Truth bomb: parenting is about the parent, not the kids.
Becoming a great mother is a lifelong journey, and it actually begins the moment we are placed in our own mother’s arms.
Conscious parenting is not just about raising children, it’s also about healing our own wounds and recognizing our own triggers.
Today we are sitting down with Bryana Kappadakunnel, the incredible voice behind Conscious Mommy. She is here to help us shift the paradigm around what it truly means to have and raise children.
You will never look at conscious parenting the same way again.
Where to find Bryana Kappadakunnel:
In this episode, we are sharing:
- Processing our own childhood and healing ourselves first
- Shifting the paradigm around what it means to have children
- Meeting and honoring your everyday needs
- Breaking generational curses and addressing the mother wound
- Self-reflection and “name it to tame it”
Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast where we support you and your provider in understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. I’m Maranda Bower, your host, your postpartum nutrition specialist, and homesteading mom with four wild kids. It’s time to get you the holistic, whole-body healing that works.
Maranda: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast. I’m Maranda Bower, your host, and I have an incredibly special guest for you, someone who I have been following for a really long time. This is Bryana Kappadakunnel. She’s a licensed marriage and family therapist, an infant family early childhood mental specialist that’s a mouthful, a perinatal mental health specialist and certified conscious parenting coach. She’s the owner and voice behind conscious mommy. If y’all don’t follow her on Instagram, you absolutely need to do that after the show. We’re going to have all of those links for you, but she is really teaching parents how to become conscious parents to be really the parent that they probably never had. I know that’s the case for me. And Bryana, I would love to hear a little bit about your story and how you came into this field.
Bryana: Yeah, well, thank you, Maranda, for having me. And I’m always so excited to serve the perinatal and postpartum population. I think what brought me into this work was my– own relationship with my mom and having grown up in an environment that was very confusing, chaotic, disorganized, violent, and largely unsafe, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. And then just kind of like how difficult that was for all of that to be very normalized and then to go out into the world and realize, wow, like other people did not grow up like that. Wow, this is kind of mind-blowing to me.” And finding my way into therapy myself and starting on that healing journey of really getting to know myself in a really deep way and understand my family and what I experienced with deep compassion just led me to want to work with moms and children so that so that there could be that same healing growth for moms and children. And I really believe, like in my heart, I believe that if we can support early, very early on, the child-parent relationship, that it has the great potential to really change the world in a big way. If we can foster things like a parent’s self-awareness, if we can… foster things like self-regulation, like attunement, like empathy, pausing, listening, not reacting, but responding, if we can foster these things and have that be the norm instead of what I think is the norm for a lot of us yelling, screaming, reacting, flipping out, blaming, shaming, you know, all the things. That’s just kind of normalizing. That’s seen as, well, that’s just what it means to have kids. If we can shift the paradigm and actually see connection and stillness and presence as a real, as like the agent for building a better future and a better society, I think we could just, I think we could do a lot of really important, powerful things. So there’s so much here for me. Like it’s very mission-driven. I think we could do a lot of really important things. I think we could do a lot of really important things. I think we could do a lot of really important things. I think we could do a lot of really important things. I think we could do a lot of really important things. very driven to get this message out there. I literally have goosebumps when you share that story. It’s incredibly powerful, but also the way you describe raising your children. And I’m listening to you and I’m like, yes, that is what is going to change the world. And then reality sets in. And it’s like, okay, but if that’s conscious parenting, that sounds really hard. How do I do that when I’m exhausted and burnt out and I’m not feeling well because I have zero support and no self-care and nobody taught me how to heal and postpartum, all the things. How do we do that? Yeah. Yeah. Well, we always have to start with the very, very basics. So like, if I’m burnt out, if I don’t have any, if I don’t, if I don’t have any, if I that’s where I start. I start with building support and I start with working on my burnout. Like, what are the just every day survival things in my life that are not being met, that I need to have met for me? And how do I find my people that support that? And sometimes those people are people you’ve known your whole life and sometimes it’s a chosen family.
Bryana: Sometimes it’s just other people and that is okay. I really believe that like, you know, the only relationship that we have that is permanent throughout our entire lifespan is the one that we have with ourself and everything else is seasonal. Every other relationship has its time and its place and its season. And so we really wanna be pulling back into, okay, what are the basic necessities that I need for myself so that I can do all the things that’s being called, that I’m being asked to do right now, right? If you’re up every two, three hours, I have two kids. So like, and they’re very, and they’re young, I have a four year old and a two year old. So like, yeah, we only just started sleeping through the night. We were not sleeping through the night for a very long time. And we’re still waking up. but about my actual needs for movement, which are to release and get present and feel grounded in my body. So there’s so many shifts that we can make when we’re in that survival state that you were just describing that is a part of conscious parenting, believe it or not. That is actually a part of conscious parenting, just coming into awareness of, whoa, I’m so depleted, I need help. Where is my help coming from? Do you see what I’m saying? If you’re a birth and postpartum professional who wants to give the families you serve some solid holistic, evidence-based information regarding nutrition, repletion, and nourishing your body after baby, this is for you. I have 18 beautiful pages in a handout form that is completely free. Free, full guide to nutrition completion, common misconstruction. misconceptions, supplement support, favorite recipes, 30 healthy and quick snacks, and so many more. You can download your free collection with handouts at postpartumu. That’s the letter you .com /handouts. I am so, so glad that you are starting here because when I hear parents, oftentimes the first thing that they go to is this idea of… well I need to be a better mother I need to focus on motherhood and and truly we do so much for our children right we will buy them everything that they possibly need we focus all of our attention on them and we neglect ourselves in the process oh yeah and what you’re saying is if you really want to be a conscious parent that you actually have to start with you first yes always always. Parenting is about the parent, yes, 100%. And being a good mother working on, that’s a lifelong journey. And your journey into being a good mother does not start the moment that that baby is put in your arms. That started back when you were put into your mother’s arms and you were parented. And that was when your experience of motherhood began. So I need to be the best mother and therefore I need to neglect myself is the old paradigm that this is the old way of looking at motherhood. And let’s look historically has that actually served mothers? No, it’s created a martyr complex is created a self sacrificing complex where women continue to put themselves on. the back burner and are unable to get their needs met. And even a society that does not see that a mother crying for help is somebody who you flock to to support. We just tell her, you got this. While she’s saying, I’m drowning. So we’ve got it. Don’t worry. It’ll be fine. I did it with five kids, right? Like you hear all the things, but it doesn’t actually really attune and support to what that mother is really telling us and what this mother is really saying. And so part of my work is honoring what women are saying. Like it is a real, valid, true experience. And how do we set it up so that we’re not recreating? recreating these patterns that do not serve you and never did? They never did. It was a facade. But if I can figure out here’s what I need and here’s how I’m going to prioritize it, that’s good mothering, believe it or not. It is. It’s so true. And this is, this is breaking the generational curse. This is the ancestral wound that we’ve been handed down. This is the mother wound, and this is what we’re here to break. And I love so much that you are sharing this because so much of what I do is all about supporting the mother and healing her body and understanding where she is emotionally, socially, physically, mentally, and all of those components. And one thing I hear often is, but… but, but I have to be a better parent. Well, that starts here.
Maranda: So yeah, this is, this is absolutely amazing. And I really want, I want to speak to you about this self reflection aspect. Because I see in your work, you often talk about this and the words that you’ve used throughout this episode itself is, it’s really about the self -reflection. -reflection and how that not only changes who we are as people, but it also transforms the child -parent relationship. What is it that you mean by this self -reflection and how does that transform this relationship?
