Mind Over Mother by the experienced Psychotherapist and mother of 3, Anna Mathur, is out NOW!
Baby-proof the house; panic-proof the mum.
Do you overthink what you said to the mum in the supermarket queue? Is your internal dialogue more critical than kind? Perhaps you wake to check your baby is breathing, or the sight of a rash sends you down an internet search rabbit hole. Whatever your level of anxiety, however much it impacts your life, this book is for you.
Anxiety is making motherhood a less pleasant, more fraught and pressured experience, and we do not have to accept joy-sapping worry and energy-draining overthinking as part of the motherhood job description. In Mind Over Mother, Anna Mathur, psychotherapist and mum of three, explains how to:
* Understand anxiety, why it affects you and what to do about it
* Make your mind a kinder, calmer, happier place to be
* Transform your motherhood experience by addressing your thinking
The most powerful tool Anna has to communicate this isn’t the letters after her name, it is the fact that she is open about her own experience of maternal anxiety. By sharing her journey, she gives you the confidence to reframe yours.
Mind Over Mother is full of light bulb moments of realisation. It will have you learning, laughing and loving yourself through the journey of motherhood. You will learn to address the most important conversation you’ll ever have - the one inside your head, because investing in your mental health is the best gift you can offer yourself and your baby.
To celebrate publication day we thought we would catch up with Anna for an exclusive Q&A:
What inspired you to pursue a career in Psychotherapy?
As a child we were immersed in hospitals and often had nurses in and out of our homes due to my younger sister being unwell. I used to wear a nurses uniform and knew that I wanted to ‘look after people’. I did a Psychology A level and was captivated by it. I knew then that I wanted to help people with their mental health, and was inspired to pursue that route.
At what point did you realise you wanted to specialise in maternal mental health?
I worked as a Psychotherapist in clinical settings for years. In GP surgeries and private practice. On having my first baby almost 6 years ago, I realised how huge the transition into motherhood was, and how mentally challenging it can be in so many ways. I began to write about motherhood and mental health on a blog that not many people read. On having my second baby and experiencing chronic sleep deprivation which led to post natal anxiety and depression, it cemented my passion for the challenges that come with motherhood, and using my skills in that way. On implementing the techniques I had been using with clients for years, my life and experience of motherhood was slowly transformed. I began to micro-blog on social media, weaving my professional insight into my personal experience
How was your writing experience while writing ‘Mind Over Mother’? Did you have any highs or lows?
Despite just having had a third baby and juggling writing, motherhood and work, I absolutely loved it. It took a while for the book to be sold, so once I got round to sitting at my laptop it felt like an utter relief to be able to pour the words onto the keyboard. The writing experience was a high. The only lows were the moments of negotiating childcare logistics, and having the flow of writing so regularly interrupted by early nap wake-ups and the demands of a busy household. But it felt so pertinent that I was writing about the early weeks and months of motherhood whilst also living it.
Did you/ do you experience any maternal anxiety yourself?
My second baby had silent reflux. Many nights I slept a mere 45 minutes which fuelled intrusive thoughts, fear and anxiety. It really robbed those early months of joy, laughter and ease. I felt like a failure, as a mother, and a therapist. How could I be struggling when it was my job to guide others through their dark times? The tiredness sapped me of all rationality, and it took time for me to reach out and enable myself to be supported in the way I so willingly support others. It gave me a fresh passion and respect for therapy and vulnerability.
Do you implement any of your own therapy tools in your day-to-day life?
Oh all the time! As a therapist I am not immune to anxious thoughts, stress and overwhelm. I use all the tools I share, on a consistent, daily basis. I notice very quickly when I don’t as the ripple effects of not looking after my own mental health impacts so much.
Do you have three tips for any mums struggling in the current Covid-19 lockdown?
- Take your space where you can. It’s hard physically and logistically, but it’s a way to take a break and refuel. If you can find a way to go for a walk, or put on a film for the kids so you can have a moment to yourself, you’ll feel better for it.
- Try not to compare your experience and emotional response with that of other people’s. Often we end up telling ourselves we shouldn’t feel a certain way because someone else has it harder. When we do this, we don’t make our emotions go away, we just invalidate them. All feelings are worth being felt. Someone else’s broken leg doesn’t make your stubbed toe hurt any less!
- Amend your standards and try and be kind to yourself. When we go through challenging times, our personal resources get depleted quicker. It’s emotionally, mentally and physically draining to navigate uncertainty and change, so ensure that you’re not expecting yourself to hit the same old high standards. Cut corners where you can, be gentle on yourself.
What is the main aim you hope to achieve with ‘’?
My hope is that my book will act as both a map out, and a preventer of those dark times for other mothers. We don’t need to accept worry and anxiety as ‘just part of the motherhood job description’. Just because it’s common, doesn’t mean we need to accept it as our own normal. There is so much hope and headspace to be claimed back
How would you describe your book in three words?
Lightbulb moments, hope