We all know it's a wild ride.

About 80% of my clients are families, and in almost every one of those, my main contact is Mom. You can see it in my work that it is my demographic. Because of that, I thought it would be nice to connect you all to a friend and client that had some helpful words to share with all of us on this week before Mother's Day. Sarah is a Colorado-based social worker specializing in maternal mental health. After taking her headshots at my home studio the other day we got to talking about her doing a guest blog for the Month of May and I am so glad we can finally share it. Listen to what she has to say about what we all know goes through our heads sometimes. Know we have all been there. Our mom bond is strong, we all get it. You are all doing amazing and I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day.

Maternal Ambivalence: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Tiny Humans

“I regret being a mom.” Have you ever had this thought in the middle of a tough moment with your kid(s)? And if you have, was it immediately followed by shame, guilt, and self judgement? This can be a scary thought, and it’s also a human one.

The truth of motherhood is that we often don’t feel just one way about mothering. In reality, we feel many different ways. Two things can be true. This is the crux of maternal ambivalence. We can acknowledge the ‘and’. We can desire being a mother and not want our old life to end. We can feel anger, frustration, resentment and joy, love, gratitude, and adoration. We can want to spend every day with our child and watch the minutes until bedtime. Maternal ambivalence is normal and dare I say, a universal experience.

However, saying these things out loud is often viewed as taboo. So, how can we show up authentically to motherhood without fear of being judged? How can we find support?

Ideally, we have a close circle of mom friends who are vulnerable with us, which in turn makes us feel safe to be vulnerable with them. That topic could be a whole other blog post entirely, but ultimately, shame blocks vulnerability. If we can cultivate realness in our friendships with other moms, if we can text them and say this sucks/I’m tired of this/I need support, then we (and they) end up feeling less isolated and more seen.

If that’s something that you’re still working to create in your life, a couple of good book recommendations include “Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts” and “Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts” by Karen Kleiman. A couple of great Instagram accounts to follow include @mother.ly and @twotruthsmotherhood. Lastly, reaching out to a therapist who is a PMH-C (certified perinatal mental health specialist) can help normalize feelings, build coping skills, and provide a safe space to talk about all things mothering- the good, the bad, the honest.

Being a mom is often a dichotomy. You can feel love AND anger. You can grieve your pre-child life AND feel gratitude for having your children. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. It just means you’re human. And recognizing this truth helps guide us toward self-acceptance, self- compassion, and well-being.

Sarah Boer, LCSW, PMH-C, is a Colorado-based social worker specializing in maternal mental health. She is licensed in Colorado, Illinois and Arizona and offers both in-person and virtual therapy sessions. She believes mothers are doing meaningful work and deserve a safe space to feel supported and cared for themselves. When she isn’t working, she is spending time with her husband and two kids, enjoying all that beautiful Colorado has to offer.

Thank you Sarah!

What a joy it is to connect with lovely people like you that have a wealth of knowledge and passionate about your career and others. Check out her website at https://www.sarahmarieboerlcsw.com/