Journey To Motherhood, my first year being a mama November 16 2012

I can’t recall how I found out about Jenny but I ended up signing for her Inner Mama coaching series. The course promised me a chance to reclaim myself and encouraged massive doses of self-care. At the time, I was an exhausted mom to a 5 month old, back at work full-time and desperate for someone to tell me if was OK to take care of myself and that having a night off was actually good for me!
 Jenny’s course not only kept me sane through those  through those early months, it kept me energized and in touch with my passions and desires (that interestingly enough don’t go away after you’ve had a child!). I’ve seen her work wonders & highly recommend her to anyone who’s struggling. I’ve seen the results she gets from her clients and I’m awestruck. Our friend B went from an unsure unhappy worker bee who wanted much more to a new business and home owner and the happiest I’ve ever seen her! 

Name: Jenny Fenig

Hometown: Tough to answer! Grew up in Marietta, Ga., and New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Then went to college in Florida before making my way to the bright lights of New York City to pursue a career in public relations. All have had huge influences on my life.

How long have you’ve been living in the Berkshires? 2+ years

Occupation: Coach and consultant to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-in-the-making; CEO of www.jennyfenig.com

When Did you first Become a Mother? January 5, 2009. My son Sean decided to come into the world two-and-a-half weeks earlier than expected! Ever since, he’s kept me on my toes.

Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? Was the reality close to your personal image/idea? Um, I knew nothing about motherhood! I heard from some of my friends that having children changed “everything.” I wasn’t sure what that meant. To be honest, I didn’t even know I wanted to have children. Even when my husband Steven and I got married, we were a bit ambivalent about becoming parents. We wanted to have children because WE wanted to become parents … not because you’re expected to have children after you get married. I started feeling the pull towards children a few years into marriage. He was on-board luckily! That being said, I can’t imagine my life without my beautiful children in it. They are sunshine on a cloudy day!

How would you describe the first year? Magical … and exhausting. It exceeded all of my dreams.

Did you have a support system near by? No, so I created one for myself. My family and friends from childhood are essentially all down South so I had to find some new friends with babies! This was not hard living on the Upper West Side when I became a mom. I joined a moms support group at the Prenatal Yoga Center and am still close buddies with the 7 women (and babies) who were in our group. Sean actually shares a birthday with 2 of the boys in the group and we’ve done a group birthday celebration every year since we’ve met. Even though only 2 of the 8 of us are still living in Manhattan, we’ll be bonded for life. We went through the greatest transition you can ever go through together. It’s special.

I found support groups so transformative that I partnered with an organization called Mommybites to offer our own brand of support groups for moms in NYC. It was one of the greatest years of my life supporting new moms and workings moms (the 2 groups I led) like that. I’ll always be grateful for that experience. I stopped leading those groups when we moved out of NYC to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.
I still lead groups for women though. There is immense power in them. I just now focus on working with women who are on the same path as me - soul-led business ownership. Love it! I even host an annual retreat in the Catskills of New York that is seriously LIFE-CHANGING. It’s called the Retreat for Goddesses. I’m in love with the women who attend. So inspiring! We come together to chart a new path forward so they can uncover, own and profit from their big gift in the world … and build a business AROUND their life so they can be the woman they want to be. www.retreatforgoddesses.com

You have two young children, was it a bit easier when you had #2?   
Yes and no. Certainly having a baby was easier the second time around, but recovering from the birth was a lot more challenging. With Sean, I had a fast labor (3 hours!) and smooth delivery. I wanted an unmedicated birth in a birthing center and that’s what we got.

With my second son, I was hoping for a home birth, but Luke had other plans. That baby was breach and had no desire to turn himself around! I learned that there is only so much you can control in life. Having a C-section was very scary for me because I had never had surgery before. But what are ya gonna do? I had to trust that my baby and the doctors knew what they were doing. I call my C-section scar my badge of honor. I’m proud of it and always think of him when I see it. 
I love having 2 kids. Love that they have each other. Love that they are BROTHERS. And I tell myself that when my oldest is beating up on the youngest :) It will all be worth it!

You used to live in NYC but are now raising your children in the Berkshires, do you miss New York?
Moving out of the city was a TOUGH decision and to be honest, we thought we’d miss NYC more than we do. We’ve chosen to live in Great Barrington, Mass., the #1 Small Town in America (seriously, the Smithsonian Magazine gave us that distinction recently). There is a lot of NYC influence here and many former city peeps have moved here for a different type of lifestyle. We have great yoga (Kripalu is nearby), culture, food, theater and outdoorsy adventures. I like how grounded, creative and independent people in the Berkshires are.
But yes, I’ll always be a New Yorker at heart. Proud I became a parent in that magical city. It was SO much fun. I DO miss food delivery, fabulous kids classes, and just the sheer number of interesting people with big dreams. I come back in for business trips and family outings. We can either drive or take a train in.

Tips for new moms?
Trust yourself. You know your child better than anyone else. Never doubt that bond that you have. Most importantly, enjoy the ride! Best piece of advice I got: “The days sometimes drag by, but the years fly by.” Have fun and remember to take care of YOU so you can take care of your beautiful family.