I vividly remember walking along the East River in Brooklyn when I was pregnant with Felix, my first son. I felt a profound sadness wash over me that day that I couldn’t explain. I had been living in absolute pregnancy bliss for the better part of the last months.
After a little while I realized, that in my heart, I felt the grieving process begin:
The grieving process of my life before motherhood.
The grieving process that said goodbye to the time I was “just” a wife to my husband and a girl who loved her freedom in the city, carelessly biking over the bridge to Manhattan during sunset to meet her husband for a glass of wine after work.
The time I was my husband’s absolute #1 priority and he was mine.
The time we could spend being so selfishly involved in our love for each other; free of responsibility and devoted to each other’s happiness.
As my belly grew, I knew things were about to change. I knew that a different phase of our life—parenthood—was about to begin and I made a commitment to myself right there and then:
I would never, ever neglect our marriage. I would never, ever let my love for my baby—which was already so strong even though I had never met him—distract me from my love for my husband.
I went into motherhood with the very clear intention to divide my love as evenly as possible between my son, my husband, and myself.
I had endless love, patience and affection to give, didn’t I?
The first year of parenthood actually went very smoothly for us. We all wallowed in the love for our little one and I fell into deeper love with my husband watching him become the most amazing dad I could have ever imagined.
Plus, I recovered from birth and pregnancy very quickly and smoothly (thanks to all the things I am sharing with you in Well Mama), which made it much easier to care for a newborn. I would even go as fas as to say that I felt empowered in my role as a mom.
And then somewhere between Felix being 12 and 15 months, I hit a breaking point.
I was exhausted. Depleted. I had nothing to give. I felt so saturated with touch that by the time Felix was in bed and it was time for me and my husband to spend time together, all I wanted was to sit by myself in silence reading a book.
No more demands.
No more caring for anyone else.
No one touching me.
And this is coming from a person whose love language is touch!
I didn’t recognize the woman—not to mention, the wife!—I was becoming. What happened to that commitment I made to myself? I knew I was neglecting the person I loved so deeply and worse, I could tell that he felt rejected.
I knew my husband missed me, because I so missed myself, too!!!
But, I physically couldn’t get myself to muster up more affection. At the same time, my emotions felt brittle. I was on the verge of irritation or tears all the time. To be honest, I was embarrassed about that because I took pride in being positive and lighthearted…
Then, I remembered a talk I had heard somewhere about parenting and intimacy and the woman’s voice came into my head:
“Moms say that they feel like they are losing themselves. Husbands say that they feel like they are losing their wives.”
Whoa!!! Wasn’t that true? How had I gotten to this place? Wasn’t I just managing everything totally fine?
Months later, I read an article on the effects of weaning and how many women experience a “hormonal crash” when their babies stop breastfeeding. When I was going through those dark days, Felix was self-weaning over the course of a few weeks, but I didn’t make that connection.
As I started to feel the silent effects of my hormonal environment changing (more emotional, exhausted, irritated…) I also stopped taking great care of myself.
For me, that meant that I ate way more sugar than I know is good for me, I took less time to myself, and I got into an old mindset that had caused me pain many years before I even met my husband. That mindset told me something like this: “Get a grip. Buckle down and fix yourself before anyone notices.”
As you can imagine, that mindset is what initiated a whole new stress spiral and I only felt worse.
Here is what I had to do to recreate balance in my life and actually create the space to be loving and in harmony as a mom, a wife and a woman!
- Focus on taking care of myself first.
- Carve out space to hear my own thoughts and feel my own feelings, because they had been bottled up and I was ready to explode.
- Dive deep into my own tools that I had acquired in my psychology trainings and years as a life coach to women.
- Ask for more support and created the space to actually just be me—Caroline, the woman!
- Reduce my sugar intake and get more serious again about balancing my hormones and blood sugar.
- Take certain supplements to help me come back to my "feel good" center.
- Open up to my husband and have vulnerable conversations with him about how I was feeling and that I missed him; that I missed US.
- Grow together as a couple again and carve out time to just be husband and wife.
Once I moved into a new routine that was fueling me with intention, love, the right nutrients and the support I needed, I was able to regain my center and feel like myself again.
In some ways, I felt like I was reborn, leaving the darkness, stress, and disharmony behind and finally feeling lighter and in flow again.
I was and am so grateful for having been able to make that transition in a matter of a few weeks, because I know that many mamas out there struggle with “not feeling like themselves” for many months and even years.
Here is what I need you to know:
I was able to get through this tough phase quickly because I had the right resources and had a lot of exposure to excellent mentors, teachers and healers who had shared their wisdom with me.
It was going through the darkness myself that convinced me to share all the amazing information and tools that I have gathered over years of intense trainings and research with other mamas.
That’s how Well Mama was born: a hands-on program that combines healing your hormones and body after pregnancy and birth AND deeply insightful tools for how to reclaim yourself as a WOMAN so that your relationship with the ones you love can thrive as well while you are going through the massive transitions that pregnancy and motherhood bring with themselves.
You can find out exactly what Well Mama will teach you and what you can expect from the course here.