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From the Publisher
“…this bold look at new mothers as individual women is refreshing—and long overdue.”
Newsday, October 29, 2007
"... A must-read."
-San Diego Family
Most mothers-to-be are so busy preparing for their babies that they fail to focus on themselves. But during this incredible, thrilling, life-changing time, it is more important than ever that they take the time to reflect. What kind of mother do they want to be? Will they fashion themselves after their own moms, or do they picture their lives differently? Filled with practical advice and heartfelt wisdom, as well as anecdotes and hands-on exercises, Baby on Board is an encouraging and inspiring guide that helps ...
Most mothers-to-be are so busy preparing for their babies that they fail to focus on themselves. But during this incredible, thrilling, life-changing time, it is more important than ever that they take the time to reflect. What kind of mother do they want to be? Will they fashion themselves after their own moms, or do they picture their lives differently? Filled with practical advice and heartfelt wisdom, as well as anecdotes and hands-on exercises, Baby on Board is an encouraging and inspiring guide that helps readers figure out what motherhood means to them personally, while ensuring that they don’t lose their sense of self as they become parents.
Based on the authors’ successful life-coaching of women across the country, Baby on Board helps readers discover what will bring them balance and fulfillment as new mothers as they juggle career, family demands, social expectations, and their own needs and dreams. This unique book supports, encourages, and celebrates each woman's unique path to motherhood, giving each just the right amount of direction to let them lead themselves.
“…this bold look at new mothers as individual women is refreshing—and long overdue.”
Newsday, October 29, 2007
"... A must-read."
-San Diego Family
INTRODUCTION: CREATING YOUR LIFE
“You can’t have relationships with other people until you give birth to yourself.”
When you found out you were pregnant, you knew you were creating a life. But did you actually think about creating a life? Not just your baby’s life, but your new life? You know things are going to change with a baby, but have you really stopped to consider what those changes mean for you?
Who do you want to be as a mother? What will make your first year as a mom ideal? What will you need to feel fulfilled in your new role, as well as in the rest of your life? Taking the time to contemplate these questions will enable you to take charge of your transition into motherhood—to define and create your new life on your terms.
There is plenty of advice for expecting moms—sometimes too much—on everything from stretch marks to strollers. Books, magazines, websites, your mother, your mother-in-law, your friends, and even strangers are eager to tell you what to do.
They all think you should do things their way because it worked for them.
We think you should do things your way. We believe you have your own answers, or at least the ability to find them. Only you know what’s truly right for you.
We’ve designed this book to help you release your innate knowledge, wisdom, and insight in creating your new life as a woman who is also a mother.
Becoming a Mother Without Losing Yourself
With this book, you give birth to your life as a mother. You think beyond the baby shower and the birthing room and design your new life to reflect what you value, what you believe, and who you intend to be. We refer to this book and our step-by-step process as Becoming a Mother. Your journey through this book starts with exploration and ends with celebration!
• You explore and imagine your ideal first year as a woman and mother, creating a personal vision for you and your family.
• You reflect on what is most important to you. You clarify what you believe about motherhood, developing a foundation that will serve as a guide for your new life.
• You declare what you want for your first year, capturing it all in a concrete prioritized list.
• You plan changes for your time, money, and space while working through the challenges that arise.
• You commit and take action, putting your new life into place before your baby arrives.
• You celebrate, acknowledging how extraordinary you are.
Each chapter encourages a combination of thinking and doing with examples a exercises, and anecdotes to help you design your life ahead. The process is flexible—
you can work by yourself, with your husband or partner, or with other moms-to-be.
You choose how little or how much to do and with whom to do it. The tools in this book are available for you now as you enter motherhood, as well as for the rest of your life.
“In my process, I wrote down what I value—independence, growth, self-awareness a and passion. These are the qualities I want to hold onto as I become a mother. I designed my ideal first year as a giant learning opportunity—with a plan to dive into child development books and classes, have some time every week to be by myself and reflect, get a new digital camera, somehow find a part-time job based on my photography a and go away for a weekend with Ron to celebrate our five-year anniversary.
