Mom Brain, Mom Guilt, and The Motherhood Complex with Melissa Hogenboom

June 27, 2022

Becoming a parent changes who you are as a person including your brain, behavior, and sense of self. How do you stay engaged with your children and your values as […]

026 Cover YLIP Mom Brain, Mom Guilt and The Motherhood Complex with Melissa Hogenboom
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Diana Hill, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, international trainer, and sought-out speaker on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and compassion


Becoming a parent changes who you are as a person including your brain, behavior, and sense of self. How do you stay engaged with your children and your values as a parent? How do you open to and navigate the emotions of parenthood? In today’s episode of Your Life in Process, Diana and award-winning science journalist Melissa Hogenboom discuss navigating the dynamic processes of parenthood with the principles of psychological flexibility.

About Melissa Hogenboom

Melissa Hogenboom is an award-winning science journalist, filmmaker, and editor at the BBC. She makes and commissions films and writes articles on a range of topics including psychology, neuroscience, and human evolution. Her journalism has been recognised by multiple awards, including the Webbys, the Drum Awards, Kavli AAAS Science Awards, the Telly Awards, and the British Association of Science Journalism Awards. She is a New America fellow, and she is the author of The Motherhood Complex.

Key Takeaways

  • Your sense of self and identity as a parent often clashes with cultural expectations, especially for women as they become different types of mothers.
    Parenting roles can result in gender-biased differences in daily responsibilities – so discussing shared roles with partners is a key component. Mothers are sold a narrative that mothers must be self-sacrificing, which has significant costs for the family’s well-being.
    Mom guilt around the “idealized mother” is a real phenomenon because mothers care. Guilt can result in neglecting one’s own needs and then contribute to parental burnout and poor maternal health.

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Connecting With Diana

Thank you for listening to Your Life in Process! Subscribe to the podcast for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts. If you have any questions or feedback you can contact Diana by email podcast at yourlifeinprocess dot com or leave Diana an audio message at (805) 457-2776. Follow Diana at YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Diana’s website.

Thank you to the team Craig, Angela Stubbs, Ashley Hiatt, and Abby Diehl. Thank you to Benjamin Gould of Bell & Branch for your beautiful music.

Remember when you become psychologically flexible, you become free.

Episode Segments

  • [00:16] Sponsor: Lightfully Behavioral Health
  • [01:23] Introduction
  • [05:58] About Melissa Hogenboom
  • [06:29] What Is The Motherhood Complex?
  • [09:21] Brain Changes With Pregnancy
  • [12:17] Biases Against New Mothers
  • [20:43] The Cognitive Load of Motherhood
  • [26:58] Mom Guilt
  • [34:49] Putting Your Family’s Wellbeing First
  • [38:44] Intrinsic Motivation And Kids
  • [44:48] Becoming A Gardener Parent
  • [47:48] Your Daily Practice
  • [51:39] Connect With The Podcast

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