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    10 reasons a mother may go to counselling

    As a mother it can be difficult to think about you and your needs, your children come first and have done since they were born. Committing to weekly appointments and even justifying this to yourself may be difficult. You may wonder if this will be worth the time and little energy you have left. On the other hand, you may have tried to manage how you are feeling for some time on your own and know that you need some help and support.

    The most recent survey by the IACP shows that almost half of Irish adults feel stressed, a third anxious, a fifth depressed and 19% are lonely. With these staggering numbers which were published pre-pandemic, it was highlighted that only 10% are seeking therapy.

    Therapy may be viewed as a place to come when we are in chaos mode, can be a last resort or a place that is for those who are in a worse situation. What most people don’t realise is that counselling is for everyone and no matter where you are on your journey we could all do with counselling at one time or another in our lives. We are human and need support for our emotional wellbeing. If you are not in chaos and seeking therapy it may offer more benefits than you could ever imagine.

    I wanted to offer the many reasons why a mother may seek counselling in case you are on the fence and wondering if this is for you.

    Recognising that your mental health matters
    Once our babies are born the message of support may shift to how is the baby rather than how are you. We see mothers who are exhausted, drained, anxious, stressed or saying they are losing their minds and we think it’s ok for us to feel like this. We think that this is what it means or should feel like to be a mother. Most mothers who come to me have known for some time that they needed to take care of themselves and their mental health. Working with a counsellor on your mental health is no different than going for a check-up with your GP.

    The juggle
    The emotional, physical, mental and spiritual load of motherhood and juggling this can be extremely overwhelming. Mothers often come to me saying they feel they are not doing a good enough job and they want to do better for their family. The role of being a mother is one that there is no rule book for, and a therapist should help you to navigate this for you and your family.

    Confusion about emotions and feelings
    Nothing can prepare you for being a mother, the emotions and feelings you experience will be unique to you. We can read all the books and ask all the questions prior but the only way to be a mother is to experience it and it is a huge transition. Motherhood is a confusing and conflicting time emotionally. You can see-saw from one emotional extreme to the next in the space of an hour and be left with an emotional hangover. It can lead many mothers to question themselves and how they are coping with motherhood.
    Working with a counsellor to sort through these emotions and feelings and healthily managing them can only have a positive impact on you and your children.

    Self Care
    Mothers often spend a huge amount of their time taking care of everyone else’s needs and they often come at the end of the endless to-do list. Counselling is self-care and time for you alone, for your development and space for you to be you.

    Being a mother can be unsettling
    Becoming and being a mother is a responsibility that can be scary and unnerving to navigate. For many mothers, they may doubt themselves and the job they are doing as a mother because they feel unsettled. Navigating this with a counsellor who is objective and non-judgemental can have a positive impact on you and how you manage not just now but in the future.

    Relationship support
    Becoming a mother can have an impact on all the relationships we have in our lives and in particular our partners and our support people. These relationships can be tested in a hugely vulnerable time. Working with a counsellor about your relationships can help you get clarity on how to communicate and connect with your partner or support person.

    To be a role model
    Mothers feel that they don’t want their kids seeing or experiencing them the way they are and they want to do better. They may shout, cry or behave in ways they are not proud of. Coming to counselling as a mother sets an example to our children that it’s ok to prioritise yourself and your mental health and your children in turn will prioritise this.

    Anxiety and Depression
    Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health issues that most adults experience. Postpartum one in five women will experience issues with their mental health. In my experience of working with mothers when they look back, they have felt like this since their babies were born which could have been years. You do not need to manage this alone and the right counsellor will offer you the support and assistance you need when it comes to managing this.

    A neutral perspective 

    Mothers often come to counselling because everyone they speak with is emotionally invested in what they are experiencing. We are human, when we become mothers we don’t become all-knowing, a counsellor can help you process what is right for you, offering a neutral non-judgemental perspective. I have yet to have a session with a mother who says they don’t value this aspect of counselling.

    Personal Development

    Mothers come to me because they want to do better for themselves and for their children. Working with a counsellor can offer growth of you not only as a mother but in who you are as a whole person.

    If you can identify with any of the above you may want to consider seeking counselling. You do not need to wait until you are burnt out to seek support. Counselling is for all mothers no matter where you are on your mothering journey.



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