It is so cool to write down what I want!” —FRANNIE, 7 MONTHS PREGNANT
Throughout the book, you will meet other women who have generously contributed their thoughts and experiences of becoming a mother. They represent different walks of life, career paths, family arrangements, financial circumstances, cultural backgrounds, and opinions. We have changed their names and specific details out of respect for their privacy. Their ideas, plans, and actions range from the lofty to the practical. You will read about an expecting mother vowing to honor her integrity a another letting go of her fear, and others who are taking a promotion, leaving a tenyear career, finishing home repairs, adding a home office, and preparing for life with a baby in dozens of other ways. We hope you embrace your process with the same enthusiasm and commitment.
Different women will read this book at different times in their lives. For the sake of clarity a we wrote for the expecting mom, but we also invite new moms, experienced moms, and even sometime-in-the-future moms to enjoy the process of designing their lives.
All women are welcome! Whether you’re part of a traditional marriage, a samesex partnership, a single mother-to-be, a new stepmother, an adoptive mom, or a mother in any other circumstance, you share in the joys and dilemmas that all mothers face. For the sake of practicality, we used traditional language throughout the book (by referring to fathers and husbands, for instance), but hope that you will feel included in the ideas even if the limitations of language and space inhibit us from using the exact terms that fit your situation.
All babies are welcome! You may be giving birth to twins, triplets, or multiples;
you may be adopting; your babies may have conditions we don’t address; or you may have other children already in your family. We chose language reflecting common circumstances and invite you to apply the information to suit your life and your family.
Husbands and partners are welcome, too! Throughout the book we talk directly to you and walk you through the process as if you are going through it alone a because you are the one becoming a mother! However, we encourage you to collaborate with your husband or partner whenever possible.
Being Your Best
As a mother-to-be, you are starting a lifelong adventure. So much potential lies ahead—so much hope and possibility! When you are expecting a baby and getting ready for the changes that will bring, you are truly at a new beginning.
As you embark on this journey, you will be embracing a new way of life. You will be bringing a precious soul into your family and expanding your relationships.
Seeing through your baby’s eyes, you will experience the world around you as if for the first time.
It’s true that motherhood can change you. Your heart will grow. Your relationships will deepen. You will see people differently, as your husband or partner becomes a father, your parents become grandparents, and your friends and relatives become role models for your baby. Perhaps most significant of all, you will redefine yourself. You will forever identify as a mother—the central, unifying figure for a little person who depends on you. So yes, your life is going to change.
At the same time, you can also protect the amazing qualities that make you who you are. Your strengths and talents. Your sense of humor. Your style. The life lessons you’ve learned, the contributions you’ve made, your accomplishments, your principles, and your sense of self. You can choose a life in which you maintain and enhance the best of yourself, for you and your baby. By becoming a mother without losing yourself, you will welcome your baby in a way that honors all of who you are.
“I am reminded how powerful I can be not only as a mother, but a wife, friend a and professional. When I choose to do the things that will benefit me, they will ultimately benefit my family. It takes a lot of courage to start making decisions that you want, and it is amazing how people come to respect you for doing that.”
—LENA, 6 MONTHS PREGNANT
As personal coaches, we work with women across the country to help each one create the life she wants. We’ve learned that every new mother has her own hopes and dreams, challenges to overcome, and distinctive ways of designing her life. As do we.
We too used this process to become mothers without losing ourselves. Here are our stories.
Joelle. As a busy consultant, I found myself working evenings and weekends a feeling generally rushed and stressed out about life. Before I was even ready to be a mother, I could see this was no life for a baby. I wanted to be attentive, fun-loving a and relaxed as a mother—not harried and absent. I could see something seriously needed to change.
I started asking myself questions, re-envisioning my life, getting clear on my priorities a and making decisions that would make that kind of motherhood possible without compromising the career I was working so hard to achieve. Little by little, a started making room for a baby.
