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I never really imagined myself as a parent so most of motherhood has been challenging for me. Having birthed 6 kids (including two sets of twins) still blows my mind. I pinch myself often. I liked children and babies but never really thought of myself as maternal before having my first daughter. Now I would give birth to and breastfeed 1000 babies if my body (and my husband) would allow. The biggest challenge for me was mourning my pre-baby self and life. I had never realized how selfish I actually was before I had children. I wasn’t terrible but I had a lot of spiritual and emotional growth to do. Becoming a parent has been my greatest gift in life and has taught me all about empathy and giving.
What’s one thing about motherhood you still struggle with or have yet to master?
Well, I definitely don’t feel like an expert most days! I mess up constantly but I am so grateful that I get to wake up every day and try it again. The one thing that I still get jammed up about is learning how to surrender. So many things are out of our control as parents and it can be really hard to surrender and embrace the chaos. I know you only asked about one thing but I’m gonna throw in patience too because it’s another constant struggle for me. When I’m feeling overwhelmed it’s been hard to learn how to pause before shouting at my kids.
On being a doula
I didn’t become a doula until after I had my first set of twins (babies 2 & 3). My rocky journey with birth and postpartum is what ultimately inspired me to become a birth doula. I took a doula training when my twins were only six months old. Soon after, I became pregnant with my second set of twins! With my knowledge as a birth doula I was able to advocate for myself during that pregnancy in a way that I never even knew was possible. My homebirth experience with my second set of twins was extremely healing and empowering. My orgasmic birth. However, it took me having my sixth baby to really figure out how to have a positive and nourishing postpartum experience. Six times a charm I guess.
On Empowering Your Birth
The one piece of advice that I would want to give every expectant person is to know your choices sounding birth and postpartum. If you don’t know your choices then you don’t have any.
The Doula’s Guide to Empowering Your Birth, available on Amazon
On wellness and self-care
My approach recently to wellness and self-care is healthy boundary setting. I’m someone that says yes more than I say no and ends up taking on way too much. I am more mindful of protecting my time and energy now. I also try to set aside time every day for self-care rituals. I especially love the Matrescence three-step skin care ritual. It’s not too time consuming and it leaves me feeling fresh and grounded!
Motherhood in one word
On Motherhood Refined
Motherhood Refined is about honoring your truths and admitting if you’re struggling. It’s giving permission to yourself and others to acknowledge when you mess up or lose your cool, and knowing that its OK. It’s about honoring the fact that most of my parenting is about embracing chaos and not about grace and ease. It’s about doing the best that I can and knowing that when I mess up that I can always have tomorrow to try again. That’s true strength.
Lindsey Bliss is a widely respected doula, or childbirth coach, who is quoted frequently in New York and national media. She is a co-founder of the doula agency Carriage House Birth, which has assisted in more than 1100 births in New York and Los Angeles since 2011. Herself the mother of seven children, including two sets of twins, she knows labor and childbirth well both personally as well as professionally.