If someone told me the day before my first daughter’s birth that I’d end up as a parenting coach, I probably would’ve beamed and felt great.
I had visions of breastfeeding my warm, happy baby (who was of course swaddled in cute, sweet-smelling blankets). I’d lay her lovingly in her crib for her 7-hour uninterrupted sleep. My husband and I would snuggle as he adoringly thanked me for bearing this perfect child.
If someone told me the day after my first daughter was born I’d end up as a parenting coach, once I came out of my morphine-induced haze I probably would’ve alternated between loud wailing and hysterical laughter.
I managed to avoid my calling for quite some time, despite my mind and body screaming loudly that something had to change in my insane life.
Through severe post-partum depression, a nightmare of a time parenting my toddlers, 3 moves, and lots of struggle, I went from an air-traffic systems engineer, to a weight-loss coach, to coaching my fellow engineers. And during it all, I felt like a really bad mom.
All the purpose-finding activities out there ask you “What would you happily do for hours on end if you could choose any activity?”
I was spending hours researching, learning, attending workshops and trying to heal myself so I could be the best parent I could be. I was also downsizing, organizing, and making my home an oasis. I found myself in conversations with other parents, asking them questions to get them thinking about things differently. I loved giving them support and compassion, and passing on knowledge and insights I’d gained through my own experiences.
It occurred to me that I could coach others around this, but I immediately thought “How can I coach other parents while I am having so many struggles of my own?”
Then it hit me – if I had no parenting troubles of my own, if I wasn’t struggling emotionally myself, how could I possibly help others in that situation? If everything was shiny and rosy for me, how could I empathize and provide useful, relatable information and support?
I’m on this crazy parenting train with everyone else. And I’m so grateful I can give help and support to my fellow passengers while continuing to learn and grow myself.
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