Episode 32: Unraveling Grief & Motherhood With Rebecca Eames

We learn a lot about what motherhood “should” look like in our society and what the “perfect mother” is. Even if you’re not a mother, these stigmas and expectations have probably impacted you in some way too.

In This Episode:

In this incredibly powerful and liberating conversation with therapist Rebecca Eames we discuss how to normalize the emotions of motherhood – including grief and rage – and how to dismantle the “perfect mother” idea and focus on meeting the needs of mothers instead.

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Episode Transcript:

Episode 32: Unraveling Grief & Motherhood with Rebecca Eames

Summary Keywords

mother, motherhood, grief, transition, people, energy, feel, archetype, experience, emotions, anxiety, loss, lost, conversation, important, years, life, struggled, honoring, nurturing

Speakers

Rebecca Eames, Kelsey Mech

Kelsey Mech  00:02

Hello lovelies, I am, as always, just so thrilled to be here with you today. Before we dive into a really powerful, profound conversation about transitions and grief, and motherhood, I want to tell you a little bit about what’s going on for me. 

So I, okay, I’m going to tell you more. And I think I’m going to do a solo episode, coming up soon with a little more information. Because as I’m having all these conversations about unraveling, I am doing some pretty big unraveling work behind the scenes, and I think it actually deserves an entire conversation. Because it’s big. And there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of things I want to share that I think will actually be really helpful for other people to hear. So I’m gonna do a full episode myself, for those of you who missed my solo episodes, know that there is one returning and then we’ll, you know, pop back into the interview style for those of you who are here for that. But I want to just drop a couple things in today. 

First of all, I’m really doing some big picture pivots in my business, which is both exciting and deeply scary. And I am going to be offering business coaching through my business for the last time before I shift and start doing that work under another name. With a partner. There’s a whole lot of stuff going on this month, so May, I guess you’re listening to this in April. But starting in May, I have three spots for business coaching. And this is the last time I will be offering these spots at the rate they’re currently at. 

Once I’m doing this work under another name with someone else, things are going to look pretty different. And so if you have been thinking about working with me on creative things, business things life things from a coaching perspective, I would love to hear from you. And this is just a really great opportunity to do that work at a lower price point than it will be in the future. And like I said, I’ve only three spots starting in May, which can either be four month, six month, or sometimes I sort of work with people on an ongoing basis for nine months to a year as well. So if you’re wanting some more support, and to be like really deeply held in whatever work you are doing in the world, however that looks from a perspective that really is trying to shift to step outside of hustle culture and focusing so distinctly on just being productive at all costs. And if you relate to and resonate with the types of conversations and the way I explore business and life here in the podcast, and would like to work together in a one on one capacity ratio and email me, I would love to hear from you. And we can talk about whether or not one on one coaching would be a good fit. 

And speaking of one of my incredible clients is actually our guest on the podcast here today. And she just so also happens to be like one of my favorite people, she is a wonderful and wise. Rebecca Eames is joining us today. She is a counseling therapist, a mom of two young boys, a storyteller. She loves working with sensitive humans who want to change their relationship with anxiety. She does a lot of work with relational trauma and supporting people to move through grief and transition. And one of the things she most loves and is most passionate about is just celebrating and supporting everyday humans, especially people who maybe struggled to really acknowledge that that’s enough that it’s enough to just be an everyday human. And one of the one of the groups she works the most with is mothers. 

And so today in our conversation, we’re going to be talking about transitions. In general what that word even means. I think we see it often on like therapy websites and whatnot. I work with life transitions, but rarely do we actually talk about what that means. So we’ll be defining that and talking specifically about grief as a transition and what what grief is and how we can work with and hold space for grief. And then our conversation will dive into talking about motherhood and some of the stigmas and expectations of the quote unquote perfect or ideal mother. 

I would say I benefit so much from this conversation even though I’m not yet a mother. And even if you are not a mother or never plan on becoming a mother, this is a really important conversation to listen to because mothering is a critical part of our lives. In our society. And so much of what Rebecca talks about when it comes to motherhood really applies to any sort of caregiving as well. Any kind of caregiving relationship. So I think this conversation while intentionally for mothers is actually for everyone. So without further ado, let us jump into this conversation with Rebecca. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

Hi, Rebecca, welcome to the podcast.

Rebecca Eames  05:37

Hi, Kelsey. It’s great to be here.

Kelsey Mech  05:40

So can you start us off by just introducing yourself a little bit maybe telling us and the listeners about who you are and the work that you do in

Rebecca Eames  05:49

the worlds? Yeah, absolutely. So I am a Brit. I spent a while I’m starting with my nationality. But I live in Canada, that feels important. And I’ve been here for about 12 years, I am a mother to two small beings, two boys. And I am a wife and a therapist. I have a private practice in Vancouver, BC. And I mostly work with relational trauma, and transitions. But also, you know, anxiety and depression, things like that. And I’m trained in something called accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy. So the mouthful EDP and I primarily use that, but I’m also trained in like family systems, and do a lot of work around how, you know, losses and traumas. intergenerationally can be passed down. So I do a lot of that work with my clients, too. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah, I’m so glad you’re here. I always love having other therapists on the podcast. It’s so fun for me.

