After my studies I started working in the field of pharmaceutical companies and later as a communications consultant for local government. I translated the municipality’s policy for the outside world. I liked to clarify something boring and / or complicated to those concerned.
Our children were born during this period. When our first child was born, we were still able to keep up our old rhythm, even though our free time was now entirely devoted to our son. His needs were at the top of my priority list. That, of course, became even stronger when our daughter was born. When I see myself in photos from that time, I see how I struggle. With that overwhelming sense of responsibility, but also feeling that I just have to keep going at the same pace. Not so appoint. I felt incredibly rich with my little family, with those roaring smiles of a baby. But felt inadequate. As a mother, in my work and also as a woman.
We moved to Belgium for Ronald’s work and suddenly I had all day to be there for the children. The walls were closing in on me and I felt incredibly lonely. Our daughter was sick all the time. I was just worrying and losing myself more and more. What I wanted, what I needed, what made me happy… It didn’t seem important, because I just had to take care of our family. That went so far that at one point it was enough for Ronald, he did not want to continue with me.
Sometimes, all you need is a coach
A difficult time began. I went back to the Netherlands with the children and started working again. And slowly I found pieces of myself again. It was hard work. I worked long hours as a spokesperson and on the days I was free, work never stopped. For example, I was changing Tara’s nappies while I spoke to a journalist with my phone between ear and shoulder.
At work they saw that I was having a hard time and offered me a coaching trajectory. It seemed wonderful to me, someone who would cry with me for a moment. But instead, to my surprise, this lady asked me what my role had been in this process. Excuse me?! Hadn’t she been listening or something? I learned from her that you are always responsible for who you are and that the role of victim will never take you anywhere. It was a very important wake up call. In my habit of always staying in the background, I had never given much thought to my own will and my own strength.
The more I gave this own will and strength room, the more I seemed to attract my husband’s attention again. Long story short, a year and a half later we moved again as one family to Switzerland. Many experiences richer. We ended a period that taught us both a lot and that I cherish now.
The happily ever after part
In Switzerland I ran into beliefs that I still had. I became a Reiki master and wanted to get started. Helping other people, as I was also helped by my coach. But I had a hard time seeing myself as someone who could help others. I spent my time mainly with the children, with our family. Years of two-track policy followed. Periods when I felt lucky to always be there for the children alternated with periods when I felt that I was standing still, and I was losing valuable time. And in the meantime, I followed one course after another, I did workshops and sessions with other coaches. I found it very interesting to learn and experience more what coaching is and does for you. And so, I could replace my limiting beliefs by new, positive beliefs.
My children no longer need a mother who is always there for them. Even though I am glad that I can still be close to them and be there when needed. But in addition, I now enjoy helping other women do what I have done myself; rediscover who they are. I help them trust that it is safe to do what makes them happy. That in their busy family life there really is room for their wishes and desires and that it is a shame for her and her family not to go for it. Sometimes you just can’t manage on your own and then it is such a relief to have a coach that can give you that extra push. I know how important that push and personal support can be.