Mothering is one of the most important jobs you can do, and one of the most demanding. In the introduction to the book she co-authored entitled Mother Nurture, Jan Hanson writes ‘Being a mother has been the most wonderful, extraordinary experience of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! But by the time our son was three and his baby sister was a few months old, I had been working hard and living with stress for so long with so little replenishment that it all caught up with me. I kept going every day, but I had become very drained, both physically and emotionally.’
‘I saw variations on the same theme with my friends who were mothers. Every mom I knew was surprised by the impact of becoming a parent and wished she knew more about coping with it. In retrospect it seemed obvious: moms give so much nurturance to others that they have to receive it as well.’
In order to find out what would best help mothers, she and her psychologist husband, Rick Hanson, studied research, talked with clinicians, drew on their own backgrounds and practices, and asked mothers what had helped them. They tried to answer the question: What does a mother need in order to keep giving her children the very best they deserve, year after year after year?
The basic Mother Nurture prescription provides a comprehensive understanding and program that includes lowering the demands on you, increasing your resources, building up your resilience, as well as learning ways to better cope with stress and difficult emotions.
At Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto, we know that regular therapeutic bodywork is a powerful healer that can contribute to managing your stress and building your resilience. Taking care of yourself is not selfish at all. It’s what you need to do in order to be at your best with your kids and still have some energy left over for your other important relationships.
Adapted from Mother Nurture (2002) by Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Jan Hanson, M.S. L.Ac., & Ricki Pollycove, M.D. http://www.nurturemom.com.