“I love that.” This is something I said over and over again throughout this episode with Chelsea Skaggs because it is true – there’s so many things I loved in this conversation! Chelsea helps women and couples find more alignment before and after having a baby and she offered so much valuable insight for navigating postpartum relationships throughout our conversation. I wish I had this type of support before Lilah came along because I can see how it can be so game changing for every partnership. Listen in and share with someone you know who is expecting or in the throes of those first couple months of parenthood when things just feel so tough – especially our relationship with your partner.
- How Chelsea is using meditation with her kids to find rest in motherhood and destigmatizing motherhood rage
- Chelsea’s journey of co-sleeping for the past seven years and how she keeps a healthy relationship with her partner while bedsharing
- How to stay true and honest to yourself while also still showing up for your partner
- The necessity of taking care of your pelvic floor and why this should be a part of your self care routine
- Reminding yourself that you don’t have to be a martyr as a mother and it’s a gift to take care of yourself
- Overcoming the resentment that can fester toward your partner, especially if you’re a breastfeeding mama
- Why Chelsea encourages the couples she works with to have a “weekly business meeting” to make sure everyone’s needs are being met
- Options for navigating different parenting styles with your partner
- Why it’s so important to have an outlet or a community outside of your partner for support and validation
Chelsea Skaggs is helping women and couples find more alignment before and after having a baby. A life coach committed to communication, connection and confidence all while addressing the taboo topics of parenthood.
Connect with Chelsea:
Click here to read a raw, unedited transcript of this episode
Okay, I’m recording, but I just thought of something. Do you want me to say, we can, I’ll edit all of this out, but your postpartum together, what am I, cause I know you have like chats with Chelsea, like what, your postpartum together. Yeah, okay. So I’ll say, just to confirm, I have Chelsea, is it Skaggs? I’ve never even asked you.
Just focus on that. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Yes.
Perfect. Yeah. Yeah!
with your postpartum together. Okay, okay.
Yes, I wouldn’t even try yours right now.
Meia se pera. And I wish that’s one of my regrets when we divorced is I wish I would have gone back to Matthews. But I wanted to keep Lila’s last name. But if I get married, then I don’t want to, whatever. But okay. Yes. Okay, so I will do a little intro.
See you later.
It’s a whole other conversation.
Welcome, welcome. I am so excited to have Chelsea Skaggs of Your Postpartum together here to chat with us today. So Chelsea, if you just want to jump right in and introduce yourself, tell us who you are, what you do, all of that.
Thanks, Brittany. So I am Chelsea Skaggs. I started Postpartum Together about three years into my own motherhood journey. And I…
became a certified professional life coach and wanted to really focus on new moms and new parents because I felt like no one was talking about the things that I was going through, like cutting through the nursery decor and all of these things that seem so important, but I didn’t find any spaces to really connect on an authentic level with other moms and feel seen and heard. And so, postpartum.
together was formed to fill that gap. So we offer small group coaching courses and private coaching.
I love that. And I love that we’re so aligned in being real about motherhood instead of like, like you said, the picture perfect nursery or lying about how our baby’s sleeping and just being real and honest because that’s, I mean, being a mom is a beautiful, beautiful role, but it’s also hard. It’s also messy. It also can be really dark sometimes. And so I think that.
We end up feeling more alone because people aren’t sharing their real journey. And a lot of times like the person right next to us, the mom right next to us is going through the same exact thing, but we’re embarrassed to talk about it.
So I’m so glad to have you here to chat. One thing that I do at the beginning of every episode is either say, if it’s a solo episode, how I’m finding rest or if I have a guest, I’m asking them how they’re currently finding rest in motherhood. So how are you currently finding rest in motherhood?
Yeah, so I have a seven and five year old now, and they still are huge snugglers. So they come into our bed every night still. And I love it, but sometimes I still feel nap-trapped, like years later. So I…
I would say the way that I find rest is that I try to sync my meditations or even listening to a book to when we are snuggling at night or in the mornings so that I’m not feeling like I’m just there lost in my own thoughts, but I’m taking that purposeful time to rest with them. My favorite app is Insight Timer where you can just listen to so many different kinds of meditations and breath work.