Kelsey Mech  07:06

One of the things you said that I know you do a lot of work around and and you drop the word in your little introduction, there was transitions. And I think we see this word used a lot, even on like therapists pages, like I specialize in X, Y, Zed and life transitions. Can you offer your thoughts on on both? What that actually means? Or includes or encompasses? Maybe? And also? What’s what’s missing when it comes to transitions in our current culture?

Rebecca Eames  07:35

Yeah, you’re so right. Like, there’s usually a long list of things. Like areas of focus, and it’s like, everything feels like such a big one. I actually feel like, there isn’t a client that walks through my door into my office that’s not in transition, in some form or another. I think traditionally, what we mean by transitions, when we talk about it in that context is, you know, we’re going through changes in life, like they could be, you know, like developmental changes, like we’re just, we’re going through, you know, middle age, or we’re becoming a mother or we are retiring, things like that. But it can similarly be, you know, a bit more job could be nuanced in that it can be also things just like, you know, ending a career I suppose, or a job, it could be losing a friend, it could be anything where we were attached to something, and that doesn’t need to be a person. But it could be an idea, a role we identified with or attached to it, and then some how, or some for some reason, whether it’s chosen or not, we are kind of separating from that meeting past it. Oh, I love that definition. That’s helpful. Yeah. And then what’s your other your follow up with him? Sorry, how hearable with the double questions.

Kelsey Mech  09:06

So given given that definition, which Yeah, beautifully, like, what is it that we’re most missing in your, in our culture, in our sort of capitalist gogogo culture when it comes to really fully honoring transitions?

Rebecca Eames  09:20

Well, I think you’ve kind of named it in the question, because I think that for me is the main issue. I think people don’t honor transitions. I think there are certain ones that we there’s a hierarchy, I guess of things that we deem to be valid of like, maybe some emotional distress, or, you know, we talk about marriage, moving house, divorce, all of these things somehow, like kind of worthy of us having some distress, but then there are other ones that we kind of minimize or we think, you know, not really, you know, they’re not big enough to warrant any kind of, you know, internal will shift, I suppose. And so I think honoring them, basically is the big problem that we don’t do that. And I think partly that’s because we don’t actually name certain things as a transition. I think, you know, we could synonymously use the word grief with transition, because I think with every, with every change comes loss. And I think we do a really bad job of validating all the loss that we experience in our lives. And so, you know, one example of that might be friendship, actually, that’s one that I see a lot in my work, you know, people kind of come in and they think, Oh, well, I can’t really take up this hour just talking about this, like argument I’ve had with a friend or this, you know, this kind of disputes, but it’s like, for me, the loss of a friend is, is huge. And it can, it can fundamentally change how we see ourselves as especially, you know, if if it was not a amicable split, which often in friendship, it’s not. So yeah, that’s one for sure. that I think gets minimized. And I think honoring it, validating it, and not minimizing some of the big key pieces. I also feel like a lot of the what I would call Pathak, the, I guess, psychopathology or the, you know, the diagnosis kind of world that we live in, you know, I come in, I say, I have generalized anxiety, or I have this or I have that, I think, often times and not always, that is a result of maybe a transition that’s not been honored. Or there’s not been space made to process that. And no, that’s my experience of depression in my early 20s. So yeah,

Kelsey Mech  11:51

oh, that is such an interesting framing. And I mean, we talk about that all the time when it comes to trauma being unprocessed and stuck in the body. But I’d actually never thought of the grief of a transition also kind of manifesting in those more chronic ways, like through depression, and sort of getting stuck or unresolved by not being fully acknowledged and processed. That’s really important to think about,

Rebecca Eames  12:12

oh, it’s huge. I should get good goosebumps just hearing you reflect that back. Because I think, if I’d have realized that I was experiencing a transition and grief, really grief, in my 20s, after the end of a relationship, my first very serious, deeply connected in love might marry this person relationship. If I had, if I’d have realized that what I was experiencing was grief. I would maybe have not lost a year of my life, or essentially, I mean, it wasn’t totally lost, but I definitely struggled. And and I thought that the feelings that I was experiencing meant there was something wrong with me. Especially because I had essentially chosen the end of that relationship. So to feel all these things when you’ve chosen something just didn’t make sense. I was like, Well, yeah, but if I want, if I want to move on, then I shouldn’t be feeling all of these things. And those things being a lot of actually. I think, just deep, deep, deep sadness. Yeah. And unlike losing someone to in death, this this felt like, but I have lost something that still exists. And that didn’t make sense. Not that the relationship didn’t exist, but the person did. And so that was hard to deal with. But anyway, I think, ultimately, I was grieving. And I see that now be many, many, many years later. And I didn’t know that at the time. And I don’t think the people around me were either, wouldn’t they weren’t saying it either. So this wasn’t just a me problem. So yeah, and I definitely struggled through that. Anyway, I’ve lost my train of thought,

