Financial pressure, marital issues, work-life balance—there is nothing quite like the stressors of parenthood. Due to various inevitable factors, most parents will encounter stress during their parenting journey, whether it be the first child or the fifth.
Though many consider the joy of being a parent unmatchable, there is a surplus of societal pressure surrounding it which can quickly tamper with the bliss of it. Sometimes it can feel like there are simply too few hours in the day to prioritize oneself, nonetheless a partner at the same time. So, how is one to make it all happen?
Without self-care or the intimate time necessary to maintain a robust relationship, many parents are left feeling lost and/or separated from the enjoyable experiences that allow life to feel abundant both in and out of parenthood.
The fusing of psychedelics and parenthood is certainly a topic of some controversy, but nonetheless one that is taking over mainstream news with a vengeance. There are immense online forums and other motherhood groups dedicated to this type of conversation, as new mothers begin swearing by the success of microdosing and its ability to improve life quality at home. Regardless of the unconventionality, growing evidence continues to suggest that psilocybin can be used in a range of different contexts in order to improve general well being—and parents are not the ones to miss out.
When we think about the most sought out initiatives behind psilocybin use, we often connect it to things like mood improvement, stress management, and increased productivity. Though these are only some of the many prerogatives behind plant medicine use, it’s fair to say that a whole lot of tired parents could benefit from effects such as these on more accounts than one. Experts in the field of psychedelic research have implied that parents could benefit from psilocybin use as a way to confront mental struggles, using stress reduction and increased awareness as a way to improve their relationships and patience levels at home.
Rumination and Trauma
Parents must endure specific stress triggers, which can make them more susceptible to feelings of rumination. The process of dwelling on negative thoughts or experiences is a trait of rumination, which is a common reaction when dealing with all the stress a parent must undergo. Worry towards a child’s well-being, tension with a co-parent, guilt over parental skill etc. are all triggers to be well sanctioned by ruminative thought-patterns. It has been suggested that psychedelics have the ability to disrupt ruminative thoughts, likely due to their unique effect on the Default Mode Network (DMN) which directly impacts our sedentary mind.
It is less about using psychedelics to ameliorate parenting techniques, but more about using the substance in order to prioritize mental health—so that everyone at home may benefit from the effects of it.
At times, it can feel like parents are alienated from mental health struggles solely because they have others to look after. In reality, many parents are left to battle their own childhood traumas, while simultaneously raising a child of their own. Psilocybin can heighten one’s level of introspection and reduce the brain’s filtering mechanisms, making it easier to both access and process unresolved emotions. This level of introspection and deep-seated thought resolving may persuade one to rekindle with their inner-child, a powerful tool to use while raising children. When trauma is stored, it has the ability to manifest itself in interactions at home, making self-exploration of value to prioritize.
Inner-child work is known to be a beneficial process regarding healing and personal-growth, but it is important to maintain a healthy balance between self-growth and one’s role as a parent to ensure all needs are met when doing so.
Rigorous clinical trials continue to showcase the healing capabilities of psilocybin, with ego dissolution being among the most notable aspects of psilocybin use under therapeutic contexts. Disrupting the ego can allow individuals to broaden their relationship perspectives, allowing deeper connections to form as self-centered thinking is minimized. Ego dissolution via psilocybin was investigated in a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, where it was found that changes in self-centered thinking were associated with positive changes in mood, attitude, and behaviour.
When the ego begins to dissolve, we become more aware of others around us. Similarly, a dissolved ego is less likely to be influenced by feelings of envy or insecurity, allotting for a potentially promising adjustment in mental health state as a result. Individuals who experience ego dissolution will have an easier time cutting ties with negative self-judgments, and will often feel a heightened sense of interconnectedness with life. Shifts like these can account for elevated levels of empathy and compassion, which may bring a positive element to home life both child-wise and relationship-wise.
To better explain, ego dissolution or “ego death” is the temporary loss of one’s identity and/or sense of self. It is thought that psilocybin’s effect on the serotonin receptors is what may allow this effect to occur, by changing the way our brain processes information. When psilocybin binds to the serotonin receptors, it can result in reduced activity in areas of the brain that control ego and identity which in turn, makes individuals more susceptible to ego dissolution.