At work, I remodeled my business so that I could work a little less and make a little more. I kept the projects I loved and gave away the rest. I cut out the “extras”
in my life—volunteering for a girls’ club, being the recorder for my professional association a and doing small projects for an old client. At home, Tim and I sat down and sketched out our new lives. We figured out a way to take care of a baby while still making time for the things we loved to do on our own, like golfing, skiing, and reading. We found the daycare. We bought the SUV. It may sound crazy, but I literally had a color-coded calendar system that proved we could make it all work. When my maternity leave started—two weeks before Jackson was born—I was ready.
Having my first baby still wasn’t easy. There were tears and late nights. There was stress and confusion. But I felt better able to handle it. I remember one night holding Jackson as he cried and cried. I felt tired, fat, and messy. And yet, I felt strangely . . . okay. I might have been clueless, but I wasn’t out of control. Instead of falling apart as I’d once feared I might, I remember reassuring my son, “Don’t worry. We’ll figure this out.” And somehow that’s what we did.
Amy. When I became pregnant, I was nervous and excited. I knew that as a life coach who helps clients create balanced and fulfilled lives as mothers, I had better practice what I preach!
As I started down the path to motherhood, I thought about how much selfgrowth work I had done over the years. Despite all that effort, pregnancy was already challenging me in new ways. Many of my old, familiar issues started popping back up, like defining my worth by how much I get done and needing to do everything well.
At the same time, I was really excited about the baby! Married at 38, pregnant at 39, with a bonus gift of three stepdaughters and a career that I loved, I had almost everything I always dreamed about. I felt like I was holding my breath—afraid that a couldn’t have it all, that I would be forced to give something up. “Can I really have all of this?” I kept wondering. “Is there going to be some catch?”
I dedicated myself to preserving the parts of my life I wanted to keep, planning for the baby I was so grateful to be having, and deciding what I didn’t mind letting go. I carved out the four-month maternity leave I craved, put my convertible up for sale, and bought the crib we really wanted. I told my stepdaughters that I hoped they would see the baby as their brother not as their stepmother’s child. I asked Mike for extra “Daddy duty” so I could pursue publishing this book and told friends I didn’t want stuffed animals or blankets but did want prepared meals and chocolate chip cookies.
I posted the commitments I made to myself—my values, my beliefs, and my intention—on the wall next to my rocking chair. Months later, with Matt in my arms, a would read the words as I rocked him to sleep. Those words are still an anchor for me, keeping me tethered to my commitment to bring all of who I am to my son.
FOREWORD by Pam England xi
A LETTER TO OUR READERS xiii
INTRODUCTION: Creating Your Life xvii
LESSONS IN BECOMING A MOTHER xxvii
CHAPTER ONE: Step 1—Exploring New Motherhood 1
CHAPTER TWO: Step 2—Imagining Your Ideal First Year 13
CHAPTER THREE: Step 3—Clarifying Your Values 28
CHAPTER FOUR: Step 4—Choosing Your Beliefs 41
CHAPTER FIVE: Step 5—Setting Your Intention 54
CHAPTER SIX: Step 6—Deciding What You Want 65
CHAPTER SEVEN: Step 7—Modeling Your Time, Money, and Space 83
CHAPTER EIGHT: Step 8—Finding Your Own Solutions 104
CHAPTER NINE: Step 9—Making Commitments and Taking Action 128
CHAPTER TEN: Step 10—Celebrating Your New Life 142
CLOSING THOUGHTS 154
APPENDIX A: Keepsakes 155
APPENDIX B: Mother’s Helper 167
APPENDIX C: Top Ten Tips for Becoming a Mother Without Losing Yourself 182
APPENDIX D: We’re Here to Help You! 194
Posted May 30, 2007
A uniquely designed book, this title coaches the reader through strategies that helps one enjoy becoming a mother. Amy and Joelle don't tell you what is right or wrong, they encourage the mom- to- be to decide what is best for mom. And, they share their a few secrets of their own journey. A must read even if you are already a mom.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.