Motherhood is Beautiful and Hard! From Managing Stress to Post-Partum Depression, Dive Into Powerful Self-Care Tips with Expert Tracy Gold

IAOL 41 | Motherhood

 

Motherhood is wonderful, yet, as any mom can tell you, it’s not always sunshine, roses, and smiles. From the challenges of physiological changes, self-doubt, and anxiety to the bright joys of cuddle time and first steps, being a mom can be—all at once—scary, stressful, and full of delight. When we add issues such as prenatal depression, postpartum depression, sleepless nights, and societal pressures to the mix, the journey can be incredibly difficult. Whether a woman is having her first child or her fifth, wisdom tells us that what moms need most is kindness, empathy, and loving support. Dr. Carla is joined by Tracy Gold for an honest look at the imperfect and sometimes heart-wrenchingly difficult journey of motherhood.

 

Books by Dr. Carla Manly:

Date Smart: Transform Your Relationships and Love Fearlessly

Joy From Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend

Aging Joyfully: A Woman’s Guide to Optimal Health, Relationships, and Fulfillment for Her 50s and Beyond

The Joy of Imperfect Love

 

Connect with Dr. Carla Manly:

Website: https://www.drcarlamanly.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drcarlamanly

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/drcarlamanly

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drcarlamanly

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carla-marie-manly-8682362b

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@dr.carlamariemanly8543

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dr_carla_manly

 

Book by Tracy Gold:

Call Your Mother

 

Connect with Tracy Gold:

Website: https://tracycgold.com/about

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Motherhood is Beautiful and Hard! From Managing Stress to Post-Partum Depression, Dive Into Powerful Self-Care Tips with Expert Tracy Gold

The Imperfect Journey of Motherhood Requires Courage, Loving Support, Self-Care, and Self-Compassion!

Motherhood is wonderful, yet as any mom can tell you, it’s not always sunshine, roses, and smiles. From the dark lows of postpartum depression to the bright joys of cuddle time and first steps, being a new mom can be scary, stressful, and full of delight. When we add issues such as prenatal depression, postpartum depression, sleepless nights, and societal pressures to the mix, the journey of motherhood can become truly challenging.

Whether a woman is having her first child or her fifth, wisdom tells us that what moms need most is kindness, empathy, and loving support. We’ll focus on this real-life question, “I suffered from severe prenatal and postpartum depression with our first child. It was the worst period of my life. Now that our son is three and I’m finding such happiness in being a mom, my husband and I are ready for another child. I’m excited but also scared and anxious. Do you have any tips for us?”

That question is the focus of this episode. I’m Dr. Carla Marie Manley, and this is Imperfect Love. I’m joined by a very special guest, Tracy Gold, who will be talking with us about her experience with prenatal depression, sleep, the societal pressures of motherhood, and the supportive light that can be found in one’s own mother. Welcome to the show, Tracy. It’s such a joy to have you.

Thank you so much for having me.

You’re an author on motherhood, one that’s already in print, Everyone’s Sleepy But the Baby. I love that book, and we have one coming out. Tell us the title of that one.

 

IAOL 41 | Motherhood

 

That’s Call Your Mother. I wrote that one thinking about how my own mom helped me not just when I was a kid but, very importantly, when I became a mother myself and how that changed our relationship in a special way.

I want to dive into that a little bit more or maybe a lot more as we proceed. Can you tell me first a little bit about what makes you you?

We chatted a little bit. I love horses. I love my family and picture books. I started writing when I had my child. I’ve been writing my whole life. I work as an editor when I’m not writing. Picture books have been a wonderful way to connect with kids and families and explore some of my own struggles with the two books that you mentioned in a lighthearted way.

Motherhood can be both beautiful and incredibly difficult! From managing stress and societal expectations to post-partum depression, the journey is challenging! Need a little support? Dive into powerful self-love and self-care tips with Dr. Carla and… Click To Tweet

Thank you for that background. Let’s dive into some of those challenges of motherhood and look at this question, prenatal depression and postpartum depression, which so many mothers suffer from and many mothers feel terrible. I’ve worked with mothers who have suffered from prenatal and postpartum depression.

