Paradigm Shifter Practical Wayfinder Mother of Three
...and what I never expected
I'm a mom. And like you, I'm also many other things. I sort of forgot that many years ago when I started my family. How I wish I knew then what I know now. I certainly knew that my life would change after my first baby, but I honestly never expected to feel the impact of the many changes related to my former lifestyle, appearance, moods, friendships, spousal intimacy, income potential, autonomy, self-esteem, confidence, and overall sense of self. Yes, maybe I was too naive or unprepared, but that's why I wrote Missing In Action: How Mothers Lose, Grieve, and Retrieve Their Sense of Self and developed course materials intended to support moms. I lost my sense of self in the early years of motherhood. You may feel that way now, or want to avoid that happening. My hope is that you find what you're looking for in our courses. My hope is that you strengthen the "muscles" you need for "the hardest job in the world" so you experience the exquisitely thrilling, joyful, demanding, and all-consuming journey with the strong sense of self and support you'll need along the way.
MSW, Certified NLP Practitioner and Positive Psychology Coach
Graphic Designer, Digital Editor, Nutritionist-in-training
& her daughter,
Who lives behind the scenes...
I never expected to take this journey with my mom, but I'm very happy to be here. I remember the years it took her to research and write MIA and her struggle to reclaim important parts of herself. I experienced firsthand her journey and the impact her work has had on other moms and their families; the marriages that were saved, and the families that stayed together. So with that, I look forward to supporting this community, promoting our message, and creating the newsletters that I hope will lift your spirits and make your life a little easier.
It began many years ago, and with a baby that sustained a brain hemorrhage at birth. You might think that's why my transition into motherhood was so intense and full of angst, but there's so much more to it than that. The truth is that motherhood overwhelmed me....with joy, gratitude, and awe. But it also overwhelmed me.
Unsuspectingly, I was led to that moment. The one where you look in a mirror and don't recognize yourself. I've seen this depicted in some TV shows and movies, and trust me, it's never a good moment. But I was in love, madly in love with three incredibly adorable and sweet kids who seemed to need just about all of me, all the time And I gave it. What's a mom to do?
Understandably, mothers fall in love and are happily consumed with their babies. The tricky part is not letting motherhood literally consume you. I had to learn how to be in love and give abundantly to those who needed me while nurturing my "self," a self I loved, a self that was familiar, a self I valued. A self I never wanted to lose.
It took me a long time to get my bearings, but I eventually did, and I learned a lot from my journey to "figure it out." I do know the anxiety that can lurk, the stress that can surge, and the questions that hover in the dark of night during pregnancy and early motherhood as they relate to one's intrapsychic experience; that is, one's sense of self, particularly the fear of losing it, and how to best preserve it with the onslaught of demands and responsibilities inherent in the "hardest job in the world" (a la Oprah).
I wrestled with most of those questions, and I learned a lot because my transition to motherhood was so rough, and I was so unprepared. And now? I'm a wayfinder. I want to help you sidestep the existential crisis that I experienced. In understanding the underlying dynamic occurring during this time, I hope to better prepare you for the days ahead and help you secure and empower the woman that is you, apart from mom. This is essential and will undoubtedly serve you well over the course of time.
Let's suspend our fear of judgement, ridicule, and rejection and embrace the need we all have to be heard, understood, and accepted. Motherhood is a place to learn. To ask questions. To share the challenges that exist around a shifting sense of identity, and how best to secure one's sense of self as motherhood takes hold, puts great demands on us, and transforms us each and every day.
Empower the woman within. For your sake. And theirs.
Motherhood is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, transitional periods of a woman's life, so it should come as no surprise that bouts of overwhelm can occur, even for the most secure, mature, grounded, and prepared women. Overwhelm can take many forms and manifest in different ways. But in the context of motherhood, a few things remain pretty consistent.
For instance, every woman will experience change as she takes a step away from her former life and toward her new life, a life with new routines, priorities, responsibilities, challenges, companions, expectations, and timetables. Every woman will perceive those changes through her unique conscious and unconscious processing of information given her age, culture, former experiences, education, socioeconomic status, etc. Likewise, every woman ascribes a certain amount of value to the people, places, and things in her life. What we all tend to forget is that people also ascribe value to ideas, events, images, beliefs, roles, personality traits, and even abstract concepts, such as one's "sense of self."
All this being true, I made the leap to conclude that if we value something, we develop an emotional attachment to it. If we give little value to something, we will not form a strong emotional attachment, and therefore not really miss it should we lose it. However, if we ascribe lots of value to something, we will form a strong emotional attachment to it, and we will absolutely miss it if we perceive it as deteriorating, changing in ways we don't want, or lost. That is, we will experience symptoms related to grief. Grieving is a response to loss.
So, I approach all mothers, and this space, with a basic framework in mind. A framework that considers all emotional attachments (to people, things, beliefs, concepts, images, personal attributes, etc.) as similar in the context of what most people value. We become emotionally attached to what we value. So it stands to reason that If we develop emotional attachments to all things that contribute to our sense of self (i.e., all that we value), then we are likely to experience distress when our sense of self feels threatened; for moms, this threat may come from lack of self-care due to the abundant workload, responsibilities, and obligations typically associated with motherhood. Therefore, the biggest objective of this site, and my book, is to help moms safeguard, and strengthen, their sense of self so that they can avoid (minimize or eliminate) overwhelm, anxiety, depression and other symptoms related to Maternal Intrapersonal Anxiety (MIA); a term I coined to reflect the often unrecognized, unacknowledged grief that can manifest when a woman feels like she's losing her sense of self.
I'm honored to be here, to be a listener and a guide, and to help you stay present, grounded in your most authentic self and able to experience motherhood the way you envisioned it.
To be a source of support for all mothers, those anticipating, expecting, or already living in the world of children. Most especially, we hear the need coming from moms "in the thick of it," battling overwhelm and struggling with anxiety, depression, or that feeling that they are getting lost in a world dominated by the enormous needs of the little ones they adore. We understand that motherhood can be a mixed bag of tremendously huge joy, exhausting tasks, and conflicting feelings when personal needs clash with ongoing responsibilities outside one's self. We are committed to helping moms feel understood and not alone. We are committed to finding the most useful ways of solving the practical problems. We are committed to helping moms strengthen their sense of self so that they may confidently engage the challenges inherent in the "hardest job in the world" and feel empowered to live a life that feels right.