I think their body contact also helps my meditations and my meditation probably also helps us have really sweet snowball time.
love that. It’s funny because I actually started something. It’s a little bit different. But if Lila is having a hard time falling asleep at night, it feels like so much longer in the moment, right? Because I have this to-do list of things that needs to get done after she goes to sleep. And so I’ve started doing two things. I’ll hold my phone away so she can’t see the light and I’ll screenshot when we like start like closing eyes. And then when she falls asleep, I’ll look at how long it was. And I’m like, that was eight minutes.
eight minutes that felt like 50 minutes where I was like, just go to sleep. But it was really eight minutes. But the other thing I’ve started doing is like, um, I’ll do, like, I’ll count down from 90 if I start feeling myself, get that like rage or I’ll start like, I don’t know, like a manifestation vision, right? Like where, like, where do I want to see myself and just try to kind of like that, like take that time instead of like.
Okay, I’m sitting here. I don’t really want to I have a lot of other things I could be doing. But instead, just like you said, flipping the script and kind of making it time for me. So I love that.
Yeah, and I just want to say how much I love that you said like that rage that you start to feel even in a really sweet tender moment. I just experienced that last night and my husband came in and I was like I can’t I cannot lay down anymore. Like I am being kicked or someone keeps like talking or they need something. Um, and so thank you for normalizing that sometimes in the midst of very loving and connecting times there is still
that just ragey feeling which I think is often tied to just feeling like there’s so much to do and we’re out of control and that feels scary.
Totally. Well, and it’s so funny because actually last night, I don’t know if Lila’s going through a growth spurt, but she’s been like, well, obviously we still go to sleep and we have a big king bed for two of us. And she, I wake up every single morning, I literally have a tight neck right now. I wake up every single morning, like clinging to the edge of the bed, like, okay, I don’t wanna fall off. But I remember last night, she was so.
Like I said, I don’t know if she’s going through a grocery but like kicking her legs all over the place. And like, I finally like, I was like, okay, I think this is like the 10th time I’ve been woken up. And I was like full of rage and I like picked her up and moved her. And then she like woke up and like rolled right back over to me and I was like, Lila, like with rage, right? And then she was like, I just want to snuggle. I had a hard day, she said. And I was like, oh my gosh. And then this morning I woke up and I was like,
I was so mean to her and all she wanted was like a snuggle from her mama. But then I also reminded myself, but like, okay, your experience was valid too. Maybe the yelling shouldn’t have happened, but you had been woken up like a million times and you were just like, ah. So I think we need to normalize that rage. And I like what you said about like, there’s a reason behind it, right? Are we feeling out of control? Are we feeling like we’re losing time for ourselves? Do we have things to do?
And then taking that and using it as like a, okay, I’m feeling this way, what can I do? Just like you said, you talked to your husband, so it sounds like you probably like tapped out and you were like, come on and.
Yeah, yeah, and we had a conversation about how important it is to teach our kids boundaries, like even from an early age. This is not that I don’t love you, it’s that mommy’s capacity is full and a boundary that I have is that I need to go take some space for myself.
Totally. I love that. And what I really want to talk about today is like postpartum relationships. So with a spouse, with a partner, whatever. But one question I have for you, because this is a really big question among the bed sharing community, especially since you have older children. So I love that you can give this perspective. So I think, if I’m not mistaken, you’ve pretty much co-slept on and off their whole lives, right? Yeah.
for seven years.
Okay, and if you follow Chelsea on Instagram, and if you don’t, you should, but I can just tell how in love you and your husband are. I can tell how strong of a relationship you guys have. So you guys are a testament to the fact that you can absolutely co-sleep and still have a thriving marriage. I mean, I even get like spicy vibes from you, right? Like I know that the, like, I don’t wanna like air your dirty laundry like sex life, right? But like I can tell.
We could say that.
Yeah, I think, and again, I’m not in your home, but I just get that vibe from you guys. And so can you talk about how do you keep a healthy relationship with your partner while still bed sharing? What does that look like? And it might look different, right, through different periods of parenthood.
