Written by Kassandra Malik: BSW, MSW, Professional Certified Wellness/Mental Health Coach (ICF)
New Mom, New Challenges, No TIME!
Life changes so much after having a baby. There is so much joy, a new set of challenges, a huge learning curve, new resolutions and new things to feel guilty about!
Prior to having my baby I worked as an infant and preschool mental health therapist. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought to myself:
“I got this! After all I have worked with so many families to elevate troublesome behaviours such as tantrums, sleep issues and in some extreme cases diagnosable mental health conditions such as anxiety depression and ADHD.”
When my little one came along all my knowledge and experience went out the window! Being a new mom is the most rewarding and challenging experience I’ve ever been through. The sleepless nights, not getting the housework done, breast feeding issues, worrying about weight, AND not getting enough time for MYSELF.
One day I was reading an article about how “being a healthy mom produces a healthy family.” This article inspired me to pursue my dream and create Shanti Life Coaching & Counselling Services.
My mission is to help parents be as healthy as they can be mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Let’s face it, being a parent is tough, why not have an ally to help you work through your struggles and be your cheerleader?
What is life coaching vs. counselling?
Life coaching focuses on a current goal that the client would like to achieve and focuses on weekly or bi-weekly challenges that will help to reach that goal. There is no real focus on past experiences, emotions or prior trauma.
Counselling focuses on past events in life that may be attributing to difficulties in current life circumstances. The process of counselling explores emotions, previous traumas and feelings thoroughly in order to get to the root of the problem.
How can life coaching or counselling help?
Below are some issues that I have helped numerous clients’ work through, change or implement:
- Self-care: Are you taking time out for yourself? If so great! If not, think about why this isn’t a priority. Do you ever find yourself losing patience or getting short with your spouse or child? Do you feel like you’ve lost yourself and interests? If we don’t treat ourselves with dignity, love and respect how will we treat and teach others these very important values?
- Whose needs are being met? Sometimes we do things to meet our own needs when we think it’s really for our child/spouse. For example, there was this adorable little boy that was at the school program I consulted for. The teacher was concerned with the fact that this little one could not put his jacket or shoes on by himself. Nor could he eat snack by himself. It got to a point where the teacher thought he might have cognitive deficiencies so the teacher called the mom in for a meeting. It turns out mom would hand feed the child every meal and would always put his shoes and jacket on for him therefore never requiring him to obtain the skills himself. What NEED do you think mom was fulfilling for herself?
- Patterns of Behaviour: Adults live the way they we’re taught as children. I’ve heard so many people say before kids ‘I will never be like my parents’ (I said the same thing). What we don’t realize is that parenting patterns are ingrained in us and unless we become conscious and intentional in changing those patterns we will continue to do what we have learnt – good or bad.
- Home Environment: I’ve had clients that are suffering from depression or low self esteem but have no idea why their child is showing the same symptoms. Children do, act and adapt their moods and behaviours based on what they see. If your child lives in a home with constant yelling, arguing or unhealthy displays of anger chances are they are going to normalize this and act in a similar way.
- Play & Bond! When we spend time with our children – even 15-20 minutes a day just playing this enhances bonding and gives you and your child the time to get to know one another. If we are not filling our emotional cups things tend to go off the rails, the same happens when our babies and children’s cups are not getting filled.
- Triggers, everyone has them: Do you ever wonder why you get upset when your child has a tantrum? Or won’t sleep? Or becomes “needy”? We call these triggers and working through why these behaviours upset you can be one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child or spouse.
Kassandra Malik is a registered clinical social worker (MSW) and a certified life/wellness coach (ICF). She is the owner of Shanti Life Coaching and Counselling Services which specializes in parenting and wellness coaching. She is proud to serve individuals who wish to enhance their overall mental health and wellness. If you are struggling, feeling that something is missing in your life, would like to add to your relationship toolkit, build and maintain healthy boundaries or enhance your family relationships please feel free to contact me for an initial consultation!
You can find Shanti Life Coaching and Counselling Services here: