Guest Blog Post: Ishtar Gabriel, Child and Family Therapist
Panic struck, and my anxiety went through the roof, when my daughter Sophia (now 8) turned 2.
I remember questioning everything I was doing, and never felt sure of myself. One day I would be firm, and the next day I would use reward charts. I was losing my mind. She wouldn’t sleep, she wouldn’t sit for more than 5 minutes, she never said “okay” or “yes”. I was yelling and crying, she was running all around at nap time, she smeared her poo on walls to make murals. What happened to my baby?
I remember locking myself into the bathroom to get away from her (funny now). I was confused, foggy, tired, scared, angry—disheartened. This was not what I thought motherhood would be like. Thankfully, I was seeing a therapist at the time who provided amazing emotional support, and I began to get out all my old psychology books on child development to get more informed. Slowly but surely I began to find my way…..find my lioness.
Mothers use to be surrounded by a village. Have a community of women to turn to. Mothers use to knock on their neighbours door to borrow sugar or have a coffee. Today we mother more and more in isolation and shame—with no manual and no one to turn to for guidance and support—-we are forced to build our own village. Motherhood today takes balls—it requires we stand up and say without same or guilt “I have no fucking clue how to do this. I need help and support and I deserve it.”
Our voices are being heard and our needs met, as doulas, sleep trainers, midwives, nannies begin to emerge and become mainstream. The area that still requires support and information is toddlerhood. The time of the cave child. Probably the toughest of all the phases I have experienced so far (and that isn’t saying much since my children are just 6 and 8), but definitely the phase I have come to understand deeply and passionately.
As a child and family therapist I have come to focus on helping parents get through the toddler years, by providing information and support about sleeping, toilet training, child development, shame and guilt of motherhood, marital tension, balancing work and home life, grieving life before kids, discovering and embracing your own unique values and beliefs about what it means to be a mom. I have come to coin what I do as “toddler training”.
I provide moms with information and support on their mother journey so they can carve out their own unique path and grow strong, confident and secure in their new and life long role as a mother. I help moms find their lioness.
I am mama hear me roar.
Ishtar Gabriel BA, MSc, OACCPP
Child and Family Therapist
Services are done in office or by phone, and can be bought in packages (potty and sleep), or hourly (mother guilt/shame, finding balance, marital tension)