Bryana: What a lovely question. So self-reflection is the capacity, the ability to understand how our past experiences have changed and how our past experiences have changed. are affecting us in the present moment. So when I’m snapping at my kid, when I’m yelling at my kid, my mind is going to want to think, “Well, of course I’m yelling at this kid because they’re not listening to me.” My mind is going to want to make it about the kid. Self-reflection invites me to think back. I wonder what else this might be about. Do I have a history of… of people being impatient with me? Do I have a history of people feeling annoyed with me? And how did they respond? Did they yell at me? Did they silence me? What did they do? And in what way am I actually reacting to that? What way is my child triggering something within me that’s not yet healed? And how can I work on that? And really, when we name it, like I think it’s Dan Siegel who says it, when we name it, we tame it. it. So when I can make that connection, I literally rewire the brain to have a new experience. So now instead of reacting to my child for not listening to me, I’m now aware of myself. And it allows me to do the next step of self-reflection work, which is being able to mind the child’s mind. So now I’m able to understand, what is my child’s defiance, if you will, actually trying to tell me? Does my child not understand what I said? Did I give them too much to process? Are they in the middle of something important? And I’m just, you know, bulldozing and acting like what they’re doing doesn’t matter. Are they telling me I feel too controlled by you? I need more space, I need more autonomy, I need more independence. independence. What is this child trying to say? And that is the shift in child-parent relationships. When I can show up for that child and the child within, when I can notice that child within me who’s feeling frustrated and anxious and scared, and I can give her compassion, give him the soothing and the comfort that he needs, and I can show up for this child in this transformed way. That’s why I am a huge advocate and will never stop talking about the role of self-reflection. And anyone who’s been to therapy has done self-reflection work even if they haven’t actually said it. That is what therapy is. It’s all about learning how to reflect on oneself.
Maranda: So true. So true. I love this so much. This conscious parenting isn’t just about raising babies and children. I think that’s really what I want to get out here. It’s also about healing ourselves, our inner child or our old wounds recognizing our own triggers and really forcing ourselves to heal because that’s exactly what this is doing. And this is so much of what I write about in my book, “Reclaiming Postpartum Wellness,” which is exactly how we… met. You are one of the early readers of the book. And I feel like this part of the conversation that’s being had is where so much of the change in our world is going to really transpire. So I am so grateful that you are doing this work. And I feel like we’re kind of doing the exact same thing in a different way.
Bryana: Yeah. Well, I mean, I loved your book. It was so unique. I haven’t come across a book that really does focus on nutrition in the postpartum period and then a holistic approach to what’s happening postpartum. I’ve seen books that just like, “This is just about couples,” or “This is just about your first 40 days,” or “This is about bonding with baby,” but to really have a resource that’s so focused on what’s happening with the mom on every level, I think is really special and really important. Yes, I really did enjoy your book quite a bit. Thank you so much for that. And, and of course, as you know, I am such a huge fan of your work and everything that you’re doing. Where can people find you? Best way to connect with me online is @consciousmommy on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube. On Facebook though, it’s conscious mommy co-co because someone else already had conscious mommy. But I have workshops and things. You can find all of that information at www.consciousmommy.com. And I would love to support you and have you take some workshops and things like that. So I’m available whenever you feel it is in alignment. I think that’s it for this video. Thank you so much for watching. really important. My work is always here. And I don’t, sometimes I feel like people believe there’s like an urgency. I have to do it right now or else I’m gonna damage my kids. No, like this is, that’s not how it works. Like you’re gonna mess your kids up just a little bit because you’re human and there’s, it’s not about being a perfect parent and it’s not about them having these perfect curated lives where they don’t, don’t ever have any issues. They’re going to have some kind of issues and that’s okay. Like there’s no problem with that. It gives them a reason to grow when they get older. But really it’s, you know, when we feel called and when this, when I feel like, yes, I’m ready to do this work. I’m ready to understand why I’m triggered. Like I’m ready to open that door. Then you come to me and I will support you.
Maranda: I love this so immensely and I will tell you I again I’m such a huge follower she’s changed the way I have parent she breaks a lot of stigmas and a lot of the paradigm the paradigm yes but also the way we are told in which to raise our children the things that we’re being told is not it’s not accurate and a lot of times they do more damage than they not and I found that that to be so revolutionary when I was changing the way that I was parenting based on what you were sharing. It was forcing me to do that reflection and realizing that that was not about them that was all about me. And truly and truly just just changing the way I see them as human beings. So I appreciate that. your work and I highly recommend everything that you are promoting. So please, if you’re listening into this, go take a look at Bryana’s work. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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