I thought I’d share with you today a deeply personal post about my ‘WHY’. Not only about business but about Heather Lindsay as ‘mum’, my family and the type of mum I’ve chosen to be. This carries on from a post I made at the beginning of the month and I thought that it was time I built upon it.
My ‘Why’… A little introduction to me, my family and why I started Blissed Out Mums…
Almost 4 years ago I was 28 weeks pregnant with my second child when my ex and I split. I was in a same-sex relationship (both my girls were donor conceived) and my ex chose to go through gender transition. It’s wasn’t expected and the split wasn’t nice. I fell into a horrible depression and I was overwhelmed and stressed. By the time my daughter was born every bit of energy and life had been sucked out of me, not only by the pregnancy but by the emotional drain of the separation and coping with being a single mum to my eldest who was 2.5 at the time.
My second daughter was not an ‘easy’ baby. She screamed for the first 9 weeks of her life. I had horrific post-natal depression. I was seeing my GP and my psychologist regularly. I was in PND support groups in person and online. I didn’t fall in love with my daughter straight away like I did with my first (or my third only just 13 weeks ago). The PND was so encompassing that it wasn’t until she started cooing at me that I could connect with her beyond the “tasks” of parenting a newborn that I fell in love. I remember the moment exactly!
As I adjusted to life as a single mum and my daughter stopped screaming so much (she has an undiagnosed tongue tie I suspect causing all the gas and feeding problems we had), I started to feel better. I was feeling more in control, but just wasn’t there yet. I was still seeing my psychologist and I would go into a session and come out often feeling worse than when I went in. It was a waste of time and money. But I still knew I needed something.
I initially trained as a life coach back in 2001 prior to becoming an RN and I re-connected with the training company (the wonderful Hart Life Coaching if anyone is interested) and decided to upgrade my qualifications – why not? That’s what every single mum with a toddler and a newborn does, isn’t it??
It was the best decision ever. As I learned, I implemented and my life did a 180! I remember being at a Thermomix demonstration and running into a mum I had met through a group of friends maybe 5 months earlier. She didn’t recognise me! I was more confident, happier, enjoying myself and my life. I was sociable and out in an environment that I would never have agreed to go to previously. I knew that it was because of life coaching and what I had changed in my life. In that moment I knew that that’s what I could bring to the world… life coaching for mums!
So in August 2014, Blissed Out Mums was born.
Since then it has been an unbelievable journey! I’ve provided coaching to mums through webinars, online programs, 1:1 coaching, blogs, workshops, Facebook groups, through my Facebook page and of course with the numerous freebies and resources available on my website.
I love it! I have found my calling and my passion in helping mums stop yelling at their children by helping to get their children listen to them while also prioritising their own needs so that they don’t feel so overwhelmed and frustrated with it all.
As I did further training to become a Master Practitioner in NLP, I became to recognise the link between how we were parented and the way we parent our children. When I work 1:1 with clients it’s often breaking this pattern that comes up. Choosing to be the type of mum that you want to be, not just fall into.
The last year has been huge for me. In 2015 I decided that I wanted to have my third baby. I’d always wanted 3 children and as I had embryos remaining in storage from my relationship it was easy enough to do. By March of 2016 I was finally pregnant. I went on to have a difficult pregnancy but ultimately gave birth to a healthy baby boy at the end of November 2016. I am 99.9% sure that I am finished having children, but with one embryo remaining and not being sure I want to do with it (I’m not ready to discard it), never say never!
I’ve always chosen to be a gentle parent, from my eldest through to my youngest. My son is a very good sleeper, my daughters not so much. I tried the Tizzie Hall method for one day with my eldest and hated it and decided that I’m much more comfortable waiting for my children to sleep longer periods when they are ready. I myself have never been a good sleeper, even when I was a child so why expect anything different from my kids. I believe forms of sleep training that push / force children to sleep through the night are horrible for both child and parent with negative consequences to attachment (which is greatly discussed in the literature). I was asked last week if my son was sleeping through the night yet. I looked perplexed as I replied “he’s 13 weeks, I don’t expect him to sleep through the night”… I was met with an equally perplexed look and nothing further was said.