Kelsey Mech  14:12

No, this is so brilliant. And we’ll wrap back around to where I know we’re headed. But I want to spend a moment more here because I think this is so critical. So often, we associate grief with such a limited set of circumstances often like death with a loss of some someone typically, or certain some things as well. But if what you’re saying is that in any transition, however big or small, there’s an element of leaving something behind for whatever the new thing is, and therefore an element of loss and usually grief than to navigate transitions. We need to know what to do with grief. And so I’m curious, like from your perspective, and maybe from the ADP lens, what is grief as an emotion. Neat,

Rebecca Eames  14:58

huh? Yeah, so good question. What does grief need? I think, well, first off, I think for me, grief isn’t just sadness. So I think that’s important to name. I think grief is processing the emotions that arise when something that we’re attached to. We become separated from it. I think that’s the loosest kind of definition for me, but like, so what does grief need? I think, really, it and I guess from the ADP lens, it would be. Well, there’s something in ADP that I really like which are shared is to kind of preface what what I’m going to say. But one of the really kind of neat quick definitions of ADP is to when you’re working as a practitioner with a client, we talk about the practitioners trying to help the client make the implicit explicit, make the explicit experiential, and then make the experiential relational. So in terms of like, what that is tangibly, the implicit is, you know, obviously, some kind of experience that we’re having internally. And sometimes that’s obvious, because we have an effect, right? Like, we might shed a tear, which doesn’t always mean sadness, but there’s some indication that there’s some in something happening inside because we see something on the outside. So naming that would be making implicit explicit, or if not naming it as a practitioner, just being curious about it, like, oh, I notice there’s some, there’s some emotion here, like, what is that? So when you’re in a, in a therapist client relationship, I think grief needs to be made explicit, right? Like we need to actually be able to organize, or at least, I mean, it’s kind of mindfulness to, I suppose, but just being aware of like, our actual experience, and what we’re experiencing inside and being able to make some enough space for that before we shut it down, shame it, block it out. So I think that grief could be, you know, it can be anger, it can be sadness, it can be, there can be joy and grief, I think there’s all sorts of emotional experiences that come under that umbrella of grief. And I think first off, it’s about you know, and ideally, it’s about somebody else, in connection with you being able to also identify and see that within you. Because something happens when we’re in connection that I think is different to be on our own, although I do think there’s many, many times in our grief, where we need to be alone with that with our grief. So yeah, so then, and then making that experiential is, you know, just experience, I mean, that just is experiencing it. So it’s sadness, and we need to let it go, then, you know, tears help us do that. Maybe words help us do that. I know, for me, I couldn’t let go of sadness when I listen to music. So it’s about finding the ways in which that the idea of the emotion having some kind of motion in it. So it’s moving through you, I think that’s going to be different for everybody, like, what that looks like, or how you get there. And obviously, therapists can help people with that. But yeah, making it experiential. For me, it’s just about moving the emotion. And not kind of depressing it or shutting it down, which is essentially what happened with me with my grief is that I just locked it all down, and then ended up being depressed and not feeling anything. Yeah. And then I guess, you know, the relational piece, and ADP is really important. Because I think for most of us, you know, a lot of the suffering that we experience is often in the face of deeply, deeply uncomfortable experiences, and aloneness, so being alone with those experiences, that that, to me is where we end up suffering. When we turn inward, we depress and we are alone in it. And so, you know, grieving really is in my mind, a communal experience, it should be there should be a container for grief. I say this a lot to clients to when they come in. You know, that, really our work is is about establishing some safety and trust in the relationship but so that they have a container for the grief I, in my mind, I want that to be in our communities not in a therapy room. Because something to me that makes it clinical or like, it’s some kind of like, it’s like grief is an illness, which is not. But that we have to go see somebody and pay them to help us figure this stuff out is just bananas to me. But that, you know, that’s the work I do, because it’s it doesn’t happen enough in community. So yeah, so having a container in that relational piece is huge. And to me, that’s what a lot of my work is about, which is creating communities where people have containers for, whether it be grief, you know, or, or other things.

Kelsey Mech  20:41

Thank you for offering that framework and sort of pathway through grief that is so profound. And I feel like you just in the last three minutes offered, like so many incredibly tangible takeaways for people. So, and I love your last comment too, about therapy. It just made me think, Gosh, I need a whole other episode of unraveling therapy. And oh, we know I need to move that from the individual. Yeah.