Yeah, I think it definitely looks different at different times. But I think early, early on, we had this conversation and I’m sure that what a lot of people talk about is like, well, how do I have sex? There’s kids in my bed. Um, we had this conversation of like, who said that sex has to be at 8 30 PM in the bed, you know, in this certain way. Um, that obviously wasn’t going to work for us. And so I mean,
I won’t get too into it, but like nothing is off limits. You know, you lay down with the kids, they go to sleep. So we would either move the kids if we felt like they could be transferred and stay asleep, which is sometimes a risk, or find other places and times to connect. And I think that has been really important and it has opened up.
communication. I think it’s actually a really good gift because you don’t get into this rut. You don’t get into the same thing, you know, monotonous and the same time, same place, all this. You kind of have to say, okay, what are our priorities for connection? Whether that is, you know, our communication, whether that is sex and intimacy, like what are our priorities and how do we need to get creative about taking care of those things? And really,
truly I think for the couples they work with who are in this space they get to have more conversation instead of just assuming the norm all the time.
love that. And it also just makes me think like it could also add a little bit of like foreplay, right? Like maybe you’re texting your partner like, okay, so like, where what are you picturing for tonight? Or you know what I mean? Like I think that communication piece can actually even add more intimacy because you’re talking about it. Because one of the things in parenthood is we kind of lose that spontaneity for the most part, especially in those early years.
So I think that it can feel hard to kind of plan it, but I think, can you give some tips on that? Like, okay, instead of making it feel like a doctor’s appointment that you have to show up for, how can you plan it while still making it feel like fun and sexy?
Yeah, I love making a case for scheduled sex specifically as new parents. I’ve had eye rolls over this but I’ve also seen and heard a lot of success stories with this approach.
What I like is that I don’t know how you felt as a new mom, but I’m gonna assume that many of us feel this way. Like my brain can only handle so much. I am not having fantasies through the day because my boobs are leaking, the dishes are overflowing. Like I’m not sitting at my computer at work thinking, oh, I can’t wait to get home to my husband and da da. You know, it just, there’s no time for that. And there’s not brain capacity. And like, I’m not showering every day. You know, I kind of feel,
I felt gross a lot of times as a new mom. And so when I’m working with new parents, I challenge them to just try, like, pick one night of the week and then pick a backup night. And does that mean those are the only times you’re gonna have sex? No, but what that means specifically for mom, and I’m gonna speak to moms here because I think this is more difficult on us as far as preparing and just getting mentally and physically in the mood, is that means there’s one day a week
to actually try to think sexy thoughts or I’m going to take a shower and blow dry my hair because I feel like a new person or I’m going to turn off the cocoa melon playlist and put my ear pads in and listen to something that feels like spicy and exciting but that’s it’s just not a reality for that to be every single day and so if we pick one day a week where I say babe I’m going to put the
you know, exciting and excited and excitable, then you make space for that and it says this is a priority. I’m not just gonna get through the sex, like I’m going to show up on purpose, but I can’t do that every single day. So let’s pick a time where that makes sense and if spontaneous sex or connection comes up, that’s great, like bonus points, but at least we have this time where we’re focused in.
I love that. Something I saw, and I can’t remember who it was, but I saw it on Instagram, and it’s a couple, and they were like, why we make out every day. And I liked it because it talked about how they make out so that it doesn’t always lead to sex. So like, it’s not this feeling of when your partner starts like, even like the rub on your back or the butt, like the butt pat while you’re doing the dishes or anything like that as an postpartum mom. I can specifically remember
like my body tensing up. And I was like, no, like I don’t want this to go there. And so then I felt like I was like pushing him away because I didn’t want it to go there. But I loved that thought of like, make out every day so that it’s just a part of your relationship. And it doesn’t mean that it’s gonna lead somewhere that maybe you don’t want it to that day.
Yeah, that’s great. And I think from the male perspective…
typically from the men I work with, like I don’t like to generalize, but they don’t like feeling rejected. Like men do not like feeling rejected. And so I think that the postpartum season is especially hard for them in that they are feeling rejected in a lot of ways, whether it is in the bedroom or whether it’s you can’t feed the baby the way I can or you can’t do this the way I can. And so we see a lot of men becoming defensive because they’re feeling rejected over and over again,
becomes you know a strain on the relationship.
