Preparing for your new bundle of joy is both a blessing and hard work. But what is the key to making life with your new baby everything you’ve dreamed of and more? The answer: ask yourself the right questions. All you need is the time, motivation, and reflection to transform this experience of a lifetime into a life-fulfilling experience.
LifeTrek Provision • Introduction
With my travels to Italy and Cyprus during the past ten days (more on my trip in future issues), this Provision was written by Christina Lombardo, a LifeTrek coach who has a passion for assisting new parents through those early transitional months • a period we’ve taken to calling The Fourth Trimester. That period is as crucial to the development of the baby as the first three trimesters. It’s even more crucial to the development of the family.
I appreciate Christina’s vision for enhancing The Fourth Trimester through asking powerful questions. That is, fundamentally, the coach approach. And it’s not just for business executives. It’s for anyone who wants to be more successful in his or her life and work. I can think of nothing more important than coaching your way to a fulfilled family life.
I think you’ll read Christina’s story with interest • and that you’ll want to take her up on the offer of a FREE three-week coaching group conversation on the subject. It’s the first of what will become a regular feature from LifeTrek coaching.
Nearly 4• years ago I was astonished to learn that I was expecting my first child. Let’s just say it came as a surprise for both my husband and me. And we started asking all the typical questions. I took every baby preparation course I could find, from “Labor & Delivery” to “Giving Your Newborn a Bath.” I read books, magazines, Internet articles, pamphlets, labels on baby food jars, and even the ingredients on the Baby Wipes.
Why? Because I was overwhelmed with anxiety over this upcoming event in my life, and I hoped that learning all the baby terminology and equipment needed to take care of a baby would be the antidote. After eight months of preparation, you could ask me anything. I had learned everything, from the purpose of an Aspirator to how to do battle with the ever-present Rotavirus. I was ready, or so I thought, for The Fourth Trimester.
Then the big day finally arrived, and I’ll never forget the moment the Doctor placed that beautiful 6lb 4oz baby girl in my arms • I felt more unprepared than I ever dreamed possible. I was surprised to feel anxiety rising up through my body even more intensely. My coursework in babyhood had not prepared me for the emotion of the moment. And it had certainly not prepared me for the changes in my universe that were soon to follow. Life soon revolved entirely around my baby. It seemed the sun rose and set for her. Within a matter of weeks, much of what I loved and found fulfilling in my life B.B. (Before Baby) was becoming a faint memory.
As the years went by, I began to remember the things that I loved and found fulfilling in my life B.B. Like actually having a deep conversation with my husband about life (and not the baby) as we sat on our deck together watching the sun set, reading books out loud to each other, listening to music and singing the lyrics, rollerblading all over town and so much more.
So what did I miss in my preparation? I had armed myself with knowledge and thought I had covered all the bases. But getting pregnant again and, eventually, developing myself as a coach, revealed that I had asked a very small universe of questions. I had not considered life from every vantage point. I had not taken what I would now call the coach approach to this common and yet significant life transition.
With the second baby, my husband and I worked hard to figure out what we wanted life to be like after this bundle of joy came bouncing in. How could we prepare in different ways to make the most of this upcoming Fourth Trimester?
With the second baby, we went beyond the technical, external questions. We started asking tougher, more powerful questions. We spent time analyzing and reflecting upon all areas and all levels of our individual lives, our family’s life, and our new child’s life.
That made all the difference when our second child finally came into the world. These new powerful questions moved us forward in preparing mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. Here are some of the new questions that we asked ourselves the second time around:
- What do we find fulfilling about life Before Baby (that we want to continue)?
- What do we want life to be and look like After Baby?
- What do we want to have in life After Baby that we don’t have now, Before Baby?
- How will this transformation happen?
- What are we anxious about? What are we excited about?
- What will be hard? What will be a blast?
- How can we continue to strengthen our marriage, even after a second baby?
- How will we continue to give the first baby what she needs emotionally, physically, and spiritually?
- How will we make the most of this time in life • during all four trimesters?
There were, of course, many more questions. The second time around, we were much more prepared not only to care for this baby but also to face the emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual challenges that come along. It really is possible to both have a baby and a fulfilling life. But to do so requires both planning and perspective. It requires that we ask more powerful questions and see a much bigger picture than most of us are used to asking and seeing.
I am passionate about sharing this powerful way to create fulfillment in life with other new moms and dads. I invite those of you who read LifeTrek Provisions to join me for a FREE coaching group entitled: The Fourth Trimester: Preparing to Live a Fulfilled Life with Your New Baby.
The coaching group will meet on April 17, April 24, and May 1, 2002, from 10:00-11:00 PM in the Eastern United States Time Zone (Etc/GMT +5). The group meets on the telephone, as a conference call, so anyone can participate from anywhere. To sign up to participate, please emailchristina@LifeTrekCoaching.com. Space is limited so email me soon. I look forward to sharing this opportunity with you.
Christina Lombardo, Coach
To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form on the Web for a complimentary coaching session.
Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent in each week by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Formor Email Bob.
New subscriber, great articles, I am a biz & personal coach, what great teachings.
Okay, I’m having withdrawal symptoms because my email address at work has changed and I haven’t received your Provisions for three or more weeks. Please send Provisions to my new email address.
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I’ve read books, done therapy, and consulted with many for over 16 years without any substantial progress. Among other problems, I need to deal with a mental compulsion to break apart words and phrases into symmetrical groups, the continual counting and sorting of everything I see, and the uncontrollable parade of ideas in my head competing for attention. This interferes with concentration, impairs decision-making, and leads to frustration and depression. I would welcome suggestions, possible solutions, reference materials, referrals, and anything else you might recommend. (Ed. Note: This seems to be more of a counseling issue than a coaching opportunity. What do you think?)
What is the best way help identify ones values and then to live them? (Ed. Note: Watch future issues of Provisions on this one.)
I especially liked this week’s LifeTrek Provision: being motivated by your core values. I appreciate your writings and your thoughts • clearly you are a “deep” thinker.
I just read this week’s Provision. You mentioned in the “Wellness Pathway ” that by drinking no calories you could “lose weight and get in shape over time.” I would agree that will help people lose weight but would disagree that it will help people get in shape (unless that is defined as simply losing weight). (Ed. Note: Agreed).
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
Immediate Past President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time, Online Retailers
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