Bailey Lawson, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I love my nieces and nephews as if they were my own. But no one can fully prepare you for motherhood. There are really no words to describe something that is so natural, pure, and joyful…. yet such a chaotic and crazy learning curve. My husband and I have two sweet boys. Their births and postpartum experiences could not have been more different. The birth of my first son was nothing short of chaotic. After an emergency c-section at 37 weeks I was “shocked” into motherhood. I struggled with breastfeeding and even with my background as a RN, I second guessed myself with every decision I made. Two years later I had a successful induction and VBAC at 41weeks. Breastfeeding, with a lot of patience, was a breeze and I enjoyed every minute of being at home with both boys. Most days are filled with chaos but a ton of giggles. That’s the best part of motherhood. No matter how tough life may get there’s always a toddler or baby who gives you something to smile and laugh about.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
Growing up I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to choose as a career. I’ve always loved to help people and try to make there day a little brighter than when I met them. I had asked around to my family, friends and teachers and they all said I would make a great nurse, so I decided to give it a try. I quickly came to love the profession of nursing and almost everything it had to offer. There’s always something to learn. I had my preceptorship in labour and delivery where I developed a passion for women’s health and supporting families. After graduating from university, I began working at our rural hospital where I get to continue supporting families but on a much broader scale. Holding someone’s hand while they are about to meet their babe for the first time and then holding someone’s hand as they say their goodbyes to a loved one. Nursing truly is a unique and special profession. After having my first son, I realized there were limited resources for new parents in our rural area. I decided to work on my lactation course and wrote the exam to become an IBCLC in 2018.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Things don’t always go as planned. Life is unpredictable and there are some things we just don’t get to be in control over. I could be the most prepared nurse or parent ever but there’s still going to be unexpected challenges along the way. Try to take a deep breathe, validate your feelings, and then try to embrace the new plan. It may not feel like it at the time, but things always seem to work out. I know that’s easier said than done but have trust in yourself.
Trust your instincts but never be afraid to ask for help. “A mother knows best”. If something doesn’t feel or look right to you it probably isn’t. That’s the natural part of motherhood. You may feel like you don’t know what you are doing, but you will instinctively know when something is off. Ask for help even if it’s the simplest question. There are going to be days that you feel like you have it all together and rock at this parenting thing. And the next day you may feel like you are barely hanging on. On both of those days only YOU know what is best for your child.
I’ve also learned to look at the mother, babe, and partner/families as one unit that needs to be balanced. If one person isn’t completely supported than the whole family doesn’t feel nurtured. My goal as a Mama Coach is to support the family and provide the resources they need to make parenting just that much more easier.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Be gentle on yourselves. There’s going to be times that you feel like you have failed but you haven’t. It’s normal to feel this and I think the general population of parents go through this. There’s no right answer when it comes to parenting. Every family and every baby are different, so you just have to find what’s right for you and your babes and go with it. As long as babe is fed, changed and loved you will be a great Mama. You got this.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
I love spending time with my family, but I do try to find time in the day that’s just for me. Its usually something very simple that doesn’t require a ton of time. Reading a book, getting some exercise, going for a drive sipping on hot coffee while both boys are asleep, or even a 10-minute phone call with a friend. I think everyone needs to take some time to themselves to reset and refresh. I find I’m a better mama, wife, friend, person when I take even the most simplest “time out” from life.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
Remember that it takes a village. You aren’t meant to feel like you are in this alone. Motherhood can be so isolating (not intentionally, but you get busy with your babies and forget to keep in touch). Try to stay connected to your friends, family, colleagues, whoever it may be, someone that can lend a word of support to make a tough day seem easier. And always remember there are resources to help you along the way.
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