As part of our Author's Series, Lizzie shares part of her story of motherhood and how it has inspired her to encourage other women to be the best mother they can be.
The idea for Perfect Mum came about after the birth of my first child 7 years ago. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a mother; I felt like it was something that I had been preparing for since I was 12 years of age. When I finally fell pregnant I researched everything I could about having a natural birth and how to raise a healthy, happy baby. One day I was speaking with a friend about creating a feeding and changing routine (based on a parenting book I had read). At the time she questioned my decision and implored me to read the book The Continuum Concept. Well, it literally threw everything I had been studying about raising a baby in doubt. It was then that I started to question how one parenting method can possibly be the correct one when people, children, cultures and religions are so different.
When my daughter finally arrived, the reality of having a baby that didn't fit the mold really sunk in. I had been counselling mums for many years and successfully coached them to improve their self-esteem, self-confidence and health; however, now I knew first hand why so many of them felt lost, lonely, guilty and confused in motherhood.
I decided then and there to write Perfect Mum. I felt and still feel compelled to help new mums to learn how to trust their instincts, look after their own health, protect their relationships and still feel they are doing a good job as parents.
Each chapter of the book is based on research to address specific issues mothers experience after childbirth and to provide mothers with the steps and tools required to make positive changes in their lives. The book took a few years to write because I had to write it inbetween looking after my family, myself, my home, my business and my social life. I love writing, so I have to say I never found the writing part difficult, however, the editing was the biggest job and not the most fun. I am a detail focussed person and a bit of a perfectionist, so the book has had quite a few re-writes over the past 7 years.
Once I had one complete draft, I decided I needed a more personal touch. I sent the book to several mothers and interviewed them afterwards to gain their insights into the book and to ask for their personal stories to add to the book, so that other mothers could also learn from their experiences. This was probably the most valuable part of the process. Not only did I learn a lot about how they experienced motherhood, but I was pleasantly validated when they all responded saying they loved the book. Even more importantly, they all really believed the issues discussed in the book were very valuable (and currently relatively neglected) for mothers – particularly first time mums.
Perfect Mum was released officially in August 2016 with a Press Release to parenting journalists. Since its release it has been officially recommended by the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) and featured in a range of parenting websites and in social media. I am very active on social media via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and post inspirational support for women every day.
There’s no point creating a wonderful product if no-one is going to find out about it. So marketing has to be a huge part of the overall book writing plan. In fact, it should be considered before even sitting down to write the first page.
With marketing firmly on my mind and a very strong desire to help mothers to feel happier, healthier and in control, I am currently in the process of speaking with Mothers Groups to offer free talks to new mums about how to protect their self esteem, care for themselves and look after their personal and professional relationships. I also regularly speak with mummy bloggers and network regularly with health professionals who support the needs of mothers throughout their journey pre and post motherhood.
Lizzie O'Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac
Founder of Happy Life, Therapist and Author
PO Box 317
Prahran VIC 3181
P: 03 9533-9985