They feel not only overwhelmed, scared, and deeply sad. They also feel like they’re broken because of this joy of motherhood. Motherhood is supposed to be delightful, wonderful, and happy, but especially if you’ve suffered from prenatal and/or postpartum depression, it can be quite a difficult road.

The question said, “It was the most difficult time in my life,” and that’s something I identify with. My pregnancy was horrible. I had hyperemesis gravidarum. I was sick all day, every day for months. There’s this question, “Am I depressed because I’m sick? Am I sick because I’m depressed?” It was horrible. It did make it harder to adjust once she was there too.

Being a mom is wonderful and challenging all at once! The journey is exhausting, stressful, and beautiful! From post-partum depression to sleepless nights and stressful days, motherhood isn't easy. Join Dr. Carla and expert Tracy Gold for tips that… Click To Tweet

I would be interested to hear from you what are some of the tips that you’re giving to your patients. We talked about horses. Getting back into horses is one thing that helps me find my identity again. That helped me. I’ve heard that from a lot of my friends, whether it’s horses, tennis, or art. A lot of women I know who are very career-focused perhaps before pregnancy still are involved in their careers, but they have had this driving need to reconnect to some of these passions that they have in their life to reclaim their identities after they become mothers.

You have hit on some of my biggest tips for new moms or moms who are in the prenatal period. It is that place where it’s so important to realize that being a mom or a mom-to-be is just one part of your identity. The other parts deserve to be nourished and cared for. We will be talking more about the societal pressures, but so many new moms or moms-to-be are trying to do it all. They’re trying to be it all. The truth is some moms and some women breathe through pregnancy. They love being pregnant. They adore it. They are doing better.

I don’t understand.

I don’t either. Other moms are suffering, where every day is a challenge and it’s very difficult. It doesn’t make it that you’re a bad person or you’re doing it wrong. It’s simply that your body is going through a huge adjustment. It’s not just your body but also your mind, spirit, and emotional world. Everything is being affected, not just by all of the physiological changes. Your entire makeup is changing when you’re a mom. All of the neurochemicals are ebbing and flowing. One of the biggest pieces is normalizing that this is a part of some women’s pregnancy journey.

You don’t have to be different. You don’t have to look like the neighbor next door or the woman in the support group. Every woman is going to have her journey. You get to make the most of that and embrace it for what it is, rather than adding the burden of comparing yourself to someone on Instagram, down the street, or in a magazine. Motherhood looks different for every woman.

Every woman is going to have her journey, and you get to make the most of that and embrace it for what it is rather than adding the burden of comparing yourself to someone on Instagram, down the street, or in a magazine. Motherhood looks different for… Click To Tweet

I remember a casual conversation I had with a group of new moms. When a mom says, “Don’t you love being a mom?” At that point, I don’t think I’d slept more than four hours. I was constantly covered in spit. I was like, “No, I don’t love it.” I felt so much shame. I would still say that I do love being a mom now more and more every year. Maybe we’ll see what happens when she’s a teenager because I hear that’s hard. I struggle so much with those baby stages.

It did help me to find other people who were struggling. I know not everybody feels this way when they have a baby. I did have a very strong connection. I very much loved my kid, but did I love waking up every two hours and being stressed about how much milk I was producing and having someone scream if I left the room? No, I didn’t love those parts. It felt very scary to admit that.

Good for you to be so in touch with that. I’m going to gently ask you about the shame piece. It’s so important to look at how there is that potential for deep shame when we feel as if we are not just imperfect as mothers. Maybe we can embrace that, “I’m an imperfect mom,” but when we downright dislike or maybe even sometimes hate that journey of motherhood, I can see that’s shame-inducing if we go into that space. Say more, please.