I am 100% against any form of smacking or physical violence towards children and I don’t work with clients who believe this is an acceptable method of parenting. I am 100% pro-breastfeeding, but not anti-formula. After all fed is best! Breastfeeding hasn’t always been easy for me. I had 2 breast abscesses with my second daughter that required an admission to hospital and with my son I had such pain and discomfort until he had an upper lip tie and a posterior tongue tie cut. Since then it has been much better!
I believe in taking parenting and motherhood seriously. I believe that a lot of the problems that society is currently facing is because we’re not raising the right type of child. We seem to have generations of racist, violent, unempathetic, self-absorbed, disconnected people who think only about themselves. The cause of this? No-one can say for sure. In my opinion it’s how we are raised. We know for a fact that children who are raised in an abusive / violent household are more likely to be abusive or violent themselves. Children who have parents who consume alcohol frequently and to large amounts are more likely to drink earlier and at higher levels than their peers. Children model their values, beliefs and behaviours from those whom they spend the most time around, which is ultimately parents or their primary caregivers. In order for us to change the world for the better, we must start with the building blocks, our children. And as our children are directly impacted by parents and their type parenting it is reasonable to say that change starts with us.
If we want to raise children who are loving, respectful, empathetic, caring and inclusive, we must first be that ourselves. Gentle parenting provides that. Sleep training, smacking, time-outs, yelling, name-calling and other forms of parental bullying (yes it’s an official term!) will not change society for the better. Yes it is hard work which is why support and encouragement of parents is the first step. Through Blissed Out Mums I provide this support. It is not about making mums feel guilty for what has happened in the past. After all we cannot change the past, however much we may want to.
What matters is the choices that we make today. The type of mum that we are today, and the type of mum with commit to being in the future. It is not about being perfect, there is no such thing as the perfect parent. We all have those hard days: when the toddler is screaming, the tantrums, the whining, meals being refused to be eaten, babies screaming, days when we just feel so alone. It’s in those moments where we must draw on our inner strength. For some they have it naturally, others need a little more support and guidance. Personal development isn’t for everyone however for those who chose to embrace it into their lives, the benefits are profound and life changing.
2017 is going to be a big year for me. My eldest started Kindergarten this year and has enjoyed almost all of it – she has complained that there isn’t enough time for play (big change from play based learning in pre-school), but otherwise she’s fitted in perfectly. I’ve scheduled my year around the NSW school terms dates which means plenty of down time for self-care.
My Calm & Patient Mum Program has been re-designed into Mummy Bootcamp. Clients who had gone through the CPMP told me that they did find it difficult sometimes to sit down and watch videos on a membership site. I’ve listened and made it very easy to access! Still covering the same content, it’s now run over 4 weeks primarily through a Facebook Group with videos and activities posted through there. Now supported by a workbook and a heap of downloads it’s something that I’m extremely proud to be offering this year.
The Calm Mummy Challenge which started last year has just finished it’s second round and I’ve loved running it. Being in there with all the mums going through the work, growing and reflecting on their progress over the 5 days is very inspirational. I’m incredibly proud of them all.
I know there is more to come this year. More blog posts, more Facebook Live Videos, perhaps a podcast or two. It will be busy and I love it! I have found my calling and my passion in helping mums stop yelling at their children by helping to get their children listening to them while also prioritising their own needs so that they don’t feel so overwhelmed and frustrated with it all.
For now I’m off to enjoy some cuddles with my son, some preparation for Mummy Bootcamp starting in a few weeks and perhaps a little housework.
I love to connect with mums so if you’re not in my tribe already, then please join! Follow me on Facebook, check out the rest of the website, join my programs or get in contact with me and we can have chat. I’m always reachable through Facebook, my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or good old fashioned phone, 0432 936 867 (yes you can send me an SMS!). Post a comment below, share this post with someone you love or someone who you think may benefit from connecting with me.
When mothers band together we are an unstoppable force. Let’s use that force and our influence on the next generation to the positive.
With much love,