Totally, and then you feel even more pressured, like, okay, I’ve said no like five times now, I feel like I really need to say yes, but then you’re like, but I don’t really wanna say yes, but I feel like I’ve said no so many times that I have to say yes now. And that actually leads me to another question topic to talk about is, can we also normalize the fact that like,
after the six week mark, we still might not wanna have sex, right? Like I don’t think that I was ready until closer to like the eight to nine month mark. And how do you kind of, because you are in a partnership, so how do you stay true and honest to yourself while also still showing up for your partner?
Yeah, and this is so multifaceted, so I just want to say like what I’m going to say doesn’t mean that someone listening needs to check all of these boxes or do all of these things. But I do think there’s a few pieces to this. For the partnership, I think one thing that is prime is figuring out what do we get out of that connection.
Is it feeling desired? Is it feeling connected? Is it feeling like a team? Like each of you get to identify what that symbolizes. Maybe it’s fun and maybe it’s, you know, youthful and exciting. It’s different for everyone but oftentimes we don’t.
know what that represents for ourselves and what that represents for our partners. And there might be other ways to fill that bucket or to pour into that bucket when physical intimacy isn’t as high. So I do encourage couples to identify like when you do have sex or when you do have physical intimacy, what do you get from that? What does this symbolize? And how can we look at other areas to be filling that love bucket a little bit?
if things aren’t happening at the same frequency as what we’re used to. I think also this is a case for mamas to prioritize self-care. We love being martyrs and I think to some degree, and I identify with this in retrospect, although I wouldn’t have said so in the moment, something about just being a martyr felt good. It felt worthy and, you know, like, look at me, I don’t even have time for a shower
I’m taking care of everyone else. But that doesn’t necessarily breed the best kind of partnership and the best way to show up together. So understanding what you need to do to feel, you know, whole and to feel good about yourself is another important piece there.
Totally, I love that. And I think it’s like fill your cup first, right? Like, because if you’re not taking care of yourself and getting to know yourself as a mom, how are you gonna be like feel open to kind of letting your partner into that realm?
Right, right, which I was just gonna add that also is just a plug. I plug as much as I can, like having pelvic floor rehab and therapy and taking the time to normalize the fact that, you know, our friend Jess says if you if your shoulder, like you dislocated your shoulder, you aren’t going to just like suck it up.
Somebody’s gonna go to physical therapy and they’re gonna rehab that and giving birth is such a big thing and it’s normal to feel Scared about anyone even your partner like come in near all that just happened in that area. And so part of your Self-care is definitely making sure you’re taking care of your public floor your belly whatever was involved in your birthing process
Totally. I need to have Jess on. We can talk all about that, but maybe we should do a three-way chat one day with Jess. But what was I was going to say something along the lines of that which was oh my gosh, I just totally lost my train of thought.
Mmm, be fun.
Um, oh, so taking care of ourselves. One thing, another aspect of that is like, I know I remember back to those early days when just like you said, like my boobs are leaking, I’m contact napping all day. I have a child like sucking from my boobs. The last thing I want is someone else touching me. And it kind of goes back to that martyr concept, right? Because
I didn’t want to leave my daughter. I was, even though I am so close to my mom and like I wanted to parent just like my mom parented, but like even like leaving my daughter with my mom felt scary. Leaving my daughter with my now ex-husband felt scary. Like I wanted to control it all. And so then I was left with, I wasn’t taking any time for myself. So yeah, of course I wasn’t. I mean, here I am being touched all day, holding a baby all day. Please do not.
come near me, don’t even look at me at the end of the day. But I think if I would have been able to kind of release that desire to control and gone, and like you said, like taking a moment for myself, taking an hour for myself to go get ready or go work out, whatever that looks like wherever you are in your postpartum journey, right? But just like go take an hour for yourself so that you aren’t feeling so touched out and.
And again, like you said, that’s not going to be every day. That might be one day a week.
