I have always been a bit on the anxious side. I appear really confident and in many ways I am, but oh, how I want to get it all right. Never has this leaning toward perfectionism been more anxiety provoking than in becoming a mother. For the first few months of motherhood, I thought I was going to climb out of my skin. My C-section incision didn’t heal properly. I was terrible at breast feeding. Our little guy screamed his head off night after night. “Getting it right” felt impossible and that was simply not OK in my heart and mind. If there was any place where I needed to have it all together, this was it, right? And into all of this anxious striving for perfection comes the Mommy Wars. The standard to which I was holding myself was already impossible and then I added all of the societal standards! Have mercy!
Fortunately for me, I work in a profession as a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist in which I get to hear other people’s stories all day long…their greatest hopes and heart breaks. I began to have a strong belief that it is the hiding of our “imperfections” that separates us from others…that keeps us afraid to ask for help…that keeps us sure that we are the only ones. I’ve incorporated this belief into my life and practice in a variety of ways. I have friends that I am comfortable telling my truths to (like the fact that on Monday I spaced it on “Hero” day at my five year old’s school and he had no costume…thank you, Jesus, for my dear friend who ran to my house with, count them, seven pre-school and under children in her mini-van and dug through the costume bin and managed to get everyone to school on time). I also began talking to clients about their fear of having anyone truly know them, know their struggle, know the hard and scary thoughts that pop into their heads. I began to see the way in which we as a society jump to judgment of others as a way to tell ourselves that we are OK. I began to see that if I was going to journey with others in being OK in the struggle and journey, I was going to have to get real comfortable in my own struggle and journey. That has been an ongoing process in these last nine years of mothering and it is still a daily journey. But about a year and a half ago, I found a resource for that journey that was life changing…I ran across Brené Brown’s TEDx Houston talk, “The Power of Vulnerability”.
Dr. Brené Brown is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (2012), the New York Times bestseller The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and I Thought It was Just Me (2007). After I watched that first talk, I literally ran through my house shrieking to my husband, “You have to watch this! This is it!” Within hours of watching that first video, I had ordered everything Dr. Brown had written and had booked my spot at my first training toward becoming a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator.
Now, I am a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator Candidate. The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential methodology based on Brené Brown’s research. The method was developed to help men, women, and adolescents learn how to show up, be seen, and live braver lives. The primary focus is on developing shame resilience skills and developing a courage practice that transforms the way we live. Currently, my colleague, Gricelda Fragoso, Psy D, and I are preparing to run an eight (8) week group process that focuses on living brave as mothers. Want to learn to show up, be seen and live brave™ as a Mom? Want to raise kids who are able to show up, be seen and live brave™? We still have space available for our group starting on March 27th and I would love to have you on this journey with me!
Tara Fritsch is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist and is co-owner and Director of Operations for NewLeaf Counseling, LLC in Edmond. Tara has received specialized training related to parenting and couple relationships and has worked extensively with individuals experiencing depression and anxiety related to life transitions. Tara has also completed an intensive training course in Postpartum Depression conducted by Karen Kleiman, coauthor of the book, “This Isn’t What I Expected”. Recently, Tara as become a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (Candidate). The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown. The primary focus of The Daring Way™ is on developing shame resilience skills and developing a courage practice that transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead. Tara is passionate about working with individuals and couples during those transitional years that include decisions about getting married and having and raising children. Specific areas of interest include perinatal and postpartum issues, family planning, pregnancy and child loss, couples and premarital counseling, grief, work/life balance, and generalized depression/anxiety.