Bryony provides such a powerful antidote to this world of people telling you what you should be doing, instead working out ways to value and build on what you already have, with practical ideas that are carefully geared to the totally unique situations that each of us face. Putting aside time to work with Bryony is I think something I’m doing both for my child and for myself as a parent, and it feels like really important work without feeling like hard work at all! - L.
Taking care of babies can be wonderful and joyful, but there is no mistaking that it is hard work and often a major life adjustment! There is often talk of ‘The Village’ that it takes to raise a child but the reality is that most people don’t really have this supportive village. Instead we try and create our own circles of support through family, friends, antenatal and baby groups and professional support.
Over my many years of working with and supporting families I have observed just how useful it can be to have someone to check in with along the journey of becoming a mother and finding your way through the first couple of years with each child. I’ve seen so many mothers wait until breaking point before asking for help, or to struggle through, feeling that they just need to ‘get on with it’, only to empty their reserves and find themselves depleted and struggling, whether it be in the early days, or months on when lack of sleep is taking it’s toll.
Rather than waiting for things to reach a low point before you ask for help, a regular mentoring session can help you find your way through, weathering the ups and down along the way. Mentoring can start from pregnancy, in the early months or into the first few years.
Having a Mother’s Mentor can be a part of your support structure, your village. The idea is simple- in many jobs, there is a need for supervision or mentoring. Why should parenting or motherhood be any different? Parenting is work! It’s not paid work, but it is extremely valuable to the individual experience of each child and to society as a whole. What’s more, it is a 24hr job. No holidays, no sick days. And the role changes all the time! You figure out how life works with a 4 wk old baby, but then a month later, they’re different, and so on and so forth into the future. One of the benefits of a mentor is I provide a space that is just for you! A warm, welcoming, non judgemental and productive space without any demands on you.
So how does it work?
We meet, either online or face to face in your home once a month for an hour.
We check in with how you’re doing, talk over any challenges you’re having and celebrate any triumphs. We might talk a bit about sleep or baby development, but this is primarily about supporting you. Supporting your needs, thought processes and resilience strategies.
Remember that common quote about putting your own oxygen mask on before helping others? Well, as mothers and parents, we are often so intensely caught up in caring for our babies and children, often whilst juggling many other things too, that our needs can end up at the bottom of the pile. This leads not only to feelings of frustration and overwhelm, but also compassion fatigue which isn’t helpful for the people we are caring for! Sometimes anxiety and depression can flare up. All this can leads onto feelings of guilt, frustration or not being ‘good enough’ and round and round we go.
These are all common feelings around mothering, and we can be too tired to step back for a minute and figure out how to better manage, or how to nourish ourselves more so we are better able to enjoy our babies and walk the path a little steadier
What might sessions involve?
Well, it’s a bit different for everyone, because I tailor my sessions to what you need and want. Mainly it involves talking about parenting; relationships; identity changes; priorities; juggling life; challenging feelings; self esteem and anything else that might be sitting heavy on your mind.
Some sessions may feel more serious, with space to reflect and honour the difficulties you are feeling, and some may be more creative and upbeat. It’s not uncommon that we find the funny side of things and share in moments of laughter and deep empathy amongst your reflections.
Every session will be a bit different, because every month is a bit different! Our sessions flow alongside the ups and downs and the rhythm of your life at the time.
Sometimes we might also draw on some other techniques such as
yoga practices for physical ease and stress reduction
deep relaxation practice
grounding techniques for reducing and managing anxiety/difficult thoughts
creative journaling (no ‘talent’ required)
What might sessions involve?
Sessions are monthly and booked in blocks of 3.
Fees are on a sliding scale.
Families with an annual income below £30, 000
3 months – £135 (£45 per session -payment plans available)
Families with an annual income £30, 000- £50, 000
3 months – £225 (£70 per session)
Families with an annual income above £50, 000
3 months – £255 (£85 per session)
Families with an annual income above £90, 000
3 months – £285 (£95 per session)
Sessions are available on Friday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.
Updated Feb 24 - I am currently fully booked, but sometimes have spaces becoming available that I am not advertising yet, so do feel free to be in touch