Motherhood on one hand brings so much joy but on the other so much fear, questioning and self doubt.
Even for the most confident person before becoming a mum after, it can be a very different story. I think a lot of women assume as long as their child is healthy and happy then they have done a good job as a parent, and I would not disagree with that. However, this can be to the detriment of the emotional wellbeing of the mother.
For many mothers, being at home with young children, albeit they are happy being a mum, find it restrictive, isolating and often there is a sense of a disconnection to their old life. Anxieties and self questioning of self is common and self esteem issues can become a problem.
One of the ways many mothers deal with all of these emotions is to drink alcohol. Many mothers see it as an opportunity to relax and unwind at the end of a demanding day.
It is also an opportunity to be ‘more adult’ and have some space from being a responsible sober mum.
So many of my mum clients say; ‘It’s like the bell rings as soon as the kids have gone to bed and it becomes my wine time. But now instead of a few wines I am drinking a bottle and I am feeling really guilty about it.’
There are women all over the world who are secretly worried about their drinking but just don’t know how to cut back.
The reason why I created The Drink Less Mind programme was because a large section of my client base are mum’s and I could see that their drinking issues albeit not concerning from my experience, they were concerned and ironically makes people drink more. Guilty drinking creates more guilty drinking and then the vicious cycle of habitual unhelpful drinking can occur.
I believe it is the thinking before the drinking that causes the problem and for many mothers, unbeknown to them their drinking spirals and they feel ashamed of who they feel they have become.
So I would like to share with you why I believe unhelpful drinking is a habit that you can unlearn. I am trained in an amazing psychology theory that I believe is the most clear explanation of why mum’s get themselves into some tricky drinking situations.
This theory believes we are all made up of many parts, like sub personalities within that make up a whole person. There are unbeknown to many people a particular personality trait that challenges our self-esteem. I call it The Inner Critic part. It is the part that says ‘Everybody else is a better mother than you’ or ‘You don’t cope as well as other mothers do’. Another typical comment is ‘You are so boring now you are a mum, you don’t have anything interesting to say and people are not interested in spending time with you.’ A classic Inner Critic comment for many mums is ‘You haven’t lost your baby weight, everybody thinks you are fat and have no self respect in your appearance.’ The list goes on and on and on.
For many mothers The Inner Critic can be so powerful that it leads to more self loathing and a way to retreat out of this negativity is to overeat or drink lots of wine to escape its negativity. This can lead to spiralling out of control feelings of hopelessness and failure.
I call this emotional state ‘The Radio Crazy Syndrome.’ You literally think you are going mad!
The good news is you are not going mad. It is just become a way of thinking because you have been exposed to high levels of vulnerability. And when this happens, The Inner Critic can take over.
The neuroscientists of this world have studied the brain when we are in a negative state, which is what I call The Inner Critic state. What they discovered are very clear neural pathways that light up in the exact same area every time we feel vulnerable. This part of the brain is called The Amygdala. So when The Inner Critic fires up it’s unhelpful conversation with you, the Amygdala lights up, and will immediately produce stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline to spread through your entire body. This mind/body reaction is what you feel in a nano second when you feel emotionally unsafe.
Over a period of time, if you stay in this state long enough and deeply enough, you can start to think this is how life is meant to be. It can lead to anxiety, depression and a sense of being less than the rest of the world.
The good news is that the Neuroscientists also discovered that when we think good thoughts and experience positive feelings such as safety, love and laughter another part of the brain lights up which is called The Pre-Frontal Cortex. It is interestingly in the middle of the forehead, that some spiritual people would refer to as the ‘Third Eye’.
The Pre-Frontal Cortex produces good chemicals such as endorphins that enhance our sense of emotional and physical wellbeing.
Through my special work I help people train their brain literally to tune out of the Inner Critic, so they don’t need to drink to escape this unhelpful voice and connect with the Intuitive Healthy Confident part. This part is directly related to The Pre-Frontal Cortex.
It doesn’t matter where you have been with alcohol, you have an amazing mind that can learn anything. All you need to do is give yourself permission to start to learn to think differently about you.
Creating healthier coping strategies is something we need to learn. Often through the most joyous times such as becoming a mother we forget about ourselves and lose our confidence, so if you would like to learn more about how to gain more self worth, eat less, drink less or be more calm log onto www.georgiafoster.com