Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
The beauty of being a coach is I can work around our family’s needs. Our son is hit and miss as to whether he’s at school or not, and on a bad day we are at home exploring our native bush or at the lake trout fishing with a fellow Auti boy, or kayaking. Although parenting him comes with challenges, I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful part of New Zealand to be living, a place that gives us endless opportunities to connect with nature (which is his “calmer”). It also allows me to reconnect with nature too and at times when he’s calm and happily occupied, I can jump on a Zoom call with my clients. The majority of my clients are in the evenings when the kids are in bed.
I also advocate for self-care for parents – my husband Rhys and I are excellent at supporting each other’s needs, it’s necessary to help us stay sane. Meeting our own needs allows us to stay connected with the kids, as partners and true to ourselves. I believe it’s especially essential if you have children with extra needs.
We tag team – he gets home from work, we feed, bath and put the kids to bed together and then I work with my clients for the evening. I feel so fortunate that my work doesn’t seem like work at all and in fact fills me with such joy!
Rhys and I also find a great work/life balance in having date days with the kids, 1:1 time and swap around whose turn it is each weekend.
Family time for us is a bit different. Our son gets overwhelmed when there are too many people, so we’ve learnt the best places to go as a family (like the lake, the redwoods forest, beach), and when to split up and focus on the kids’ individual needs.
The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
Daily challenges pop up. We have learnt when to lessen the demands on our son and when he can handle expectations. We used to have daily epic meltdowns; with support and work, we’ve managed to significantly reduce the frequency of these happening.
Knowing firsthand what parenting both neurodiverse and neurotypical kids is like, watching clients going through similar experiences, and seeing firsthand the positive impact conscious parenting has on a family, truly lights a fire in my belly to spread my work and do more to support parents and teachers.
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
I love working for myself – the flexibility, the sense of purpose, the ability to connect with amazing humans and spend more quality time with our kids/family.
I am not a fan of being the only one to “do it all” in my business though and I quickly realised I needed support with the business side of things. I have found working with a business coach and outsourcing various tasks to be a necessity for me.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
I’m writing a book for children aimed at helping them with emotional regulation and supporting themselves through overwhelm.
I dream of the government seeing the importance of both of my programmes in every home and classroom across New Zealand, so that every family gets to experience the beauty of conscious parenting/teaching… Watch this space.