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When mums need help

Lara Magnus didn’t fall into the joys of motherhood when her babe was born. Now she’s developed a programme to help others who feel the same.

In May 2016, after nine months of all-day sickness, Lara Magnus gave birth to her son. “And instead of sinking into a period of blissful bonding and falling in love with my baby, I entered a time of utter darkness, as I found myself  totally engulfed by post-partum depression. I refer to the four years that followed as my ‘winter’. I felt parts of me die, my passion for life went to sleep and I existed in the grey, day in and day out,” Lara shares.

It took a photo to snap her out of this dark reverie. “A month before my son turned four, I found a box of old photographs. The photo right on the top of the box was of me at 24, hands in the air, hair blowing in the wind, at some early hour of the morning, on the island of Bermuda. I needed to find her again! That photograph triggered within me an unrelenting determination to heal. And now, here I am: alive, whole, awake, and flourishing.”

Lara knows her experience of  ‘winter’ is not a solitary one. “As anyone who has raised a child knows, there are thousands of books on parenting, but so few on being a parent,” Lara explains. “Mothers are taught to raise well-rounded children but much of society has forgotten the importance of nurturing well-rounded parents.  When a child is born, so too is a mother. As a child is growing up, so is a mother. Motherhood is a constant process of becoming and yet mothers seem to become invisible the moment a child is born.”

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Now this certified life coach is on a mission to help other women, especially mothers, step into their power again. She has just launched a product called iDream iFlourish, a life-transformation programme with a limited edition planner for mothers.

iDream iFlourish is designed to guide moms through a process of re-evaluating each role they play in every area of their lives, and then enables them to reinvent their life in a way that feels truly authentic. The iDream iFlourish programme does this through a series of worksheets, meditations, and a shared ‘toolbox’ of techniques and habits to help you along the way. The very first edition has been created especially for mothers, and comes with a limited edition planner and workbook, meal planning pad and pen.

When Lara isn’t busy helping others flourish, she focuses on her own family – balancing her kids and their school runs with her husband and her business. “I plan my time very specifically, and block out time for my children and husband. I find if it’s not planned, time runs away from me and quality time just doesn’t happen. My husband and I try and get some baby-sitting help so that we can have a little time together on a Sunday.”

She is conscious of the trap many parents fall into. “I find that the biggest challenge for many couples is that they feel they just co-exist and co-manage the household, but never get to just ‘be’ together and nurture their relationship and connection. We try and prioritise this,” she says.

Lara sees parenthood as a period of immense personal change. “We take on a new ‘role’ which requires us to be on stand-by 24/7. The responsibility of this role is massive and we are made very aware of the long term psychological damage that we will cause our child should we get it wrong. No pressure!” she laughs. “We suddenly, and often unexpectedly, have far less time for ourselves. All expecting parents sort of know that they may get less sleep, and that they will have less time for themselves, but that awareness is often lost in the excitement and busyness of preparing for the new baby. We don’t realise just how big of an adjustment this will be. The loss of freedom to just take a nap, have a shower or spontaneously pop out and meet a friend for dinner is a shock to the system.

‘‘There is also the possibility of a change to the dynamics within one’s marriage and so often results in a strained, unhappy marriage. There could be a change to one’s desire to work or the kind of work one does, as well as a changed financial load. Parents need support and tools for navigating these changes, taking care of themselves, and allowing space for the transition into parenthood,” Lara explains, talking about the need for her services.

If you’d like to read more about Lara’s offerings, head to laramagnus.co or follow her on Instagram @laraleemagnus or Facebook @LaraMagnusCoaching

Text: TAYLA BLAIRE
Photo: MEGAN BRETT.

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