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Project MotherHOOD with Cynthia Branch

My "little ones" are not so little any more. My children are ages 19 and 17. I raised them for most of that time as a single mom. Their father and I are not kind of co-parenting but I feel I already did most of the work. I work full time as a psychotherapist AND have my own private practice.

How do you define Motherhood?

Motherhood to me is a full time job and life long responsibility. It is the highest point of womanhood for me.

What was it like starting your own practice?

Setting up my practice was incredibly scary. Taking a step toward entrepreneurship is a scary thing and when you're a therapist - you never really get the business side of things in school. They teach us to be clinicians not entrepreneurs. No one taught me about pricing, marketing, branding etc. and those are things I am learning along the way; Needless to say through trial and error.

Also, there is always a risk involved when you start your own business, some risks I would be very willing to take as a single woman, but afraid to take as a single mom. For example, quitting my day job would mean my children don't have health insurance so it just wasn't an option. Therefor, I felt I had no choice but to keep the day job while starting my own practice - I don't think I need to say how exhausting that can be, do I? LOL Private practice, after the day job, means very long days. It means mommy won't have time to cook or run errands. The great thing is my children are almost adults, well my daughter is technically an adult (20) but my son is 17 and still a minor.

Having a private practice can also interfere with my dating life because of the long hours. I have tried to keep my weekends free but offering services on the weekend makes me more marketable so... I give up my Saturday mornings. Having my own practice means sacrifice but without sacrifice there is no reward.

What are a few things you like to do that help you recharge your batteries?

Talk! I love to have girlfriend time to just talk about what ever is going on. I also make sure I read almost daily. prayer and exercise are also important for me and pampering is a necessity!

Is there a Mother that has inspired your journey and if so, how?

Not directly but my relationship with my own mother was a bit strained due to her substance abuse when I was young so I was inspired to create the relationship I always wished I had, with my own chidden and I SUCCEEDED!

How has Motherhood inspired you?

My children are my inspiration and reason. When you have this level of love and are responsible for the lives of your children succeeding is an urgency. I am their example and I am always aware of that truth. It keeps me striving for better.

What's your favorite beauty must do when you are feeling exhausted on the inside?

I am not big on any beauty regiments lol however when I'm feeling down or tired I make sure to beat my face and wear my hair bit and fabulous. Sometimes just getting pretty on the outside will lift your spirits.

One of two: A note of compassion you want to offer a Mother reading this. Preferably something that might/could have been comforting to you at one point of time. OR Note to self.

Do your best. If you always do your very best than you have done enough. Spend lots of time creating memories with your children. Laugh often and try to teach with out being harsh or rigid. Remember that our decisions will impact them forever so stay aware of your decisions... Put them first most of the time but always take time to feed and nurture your own soul.

Thank you Cynthia


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