Rebecca Eames  21:05

I was like, I’m it’s definitely a whole other subject I want to talk about. Yeah, we’ll have to have you back

Kelsey Mech  21:09

for round two. But for today, now that we’ve spoken a bit about this sort of context of transitions, and this framework of using the lens of grief work to explore transitions, I know one of the transitions you do the most work in is the transition into motherhood. Mm hmm. So maybe just to provide a little bit of background, before we kind of dig into the nitty gritty of that conversation. I’m curious if you could share, like, what about motherhood from either professional or personal lenses? Are you particularly drawn to working with as a transition point?

Rebecca Eames  21:47

Yeah, wow. Initially, I was very resistant to kind of putting it out there that I wanted to work with mothers, I think, partly because I was still struggling. Well, as I was training anyway, I wasn’t ready to say that, you know, motherhood was like a thing that I had, you know, been through, that I was ready to support other people through, I think I was still really trying to understand my own experience. And so it’s only been in the last probably year and a half, I guess, or so that I’ve really felt very much compelled to do this work and to support mothers. And I think that’s an important thing, actually, to just name is how I think there’s a belief or an expectation that when we have a baby, whether we have a child of our own, whether we give birth to a child of our own or adopt a child, that somehow we are just now therefore a mother. And, and for me, that was just like, Oh, that was just the beginning, like of a very, very long and challenging process. And just because I had a baby in my arms, and yes, there was some biological instincts that enabled me to do these those kind of nurturing things. Was I a mother at that point, when I look back? No, I wasn’t, I am still, in many ways unfolding and becoming a mother. So I kind of often say, you know, a birth of a child doesn’t mean the birth of a mother, it’s the big it’s the beginning, yes, but you are not a complete, you know, whole, you know, mother that just is now this permanent form, you know, it’s, it’s still something that’s very much unfolding. And so I don’t think I was ready initially to do this work, because I was still really feeling into that and moving through it and trying to work out what I wanted to what I wanted to keep on, keep hold off, in terms of, you know, the ideas of what motherhood were and, and it wasn’t really in a place to necessarily guide someone else through that. I think, as I have become a mother to a second child, as I have done my own work, through my training as a counselor, but also just personal work that I’ve done myself. I feel much more equipped to do this work now and to help others because I do feel like I’m in a place where I really have defined what motherhood is for me for the moment. The caveat for the moment because I definitely feel like the transition of motherhood is lifelong. Yeah, I don’t think that you ever really out of that transition, which is a bit of a head. Fuck

Kelsey Mech  24:46

yeah, totally.

Rebecca Eames  24:49

Yeah. So

Kelsey Mech  24:50

yeah, I mean, we attach so much meaning in this society to that moment of birth or adoption, the like the moment of quote unquote becoming but you’re seeing it more Whereas a process and I mean, when I think about it, it’s like this ever evolving role change too, because our role as a quote unquote mother with an infant is very different than your role as a quote unquote, mother with a teenager. And so it is never really complete. You’re just constantly in evolution constantly in transition,

Rebecca Eames  25:18

which I think can be quite a harm, you know, if we don’t realize that we can get stuck, because we feel like we should have all the answers, which is why, you know, there’s so much money made from you know, parenting books. And, you know, books that tell us how to do it, because we’re all in a state of anxiety because suddenly, we’ve been given a role handed and identity and we don’t know what the hell we’re doing. And, and so we outsource, and like, try to find the answers from somewhere outside of ourselves, rather than kind of leaning into the process of like, you know, I need to be a beginner, I need to actually just start this just like you would any any new thing. You You have to. You have to it is a process you do have to learn as you go, which is, which is a hard thing, because, you know, obviously we’re trying to keep people alive and and we want to be perfect from the get go. We don’t want to make mistakes,

Kelsey Mech  26:14

right? Yeah. This is a question that I always ask on every episode, and you’ve kind of already answered a piece of it, but it is. What do you think are some of the common misconceptions which you’ve already named one of that like this, there’s a single moment where you become mother, but other misconceptions or stories or stigmas that we really need to unravel when it comes to experiences of motherhood?

