I’ll jump straight into my story, so that you understand why I am SO passionate about bringing my experience and coaching skills to new mums on maternity leave.
In 2013 I was terrified. I had an unexpected pregnancy which was challenging with hyperemesis until month 8.
I never wanted to be a parent. I had noticed most of the discourse out there rotated around: sacrificing oneself & identity, all-consuming challenges, mommyhood taking over self-hood and other scary things.
I thought shit, I don’t like this talk. I almost didn’t have kids. I’m a bit too selfish to sacrifice my identity. I like me. I like my life. I like what I was doing pre-kids.
I’m glad we had a surprise pregnancy smack in the middle of some other biggies in the life-events book.
I was also taking care of my mother who was dying of Stage IV cancer. It wasn’t the best time but we got through it with positivity, and a hell of a lot of humour. In fact, we had two laughing attacks when my mum was in her final 2 months of life . One day, when we both had to pull off the road to throw up – me in the drivers seat (pregnant) and my mum in the passenger seat (post chemo.) Black humour, but our English roots are quite intact.
The other time was picking out her coffin and being aghast at the glorious, the absurd, the spectacular options available. Part of me wanted to go for the blazing guardian angel with glowing eyes. But we went for a nice simple wooden box and spent the money on a celebration at the pub instead.
I have to confess, it’s a bit awkward when you are doubled over, one hand on the glass cabinet, crying with laughter in the coffins room. Our Mr. Bean morose funeral home director peering at us between the cabinets.
When I lost my Mum at 6 months pregnant, I promised to myself that I would seize life and make my maternity leave the best one possible.
This page is based on my Great Maternity Leave projects journal. These are all little projects and experiences that I sprinkled into my leave.
The projects are incredibly varied. Outdoors activities, organization, life hacking, technology, learning, books, productivity, lifestyle, nutrition, launching a business, life coaching, sleep improvement, treating my body as a science experiment, botany, on and on.
My act of service this year is just to open up and share them.
I hope these will be a source of inspiration to you as you recalibrate your life with a new human being.
I believe the leave (no matter how long or short) is a time when shells are cracked wide open & there is fertile ground for learning, self development, figuring out your identity and personal fulfillment.
This is about inspiring you. Not parenting. Not your baby. I’m concerned about YOU and how you are doing.
I stay away from engaging in discussions on parenting. It’s not my focus here at GML.
However, if you must ask, I follow a very simple parenting philosophy with minimal time spent reading / engaging in parenting discourse: Follow my instincts, trust in my knowledge, read a few books on cognitive, and physiological development. Stay off the google. Stay off the forums. Ignore outside voices. The this little soul specifically chose me, for whatever reason, and I am the best person suited for the path their life shall take. I am their guardian and set an example as they forge their earthly journey.
I keep it VERY simple. Love and presence is what I focus on each day. That’s it.
At 33 I feel it is my time to “be useful” to the world. It’s a shame to do all these crazy projects, experience all these wild life events, and not share them, or the lessons I’ve learnt. I hope as a life coach and an ENTP I can offer some very interesting perspectives and get you enthused / excited for your own projects.
Maybe I’m sorta like a female Tim Ferris of mat leave. Maybe.
I study a lot of people, and get my inspiration from many sources.
The GML exists in two forms on the web:
Website / Blog: The Great Maternity Leave
Facebook Page: The Great Maternity Leave