I chatted with Allison Blick – Certified Holistic Health Coach (and my childhood best friend!) – about her work in supporting hopeful, expecting and new parents, some wonderful books she recommends, and her biggest piece of advice to new moms. There are so many words of wisdom and really great nuggets of info in this piece. I hope you enjoy!
Hi Allison! Let’s start off with learning a little about what you do.
I am a holistic health coach for hopeful, expectant, and new parents. I guide and support my clients to figure out how to optimize health on a daily basis and provide a system to form healthy habits that can help withstand change and challenges. We focus on nutrition, physical activity, spirituality, relationships, and emotional issues that may come up during trying times.
What inspired you to go into this field?
After having my first child, I felt so lonely, anxious, and uncertain. I did not recognize the person that I was as a mother. My relationships with my husband and with my friends significantly changed and I did not know how to find my way back. I felt guilty for feeling this way and also did not know who to turn to because I was the first of my friends to have a baby. It took about two years for me to feel like myself again and find contentment with my new life. As the years have gone on, I noticed that my contemporaries struggled the same way that I did, and began looking to me for advice, or just someone to confide in. I realized that many new parents could benefit from having someone to coach them through new parenthood and lead them back to themself. Sometimes you just need someone to give you permission to be selfish, to be self-indulgent, and put your needs before your baby’s and your partner’s. At the end of the day, a happy parent who is their best self, is the best for his/her baby and partner.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Connecting with a client who is struggling and leading them to find the answers they need within themself.
That sounds extremely rewarding. What is the most challenging part of your work?
I would say it is separating myself and my emotions from my client’s. I can totally empathize with what they are going through and it is challenging for me to end our hour coaching session and continue my day when I know that someone is struggling.
Tell us about your daughter, Rosie and your son, Hudson!
Ah! They are the best! I still look at them and cannot believe they are mine! Rosie is 5 1/2 years old and is in kindergarten. She is so excited to tell everyone that she meets that she just lost a tooth. She is inquisitive, silly, headstrong, empathetic, and all around delicious. And, she has killer dance moves. Hudson is about to turn two. He is super naughty and loves to dive off Rosie’s bed and yell “cannonball!”. He is obsessed with trucks and knows the name of every single motor vehicle- he is teaching me a lot. Rosie and Hudson have the most beautiful bond- it is amazing to see them grow together and watch him look to her for approval and guidance. They are so lucky to have one another.
I know that you are a voracious reader. What are some books or podcasts that got you through pregnancy and motherhood?
My most favorite podcast is Mom Brain with Hilaria Baldwin and Daphne Oz! I also love Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Mama Said with Jamie Lynn Sigler & Jenna Parris, and Raising Good Humans with Dr. Aliza.
I read a ton of books. Here are some of my go-to books for each stage of motherhood.
The books I enjoyed during pregnancy were:
What to Expect when You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine
Some books I have enjoyed on motherhood:
The Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel
Mamaleh Knows Best by Marjorie Ingall
How Not to Hate your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
Some great books for sleeping training:
The Baby Sleep Solution by Suzy Giordano, Lisa Abidin
The Sleepeasy Solution by Jenniger Waldburger, Jill Spivak
The potty training book I swear by:
Oh Crap by Jamie Glowacki
Some books I recommend for parenthood:
Simplicity Parenting by M.Ed. Payne, John Kim, Lisa M Ross
No Regrets Parenting by Harley Rotbart
Einstein Never Used Flashcards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Michnick Golinkoff Roberta
Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky
How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah Klein
What was your biggest surprise about pregnancy?
Having to get up 4-6 times each night to go to the bathroom! And also losing my mucus plug-I must have missed that chapter in What to Expect..
What was your biggest surprise about motherhood?
The guilt! I never realized that no matter what you choose to do as a parent, you are always second guessing yourself or feeling guilty in one way or another. It took me a long time to learn how to be confident in my decisions and then be present where I was.
What is the biggest challenge about motherhood and how do you navigate it?
Saying No to the kids when they want something. When I say “No” to Rosie, her face caves in and her facial expression just kills me- like I am crushing her entire world. And now that Hudson is talking and learning how to ask for things, I can’t say “No” to him either! He is so proud to be able to articulate what he wants. So, currently I am the mother that lets one child eat gummies at 9 am and the other wear shorts over pants and her hair in an updo with one piece hanging in front in true 90s style (because of Sharpay in High School Musical); and I honestly have never been happier. I learned to be present and pick my battles. I take a step back to think about what is important. Rosie knows I only say “No” if something is dangerous or I don’t have enough money…
On a more serious note, the other challenge was figuring out how to maintain independence and put myself first. It is so easy to lose yourself as a mother. But I think we are the best for our children when we are happiest with ourselves. As a coach for new parents, my goal is to guide and support my clients to maintain what fills them while being the best parent they can.
Yes, I think many mothers can relate to the feeling of losing yourself and could probably use support during early motherhood. Could you share one piece of advice for new mothers?
Ask for help, don’t be too proud. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is so true. Lean on your village- your people are there for you, just like you were / will be for them. I sat with my friend’s baby on my chest in the nail salon so she could get a manicure in her early days of motherhood and felt honored to be able to help her and pay it forward.
Last question! The best part of motherhood is…
Hearing my kids call me Mommy. It gets me every time. And also witnessing them overcome something that is challenging and seeing how proud they are.
Allison Blick is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Her mission is to support and guide women through the challenges and joys of expectant, hopeful, and new parenthood. Coming from a place of experience, she brings a deep, authentic understanding to each aspect of the journey. You can reach her here.
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