Rebecca Eames  26:40

Hmm. Yeah, I mean, I think this kind of probably leads on to some of the sorts I have around the, you know, perfect mother or ideal mother. I think. I think it’s still very present. We’ve done there’s been a lot of work, I think, and shifts and changes, even in the last, you know, decade or two of just like how maybe we view mothers. But it’s nowhere near I think, where it should be, and oh, it’s a big one to unpack. But I think the, there’s this idea of this perfect mother, right? Like, she is nurturing, she’s protective. She’s a caregiver, she will do all anything that she can to care for her children at the cost of her self. And I, I think that there are so many ways in which society kind of sets us up to just fail from the get go. And if you look at the kind of like the, I mean, one of the things I’ve been exploring a lot is this idea of like, the archetype of mother and the archetype of Mother is actually a really beautiful, helpful thing to reflect on thing. But I feel like there’s a bit of a distortion of, of what the archetype of mother is. So for me, when I think of archetypes and what I think archetypes really are, I mean, they are just like energies, right? Like, so, we all as women, we have different types of energies, and they are depicted and symbolized through you know, imagery and, and other things throughout, you know, literature and culture. And the caregiver or the mother archetype is really just trying to represent this energy within all women, which is nurturing, caring, protecting, creative, loving, and, and that’s a beautiful thing, like so I don’t have any issue with that I think we all should, you know, be really reflective of like all the different energies that a woman can can bring and tap into and express you know, obviously, look at some of the other ones like the lover or the Huntress or the maiden these are just some of the other archetypes title energy energies that a woman would you know, possess. But I think what happens when we become a mother is that there’s this some somehow it’s just like, all of the rest of them just I suppose to disappear. Like somehow all of that those characteristics those energies are like, that’s it now. Like you can’t be anything else. A good example of that would be like the lover Right? Like I mean, obviously the love was way more than just sexual. It’s, you know, the lever is about, you know, creativity and seduction and you know, to me, we’ve kind of told women that when they’re mothers and they’re like asexual now or they don’t have, they can’t be like seductive in the same way, they’re any seductive in the fact that they’re carrying, or that they’re, you know, that they’re nurturing. So I think that when we see movies, we see, you know, popular culture, we, we recognize the mother archetype, but it’s been it’s been kind of distorted. Because it’s like, it’s, it’s almost like a parody, or it’s not like, it’s a caricature. It’s not actually like, Oh, this is just an energy. And it’s an it’s part of who you are. But it’s not all of who you are. And I think for me, I just assumed that when I became a mother, like, I just had to be that energy, I couldn’t be any other energy anymore. So I don’t know if that answers your question. But it is powerful work, in my mind, deconstructing motherhood for women, because, yes, it’s a role, like a practical role. But I think the things that people struggle with, and where they come, where they, where they get stuck, is that it’s more in the internal landscape of being a mother the energy that they’re supposed to bring, if you ask a lot of new mums. You know, I think one of the things that they might, I assume, would say, I’ve heard a lot that they struggle with is this, like, you know, I want to be a perfect mother, and I’ll sit and I’ll play with my kids for hours and hours, and, but I inside, I hate it, I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to be playing these games, I don’t want to be playing with Lego or Duplo, or like balls on the floor, or whatever it is. And then the shame hits, because then it’s like, oh, my gosh, a real good mother, like the ideal mother, the perfect mother would love to do this. Because she that’s, you know, she’s so self sacrificing, that she doesn’t even need any of the other things anymore, because she’s just so good and so caring. She should love every act of caring, too. And anyway, I think that, you know, it’s just, it’s a role, but it’s yeah, it’s also an energy and it’s not one that you can sustain 24/7. And, you know, some people are naturally more inclined to be caregivers, there’s going to be women out there that have probably felt in their, in their whole being, that, you know, this was what they were meant to do, to care, to nurture to love. Maybe they’re the people that, you know, hang out with friends will be the one that has a first aid kit in their bag that is the sober, the sober, one that drives everybody home, the one that’s trying to, you know, make sure that your outfits are straight, and you look good. And you know, like that, that kind of energy that that, that those might be people that feel more comfortable in the role of mother because it’s an energy that they naturally a more dominant in. But there’s many, many people out there that that’s just not the case. Does it mean they don’t love their children? Or that they can’t be good mothers? No, it just means that they are going to do it differently. They might do it with a bit more of a huntress energy, or, you know, the more of the sage or the some of the other archetypes. Yeah, oh,

Kelsey Mech  33:44

I love that framing. And I think that’s so important. Because, I mean, you’re right, the ideal mother is so much like, only leaves room for that mother archetype. And that becomes all consuming if you’re falling into that trap of being the ideal mother or feeling like you need to be the perfect mother and I love this idea of looking at it from this archetypal lens in which you can create so much more space for different pieces of the puzzle that I mean in many ways might actually be like, just as important to being a good mom.

