Growing your motherhood support team
Motherhood can feel a lonely and isolating place, especially if you are struggling with a challenging baby or child and your own emotional rollercoaster. Every mum needs a village to support her in motherhood, but as we all know, the traditional village structures no longer exist.
Even if we do have friends, parents or in-laws, geographically close-ish, our relationships with them might not be. Plus, their roles and expectations in the modern world have also changed and so our ability to access the practical and emotional support we need, might feel significantly compromised.
Sometimes however, it is important to pause and reflect on all the people around us that are on our side and are part of our support team - sometimes they might not be the people we automatically look to for support (and possibly find lacking), but instead an extended team of people, who we can reach out to for a much needed boost. These could be anyone from our local barrister, our hairdresser, an online community, or someone on social media.
Reflecting and writing this support team down can really help make us feel more supported. We can also pro-actively seek to build an extended support team of people around us, that we can turn to for different needs and wants.
The nourish app is a project that was born from the mission to provide a mental wellbeing toolkit and a real-mum-expert support team in mums’ pockets.
Four years ago, I hit burn out with work and mothering. I was irritable, shouty and stressed a lot of the time. I was consumed by feelings of guilt and failure, and a feeling that I was completely alone in my struggles. I was a long way from the mum I wanted to be, but I knew there had to be a different way. So I set out on my mission to find more balance and joy in motherhood, and that was the beginning of my journey with self-care, which ultimately transformed my motherhood experience.
I initially started a blog and Instagram account sharing not only my honest and real struggles of motherhood, but also tips and strategies I had learned along the way to find more love, balance and joy. Through this outreach I connected with an amazing group of wellbeing professionals such as Suzy Reading, Emma Svanberg, Dr Rebecca Moore and more (Nourish Founding Team), who were sharing their expertise online. Through them I learned the truly multidisciplinary nature of self-care and the need for a broad toolkit of practices depending on our needs and preferences in different moments.
I thought, wouldn't it be amazing to bring all these fabulous women and their positive and uplifting tools and practices into one, easily accessible place on our phones, devoid of any pressures or judgements, that mums could reach for anytime, anywhere, to feel held and understood. Somewhere mums could come to relax, reset and restore and find more connection, compassion and calm. And so, the idea for the Nourish app was fully born!
Everyone involved in the Nourish app to date has their own personal story of struggle in parenthood. The team is passionate about ensuring other parents don’t struggle alone; about breaking down the barriers that exist which prevent parents taking time for themselves; and about providing the tools to help and support parents to nourish and nurture their minds and navigate the emotional ups and downs of parenting life.
As we think about next steps for Nourish, we have been collaborating with new experts across the area of parental wellbeing. I’m excited to spotlight 5 of the inspirational women who have recently joined our Nourish Expert Community, and share with you their stories that are driving their passion behind what they do.
Nicky Lowe, Wisdom for Working Mums - Women's Empowerment Coach
Nicky experienced burnout after having her first child. This experience was a catalyst for her to reimagine her approach to work and motherhood. Nicky now supports women to combine their work and family life more successfully and sustainably - without sacrificing their sanity or wellbeing. Applying her coaching, leadership and psychological skills to help working mums truly thrive.
Nourish posts from Nicky:
The epidemic of stress for working mothers and the three things you can do about it
Should I stay or should I go? 7 self-coaching questions to help you navigate work vs motherhood.
Thalia Pelligrini, the Knackered Mums Nutritionist - BANT-registered Nutritionist
Thalia was pregnant when she graduated as a nutritional therapist in 2009. She thought she knew exactly how to help women feel better. Motherhood exploded her wellbeing. It was a humbling experience realising that knowing how to help mums and actually helping them were two different things. Working with mums requires a unique skillset - empathy and nurture are essential, not just expertise and experience.
Thalia sadly has also lost 2 close friends in the last 4 years. Both mums, both in their 40s. It has fuelled her passion for maternal wellbeing all the more. In Thalia’s eyes NOBODY should have to settle for a life that doesn’t match with who they really feel they are on the inside. And yet WAY too many Mums put their needs and desires last, and spend so much time and energy showing up for others at the expense of themselves.
Nourish posts from Thalia:
Tamsin Williamson, The Parenthood Coach - Transformational Life Coach
Having been on her own transformational journey from feeling very stuck and unfulfilled in her own life, it’s now Tamsin’s mission to support and empower other amazing Mums bursting with untapped potential, to stop hiding in the shadows and step into the spotlight, so they can really be and feel seen. And most importantly so THEY can see THEMSELVES in all their beautiful and unique glory.
Tamsin believes we don’t have to pit motherhood up against having a happy, fulfilling life for ourselves. Motherhood has the potential to be an amazing and powerful ENABLER and Tamsin’s work is an invitation to Mums to unapologetically take up space in the world, feeling they are worthy, deserving and special in their own right, as well as in their role as a parent.
Nourish posts from Tamsin:
People pleasing in Motherhood, and how to set yourself free!
Self-care Series: An Interview with The Parent Coach, Tamsin Williamson
Mandy Rees - Founder of Mothers for Life
Mandy suffered postnatal depression after her first daughter was born and so she understands how scary and lonely motherhood can be. She also has a difficult relationship with her own mum which meant that she had no mothering role model to guide her. Mandy believes we need to change the world - to heal it; to create more respect for women and to raise the value of motherhood. She believes that to do this we need to come together as women/ mothers and value ourselves and the feminine within us.
Nourish posts from Mandy:
5 New Year, no-guilt, self-care 'strategies', NOT resolutions!
Dr Chloe Bedford - Counseling Psychologist (children & teens)
Dr Chloe Bedford is a Counseling Psychologist, working with children, teenagers and their parents who are struggling with their mental health. Chloe is a mother herself and appreciates how challenging it can feel when our children are unwell. There are times when things can feel overwhelming. This is especially true for young people, who are just at the start of their life journey. Chloe is a strong advocate for self-compassion. Life is hard and we need to be kind to ourselves, and allow ourselves the space and time to heal.
Nourish posts from Chloe:
Children’s Mental Health: Signs your child is struggling & what to do about it
Read more about the Nourish Expert Team here.
We really hope we can go some way to offering you an extended support team.
Can you take a few minutes to pause and reflect on who is currently on your team and what places you want to fill?
At Nourish we collaborate with experts in psychology, coaching and evidence-based wellbeing practices, including mindfulness, yoga, meditation, nutrition, sleep and more to help parents create their own toolkit and support network that they can turn to to improve their wellbeing and safeguard their mental health.
We have lots of exciting plans for how we collaborate with our expert community in the future, working with individuals and with businesses. If you are an expert, interested in working with us and joining our network, please contact us here.
If you think your workplace might be interested in exploring ways we support working parents, please contact us here.
About the author:
Sara Campin is mum of 2, life coach and founder of the Nourish app. Sara founded Nourish after the impact self-care had on her and her family’s wellbeing. Sara struggled with her mental wellbeing both as a new mum and in juggling the pressures of work and mothering and felt incredibly alone and unsupported in her struggles. Through the app she brings together a team of compassionate, empathetic, parental wellbeing experts to offer an accessible, multidisciplinary and relevant mental well-being toolkit and support team to parents in the UK and beyond.