It was hard for me to identify who were the safe people for me to talk to about that. Now I feel pretty open about it. At that time, I was worried whether there was something wrong with me. Am I going to mess up my child because I’m not feeling a certain way about all of this? I dipped my toes in the water and talked to a few friends about my struggles. I did have a lot of doctor’s appointments at that time. I wish I had worked harder to make time to go to therapy.

At that time, it’s hard to make time to take care of yourself, whether you’re working or not working. For me, it was very much survival mode until I slept. Until she was sleeping the night through, I felt like I was treading water just to keep my head above water. I was one of the first of my friends to have a kid, which was hard. It was hard for me because I didn’t know what was normal. I’d never changed a diaper before I became a mom. I never had.

No nieces and nephews there to learn?

No. My wonderful sister-in-law had worked in the NICU, so she got it right in there. She knew what she was doing. I was like, “I don’t know.” There was poop and pee everywhere all the time. There are better ways to change diapers than others. You have to have your little backup system going on. It was overwhelming for me. I did find those friends, and seeing new friends become pregnant, I had this sense of most essential urgency that if I didn’t talk about how hard it was for me, they might end up feeling alone if they felt that way. I didn’t want them to feel alone. That helped me think about it. I did have a couple of friends who I was able to talk to. That was a lifeboat for me.

 

IAOL 41 | Motherhood

 

Thank you for sharing those pieces because I don’t want them to get lost. Each one is so important. The piece of having safe people to talk to, whether it’s a friend, a sister, a minister, an OBGYN, or a psychologist. Having someone to talk to who is safe, non-judgmental, and open. I also have to say how beautiful of you to want to pave the way for your friends to realize, “I hope this is a great journey for you. If it’s not, know that you’re not defective. This is something that happens to some people.” It happens.

The only people I know who feel like they had a great journey are people who had good sleepers or whose babies were good at sleeping. Those were the people I feel that it was the easiest for, at least from the outside looking in, because you never know what’s happening inside someone else’s family.

It’s good that you realize it. It might look different on the inside of that front door to that home. Also, it is important to get good sleep because research shows that when we’re deprived of sleep even for several hours, the brain can experience that as being deprived of sleep for several days. It’s hard for us to realize that 3 hours or 4 hours of sleep deprivation is as though you haven’t slept for days. When we aren’t sleeping well, then we’re more prone to feeling sad, irritable, and depressed. All of those things create that vicious cycle. As you were saying earlier on, you didn’t know if you were depressed because of everything that was going on if everything that was going on was part of being depressed, or if it was part of the whole circle that happens.

The hormones also.

Going back to the part on shame, I want to pause there because we often don’t talk about shame in being a human being, much less in the journey of motherhood. Many people confuse shame with embarrassment and pause to distinguish those two. Embarrassment is when we do something in public and we go, “Oops, I made a faux pas in front of these other people.” It’s generally something in society.

When your baby poops all over you, maybe you’re embarrassed.

Yes, or the cans of juice go flying all over the parking lot. We might be a little embarrassed, but shame is so much more destructive in situations like this because it brings up this sense of “I am flawed. I am broken. There is something about me that is wrong, that is not right, and that is not okay.” When we think about that difference between shame and embarrassment and looking at a mom who is so full of hope and dreams, whether it’s during the prenatal journey, you’re thinking, “I’m not enjoying this. What is this supposed to be that everyone says, ‘This is the best time in my life?’” Even that part of being depressed, sad, and simply uncomfortable because being pregnant is uncomfortable. At least, for me, it was terribly uncomfortable.

When you go from that to now babies in the world, then you feel ashamed because, as you said, you’re leaving the room and babies are crying. You don’t have experience in changing diapers. You’ve never had a baby before. You didn’t have nieces and nephews to experiment on, so everything is new. You’ve been thrust into this new job. No prep and no training. You can read it but it’s like in any job, you read about it and you weren’t coached on it. You didn’t have prior experience, so now you’re in a new job and you feel like you’re failing. Is that what was happening?

I think you’re like, “Can I do this job?” There’s this worry and you’re also stuck. You don’t have a choice.