Yeah and it’s almost like a brain trick for the people who are in this martyr space to say
It’s actually a gift. Like it is a gift to your child, it is a gift to your partner, it is a gift to the people who are going to experience you and be around you if you are able to show up as more of a full person. So if you are stuck in martyr mindset, then start by doing it for other people. Start by doing it for the people in your life who want to experience the best version of you.
There’s two quotes I love kind of about that. It’s like you can’t fill from an empty cup. So if we’re trying to fill our children’s cup, our partner’s cup, our cup has to be full. And the other one, I think it’s by L.R. Nost and she says, taking care of me doesn’t mean me first, it means me too. And I love that. Like I just got chill saying it because even four years into motherhood, and I’m sure seven years into motherhood, you can relate. We tend to put ourselves on the back burner.
And then we end up with our rage at bedtime or our rage at our partner, right? Because we’re not doing it for ourselves. And just like you said, if we take care of ourselves more, then we have more energy to give to everyone else around us.
So I’m gonna kind of segue into a different topic in terms of relationships and segue into the topic of feeling resentful towards your partner because I also feel like this can lead into not wanting to have sex, right? And I so remember waking up in the middle of the night, breastfeeding Lila, looking at Bruno, and like hating, like full on hating him. Like…
Thanks for watching!
Oh my gosh, how can you sleep through her cry? Like, cause he would just be dead asleep and I would be so resentful. And I, this is where it’s also hard because if you’re a formula feeding family, then you can split the load more a little bit more at night. But as a breastfeeding family, how, there’s a lot of resentment, right? Because it’s like, you can’t do anything at night. So whether, and I guess they can, I will say I was angry, but Bruno in the beginning would like,
change her diaper and then bring her to me or something like that. So they can help, but, and this doesn’t have to be just for a breastfeeding family, but how can you deal with those feelings of resentment towards your partner for either being the primary caregiver, the preferred caregiver?
Mm-hmm. Yeah, so this feels like a hard truth. Um, and I’m willing to be the person that gives hard truths. I have had to get really clear with new moms specifically about you have to give up control more often. You have to stop trying to be and do it all, whether that’s to impress your partner, your mother-in-law, your mother. Like, you’ve got to start challenging where this is coming from. Um.
It’s a different story if your partner is a POS that doesn’t get off of the PlayStation to help the baby and they stay up all night and then they sleep in. Like that’s one scenario. I don’t attract people in my business who are in that scenario. What I typically find is that I have a lot of partners who don’t feel confident, they don’t feel like they have room.
and they feel like they’re gonna get criticized. So why even try? And I don’t say this to put more of a burden on the moms because systematically and just the way that society is and general expectations, like I think that the burden is very much skewed to the mom in a heteronormative relationship than it is to the dad. And again, that’s a whole other conversation about.
what we do in conversations about that. But I think this challenge is to have better proactive communication, which means maybe in the nighttime you’re taking shifts or you’re getting really clear about who’s doing what, or you’re saying, you know what, babe, you can’t really help at night, which means I need you to take over X, Y, and Z in other areas.
We just can’t pretend like we’re gonna do it all and that our partners are gonna swoop in and know where and how to help. Not because they’re not capable, but many of them didn’t grow up seeing this. Many of them are, I mean, we’re all reparenting ourselves. There’s so many layers to this. But for moms, I wanna say like what I think is in our locus of control.
is to evaluate where is this resentment coming from? Am I being fair in giving my partner the opportunity to parent the way that they are going to parent and not micromanage what they’re doing it and how they’re doing it? Most of the time, male partners that I work with want to be involved. They want to feel like a kick-ass dad. They want to be proud. And a lot of them aren’t.
because they feel like they’re always doing it wrong or they’re never going to be as good as the mom. And so I think there’s a lot of letting go in order to have a stronger partnership.
I love that. And I actually do a lot of coaching around that when I have a mom who’s like, my baby won’t let dad put them to sleep. And so we have to have a conversation of like, okay, so this is, this is going to be twofold. First, I need you to like, just say, I’m going to let you figure it out. I’m not going to tell you how I do it because as soon as we start telling our partner,
This is how I do it. Now they’re going into the situation feeling like, okay, well, so this is how she does it. I have to do it exactly this way. Baby’s picking up on this insecurity that’s coming. And then we end up with a disaster because usually mom stays in the house and can hear baby crying. And then she’s like, okay, well, let me go in because I know I can fix it. And so it’s so hard, but I think that releasing control is so huge.
