MEL SHEEHY © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHYMelanie Sheehy is one of the co-founders of the renowned Manchester PA Network (MPAN) and Manchester PA Awards. Alongside this incredible career accolade, Melanie is also Chapter Manager for YPO (Young Presidents Organisation), as...
SUCCESSFUL MUMPRENEUR Sarie TAYLOR, is a parent to a 15 year old with another on the way…
Sarie Taylor is a trained psychotherapist and a coach who works with people across the world with a wide range of issues. Having suffered with severe anxiety for many years herself, Sarie also has personal experience and an understanding of what it feels like to struggle. Sarie will be a regular contributor for BROOD magazine, answering questions, sharing ideas and helping our readers understand more about the principles that eventually helped her transform her anxieties, relationships and business – enabling her to fall in love with life again!
43 year old Sarie is a parent to a 15 year old, Maia, with a another on the way!
With Maia being a teenager now, what made you decide to go again?
It may sound silly but we have been ‘thinking’ about it for the last 15 years, I am not sure where the time went! On reflection, I know that I always wanted loads of children – being the eldest of five siblings, I had always desired a big family of my own. The reality was that I had one child 15 years ago, and then didn’t have any more until now aged 43. This is a whole other story in itself, but its due to me not trusting myself or feeling capable since suffering with anxiety and depression for many years in my early 20s right through to my 30s, and so I stopped myself from progressing with what my heart desired, as I was scared. Looking back I now know that I didn’t need to be, but I cant change the past, only look forward and that brought me to being 43 and thinking ‘sod it why not!’
How did Maia react to becoming a big sister?
Maia has been amazing (I know we are biased) but she is always so understanding and full of compassion. There have been some doubts for her creep in naturally, as she has only ever known being an only child and having our full undivided attention, so she probably struggles to imagine at times what it will be like with a new member of the family after all these years! Although I wanted to wait till I was 12 weeks to tell her in case of anything happening, being a teen and not missing a trick it was about 6 hours before she asked me if was I pregnant! I have to be conscious of not putting any pressure on her when the baby arrives, but I am also sure she will be a great help (voluntarily) and I cant wait to see the bond she develops with her baby sister. We have bought her a t-shirt saying big sister which she may have to wear when out on her own with the baby so she doesn’t get mistaken for a mum! (This is not what she wants just yet – no judgment on anyone that does!)
Have you noticed a big different this time around being pregnant over 40?
This pregnancy has been different as I have suffered with HG sickness (again a whole other story) and its been really tough, weight loss, lack of energy and appetite, as well as it being a huge shift in my ability to just perform daily tasks. However, mentally I am so much more chilled and able to take what comes in this pregnancy in my stride. I am not feeling the urge to be in control (which obviously I can’t anyway!). I have only just started to buy things for the baby at 6 months (we have no nursery as yet) I haven’t googled much or read a single book, and as for the birth, what will be will be. This is a very different outlook for me to how I was 15 years ago with Maia; full of anxiety and the need to be in control. (I believe this was a huge factor on how I was post natal too). I have joked that I am in denial, but in all honesty, I am just pretty relaxed about the whole thing overall. This doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments though! In fact when I found out I was pregnant I was in a state of panic and shock for a few days!
Do you think there’s stigma attached to ladies falling pregnant over 40?
I was torn with this question and so my answer is yes and no – let me explain. I am consistently told (and was from the beginning) that I am classed as high risk – as I am an older mum. What I am more at risk of is nobody’s business. I am not one to worry too much about what might or might not happen, I am focused mainly on now. Overall I am pretty fit and well. (I have gotten very used to sickness and the weird food issues I have, like no longer being able to eat any meat). This hasn’t always come easily to me though, it’s through years of training and now working as a psychotherapist and coach that has dramatically changed my relationship with anxiety, and therefore my every day experience of life, including pregnancy. Although I don’t dismiss an experts point of view, I let it go in one ear and out of the other; until maybe there comes a time when I do need to pay attention, but I trust my body will make me listen up! I am much more trusting of my body and the wonder of nature in getting me through whatever comes my way. Even with the weight loss and sickness, baby is growing just as she is supposed to because our bodies do what they need to do without us having to interfere. Outside of professionals telling me I am ‘older’ I have had a few comments of ‘you must be mad’ but the majority of people and my friends especially think it’s wonderful and exciting, and they don’t seem to give my age a second thought! Another advantage of being a bit later in life is that I now surround myself with amazing supportive friends, who don’t tend to judge my life choices and support me no matter what. Having said that people do make interesting assumptions, the main one being that myself and my husbands relationship is fairly new, that we’re on our second marriage, when in fact we have been together 23 years! This just makes us laugh and we usually make a comment like we haven’t been lucky enough to find anyone else yet! I honestly believe we have a choice as to whether we are stigmatised or not, hence my and yes and no. There is the potential to feel that there is stigma or that things can be against us, but I am choosing not to take that on and it’s working out well for me so far!
Are you worried about maintaining your successful business now that you are becoming a mum again?
Not really no. I feel so grateful that I am now in a position where I run my own business and have so much flexibility that it makes my life so much easier. I am not going to lie though, I have worked hard for the last 15 years to get to this place, and it wasn’t always easy (another advantage of being an older mum) but we now find ourselves in a good position. My business will run as usual with the support I already have, and the fact it doesn’t feel like work for me also helps, as I plan to be working after two weeks. I will get the best of both worlds – and again I am very grateful for that. This means that my business will not disappear whilst I navigate becoming a new mum again, but I have so much support and structure to my business now that I can do this for the most part with ease. Again, I am not under any illusions that this will be tough at times, but by showing myself tonnes of compassion and asking for help when I need it, I know I will get through whatever I face.
Any tips for ladies wanting to do it all? Run a business, loving family and tackle personal goals?
We can do it all BUT not with perfection! Once we let go of the idea of perfection and how things should and shouldn’t be, and we are more in flow with what feels right and good for us, things fall into place. The main three things I would consider here are:
Compassion, compassion compassion…
We can not expect to get it all right the first time, we will need to make adjustments and changes as we go, depending on what life throws at us. Changing direction and focus isn’t failure, its growth and progression. During the times when things become challenging and we start with the negative self talk i.e ‘I cant do it’ are the times we need to cut ourselves some slack and show ourselves love and compassion, we need to remember that we are doing our best!
The amount of times I have felt like giving up because getting what I want, the balance in life, has felt impossible – they are the times to keep going! Consistency is key for developing and building a life/business you love. We don’t need to have it all figured out straight away. In fact you might be disappointed if you believe you do, as things rarely turn out how we imagined – often they can be even better! We are not looking to move mountains, we are just looking to start and keep going. Small steps in the right direction can lead to huge changes in your experience of life.
Ask for help and support before you feel completely overwhelmed.
Most people initially come to me when they are in some kind of crisis, which is OK, but we know well before that when we need support from others, although we may resist as we ‘should’ be able to manage. We are not built to be on this planet alone, reach out and ask for help as soon as you recognise you may need it. There is no shame in getting support. I could not have the balance and contentment I have in life at the moment without others; family, business mentors, friends, professional mentors, colleagues and the list goes on. I wouldn’t be without any of them! See support as the water that the seeds need to grow, there is no shame in support, its a necessity!
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