You can’t give it back and you can’t resign. That’s a good point.

For a lot of women, when they’re pregnant, that can feed into a lot of prenatal depression and anxiety-like, “What have I gotten myself into?” Even when it’s a highly desired child. I’ve had friends feeling like that, and I am very grateful that they feel comfortable discussing that with me. That’s something I felt during my pregnancy. It’s like, “I did not know what I was signing up for, but here I am. This train isn’t stopping and it’s not turning back.” It was something that I wanted, but I feel like I’ve gotten off of shame. What is your definition of shame? I’m curious about that.

 

 

The way I look at shame as a clinician is that sense that I am bad. I am not acceptable and I am not worthy. The reason I see shame as something that’s so toxic is that it is the underpinning of so many mental health issues from substance abuse. It’s often at the roots of some trauma. It’s often at the root of dysfunction in interpersonal relationships because you feel like you are a shameful person or you’re full of shame and that you are deeply bad, insufficient, and unworthy.

That’s going to come out in a lot of ways that aren’t going to be healthy for interpersonal relationships. When we take it back to motherhood, if we become even a little bit filled with shame, it’s different from, “I don’t know how to do this.” It becomes more, “I am no good at this, and everybody else is good at this. There’s something wrong with me as a human being because I’m not enjoying this journey. It’s downright awful and I want out.”

“Am I a bad mom for feeling this way? Am I doomed to be a bad mom forever?” That was something that I worried about. Every time I lose my temper, I still feel like, “I’m such a bad mom. It’s okay. I’m coping with that. I’ll show my daughter how you deal with it when you lose your temper and you make a mistake.” I do have all of those feelings, and that’s very common to feel it.

It’s so common. Part of the journey of being a human being is realizing we want to not lose our temper with our kids. We don’t want to lose our temper with other people. We want to learn emotional regulation. It’s easy to say, “I’ll just be emotionally regulated.” When you’re under the old term, HALT, if you’re hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, I added an S to that in my forthcoming book, The Joy of Imperfect Love, for stress.

When we are hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or stressed, we are going to be more prone to emotional dysregulation. We will snap. The best we can do is to get our sleep, eat right, have good boundaries, and have good self-care. All of these things aren’t easily accessible for a new mom. If you have a tremendous support system and people who are coming in and helping with the baby like grandma, the journey can be a lot easier, like if you have a supportive partner. A lot of people don’t have those blessings.

I was fortunate. I know that I had an angel in my life at that time, a human being who would come in, and she supported me in being a mom and learning all of those things. I do have to say that was a deal breaker for me. Not having that, my journey would have been a lot different, but if you have at least one person who is coming in, who is an angel in your life, a sister or mom.

Some people have au pairs or nannies. If you have someone, even a babysitter who could come in a couple of times a week just to give you a bit of relief because without that self-care, you don’t have time to sleep to replenish yourself. I can tell from your eyes and from the things you’ve said that you didn’t get that.

Everything is relative. I had a lot of help from my mom, and that got me through a lot of problems that I had. She also had different views on what a woman’s role should be in taking care of a child. She didn’t always help with the shame factor. She had had me for about 30 years. I was 30 when I had my kid. What had happened to her is she had forgotten a lot about how hard it was.

Everything's relative. We all have different views on what a woman's role should be in taking care of a child. Click To Tweet

On the one hand, she would say, “When you and your brother were little, I was so jealous of my friends who had jobs because they could go eat lunch by themselves,” or she would say, “I was so excited for your dad to get home at the end of the day because I was so tired after watching you and your brother.” At the same time, she would say, “Why do you want to hire a babysitter? Don’t you want to be with your kid?”

Mom, I love you very much, and we talked about this. We did have very direct conversations about this, and that improved our relationship. It took a lot of self-reflection for me and talking with my husband and my friends to realize that she did forget how hard it was. She had forgotten because it was hard for her too.

