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Getting Ready for Baby: Preparing for Life as a Happy Mom

Pregnant or adopting? Mindfully prepare for a baby and fun family life through self-discovery and embracing motherhood.
Jessica Doyle, MPH
320 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
Learn the secret formula for happy motherhood and amazing kids
Create a vision for what kind of mother you want to be
List and address your fears and expectations of becoming a mom
Explore your relationship with your own mother
Create a joint vision of parenthood with your partner
Identify what you want to repeat and what you want to do different than your mother
Identify ways you might need to re-parent yourself before you have kids
Explore what you will pass on to your kids - the good and the not so good
Get a plan to address anything you want to change before you become a mom
Discover your own intuition and the role it plays in motherhood
Connect with a community of women who are in similar place in life
Learn exactly what great moms do to stay happy

Thinking about becoming a mom can be exciting and terrifying at the same time.

We all want to be great moms and give our future kids the absolute best start in life. We really really don’t want to screw them up! However, knowing exactly how to do that can get very confusing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the fear of failure, parenting experts advice, our own relationship with our mom, and society’s idea of what a good mom is.


I know motherhood can be an amazing, fun experience, and I’ve seen it in action.

I know the best person to guide and advise you throughout your life as a mom is you!


So how can we prepare for a motherhood like that?

It does take prep work to get to a place where you can rely on your internal compass, but it is worth it. Books and classes on breastfeeding, birth plans, and parenting philosophies have their place, but the key to being a good mom really is as simple and as hard as finding yourself and being true to who you are.

You can start preparing for a happy motherhood now with this workshop.

This curriculum provides you with a strategy and a set of tools that will put you on the path to modern motherhood that will leave you feeling competent, empowered, and successful in the next stage of life. Imagine going into motherhood excited, and confident you can be a great mom with a fun, amazing family.

What to Expect + The Deets:

The video-based course is designed to be covered over 6 weeks (or do it at your own pace) with weekly home work and handouts that include writing and journal exercises, interview with a mom, and homework to do with your partner. I even hold office hours in which you can ask me anything. You will also get tons of recommendations for outside resources, even who to follow on Instagram. You can even participate in the course on your phone or tablet.

What’s included in this course:

+The formula to be a happy mom – it’s super simple and no algebra is involved

+Essential mom skills you can practice and hone today

+The link between your relationships (with your mom, partner, and yourself) and the effect it will have on your kids and what type of mom you will be

+A guide to create a personalized plan to get prepared for motherhood right now

You can learn all this at home, and it’s less than a trip to the salon or a dress from Anthropology.


Finally, there is a course, not just about parenting or having kids, but about preparing for life as a mom.

There isn’t any other course out there that actually helps you prevent the pain of a motherhood filled with feelings of failure, guilt, martyrdom, or fear. No one is really helping women become better moms before they have kids. However, it makes perfect sense! This is the time to put in the work since you have more time, energy and money to invest in yourself and your relationships.

I truly believe we can be the first generation of moms with no mom jeans, mom guilt, or mommy wars.


Get Started!

Click on the green “Take this Course” button and join in.

I’ve taken several courses on Udemy, and it’s an excellent, easy to use site with great customer service. I’m also here to provide any support or help along the way.

Looking forward to connecting with you,

Jessica Doyle, MPH

Nice to Meet You, Let's Get Started

About Me + How I Can Help

My story and what I can help you with.



IG: approachingmotherhood

How this Course Works - Videos, Homework + Challenges

This course is designed to be done over 6 weeks, but you can do it in less or more.

1. Lectures with extra videos and articles

2. Personal challenges

3. Homeworks

4. Quizzes

Where to Find Homework, Downloads + Links
Homework to Complete Before Week 1: Your Vision of Motherhood

Homework to complete before week 1: Your Vision of Motherhood

Week 1: Your Vision of Motherhood - Beyonce or June Cleaver?

Intro to Week 1: Your Vision of Motherhood
What Will Motherhood be Like?

Unfortunately, no one can tell you what motherhood will be like for you. It's such a personal experience.

What you expect it to be like, is probably what you will get.

If you want it to be something different than what you expect or believe, you have to actively look for examples of moms living that way.

More Resources:

Spoof video on powerful parenting.

You as Your Ideal Mom

Create a vision of what you want motherhood to be like for you. Create one that excites you.

Include how motherhood and family life will make you feel.

Be conscious of the reasons you think you can't have that vision.

Reasons to Become a Mom

Knowing why you want to do anything is very powerful.

