Like any new mom-to-be, I was elated when I got pregnant with my first child at 39. At the time, I held a high-profile public relations job and just imagined myself being the chicest pregnant lady ever. But my doctor had another plan. She soon let me know I was high risk and had to be put on bed rest. Womp. I couldn’t believe it. I soon had to resign from my job. But while I may have suffered a few days of self-loathing, I decided to treat the diagnosis of bed rest as a time to create and discover a ‘brand new’ career and live the purposeful life I craved and deserved.
First, the facts: Nearly one million women in the United States are put on bed rest each year due to pregnancy complications that can result in pre-term birth, and three out of four Black women will be diagnosed as “high risk” resulting in bed rest.
I took my bed rest as a metaphor for other setbacks we may experience. How do you stay sane and sharp and empower yourself after a setback without getting frustrated and throwing a pity party?
With my new attitude I decided the mission was to reinvent and (finally) pursue my passion as an author, PR expert and speaker while on bed rest to create a positive experience for my unborn child with bold, courageous ‘can-do’ thoughts.
I created The Brand New Mommy, which became a moms seeking to renew and redefine their personal ‘brand’ post childbirth.
Here are my seven essential tips to reinvent after a setback:
1) Create A Vision. Start with a scrapbook or vision board (get a large mounting board, cut out all the photos/magazines) and begin to create and live the life you crave with positive thoughts each day. My board was filled with images of a safe delivery, healthy baby, speaking to a packed audience, hosting a TV show, securing financial wealth, preserving loving relationships, affirming words (sky’s the limit, optimal wellness) as I massaged the tummy.
2) Girls Day In: Having supportive and loving girlfriends can take the edge off any drama. Plan a weekly pajama party in bed with your best girls and have them bring the food, fashion and latest gossip.
3) Go Diva! Just because you are on bed rest or experiencing a setback is no excuse not to pamper the ‘star’ inside of you. Schedule a standing appointment with your nail technician to do a home visit for a Manicure/Pedicure.
4) Write Your Book: Stop daydreaming about making The New York Times bestseller-list and start chronicling your thoughts with pen and paper to channel that inner novelist today.
5) Organize Business Cards: As you plan your reinvention campaign – get busy and clear the clutter. Review all the business cards you have collected pre-setback and contact all the ‘potentials’ for your ‘brand’ new campaign.
6) Tweet to Stay Sane: You have a lot to say in 140 characters; share thoughts with the universe on everything, from the latest product to fashion as you create your ‘brand’ expert life.
7) Get Rest: A fresh mind, body and sprit will usher in a ‘brand’ new life as you regenerate all things positive.
Karen Taylor Bass is Chief Mom at The ‘Brand’ New Mommy and author of the ultimate book for moms reinventing post childbirth, The ‘Brand’ New Mommy: From Babies To Branding To Bliss, with a foreword by Jill Scott. Follow her on Twitter.