My journey into parenting coaching
“When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” – Chinese proverb
Before I transitioned into full time parenting coaching, before I even became a parent, I was a youth worker. Dealing with countless children from incredibly diverse backgrounds, I realised that there was one common thread woven throughout every single family: Children are the branches of a tree with its roots deeply embedded in the rich soil of their parent’s love. The roots of a tree cannot be strong unless the soil in which they grow is nurtured and cared for, just as a child needs nurturing and limitless love if they are to grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults.
Growing up, my parents were heavily involved in charity work, particularly working with the homeless and mental illness. I’ve always been aware that I’m very privileged to be able to live the life I do and I’m so grateful to have experienced a childhood filled with wisdom from elders. The people I met through my parents’ work showed me that our childhood has a huge impact on our adulthood, so I always knew from an early age I wanted to help others.
I loved my time as a youth worker, especially when caring for children with autism and Down’s syndrome, but I became increasingly frustrated at the limits of what I could do for families. The services I was providing were just a Band-Aid. If I wanted to support families to make real, long-lasting change for the better, I needed to help them both practically and holistically.
This realisation led me to qualify as a holistic therapist with training in NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy. These skills changed the way I related to my clients in such a positive way. They gave me the ability to work with a broader range of people on a profound level, affecting genuine improvement in their family dynamic. I’ve trained carers in soft language skills and am a passionate advocate for non-violent communication. My holistic approach is highly effective, giving parents practical solutions to their problems.
My own parenting experience
“You’re pregnant which is a miracle within itself, but your baby’s survival rate will fall short of a miracle.”
These were the first words I heard from my fertility specialist. I had recently been diagnosed with a rare endocrine disorder called Cushing’s disease that causes many health complications. Not only was I fortunate enough to have developed a brain tumour, I could expect a number of other exciting symptoms like crippling insomnia, mood disturbances, weight gain, hair loss, and sadly fertility issues.
My doctor delivered the news of my pregnancy in a meeting when we were supposed to discuss my options for freezing my eggs. I’d been warned it was highly unlikely I’d be able to conceive naturally after having elective brain surgery and I wasn’t prepared to give up my dream of becoming a mum. Learning that I was pregnant was the last thing I’d expected – and I still had to go through surgery.
After my daughter was born, against all expectations, I had no time to be thankful that my miracle baby was finally here, safe and sound. I still had to go through surgery which was delayed due to the Covid 19 epidemic. After surgery, I was forced to stay away from my daughter for a whole week while I rested and recovered. I began to suffer with what I now call “parental anxiety.” I was flooded with feelings of failure and complete overwhelm. However, if I’d learned one thing from working with other parents, it was that it’s never too late to change how you’re parenting. It’s always possible to find a better way.
Putting yourself first
You know how in airplanes they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask first before you help anyone else? And how, as a parent, you always think ‘Nah – my child comes first!’
Here’s the thing. If you run out of air, you can’t help anyone. Much as it might seem counterintuitive, as a parent, there are times when you have to put your needs before your child’s. I’ve learned that if we are to thrive on this crazy rollercoaster called parenting, time management and self-care are just as vital as calm-assertive communication and connectedness.
This is what led me to creating Focused Family Formula https://deborahbyrne.com/program/ .I’ve used my program to guide how I interact with my own child, and it can help any parent who feels like they are suffering from burnout and don’t know how to build a positive relationship with their child.
I want to help as many parents as possible from around the world. Parenting is hard! We all have those moments when we feel isolated, struggling, and have no idea how we’re going to cope. I want to guide and support other parents, so they know they’re not alone.
Focused Family Formula
I love what I do. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing families grow together. When I was a youth worker, roughly 80% of what I was doing was repetitive. While I was recuperating from my surgery, I realised I could take all my learning and experience and put it into an online parenting course. I’d been told by specialists that it would take about a year to fully recover from my surgery, but I didn’t want to spend that time wallowing in self-pity.
I’ve poured everything into creating my 12-week program. As I’ve drawn upon my life experiences to put together my program, I’ve found that I’ve become a more conscious parent and I know it’s going to change so many lives for the better.
Today I’m a proud mother to my daughter, Grace. We have a beautiful relationship, and it blossoms more every day. I’m so grateful that she’s here and I’m so grateful that I’m here!
I’m so excited for this new stage in my life, providing parenting coaching to families all around the world.
I haven’t forgotten the things I saw as a child, either. I consider myself incredibly privileged to be able to work with various charity organisations giving scholarships to parents facing homelessness so they can learn the focused family formula to support them through tough times. In addition, 10% of all my profits go to a charity organisation which is very dear to my heart.
Life is truly good.