Ep #252: When Do Widows Need a Life Coach?

The Widowed Mom Podcast Krista St-Germain | When Do Widows Need a Life Coach?

When do widows need a life coach?

I’ll be honest, I struggle to answer this question, not only because I don’t know what you need, but also because I’m not in the business of telling people they need a coach.

Tune in this week to hear why asking this question is entirely unhelpful, and ask yourself questions instead about what you want next in life.

Listen to the Full Episode:

It’s been long on my mind to make Mom Goes On more inclusive and accessible. That’s why I’m introducing a scholarship program aimed at encouraging diversity within our community. If you identify as a widow and feel marginalized or underrepresented, we know it can make loving life after loss more complicated. To find out more, apply for Mom Goes On, then email us here for more information on the scholarship program! 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I struggle to answer the question, “When do widows need a life coach?”
  • Why I don’t believe this is a useful question to ask.
  • Questions to ask yourself instead.


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 252, When Do Widows Need a Life Coach?

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.

Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. Did you know that as of episode 211, you can go to YouTube and watch these podcast episodes? You can watch me in my office talking to no one, occasionally you might see a dog drive by in the back, my glass door is kind of opaque and sometimes you can see a dog walk by. If you would like to do that, you can.

You just go to YouTube and you search The Widowed Mom Podcast and you will find it courtesy of my youngest, Cleo, who has been editing and uploading all episodes since 211. I’m paying him for it, of course. But I do appreciate that he is doing it so that we can connect in that way if you like. So I wanted you to know, that’s available. Also at the end of today’s episode, I’m going to tell you about a scholarship program that is now happening within Mom Goes On. We’ve been slowly rolling it out, and I’m going to tell you all about it at the end.

So in this episode, I want to talk about this question, when do widows need a life coach? I’m going to tell you why this came about, why I don’t think it’s a particularly useful question. Questions you can ask yourself instead that are more useful and then we’ll get to the scholarship. Also, I want you to know that there are two other podcast episodes that might be of use to you and I just want to make sure you know that they exist. One is episode 81, Therapy vs. Life Coaching. It was a good conversation that my friend Sandy Arguello and I had.

Sandy is a therapist and a life coach and we talked about what we see the difference is between life coaching and therapy are, what the overlaps are, and our opinions about the matter because I do get that question a lot. And then also episode 107, Are You Ready for Coaching? I get that question a lot too, how do I know if I’m ready? So I want to make sure you know that episode is out there because we’re not going to talk about any of those things in this one, but there are those two episodes out there available for you.

So when do widows need a life coach? How did this come about? A couple of weeks ago, I taught a class called breaking through a grief plateau. And in that class at the end, when I asked for questions and offered the opportunity for people to get coaching, the most lovely widow raised her hand, fairly new widow and she had the sweetest little three month old sleeping baby on her shoulder. And she asked me, and I’m not quoting her directly, but essentially her question was, “Do I need coaching or can I do this alone?” And I struggled in that moment to answer that question.

And I had to process it after it was all over to really realize why I struggled to answer the question. The reason I struggled to answer the question was because of the way that it was phrased and that’s why I want to bring this up. I struggled because (a) I don’t know who needs coaching. I don’t know what you are capable of on your own or where you need support, I don’t know. (b) I felt creepy about it. I don’t want to be in the business of telling people they need a coach.

But what my heart was saying to me, and it makes me kind of teary when I think about it. What I wanted to say and didn’t say was, please give this to yourself. If you want it, take it. If it feels good to you, do it. I want to help you. I can help you. I wanted to grab this woman and hug her and pull her in tight and just my heart was just going out to her. But I also didn’t want to say, “You can’t do it alone. You need a coach.” I don’t believe that and it’s creepy.

So I had to process it afterwards and here’s why I don’t think it’s a useful question if you are asking it to yourself. It implies, when do widows need a life coach, it implies that we only get to have things that we need instead of things that we want. It implies that you can’t create what you want on your own, and so it’s just a matter of figuring out when the magic point is where you have to have some support outside of you. And I don’t think any of that is useful. What if you could trust yourself to know if you wanted that kind of support?

What if, if you wanted that kind of support, you could give it to yourself? I also see this showing up in women who will ask themselves or justify coaching because they think it will benefit their kids. And so they justify it because they believe if they take care of their own mental wellness then that will help them take care of their kids. And I do believe that’s true. And also I’m kind of sad about it because I wish we lived in a world where we could just invest in ourselves because we believed that we were entirely worth investing in.

And I’m just going to declare that we’re moving into that direction. I’m just going to declare, I don’t even like saying I wish we lived in that world. Because maybe there are lots of women out there who are really great about investing in themselves independently of what they believe would be good for their kids or not and they just give themselves what they want. And so I’m just going to declare that we’re moving in that direction and that those women exist.

But it makes me sad when I see us limiting ourselves in that way because what else are we not allowing ourselves to have because we haven’t decided to believe that we need it even if we can afford it? What is the quality of life that we create for ourselves when we only allow ourselves to have what we believe we need? And what if we no longer made decisions based on what we thought we needed and instead looked at what we wanted and then weighed those wants?

And so what I want you to hear from me is, I’m not here to say you do need a life coach. I want to tell you I want you to have the support that you want to have. I want you to have the support that I think you deserve. I want you to have more support than I did. I want you to have the tools that I didn’t have earlier. I want you to not have to figure it out the hard way. I want you to be in community if being in community would feel good to you. I want you to be surrounded by support if that’s what you want. That’s what I want for you. I don’t think it’s about need.

