67. Sustainable Mental Wellbeing for Moms with Kate Kripke - Motherhood Series
Kate Kripke a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Perinatal Mental Health Counselor (PMH-C) in the state of Colorado.
For over 20 years, Kate has focused her work on supporting the mental health of mothers as a therapist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.
She is the Founding Director of the Postpartum Wellness Center of Boulder, the author of the book Reinventing Supermom: Support Encouragement, and Strategies For New Moms Who Feel Lost, and a co-host on the podcast Motherhood Uncut. She is also the mom of two teenage daughters. She offers group and individual mental health coaching to mothers everywhere.
Here are the takeaways...
- Maternal mental health is supporting the mental health of mothers while they parent. When mothers get the support they need, kids do better.
- Sustainable mental well-being does not mean being always happy or skipping over challenges. It means that you as a mom have the capacity inside of you to stay steady when there are bumps in the road, so you can feel good, access joy, and provide unconditional love so that you can be the secure parent for your kid.
- There is SUCH an overlap between the mother's mental health and the child's mental health. It's your responsibility as a mom to take really good care of yourself.
- The systems for support are flawed. And there is still so much you can do to feel better regardless of the system. Be compassionate with yourself, your feelings are valid and make sense.
- The emotional workload seems to fall on the birth mom. There is a possibility you are going to feel a load of burden your co-parent may not feel. Rather than resist it and get angry, it's worth considering what it would be like to accept it and learn the tools to manage it.
- The starting point of mental well-being is self-awareness. From there you can set up habits and patterns that become your way of life.
- A really important question to ask yourself is, "What is the part I am playing in the things that aren't working?"
- Even the toughest emotions last 90 seconds when you let them really flow through. The key is to allow yourself to feel the feeling and detach yourself from the thinking.
- For adults, feelings never hurt anyone. The actions you take to avoid them or ways in which you take them out on other people can be very destructive. And very inconvienent.
- Little children cannot metabolize big feelings on their own. It is harmful for a small child to sit with a big emotion on their own. They learn to "hot potato" their emotions and push them away. As adults, you now have the capacity in your physiology to metabolize emotions.
- If you grew up in a system or a family where emotion wasn't welcomed, or no one was around to shepherd you through tough emotions, or environments that were chaotic or abusive, you may be "hot potato" emotions and may be what is making you sick as emotions. GIve yourself grace and recognize you may need to learn (and be taught) how to have big emotions.
- Slowing down by breathing, noticing your feet on the floor, and other grounding practices can allow you to begin to feel those emotions in safe ways while creating neural pathways in your brain, increasing your capacity to experience emotions.
- Detaching yourself from pain means you've also detached yourself from pleasure.
- There isn't a specific age of mothering (or of kids) when things get difficult. When your child hits an age that was challenging for you as the mother, that's when things get difficult in mothering. That's often when you know you need to seek support.
- We are often taught that good mothers do, do, do, do on behalf of their children. (dinner, signing up for the classes). Good mothering happens when we are being good to ourselves. If you are feeling love inside your body, you can't help but give it away. Same with patience, generosity, and curiosity. It starts with caring for yourself so that YOU feel good and have more to offer, and mother from there. That's when your kids thrive.
- Our joy, our love, and our happiness is in service of our children. It's NOT selfish.
- It's easy to feel fear that your children will feel a lack of love when you say no. That's not real. Consider setting boundaries as part of healthy parenting and use Brenda's 3 Bs (Bleeding, Barfing, and Broken).
- If you are dropping everything to meet your kids' needs or trying to catch them before they fall... they aren't learning how to deal with disappointment or discomfort, or how to be patient.
- Mistake and repair is a very important part of relationship building, and strengthening relationships.
- Teaching your kids to do things not only helps you, but it helps them.
- It's never too late to recognize the places where you are getting in your own way, or where you need support. When you commit to the work, it's going to be impactful.
Connect with Kate...
Instagram Link: @katekripke
A special gift for our listeners - Enjoy a free month of Kate's healthy mom membership. Link for info: https://www.katekripke.com/membership CODE: Brenda
Join Brenda in a Portland retreat March 23 - 26, 2023! For information go to https://www.brendawinkle.com/retreat
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