Menu
If I had my way, every working mom would have a life coach

I'm a life coach so you might already be thinking, Of course you would think every working mom needs a life coach. That's who you work with. It's true. I am a life coach for new working moms. But before I was a life coach, I was a new working mom myself Googling all sorts of coaching questions, searching for someone who would know what I was going through and who could help me get my life together.

And to this day I still have a life coach. We all have our own challenges and areas in which we want to grow. While I have the tools and could certainly coach myself through a lot of this, it's so much faster and more effective to get help. To have someone who can look into my life from the outside, share a fresh perspective, and hold me accountable to the change I want to create.

So yes, I work with a life coach now and I have worked with life coaches in the past, even before I became one myself. I like to think I bring the best of both perspectives to this bold statement.

If I had my way, every working mom would have a life coach, ESPECIALLY new working moms. We are even starting to see some progressive employers offer these services as a benefit to new working moms (amazing, right?). Do you know why? Because life coaching impacts every aspect of your life, including your work. It's effective and it works. And the best part is, all you have to do is show up willing to share, be open to new ideas, and take action.

That last one is huge. One of the biggest differences between coaching and counseling, in my opinion and personal experience, is that coaching is about taking action. Sure, you talk and share, but at the end of the day, coaching is about figuring out what you want, what needs to change and then creating a plan for action so you can start making progress. If you have a good life coach, those next steps and that action plan will be doable for you, not something that is overwhelming.

So why do you need a life coach? Why can't you just read self-help books, listen to podcasts, or vent to your friends or partner? Here are a few reasons:

1. When you pay, you pay attention

It's true for most of us—when there is money on the line, you are more likely to follow through. It's why goal tracking apps like SticK or 21habit work. You're out money if you don't follow through. It's why paying for a gym membership or a class works to get you to consistently work out or why buying a book as opposed to checking it out from the library might make you more likely to finish it. You pay attention when you pay.

I have found the same thing to be true of coaching. If you try to DIY a life change by reading books or listening to podcasts or researching the topic online, you can quickly lose momentum. First of all, it takes longer to find the right solution for you. Second, you never fully make a commitment. You'll "figure it out" when you have the time or when it's convenient and 3, 6, 9 months go by and you're in the same scenario as when you started thinking about making a change.

But if you commit to paying for life coaching, it's a different scenario entirely. You schedule the calls in advance and rarely break them. You make sure that you have a clear schedule and childcare if needed. It's no different than keeping a doctor's appointment or a hair appointment. It's your time.

And because the recommendations, resources and action plans are specific to you, you get to where you want to be much faster. You don't have to go searching for information, you can get your questions answered immediately, and you have a clear plan. You know what to do next. The best part? You have accountability. In all of my coaching relationships, I have always had a follow-up with my coach to check in on my progress. And no one wants to show up to those meetings having done nothing. So you always take at least a few steps toward your goal or you share any roadblocks you're facing so you can work through them... together.

2. Friends are great, but...

I have some pretty amazing friends in my life. Career women, moms, working moms at all stages, and they have some truly amazing insight and ideas. They're who I go to when I need a recommendation for a new car seat, or when I'm struggling with a new-to-me sleep regression or behavior issue with my toddler, and they are who I go to when I'm having a tough week, an argument with my husband or feel overwhelmed. They listen, they commiserate and they offer advice. But they're not necessarily who I go to when I feel like I can do more with my life. That there is a happier version of me out there that I want to find.

It's not that I'm embarrassed to share that or that they couldn't relate—they probably could—but I need something more than commiserating. I need ideas, I need a challenge, I need someone who knows how to bring out the best in me. When it comes to accountability, my friends have busy lives of their own. Many of them are chasing their own dreams, their own kids and feeling just as tired and overwhelmed as I am.

A life coach doesn't try to be your best friend, they want to see you succeed more than anything else. And if that means providing some tough love, some big goals, and a customized plan for how to get there, then that's what they do. And then when you're ready to celebrate the amazing progress you've made, you can go to your friends because no one else will be as excited for you.

3. Take self-care to a whole new level

You've likely felt the push to prioritize self-care. To do something for you each day so that you have the energy to take care of everyone else. You're told that self-care doesn't have to be anything huge, it can be taking a walk, reading a book or drinking a glass of water. But you also know that it's harder to prioritize those little things than it is to keep a big commitment like getting a massage, for example (remember that thing I said about paying?).

So if you're going to take the time for something like a massage (while that is an amazing way to take care of yourself) the effects only last so long. And for the same amount of time in many cases, you could work on your life, your mental health, your spirit. You could make changes that will impact your work, relationships and overall happiness.

That's what life coaching has done for me. When my mind and my outlook are in great shape, everything else improves as a byproduct. When I work with a life coach, I feel in control of my life and I feel like I am making progress on creating a life that I love every day. That, to me, is self-care to the nth degree.

4. Reconsider your idea of frivolousness

Maybe you think that having a life coach is frivolous or extravagant, but you might be surprised that you know more people than you think who have a life coach. It's exciting to see this shift toward seeking help, prioritizing our mental well-being and taking ownership of how we feel about our lives. Isn't that more important than a lot of other "frivolous" things on which we spend our money?

If I could gift one thing to all new working moms, it would without a doubt be the gift of a life coach. Figuring out how to manage schedules, find energy, be productive at work and at home, and enjoy your life as much as, if not more than you manage it, those are big tasks. Wouldn't it be amazing to share those challenges with someone who can help you take action and make progress? From personal experience, it is pretty amazing.

Originally posted on The Mother Nurture.

You might also like:

In This Article

    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

    Letterboard

    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    Cameron Diaz on having a baby at 47: 'You really have to work hard for it'

    "The only pressure for me now is I have to live to be, like, 107, you know? No pressure!"

    This is the decade that saw the face of first-time motherhood change. The number of first-time mamas under 30 is shrinking, while more and more women are becoming moms after 40.

    Cameron Diaz is one of them. The actress and businesswoman, now 48, became a mom in January at the age of 47. In a new episode of Naomi Campbell's YouTube series, No Filter, Diaz opens up about what it's like to become a mom in your fourth decade.

    "A lot of people do it the other way around ... they get married [and] have a family in their youth," says Diaz."I'm kind of doing it in the second half of my life."

    Keep reading Show less
    News