Hi there, and welcome to tamarbarbash.com!

I’m so glad you found your way here. Whether you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or you just recently became a parent, I’m thrilled for the opportunity to get to know you and help make your journey into parenthood a little easier.

About two and a half years ago I became a mother and I was both shocked and overwhelmed at how much of the experience I was unprepared for. I had read the books and taken the classes and spoken to friends and family, and still, I felt completely surprised by a lot of the challenges I faced.

As I made my way through those early days and weeks, I realized that one of the biggest problems I was having was that there didn’t seem to be an accepted way to express a lot of what I was feeling. It felt as though I was supposed to smile and gush and tell everyone that I was loving every minute. But, it just didn’t feel right.

One day, as I was thinking about the conflict between what I was actually feeling and what society seemed to want me to feel, I began to look at my situation through a professional lens. I immediately began to think about the warnings I had received about job burnout while getting my degree in social work. Job burnout, according to the Mayo Clinic, is “a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.” As this paper from the National Association of Social Work points out, this is a concern for social workers because social work “offers unique challenges that are both rewarding and potentially overwhelming.”

One of the key ways that social workers have overcome the obstacle of burnout is implementing weekly supervision to discuss our caseload and our own emotional well-being. The idea is that by talking about these stressors – by getting them out in the open rather than carrying them around like a sack of bricks – the worker can leave some of it behind. Additionally, if, as the Mayo Clinic suggests, a social worker finds himself with doubts about his competence, talking to a supervisor can help bring perspective and the confidence to deal with whatever challenges arise.

So what does this have to do with being a new mother? Well, let’s looks at this for a moment: Unique challenges that are both rewarding and potentially overwhelming? Check. State of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion? Check. Doubts about competence? Check. All the reasons why social workers are prime candidates for burnout could be applied in spades to mothers as well. What I realized being at home with my newborn son was that not having anyone to talk to about my real feelings and concerns was putting me at risk. It was important that I be able to tell someone that things were hard.

My goal in starting my practice is to give women the opportunity for the supervision that we know can be crucial in avoiding professional burnout. My hope is to be able to provide confidence and encouragement to mothers well before they reach the point of burning out. Particularly in the early days and weeks, self-doubt can be especially challenging. It is important to know you are doing your job well. It’s important to know there is someone in your corner, cheering you along as you find your own way.

That’s what I’m here for.

I look forward to meeting you as you embark on your journey.

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