Changing the perspective of parenting
Updated: Mar 30, 2019
A few years ago, my amazing (and turtley awesome) friend Patty introduced me a friend of hers, Lisa Chin. We were both new moms, very natural and holistic minded, and trying to navigate the waters of parenting. Little did I know that this woman was one kick ass lady who has devoted her whole life to being the best parent she can be and to helping other moms find their way. Let's face it, the baby books only cover so much (side note: IMHO baby books only serve to make you crazy) and what happens after baby is here is an extremely confusing time. Lisa has dedicated her time and effort to helping new moms figure out the "fourth trimester" and has formed an entire community of moms that help and support each other. I'm fortunate to have her as a sounding board and I genuinely see her as a role model for parenting. What I love most is that while we have differing opinions on many things, we find knowledge and insight from each other.
Read on to see how Lisa is a woman who is changing the world for parents and moms in particular.
Lisa give us a little bit about your background. Who are you? What do you do? What's your life like?
I am a full time working mom to two living the American suburban dream. I grew up in New Jersey and will never let go of my 201 area code cell number. My parents immigrated to the US a year before I was born. I have a business degree in strategy which has been helpful in my career bouncing from one corporate job to another. Since graduating from college, I caught the holistic health bug and have gone down the rabbit hole in learning all things holistic health including energy healing, past life regression and crystals. My exploring holistic health was my entree to discovering self development and all the intricacies of who we are.
Who I am at my essence is someone who is seeking to "live an inspired life." It took me a year of investigation and exploration to come up with this one term that sums me up. For so long, I was trying to live a life that was inspiring, one that others would be impressed with. Shifting my focus from inspiring others to feeling inspired myself has truly led me to living a more fulfilling life.
I seek to help mothers live their version of an inspired life which includes reshaping our ideas of what motherhood actually means, supporting them in the journey and giving them permission to be someone else besides "Mom."
What are you passionate about?
I'll keep it to five things
1. my family
2. helping others find and live their truths
3. supporting mothers
4. identifying our blocks and what stops us from becoming our best selves.
5. holistic health and wellness.
Tell us about your passion project, the Fourth Trimester Summit. How did you find this path and how have you evolved in regards to it?
My summit was born from a series of many thoughts and happenings. In 2016, I developed a business idea focused on employee wellness and learned that summits are a great way to be seen as an expert quickly. I found that to be a really interesting model and purchased a course on how to run a summit. Concurrently, I had been on a "self identity journey" for that past year and I was looking to live more in alignment with who I was. As I was planning the summit on employee wellness, I stopped and asked myself, "If I don't make a dime from this, would I still want to do this?" The answer was a visceral NO. So I stopped working on the idea but since I already purchased the course, I asked myself, "What would you do a summit on even if you didn't make any money?" The answer was immediately motherhood and the next thought was the fourth trimester.
My passion for the fourth trimester stems from my own experience after birth. I was fortunate enough to be able to fully rest for 30 days postpartum - the traditional Chinese practice is called “zuo yuezi” or “sitting the month." My mom lived with us and took care of me and the baby and I was able to focus on healing, breastfeeding, and assimilating into the new role of mom. After my experience, I realized what a luxury and what a stark contrast it was to other mothers' fourth trimesters where many had to return to work within a month or had zero support and were even hosting visitors! It was mindblowing to me that our culture does not honor this sacred time. I also realized how important the first months postpartum are to our whole experience as mothers. I could go on and on as it is so central to my passion for supporting moms in reclaiming motherhood in all regards.
Ultimately, the summit put me on a different path. It made me realize how passionate I am about motherhood and it also showed me how good it feels to be on purpose with my work. Almost three years later, it is still the work I am most proud of.
Have you always been passionate about parenting and parenting styles?
Not at all. I have always loved babies but never babysat or even changed a diaper, until I had my daughter. When my first niece was born in the mid-2000s, I became interested in coaching pregnant women but did not feel qualified as I had never been pregnant before. It wasn't until I had my daughter that I realized how intellectually stimulated I was in learning about motherhood, infant development and the impact of parents on our children. Today, I could talk parenting all the time but what intrigues me even more is shifting the paradigm of motherhood to be more mother-centric and supporting moms in all aspects of their fulfillment including but not limited to parenting.
I'm not convinced you ever sleep. You always have a passion project going in addition to work and home life. What drives you?
Honestly, I am not sure. I see myself as a conduit of thoughts, articles, art, books, and ideas that are floating in the ether. When it comes my way, I feel compelled to share it. Doing is a big part of my journey in finding myself and living out my experience. Being a hands-on-learner, I have found I don't do well with just the theoretical but need the experience first hand to learn and absorb the lessons.
What are you most excited about?
So many things! I have a ring that says "follow your inspirations and curiosities." This is how I strive to live my life - hip hopping from inspiration to inspiration and allowing my curiosity to lead the way. I don't think we can go wrong if we do that.
Currently, I am inspired by others who are living their genius and doing great work in the world. In particular, men who doing the work to break down toxic masculinity have really caught my eye. I am consistently curious about others' passions and how they bring them to life or why they don't. I never tire of learning more about what moves people, what drives them to do things and what has shaped them into the people they become.
How do you envision the future of parenting? What hopes do you have for the future?Oh what a big question! I am a huge believer in that it takes a village to raise a child and to support parents, and our society has moved so far away in it. I believe the nuclear family structure is extremely toxic. I grew up with both paternal grandparents in my house and my cousins in the same town. I remember my aunt dropping off my cousins for my grandmother to watch while she worked or ran errands. The availability of support is only a surface level benefit of the village. I believe there are many psychological and emotional benefits for all parties which I'll have to get into another day!
The future of parenting will unlikely be multiple generations in the same community like before but, I do think we are moving towards more of a blended model as our current structure is unsustainable. Neighbors helping one another and breaking down the facades of leading a "perfect" life in order to live a more real one. I hope for and am working towards a future where moms and dads are not shamed or judged but supported and babies and children are respected and loved.
How does it make you feel knowing that you are providing inspiration, support and hope to other parents?
It is both incredibly humbling and also overwhelming. I don't think so much about inspiring others as I feel so much pressure from that thought. What I do focus on is living my version of an inspired life and in turn, I feel that inspires others.
What challenges have you faced with finding your passion and executing your goals?Time has always been the biggest challenge. I had wait 30 years to become a mom in order to realize my passion for motherhood but of course, I only recognize that in hindsight. I embarked on the "find your passions" journey in my early 20's and I was impatient in finding "the thing" I was meant to do. But in reality, I had to live through all of the experiments and failures in order to get to this point. I believe everything happens for a reason. Now, as a working mom to two, time challenges are more around having enough time to do what I want to do while still being the mom I strive to be.
What advice do you have for parents and future parents?
You are not just a parent. You are so much more than Mom and Dad. Your children will eventually see that too. It is extremely important to live a life outside of children and to maintain an identity beyond Mom and Dad. Give yourself permission to pursue that class or hobby. Put down the tenth parenting book you've read in a row to indulge in that romance novel. You are not a bad parent if you don't want to be a parent all the time. You are above all a human. If we can embrace all the parts of us, we will be modeling a healthier sense of self for our kids and you'll be happier as well!
Thank you Lisa for your passion and your inspiration! I know you are helping this world change the face of parenting and helping our communities grow!
If you, or someone you know would benefit from finding out more about the “fourth trimester” (eh hem...new moms, moms to be or moms that will ever be) checkout the link to the summit