Parents can often feel alone during the rollercoaster ride of parenthood. Every day, we are bombarded by emails, on TV and radio, with “experts” and “professionals” giving us advice on how to raise our children. But what about us? As a mother of four children, spanning in ages from 19, 11, 2/12 years old and 11 months, I completely empathize with you. After the birth of my third child, I struggled in silence with postpartum blues and frustration from juggling a busy financial career with family life. I attempted seeing a therapist, as that was the logical thing to do, but was disappointed with the outcome since I felt I was merely deduced to just a typical textbook case and spent too much time travelling to my appointments. I did find consolation by speaking with my peers, other parents going through the exact same issues and struggles I was facing. This stayed with me as the understanding and encouragement I received from these parents lifted my spirits and helped me gain the confidence I needed to move on.
How Circle 4 Parents Was Born
The idea of Circle 4 Parents sprang forward during my fourth pregnancy. My three previous pregnancies were very similar in that my entire focus was always on the baby, and not on myself. Speaking again to my trustworthy peers, I realized that I am not the only one who was going through the same dilemma. Around my third trimester, I shared my anxiety with my doctor, and he informed me that this anxiety puts me more at risk to experience postpartum depression, and advised me to again seek out support. I did my research, and found out that there is very limited support available in the current market. I finally did find and hired a maternity therapist who, at $250 per hour, was not only expensive, but it was also inconvenient for me to get to the sessions. Although I really wanted to, as a busy wealth advisor and a mother of four kids, I didn’t have time to devote to myself and see my maternity therapist once a week. I knew there had to be a better solution, and if it did not exist already, I was going to create it.
The Research Pays Off
After my last baby was born, I started surveying new mothers. Most of them said they would have loved to have someone to talk to. The mothers also said they would like the fathers to join so both parents can be on the same wavelength of understanding. All parents need to be considered. There is myth that postpartum only affects mothers, but in fact, ten percent of men are affected by postpartum depression as well1.
I also researched if the issue persists in developing countries as well. Interestingly enough, postpartum depression is less common in developing countries, as they still rely on human connections and there is sufficient care of mothers after a child is born. However, in modern developed countries, we in society have isolated ourselves completely behind texts, emails and social media where we cannot share our emotions openly. What is lacking in our society is a forum for open communication with other people who are in similar circumstances. This affects our ability as parents to openly communicate with other parents and ask for help. With the Internet and other technology reaching every corner of the world very quickly, it will be not long before the emerging and the frontier world will also face technological isolation.
How Circle 4 Parents Can Help
The solution to all these issues came from experiences I have had in my own career. As one of the top producers at my firm, I found it tremendously valuable to have an executive business coach to talk through various challenges. Having a business coach listen and guide me through various challenges during and after pregnancy was what I needed to boost my career. I realized that these same principals could be used for helping parents as well. Given that most new parents struggle to find time for their own self-care, I knew that the coaching sessions would need to be held at a convenient time and place. For work, I often connected with clients via video conferencing and found it easier to communicate face-to-face on a video conference rather than on a phone call. This method is also more convenient for clients who were far away or could not come into my office. I found a way to tie all of this in together. Think executive coaching; the business is parenting, and the goal is happiness.
Circle 4 Parents combines parent coaching with a video conferencing platform so that parents can openly express their feelings, struggles and triumphs. We believe there is a need for parents to be supported, encouraged, understood, and coached with all things related to parenthood. Circle 4 Parents is not only beneficial at the family level, but is beneficial to employers as well by increasing employee productivity by creating mentally healthy parents, and in turn creating a better economic outcome. It will definitely encourage more women to return to a healthier work environment sooner if they know that they have support of peers and their coach.
My vision for Circle 4 Parents extends to parents of children of all ages; as the needs of parents change as the children get older. My only wish now is that I had Circle 4 Parents when I was raising my first two children as a single mother. Today, I am passionate and committed to truly help parents find a network and community where they can grow, learn and help themselves as they ride the rollercoaster of parenthood.
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your Circle 4 Parents experience, make sure you sign up today by clicking here.
Mary Aggarwal Mother of Four CEO & Founder of Circle 4 Parents.com