Jenny Carrier, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I have two boys, and my oldest boy was a dream baby. He slept easily, he fed easily, and he hardly cried at all. We were convinced that we were the best parents ever. Then came our second son. He refused to sleep, he cried constantly and we struggled to figure out a good latch from day one. Turns out, being a "good parent" has absolutely nothing to do with how easy or challenging your baby is! Through the hardest days of newborn life, I was able to rely on my experience as a nurse to use all the tips and tricks I've learned over the years. I also had the benefit of calling my colleagues for advice when I was really stuck. I knew that this wasn't the case however, for many other moms who are out there trying to figure out how to navigate the changes and challenges that a new baby brings. Being a nurse has taught me patience, empathy and the ability to truly listen to the needs of the families that I work with. I know that this is exactly the kind of help that a struggling Mama needs - because I was that Mama!
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I have been a paediatric nurse for over 12 years in a hospital that cares for patients from newborn to 18 yrs old! I love working with children and their families. Every day I get to be a part of the strength and resilience that you can only find in kids. I have worked in many roles over the years, but by far my favourite thing to do is spend time teaching families - especially new parents - to be the best possible caregivers for their child.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Working with moms, babies and their families has taught me that no matter the circumstance, parents are just trying to do their best with what they have. Every family faces different challenges and so the solution is not always going to be the same - but I do know that regardless of the situation, families just want to be heard and treated with empathy. Another big lesson that I've learned both as a nurse and a Mama is to go with the flow! The only predictable thing about a baby is that babies are unpredictable!
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
You know your baby and you know yourself. Listen to your gut, and never be afraid to ask for help!
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Self-care is not easy with two busy boys, but I like to recharge by making time for myself and my husband to reconnect. Sometimes that means we go out for a fancy dinner, but often it means board games or a movie on the couch!
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I will never forget those days where I was at a complete loss - even with all my nursing experience. I don't want any other parents to feel like they're in this alone - I've got you Mama, and you've got this!
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