I’m going to…
And that’s one thing, if I could go back early on in my postpartum journey is I would have started giving them time to themselves regularly for myself, right? So I could go fill my cup, but also to let them figure it out and figure out like, okay, so baby knows this is what my relationship with mom looks like, but then baby can also figure out what their relationship with the other parent looks like. Um.
Mm-hmm. Yes. Yep.
So I think that that’s huge. And then it also, what you said brought me to another thing that you and I have actually chatted about before, which is the communication piece. And one thing that has stuck with me, I can’t remember when we talked about this, but you talked about like putting on your business hat and going to a business meeting with your partner and like sitting down and talking about it. And I think that was such a profound thing to me to like.
see the partnership of that way and kind of take control and say like, okay, this isn’t working. Let’s have a meeting and let’s chat about it. Can you share a little bit more about that?
Yeah, and I love this perspective too, especially for people who are used to professional settings and working on work.
teams is that you do have to segment some of these things in order for it to not be so messy. So what I encourage couples to do is to have, we usually start with like a weekly business meeting and at that meeting it’s going to look different for everyone but you are going to come up with your business hat, you’re looking at your co-worker and your baby and your home are the project. And
work team you’re going to say okay what are the things that need to be done? Now how do we delegate these things? And some of these things are going to have deadlines. Some of these things need to be done a certain way. Some of these things just need to be done. And some of these things are going to fall off the list because we just don’t have capacity. And I think when we
take a more logistical approach to some of that management, then it gives way for saving the emotional approach for the more intimate and important things once you know that the logistics are taken care of.
And I’m a big believer in how important routine is for babies, for ourselves in the postpartum period when we’re losing a lot of that control. And so just hearing you say that, that was kind of an aha moment for me, is like, okay, so if it’s in the routine, if this is built into our routine, who’s taking care of it, then there’s not this more mental load for us of like, okay, when is this gonna get done? I have to do this. It’s like known.
So I love that.
Yeah, and I think it allows people to take responsibility for their…
portions. It’s not my job, you know, I again seven years and I would not say that I have this perfect but I know on Wednesday nights, my husband’s the one that’s home getting the kids off the bus and taking them to swim lessons and I try my best to not say hey, are you gonna make it to swim lessons? Do you remember there’s some lessons today? You know I have to accept and in order to do what I
on Wednesday nights, I have to let that go and I have to let go of control and I have to trust my partner and I have to honor that they’re going to make mistakes. Something I want to say about this because for most couples, mom’s going to get a longer leave off of work or mom is going to stay at home like
Again, every family is different, so I’m making a generalization here. But when this happens, typically mom makes mistakes, but mom doesn’t make mistakes with an audience. And many times, dad has mom watching. And when that mistake happens, he gets ripped. And I think we have to consider how unfair that can be when we’re
We’re going through growing pains. We’re learning. We’re messing up on the journey. But so many times we get to do that in isolation without an audience. And I think our partners actually, like you said, mom getting out of the house, as long as we don’t think that baby is in danger, our partners deserve the chance to learn without someone over their shoulder.
Totally, totally. And I just, to kind of like validate all experiences, I did have a thought of like, if you have a partner who is then texting you a play by play of everything that’s going wrong, because, right, like we’re, I think you and I are thinking in like a beautiful world where partners like, yeah, let me take this on, go take the time for yourself. But there are some partners who will be like, oh my gosh, they’re not going to sleep, you need to come home. And so one thing that I learned,
although my marriage is now over, but it did work while we were together, was I would say like, don’t text me if anything’s going wrong. Unless it’s an actual emergency where we’re going to the hospital or we’re going to the doctor, please don’t text me. And so I think kind of setting that boundary too of like, okay, I’m gonna trust you. And this full trust means that like, I don’t wanna know about the hiccups unless I absolutely need to know.
Definitely. That’s great proactive communication.
And that’s what I think it all boils down to in a relationship, right, is the communication piece and the boundaries piece.
