by Erin Newton, LCPC
This weekend finishes up five weeks of quarantine for myself and my family, only leaving the house for occasional groceries, take out food, or my daughter’s allergy shots, which we have reduced from once a week to once every three weeks.
Yesterday I finished five whole weeks of tele-health for myself and my clients. Five weeks of my clients navigating internet challenges and having to express emotions via a screen, of juggling kids during sessions, of trying to find privacy in cars and crafting rooms and work conference spaces.
My clients are amazing and they have done a beautiful job of transitioning into a new space in therapy, all while also transitioning into new spaces inside their homes, their kitchen tables becoming classrooms and offices, their backyards becoming gym spaces, their computer screens substituting for field trips. It’s been overwhelming for them, this new life; literally everything needs to be adjusted.
It’s full of parents having to do their everyday jobs as parents but also the jobs of teachers and employees. It’s full of nurses and doctors and firefighters and police officers who are now afraid to do the jobs they love so much.
Nurses having panic attacks at work, unable to get out of bed on their days off. First responders who have had to make heartbreaking choices like sending their children to live with others until this is over.
Families separated at a time when they really need to be together.
My social media is full of therapists with requests for clients that they can’t fit in right now – requests for those who are anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, and triggered by old traumas.
Requests for first responders and moms in particular have increased significantly.
I’ve been reading about policies in hospitals where moms have to choose only one support person with them to give birth, and worse, states where they are being asked to give birth alone. I’m reading about COVID-19 positive moms being separated from their babies (despite the fact that this is not what the WHO is recommending at all) and fathers and partners who cannot be there when their children are born. It’s a scary time to be pregnant.
My thoughts have been with all the mamas who have recently given birth as well. No more breastfeeding support groups, no more weight checks and meeting with other moms struggling to nurse their babies or commiserating about trying to function on little sleep. No more visits to their homes from parents and friends or trips to Target just to GET. OUT. OF. THE. HOUSE. No more breaks at all.
New motherhood is isolating on a normal day; new motherhood now is downright alienating.
My passions are working with moms and first responders, and these are the groups I see really suffering right now. These are the groups that are easy for us to lose in the name of “heroes” and societal expectations around moms giving everything at the expense of themselves.
but who supports those who are supporting everyone else? Where do they go when they need to break down and be built up again? These groups need support and love and to feel understood and not so alone.
These groups are open, meaning there is no commitment – you can come one week and not come the next. They are also open to everyone, even those outside of Maryland. They will be low cost, $10 a session and they will be offered virtually, to continue practicing social distancing and the safety of others. To register, just follow the links listed above!
I hope that they become a place where moms, first responders, and medical professionals can find support and connect with others who understand them. That is the beauty of a support group after all, finding closeness and connection with others just like you.
To keep up with our weekly topic changes, please follow us on Instagram or like our Facebook page. Also, if you join our mailing list you will not only get group updates, but also updates on all the awesome things we are doing at Wellness & Co. to support our community and the people in it.
For more information on therapy or groups, visit our website at or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care of yourselves right now, friends! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help!
I’m in this with you.
Erin Newton has been working with individuals and families for almost nine years now. She specializes in perinatal mental health, birth trauma, and anxiety related issues. She strives to help her clients feel seen, heard, understood and to give them the tools they need to start their own journey of healing.
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