05/31/2017 Original article at http://www.times.co.nz/uncategorized/anointing-mums-essential-skills/
The image of newborns sleeping peacefully in their parents’ arms couldn’t have been further from the truth for Clare Williamson. Three years ago saw the harried mother struggled with her first daughter, Eden, who often woke up shrieking in agony as an infant.
“Forget sleeping through the night; she couldn’t even sleep through half an hour. We used to dread the next day because we were so exhausted and so lost for answers.”
And there were other issues such as hives and diarrhoea. “She had such bad thrush she would bleed every time we changed her nappy.” Exhausted and desperate, Clare and her husband Craig, tried doctors, Plunket and the public health system but got nowhere.
After Eden turned one, as a last resort they booked to see a specialist who then diagnosed the little girl with gut flora imbalance. By eliminating certain foods and household
toxins, and introducing probiotics and essential oils, Eden gradually improved.
Clare went back to work and about a year later, the Williamsons were expecting another addition to the family. But six months into her pregnancy, Clare lost her job
fundraising for an Ellerslie school, and along with it, all of her maternity leave.
Instead of crying over spilt milk, she hatched a plan to launch her own business called Essential Mum to coincide with the birth of her second child, Jade.
Featuring hand-poured essential oils sourced from all over the world, Clare began selling at local markets and to mothers she knew in her community.
Things began to look up. “Previously, I was very alone and quite depressed with it all; I became quite introverted,” she says, recalling that challenging first year with Eden. “As I started meeting other mums, I suddenly had this ‘village’ around me. I started to realise other mums had amazing stories and that the challenges we go through are not isolated to one person; everybody else too goes through problems.”
Through her newfound network, another idea emerged. “I began meeting mums with business ideas but most would say, ‘I haven’t done it because…’ I started thinking that I’d love to help with both the challenges of being mum and also the business side. I felt some of these mums could go a long way.”
Subsequently, Clare became an accredited life coach last year and now runs coaching sessions from home and at Greenhill Health Centre on Pakuranga Road for similarly enterprising mums. Currently, she is helping three mothers with their business ideas which include specialty baked goods to fund a social enterprise offering care packs to mothers in hospital, an exercise programme for those with type two diabetes, and a marketing service for charities.
She describes coaching as helping mums think for themselves by clearing the fog created by the bustle of daily life. “Coaching is not advice, it’s not telling you what to do, it’s you figuring out for yourself what you need to do with the coach helping you get there.”
Clare says she’s a changed person because of her new ventures. “My confidence has increased so much. It’s made me feel useful because the day I found out I was losing my job all I could see was financial strife. And, now, I’m bringing some income, albeit not very much, into the family.”
The rewards extend beyond the commercial realm too. “I really do feel I’m making a difference. Often, my clients come in feeling guilty or sad, but at the end of a session it’s turned around and they go out with a plan, strategy or self-belief.”
The British self-confessed “mumtrepreneur” who moved here five years ago with her Kiwi husband say she’s now not afraid of aiming high. “Beforehand, I had this fear that
the higher I flew the greater the fall, and the fall was inevitable.
That’s gone now – you can fly as high as you want as long as you know where you’re going and you have a plan.” What’s more, there’s plenty of projects in the pipeline with multiple markets.
Prior to Christmas, Clare organised the first Howick Mums Christmas Market as part of another initiative, East Auckland Mums with Bubs in Biz.
It’s a network that Clare aims to grow with regular seminars, markets and gatherings to provide support and networking opportunities.
What’s more, the ambitious go-getter is currently pitching a proposal to Auckland Council to coach mothers in Onehunga this year. And, on top of it all, the Williamsons recently sold their Pakuranga home and were about to move to Beachlands when EastLife spoke to Clare.
With two girls under the age of four, a large Bernese mountain dog and a cat, the Williamson household is, indeed, chaotic, for now at least. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way!” laughs Clare.
So how does she stay on top of it all? “When things get stressed, we just throw the gumboots or jandals on. Jade goes in the front pack, Eden goes in the push chair and we go out for a walk in the fresh air or throw Benson [the dog] out on the beach where he goes mental with all the other dogs – totally refreshing.”
By NATALIE BRITTAN for Eastlife
EastLife is an independent, locally-owned lifestyle magazine covering Auckland’s east.
It is produced by a small, local team passionate about creating a positive publication which celebrates people, businesses and the ‘goings on’ in our little piece of paradise between the shores of the Tamaki Estuary and the beaches of Beachlands and Maraetai.
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