I’m gonna pivot again and I wanna ask because I get asked about this a lot, which is how do you work through having very different opinions in parenting, especially specifically for like my case would be like, we have one parent who wants to like bed share, go the whole attachment parenting route and we have one parent who wants to sleep train. What would you say to a couple that is there?
Yeah. Yeah, well I do want to just validate that is hard. Like I think one of the hardest parts about being in a relationship with someone is that you have two different life experiences, two different versions of reality, things that like…
And I’ll get back to your question, but I remember using these phrases and my husband would be like, what, who, like, where does that phrase come from? Who says that? And I was like, everybody says that! And I’m gonna, okay, I’m gonna tell you one because it just came to mind. My grandma always used to say, it is colder than a witch’s tit out here. And my husband was like, Chalice, not everyone says that. Like, you say that like it’s normal. Which for me is just an example of like, we live in our own…
lived norm experience. And so there are a few conversations that I think apply to a lot of struggles or things that couples are working through and I think it applies here. But that first one is having conversations as early as possible. So if someone is listening to this and you’re expecting for the first time or you’re thinking about having a baby, you know, I think this is applicable to you as well as wherever you are.
if you’re already in your parenthood journey, but I think you need to have really clear conversations about what your experience was growing up and even.
like saying out loud things that you think are normal, things that you think, well, of course everyone would default to that option or everyone thinks that this is the way to do it. And it can be kind of playful and fun, but it’s also, you know, there are going to be things that come up where you say, oh, like we have very different lived experiences. We have very different ideas of what’s normal here. So that’s worth acknowledging. And the other piece to this is, when I have couples who,
disagree or they can’t find alignment on a decision like this. I like to start with like what are our core values and go kind of 30,000 foot view here and say what do we want our kids how do we want our kids to describe their childhood what are the two to three core family values that if everything else goes wrong we know that we stuck to this.
And I’m not saying that’s going to make the decision, you know, black or white and easy peasy, but you, you kind of clear out some of the clutter in the brush. And another piece of that is like, what are we subscribing to that isn’t actually even aligned with our values or our long term goals? Like, what did I pick up from this influencer on Instagram that I internalized as a necessary thing that actually might not be true? Or like, what are the guys at work saying?
that can be true for them but that doesn’t reflect our family values and goals. So just bringing those two pieces to the light can help each of you I think maybe make some sacrifices to negotiate on decisions and make sure that you might lose some of your ideals but
as a couple, you should have some alignment on your core values. And if you don’t, then that’s probably a great time to see a therapist or evaluate where the relationship is because truly you’re going to be raising this family and you’ve got to do this out of your shared values.
Totally. I love that you brought that up about work because that is the biggest one I hear is like, my husband is back at work or never left work, but like, and all of his friends are saying like, oh, we just sleep trained. It’s like this, like, what is it? Like a bro’s club? Like, it’s so funny to think about them like talking. But yeah, I just, I think that’s a.
Yeah, I would think so. Yes, I hear it too. Oh man. Yeah.
I love the getting to the values piece. What are your core parenting values? And I liked that you brought up what did my childhood look like and what feels normal to me? And what do I not want to pass down from my childhood? Because that’s a whole nother piece. What do I need to reparent myself out of to stay in alignment with how I wanna parent? So I love all of that. Thank you, Telsey, for being here. Are there any…
last minute words of wisdom that you would like to share.
Oh man. Well, this is actually something I was thinking about today. Um, and I hope that it can be helpful. I have a text thread with four of my friends and we send voice memos back and forth and it is like the place where shit just stays real. Um, because you know the reality is like
Yes, people are showing their highlight reels on Instagram, but also like nobody wants to dig into their trash and like flash that on Instagram. We can’t expect that of people. Like at work, we’re maybe not gonna get down to like the true nitty gritty, but I think having a place where you can just brain dump and process and get things out there and share how you’re really feeling is so important. And I say that understanding that
as a new mom that was very hard for me and it took me a very long time to get comfortable with the level with the level of vulnerability I needed for healing and there was so much like put up the good front and you know you just all we want is to be a good mom um but if there is one person
that you can start a text chain or a Marco Polo or something with to just get real when you have to. Maybe, you know, as you’re listening to this, text them and say, hey, could we voice memo back and forth? Or there’s some things I don’t feel comfortable sharing with everyone, but I feel like I need to get them off my chest. Like, can we make this safe space? And something you said at the beginning that I just want to kind of come back to is that…
the mom next to you at library storytime wants the same thing. If you’re at, you know, a stroller workout group and everyone looks like happy, go lucky, chances are they also are craving real honest connection with another mom but we aren’t trained to be vulnerable enough to accept that and to ask for it. So be really brave and look for those places where you can show up
and I think we’re better for it.
