Meet A Mom: Carolyn! - Stamford Moms

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two children, ages 7 and 4.

What brought you to the Stamford area?
My husband and I were both raised in northern Connecticut but after spending our early adult years in New York we specifically chose Stamford due to its location and the diversity and opportunities that it offers our family.

What’s your favorite family activity in Stamford?
We have a lot of favorites but right now, but Bartlett Arboretum tops the list. Not only because of its beauty,  but also for the sheer amount of time we spend there between summer camp, outdoor concerts, hikes and simply enjoying the grounds.

What are your must haves when you leave the house with the kids?
In this season I try to have the car packed with swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, water shoes and snacks for impromptu water activities.

What’s been your favorite “mommy moment” so far?
There have been so many over the years but currently I’m enjoying watching my children connect with and pursue their individual interests.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
My go to when I’m needing some me time is grabbing a good book, some herbal tea and heading directly to bed.

Tell us about your career.
I began working in the mental health field in 2004 at the residential level. My career has evolved so much since then and I’ve been on a journey that has also encompassed working in the community, providing concrete services to mentally ill adults, then on to providing outpatient care in an agency setting to finally where I am today in my private practice here in Stamford. After the birth of my first child and doing so alongside many of my peers I became fascinated by how individual and yet complex the transition to motherhood can be, so I set my sights on specializing in Maternal Mental Health. My relatively short career has been rather diverse and trusting my intuition has led me here, which I think is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now. I appreciate being in a city that allows me to bring all my experience together in order to do my job to the fullest capacity. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I’m fortunate to be able to continue to provide access to underserved populations, collaborating with community partners while also still having the flexibility with individuals I work with in my private practice.

Why did you decide to start Alliance Therapy Practice?
Through all the different kinds of work that I have done in the mental health field the one constant has been my desire to help people feel less alone. The word “alliance” dawned on me one day and I incorporated Alliance Therapy Practice in 2015, the same year my son was born and we decided to move back to Connecticut.

You specialize in maternal mental health, what are some things you suggest moms do to prioritize their mental health?
A lot of my work begins with shifting mindsets and I encourage moms to consider taking care of themselves (not always first) but primarily. Once they can see themselves in that position, it’s important to carve out the time and to protect it because there will be a lot of things vying for their attention. Once space in the schedule exists it’s then important to fill it with activities that make you feel like the best version of yourself. That doesn’t have to be therapy per se, for some it’s taking a yoga class, going to Target alone, sitting down to a nourishing meal, etc., it’s remarkable how you begin to show up in your other roles when your needs are also met.

How much does a support system help with a mom’s mental health?
I view support systems as ESSENTIAL to a mother’s mental health. In fact, it’s been proven to be a protective factor against developing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Whether a mom’s support system consists of family, friends or a team of professionals, it’s important to be surrounded by like minded people, who you trust, feel safe to be vulnerable with and don’t feel judged by while going through the transition to motherhood.

How do you balance work & mommyhood?
I make regular efforts towards managing my expectations, noting that any form of “balance” in motherhood is a delicate one. But when things are in alignment I know it’s because I’ve been proactive, intentional and have asked for and received a ton of help.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
I’ve collected a lot of advice over the years but I always come back to the idea that, “ the days are long but the years are short”, which helps me to be mindful of just how fleeting this time is, the joyful moments but the challenging ones

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