My experience of motherhood
Confession: When I was pregnant with my first daughter I was so excited and ready to become a mum – I had researched pregnancy and birth but I hadn’t given a second thought to how I would *actually* parent. That came in the wee hours when she fed all night and most of the day and I couldn’t bring myself to move her because well…I loved looking at her.
Motherhood changed me profoundly. I love it.
“Motherhood made me stronger, feistier, more authentic. “
It taught me lessons I had never thought I needed and it turned my world upside down. In a good way. Then I returned to work and I realised how much I had changed (well, actually that was the issue, I didn’t realise). I needed a coach and was fortunate that a good friend of mine was a coach and she stepped up and offered to coach me..I needed someone to ask me thought provoking questions, to make me reflect and to think about what I wanted. Tracey did an awesome job and the rest, as they say…is history.
What I didn’t realise in my blissful state of pregnancy was that I wouldn’t just be ‘me’ but with a baby. Everyone says it changes you but what having a child and the coaching alongside my experience did was bring clarity.
I needed someone to ask insightful questions to make me think about *how* I wanted to parent and *how* I would make the decisions I needed to make.
NB: I say ‘I’ but I say that as the primary caregiver, the one who was making the minute to minute decisions but I also mean ‘we’ – as a couple.
Coaching new parents
As a result of being coached I did a coaching course with Barefoot Coaching and resolved to coach and support parents in their transition into and beyond parenthood – both personally and professionally.
As part of my creative coaching tool bag I use coaching cards, mostly from Barefoot as I love they way the look, feel and provoke. Recently Barefoot brought out coaching cards for new parents which I believe are perfect for those moments when you need some time to reflect, either before, or after baby arrives. I offered to review the cards and there are two things you need to know:
- I love coaching cards, I think addicted might not be too strong a word. They are quick, easy to use and fit perfectly in your bag to use anytime
- I was given these cards free in return for a review but I have tried to be as unbiased as I can.
Now I am not technically a ‘new’ parent – I have been doing this for three years….in which I have questioned myself, my relationship, my sanity, my tribe and my child. I also now have two children and have found my groove and my parenting tribe.
However, in those moments where my eldest was sleeping (newborns do a lot of that by the way) I went round in tiny circles wondering if I was doing this parenting lark well but I lacked any focus. I think these cards provide that. They are also great when you are further along in your parenting journey.
They are excellent quality, durable and attractive – a perfect gift for a baby shower, new parent to be or recent parents. There are 50 cards. Each question can be taken separately and dipped into but there are common themes such as:
- You and your baby
- You and your partner
- The future
- Life before parenthood
- Your own childhood
- The present moment
- Your new found skills (practical and emotional)
Every single question in this pack is thought-provoking and useful. Each will give you a different perspective depending on that moment or stage of your parenting journey.
They encourage you to think ahead, so useful when you are not having your best parenting moment.
They also provide trigger points for you to check in with your own mental health and I think would be good for NCT or mum/baby groups when you are building your tribe. If you want to start a conversation or ask a question as part of a group everyone could use them easily.
These cards encourage you to find those moments in the (occasional) chaos to reflect on your choices, your best moments and what you want to change on your parenting journey. Perhaps whilst trapped under a sleeping baby, having a cup of tea (rare) or grabbing 5 mins with your partner.
My favourite question right now is…
As part of my coaching practice I have been exploring self care, limiting beliefs and values, many of which are set in childhood. This is relevant to parenting because we bring with us all our experiences into everything we do.
How do you use them?
I use them in a number of ways with clients:
- pick one at random
- sort into themes and choose which one you want to think about
- pick on which jumps out at you
- sort into 2 piles – those you want to answer and those you don’t…then choose one of each
- any other way you choose
They are intuitive and I encourage people to ask themselves the question in the second person (so saying ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘me’) so that you can access the unconscious parts of your brain.
Growing as a parent
As a mum of two now, the coaching cards help me think about both my daughters and how our relationships have changed and grown over the last three years, particularly in the last 9 months. Now, with my three year old I use the children’s coaching cards to build conversations with her. We choose one at bedtime and I listen, really listen to her. I have learnt so much and she knows I have time for her. Win-win.
Who would benefit from using Barefoot Coaching cards?
Whether you are a new parent or an old hand. Whether you buy them for yourself or someone else. Whether you are a parent yourself or you support parents these ‘new parent’ cards are indispensable.
**in writing this and putting in the links I have also noticed there are Christmas ones!!! *goes to write them on to wish list*
If you would like a session with me, at any stage of your parenting journey, with or without the coaching cards, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07791767654