Passionate – that’s what I am as well as who I am. I’m passionate about parenting, kindness and learning. And what I do combines all three of these passions. I want you to feel your baby kicking inside you, and long to meet that sweet little face and treat it with kindness, even when you’re exhausted or alone. I want you to pick up your little ones from school, and get more than just a shrug when you ask about their day. I want you to feel this deep joy towards your children and yourself. And I want to make it safe for you to admit that you don’t have all the answers. Neither do I. But I know this: We aren’t meant to parent alone. We are meant to have a collective, a community, a tribe, to help us through, especially on days where there is neither wine or chocolate to be found in the house.
My name is one of those tricky ones to pronounce: Tan as in suntan, the J is like a Y, so think “Tanya” – but please don’t ever spell it that way. And my last name? The K is not silent – think canoe for Knutson. There, now you know me even better.
And how did I become parenting coach? Trauma, pain and difficulty. My first birth was one of the most traumatic events I had ever experienced, and then I was cruelly shocked that breastfeeding was even more traumatic. How could something as normal and natural as breastfeeding be so painful? Nobody told me that breastfeeding was a learned skill. With the help of La Leche League, and a wonderful IBCLC, I was able to go on to breastfeed my son – pain-free! I realized that if I could learn how to breastfeed, then anyone can…with the right information and loving support. So I became an accredited breastfeeding counsellor with LLL in 2001 to give back to the organization that helped me navigate the early days of motherhood. I am also an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) since 2010.
Then my children got older and started to have their own opinions, and there was more trauma – but this was more to my ego. How could something so normal and natural as parenting be so difficult? Why couldn’t I get them to listen to me? I discovered that something as normal and natural as parenting could also take a while to learn! Nobody told me that parenting was a learned skill too! So I enrolled in a parent workshop called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, And Listen So Kids will Talk. It changed my life, and gave me so many tools to add to my parenting toolbox. It was like learning a whole new language, one that my kids actually understood. I have been offering these workshops since 2003 as a way to share these incredibly effective parenting skills.
So here I am, and now you’re here too, and that’s the best start any parent could hope for: to not be alone. I don’t believe that we are meant to parent solo – It takes a village to raise a parent. I think you’ll feel right at home.