Though a fully experienced “ego death” alludes to taking a more hefty dose of psilocybin, it seems individuals may also experience ego dissolution to some degree through microdosing too. Shifts in self-perception while microdosing is known to be very subtle, therefore if changes in ego are felt while microdosing, it will be in a much less intense manner. Though the shifts are subtle, increased feelings of connectedness, empathy, and love, are all commonly discussed benefits involved with microdosing.
Perhaps a widespread news article on psilocybin sucked you in, or maybe you heard through the grapevine that another parent swears by it—whatever it is, you might be wondering how integrating an entheogenic plant into a non-stop lifestyle might benefit you.
After taking the time to really read and look into how other busy parents have begun swearing my psilocybin, it seems to most effectively be utilized in two different ways.
- Big trips (once/twice a year)
For those really wanting to seek the full entheogenic experience, more couples have begun using larger doses of psilocybin either once or twice a year as a way to help repair their relationships and help strengthen their love at home. Co-parenting involves a lot of trust and communication, which can deplete overtime due to different stress triggers and minimal alone time.
Substituting the average date night with a mushroom trip can open up deeper conversations that are perhaps yet to be had, cracking down the walls that have been built up slowly over the years. The increased level of openness that psilocybin causes makes it easier to discuss what might be causing one dismay, while the other might listen more attentively as empathy is raised. The power of quality communication can benefit a couple long-term, making co-parenting more seamless which may positively impact a child as well. Taking a night to get deep with one another and execute important conversations without ego getting in the way, can make a staggering difference in the months to follow when both parties are willing to fully submerge in the experience.
For the powerful single parents out there, a solo-trip can be just as empowering and highly beneficial to those who feel willing. An individual can experience all the perception shifts and ego dissolving qualities of psilocybin without the company of a partner, though it is recommended you have a trust-worthy friend or family member around on standby if it is your first time, to ensure you have someone to speak to if need be. A solo-trip can allow one to re-attune themselves with the world around them, which may offer positive effects on mental health and interpersonal relationships.
If a macro trip experience is something you are after, you should ensure either you or you and your partner have made arrangements for the children to be looked after. Seeing as a big mushroom trip isn’t exactly the type of experience that can be done anywhere at any time, there should always be a level of planning involved to be as safe and intentional as possible—to best suit everyone involved. A mushroom trip can last anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on the amount of mushrooms ingested, therefore an overnight stay away from all at-home responsibilities is the most ideal if a hefty dose is on the menu for you and your boo.
In contrast to a full entheogenic trip, microdosing is easier to integrate into everyday life as the effects are sub-perceptual. Sub-perceptual refers to the act of taking a dose so low that the individual is unlikely to experience any noticeable changes in perception or behavior, therefore it can be implemented into a routine without necessarily needing to set aside time or arrange accommodations to do so.
With that being said, it is still highly recommended to try microdosing for the first time on a day with minimal responsibilities. Everyone has a different sensitivity level when it comes to entheogenic substances, meaning a trial run might be necessary to ensure you are taking the right dose for you. While mild anxiety at the beginning is normal due to changes in blood flow and high levels of anticipation, a proper microdose should cause no changes in general perception, nor should there be any noticeable effects on behavior or demeanor.
For those who are hoping to prioritize mental health improvement and increase general wellbeing, many parents are one step ahead and have claimed microdosing to be a game changer in the life of bustling parenthood. Microdosing has a way of connecting us back to our authentic selves overtime, allowing us to be more present and excitable at home.
Without the mundane structure of work or chores, we would simultaneously become less able to soak in the gleaming color of life’s best offerings. Things like children, unconditional love, pets, a perfect summer’s day, the list goes as long as we allow it. But at times, we will have to face difficult struggles and find new ways to cope, so that we can fully submerge in the beautiful things as they come.
Psilocybin has been used for centuries as a way to promote healing and allow individuals to attain heightened empathetic states, and although the topic on parents using psilocybin remains controversial to some, more experts and activists are coming out of the woodwork to spread the wellness word for others to hear.
The bottom line is parents are entitled to mental health struggles, parents are entitled to feel defeated, parents are not to fit inside one blueprint, and parents are just as worthy of healing as anyone else. Before one is to shame another for their lifestyle choices, be reminded of the plethora of extensive research that has gone into proving the many outstanding benefits of psilocybin over the last decade, and let that speak for itself.