Millions of mums will wake up on Sunday morning to be greeted by their children presenting them with cards, flowers … and possibly even breakfast in bed.

It’s a lovely way to start a day.

And what a lot of those mums would probably like on top of that is a bit of time and space to focus on themselves – including on their own emotions and feelings.

Especially those with a baby or toddler who are still adjusting to their new life.

BACP counsellor Natasha Page ran a series of free counselling sessions for mums with children aged under two last year, after securing funding for the project from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Difficult to adjust

She recognises how hard it can be for mums.

“It can be difficult to adjust to the sheer volume of work that comes with being a mum,” she said.

“The shift in your life can be quite a shock. You have a little person relying on you for 24 hours every day. Even if it’s not your first child you still have those adjustments.

“It helps to acknowledge what you find difficult.

 

"A lot of mums feel they're not good enough," says Natasha Page.

"A lot of mums feel they're not good enough," says Natasha Page.

“We need to give mums the space to understand their own feelings and to focus on these. They don’t always get that.

“Mums often don’t realise that it can be normal to feel they way they do. They don’t realise that it might leave them feeling that low.

“There can be a sense of shame involved. A lot of mums feel that they’re not good enough, that they’re not doing a good enough job.

Voice feelings

“Counselling can help them learn to adapt to a new situation and allows them to voice their feelings.

“Mums can develop their resilience,” added Natasha, who runs This is Me Counselling and Psychotherapy, in Sandiacre, Nottingham.

That resilience and space where they’re not judged can be really helpful in terms of mums’ mental health and wellbeing, especially in a world where women sometimes feel they have to live up to the Facebook or Instagram image of the perfect mother.

Natasha adds that for some mums, a new baby can affect their relationship with their partner.

 

BACP member Natasha Page

BACP member Natasha Page

And for many women it can bring issues with their own mothers back to the surface again.

“People have different emotions and different experiences of their own parents. That’s often something that’s worked through in therapy. They may want the relationship with their child to be different to that.

And she has an important message to the family and friends of new mums.

Ask her 'are you ok?'

“Make sure you ask her ‘are you ok?’ Not just once, but twice. ‘Are you really ok?’

“Sometimes people don’t notice if a new mum is struggling because everyone’s caught up in the excitement surrounding the new baby,” she added.

Natasha was inspired to launch her free counselling sessions for new mums because of her own experience of motherhood.

“I realised there was all these activities and sessions out there but they were all for the baby. There wasn’t anything that really looked at the mums needs.

“We shouldn’t forget about focusing on the mum – and to give her some space to go and talk.”

To find a BACP counsellor or psychotherapist visit our Therapist Directory.