Tori Delk, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I became a mama 2 years ago to a sweet, extremely active boy, and my world has been forever changed. Being a nurse, I thought I was pretty ready for what was ahead and what to expect about becoming a mother. I had a lot of knowledge and experience in taking care of others. However, when I had my son, I had pretty intense labor with a long recovery, and I quickly learned that even with a supportive partner new moms can often feel alone and overwhelmed. This is not how we are designed to be, and not how mothers should enter this new stage of life. In many cultures, this is a time where family and friends gather around the new mom as she heals, recovers and learns this new role. This is a big reason I decided to become a Mama Coach -- it is the perfect place to start a culture shift in expectations. No mom should feel like they have to do this alone.
At the beginning, sleep -- especially naps -- were very hard for us. I was so stressed about wanting to make sure my baby was getting enough sleep but was not comfortable for him to “cry it out”. His sleep “issues” also seemed to be tied to a feeding cycle we got into that would frustrate him while nursing. I was overwhelmed and thought I was failing at the basics of mothering – feeding, and sleeping. So… I did the only thing my “nurse brain” knew how to do; I did SO much research. I read books, connected with many professionals, and talked to as many experienced moms as possible to parse through and figure out what would work best for us. And thankfully all of the hard work paid off – we figured out feeding, he learned how to self soothe, and actually likes “nigh night” time now, but oh my goodness that stage was hard. That’s why I am here to walk beside moms with any baby concerns and be the helpline that you can turn to in that often-desperate (and sleep-deprived!) hour of need.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I've been a nurse for 6 years and have always been passionate about helping people get through the "hard things" while also finding joy in the moments of growth. I have worked in mental health and know exactly how to help people face challenges that may feel overwhelming. I love what I do. More than anything I want people to feel safe, heard, and cared for. From my experience there is no one who needs to feel more heard and safe than a mama who is trying to care for a little one while also figuring out this messy, beautiful, overwhelming thing called motherhood.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Human beings are amazingly resilient. Life can throw curve balls, things can be way harder than we might have anticipated, and our babies may enter a world that is challenging and difficult at times, but the love and commitment that I have seen between babies and their parents is truly an inspiring sight and I want to help every mother discover that.
Just like adults no two babies are the same – you have to take the time to get to know them. Who they are, what they like, and no one knows your baby better than you.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
You are exactly who your baby needs, and this baby was made just for you. The two of you are part of each other. Rest in the fact that you are already doing enough and also that accepting some help is completely okay.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
The better you take care of yourself the better you are going to be able to take care of your baby. I like to make sure I am outside at least a little bit every day, do something active/exercise multiple times a week, and I try to eat a healthy diet (which absolutely consists of the occasional pastry and latte!). But the biggest thing I’ve learned to do to take care of myself is to be kind to myself. As a mom it can feel like we should be on the go all the time. There are always things to be done. Yes, I find it very helpful to have my checklist of things to get done for the day, but if they don’t all get done, that is okay. I can begin again, and sometimes good enough is good enough. And sometimes we just need to slow down and be in the moment we are in.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
Current Favorite Quote: "You will learn to love fiercely and wildly without expectations, and for the first time in your entire life, your heart will default to selflessness - a part of you that always existed but was buried deep inside - waiting for this moment, this change, this baby, this occasion to rise." - The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd
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