When my husband and I began our own family, which ended up with 4 amazing, vastly different kids, I was the first of my friends to begin this parenting journey. I was also 3,000 miles away from my original family with minimal support, felt isolated and quite frankly, I didn't know what I was doing. There was a lot to figure out, on my own. Looking back, there is one thing I know I ended up doing, and continue to do, and that was I parented intuitively. What does this have to do with Parent Coaching?
Way back when, parents and families used to have their own mothers, grandmothers, sisters and cousins around them for support, guidance and encouragement. It was their own village! Families used to live close together and today, that happens less and less. I knew I wanted to be some sort of support to new moms who found themselves in the same place I was, feeling uncertain and unsure of what to do, needing support and an occasional gentle reminder "hey, you're ok and you're doing a great job!" I considered being a postpartum doula. Over the years, I have been so fortunate to have found many opportunities to do just that for new moms starting out on their own parenting journey and I LOVED it! I knew I would end up doing this someday.
I was a stay at home mama until my youngest went into kindergarten (10 years ago now!) and I went back to work at a Health and Counseling center at a small local college. I then found myself talking to, supporting and encouraging parents of incoming college freshmen and it hit me! These 17/18 year old college freshmen were the "babies" of these parents. The questions these older parents had were not all that different from the questions a newer parent has. "What do I do now?" "How do I parent them?" "What is my role?" "Am I doing this right?" "What's best for my child?" It's another parenting transition within the parenting journey and that journey really never ends, but instead, evolves and grows. Again, I found myself drawn to these parents and I loved being able to listen, support and encourage them.
This led me to go back to school to earn a Masters Level Certification in Parent Coaching through the PCI, The Parent Coaching Institute, at Seattle Pacific University. This was a year long, intensive process which allowed me to grow immensely, not only as a parent coach but personally and as a parent as well. Learning to be more intentional in all I do, looking at situations and focusing on what is working, has been so empowering. What a gift it is, to me, to help other parents navigate these questions and explore and discover those same internal insights for themselves and their family. Where is the life in the parent, the child, the family? Identifying the true parent within and realizing that parenting from that place brings incredible creativity, positive energy, peace, hope and joy, even in the midst of the day to day challenges they may face.
I have been and continue to be so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to walk along side parents within their own personal parenting journey. Enhancing their intentional parenting, deepening connections, creating a positive family culture and strengthening their families.