Thank you for bringing that part up about how sometimes, whether it’s a husband, a mom, a mother-in-law, or a friend, it’s so important. Sometimes, even your doctor. I’ve had clients who have reached out to their doctors or their OBGYNs for support, and they were shamed. They were the doctor. The person they’re turning to was minimizing their experience or saying, “Don’t worry about it. It’ll get better. Go home and get some sleep.”

How destructive it is because I come a lot from an attachment base. My training was as a Jungian psychologist, but I’ve embraced and done a lot of work in the attachment realm. When we see how important it is when we are working with kids and adults to attune to the person. Attune, what does that mean? Listen to what the person is saying, whether they’re a day old or a hundred years old. Mirror it back, empathize, don’t judge, and be in tune with that person. As a mom, we want to do that with our kids. We also want people attuning to us.

We want the OBGYN to take that moment to pause, listen to us, and say, “Let’s figure this out. Let me give you some resources. You’re welcome to come back or give me a call or an email if X, Y, and Z so that you feel heard and safe.” That’s one of the pieces. As you’re pointing out with your mom, she didn’t mean to be harmful, but she wasn’t attuned to what your issue was. You needed to get out to have lunch or to reclaim just a tiny fraction of your identity.

You didn’t need to be or want to be shamed about whatever your journey was. That’s why it’s so important for us to look at new moms and new dads because new dads are going through it too. If their partner is suffering or whatever gender the other partner is, we want to be able to see what this person is going through sometimes. I don’t have to take it on because that will only deplete me, but I want to be there for them. I want to help them get the sustenance, the sleep, and the nourishment.

Especially if you’re breastfeeding and you’re stuck.

Thank you for focusing on that piece because a new mom may not be eating at all or not be eating healthfully because she’s too tired to go and make that wonderful dinner. She might be saying, “I’ll have a slice of orange. That’s enough,” or, “I’ll have a hamburger. That’s fine.” Not that hamburgers are bad, but she needs some other things as well a lot.

You talk about shame with weight also when you talk about eating. We have to talk about it. I know some moms are very urgent about losing that baby weight even when their bodies are still healing from having a baby.

Thank you for bringing that up because it’s so important to be looking at this part of weight where most women naturally gain a nice healthy amount of weight when they’re pregnant. Some gain more than that because their bodies were doing what their bodies needed to do during that pregnancy journey. To add that stress of losing weight, it’s difficult enough for people who struggle with weight issues or just postpartum weight issues.

It’s difficult enough to be a mom without having tacked on the stress, which can be very stressful for people to lose weight. That’s one of the pieces we are going to talk about societal pressures. Isn’t that one of them? We’re here, a new mom, has a baby, maybe her first, second, or third, and she comes out of the hospital. She’s supposed to come home, be the perfect mom, be perfectly thin and fit again.

She’s supposed to go either right back to work or to caregiving for the family, all without missing a beat. On top of that, she is supposed to “be able to show” all of these beautifully and perfectly curated images on Facebook and Instagram about being a perfect mom with a perfectly clean kitchen and a perfectly fed and joyful baby, and the perfectly wonderful partner next to her sharing in the journey. That is insanity.

It’s impossible. If somebody looks like they’re doing it all, I guarantee you that out of that camera frame, their kitchen is a mess.

If somebody looks like they're doing it all, I guarantee you that out of that camera frame, their kitchen is a mess. Click To Tweet

That’s so true because the journey of motherhood when you think about it is so imperfect. We can always evolve and learn and do it a little better along the way, but it’s the messiness of it. If we embrace that messiness of I had to do it over again, I would have a less clean kitchen, less work productivity, and more time, reading time, and playtime with my kids because the kitchen won’t know if it’s cleaned or not. The garden won’t know if it’s tended or not, but those babies will know if they were tended or not.

On the flip side, there is this huge pressure to enjoy every moment. I’m not one of those women but for some women, they cannot enjoy the moment if the kitchen is dirty. If your kid needs to be crying in the playpen because you cannot mentally handle those dirty dishes, it’s okay. Clean the dishes. Your kid needs to learn how to be by themselves for fifteen minutes.

