Amanda Pare, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I have three kids of my own, and one more on the way. My journey started with morning sickness that was intense and lasted for months. Then came my first child and I was overwhelmed with my new parenting duties and not having the support I needed. It was lonely and new and there were so many challenges I didn't even think about or prepare for. Breastfeeding being the first and sleep the next. I learnt a lot about myself in the first two years of being a parent. Actually I am still learning new things about myself as a parent. Just when you think you get this whole parenting thing figured out, then comes the next child to throw a whole new set of challenges at you. I have learnt not to compare my family to any others. I also grew up while I became a mother, I learnt so much about myself and I continue to grow as a mother and a person.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I knew I wanted to be a nurse after my grandmother was in palliative care. Her nurses were amazing and I felt so inspired and could see myself caring for others in the same manner. I always thought I would be a palliative nurse, but soon knew my passion was helping moms bring new life into the world. I had a clinical experience that was very inspiring with a nurse who was amazing in Labor and Delivery. I started my first job in labor and delivery and have been there ever since!
My husband and I were ready to have our bed back after 7 months of co-sleeping with our second daughter. She also only nap in her swing which was getting harder and harder with a noisy two year old running around the house. We reached out to Amanda and she was extremely knowledgeable and ensured we would have a bed back in now time. We were very confident in our choice after our home visit as she walked us through the process and answered every burning question we had. With Amanda daily check in's and encouragement our daughter now sleeps in her crib for 11-12 hours at night and has two naps (1-2 hours) a day. We cannot thank Amanda enough for her continued support and knowledge!
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Each baby is unique and presents with its own challenges, what works for one may not work for the next so being flexible and open to new ways of helping. As well each family presents its unique dynamics to stay flexible to meet their needs. I also put myself in that moms shoes, I try to understand where they are at and how I can help them get to where they need to go to meet their goals.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Don't compare your lives to any other parents, just live the life you got, embrace the joys, and learn from the challenges. Love your babies no matter what life throws at you, and always learn and take the time to connect with your child and as a family.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
As parents we often put others first before ourselves, I know I did this for far to long. I learned that I can better take care of my family if I can take care of myself too. I often make a routine for my family that includes time for me to get my exercise routine in, as well as down time in the afternoon, where I can read, watch a show or take a nap. Sometimes I get this time to myself and other times it is a family affair, either way I enjoy taking the time to do what fills my cup.
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