After the birth of my first child 10 years ago, my life changed forever, parenting was harder than I could have ever imagined. Hours were spent ‘googling’, pouring over books, articles, blogs and research papers in an attempt to work out what I was doing wrong.
Finally, after being diagnosed with postnatal depression I entered therapy. After successfully beating depression I spent four years training to become a counsellor. Through my studies and research I discovered that there is a massive lack of understanding of normal biological behaviour in infants and children. I found that most modern day parenting practises make life harder for both parent and child.
Six years later I had my second child, this time it was completely different.
To a degree I knew what to expect however this time I knew it would not be ‘easy’. I was running my own business and was not in a position to take any maternity leave. I had to work out how I could meet the needs of my little one and keep my business going. In terms of support, there was my partner (who also runs his own business), he was a great help, however there was no nanny and no family support so I knew it was going to be challenging. However, nearly four years on, using the knowledge I gained we managed to work together as a family and balance each others needs.
In the first year of my daughters life I completed the final research project for my counselling qualification and then found myself enrolling onto a child psychology course. Whilst exploring the world of child psychology I came across the observations of Jean Liedloff. Jean discovered that babies in Tribal Cultures rarely cried as their needs were being met, their parents continued working and they rarely suffered from postnatal depression or anxiety.
So this left me wondering,
- Why are western babies so different?
- Why is it accepted that western babies cry a lot?
- Why do 1 in 10 parents in the UK suffer from Postnatal depression and 2 in 10 suffer from Postnatal anxiety?
- What are we doing to parents to make this occur?
One thing I came to realise is that most modern day parenting practises are making us unhappy.
Parents are bombarded with advice, questions and phrases such as:
- ‘Is he/she good?’
- ‘Does he/she sleep at night?’
- ‘Is he/she feeding again?’
- ‘That baby is manipulating you’
- ‘Put that baby down or they’ll be clingy’
- ‘Have you got them in a routine?’
- ‘When are you going to get your life back?’
- ‘You’re making a rod for your own back’
Whilst most people mean well, many comments and questions leave parents doubting their parenting instincts and at a loss if their baby does not conform to modern day living. Once I understood normal infant behaviour I realised that most of the expectations society has of babies is unrealistic.
Having qualified as a counsellor, I wanted to see how I could use my skills to help parents navigate their way through parenthood and enjoy it! Knowing that the early days are often the most challenging I decided to train as a Postnatal Doula with Red Tent Doulas in London in 2014.
I have now combined my training and experience to share information and support parents so that they are able to make informed decisions on how to raise their children and create a happy family.
I help parents to explore their own feelings around childhood and parenting, so that they can adjust and grow into loving, responsive parents.
I support parents, like you, who struggle with the change and challenges that becoming a parent brings.
Face to Face support is available across Dorset and Hampshire and Skype support is available worldwide.
I also facilitate several FREE to attend support groups in Christchurch, Dorset.
I’m not here with any wild promises to fix all your problems and turn you into perfect parents.
What I can offer is the skills, resources, time and space to help you work out what is best for your individual circumstances and what works best for you and your family.