This post is a part of our Real Abundant Mama series … a series of posts when we turn this space over to the women who are willing to share HOW their lives have changed since taking The Abundant Mama Project’s Online Program. Today we’re featuring an Abundant Mama from one of our first 2017 class — Stephanie DeMerse. Stephanie has also joined our year-round Abundant Mama Tribe as well.
Here’s Stephanie’s story …
I wasn’t feeling very abundant in my life — despite having a lovely family and living in a beautiful place & having a beautiful, healthy baby daughter.
I’d had a pretty difficult time coming to terms with the traumatic arrival of my baby daughter. I had an intense episode of Postpartum Depression, which left me feeling emotionally and physically derelict and like I wasn’t “cut out” to be a Mama.
By the time I came across The Abundant Mama Project things had improved somewhat but I was still very emotionally reactive at times and overwhelmed and drained.
Things just seemed hard and I couldn’t find time for myself.
I found it too easy to be negative and it was easy for anxious and depressive thoughts to come creeping in. On top of this we live in a very rural area and do not have friends or family close by and the people that were nearby weren’t really people I felt I could open up to. I had no additional support. I was feeling very alone and scared that my PPD was going to come back again.
I came across Abundant Mama after looking on the internet to read about other Mom’s experiences. I didn’t really know what I needed or what I was searching for – I was just looking for something, some validation or some connection.
I signed up and the whole course itself was a “Mamapiphany” for me really.
It’s funny because during my pregnancy (when I thought I was so prepared) I really tried to get myself centered and grounded and in tune with myself. But going through an unexpectedly complicated birth shook me to my core, knocked me totally off balance. And then of course I had no energy to find my center again…. Baby life just had to happen.
AMP has helped me tune back in.
The 4-week course helped me refocus my attention on the abundance in my life, rather than the things I felt were lacking or just too difficult.
AMP gave me the space to air my feelings which in turn made me feel validated so I could move on. Not only that but finding out that there are other Moms out there who have similar feelings or have been through similar experiences really did help me feel less alone.
I love the way that AMP teaches how important self-care is. A happy, healthy Mama equals a happy, healthy family.
There are two tangible changes that I’ve made in my daily life; I make time for meditation/stillness during my day which helps me slow down and every evening I do my gratitude journal. But what I found from the course goes so much deeper than that.
My perspective is different. I’m so much more aware and conscious of what I’m doing that life feels lighter and more manageable rather than overwhelming and task oriented.
I’m more attuned and less anxious. Yes, I still have bad moments, but they’re just moments. I have the tools to help me move on from them quicker than I ever did before. AMP has also lead me to re-embark on a journey of self-discovery where I’m learning not to be afraid of being myself. I’m still working through things that have been holding me back in some way.
The course goes on, even after it finishes!
And, I’m more fun to be around!
Before, I spent more time than I needed being overwhelmed and stressed! I also find it easier to ask for help when I need it so I don’t end up getting burnt out. Just signing up for the course itself, taking the time to do the work meant I had to ask my husband for some help in order to do that. I’m also more accepting of my limitations (I can’t do everything) and forgiving of myself for the times when I make mistakes or feel bad. All these things have an impact on family life in general and I have found my fun side again.
Home life is just more manageable and by emphasizing my own self-care I feel so much more confident and capable of looking after the rest of the family. I’m feeling way more confident and capable on my journey as a Mama.
I never thought I’d say this because it sounds so clichéd and I thought I was SO prepared, but becoming a mama was so much harder than I expected it to be!
I guess it’s just something you can’t really prepare for – you just have to live it. AMP has definitely helped with the living it part.
Of course, being a Mama IS hard work but a lot of it is all about perspective as to whether it’s enjoyable hard-work or not. The AMP course really helped me gain better perspective enabling me to get the very best out of each day with my daughter. But by helping me to change it’s even helped me improve relationships with the rest of my family at large, even those that are miles away.
Essentially, the AMP course has enabled me to feel the abundance in my life and for that I’m forever grateful. I wish all parents could go through this same kind of course as I think a lot of the practices/lessons are beneficial for everyone.
I feel very fortunate to have found AMP and be a part of the Peace Circle. Read more Real Abundant Mama stories here.
REGISTER NOW for the next session of The Abundant Mama Online Program. LEARN MORE NOW.
PHOTO — Flowers and “engaged” card photo were graciously submitted to us by 2017 Abundant Mama Stephanie Jensen, also a member of the AMP TRIBE.