Welcome to the 'Upset to Set-Up' Series: Interviews with Inspiring Women
This quarterly interview series shines a spotlight on inspiring women and shares their stories of resilience in the face of upset. Here we interview women who have overcome significant tragedy, loss or upset and used that experience to set themselves up in a new and different way. They have turned their upset into a set-up. Each guest generously shares what they have been through to find the joy in life.
Today we meet Jodie Matthews.
Jodie is mother to Hamish, a qualified CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) and life coach as well as a meditation teacher.
Bringing her many talents together, Jodie is passionate about empowering women around self-worth and money.
Her love for Hamish led her to write a daily blog, which shares her grief journey. She has also written a book on ‘Navigating Baby Loss’. The book shares her story of dealing with the loss of Hamish and stories of seven mothers whom have also experienced loss.
Jodie is an inspiring woman and mother, and I know you will enjoy this interview with her as much as I did.
1. Please share a bit about yourself and your experience of parenthood
I am a mother to one special boy named Hamish who was born on the 10th of September 2017. I gave birth to my angel boy with my husband holding my hand and helping me through my contractions. We found out just over 24 hours earlier that our little boy had passed away in my womb. I was 9 months pregnant and eagerly awaiting his arrival. Upon his birth, we found out the umbilical cord wrapped around him had cut off his nutrients.
My life was turned upside down that day.
I have always known I wanted to be a mother. After getting married, my husband and I couldn’t wait to be parents. My career in a senior role in finance meant I always worked very hard. I knew that motherhood would be a different journey to my corporate life and a chance for me to discover a new side of myself.
A year earlier, I studied life coaching through the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, and I started working on my side business empowering women around self-worth and money. I knew this is what I was really passionate about. A few years earlier I had started a blog, documenting my journey from financial disaster to superstar. Even though I was an accountant, when it came to my own finances I was always falling over, until I started to value myself more. I also spent many hours researching books and blogs about personal finance and investment.
The last seven months of my life have been all about grieving and just taking each day as it comes. In between all of that, I have left my corporate job, studied meditation, started working on my own business and spent time coming back to my true nature.
2. What is your parenting approach or philosophy?
Becoming a parent to a child who is not physically here is challenging. You get to know them in your womb and then they are taken from you too soon.
For me, my parenting philosophy is to pour all the love I have for Hamish into projects that honour his short life. Writing has been my way of connecting with him through all of this.
I can feel his presence still around me and occasionally, I see signs from him. Hamish has made me a better mother and I will be more present for his siblings when they come along.
I am more loving and kind to myself now and I follow my intuition each day. I trust that I have all the tools within me to be a great mother. There is an inner knowing that all will be okay.
3. Has your parenting approach changed due to your experiences?
I have changed as a person and as a mother; I will never be the same after Hamish, in a positive way.
Crying was something I never did. But I have cried almost every day since Hamish was born. Sometimes it may just be for a moment or a little longer.
I am so grateful for the time I had with Hamish and also for my life now. I know that I have to surrender to what is and trust that everything will work out in my life.
As mentioned above I am also more present in my life and with my loved ones. I meditate daily and take time to tune into my intuition.
Before Hamish, I would rush through life trying to kick all the goals. I was trying to be everything to everyone. Through my grief journey, I realised that I needed to look after myself more and fill my cup up first, before I could be there for others. No longer could I volunteer and speak at every event. I couldn’t work 60 plus hours a week and still be the best friend, wife and mother all in one.
4. What have you learned along the way?
There is no right or wrong way to be, to parent or to live. We all need to trust our own journeys in life.
I know Hamish choose me as his Mum for a reason, and I want to keep honouring that in each day.
As I have a tendency to want to do everything perfectly, I have had to let that go and realise life isn’t a straight line. I don’t have to have all the answers right away either. If I keep showing up and being the best I can be, that is all I need to do.
5. What is the most important thing you need to do each day to maintain your well-being?
I meditate each morning for twenty minutes. This keeps me grounded and present in my day, and helps me emotionally.
I can’t get caught up in future, or going back over the past, when I am in the now. I also move my body each day; either going to a Pilates class, yoga, walk through nature or the gym. My physical health has been a priority, as after pregnancy I felt depleted. Add to that the emotional and mental stress I have been experiencing, and it has been quite a journey to get to where I am today.
6. Complete these sentences:
Love is… EVERYTHING. I believe choosing to come from a place of love each day is what has helped me so much in the past seven months. In each moment, we have a choice between living in love or fear; I choose love.
A life of joy looks like… One where you are living in alignment with your true self. Joy to me is hugs and kisses from my loved ones. Travelling to a new place. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and achieving something I thought I couldn’t. Having deep soulful conversations. Chocolate. Swimming in the ocean. Being close to nature, hanging out with my nieces and nephew, friends and family.
My wish for my children is…That they are comfortable within themselves. That they feel loved always. They have the courage to live a life on their terms and not what society wants for them.
7. If you could travel back in time and give yourself once piece of advice before you commenced this journey, what would it be?
Be more present. Be here now and stop worrying what the future will look like.
More about Jodie
Jodie Matthews is a life coach, writer, keen traveller, CPA, meditation teacher, and a mother. She believes that valuing yourself is incredibly important when it comes to living a life bursting with love and gratitude.
Jodie is passionate about empowering women to become more financially literate and to have a harmonious relationship with money and themselves.
Being present each day through meditation and mindfulness is part of Jodie's secret to living a more fulfilled life.
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Rowena Mabbott supports parents like you move from experiencing the pain of loss, unwanted change, anxiety, challenge and imbalance, to living a life of balance and happiness. So you create a life you love.
If you have an amazing story of resilience and would like to share it, please get in touch. I'd love to connect and share your story.