Rebecca Eames  34:17

Absolutely. And if you don’t allow those in what ends up happening is we get resentful we we self sacrifice to the point where we have no energy left for ourselves and then you know, then you know in a in a kind of last ditch attempt to have any kind of a boundary we experience anger and rage. And you know, rage is something that’s I’ve experienced a lot as a mother and has been something that I’ve really struggled with, like, really had to work through it because it was something that I was just like, this is absolutely not allowed. Like I cannot feel these feelings. It’s not okay, there’s so much stigma around them. Oh, yeah, it’s huge. Yeah. And yeah, I feel like, you know, if you look back in sort of fairy tales, there’s always the bad mother. Like, that’s the stepmom. Right. And Cinderella or the the evil wicked stepmother. And then, you know, she manifests, she’ll come out like, and if you think about Mother Nature, right, like, the kind of that symbol of Mother Nature is like the mother of all humanity. I mean, she’s not. She’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I mean, there’s hurricanes and tornadoes, and she’ll, she’ll rip things apart. Right? So the power and the force, I think, within the mother energy is if if we don’t allow room and space for that, that that caring and nurturing energy to actually come back to ourselves. Because who says it should only go to the children? I don’t know when, when that when that story changed, right? Or when that story first came out was like, oh, yeah, like, you know, you’re self sacrificing. I don’t know that that’s actually well, it just is a very, very dangerous expectation, because what happens is we end up getting sick, and we end up getting angry and the bad mom comes out, right? So yeah,

Kelsey Mech  36:27

right. And so much of this comes back to to the society we live in, in the piece you brought up earlier around grief, when you were saying, you know, in the past, we used to be able to hold space for grief in a communal container. And similarly, we also used to hold space for motherhood much more communally, too. And so this idea that you can just do it all alone as a mom without the supportive community, and be this like, quote, unquote, perfect mother who’s never angry and never sad, and never any of these things is bullshit.

Rebecca Eames  36:53

Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s, I mean, I’ve still got a hole in the back of my bedroom door. From when I punched a hole through that, and I haven’t actually, like covered it up. I mean, that happened, like, what, five years ago, probably just pure rage of just like, you know, you lose a lot of I don’t know, if you lose a lot of your sanity, I think in some of the earlier days when you’re just really slipped. I mean, it’s hard for me even now talking about it, right? Because she was funny. I was talking to a friend about this podcast and doing this interview with her. And she said, also we’re going to talk about and I said, Well, you know, all the different emotions of motherhood and, and she’s like, Yeah, but you’re not going to talk about the day that you punch the thing. And then she said, What happened when you threw the when you threw the baby gate, or you rip the baby gate off the off the top of the stairs? I was like, Yeah, I said, the thing is, that it’s important, I want to be able to say that so that anybody listening, is we’ve got to get better at like owning that these things happen. It’s not that we’re proud of them, or that we think it’s, it’s okay to like, I mean, you know, I scared my children the day that I hold out and rip the baby gate off the wall. But I think it is important to say that this is what happens when we don’t have a supportive community around us when we don’t have affordable childcare. You know, we don’t live anymore with like, like, mothers and our grandmothers and aunts and our sisters and all the women that you know, we trust and love, we don’t live in that way anymore. My family are on the other side of the world. So, you know, if we don’t, if we don’t have that support, and we’re also expected to be this perfect mother than, you know, baby gates are gonna get ripped off the wall people. And worse, unfortunately, so, you know, I think I think it’s more common than we realize.

Kelsey Mech  39:00

And thank you for sharing that I think you do such a beautiful job of normalizing the the rage, the grief, these heavy emotions that are par for the course with motherhood and don’t mean you’re doing it wrong, or you’re a bad mom, but are just actually a part of the experience. And I’m curious, you know, are there other emotions that really stand out to your emotional experiences that you see coming up a lot around motherhood, that there’s also a lot of that stigma or perhaps even shame around?

Rebecca Eames  39:34

Well, I think sadness, I don’t think I don’t think we like to talk about sadness with motherhood because there’s lots of people that want to be mothers who can’t who can’t or right, you know, it’s like we’re in a privileged position that we get to have a child so to be sad about it, it’s not okay. I think I think there’s a lot of loss that comes with motherhood. And this is like kind of paradox or the ambivalence that I was talking about earlier, because you have gained so much, and you are profoundly changed and you feel an abundance of love. And sometimes that takes a while to develop, it’s not always there from the get go. But you have all these incredible feelings and emotions. And you can’t imagine, like, what it would be like to not have had that experience. And yet, there’s such a deep longing for me of a time. That was before I was a mum, that I will never get back. It’s gone. Would it? Would it still be there? If I was 42 and childless, maybe I would have still had to move through that transition that loss anyway, just because of aging and becoming an older person, but but I’ll never know. Because I’m mother, it feels like, you know, motherhood has robbed me of certain things. That’s hard to say, because we should all want to be mothers, according to some new out there. But it’s not true. And yeah, I think sadness is one. I mean, there’s, you know, I could talk a lot about loss of the things that we lose, that sometimes we regain them, and we get to redefine them and get to reclaim things that we lost. But I think, you know, just a few of those would be nice. Sometimes we lose, just like functioning in our bodies, and we lose leaders. shit ton of time. There’s not a lot of time left anymore. To do things that, you know, maybe you want to do for pure indulgence reasons. Friendships, another one that I think transitioning through friendships can be really challenging when we become a mother. There’s a lot of things. And I think just the loss of like, if we go back to talking about like archetypes, I think for me, like the maiden, the maiden archetype is something that I longed for, again, the energy of like, being completely ignorant and innocent. And, and the potential of that, and the, and the wonderful, like, kind of like hopes that you have for like, this life that’s just unfolding ahead of you. Like, I don’t I don’t feel that anymore. Yeah.

