What does a Mom who has spent her entire life defined by titles (daughter, wife, mom, corporate executive) do when nearly all of them are taken from her? She gets clear, gets committed, and then gets her life back, so that she can be a resource for other Moms who become lost in the wilderness.
By 2002, I had become a young widow, (suddenly single I called my new status), tasked with raising two young boys when my husband died on Super Bowl Sunday. By 2006, I was no longer the corporate executive who had worked passionately to get to the c-suite, only to face the dreaded "d" word- downsized. By 2010, I had lost both my parents and no longer was in the market for greeting cards that read "From Your Daughter." When fall 2014 rolled around, my youngest son was set to leave for college, and I wept uncontrollably, feeling as though I was losing my most important title, "Mom."
Literally, seconds after we loaded the last bag in the car, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror – and realized I had no clue who I was anymore.
It was scary, and it was depressing. And yet it was enlightening because it was the beginning of my journey back to me. Alas, the name of a program I subsequently created for Moms. My Journey Back to Me is the program I wish that I had when I found myself all alone in a big house, with a big hole in my heart – and no clue how to fill it. I felt that way because like so many other Moms on the brink of becoming empty nesters, while being consumed by motherhood, I never took the time to plan for the next stage of my life.
Everything I share in this program is tried-and-tested – these are the exact tools and love-soaked strategies I used to really, finally (and maybe for the first time), connect with self. Jacqueline, the woman. Not just the mother. The wife. Or the career woman.
Fast forward nearly four years, and I am now a certified life coach and strategist, author and speaker. And I've found love again!
As a result of working with me, busy, unfulfilled Moms are empowered to pursue their dreams and be great Moms, guilt-free. I help women get clear on what they truly want, giving them the much-needed permission to reconnect with (or redefine) their pre-Mom dreams, so they can finally feel like they matter outside of motherhood. How many Moms do you know who are stuck and anxious to become the women they WANT to be, not just the Moms they’re EXPECTED to be?
I am now putting the finishing touches on my latest project, an online community called, Motherhood-ISH. There, I will chronicle every aspect of the beauty and the challenges of being an empty nest Mom. I will be looking to connect with other high-achieving mothers who possess baby boomer-smarts and savvy, coupled with momfabulous millennial motivation and energy.
Motherhood is not where dreams go to die (my registered trademark), and we are a force to be reckoned with. Brands, please do take note! Most important of all, I am on a mission to demonstrate for women that empty nest does not have to equal an empty life.