I am a Personal and Professional Coach who specialises in helping professional working mums to reconnect to themselves after having their children and follow their passions in their careers. I am a mum to two young boisterous boys (6 & 3) and am very familiar with the challenges of reclaiming myself from motherhood and changing career direction. In this article I will share some of my own journey as a parent and the role coaching had in my re-emergence and transition into a more fulfilling, authentic working role.
Lost and found
I came to motherhood late (charmingly called an ‘elderly’ first time mother at the ripe old age of 36!) and had had a long career working as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of mental health services prior to the birth of my first son. Despite having always wanted children motherhood came as quite a shock to my system. Yes I had anticipated the 24 hour demands but what I hadn’t expected was the impact on my sense of Self. I felt like I had disappeared into this other person who for the most part was loving, caring and compassionate – but there was no time left for ‘me’. Prior to having my children I was used to doing all sorts of activities to replenish myself – yoga, massage, gym, pilates – now there was no outlet for me anymore. At times I felt low, angry, resentful and lost in the relentlessness of the role.
Part of my problem was my own expectations of what being a mother would be like. I was striving for perfection and unable to appreciate where I was ‘good enough’ in the role. I knew things needed to change – I wanted to relax and just enjoy being a new mum and enjoy this unique and precious time in life. So I employed a Coach who helped me shift my perspective and, more importantly, gave me back a sense of my Self and my own potential. I found the coaching gave me precious time to focus on myself and my needs; to replenish myself so I came back to motherhood anew. My satisfaction enhanced my relationship with my sons. It also served as a catalyst to me building my own business – prior to having coaching I was aware that I felt dissatisfied and stuck in my profession – but I was so impressed with the results of my coaching that I looked into becoming a coach myself and started my professional coach training.
The growth cycle
How our children grow is well documented but what I hadn’t bargained for was my own ‘growth’ cycle after having my children. Whilst work was still an important part of my identity what I found was that as my priorities changed my ambitions changed with it. During my first maternity leave I suddenly felt a compulsion to become self employed – having never contemplated running a business before – to be able to work on my own terms and fit my work around my other important commitments. Being a Mum unleashed in me a new creativity; an inner capability and resourcefulness and a thirst to grow and develop my talents beyond my existing role where there was no room to progress and I felt stuck and stagnant. While nurturing the growth and development of my sons it became an anathema to me not to nurture my own growth and development alongside.
Coaching for me has been both a catalyst for positive change and a place to reconnect with my Self and my truth. When I get ‘lost’ in the doing and busyness of life and motherhood coaching grounds me in the essence of who I am and what I want to achieve and contribute to this world. It empowers and emboldens me to take steps like writing this article to reach out to other Mums who may share similar struggles.
The Essence of You
If any of my story has resonated with you and where you are at right now I would love to hear from you. I am on a quest to speak to professional working mums who may have lost sight of themselves and who want to reclaim their gifts and passions. You may want to change direction in your career but are unsure what path to take; you may harbour a dream; perhaps you want to set up your own business or go freelance but are struggling to make this a reality on your own. I’m carrying out market research to make sure my coaching will meet your needs and am asking for 45 minutes of your time for a telephone interview in return for a free 45 minute coaching session which will be that elusive thing – precious time just for you.
Author: Hilary Lees, Essence Coaching. Hilary can be contacted on 01580 752497, email@example.com, and would love you to take her up on her offer. Don’t hesitate, call now. Offer is valid till 30 June 2013