My Renewal with A Life Postpartum author, Lisa Hardwick
I cannot believe I am doing what I am doing with my life RIGHT NOW. Seriously.
Own a business? (I never planned to own a business!)
Write a book? (That’s crazy! Who do I think I am?)
Be a mom? No way!
If things had gone the way I so carefully and meticulously planned them in my twenties, I would currently be in middle management at a large corporate insurance company in Dallas, Texas. My life would be “stable” right now, had things gone how I planned it. I would have a pension waiting for me. I would have PTO and a row of cubicles to look after while sporting my business casual.
(I think I would have hated it.)
So what changed?
Back in 2018 I became a mom, and my whole world flipped upside down. All that stability and planning and sense of control went out the window, and fast! Motherhood truly broke me in the most magnificent way. In fact, it gave me a whole new purpose and passion for life. It was my renaissance, my rebirth.
My beautiful renewal.
Unlike how I planned it, my experience with childbirth was a nightmare, and the weeks following were much worse. I quickly became physically and mentally ill. The childbirth had created complications that turned into infections that kept bringing me back to the hospital. My mind was in no better state, and I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety when my daughter was only twelve days old.
Unlike many other moms around the world, I had quality healthcare, a supportive spouse, and a village of moms I could call on. Even with all of these resources and privileges, I was drowning.
During that time I began to learn about the prevalence of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety*. It shocked me, because I realized this was not a “me” problem. This was a global mental health crisis that was inevitably damaging not only moms, but families, communities, economies, and everything in between.
When mom goes down, we all go down.
So then I thought, “Why is no one talking about this? Why aren’t we having these conversations with pregnant women? Why aren’t we making changes?”
I knew if I could share my story openly and vulnerably, other moms could too.
I knew that if I could admit to being a human being, not a superhero, other moms could too.
I knew that If I could show moms how to find help, they just might do it.
So I wrote.
Through the mess and the chaos and the setbacks and the heartache I wrote my story so I wouldn’t forget a single detail. All the tiny victories, all the sweet moments, all the love, I wrote about that, too.
My renewal came when I realized my pain and brokenness could be used to help others feel less alone. My story wasn’t over, I had a second chance. This wasn’t the end, this was just the beginning!By the time I finished the first draft of my story, COVID hit. It was spring of 2020 and my daughter turned two years old. I knew that if ever there was a time to share my story, it was then. It was during the peak of isolation, desperation and uncertainty. If ever there was a time to tell moms about hope, it was then.
I worked with a small publishing company who agreed to publish my work. I hired an editor and worked quickly, because I knew moms were hurting. We pushed through the design and the legal bits and all the things I really don’t care about, because moms were hurting. I didn’t worry about the marketing or the money, I just wanted to share my hope.
Once my book was published and I began speaking with more and more moms, I realized something:
So, I started a business to try and change that. Last year in 2021 I began facilitating community groups for expecting and new moms in Greater Cincinnati. I wanted to give moms a space to connect, support each other, learn from experts in our community, speak their truth, cry good tears, and have a nice laugh.
It was beautiful.
I never planned to own a business. I never planned to write a book. I saw a need, and I knew I could do something about it. I love people, and life is short. I want to do all I can with all of my heart so that I can be the light in someone else’s life.
Please know that no matter where you are in your story, it’s not over. This is not the end. This could be the beginning of something far greater than you could ever have imagined.
This can be your renewal.
Check out Lisa's book A Life Postpartum in the WISe Marketplace here!
Learn more about Moms in Community circles at https://www.alifepostpartum.com.
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