Reflections on Motherhood – an OT’s Perspective

Written by Amanda Dixon (Occupational Therapist)

At Ability Focus we have the privilege of seeing the power of motherhood every day. We conduct parent consultations with mothers and carers, and see their face light up when we ask them to talk about their child and describe their child’s unique strengths are abilities. We see their whole body become energised as they tell us about how their child is always trying so hard, is a “social butterfly” or can build things with Lego beyond even their wildest imagination.

During this time of pandemic and health restrictions we’ve continued to be amazed at the commitment of mothers to make therapy a priority for their child. For example, we have conducted Telehealth Zoom sessions with a child in the back of mum’s car, then when we arrive at mum’s work, she finds them a pen and a paper and we keep going!

It’s the creativity, problem solving, resourcefulness, hard work and resilience inherent in motherhood that really comes to the fore in the most challenging times.

Similarly, we also see mothers during times when the role of parenting is incredibly tough. These are times outside the calm clinic environment, when soothing a child seems impossible in a world that demands so much from our little people. These mothers may feel alone, like they’re not doing enough or not ‘parenting right’. We see these mothers and the constant love and care they give to their children despite all odds, like the mother continuing to comfort and reassure their little one at three am in the hospital emergency waiting room. We applaud these mothers and recognise that they are doing a beautiful job of being a mum. 

We want to take this opportunity to let all these amazing mums know that you are incredible. You are shaping the development of a little person and teaching them all about this world (which at the moment can be a very beautiful but also a very challenging place to be). We want to remind you that we see your effort, resilience, hard work and dedication. We also want to remind you that it’s okay to take time to care for yourself.

We encourage you to take all that love you channel outwards to your little people and make sure you channel some back to you – whether that be taking a few extra moments outside with your cup of coffee or giving yourself 30 minutes to watch the latest Netflix doco guilt-free. Self-care is not selfish.

You are doing one of, if not the most important jobs in the world. You are not alone and you are doing an absolutely wonderful job! Happy Mother’s Day.

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