A past version of Jenna said that she would never agree to any kind of group coaching program where she had to show up, go live, and speak at a scheduled time on a regular basis. Truth is, the thought of having something on my calendar even a few days in advance stresses me out… Let alone a calendar-official commitment for an entire year.
But that was a past version of Jenna and I am so glad I changed my mind on this. Joining the online coaching platform created by my business mentor and friend Brendon Burchard turned out to be one of the best yes-es I handed out over the last year, and I am so excited to keep it going into the new year. GrowthDay is an online group coaching platform featuring live sessions from some of the most incredible voices in the personal development space. We speak on topics like confidence, relationships, focus and productivity, and most recently, parenting.
Now if you’re reading this, I’m actually on maternity leave, snuggling up our new little love and learning how to be a parent to two kiddos. Before baby Kutcher number 2 arrived, I sat down with Brendon for a Q&A about that very topic — parenting. In this conversation, which originally aired on GrowthDay, he asks me about my learning moments as a mom, and how I continue to learn and grow in this title that I’m so proud of. So let’s dig into this conversation, shall we? Time for some mom talk.
Motherhood and Career
Being a mother is not something I grew up dreaming about or envisioning for myself. When Drew and I got married, we believed that children were not in our future. However, as my career transitioned from corporate to entrepreneur to what it is now, I started to look at our lives and envision children as part of our world.
When we decided to start trying for a baby, we did not anticipate the three year fertility journey that we embarked on. We had two losses before we got our daughter, Coco, and with each loss I had to restructure my health, my business, and my life so we could welcome a child into our world. It was something that if I really wanted it, I’d have to work for it.
For many women, they often start a family around the height of their career, and I had a real fear that if I go forward with this, am I derailing my potential? Am I shutting myself off for possibilities? Am I ruining opportunities? This conversation isn’t had enough, and it’s really something that weighed on me before we started trying to grow our family.
Ultimately, I found that becoming a mother allowed me to grow in so many more ways in my career, too. I’ll share more on that later in this conversation. (Press play so you don’t miss a second!)
Am I Present?
During our fertility struggles, I wore the word “surrender” on a necklace around my neck. It reminded me that in becoming a parent, I had no control. I needed to surrender to the journey. In our seasons of loss, hearing the phrase “everything happens for a reason” was hurtful, but now in hindsight, I realize that I needed to become the person that would be the type of mother I wanted to be. I needed those losses to be a teacher to me.
Nowadays, we are so much more awake to this idea of wanting to be present, right? It’s this buzzword, but it’s also this goal of ours. How do we be present leaders, present spouses, present partners, present bosses, present parents? And it can almost invoke anxiety of like, am I being present right now? Am I here? Am I fully here?
The first year of motherhood, I just had this exercise of grounding myself whenever I entered the room. I am here right now. This is where I’m needed the most, whether it was working or mothering. But now, this looks different. It’s not about balancing my presence, it’s about integrating it.
We’ve relied on this idea of balance for too long. I just don’t think that balance can exist if you want to be a present parent. I think that you have to learn how to integrate your life, your work, your passions, and your relationship with parenthood versus trying to be all in on one thing and challenging yourself, asking, “am I present enough right now?” Instead, ask yourself, “How do I integrate this?”
My Parenting Strengths
Brendan challenged me to give myself some kudos for the things I do well as a parent, which was a fun introspective exercise. For me, I think that I am very thoughtful with the inner narrative and dialogue that I’m helping her create. I pay very close attention to the words I use when we talk about things like our bodies or our desires or our emotions. I’m very cognizant of just the programming that we’re giving her at a young age.
I love to paint the possibility for her. I often think about her growing up in this non-traditional setting of her mom, being the entrepreneur, her mom, going to work. I used to almost hide my work because I didn’t want her to see me working. I wanted her to just see me as a present mom.
Now, I celebrate what I’ve built in terms of a business that has afforded us the opportunities that we have. And I welcome her to understand the work as she’s growing, to really see what’s possible when you believe in yourself and that you can create your own reality that’s filled with choice.
The Big Picture
I know not every listener of the Goal Digger Podcast is a mother or father, or doesn’t want to be, or maybe you’re where I was years ago, experiencing loss and all things that come with it. Wherever you stand, I hope this conversation was helpful to understand the perspective of someone who has been in each of those places before — not a mom, didn’t want to be a mom, a mother who experienced loss, before becoming a mom to two sweet children.
If you want to see what GrowthDay is all about, and listen in on more of these conversations covering personal development topics, try it out right here. Mel Robbins, Glo Atanmo, Dave Hollis, Jamie Kern Lima, and so many other incredible teachers are waiting for you.