Marina MacLeod, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I knew right from day one that I always wanted to be a mom. I think probably because of the role model I had in my own mother and the amazing women around me. I had it ALL figured out! I remember as a teenager growing up in a small town I had a plan that I would get married when I was 20, I would live on a quiet acreage with my husband and we would have at least 4 babies! I thought I had it all figured out.
Then life happens. I lost my mom to Cancer when I was 17 yrs old. It's never easy losing a parent and I was so fortunate to have an amazing family and supportive friends to lean on. This changed me, and I think looking back its what has led me on this path and made me the person I am today. In my 20's I went to College/University and experienced all it had to offer, I travelled and it opened my eyes to the grandness of the world, and the contributions I could make. I enjoyed laughing and making memories with family and friends, I played sports and I worked hard at a nursing profession I was passionate about.
Then, when I was in my 30's I met a wonderful man and knew I wanted to start a life with him and raise a family. The time was now. Although it was later in life than I ever expected, when I gave birth to my son and my world was forever changed.. and then there was this...
Motherhood is hard!
My birth did not go as planned, breastfeeding was not working and it was very painful. I loved this little person so much it hurt yet, at the same time I was mourning the loss of the "old Marina". I had anxieties, worries and uncertainties but felt I shouldn't express them. One of the biggest challenges for me was not having my mother. Being a motherless mom was something I never knew would be so hard. She was the one person I most wanted to help me, to answer my questions and cuddle my babies and she was gone. As well, because I had my babies later in life most of my friends were in a different stage than I was, every stage of motherhood is so different, but I found the first year to be quite lonely.
All of this is what has brought me to where I am today. I want to be there for other mamas and offer support through my nursing profession but also from my own experiences. I want to help build a community for mamas where there is no judgement and everyone can feel comfortable to talk about the "real stuff".
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I definitely did not think I was going to be a nurse when I "grew up"! I honestly had no idea what I wanted to be. I knew that I loved people, I loved listening to people and learning everyone's stories. Everyone has a story. When I graduated high School I went into Massage Therapy, but my whole first year I felt I had made the wrong choice. Honestly, it was something my grandfather said before he passed away that helped push me to make the change to nursing. Ever since I was little he would consistently ask my sisters and I if we were going to be nurses. He admired the Profession. He said it would be a career full of hard work and dedication and he would be so proud if one of his granddaughters chose this. It was an obvious choice, and one that I am SO happy that I made.
It was probably witnessing my moms love of babies that initially drove my desire to work with Mamas, babies and families. I've been a nurse for nearly 15 years and have enjoyed many different areas of the profession. I always knew that I would one day follow my dream, when the time was right, and get out into the community to use my nursing to meet and support as many Mamas and young families as I could. After I started a family of my own, I knew the time was now.
We recently did the Infant CPR session with Marina. This is a great course to take for peace of mind as a new parent with a young baby. Marina was friendly, knowledgeable and easy to relate to as she is a mother herself. We would highly recommend her to others.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
1- Things don't always go as planned. Expectations are hard to let go of and its ok to be vulnerable.
2- Be patient. And Consistent!
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Don't compare yourself or your journey to anyone else. Bringing a baby into this world is something to cherish. Make it your own. Be patient, be vulnerable, work hard at being OK with the unexpected. Enjoy!
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Sleep, haha! But honestly, it took a while to figure out what centers me when I am feeling overwhelmed. If I feel myself slipping I make time for my "go to's". For me, it's telling stories, playing games and belly laughing with friends and family, a good heart to heart, fresh air (usually in the form of a long walk, preferably in the mountains!), date night, and finally the 3 C's- Chips (I've never met a potato chip I don't like), Coffee & Country music! Oh, and experiencing new things through my children's eyes.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I love that The Mama Coach allows me to bring education and support into mamas and families homes and relieve the stress of having to make appointments and pack up their newborns and young children and drive to clinics. We come to you!
You got this, Mama!
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