Where is My Village?

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Feb 28, 2019 10:26:00 AM

“It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe the majority of us have heard this saying at some point or another. Sayings of this nature stick around and translate transgenerationally because they are true. So where is this village?

As a parent, you learn early that raising a child(ren) is difficult. Ideally, you surround yourself with friends, colleagues, relatives, child care workers, a nanny, and/or babysitters in order to allow yourself, and yourself with significant others, to enjoy some adult time or just decompress. Every parent needs a break now and again in order to maintain the sanity that enables you to be the parent you long to be.

So, what happens if you live in a land that is less than the ideal? What about the parent who relocates for a spouse’s job, the parent who does not live near family, the parent who does not have family or close friends as support, or the single mom?

Last summer, I started up an 8 week support group for mothers that slated weekly meetings for an hour and a half. Group therapy is amazing because it allows you the opportunity, within a safe space, to connect with other people who understand what you go through and struggle with because they go through it, too. Groups allow individuals of similar circumstances or backgrounds to share their stories, successes, failures, and tips with one another. It is a nice way to gain support and not feel so alone when perhaps you do not have another venue.

If you find yourself searching for the village, reach out to local churches, parents day out groups, or check those bulletins at Panera! Facebook has groups for local mothers to chat with one another, though I’m uncertain of the security or screening measures there. Think of activities you do often with your child(ren) and make casual conversation with another mama while on the playground, at the park, crawling through tape tunnels at MOD, or walking through the neighborhood.

I get all the hard work that goes into being a mom. I understand that you have good days, bad days, and ugly days. I get that it is hard to move past that mom guilt or let yourself off the hook for worst mom of 2019 because you made a mistake. Reach out to others. And if you can’t locate your village, I’d love to listen.

 
 We're starting up another Mother Support Group. If you're interested, let us know and help us choose a day and time that works best for you!
 
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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Self Care, Mom Stress, Young Adult Mental Health

Counseling 201

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Feb 25, 2019 9:29:00 AM

“The mind is like an iceberg. It floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” - Sigmund Freud.

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Topics: Religious Abuse, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Mom Stress, Clergy, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health, Grief, Family Therapy

Getting Started with Mindfulness

Posted by Sean Oakley, LCSW on Feb 8, 2019 11:29:17 AM

Over the last decade mindfulness has become a huge buzzword in everything from exercise, to therapy, to corporate workplaces. But what is mindfulness exactly and how can you get started practicing it?  Mindfulness is simply being focused on the present moment. It is simple awareness or “getting present.” It is acknowledging both the internal (thoughts, emotions, body sensation) and external (sounds, smells, visuals) environments. Mindfulness isn’t a big mystery or a 2 hour long meditation session (but it can be!), it is just simply being present.

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Topics: Mental Health, Mindfulness, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Mom Stress, Clergy, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health

Counseling 101

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Jan 24, 2019 1:00:39 PM

“Only crazy people go to therapy.” If that statement were true, then as a mental health clinician, I would almost never talk to anyone. The stigma around mental health is real. Unfortunately, we live in a world that has perpetuated the idea of mental health, mental illness, therapy, and counseling as something you do only if you’re one step away from jumping off a bridge, talking to imaginary people, or licking paint off the walls. As a mental health professional, I want you to know that this is not the truth.

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Topics: Religious Abuse, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, LGBT Anxiety, Self Care, Mom Stress, Clergy, Child Mental Health, Young Adult Mental Health, Grief, Family Therapy

Holiday Survival Mom Style

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Dec 14, 2018 2:06:07 PM

Hello my fellow moms! Tis the season. As if being the parent of a small child(ren) was not already trying enough on a daily basis, here come the holidays. Holidays mean out of town relatives who try your nerves, events to plan, gatherings to attend, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, trips to pack and plan for, interruptions to baby’s sleep routine/nap routine/eating routine…just toss routine out the window. As the holiday gauntlet approaches, how are you keeping your sanity?

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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Self Care, Mom Stress, Child Mental Health

Let’s talk about INTIMACY…

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Oct 9, 2018 11:08:27 AM

Okay, so now that I have your attention, I’d like to talk about relationships. Specifically, I’d like to speak to the mothers who are reading this, but these ideas apply to all the amazing fathers reading as well as anyone in a relationship regardless of if you have kids or not.

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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Anxiety in Men, Self Care, Mom Stress

Anger in Men

Posted by Sean Oakley, LCSW on Sep 25, 2018 1:22:00 PM

Everyone gets angry. Humans feel the full spectrum of emotions and anger is one part of this. Anger is a signal that something is not quite matching up to your expectations. It can also come from feeling threatened and feeling hurt. Men, or people identifying with a masculine identify, feel all emotions but often only feel comfortable expressing anger. This is for a variety of reasons. First, boys are often taught to “be tough” or “just deal with it” when they express emotion other than anger. This conditions them to associate any other emotion with weakness. Anger is also a “surface level emotion” meaning that anger is often expressed first when we feel other emotions like sadness. Men may not want to fully process the underlying emotions so anger is fueled and expressed. Our society in general associated emotionality with femininity and men can be afraid to appear “feminine” by discussing emotions.

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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Men, Self Care

Mommy Aftermath

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Sep 19, 2018 10:41:00 AM

I have a special place in my heart for moms. There are so many reasons for this. But chief among them is that I am a mom myself and I get what a hard job it is. We spend approximately 40 weeks (some more, some less) bonding with a tiny human as we nurture and grow literally together. We put our entire self into that process, then we give birth. But it definitely does not end there. Not on any level. Pregnancy comes with a myriad of emotions, hormones, and new experiences…no matter how many times you’ve done it. I’ll be the first to say, that being pregnant with my second baby was a different (even though you know SOME of what to expect the second time around) experience than with my first. Just like each person is different, I feel so is each pregnancy.

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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Self Care, Mom Stress

Adults Manage Transitions Differently

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Aug 27, 2018 2:32:00 PM

Let’s talk about transitions for adults. As adults, I feel we often overlook ‘transitional moments’ thinking perhaps that we outgrew that phrase with the sunset on our childhood. However, if you think about it, adulthood lasts for the overwhelming percentage of the lifetime of the average American, so it stands to reason that we encounter as many, if not more, transitional moments in adulthood. Need examples? Happy to….

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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Self Care, Mom Stress

Quick Tips for Teachers/Parents of Kids Who Don't Do Transitions

Posted by Leah Payne, LPE-I, LPC on Aug 21, 2018 12:39:54 PM

School has started. The hallways are full, the parking line is endless, and homework time just got real again. Most parents have gone into a school at some point and seen the child crying because someone wouldn’t play with her or the child laid out in the hallway because he did not want to go back to class after art, recess, or lunch. But what if you ARE that child or the TEACHER (or parent) of that child? How do you help? What do you do when throwing the child over your shoulder or dragging them by the feet isn’t really best practice?

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Topics: Mental Health, Relationship Struggles, Anxiety in Women, Mom Stress, Child Mental Health

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