Mom & Mind
Impacts of a Rough Upbringing on Transition to Motherhood
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Impacts of a Rough Upbringing on Transition to Motherhood

The journey into motherhood can be filled with many challenges. The situation is worsened if one grew up with a difficult relationship with one or both parents. Such is the personal story you’ll hear in today’s show. Join us.

Jaimi Martin came from a very difficult childhood with a mother who suffered from mental illness. Jaimi shares some of the dynamics that played out with her and her mother, carrying over to shape her own journey into motherhood. Jaimi discusses sensitive topics, like suicide, so use your discretion in listening. Since Jaimi is a therapist specializing in perinatal mental health, she is able to give insight into how her early experiences have impacted her. Jaimi now lives in San Diego with her husband and sensitive four-your-old son. After a career devoted to children and adults with emotional needs, Jaimi changed gears after the birth of her son, since she found herself without support or knowledge about what she was experiencing. Once she learned about postpartum depression and anxiety, she became an advocate for women and now serves as a volunteer for Postpartum Support International. Last year, she became perinatal mental health certified and now works with mothers, supporting their growth and discovery through her private practice, Womanhood Counseling.

Show Highlights:

  • The basics of Jaimi’s childhood story:
    • Raised by a single mom who also had a difficult and detached relationship with her own mother
    • Jaimi’s mom’s childhood was filled with physical, emotional, and substance abuse
    • Jaimi’s mom had children early, and CPS visits and interventions were frequent
    • Jaimi grew up with many suicide attempts by her mom and an alcoholic stepdad; she was trained to not talk about the family’s dysfunction
    • When Jaimi moved out at 18, her mom followed her and promised many times that she would change, but she never followed through
    • Jaimi’s mom blamed Jaimi for all her troubles
    • A therapist urged Jaimi to move far away to escape her mom, so she went to San Francisco and pursued a career in social work
    • The call that told Jaimi her mother had been successful in her final suicide attempt
  • How Jaimi suffered through the grief of her mom’s suicide, thinking that it was a game and that she would surely “show up” one day
  • The sense of “relief” that Jaimi felt because her mom was gone, which prompted much shame and secrecy about her feelings
  • How Jaimi worked through the grief process with a therapist but knew she didn’t want to ever become a mother
  • When she met and married her husband at age 39, the doctor said she would probably never get pregnant without intervention
  • The relief that Jaimi felt about not having kids, but her husband was left grieving the loss of fatherhood
  • Ironically, Jaimi became pregnant the next month and felt wholly betrayed by her body because it did what she didn’t want it to do
  • The birth of Jaimi’s son, along with intense fear and anxiety that he would never attach to her
  • The additional fears of karma “catching up to her” for what she had done to other families as a CPS worker
  • Jaimi’s postpartum crisis, when she lost weight and “didn’t feel OK”
  • Jaimi’s terrifying experience with a postpartum therapist
  • How Jaimi found the Mom & Mind podcast and the pieces fell into place to make sense of her attachment issues
  • How Jaimi found help in books, podcasts, and moms’ support groups
  • How Jaimi learned to give her son what he needs as a sensitive child
  • How Jaimi made the shift from CPS work to her private practice
  • Jaimi’s hopeful messages: “If you’ve gone through the suicide of a loved one, you are not alone. There is a community out there that understands. There is no shame when someone you love dies by suicide. Own your feelings and hold space for them.”

Resources:

Womanhood Counseling

Facebook: Womanhood Counseling

Instagram: Womanhood Counseling

 

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