Nashville Moms Network is a HUGE fan of Ready Nest Counseling and the services they provide for both women and men in the beginning stages of starting a family. We caught up with their founder Emily Pardy and absolutely love all the poignant things she shares with us about being a mom and moms alike…
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I grew up on a farm in the middle of Kansas until I went to college. But, we moved here almost 7 years ago from Southern California!
Children and Ages?
Matilda (10), Daphne (8), Vivian (4), Phoebe (1)
Whew! Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
It may be obvious, but I truly am grateful for my husband, Josh. We call ourselves “Team Pardy” because there’s just no way we could survive raising these girls without each other. He keeps me grounded and reminds me daily that we’re in this crazy life together.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I own Ready Nest Counseling, a local private counseling agency that helps individuals and couples navigate the emotional and relational aspects of conception, pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, or loss. We also offer several free support groups that are open to anyone, as well as a variety of events throughout the year that bring support and awareness to these critical milestones in a family’s journey.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Nashville offers a unique crossroads of mental healthcare and medical healthcare that help create a vibrant birth community. Young families are moving here every day, and we want to make sure they don’t feel alone! Between local OB/GYNs, hospitals, doulas, birth centers, lactation consultants, birth photographers, and more, Ready Nest Counseling has been able to link arms with multiple experts in the community to help ensure a client is well-supported through their season of life. Referrals are the breath of life for small businesses, and it’s been vital to our growth to not only get to know what Nashville offers, but to be able to help our clients know they are not alone no matter what their need may be.
How have you managed work/mom balance thus far?
Balance is a myth, right? But, boundaries are REAL. I have four daughters and a husband that come before any client, and I insist that my staff operates with the same mindset. If we can’t practice what we preach, then we certainly can’t offer our clients help that’s truly attainable within this life phase. Parents are BUSY, and we understand that true balance comes with the need for asking for help and setting boundaries around what you prioritize most. I leave work and pick up my girls from school every day, I utilize services like Shipt to allow for more family time and less “task” time, and I try to carve out opportunities for rest and date nights to keep me sane.
What is your background as a counselor? And what brought you to this particular sect of counseling?
I graduated from Lipscomb with my Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy, then went on to gain training in perinatal mental health (perinatal just means before and after childbirth) and became certified in Perinatal Mental Health after passing an advanced exam in that niche. I, like many, was drawn to this demographic when I became a mother myself. In fact, my husband and I decided to revisit our pre-marital counselor before ever trying to start a family simply to ask questions about how to transition our relationship from couplehood to family. It was the best decision we ever made, utilizing the season prior to parenthood and investing in our life together. Having experienced infertility, postpartum depression, and later having a miscarriage, I’ve personally known the hardship of not knowing where to turn when you are seeking help. I want Ready Nest Counseling to be known as the primary resource for families in the area as we look to bridge the gap in perinatal care so no one is left feeling alone.
What is the most common struggle you hear from moms?
“Is this normal?” is the number one questions we get from moms. Whether they are asking about diaper rash or sleep deprivation, moms continue to feel insecure when it comes to asking questions regarding motherhood. Our society has such a stigma surrounding asking for help, and women (dads too) are filled with shame when they finally reach a brink in needing to admit they don’t know what they’re doing! It’s an isolating feeling to enter a new identity and feel uncomfortable in your own skin, especially when moms are scrolling through social media seeing everyone else “succeed” at something that should come so “naturally”. If you’re not sure what your experiencing is “normal” – please reach out for help. We’re not in the business of stringing you along getting unnecessary therapy. Some moms simply need an assessment and a pep talk and learn how to ask for help from the support that’s already surrounding them. Other moms may need some treatment sessions learning how to manage their new identity, lower their anxiety, or develop coping skills to help them enjoy this season of life.
One piece of advice you would give all moms with kid(s) of all ages?
Accept that you are going to hate some parts of parenthood. There is such pressure today to enjoy every single second, to not take any moment for granted, to live in the present, that too many moms feel crippled by the frustrations and anxieties that come along with parenthood. I don’t know anyone who feels pressured to “enjoy every second” of anything else in life – work, marriage, travel, etc. Yes, we know it goes by fast. Yes, we will look back with rose colored glasses and wish we could snuggle our little babies again. But, without permission to hate the moments of tantrums, irrational bargaining with a toddler, late night feedings or early morning wake-ups, we’ve guilted ourselves into not fully feeling the moments that elate us. No one gets on a roller coaster without expecting some “downs” that make the “highs” worthwhile. Don’t let the moments of frustration steal joy from the ones that make your heart burst. It’s okay to not love every moment, do your best to embrace the whole and you’ll be one step closer to the inevitable next high point.
What has been the most unexpected thing about being a mom?
My need to be around my children. A little break goes a long way. While it’s incredibly necessary to get some independent time away from my kids, l am always surprised at how a quick nap, a manicure, or even a couple hours with them all asleep for the night can restore my desire to miss them and be around them again. It’s a wicked, beautiful cycle that no one can quite prepare you for prior to parenthood. It’s a great reminder to step out of “mom” role once in a while, knowing that all the hats I wear make me better at the one that matters most to me.
What has been the most rewarding thing about being a mom?
Seeing my girls do hard things. Raising four daughters in this day in age grants us the advantage of dreaming big and truly offering them an idea that they can do or be anything. This can be paralyzing as a parent, wondering when to push/pull them in a certain direction. But, when my girls try something new, take a brave step, or do something out of their comfort zone, I’m inspired to just trust them and learn from them instead of carrying the responsibility to teach them all I can.
How would you describe your parenting style?
Zone Defense. Ha! My husband and I are clearly outnumbered, and the level of noise in our home can become deafening at times! We are great teammates who know when to send one another away for a movie alone or need a date night out. We share in household chores (yes, my husband does all the laundry believe it or not) and try to make discipline a fit for each unique child (what works for one simply doesn’t work for another!) I think we have learned to become adaptable to our own needs along with engaging our kids in why we make the decisions for our family that we make. Our style isn’t perfect and we are always open to learning alongside our kids as we develop and grow as parents right alongside them.
One piece of wisdom you would love to impart to your children?
Gosh, only one? ☺ I think that being brave doesn’t mean being fearless. Too often we try to avoid hardship or fear, and instead I’d like for them to be curious about the risks and difficulties that might come with hard decisions. You get one life, and it should be an adventure you are proud to share with others. No adventure comes without adversity, so learning to be brave in the face of a challenge is part of what makes this beautiful life worth living.