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One year after having a stillbirth (twin boys), I delivered a perfectly healthy, much anticipated and totally loved baby girl. I was instantly in love with this miracle baby (9 months of a high risk pregnancy) and relieved that she was safely in my arms. What I never expected was the feeling of being completely overwhelmed! I struggled to get quality sleep, which made it more challenging to pick up on the signals of my new baby. Was she hungry, tired, in pain or just getting some exercise (exercising her lungs quite well indeed)?
I was dealing with the joy of a break from work but surprised by the feeling of loss of control, sense of accomplishment and freedom.
Being a new mom became my full time job and this new ‘boss’ of mine didn’t communicate in ways that I could immediately understand. My world was turned upside down and I struggled to find joy when I was so heavily immersed in the chaos.
If this is what you are feeling, you are not alone. There is an enormous shift that women go through from the independent controlled life to one that is completely selfless and lacks control. There are the physical and emotional changes that impact women post-pregnancy. We know that these changes will come (every prenatal book warns women of this) and until it really happens we can’t truly appreciate the impact. And it is different for every woman.
It is a time of beauty and a time of complete chaos.
Fast forward 24 years and I am now a certified life coach. Over the seven years of my coaching practice, I encounter many moms feeling similar emotions. Most recently, I supported an amazing woman. who is a global director in an international company and mom of just 3 months! Here are her thoughts on some of the challenges she faced:
What were the greatest challenges you faced when you became a mom? “I experienced and instant lack of control, and confidence. There was lots of conflicting advice and it was hard to know just how to make important decision when you feel each decision is impacting the life of another being- it was overwhelming. I had challenges with the baby being fussy (lots of crying all the time) and this lead to emotional and physical exhaustion”
How did a life coach help? “It put my situation into perspective and normalized the feelings I was having. I also found calmness in the crazy, which allowed me to celebrate the day-to-day accomplishments instead of feeling like I was struggling. Through the questions Juli asked, I came to clarity and I understood and embraced my new identity. Coaching helped me create my own me time amidst the early chaos and it helped me create a support structure.”
Another mom commented…
“What triggered everything for me was breastfeeding challenges and that feeling of failure and inadequacy that comes with it. Also, the loneliness of maternity leave was another big surprise to me. I’ve since created my village of daycare moms, which has helped immensely. There are so many challenges of motherhood that we are ashamed to talk about and simply talking about it helps so much because we are all going through the same things.”
What is a life Coach?
Coaching is really about regaining control over our thoughts and emotions and getting back into the driver’s seat of your life. A coach provides a safe space to uncover the true issues, blocks or hurdles people are challenged with. A coach partners with their clients, to strategize and to create shifts that enable them to live a life filled with more peace, joy and confidence.