(Ep. 24) – Impossible Parenting with Olivia Scobie

My guest for this episode of Beyond Postpartum is the lovely Olivia Scobie, who is a mom of two, a Registered Social Worker who supports individuals and families in her private counselling practice, the founder of Postpartum Support Toronto (PPSTO), and the author of an amazing and soon-to-be released book called ‘Impossible Parenting: Creating a New Culture of Mental Health for Parents.’ And of course, so much more! I absolutely loved her book and am so incredibly honoured to share this conversation with you.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Olivia’s journey with and through postpartum depression and anxiety
  • How this rough start to parenting started her off on her career and life’s work
  • A bit about the history of parenting in Canada
  • Being a young parent
  • The disconnect between what she assumed parenting would be like and what it was
  • Having a 2nd baby in a different context, and what that was like
  • The importance of having primary health care providers who understand perinatal mental health
  • What helped her feel better and ‘recover’ from PPD and PPA
  • Her transition into her work of supporting new parents and families through her private practice and PPSTO
  • The structural pressure we put on new parents to be perfect
  • How we can see (and laugh at) the culture of Impossible Parenting, but still struggle with internalizing it and the cognitive dissonance that happens
  • Being able to apply compassion to others but not ourselves
  • The burnout that’s happening amongst parents because of the pandemic and the culture of Impossible Parenting
  • The sensory overwhelm that happens when parenting young children that results in fight or flight
  • Taking breaks and getting space and how important these are, and the cultural pressures not to and to be with your baby all the time
  • How much easier it is to blame the individual for their struggles than it is to blame systemic issues
  • What inspired her to write her book
  • Her choice to use gender neutral language for the majority of her book, and also the importance of specifically discussing the feminized experience of parenting
  • Attachment parenting as a philosophy
  • Parenting through research when we don’t have a strong internal map
  • “Shoulds” and how harmful these can be
  • Focusing on personal and family values versus what we should value
  • Prescriptive self-care versus care for ourselves
  • Self-parenting
  • Postpartum Support Toronto and what they offer
  • Where to find her book