Good reasons for having kids include: having an abudance of love and joy to give, already being happy and wanting to share that, having someone to give love, etc

Not so good reasons include anything based in fear, lack or insecurity.

Fulfillment is a feeling, not a person.” –Ali Binazir

Fear, Worry, Anxiety ... Oh My!

Learn what fear and worry means.

Learn how to manage fear.

Learn how your fear and worry will impact your kids.

Personal Challenge for Week 1
Homework to Complete Before Week 2: Did You Get It From Your Mamma?

Week 2: Did You Get It From Your Mamma?

Intro to Week 2: Did You Get it From Your Mamma?

Revisit your history with your mom and what you might want to do different.

Has your mom or dad passed? Read this article on parenting without parents. and this one

What Type of Mom Did You Have?

There are several "types" of moms. You can tell what kind of mom you had and what kind of mom you will be.

-Happy, Helicopter, Drone, Fun, Critical, Martyr, Perfectionist, etc.

We will look at:

  1. What they were like before they kids
  2. How they will likely parent
  3. How it will impact the kids

Keeping Her Traditions / Doing Things Different

If are going to try to live up to your mom's perfect example, you have to be open to making your own way.

If you are planning to do things different than your mom, you have to be different than your mom. Not just say or do things differently.

Be aware of the messages you picked up from your mom - positive and negative.

More Resources:

Psychology Today Article: Are You Turning Into Your Mother?

Trying Too Hard to Correct Your Parent's Mistakes

It's often easy to over correct when you parent from a place of trying to be drastically different from your mom, even if you are trying to do something positive.

You might give them something they don't need.

How to ease over correcting:

  1. Work on yourself
  2. Be different than your mom, don't just do things differently
  3. Be aware of where you might over correct
  4. Focus on your kids, not your past
  5. Reparent yourself (next lecture)

More Resources:

For survivors of abuse. Research article. A personal story.

Give Yourself What You Didn't Get From Childhood

We often want to give our kids what we didn't get when were kids.

You want kids to be free to be who they are, not who you need them to be.

Give yourself what you didn't get as a kid before you have kids. Re-parent yourself as an adult.

More Resources:

Give your little girl self some love. Inner child 10 min guided meditation You can repeat this everyday for a month if helpful.

Did you have a particularly tough relationship with your mom? Watch this video.

Personal Challenge for Week 2: Mom

Take this personal challenge of writing a cathartic letter to your mom.

Homework to Complete Before Week 3: Prepare for Your Mini-Me

This is the homework to complete before you listen to the lectures for week 3 - Mentally Prepare for Your Little Mini-me

Week 3: Mentally Prepare for Your Little Mini-me

Intro to Week 3: Mentally Prepare for Your Little Mini-me

What kind of kids do you want? How will your relationship with yourself and partner affect your future kids? We will take a look at how kids learn and what has the biggest impact on them.

How Kids Learn + What Will You Teach Yours

Kids learn by watching and modeling you. Not what you tell or instruct them.

You have to BE what you want your kids to be.

The way we limit ourselves today; is the way we limit our kids in the future.

Aim to model:

  1. Healthy relationships with food, money, sex
  2. Happiness
  3. Loving your body
  4. Expressing emotions in a healthy way
  5. Healthy personal boundaries
  6. Kindness
  7. Self-love, confidence, self-esteem
  8. Not caring what others think
  9. And more!

More Resources:

Having a girl? Article: The Beauty Legacy I Want to Leave for my Daughter

Got negative things to say about your body? Watch this Dove body image video

Dealing with Negative Thoughts

Love personality Quizzes? Try this one. Enneagram I'm type 2. Obviously :)

Tiny, Adorable Emotional Triggers

Your kids will push on your emotional tinder spots. Make sure start to address those today.

These are things you judge yourself for or judge others.

They also will push all your happy, great emotional buttons but only if you are present.

More Resources:

Brene Brown - Famous, must watch TED talk on vulnerability

Conscious Parenting video by Dr. Shefali -“[Conscious parenting] means we no longer look at our children as an extension of who we are, because when we do that, we unleash all our emotional baggage onto them,” 

Dr. Shefali's TED Talk - "we hurt our children because we hurt ourselves"

Find Your Family Values + Create a Family Vision

How will you set up your family life?

Your parents and your partners' parents roles are wired into our brains. Discuss how your will run your family.

Include your partner from the beginning.

Working mom vs Stay at home moms. Do what works for you. Embrace your situation.

Create a vision for your family.

Picking out some family values gives you:

  1. something to stand for
  2. priorities
  3. keeps you focused on what matters most
  4. gets rid of FOMO
  5. prevents you from waking up one day and hating your life

You can't have it all but you can have everything you want.

