Hi I’m Lara!
Every home-video of me as a kid starts with that 3 word sentence (and my family doesn’t let me forget it).
Life can be funny, I am not a fan of having my picture taken like I was as a kid, and I was terrified of becoming a Mother until I became one. Yet here I am, on camera every week teaching and helping others through the process of becoming mothers.
I grew up in Grand Bay, New Brunswick, a small town outside of Saint John where getting a crosswalk light when I was in middle school was a BIG deal. I spent nearly every day at my grandparents house playing outside no matter the season with my brother, sister and 3 cousins. My Nanny was a saint to put up with us trashing her house everyday…. But she loved it. My Grampy and I hung out a lot – he was the quirkiest man you’ll ever meet and so many of the life lessons I have learned came from him. My Dad is exactly the same except also just brilliant – you know, one of those people who knows literally everything and how to do everything.
To say I was privileged is an understatement when it came to having love and support from these 3 adults in my life. But, one thing that was a challenge from the time I was 6 was the mother figures I had in my life.
I’m not going to get into the details here, but motherhood was something that confused me and made me very nervous. The name “Mom” was a weapon in my mind because of the way it was used when I was a kid.
I remember when I was pregnant having a conversation with my husband genuinely worried that I was going to be the ‘world’s worst mother’ because I really didn’t have anyone to model myself after. Now, if you’ve had issues with your mother growing up… or maybe had multiple ‘mother-figures’ in your life that were not exactly stable, you will likely understand what I mean by this. It’s scary and intimidating to think of yourself as becoming those people after trying your whole adult life to be the opposite. I remember telling him, “I have it through nature and nurture, I’m screwed”.
(Lara with her newborn. Do not copy or save this photo. Copyright 2021 | All Rights Reserved)
I was pretty disconnected to my pregnancy. I had a hard time getting excited (I worried a lot but only to myself), I was sick until about 33 weeks when I was put off work on bedrest, and I really struggled mentally with the idea of being called “Mom”… I just couldn’t figure out what that would look or feel like.
Then one day, because I’m a planner, I went to a La Leche League meeting. I showed up at the Enchanted Woods Play Cafe (I miss this place 😢 stupid pandemic) and there sat 3 Mom’s together, talking, laughing and loving their littles. Being the self-admitted nerd I am, I hauled out my notebook and started asking questions that, now that I think back, were based on how I was going to learn to parent. I didn’t have friends who had kids, I was the first of our group and this was going to be the first grandchild too – so I was glad to find people I could ask.
Want to know the advice I got that day? Trust your instincts.
“Umm, I can’t”… Literally the reason I was at that meeting was because I didn’t believe I had the instincts to be a good mom and so I had to study to become one. I knew my husband was going to excel at being a Dad, but I really felt I was out of luck in this department.
It’s neat thinking back because those words are ones I have now repeated to countless new Moms when they have needed to hear it. To top it off? I’m a Leader for this same group now too!
Even with that advice, I still did not trust myself.
But, the second they placed that beautiful boy on my chest, everything changed.
I mentioned this magical moment in the blog I wrote about Skin-To-Skin contact, but that picture (up there ^) was taken within a minute of a fairly traumatic birth experience and it says it ALL. I had not even seen his gorgeous little face when this picture was taken, but he was here, healthy, and ok and I had just done the hardest thing I will *hopefully* ever have to do in my life.
This was the moment I became Mom.
When I found out I was pregnant I remember thinking that this was no longer just my body, we were two bodies in one but it was my responsibility to keep us both healthy – connected to a point, but still more out of obligation. By the time I was in labour, it was a 180 degree shift to “this baby is the only thing that matters, get him here safely”.
I truly had no idea the power that Motherhood was going to bring me and the fierce fire it has lit under my a$$.
As I meet and talk to more expectant and new parents, I have realized how many people have been through some really hard times in their lives. These people are typically the ones I learn the most from and who challenge me to grow more. I am grateful to have found some incredible humans on my journey who ‘just get it’ and have helped me so much in business (thanks Melissa!) and in life.
We will talk more about my actual birth experience another day, but I wanted to tell you a little of my story in hopes a few of you may relate to any of my story. If so, I’d love to chat and hear how you walked through these tough places to come into yourself and find yourself as a parent!