Today, I chatted with Dr. Amber Thornton Clinical Psychologist and Millennial Motherhood Wellness Expert and Founder/Creator of Balanced Working Mama.
Boundaries have always been something I’ve struggled with. If someone asks me for help or needs something from me, it pains me to say no. To put it into perspective, when Hudson’s preschool hosted a winter blanket drive, my first thought was maybe Hudson and I could make a handmade blanket to contribute. But this pandemic has pushed me to the brink. I’m working on internalizing that in order to be in a headspace to help anyone else, I need to set some boundaries and take care of myself first…. I keep reminding myself over and over that self care is not selfish. By now, that sounds cliche, which is why I’m so happy that I met Dr. Thornton and could hear her advice for protecting our time, our sanity and ourselves so we can care for those around us.
Watch + Listen to the whole conversation:
Dr. Thornton wasn’t sure that she wanted to become a mom because she was fearful that she would have to give up her career, her identity and her drive. Instead, Dr. Thornton sets really clear boundaries that empower her to pursue her career, prioritize her family and also center her own wellness. Dr. Thornton shares a lot of practical tips to help moms unapologetically take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others.
Can you share a little bit about your journey to motherhood?
I actually was not sure if I wanted to become a mom. When I was growing up, I was just so convinced that becoming a mom meant that I would not be able to take care of myself or have time for myself. At the time, I was really career driven and ambitious. I’m also really into health and fitness. And so I was just really afraid that becoming a mom meant that I would not be able to do these things anymore. I thought for a while that I was just going to be the fun auntie, but luckily, it didn’t happen that way. I actually did change my mind and I have two children now. I’ve had a really good experience, but it has really challenged and pushed me. I’ve had to be very creative about being a mom so that I can honor all the things that are really important to me.
Where do you think that mindset that motherhood has to equal self-sacrifice comes from?
I absolutely think this mindset is embedded into our society. This mindset is pervasive. Unfortunately society messages that motherhood should be associated with self sacrifice and always neglecting your own needs or desires because there’s something else that’s always more important. But when we really sit and think about it, we need to take care of ourselves so that we can also be present to take care of our families.
Can you share a little bit about why it’s important to give ourselves grace right now?
Pandemic parenting is really hard. And because of that we definitely aren’t operating at our 100% best. And it’s also not expected that we are. And if there are people expecting you to be your 100%, best, maybe they’re not the best people to provide you support. It’s so important to go easy on yourself and be kind to yourself. We learn better and grow better when we are being nurtured. That’s what we need right now. It really does start with us and ourselves how we treat ourselves.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.
Read more from Bridget, follow her on IG, and check out her series, Work Like a Mother.