Inverness resident Jessica Naccari offers support and guidance to other moms.
By Anne Riley
Jessica Naccari believes that trees and mothers have a lot in common: When it comes to their little birds, they provide a home to come back to, roots and values to carry through life, and shelter from life’s storms. It was this concept that inspired her online maternal support system, The Mothering Tree.
Jessica describes her business as heart-centered guidance and mothering support through one-on-one coaching, an online community and group coaching programs.
“I want to reconnect women with the roots of their intuition, values, creativity and spirituality,” Jessica says.
A Foley native, Jessica went to college in Montgomery and eventually moved to Birmingham with her husband, who was relocated for his career in environmental consulting. These days, she feels comfortable in her role as a stay-at-home mother of three, but things haven’t always been so easy.
Her first experience with motherhood was similar to that of many others: A deluge of gifts and attention during pregnancy, the thrill of baby’s arrival, visitors by the dozens—and then, a couple weeks later, nothing.
Her husband went back to work. Everyone else got back to their lives. And Jessica began to feel very alone.
While her OB had instructed her to call if she began to experience sadness or negative thoughts, Jessica’s situation wasn’t the typical picture of postpartum mental illness. It was the sudden death of a friend that sent her into a tailspin of panic attacks and caused her to have strange thoughts.
“I was terrified of leaving the house,” Jessica says. “I constantly tried to prepare myself for the worst situation. We’d go to the mall, and I’d think through how to escape if a fire started or what I’d do if someone tried to steal my child. It was really intense, but I thought it was normal.”
Jessica made an appointment with a doctor, but declined the medication he suggested. She felt functional, after all, and from the outside, everything looked fine. She held on to her irrational fears, believing that somehow, they would save her family one day.
After the birth of her second child, depression set in—but again, it was hard to recognize. Instead of feeling sad, Jessica felt on-edge and easily aggravated. Assuming it was due to the complicated transition from one to two children, Jessica waited for a while before making an appointment with a new doctor.
The diagnosis: Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.
After accepting the prescribed medication and abiding by the doctor’s guidelines to take the kids for regular walks, Jessica experienced an upturn in her mental state.
“The improvement was immense,” Jessica says. “I felt like I finally had my life back.”
When her third child was born, Jessica was prepared to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety again. She started on medication right away, but she needed something more: A support network. Unfortunately, there weren’t many resources for moms with postpartum illness, and so the support network she needed wasn’t easy to come by.
One day, she picked up a book that had sat on her shelf for years—The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. While she expected to learn how to unblock her creative skills, she didn’t anticipate that the book would lead her to the realization that she wanted to help other moms like her.
“Once the dream was born, I felt like the path was already laid before me—but I could only see the next step,” Jessica says. “I started sketching out what I already knew and what I didn’t about starting an online business. I took another step and found The Mama Bliss Coaching School, where I was offered a scholarship. Each time, I’d trust my intuition, and it would lead me to where I needed to go.”
Now that The Mothering Tree has officially launched, Jessica is working with moms through e-courses, one-on-one coaching, and group coaching. She’s also hoping to start a support group through local libraries.
“Women need the support of other women during the early days of motherhood,” Jessica says. “If The Mothering Tree can start a movement of supporting and caring about the needs of mothers, I think we will see a more connected community full of healthy individuals.”
For those who are interested in The Mothering Tree’s support coaching, the website is a good place to start: Themotheringtree.com. From there, it’s easy to sign up for one of the free mini email courses; currently, the options are “Find Your Mama Flow” and “Avoid the Sleep-Deprived Mommy Zombie.”
After that, subscribers are invited to join the Facebook community (appropriately named “The Mothering Grove”) where they can connect with other moms in an open, honest way. From there, one-on-one coaching sessions are offered through Breakout Intensive Sessions, along with a group coaching option called Deeply Rooted.
The whole point is to help moms get back in touch with themselves and to move forward with life in a healthy, happy, fulfilled way—which ultimately means happier families and a better community.
To connect with The Mothering Tree online, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/themotheringtree or follow them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/themotheringtree. To reach Jessica directly, email Jessica@themotheringtree.com.