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# 25: Finding Belonging, Sense of Self, and Boundaries in Pregnancy and Parenthood - With Mariel Novas and Arlene Sanchez

On this episode of the Mindful Womb Podcast, we are joined by Mariel Novas and Arlene Sanchez, two sisters and new mom’s who share wisdom from their unique journeys to parenthood.

In this episode, we dive into the following:

  • Finding a sense of belonging again when having children

  • Managing anxiety during pregnancy

  • Setting boudaries with family during pregnancy and parenthood

  • Honoring family dynamics 

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Today, I bring forth a heartfelt reflection stemming from a conversation that has resonated deeply within me. It was a candid dialogue revolving around the intricate tapestry of family dynamics, postpartum challenges, and the intricate art of setting boundaries within cultural contexts.

Our conversation began by delving into the raw realities of postpartum experiences. Mariel and Arlene, two remarkable souls, bared their hearts, recounting the tough postpartum periods they faced. What struck me profoundly was their vulnerability in expressing the struggle of seeking support and care while navigating this delicate phase of life.

The fabric of family ties, woven with love and privilege, emerged as a central theme. Mariel and Arlene candidly discussed the roles they often found themselves in due to familial expectations and the challenges they encountered in stepping beyond those roles. The weight of these expectations and the difficulties in setting hard boundaries resonated deeply in their narratives.

As they shared their stories, the conversation illuminated the complex intersections of cultural dynamics and familial expectations. The challenge of carving out their own parenting styles amid the weight of familial norms and comparisons with older generations became evident. The pressure of being compared to each other as siblings, especially in the context of childbirth and parenting, unveiled the intricate layers of identity within the family unit.

A poignant reflection emerged regarding teaching and learning within relationships. Mariel expressed her desire to share knowledge and resources while grappling with the balancing act between high expectations and self-preservation in the face of familial dynamics. The struggle to navigate second chances while preserving personal boundaries was palpable, resonating with the delicate dance of empathy and self-care.

What stood out was the sheer depth of love and growth encapsulated in their narratives. Their journey underscored the complexity of familial ties, the challenges of cultural expectations, and the courageous endeavor of carving out one's identity amid the cacophony of familial norms.

As I pen down these reflections, I'm struck by the sheer bravery in their voices, their honesty, and the deep-rooted desire for growth through life's complexities. It's a testament to the human spirit—to love, learn, and evolve through the joys and struggles of family life.

Navigating the labyrinth of family dynamics, postpartum challenges, and setting boundaries within cultural contexts is indeed a journey—a journey marked by resilience, growth, and the unwavering pursuit of self-understanding.

May we all find solace and wisdom in the shared experiences of Mariel and Arlene as we navigate our own intricate paths within the tapestry of family and life.


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