It is hard because they do. Now that my kid is five, I feel like in the last three years, she has grown so much faster. Those baby months feel like everything moves so slowly, but it’s starting to sink in how fast this is going. At the same time, every moment can’t be enjoyable. I do not enjoy arguing with her about whether she has to go to the bathroom before we leave the house for a long car ride or not. That’s not fun for me, but it does go so fast.

 

 

I want to go back to the child in the playpen crying so that you can clean or somebody can clean the kitchen. It’s so interesting. I was talking to a psychotherapist who is saying, “You can never ever let the child cry.” I thought, “You must not have children.” She doesn’t have children because there will be times, not that it’s certain, when the child you go up to him and you say, “Mommy loves you. You’re going to be in the playpen. Kiss on the forehead. Mommy is right here, and mommy is going to spend ten minutes cleaning the kitchen.” The child may have a temper tantrum over that. They may not, but they will learn that Mommy is here. Mommy sees me and is attuned to me. At that moment, it may feel messy.

It’s hard to do that. It’s hard for me.

One of my worst memories as a mom was when I read a book that said to let your child cry to sleep, and it was so hard for me. I have to admit and I have to confess, I rescued the child repeatedly. That’s because it was too stressful for me. Parenting is that journey of figuring out how I can do this journey, this imperfect, messy, often as you say, impossible or seemingly impossible and difficult journey. How can I do it with love? How can I do it with sanity?

 

IAOL 41 | Motherhood

 

That’s the hardest part. It’s the hardest part for me. I think it’s the hardest part for a lot of people.

Let’s pause right there. I could talk to you for a long time, but I love that you highlighted love for yourself. Why? Because that’s the antidote to shame. I believe that when we’re able to come back and say, “This moment is difficult. Maybe I’m not doing it perfectly, but you know what? At this moment, I’m mindfully doing the best I can. I love myself enough to honor what my inner gut is saying now. My inner gut is saying right now that it’s okay for the baby to cry a little bit while I snooze on the couch.”

Could you ever do that? I never could do that.

I could never do it but I don’t say that I practice everything that I talk about. I’m giving pointers and I’m hoping it works.

Maybe a shower. Have you heard about the phantom cry shower phenomenon that happens with new parents? I thought this was just me and that I was losing my mind. As soon as you go in the shower, you hear the baby cry, but the baby is not crying. You just think you hear the baby cry. It was hard work for me to be okay with taking a shower while my baby was asleep.

That makes sense because we’re being hypervigilant. You’re a new mom. Your radar is there 24 hours a day, even when you’re sleeping. That’s why we wake up and run to them. There are so many methods for parenting, tips, and tricks. If there was one way to do it, there would only be one book that would speak to everybody, and there isn’t one book because we’re all unique beings. To me, the journey of motherhood is let’s wake up now. Do it maybe a little bit better than yesterday. Maybe a little bit better than my mom did it, but let’s do it mindfully so that I can tend to myself, as you so beautifully highlighted.

Some good self-love, self-care, and hope that along that journey, there is a partner who’s an angel in your life or a sister-in-law or a mother. To be able to see that these people can help lighten the load and we don’t need to carry it on our own. Tracy, there are many more things to talk about. I’m so excited for the work that you do. I’m thrilled with it. I want to touch on your book that’s coming out because I remember we had talked about it.

It’s such a beautiful book because it reminds us that not everybody is sleeping but the baby. That’s such a wonderful and fun book. Your new book reminds us how motherhood is a gift, whether we had a perfect or nearly perfect mom or a terribly imperfect mom, whether it was a lot of trauma or something. When we are most blessed, we can look to that mother or a mother figure in our lives.

It doesn’t have to be our bio mom and say, “This is a light. This person or this way of being is a light that I can turn to,” even if the person has passed on. It could be a grandmother that I can turn to and hold that loving energy inside my heart and my spirit, and use that energy as a guide during this difficult time. That’s the message I personally take away from your next book. What do you have to say?