More Resources:

Looking to savor life? Try the Slow Family Movement

Planning to be a working mom? Read this book: What Happy Working Mothers Know by Avigdor & Greenberg

Nearly 60 percent of moms confess to feeling pressure to appear well-off on social media, and to feeling envy and embarrassment about their own financial situation. “Everyone is doing fun things and posting them on Facebook, and I want to do those things too,” one mom told us. Another confessed: “It’s embarrassing for people to know that we are struggling.”- Babycenter

Love, Sex + Motherhood

Romantic relationships and motherhood.

Kids learn to date from watching you and your partner.

Respect your partners' flaws.

Sex fuels your ability to be a great mom and a great person.

Date nights are essential and just as important as kids activities.

Set silent and not so silent boundaries with family members now.

More Resources:

HuffPost article. Learn from a woman who went through a divorce: 4 Huge Mistakes I Made as a Wife

Start a babysitting co-op with your friends. Free App to get yours organized Usit Isit

Not convinced about putting your relationship first? Read this article about a dad who put being the perfect parent above his relationship.

Free Love Languages Quiz http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Research on sex after baby - don't view it as an "extra." WSJ article

Books: And Baby Makes Three by Dr. Gottman 

Baby Proof Your Marriage by Cockell, Stone, O'Neil

"Some women say it's not that they don't want sex, it's just difficult to find the perfect moment. Jill Harlan, the mother of a 19-month-old, who lives in Rochester, Minn., and runs a nonprofit out of her home, says some of her best days, sexually speaking, are when her daughter is at day care, and her husband, a medical resident, has the day off. "Day care," she says, "is the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Homework to Complete Before Week 4: The Secret Formula

This is the homework to complete before you watch the lectures for Week 4 - The Secret Formula.

This homework is actually the first half of the homework for Week 5. :) It's a lot so it's easier to spread it out.

Week 4: The Secret Formula for Owning Motherhood

Happy Mom = Happy Kids

If you want to be a great mom with happy and healthy kids, the secret formula is:


We try to so hard to make our kids happy, but their happiness doesn't equate to our happiness.

Your activities and things that make you happy are just as important their activities and hobbies.

More Resources:

Don't believe me that making kids happy shouldn't be your main goal? Try Happiness is a high bar to set TED Talk

I think Gisele took this course! :)

"You can feel a bit guilty," she said. "But if I put my oxygen mask on first, if I'm feeling fulfilled and present and good about myself, then I'm going to be a much more patient, loving, understanding mother and wife. You have to fill your glass so that everyone can drink from it. That's how I feel." -Gisele Bundchen

Personal Challenge for Week 4: Happiness

Where do you "should" yourself to death? Notice throughout the week when you are making yourself do things you don't truly want to do.

Homework to Complete Before Week 5: Essential Happy Mom Skills

Week 5:Essential Happy Mom Skills to Hone Now

Intro to Week 5: Essential Happy Mom Skills

Happy moms have certain skills that they work on and use everyday so that their motherhood experience is fun and fulfilling.

Rediscover + Connect with Your True-Self

To be happy we have to really know ourselves. Know what you makes you happy and know what makes you cranky.

Do more of what makes you happy. Do less or learn to embrace what drains you.

When we know these things and stick to them, we can be our true-selves.

Balance Your Masculine and Feminine Energy

We all have masculine and feminine energy flowing in us.

Motherhood requires both. Masculine to get stuff done. Feminine to enjoy the moment.

We often are stronger in one energy.

Learn to be comfortable in both.

Feeling Enough

Feel enough so you don't go out of your way to earn love, approval and validation.

Stop trying to "earn your keep" or try to come off as having it all together. You are lovable just as you are.

Instead of aiming to be the "best mom" aim to be a "good enough" mom. Relax and enjoy life. Set an amazing example to your kids that they don't have to earn love and respect.

Put Yourself First - Yes, I'm Serious

Although it might feel counter intuitive, you have to put yourself first as a mom to be a great mom.

It means making time for yourself and setting your life up so it works best for you.

We'll go over lots of examples of what putting yourself looks like.

It takes confidence, self-love, and self-esteem to make it happen.

More Resources:

Putting yourself first with babies can be tricky. Read this article

"conversations that bring me back to my early days of motherhood – when I was raw, vulnerable and emotional. I would hear the advice to put myself first by ”sleeping when the baby sleeps.” I remember being told, “Don’t hold her so much it tires you out,” or “ You need to have a break.” This only made me feel inadequate, as I thought I should be able to do it all.

