Tanis Kidney, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I started working on the NICU in January of 2014 and when I found out I was pregnant in August of 2017 I really believed I had it all figured out and the transition to motherhood would be a breeze. I quickly came to realize that every single baby is different and every experience is different. Becoming a mama was the most beautiful, life changing moment I have experienced but that being said it did come without a new set of challenges. Feeling out my sons scheduale and learning how my life would quickly transition to revolving around 3 hour feeding intervals and sleepless nights was difficult at first and I began to understand how truly important having support is. No mama should ever feel alone in her journey. It is so hard to enjoy all life’s little moments when you are exhausted, everything feels so much more overwhelming and discouraging. I want to help make sure every mama and their family receive the education and support to enjoy all the little blessing that come with a little one.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I had always wanted to be a nurse and moved to Lethbridge to pursue that dream. I preceptorted in the NICU and immediately began working there after graduation. Families have always been my passion. I love working with parents and their children it truly gives my life a great sense of purpose and I feel lucky to be in a position where people trust me to care for their tiny little fighters. I have always wanted to do more and when I found the mama coach I knew it would be a perfect fit for me. I want to make a difference and I believe I can do that through helping families face difficult and challenging times and celebrate the victories and great times.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
The two most important things I have learned from my work with families are:
The strength that new parents and babies truly have. I really do not think that before you have a child you can comprehend the strength that comes with the responsibility of caring for an raising a child. I have seen parents face challenges and situations that no one plans for when they find out their pregnant. Watching how strong parents can be for their child inspires me at work every single day. Being able to feel the love and commitment to doing everything possible to make sure their babe is well taken care of and comfortable is amazing. It also amazing to see how these babes faces challenges and beat the odds over and over. Watching healthy babes with happy families leave the NICU is one of the greatest joys in my life.
I have also learned how crucial it is to support new moms. Everyone surrounds and supports new families in the first few weeks and if I’m being honest, for me personally, those are the weeks that feel like a blur. We need to reach out and help mamas through all stages following pregnancy. We can’t allow them to become background noise, always putting others needs in front of their own. Mamas deserve attention, love and care just as much as those new babes because even if we think the transition into motherhood is a natural process it is anything but that. It takes time and learning and mistakes to get used to our new role as someone mom. Moms deserve attention. Moms deserve support. Our babes cannot thrive if we aren not at our best. That is why I found mama coach to be a group of nurses I wanted to be a part of.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Go easy on yourself and do not compare yourself to anyone else, not your friends, not your family, and especially not that picture perfect Instagram mom. I haven’t met one person that hasn’t faced challenges and struggles after becoming a mom. None of us are perfect and it is so important to remember that there in no one right way to be a parent there are MANY. Trust your instincts ask for advice and help when you need it and ignore it when you don’t.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
After having Asher I felt like I could not leave him even for a minute. I was so scared I was not soaking in every second with him and just constantly kept hearing how fast time passes and was terrified that I would look back and have regrets or feel like I did not spend enough time with him. I refused to leave him with anyone even his dad (I wouldn’t even take a bath unless it was with Ash). Fast forward two months and Jeremy forced me out of the house to enjoy some “Me time” . I spent 45 minutes at the gym and cried the whole way home. Fast forward another five months and I have realized how much taking time for myself makes me a better mom. I try and get out of the house three times a week to do something for me and have even gotten better at practicing self care in the comfort of my own home. Jeremy will watch Asher and I will light candles, run a bath, read a book and remember that I am important to, which is way more difficulty to do than I would like to admit. You can’t pour from an empty cup mama, fill it up.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I would like clients to know it’s okay to need help. It’s okay to reach out and use someone as a resource. We all have things to learn and knowing that it is not only up to you to figure everything out on your own can be a huge relief. Do everything you can to reduce stress and anxiety and enjoy all those moments with your babe. The mama coach is about so much more than sleep. We aren’t just nurses either we are mamas too and we somewhat know what your going through and here to help.
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