodies and nervous systems are programmed to mother with others!) and we're committed to cultivating a village of support in a culture that too often dismisses its importance. When we come together and hold space for one another, we increase every person's capacity to learn, grow and heal.
Resilience: How Are We Responding To and Recovering From Stress?
When I first began exploring resilience, I looked to Nature for guidance. Here’s what I found – research done in urban areas after significant storms (often hurricanes!) showed that trees were more resilient to withstanding the storms when…
- …they are rooted more deeply and widely in the Earth
- …they have the opportunity to consistently receive nourishment from their environment through sunlight, air, water and soil, to strengthen their structure
- …their trunk and branches are flexible and responsive
- …they grow in groups that are diverse in age and species
- …they are regularly tended to
How does that translate to cultivating resilience on our mothering journeys?
Resilience simply defined is the ability to respond and adapt to the events of life. It’s our ability to stay up when the storms of life try to knock us down and when we're knocked down allows us to efficiently and fully recover.
Mothering resilience is…
…feeling grounded and centered, connected with the Earth and with Inner Wisdom and able to respond and adapt to the unexpected, unpredictable and uncertain.
…feeling nourished by nutrition, breath, rest, movement and Nature – supporting strength, energy and vitality to be fully engaged with the experiences of life.
…understanding and embodying the experience of a regulated nervous system with the capacity to experience deep calm and relaxation and to healthfully respond to all life brings – the joyous and the challenging.
…being connected with, supported by and cared for within a diverse and inclusive community – a community that holds and nurtures you, so you can continue holding and nurturing your family in your most aligned way.
Cultivating thriving mothering resilience does not…
…prevent the unplanned/unexpected
…create certainty and predictability in our external circumstances or experiences
…or prevent us from experiencing stress or challenging emotions
…supports us in experiencing more steadiness and calm, no matter what we're facing
…resources us to be with what's challenging and feel fully supported
…and ensures we recover more fully and efficiently when the unexpected knocks us down.
When we cultivate our mothering resilience, it doesn't mean the storms of life won't blow through, but we'll have what we need to respond and adapt, with more calm, confidence and energy.
The Well Rooted Mama Collective
The Well Rooted Mama Collective contains support for the tasks of early mothering, in a rich, reliable and growing library of content focused on postpartum healing, infant feeding, infant sleep, nervous system health, family health and natural rhythms.
This monthly membership program also includes weekly, live calls offering guidance for cultivating your mothering resilience and the deeper transition that’s unfolding for you – in how you look, feel, think, relate, who you are and what you value.
These virtual sessions are rooted in the rhythm that Nature models for us through her seasons and the cycles of the moon. Each month we'll move through four phases of cultivating mothering resilience:
Rest + Receive sessions focus on nourishing efficient rest, identifying and tending to your own needs and receiving nourishment. We all need to be well resourced for our inner journeys and for our day to day lives of caring for and nurturing our families.
Reemerge + Rise sessions focus on exploring questions arising on our journeys – about material from The Well Rooted Mama content library and your own experiences of what’s feeling challenging and where support is needed.
Reconnect + Relate sessions focus on nourishing connections with one another in community. Gather with us, with your favourite warm beverage, a nourishing snack and, if needed, your little one, and connect with the mamas journeying alongside you.
Reflect + Release sessions focus on taking a look at where you are on your own journey, what's no longer serving you and what you're ready to let go of as you continue forward.
Outside of the weekly live calls, there's a private, online community to connect and support each other within. And, from time to time, we’ll welcome guest teachers on topics relevant to what’s unfolding for you.
The Well Rooted Mama Collective is for you if you are a pregnant or new mother (child(ren) three and under) and if one or more of the following feels true for you:
Early mothering hasn’t been what you expected
You’re used to excelling in your career but this early mothering gig feels like a constant challenge
You thrive with a plan and schedule. Going with the flow and being with the uncertainty of early mothering feels terrifying or just plain impossible
You naturally and easily give more than you receive
You’re used to caring for and tending to other people’s needs before your own. Sometimes it’s hard to even know exactly what you need and when you do know, asking for support feels super uncomfortable.
You’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious (or both) during your first few years of mothering
It’s feeling harder to keep it all together as each day passes
You’re tired of striving to figure it all out, constantly looking for answers outside of yourself (from friends, family and local or online experts)
You’re ready to be open to new learning, to nourishing the connection with your inner wisdom and to exploring what’s unfolding in your inner world during this transformative journey into motherhood
You’re craving to be held by a nourishing, supportive community of mothers and a knowledgeable and caring guide
As a Founding Member of The Well Rooted Mama Collective you receive:
- access to a growing library of resources focused on postpartum health, infant feeding, infant sleep, nervous system healing, family health and living with the rhythms of Nature
- weekly live calls offering the guidance for cultivating mothering resilience and the coaching through the deeper transition that’s unfolding for you – in how you look, feel, think, relate, who you are and what you value
- a private, online community, away from social media
- the opportunity to co-create this nourishing space for mothers, while receiving support and guidance for your own journeys through the early years of mothering
- special pricing for as long as you remain a member.
Founding Member pricing is available for a limited time with three payment options to choose from when you join us.
Enrollment Option #1
$44 monthly for Founding Members
Enrollment Option #2
$229 every 3 months
$108 every 3 months for Founding Members
Enrollment Option #3
$429 every 6 months
$198 every 6 months for Founding Members
All of our live sessions will be recorded and available to watch at your own pace for one month after the date of the call.
The Well Rooted Mama Collective is intended for all mothers navigating the first three years of a child’s life – whether it’s their first child, second child or more!
You will need a computer or mobile device with an internet connection to participate in the program and access the content.
The Well Rooted Mama Collective content library, recorded group sessions and private online community are all housed on my secure practice management platform Practice Better. Group calls are held via Zoom.
Once you register and create a log in for Practice Better, you can access the program through your client portal in the browser of your computer or mobile device or by downloading the free Better by Practice Better app (available for Apple and Android devices).
Mothering through the first few years of a child’s life is often unpredictable, making specific time commitments tricky. That’s why there’s no requirement for your time commitment.
Instead, I offer you an invitation to set aside 15-30 minutes each day (even if it’s done in 5 minute time blocks!) to engage with the program – that may be attending a live virtual group session, listening to a group session recording, exploring and learning in the content library or engaging in the online community.
Perhaps this means that a few times a day you reach for The Well Rooted Mama Collective instead of social media or Dr. Google – I promise it’ll be a more nourishing, supportive experience!
“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.”Myla and Jon Kabat-Zin
“Understanding that motherhood is the psychological and spiritual birth of a woman is the greatest story never told.”Aurelie Athan
“Everybody tells us that mothering is about raising our kids. Nobody tells us that mothering is also about raising ourselves.”Amy Taylor-Kabbaz