As the proud media partner of The Precious Journey 2020 that happened last month, we have been bringing you this series of interviews with presenters so that you get to know them better.
Today, we speak to Wellness Warrior, Anxiety Coach and mother of two beautiful children, Janny Huynh. Having worked in the corporate world for many years, Janny has often seen herself trying to push through things by burying stress and neglecting her emotional health.
It was only when she became a mother, that she began to witness its’ spillover effects on her own child’s behaviour and feelings. Curious, Janny started her own journey of research into different therapies and coaching methods. Finally, she decided to train and get certified in MAP Coaching – a mind coaching method based on neuroscience.
Today, Janny can testify to the benefits of prioritizing mental-emotional wellbeing. And her hope is to be able to help other mothers and mothers-to-be to take better care of their emotions, starting from understanding the root of their anxiety.
Janny’s Career Journey
Q: How did you start your career as a coach?
It all started since I became a mother more than 4 years ago. I was working full time, always running around keeping myself busy all the time. I had planned to work for as long as I could during my pregnancy. In fact, on the day I delivered, I was supposed to go to my office for meetings. Fortunately, the contractions came before I left home for work.
I also went back to work shortly after my delivery on a part-time and work-from-home basis. Yes, that was how I entered into motherhood – not very prepared. I was more concerned about how I could balance my work and care for my baby versus taking care of myself.
My first child grew up with lots of time in a harness, on business trips with me, or being dropped at my parents’ place while my husband and I were overseas attending conferences. I was exhausted. I lost my temper easily. I was not present most of the time. But I was only forced to take a break when my daughter developed eczema.
I started reading more about it and how our emotional state could affect our physical health; most importantly, how my emotions could affect my children’s emotions – which could go all the way back to the pregnancy period. That’s how I got interested. I then explored different therapies and techniques as a client myself, before enrolling in a certification programme.
Initially, it was mainly a tool for me to support myself, my children and my family. But then I realised that many people could benefit from it, especially mums like me. There are so many things I wish I had known before I became a mother. And I hope to share the insights and support other mums in their motherhood journey.
Q: What is MAP Coaching and how do you use it to help mothers? (What kinds of programs do you conduct ?)
MAP Coaching is a mind coaching method, leveraging the power of the subconscious to empower coachees to gain valuable insights into their own emotions, beliefs and their root causes. With these insights, the coach can support the coachees to resolve any resistance, neutralise emotions, create new neuron pathways to be more centred and mindful – so that they can achieve what they want in life. The method is based on scientific studies about leveraging neuroscience to calm the mind and create change in the brain. It is based strongly on the re-consolidation of the memories process.
To help mothers, we combine MAP Coaching Method with other mindfulness tools, customised to every mother’s current state and emotions, to help them address unique challenges in their motherhood journey.
We currently offer 1-on-1 coaching for mums in all stages, from pre-conception, pregnancy, postpartum to mums with toddlers and school-going children. I believe the earlier we start, the easier it is to clear our own “trash” for a fresh start for our children. One of my favourite quotes is “ So many parents are building broken children. Don’t let your mess be the foundation of your child’s life. Break the cycle.” by Trent Shelton.
We also have self-paced online programmes for postnatal mums. We will be conducting monthly webinars and online mind spas for mums and mums-to-be in 2021 to raise awareness, educate, and equip mums with tools to support not only their own emotional wellness but their children’s emotion wellness as well. You can follow us on Facebook or join our group to be updated on these events.
A Woman’s Emotional Health Is Important
Q: What does it mean for an expecting mother, to prioritize their mental and emotional wellbeing?
It means to be aware of how they feel, then dedicate time to better understand these feelings and address them. Our feelings and emotions affect every other aspect of our lives.
They may even dictate the way we go about in life, without us noticing it. Unfortunately, many of these emotions are trivialised not only by the expecting mothers themselves but by the people around them – which makes it even “more convenient” to deprioritise mental and emotional wellbeing.
Your emotions during pregnancy are still yours, and they are triggered by something. They are something our body and mind are trying to tell us. So appreciate and listen to them instead of labelling them as a “pregnancy” thing and disregard them.
Q: Is it common for women to find it difficult to do this when they are expecting?
It is true that expecting women tend to deprioritise their mental-emotional wellbeing. They are simply too occupied with other things. For some, pregnancy comes with a lot of physical discomforts, and other “more practical” concerns such as the arrangement needed for an additional human being.
First-time mums, especially, may be busy reading about what to expect, what to do when the baby comes. It is just so easy to forget about the most important person during the pregnancy, the expecting mother herself. It takes a lot of awareness and self-connectedness to really notice what is going on in our mind and emotional state during pregnancy.
Q: As a mother yourself, why is it important for other expecting mothers to prioritize their mental-emotional wellbeing? ( What are the dangers of not doing so? )
I went through the pain myself with my first child. I experienced some personal emotional events during the pregnancy without knowing how to take care of myself, neither was my husband. We had no idea these emotions could be felt by the fetus. (If you are curious how so, check out “In Utero” – a documentary film about how time in the womb could shape a child’s blueprint.)
Till this day, my first child is still a very sensitive child, her emotions, and her skin too. My second child, on the other hand, is happy and stable. I can see how their characters and emotional homes (the emotions we feel most of the time which could be habitual) are reflections of how I felt during my respective pregnancy.
With regards to the effect on the mother herself, when an expecting mother takes care of her own mental-emotional wellbeing, she will feel more at ease and at peace. This will help with the delivery process. In contrast, if she accumulates unresolved emotions, it may build up into something more serious such as postnatal depression.
For example, imagine an expecting mum reading up about pregnancy and deliveries with excitement versus another expecting mum doing the same thing, but with fear. Their experience and takeaways from the same activity could be very different. If we notice the difference and address any fears and worries, the same experience can be more empowering rather than intensifying the fear.
The Precious Journey 2020
Q: How was The Precious Journey and what were some of the common concerns of mothers-to-be?
We’ve got almost 200 signups for the event, and very good feedback from our VIP participants on the mind workshops conducted. That’s why we are also planning to do more of those regularly in 2021. However, to be honest, most Mums and Mums-to-be are still not really open up about their journey and the emotional challenges they are going through. I hope this will change, as we Mothers need a circle of emotional support. It really helps when a Mum reads another Mum’s story and feels “not alone”.
Common concerns of mothers-to-be are centred around the delivery and taking care of a newborn – whether I can deliver naturally, whether it will be painful, whether I can take care of my newborn, whether I really can be a good Mum.
All these concerns may have other deep-rooted reasons, which once solved, can make a big difference to the Mothers-to-be’s delivery and postpartum journey.
Q: What advice would you give working women who are expecting or who are trying for a baby?
Ask yourself -” why do I want this baby?” This is the most important question I think every parent should be honest with themselves when answering. If the reason involves a role the baby has to serve – to fill a gap for you, to please someone, or it is simply it’s time to have a baby, I urge you to explore why this reason, keeping in mind that a child is born into this world with his/her own individuality and purpose. Don’t make your purpose theirs.
Without judgement, allow yourself to understand deeper why you want a child, as it will affect how you welcome, interact, raise and shape your child’s life.
Images: Janny Huynh