My babies were not good sleepers; I was an anxious mom and carried my babies all the time. Taking the time to arrange a break seemed impossible to comprehend in my foggy-brained state. I had not yet learned that what I needed was to put myself first in a KIND and GENTLE way. I did start to learn this somewhere in those baby days, but it was a slow climb to this place of lowering my expectations, taking only what I wanted from well-intentioned others, and leaving the rest without feeling I was “less than” or did not measure up. A big part of putting myself first was stepping away from the “shoulds” I created for myself and instead focusing on what would be helpful. One of those steps forward was to ask for help clearly and directly from my husband and my family and friends. I had to take gentle baby steps in acknowledging I deserved support."

Take Care of Yourself - Learn to Change Your Own Diaper First

Self-care is the art of taking care of you - mentally, physically and spiritually.

It's important to learn what you need to put yourself in a better mood. This helps you keep your sanity, stay connected with yourself, enjoy life and be present.

Your kids will learn how to take care of themselves by watching you do it.

Learn how to tell when you are being "selfish" and when you are taking care of yourself. Numbing out vs Self-care

Create a self-care menu to refer to when you are feeling grumpy and need some suggestions.

When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits- anything that kept me small. My judgment called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.” – Kim McMillen

You can’t live on baby love alone. As a mother you must learn to care for yourself as well as you care for them. If you don’t give generously to yourself- you will only have crumbs to give.” - Anna Leonhardt-Lupa

More Resources:

9 Self-Care Practices article by Renee Trudeau

One new mom's take on self-care and being enough:

"What taking care of yourself really means, is giving yourself permission to be wherever you are and to do whatever you're doing—without guilt and without pressure to do more or be more or have more."

Intuition - How You Feel Matters

How you feel about something is more important than what you do.

Intuition is expert parenting advice.

Follow your intuition or internal guidance to make decisions today and when you're a mom.

Develop your intuition by getting quiet and still so you can hear it.

Know what your intuition sounds like and feels like to you - a sense of "knowing," a loving voice in your head, a gut feeling.

Know the difference between intuition and fear. Fear might feel like butterflies, a tight chest, or nervous panic.

Make friends with your intuition now. Trust it and do what it says.

Help your kids develop their intuition by asking them how they feel about things and respecting it.

They will learn how to listen to themselves and not fall to peer pressure by watching you do the same.


Great parents make mistakes all the time.

Make a mistake - vow to do better next time - let it go

Don't overcompensate, act out of guilt or over apologize.

You'll be a better parent by being more present, not worried about the past or future, or focusing on what you haven't done for your kids.

It sets a great example for your kids on forgiving themselves and others.

Start practicing self-forgiveness today.

"Gentleness is the best whip" - unknown.

Have Fun in the Moment

Being present is key to making your kids feel loved. It also makes your life so much fun.

Be present by living in the moment, not the past or future.

To have fun and enjoy your life you have be worry free, relaxed and in the moment.

“If mamma ain’t having fun, ain’t nobody having fun.”

If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” ~Unknown

Be grateful and celebrate exactly where you are.

Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Design a Support System - It Does Take a Village

You have to have a team mind set to be a happy mom.

Start building your support team now. Needs to be more than your mom and partner.

Be comfortable asking for and receiving help. Let others feel joy from helping you.

Keep great friends is key. Clean house now from any friends who aren't supportive.

Understand Babies + Kids

Become a student of child development. Read up on kids so you know what you can expect. Not so you can compare your kids to statistics.

Spend lots of time with kids to learn from them and get comfortable. You can read about them all day but hands-on experience is the best teacher.

Find role models that you like on social media, friends, family or even on TV.

Personal Challenge for Week 5: Fun
Homework to Complete Before Week 6: Get a Game Plan

Week 6: Get a Game Plan for Success

What Will You Work On Now? Choose Your Own Adventure

Now that you have learned the skills of motherhood and what you can work on before you become a mom, you can pick what you might want to keep working on.

"Do something today your future-self will thank you for." - unknown

Pre-Mom Game Plan Worksheet

Time to take everything you have learned and pick a few things you want to work on for the next 3 months. Get real concrete ways to grow now that will help you create the family you want.

Do something today your future-self will thank you for.” - unknown

Personal Challenge for Week 6: Family Letter

Write a letter to your future family telling them and yourself what things will be like in your home.

Then listen to Brene Brown read her Parenting Manifesto to her kids.

Gracias + Au Revoir

Wrap Up: A New Definition of the Perfect Mom



IG: approachingmotherhood

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