I love that you shared that because I would say just in the last year, I’ve gotten two really good friendships with two people I’ve met on Instagram, right? Like we’ve never met in real life. Now we have plans too. But one specifically, like we joke about it, like we’re sending each other podcast episodes all day long. Like I’ll, I’ll finish like, I don’t know, I’ve gone on like a 10 minute rant of different voice memos and I’m like, I could have just made that a podcast episode. And sometimes I’ll be like,
none of that was important to you. And she’ll be like, yeah, but you got it out. And she’ll do the same thing to me sometimes. She’ll be like, oh my gosh, I know you don’t care about that. But it’s like, you said this place to just dump it all. And we actually joked, I was like, if anybody ever got ahold of our voice memos, we’re like screwed. And I think that there is this, there’s just this freedom and true rest and having these relationships where
we can be like totally upfront and honest. Like just the other day I texted her and I was like, oh my gosh, I was such a bitch to Lila today, right? Like I, and I, I saying this on my podcast in front of lots of listeners, right? But it’s not something that I would go on to Instagram and say, I might say like, today wasn’t my best day in motherhood, but like, what does that really mean, right? Like, so to have that place where you can just get real because I mean, it’s scary to say it out loud.
And then her response back was, oh my gosh, I was too, right? And then it opens this space for all of the realness to come.
Yes, and to make one little like bow on top for our conversation. When we don’t have that, I think we expect it from our partners and that’s just not fair.
I love that you said that and I’m just, I’m going to like do a little circle there too. I’m like, we could just keep going. Um, just have a three hour podcast. No, I’m kidding. But, um, which is, that’s the thing that I think, and I actually, my girlfriend and I were just talking about this because I think partners have a tendency to want to fix, right? So like, if we bring up an issue, like, I don’t know.
something happened at work or something like that, or we had a fight with our sister or our mom, our partner’s gonna jump in. I specifically remember in my marriage, Bruno would be like, trying to give, well, maybe this is why they said that. And I’m like, I just want you to be like, wow, that really sucks. And the beauty of a girlfriend is, is that we’re gonna give you that validation. Sometimes we, if it’s a situation where we’re like, well, maybe we could have handled that differently, true friendship will also bring that up.
This is… Yes.
But that’s the beauty is the friend is there to just be like, oh yeah, that really sucks. So thank you, Chelsea, so much for being here. Can you tell us where we can find you if we have a postpartum couple that’s looking for some support or just a mama? How can they work with you? All of that.
Sure. So Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. I say that reluctantly because I have like a I’m here I’m not here relationship but they’re all postpartum together. One word and also a blog that is postpartum together.com
Perfect. And do you work one-on-one with clients? Are you taking one-on-one clients?
Yes, so I have private clients. Sometimes it’s just me and mom. Sometimes it’s me and both parents. And I actually, I really like the way that this is set up. Typically I will meet with mom one week.
dad one week and then meet with them together every three weeks to bring together what they got out. So it’s really nice to hear from both perspectives individually and then I take their notes and I look at where there’s maybe a discrepancy or where they’re seeing things differently and we’re able to talk through that every three weeks and that model, I just have so much fun with it and couples have a lot of realizations. It’s really nice to have a third party, be able to hear you in sorcery.
some of those things especially in the chaos.
I love that and I love that it gives them, because I feel like I would be embarrassed to say some things in front of my partner. So now you have somebody who knows both sides of the story and then can bring it together. I love that. Well, thank you so much for being here. It was so much fun. And yeah, we’ll end there.