There's something about Mary

Over Christmas, I heard another version of the Christmas story, and it really got me thinking about Mary, Jesus's mother.

This woman had absolutely no control over her birth: she travelled to a strange place with no friends or family, on a donkey, and then found she had nowhere to stay. This was not a comfortable way to prepare. Forget about choosing a birthing suite and bringing your own music.

Then amidst animals and dung and straw and strangers, she gave birth.

After that, a lot of unknown people turned up with some pretty random gifts. Not exactly what you might want as a new mother.

Yet we are told that 'Mary stored these things in her heart'.

I am intrigued by how this relates to Bion's concept of 'Maternal Reverie' and how reflecting on their babies can be a source of comfort to mothers, even in difficult circumstances. This doesn't come easily for some and many don't experience a chorus of angels when their baby is born (despite popular belief that mothers should). But it's something that can be developed through a variety of techniques and tools, including counselling, video interaction guidance and newborn behavioural observations.

So if you're struggling with becoming a mother and would like to find some comfort, please be assured that it is possible. It might not always be easy to find, but please persist as you and your baby will enjoy each other so much more if you can.

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