Kelsey Mech  42:43

Yeah. That’s a loss. Yeah. And I mean, I think, again, just coming back to this word, normalizing, right, it’s so important to normalize all these experiences, so that we can hold space for both the wonderful gains of motherhood and the losses, and then all of that can be true at once and acknowledging the losses or the hard parts, or the rage inducing parts doesn’t make you a bad mother. Right? It’s just this is all part of the transition is accepting all of it. Yeah. Or maybe not even accepting it. Perhaps that’s the wrong word. But like, holding space for all of it.

Rebecca Eames  43:19

Yeah. I think I’d probably talk more about the uncomfortable experiences than, than most.

Kelsey Mech  43:31

Someone has to Yeah,

Rebecca Eames  43:32

yeah. The irony of that is that, you know, I, I’m, I’m happier now, in many ways, how happy and that’s an interesting way. I guess I’m, I’m more comfortable in myself than I have been ever before. So that’s good. That’s hope. And yeah, I mean, it’s not it’s, it’s definitely bought more with I’ve gained more than I’ve been as lost. Yeah, for Absolutely. Yeah, sure.

Kelsey Mech  44:08

So, before we kind of start to move toward wrapping up, I have one more question that’s maybe like, a little bit selfish. But I’m gonna ask it from a maiden to mother as someone who is not yet a mom, but plans to be myself. I would love to know if you have any advice. And this obviously, you know, probably is relevant to some people listening to who I know are not parents. Yeah. What advice would you have or what do you wish you considered perhaps before you entered into this journey, this transition, this lifelong process of motherhood yourself?

Rebecca Eames  44:43

I think if I could, well, I’m thinking about going even talking to my past self. Sure, as well as you asked that question. I think I would say You don’t, there’s never going to be like a time where you’re going to be perfect enough human to, to, like, knock it out of the park, as in, you know, be the perfect mother. Because I don’t think it exists. So I think I go back to my past self and say that because I think I was and I thought that, you know, I needed to fulfill all the things that my Maven wanted to fulfill before I became a mother. And so part of me wishes wishes I had done it earlier. But that’s personal for me, obviously. But the advice, I think I would, or guess the wisdom that I would pass on, is that it just takes time. It really, I think I read somewhere once that, you know, the transition of motherhood or the to become become comfortable with the new role of being a mother. And the identity of being a mother can take, like, up to like, seven years. And when I read that, I was like, I mean, I don’t know that that’s, you know, scientifically, you know, being researched, but I was like, wow, yeah, like, No one told me that, like, if I’d have known that, maybe I would have been, I would have been a bit kinder to myself in the early days. So yeah, I think I would say it takes time, this is an unfolding process, you’re not meant to know it all. And also trusting, trusting that you will figure it out, and that there isn’t a right way. That’s another one. I think the the mantra or the affirmation or the the words that I kept saying to myself over and over again, after the first year of parenting, and I’m seven a bit years in now was just let go, right, like just being able to let go and accept a lot of really uncomfortable emotions. Don’t be afraid of anger. And it’s and you know, on a sort of more lighter note, it’s okay, if you don’t want to hang out with like other moms. Or like, not, like, if you don’t want to be best friends with like every other mom that you come across, I think that’s, that’s something that I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, I need to be like in this other gang now. And actually, you know, the relationships that have really supported me through motherhood have been the ones that were there before motherhood.

Kelsey Mech  47:39

And well, it sounds like to really depend on the archetypes that you lean into, right, which doesn’t all have to be just mother only mother, it can be a mother and and all these other pieces.

Rebecca Eames  47:50

And if I needed those, I needed those. Yeah, the mothers in my life, for sure. But I think if anything I needed. I needed those other friends around to remind me of all of the other energies and other archetypes. And then I think the last one is just pay if you have money to pay for anything. Pay for time, just to pay for time. So that you can, yeah, yeah. Don’t buy like fancy stuff. Just pay for time. Time to care for your body calf your soul. Yeah,

Kelsey Mech  48:25

yeah. That’s some sage wisdom. And so funny. You said, The Seven Year figure. And now you’re just over seven years out of starting this journey yourself. And you’re starting to like, do this work so much more from a place of like guide and facilitator, which I think is so interesting that that timing lines up. So maybe there’s some evidence that numbers

Rebecca Eames  48:52

connected that so yeah, yeah, that’s funny.

Kelsey Mech  48:54

But speaking of that, before we close here, I would love for you to share a little bit about your upcoming offering when it comes to motherhood.

