Caitlin B. and I share our story of our work together.
13 months after my second child was born, I found myself in typical angry tears, nursing yet another troubled sleeper (two in a row- such luck!) down for the third time in the two hours since I had put him to bed. I thumbed through my phone as I struggled to steady and deepen my breathing so that my baby wouldn’t pick up on the taut thread of stress and tension that was barely keeping me together. I fretted about not being able to fit in the flex hours I desperately needed to stay on track in my work from home job, about the panic-inducing guilt I felt from once again yelling at my three year old for essentially being three, and resenting the hell out of my husband because he had the foresight to leave the house and do something for himself every once in awhile.
My thoughts chased each other in sickening circles. As I scanned social media and fretted, I came upon a blog post (shout out Mamalode!) by [formerly known as] Stay at Home Mom Coach, Ashley Kim. I immediately tried to picture how overwhelmed or hopeless a mom would have to become to seek this kind of support. Tears fell faster as I realized that I was picturing me. Then I read the post.
Sentence after sentence resonated with me. Those words were my words, not in authorship, but in spirit. So much so that I followed a link at the end, and scheduled an initial phone appointment with Ashley to discuss the possibility of being coached. One week later, stomach roiling, I answered the phone to a complete stranger with no idea what I was doing. I felt lost, isolated, and terrified about what it could mean that I was reaching out this way. Unraveling, I spent two hours speaking with Ashley, picking our way through my thought process, struggles, frustrations, and ultimately the source of my despair: me.
During our complimentary session Caitlin revealed that she wanted to “feel untangled,” which to her meant feeling hopeful, inspired, and driven instead of “inept” as a mom and in need of validation. By the end of our conversation she’d identified her primary goal as feeling “good about being me.” In doing so, she would be able to be her true self and feel “light, confident, and strong.”
After hanging up the phone after that initial consultation, I knew that coaching was exactly what I hadn’t known I needed. Ashley had explained that all our work together, should I choose to work with her, would be driven and chosen by me. That terrified and inspired me. I knew that if I wanted a change in my life, I had to be the catalyst or else the change would never be sustained.
Caitlin displayed such dedication to change and desire to make life better for herself and her family that I knew our work together would be successful. It was just a matter of how it would unfold. She began by taking the Energy Leadership Index Assessment, which gave us a clearer picture of how she was currently showing up in her life both under normal conditions and under stress. Both the results of the assessment and her feelings of alignment with the concept of Energy Leadership and the 7 levels of energy gave us a tremendous jumping off point for our work.
Over the course of our phone sessions, Ashley listens to me as I consider carefully the wilds of my troubled mind and heart. She provided me with the tools, insight, and common language so that I could contextualize what I wasn’t even sure was reality. I come to trust that we aren’t looking for a solution, we are looking for my solution. What is most valuable to me is her unflinching ability to believe in me, to know that the person under all of the weight of my frustrations was good, kind, and kickass. Ashley’s firm belief in me, and insightful guidance led me to remember I was enough, and will be enough. I’m not alone in the human and mothering experience, I’m uniquely empowered by my experience.
Our sessions allowed Caitlin to identify situations in which she feels like a victim and ways to respond in lieu of feeling choice-less and as though she’s at the effect of her circumstances. We also looked at her hesitancy towards setting goals, and she identified her core values, around which she can create goals and base decisions. Lastly, we addressed her gremlin, the inner critic that was telling her she wasn’t good enough, and she was quickly able to develop a new, healthy relationship with it. (While everyone is capable of redefining their relationship with their gremlin, Caitlin did so in an especially quick, “results not typical” kind of way.)
Life hasn’t become any easier since I made the choice to be coached by Ashley- my kids don’t sleep any better and my job isn’t any less demanding. What is different is that I don’t let any of that touch what I spent the time with Ashley to renew: me. I trust that who I am is enough, what I choose for my family is good enough, and that if it isn’t, I can handle it. The space for warmth, mistakes, and genuine enjoyment coaching has restored first within me, and then within our home, surpasses my expectations. I’m beyond grateful I’ve had the opportunity to work with Ashley, and look forward to the support of her coaching in the future.
If you’d like to find out if coaching is right for you schedule your complimentary session here.