Parenthood : The Journey through the Fire

TIP : Parenthood : The Journey through the Fire

by Meagan Holden, MD, AMFT

“Nothing can prepare you for the first time your child curls their tiny fingers around your finger. Or that in the very next moment you will be so tired you will desperately want to be far, far away. I was so unprepared for all of it. Here I was, an anesthesiologist who had been through medical school, residency, and thousands of births. What could be so hard? And then it all came rushing in. The high of the highs. The very low of the lows. The exhaustion, the euphoria, the loneliness, the purest of joys, the self doubt- the roller coaster to beat all roller coasters.

We are taught that if we work hard, we can prepare for anything. But you just can’t muscle your way through parenthood. It takes a very different set of skills. It takes having the courage to find your own path, trust your inner knowing about what your unique family and child need and leave behind what doesn’t work for you and yours (no small feat!), build community, and, most of all, prioritize self care.

This last one, in particular, is such a challenge. At least it was for me. I had so much guilt about not being with my daughter all the time. My own needs and identity got so murky and hard to hold onto in those early days.

There is good news! You got this!! You are not alone even in those darkest moments. And if you can’t see the way forward, find someone who you trust that can walk alongside you.

Becoming a parent is deeply transformational, and sometimes that transformation feels like walking through fire. For me, it drove me toward a different, more authentic calling. I decided to leave medicine and become a psychotherapist. I realized that I wanted to be someone who could walk alongside others in their darkest moments.

If you embrace the fire, or at least accept it, your life can become something you could never have imagined in all the best ways.”

Meagan Holden, MD, AMFT is a mother of two and a Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist (AMFT #143753), supervised by Julian Redwood, LMFT. She knows how challenging becoming a parent can be and loves supporting clients through this transition. Meagan sees individuals, couples, and families at her office on Union Street in Cow Hollow and over telehealth. To explore working with her please call 415-580-0828 or Find more on her website,


Jane Austin Yogi IconJane Austin is an internationally recognized Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher and Teacher trainer empowering women and pregnant people to trust their bodies as they transition into parenthood and beyond.

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