I love how you talk about how the person doesn’t even have to be with us. I’m going to spoil the ending. It’s a short book, so that shouldn’t be too big of a spoiler. At the end of the book, the little surprise is that the baby at the beginning of the book is now a new mom, and she’s asking her mother, “How did you do it when I was a baby?” She says, “I would call my mother too.” There’s a picture in the illustration of the grandmother looking on from a picture frame.

The book doesn’t say whether the grandmother is there or not, but it’s a moment that I think is special because a lot of babies don’t get to know her. That would be the great-grandma. They’re still making an impact through the love that they gave when their children were young. That love gets passed on. I do like to think that’s still very much there, even if the person is not there anymore. That’s a very special part of that book for me.

Love gets passed on. It’s still very much there, even if the person is not there anymore. Click To Tweet

I had very good relationships. I spent a lot of sleepovers at my grandmother’s. One of them did make it to see my daughter born. It was sad in the last couple of years because of COVID. A lot of great-grandparents weren’t able to spend time with their great-grandbabies because of quarantine. I’m hopeful that that is going to be a family role that gets to be more meaningful going forward.

Thank you for pointing out that beautiful part about the image of the grandmother being on the wall. Even for those of us who don’t have good memories of a mom or loving memories or memories of a grandma, sometimes, we can find someone I know. I have this one aunt whose every other word out of her mouth and very sincere energy was “Dear one, my darling, my dear one,” and that’s how she lived her life.

I will often hear her voice as a guide saying, “Dear one.” I think we can find that if we’re blessed. We can find those angelic moments and those angelic voices and hold on to them almost as mantras to say, “This is beautiful and this is what I aspire to be in this part of my life.” Even if it’s a TV character or a character in a book, we can find our inspiration for being good enough moms and loving moms. We can find it. It’s out there.

I love how you talk about how it doesn’t to be your biological mom because not everybody has a relationship with their biological mom. I am very lucky that I have a great relationship with my biological mom, but I’ve seen coaches, teachers, grandmas, aunts, or friends of the family step into some of these roles. I would also just say that one angel in your life when you’re a new mom is not enough. We need more than one angel. What happens when your angel gets sick or when your angel needs help?

Talking about how I had never changed a diaper. Our society has moved away from these multi-generational, very close-knit communities to everybody is in their own little apartment or their own little house. We don’t help each other take care of our babies or each other as much as culture once did. It’s hard to build that.

 

 

We had families living in multi-generational households for thousands of years. Now, in the last hundred years, it has shifted, and certainly in the last 50 years. We’re still trying to figure it out. It’s such an imperfect figuring-out process. Tracy, thank you so much for being with us. I’m truly grateful, delighted, and honored to spend time with you. Where can our audience find you?

My website is TracyCGold.com. I’m on Facebook at Tracy C. Gold, Author, and Instagram at @TracyCGold.

Thanks again, Tracy. It’s been such a joy.

Thank you so much for having me.

It’s a pleasure, and this is Imperfect Love.

 

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About Tracy Gold 

IAOL 41 | MotherhoodTracy is an author, editor, and mom living in Baltimore, Maryland. Her published and forthcoming picture books include “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby,” “Call Your Mother,” “Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat,” and “Hide and Seek, Nuts to Eat.” These fun books about families and nature are published by Familius and Sourcebooks, respectively.

Tracy loves empowering people by helping them become better writers. She does that in her work as an editor and teacher. These days, she mostly works as a freelance editor doing developmental (big picture) edits for fiction writers and memoirists. She also teaches continuing education classes that are open to anyone via the Johns Hopkins Odyssey program.

Tracy learned a lot about publishing from interning for literary agent Carrie Pestritto and earning her Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction at the University of Baltimore (UB). Before she returned to school, she
worked as a marketing consultant both independently and at an agency. When she’s not working, you’ll find Tracy hanging out with her family, walking her rescue dog, riding ex-racehorses, or devouring a novel.

One Response

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