Rebecca Eames  49:04

Yeah, so I have a new program that it’s been, it’s been a seed of an idea since that storytelling event, like five, six years ago. But now Yeah, I have a wonderful new program that I want to offer to mothers. It’s called threshold. And it’s really about helping people through this kind of transition. I like to call it like crossing the unfamiliar borders of motherhood. I’ve done some work around rites of passage work, and I really like the idea of using the rites of passage model to support people through transition. In a rite of passage, there’s three phases separation, there’s usually the liminal phase or the threshold phase, which is this period in between, which is full of like anxiety and unknowns, and we’re kind of, we’re kind of walking around in the fog, we don’t really know where we are, where we’ve landed, our life before that we knew no longer exists, and the life that lies ahead of us is not quite clear yet, or we aren’t fully ready to be there. And so this period of the threshold is, to me this really potent time. It’s a very, it’s a very intense time filled with many, many conflicting emotions. It’s a time where I feel like we need a guide, we need somebody to kind of hold our hand or to at least accompany us and validate and witness us. And I think when you asked me earlier about, you know, what we need in transition that we don’t have right now, and you talked about, you know, what, how could we honor transition, I think this is the phase that so often, we want to get out of as quickly as possible, because it’s so uncomfortable. I don’t know what where we are or what we’re doing. And I want to kind of, I want to make it a sacred time, I want to make it a time, where we slow down, we create ritual, we we witness and celebrate the things that we’re gaining. And we also make space to grieve, and let go of the things that we’re finding it hard to let go of. And so this is a really this is a community for that is for that period of time. And that could look like you know, for some people, it could be like, they’re not there until they’re two years postpartum. For some people that six months postpartum, where they’re really just like I’m in it, I’m in this phase of like, I feel a bit lost. And so the program is really a kind of mixture of education, a little bit of psychoeducation, but really a lot of space for sharing, and storytelling, and ritual, and read to help help women break down some of the limiting beliefs of like, what motherhood is. So looking at the archetype of mother, like we’ve talked about today, also looking at our own relationships with our own mothers, how some of that can affect us, as we go on the motherhood journey and can get us stuck. Even just how we relate to anxiety, you know, like, if we’re afraid of anxiety, then we’re going to be struggling in motherhood because being a mother inherently comes with anxiety every single day. So we got to work on that. And maybe change our perspective around anxiety and how we view it. And so yeah, I It’s called threshold is a 10 week program. And it’s online right now. There may be opportunities for coming together in person in future versions. Yeah. And it’s, it’s something I’m deeply passionate about something I really have been thinking about for a long, long time. And it’s this now that seven years in, I’m ready, I’m ready to share it with the world. And we’ve just so much to learn from each other, I think as women. And I’m just I’m really excited. And I, you know, I hope that it’s really what I needed, that I didn’t, I didn’t have, so I’ve created something for my past self.

Kelsey Mech  53:41

Yeah. And I have to say, I mean, I’m just so grateful to you for doing this work. Obviously, I’m not at the point of being quite ready to sign up for it yet. But I’m just like, Oh, thank God, this exists. So maybe, you know, in two or three or four or five years when I’m in this position, you know, this, this is exactly the sort of space holding I would crave. And I’m sure so many people listening will feel the call as well. And so on that note, I’m curious, can you share when it starts and where people can find it?

Rebecca Eames  54:09

Yeah. So our next group is starting in early May, probably the first week of May. So registration is open now. And it closes on April 24. It’s going to be for small groups. So this, this group will probably be four to six people. And you can go onto my website, which is Rebecca hems.com. And you will find the threshhold page and all the informations there about how to join who this is for how the program is structured. And if you have any questions at all, obviously you can you can message me but yeah, that’s all of it. Yeah.

Kelsey Mech  54:50

Awesome. And I’ll make sure to put the link in the show notes and everything for folks as well.

Rebecca Eames  54:54

Thank you so much for having me on.

Kelsey Mech  54:57

It’s been such a delight. I really appreciate you sharing so much wisdom with us and also just like your genuine personal experience, I think it’s so normalizing and validating to hear and I’m just like I said before, so, so grateful for the work that you do in the world.

Rebecca Eames  55:11

Oh, I was really, really a pleasure to be here and to talk about it. It feels like, yeah, it’s it’s my baby. My other baby. Yeah. Thank you, Kelsey.

Kelsey Mech  55:23

As always, thank you so much for listening to the unraveled life podcast, I really appreciate you taking the time to tune in for this last hour or so of the conversation that I had with Rebecca. If you are interested in business coaching, like I mentioned at the top of the podcast, you can find all of that information on my website at Kelsey mech.com. And let’s see, what else do you need to know share it like it, love it. Tell your friends. Again, this podcast is made possible by you and your support. So I really appreciate when you go out of your way to support me by sharing this. Okay, sending you all lots of love and gratitude