Lisa Thompson, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
Being a mom has always been a dream of mine and I am so grateful that almost five years ago, that dream came true! I am a proud mama to two beautiful kids, a girl, and a boy. Being a mom is the most rewarding job in the world, but it is also extremely challenging. It is full of ups and downs and every day is a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was very fortunate to have healthy and uneventful pregnancies and deliveries. My daughter was a pretty happy, easy-going baby but she struggled with reflux and sleep. My second was a colicky baby and also had reflux and sleep issues. Those early days were challenging, but I was able to rely on the knowledge and experience I had gained as a nurse, pulling out all the tips and tricks I’d picked up over the years. Being a mama has given me the strength I never knew I had and I want nothing more than to support other new moms to uncover their own strength and find joy and confidence in their parenting journey.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
Growing up, my mom always encouraged me to pursue a career in nursing but I got scared off by the idea of giving needles (looking back that seems so silly now). I instead pursued a career in graphic design. My first job was at a counselling centre and for this I am so grateful. I had the opportunity to see the councillors working with clients and providing life changing support and care. I realized that I had zero desire to spend the rest of my career staring at a computer screen and that I wanted to help people, so I went back to school and became a nurse. During nursing school, I had the opportunity to spend a day in L&D. I witnessed my first birth and the incredible bond when a mama first meets her baby. I was hooked. I initially worked in general medicine but knew that my calling was to work with moms so I quickly made the transition to L&D. After starting my family, I made the very hard decision to leave shift-work on the maternity ward and pursue a career that afforded me better work-life balance. I became a Nurse Educator in a seniors facility, and while senior’s health was not my passion, I did fall in love with the educator role and the opportunity to teach others. The Mama Coach is a dream come true, bringing together my passions for maternal/newborn health and education to provide support and resources to the moms in my community.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
1. Try not to get too caught up in all the well-intentioned advice. Everyone has an opinion, but remember, there is more than one way to be a great parent so do what works for you.
2. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and ask for help. You don’t need to do it all on your own or figure everything out yourself. Help is out there, you just need to ask.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
It sounds cliche, but these tiny humans grow up so fast. Stop and soak up those little gummy smiles and the sound of their laugh. Notice how their tiny hands fit in yours. Watch as they try and learn something new. Make a mental note about the way they say certain words or how they look when they sleep. Appreciate the unique person they are growing up to be. Slow down and appreciate the small things, because at the end of the day, they are the big things
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Self-care is not selfish. Think about the safety spiel on an airplane - put on your own mask first, right?! We have to take care of ourselves so that we are able to give to others. My cup is filled by spending time with my husband and friends, going for brunch, getting a massage, or taking some quiet time to work on a craft.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
When I’m not working or spending time with my family, you can find me crafting. I run a small Etsy shop making felt balls mobiles and garlands which I started when I was on maternity leave with my first baby. It gave me a creative outlet and a way to connect with other moms.
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