I created it!
After working in the high tech industry for 12 years, it was the experience (and huge challenges) of having my two children that ignited my calling for helping moms through the postpartum transition. I developed severe postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety after the birth of my first child, and it changed my life drastically. I was unexpectedly sad, confused, angry and internally struggled through the typical motions of being a new mom for 14 months. My identity was put through the meat grinder. I simply did not know who I was. My daily life was so different from my former hectic non-stop business days, and I did not know how to connect with people outside of my usual work environment. I was alone.
Help was difficult to find, and so I silently suffered internally. It was miserable, and the darkest year of my life. I was enraged that help was almost non-existent, and that no provider wanted to help me. I was a hot potato that nobody wanted to handle. I was enraged that everyone’s focus was only on the baby after delivery, and as long as I received a check in a few medical boxes I was considered ok. I was enraged with society and lack of support for new moms in every aspect. I honestly thought we would only have one child, not being confident I would survive this experience again. But I knew in the depth of my heart I wanted another baby. So my husband and I did everything different the second time around to help offset the chance of developing PPD again. We created a postpartum plan and created a team with a doula, placenta encapsulator, therapist, and a compassionate OB. We literally wrote out the names and numbers of people to contact and stuck it on our fridge. I shifted my thoughts and energy to caring for myself as much as I cared for our babies. And it worked! The second time around when there was true support and a focus placed on my healing, I felt amazing. It literally changed my life, and my experience being a mother. I was so moved by my second chance, and my positive postpartum experience, I became certified to provide the sacred gift of postpartum doula care and placenta encapsulation for others. I quit my corporate job, and decided to jump two feet into creating my own business to help other women. I was completely fueled by my mission to help prevent other women from experiencing the difficulties I endured. It ignited a deep love and understanding within me for all women, in all situations.
This is a loaded question! It seems impossible to have it all. At any given time I would love to have it all with quality time with my kids, a clean house, all household jobs done, work with clients and their babies, all business tasks complete, consistent income, dates with my husband, dinners with friends, time alone to think, and a solid 8 hours of sleep every day. Whew! This is ideal, but simply not realistic all at once. There will always be a sacrifice, and that’s ok. It’s easy to want and need more than we have, and it usually always comes back to time.
But looking at the most basic perspective, I have everything I need. I have it all with the opportunity to work and support everyday fundamental needs, and through the love from my family.
The one thing I am not going to say is follow your passion. This drives me crazy! My husband told me this so many times during my corporate years, and it made me frustrated. Hearing this on repeat made me feel inadequate when I did not have something I was so passionate about that I could go out and make it happen. But the bit of advice I do have is to simply be an observer of yourself over time. What do you like to do that does not feel like work? What would you wake up early for? Ask yourself questions like these, and pay attention to how it makes you feel inside.
My biggest success is using Google calendar for everything! It’s so basic, but it helps me tremendously with time management, and keeping track of all things work and family related in the same place. I create an entry for literally everything on a weekly basis. I block off a certain amount of time for each work related task, and I think of them like appointments. And I also learned how to be flexible. At any time my entire schedule can be changed when my child becomes sick, or a client needs emergency help. And that’s ok. I have learned how to roll with the changes and trust that everything will work out fine.
My biggest challenge is turning my brain off at night when it’s time to sleep. This is usually the time when my mind is flooded with personal and business related thoughts, tasks, and when I process the day. I am not a roll over and fall asleep type of girl! I have learned that I need about one hour to truly wind down before going to bed. But I work a lot at night, and time is short. My number one priority for this New Year is getting more sleep. That will mean going to bed at 8pm some nights, even if I need to make a Google calendar entry for it. =)
This may seem really cheesy, but I think all moms are Pro Mamas. There is so much pressure put on women to perform seamlessly in multiple roles exactly that same way they did before having a baby. The expectation of postpartum life from society is completely unrealistic. There is no perfect bounce back physically or emotionally 6 weeks after delivery. There is no perfect working solution. Every Pro Mama has a similar goal of keeping their baby safe, and keeping their own sanity at the same time. We are all so different, and every mama has a story of struggle and triumph. And everyone’s story matters. The beautiful gift about being a woman, and being a mom, is that we all have the ability to share unconditional love and support. We all need each other.