Back to school! Or back to school?  

We connected with the founders of, The Matrescence - two moms on a mission to change the landscape of maternal mental health and to identify its role and importance to overall wellness. With back-to-school quickly approaching, and the weight of a big transition on everyone’s shoulders, they provided us with some helpful tips to make the changeover a little smoother...


“What emotions are stirring for you as we approach sending our  babies off to school?  Are you elated to get back into a routine?  Or stressed about new routines and the chaotic shuffle of the morning?  Are you on high alert, ready to pounce into mama bear mode with the thought of recent events?  Or at peace?  Do you feel prepared or unprepared?  As with most things in motherhood, feelings can coexist!  You can be excited to stuff that backpack and send them off to school so you can get a moment to breathe AND be flooded with feelings of fear and uncertainty.

Your big feelings might be shared with your little one.  In hopes of mitigating any negative big feelings that are surfacing and providing a sense of calm, we’re sharing our top 5 tips for resiliency.

Focus on What You Can Control 

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.” -Marcus Aurelius

In a world full of chaos, it is easy to cling to the anxiety of feeling out of control. Shift your mindset and allow yourself to focus on what you CAN control. This sense of control, no matter how small, can help your mind focus on the task at hand instead of focusing on the chaos around you.

  • Safety and world events —> Do your research and vote in line with your values.
  • Someone making different parenting choices —> Be kind, you never know what someone else is going through.
  • Germs and illness —> Lead and model a healthy lifestyle as a family.
  • Opinions from other parents —> Be confident in your truth and decisions for your family.

Avoid Rumination 

“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.” Seneca

In a recent study by Penn State University, 91.4-100% of people’s worries do not come true (and in the 9% that do, the outcome was better than expected). Our maternal instinct tells us our most important job is to protect our babies. In the state of our world right now, it only makes sense that our fight response is activated more than not and we are found drowning in a cycle of ruminating, catastrophic thoughts. Rumination drives you on the fast lane to feeling helpless and paralyzed in your ability to problem solve. This feeling of impending doom and cyclic negativity can take its toll on your mental health. Do not sit and suffer in apprehension, mama. Take steps to break the cycle. 

  • Face your fears head-on. Inquire about the safety plans at your kids' schools. Remember your child’s caretakers or teachers are part of your team.  Form a working relationship with them.
  • Feel empowered.  Create a family plan, in case of emergencies, so everyone knows where to meet. 
  • Engage in activities that create positive thoughts. Identify one concrete thing that you can do to overcome part of the problem. Donate time or resources to a charity or your kids school to make a difference.

Be Confident in Your Decision-Making and Avoid the Comparison Trap

“There is no way to be the perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill

Don’t let the impossible societal and personal standards of what you ‘should’ be doing steal the joy from this beautiful, fleeting chapter. The constant reinforcement from social media, or other outside sources, that we are all failing reinforces guilt. If internalized, guilt can lead to anxiety and panic - a vicious cycle that is hard to break.

There are a million ways to do the “right” thing in motherhood.  You are exactly the mother your child needs. What matters most is that your children feel loved and supported.  Being an emotionally mature parent and building your resilience to stress will support them in feeling so.

Arm Yourself With Coping Techniques to Build Your Resilience

“Your most valuable parenting skill is learning to manage yourself first” Dr. Laura Markham

Research shows everyday life stressors pose challenges to our mental health. Growing your resilience is found to help you adapt and thrive through difficult situations. Our stress resilience has been tested time and time again in the last couple of years. It has caused a steep uptick in mental health disorders and stress levels, leading many people to find themselves floundering and sinking in poor coping skills and searching for ways to swim.  Incorporating these coping techniques into your daily life will help you when you feel like that boat is sinking.

  • Practice self-care.  Check in with yourself daily to see if your basic needs are being met and how you can take time to do so.
  • Be hopeful.  Challenges are temporary.  Welcome and adapt to change with a positive outlook.
  • Be flexible.  Be creative with solutions to adapt to change with your end goal in mind, the path might change but the destination is the same.

Build Your Village

In a recent survey from Motherly, more than half (56%) of mothers feel they lack a non-family "village" they can call on for support. Would you agree the times you need a village the most is also the time it’s hardest to build one?  That rings true for me.  But it’s not too late!  Whether you are expecting, have a baby at home, or are sending your baby off to Kindergarten, having a village that is in a similar season is beneficial.  The Matrescence was created with the desire of this village in mind.  We connect women facing similar challenges in a safe place (through our private app), allowing for open and honest conversation. Our members-only community allows for personal connection with other women and exclusive content, encouraging and empowering you to be your best self. Combining personal experiences and science-backed research, we provide actionable strategies, coping mechanisms, and accessible educational resources focusing on maternal wellness.  We’d love to be a part of your village.

“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.” - S. Kelley Harrell