Jenna Armstrong, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom! I couldn't wait to start a family of my own!! I always dreamed of having three kids and those dreams came true. Our first baby was a boy and he is 7 now! Our daughter is 4 and our little guy is 18 months.
Motherhood is everything I expected it to be and more! It is such a beautiful time in your life, but also a very challenging time. I had a difficult delivery with our first and had a lot of trouble with breastfeeding and thrush for the first couple months. If I had known then what I do now, things may have gone very differently. With my youngest, the issues were with sleep and when I learned how to fix them it was life changing.
I have learned so much since becoming a mom...I have learned you will do anything for your children, you will push harder than you ever have and accomplish things you never thought possible. You will fight hard for them and get them what they need. You will worry nonstop and do everything you can to protect them and keep them safe.
Since becoming a mom, I have become a much stronger person than I could have ever imagined. I have done things that I would never have thought possible. I have become quite a "mama bear"!
Motherhood and parenting are tough jobs! Best way to tackle it is get as much knowledge as you can and surround yourself with support.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
From the time I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. There are many nurses in my family, including my mom. As a kid I had a ""school years"" book, and at the end of the year you were suppose to check off what you wanted to be when you grew up. Year after year mine was always the same, I would check nurse! Not just any nurse but a labour and delivery nurse and I have been lucky enough to have spent the last 13 years doing just that!
I seen the highs and the lows of my mom's nursing career. She was very inspiring to me, there were days she would come home from work upset, frustrated, exhausted. But more often she would come home from work happy and satisfied.
I missed my mom when she was working holidays, she missed out on lots of special events, and I hated how quite I had to be in the house when she was sleeping after working nights!
I always knew there was something special about nurses and a career in nursing. The passion my mom had for her nursing career was contagious. She always supported and encouraged me and I know she is very proud of me for following in her footsteps. "
I reached out to Jenna seeking help with my 5.5 month old sleep issues. She not only responded promptly, but also provided great information and options! She is an amazing resource!! Also, I am happy to report my little one slept through the night (with the exception of one feed) on day 1!!
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
That every family is unique. That what worked for one family might not work for another. There are different expectations, parenting styles, and goals and there is no one method that will work for all. Each family needs to be looked at independently and plans need to be individualized for them!
I have also learned that there is a lot of judgement, pressure and guilt that comes with motherhood and parenting. That it is okay to admit that there are certain parts of this journey that you don't enjoy. And its definitely okay to ask for help!
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
You be you. You are enough. Do what works for you, do what your happy with now and what you will be happy with looking back. "It's only a problem if its a problem for you".
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
To be honest, I probably don't do a good enough job of this because lets face it...life as a parent is busy! I do make a point of getting some sort of exercise in everyday, even if its just walking my son to school and back...which most days that is what it is!
I love interior design and fashion! I love to spend some time looking for ideas and projects I can do for our home! And I love to check out what going on in the fashion world...see whats in and whats not in!
I try to schedule in dates with friends to have coffee and catch up fairly regularly.
The struggle is real, life is busy, time goes by way to fast and its easy to forget about self-care. I am constantly trying to remind myself to schedule some me time!! "You can't pour from an empty glass"
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I want to thank them for welcoming me into their homes and trusting me to care for them and their little ones!
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