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An open letter to the mamas feeling worthless

By Danielle Cerantonio IN Connect

I’m worthless.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times my mind has screamed those two words at me. Thousands. Millions. Maybe more.

And after having each of my 3 babies, my mind screamed at me even louder. But that was when I needed my mind to quieten down most. After each baby, that’s when I needed my mind to be most compassionate, most resourceful, and most supportive. I needed a cheerleader.

But instead, after each baby, my mind got out its biggest stick, made its meanest face, and beat me.

And not just sometimes.

Relentlessly.

While doing the dishes. While having a shower. In the dead of the night, while breastfeeding or rocking or shhhh-ing my babies back to sleep. While my husband slept soundly in the next room.

I’m a psychologist. Of all people, surely, I’m in the best place to make I’m worthless go away? At least that’s what I said to myself. Over and over and over

But the raw, hard, truth is that everyone has an I’m worthless story. And no one can make I’m worthless go away. Not me. Not you. Not Tailor Swift. Not even a Zen master. I’m worthless is here to stay.

Maybe your story is slightly different.

Maybe it’s I’m a failure.

Maybe it’s I’m fat.

Maybe it’s I’m a shit mum.

Maybe it’s all of them. And more.

But there is something you need to know. Something important.

I’m worthless is normal.

When our mind screams I’m worthless, it’s telling us something important. It’s telling us that we are a normal human being. It’s telling us that we love. That we hurt. That we want more.

I’m worthless is our mind saying Danger! Watch out! You could get hurt!

I’m worthless is our mind protecting us.

The thing is, I’m worthless doesn’t have to define who we are.

It doesn’t have to define what we do.

And we don’t have to wrap our lives around it.

When I’m worthless pops up, we note it. We acknowledge it. We thank our mind for its input. And we dig deep. We ask ourselves, what is important here?

And then we focus on what matters. What’s happening, in this moment, in the present, in the world. That tiny hand curled around our own hand. Those eyes looking at us with such adoration, for such a short time. The sun. The stars. The gentle breeze on our face.

Did you say, I’m worthless, mind? Thanks for your input. Thanks for doing your job. Thanks for looking out for me.

Now, where was I?

Danielle Cerantonio

Danielle is a registered Psychologist with over 10 years experience in the field of Organisational Psychology with specialist experience in  parental leave and return to work coaching. Danielle’s mission is to assist women to identify and leverage the innate strengths that arise from birthing and raising children. To step away from feelings of unworthiness, guilt, and anxiety, and step into courage, resilience, empathy and strength.

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