Sometimes in life we just need a good coach. We need someone who can help us address our fears and expectations, provide encouragement, and walk us through our future plans. Tamara Cramer, from Nurtured Mother, is one of these coaches.
Tamara is a doula, meaning that she coaches women through one of the most challenging (albeit rather short) events in life: birth. She meets with moms-to-be in the weeks preceding their deliveries to tackle their fears and concerns (and maybe even naive illusions) about childbirth, and helps them to create a plan for the Big Day. And then, when the day finally arrives, she’s there by their side offering encouragement and advocacy. Tamara’s motto is simple: tackle your fears and then create a plan with lots of contingencies, because birth--like life--is full of the unexpected.
Tamara knows about confronting the unexpected--and the value of having contingency plans--from personal experience. After having her second child, she returned to her 9-5 career in marketing expecting to pick right up where she left off. She was surprised to quickly discover that she wanted, and needed, to be home instead. The challenges surrounding that choice were daunting--financially and emotionally--and she confesses that she didn’t exactly have the plan in place like she would have wanted.
Over a year later, she is nurturing Nurtured Mother, working part-time in marketing, and enjoying lots of time at home with her two young children. And even the money--the most challenging aspect of her transition--has been a scary-turned-rewarding process of budgeting and setting goals and making progress.
There are two key points that Tamara stressed during our interview. They were:
1. The value of having contingency plans in life. Just like she encourages her birthing clients to keep their minds open about the Big Day, so she would encourage women to keep their options open regarding career and motherhood. Want to stay home? Then start making a plan for that now, and be proactive about “grassroots” opportunities to work from home! Want to work full time? Great! But make room in your life financially and emotionally to change your mind if want to. Flexibility is like gold, but you have to plan for it!
2. Remember that labor is hard work--or else they wouldn’t call it labor. There are seasons of life when struggle is unavoidable--times of financial stress, unexpected twists, and emotional lows. But confronting fear and persevering often leads to rewards on the other side, be they a new baby, a entrepreneurial venture, or a fulfilling lifestyle. You can't skip over the labor, but you can be successful in the midst of it.
To learn more about Tamara’s doula services, seminars she’s teaching, and the Your Best Birth Ever upcoming event, visit her website at www.nurtured-mother.com or her blog at www.nurturedmother.blogspot.com.
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