As a mother of 3 who was completely consumed with overwhelm roughly 20 years ago, I understand how demanding and depleting your life can be right now. I also know you want to be enjoying every moment with your little ones because you love them so much. And I know as the days go on, you move just a little bit farther from the woman deep within and buried under the responsibilities of being a mom.
My journey began about 25 years ago when my little girl, Leighann, was born with a brain hemorrhage, and I encountered the many worrisome details of a complicated birth. How scary to know your firstborn was taken to the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit without any information about what happened or how long she needed to stay there. Fortunately the stay was relatively short, but I did take home a baby who needed a lot of extra care. A mere 7 months later while Leighann was finally gaining weight and no longer failing to thrive, I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter, Laura. I barely had a chance to look up from the diapers to see if I recognized the woman staring back at me in the mirror. But when I did, I felt like a stranger in my own body. As the overwhelm deepened and the chores and responsibilities mounted, my third child, Daniel, was on his way making him my 3rd baby in 5 years. I felt like I was drowning but couldn’t find the voice to ask for help, feeling paralyzed by a kind of grief around losing the "old me" and the life I had known before motherhood. It took years of quiet cries alone in the bathroom for me to hit my breaking point. And years more to figure out what to do about all this.
I don't want it to take you years of crying alone in the bathroom, or years trying to figure it out. Life can be better now, right this minute with the right information, understanding, and strategies. Right now you can benefit from my personal experience, the knowledge I acquired through my formal education in clinical social work and NLP, and the feedback I received from the dozens of focus groups I conducted through the years, groups that guided my efforts in designing courses for moms like you who may be struggling and afraid to be judged for something they themselves don’t understand. I'd love to help make your journey a happier one for you, and for your family. I truly believe “when mom’s happy, everyone wins.”
MSW, Author, Certified NLP Practitioner,
Positive Psychology Coach
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.
P.s. It has always been my mom's dream to help other moms, so as I grew up and grew closer with my mom, it soon became my dream to make her dream come true. I remember sending emails to Oprah and other companies when I was little, hoping that they would give her a chance to reach moms. As I got older and my skill set developed, I realized I had the opportunity to help her reach more moms. So, I quit my job and went all in with her. It was worth it tenfold.
& her daughter,
Graphic Designer, Digital Editor, Visual Strategist
Surprise second born arrives
Laura, and co-founder of WYNE, was born while I still had my hands quite full with Leighann. I was no doubt consumed with details. Exhausted. Overwhelmed. And totally in love with my baby girls.
A diminished sense of self arrives
I didn't look like me, sound like me, act like me, or feel like me. The "me" I had previously known, loved and recognized seemed to be slipping far from reach. I was full time "mom" and almost nothing else. Symptoms of grief became part of my life; esp. bouts of crying
Irena and a reprieve arrive
Sweet Irena helped me get the "free" hours every week I needed for rest, rejuvenation, and the time to research, conduct focus groups. and present a theory to my professors at Rutgers University about what happens to women during the transition to motherhood and what can be done to avoid losing one's self.
Unexpected life crises happen
I was facilitating workshops and presenting my content to moms' group at various venues until I inhaled black mold and became very sick, which lasted just over two years. Unfortunately this coincided with a long and stressful lawsuit we launched after being victims of a ponze scheme. Our world turned upside down and I was in survival mode at best.
WYNE is here!
After a much needed break and
reassessment of my objectives, I approached
my daughter, Laura, about creating What You Never Expect and helping me offer content, courses, and coaching to moms who feel lost and in need of building a strong sense of identity apart from their identity as mom. She said, "Let's do it!" And here we are.
First born arrives
Leighann was born, and not without trauma. She was born with a brain hemorrhage and spent several nights in the NICU. The first few months with her were incredibly exciting but more exhausting and emotionally draining than I could ever have imagined.
Planned third child arrives
I was so excited when I found out I was having a baby boy. With Leighann & Laura still so young, I was juggling 3 kids under the age of 5. I loved them so much and also began to feel an angst growing inside of me that I didn't quite understand.
The pivotal moment arrives
It happened on an evening I was trying to get ready for a night out with hubby. All I wanted to do was get ready, but the kids had other plans. I snapped. I knew something was very wrong, and I had to make some changes. I wasn't okay.
Missing In Action is published
Yay! I told my story, the experiences of other moms, and introduced the term Maternal Intrapersonal Anxiety (MIA) as well as my theory around grieving a former identity when becoming a mom. I acquired a literary agent very quickly but didn't have the platform that the major publishers required. So off I went on my own. This accomplishment instilled great energy, confidence, and joy in me and "fed" the woman I was apart "mom."
2012 - 2015
In Mom's Corner is born
Despite being sick with what had become a chronic lung condition, I forged ahead and approached Johnson & Johnson, Inc with an idea to support moms because they had endorsed my book and were recovering from bad publicity from an awful ad they ran around "The Motrin Moms." Years of planning, proposals, meetings with managers, and engaging their marketing firm ensued. Hence, InMomsCorner.com was born but never lived its life, so to speak. Ugh.
Before motherhood, I spent 13 years as a licensed medical massage therapist before obtaining my masters in social work so I could help hospice patients and their families process the vast range of feelings that accompany this stage of life. Then, I became a mom.