Dawn Cole, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
If my nursing career has taught me one thing, life is short. I try to live life by seizing the day whenever something new comes my way and to teach my kids to try new things without fear. With parenting, I always choose my battles and enjoy the small moments. I tend to worry about what is around the next corner, but I try very hard to enjoy the now.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
In my almost 20 years of nursing, I have been so lucky to work in many different clinical environments. From paediatrics to trauma to telemedicine, the one thing I have cherished is the time I have had helping people and families when they need help the most. The strength of the family unit is unwaivering.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
1. I have never met an expectant mother who felt completely confident and ready. Being nervous is completely normal and it is ok to feel that way.
2. When a parent says something is off, trust them. If a parent is worried enough to mention it, it is worthwhile to investigate it.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Enjoy the time you spend with your baby in each stage. Too many times I was excited for the next stage in my babies lives. I couldn’t wait to hear them say mama or to be able to eat solid foods. Now that they are there, I miss just holding them and rocking them. Enjoy the now because tomorrow comes quicker than you expect it too.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
I always reward myself with a nice long soak in the tub each night. This is my time to unwind and just relax. Three kids, a husband and two dogs drain a lot of my energy. Some quiet time alone each night helps me to find some balance. My husband and I also make it a point to have some time for just us as well each week. We can’t always leave the house, but even just sitting together chopping veggies for the freezer or just sitting on the coach talking still, helps us maintain our connection and recharge our batteries for next week’s challenges.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I thought I was going to have one child and ended up having 3 kids in 15 months. I learned a lot about time management and organization having a newborn baby and 15 month old twins. I have felt completely overwhelmed by motherhood on more than one occasion, but always got through it thanks to talking to my nursing friends. My children are now 6 and 5 years old, and still overwhelm me at times. From minor surgery, to bullies, to the boys being diagnosed with autism - life as a parent has twists and turns around every corner. However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
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