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 was a BIG deal. I spent nearly every day at my grandparent’s house playing outside with my brother, sister, and 3 cousins. My Nanny was a saint to put up with us trashing her house every day…. 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.
I had all the love and support from these 3 adults in my life. However, my biggest challenges were the mother figures I had in my life.
I’m not going to get into the details here- just know that motherhood was something that confused me and made me very nervous. From the time I was 6, the name “Mom” was a weapon in my mind because of the way it was used.
I remember when I was pregnant having a conversation with my husband. I was genuinely worried that I was going to be the ‘world’s worst mother’ because I 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 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 from my pregnancy. I had a hard time getting excited (I worried a lot 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”…
It was hard for me to 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. They were talking, laughing and loving their littles. As a self-admitted nerd, I hauled out my notebook and started asking questions. Now that I think back, my questions were based on how I was learning to parent. I didn’t have friends who had kids since I was the first of our group. This was also going to be the first grandchild, 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.”
The only reason I was at that meeting was because I didn’t believe I had the instincts to be a good mom. So, I had to study to become one. I knew my husband was going to excel at being a Dad, but I really felt out of luck in the parenting 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. It says it ALL. I hadn’t seen his gorgeous little face yet, but he was here and healthy. 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. We were connected to a point, but I still did it more out of obligation. By the time I was in labour, it was a 180 degree shift. Now, all I could think was “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! Not to mention the fierce fire it has lit under my a$$.
As I talk to more expectant and new parents, I realize how many people have been through some 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. However, I wanted to tell you some in hopes you may relate to it. If so, I’d love to chat and hear about how you found yourself becoming “mom!”
[…] of skin-to-skin contact. It’s incredible how something so simple can play such a major role in caring for a newborn or […]