Now, I will say for me and this is what I was trying to say in an episode of the podcast that I did called The Best Way to Create What You Want. For me there have been many situations since Hugo died where coaching has helped me because the coach could show me something I couldn’t see for myself. It was like trying to read the label from inside the bottle. It doesn’t work. I couldn’t see what I couldn’t see, not because there was something wrong with me, but because I lacked perspective.

I didn’t have the perspective that allowed me to see it. And this is why I will always have a coach and coach weekly, because that person can show me the things that I can’t see for myself and I value that. I want that. Do I need it? No. Could I still be a highly functioning member of society? Yes, if I didn’t have it, yes, I could. But do I want it? Yes, I do. Do I believe that it’s okay for me to have what I want? Yes, I do. Now, now I do, now I do. There was a time, probably when I really would have struggled to give that to myself.

There was a time when I would have said, “That’s not a need. That’s just a want.” Did you grow up with that? I grew up with that. Hearing we need to think about what we need and not what we want. And it makes sense that parents are trying to teach us to live within our means. That’s not what I’m talking about though. What I’m talking about is when you have access to something, you could give it to yourself and you won’t because you’ve decided you can only have what you need, not what you want. That’s what I’m talking about. Do you feel the difference?

So here’s some questions you can ask yourself, whether you’re considering coaching or not. This could just be questions you are asking yourself about things that you want next in life or things you want to do next in life. So instead of when do I need it? It’s, do I want it? Do I want it? If it’s you trying to decide whether to do it by yourself or do it alone, do I believe I could do it alone? Or is this a case where I’m trying to read the label from outside the jar? Would this kind of support help me in the way that I would like to be helped, not some external should, but in the way that I would like to be helped?

Do I want to go it alone or do I want to do it in community? It’s not about there being a right want, it’s about you accessing what your want is, what is your desire and can you let yourself have it? Please allow yourself to have the support that you want. If you want to do it alone, by all means do. And so much unnecessary hardship is created when we tell ourselves that we should be able to do it by ourselves, or that we can’t have it unless we need it. And that’s what I want you to hear from me today.

The scholarship. So it’s long been on my mind to figure out a way to make Mom Goes On more inclusive, more accessible. So over the past few months we have been tweaking and slowly introducing a scholarship program that’s aimed at encouraging diversity within our community. So this is for you if you identify as a widow and that may not mean you were actually married. That may mean your person just died. That may mean you, and this is for Mom Goes On generally speaking, not just a scholarship, by the way.

You don’t have to have been legally married, but if it was your person and they died, if you were engaged and they died, if you were once with them and then later were remarried, but still need to come back and get some support around their loss. If you identify as a widow, that can look like a lot of different things. But if you have felt marginalized, if you are and have felt underrepresented, widowhood doesn’t discriminate, we understand that. And we recognize that grief experiences can be dramatically compounded by societal impacts, by economic impacts, by systemic challenges.

So that’s what this scholarship program is for. So whether it’s race, it’s ethnicity, it’s sexual orientation, it’s disability, it’s financial need, it’s any other aspect of your identity. We know that those things make grief and make loving life after loss more complicated. And the scholarship is with that in mind. So if that is of interest to you, first you need to apply for Mom Goes On because first we need to make sure that you’re in a place where you would be successful.

We don’t want to offer the program when it’s too much, too soon. So that’s what the application process is for. The application literally takes five minutes, but there’s a couple of wellness questions in there designed just to make sure that we aren’t putting you into a program that would overwhelm you because that will do you no good. So first you go do that, coachingwithkrista.com, Work with Me, click on the Work With Me tab. That’s where you can find the application.

Then once you’re accepted, assuming that you are and it’s a good fit and the timing is right, then email us support@coachingwithkrista.com and ask us about the scholarship program and we’ll send you the information. Right now it’s not a public facing link that I have to offer. I just want you to know that it’s available on a limited basis. We’re offering a couple of spots a month every month by scholarship. So that’s the process. If you have any questions, you can reach out to us, again support@coachingwithkrista.com, but go apply first and spread the word.

If you know someone who you think would be perfect and there’s some stuff holding them back. And they wouldn’t have considered applying for Mom Goes On because they’ve heard it’s an investment and funds are hard to come by, that’s okay, send them this information. Alright, so no more of this, when do I need it, no more of this, please. I really want to offer this to you. Do I want it? What would it be like to let myself have what I want? Not, do I need it, do I want it? Would it feel good to me?

And think about that in all the other areas of life. What is it that you want that would feel good to you, that is within your reach, that you haven’t been letting yourself have because you haven’t labeled it as a need? This could be as simple as more throw pillows, you all. This could be as simple as a new comforter. This could be as simple as, for me, I joke, but honestly lately, stuffed animals. It’s the most ridiculous thing but stuffed animals bring me so much joy.

I’ve got my little stuffed sloth over here in my office, Patricia. I sleep with Memphis the panda. Memphis might need a replacement. He’s getting a little rough. But why not, why not? It feels good to me. I want it. I don’t really give two flips what other people think about it anymore. What is it that you want and what if you gave it to yourself? What if you let yourself have it? Can we have that life, please? Can we create that for ourselves? Let’s go do that. I love you. You’ve got this. Take care and I’ll see you next time. Bye bye.

If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching just for widowed moms like you where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back and give you the tools and support you need so you can move forward with confidence. Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than what you deserve. Go to coachingwithkrista.com and click Work With Me for details and next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.

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About your coach

I created a new life using small, manageable steps and techniques that made sense. The changes I experienced were so profound I became a Master Certified Life Coach and created a group coaching program for widows like us called Mom Goes On. It’s now my mission to show widowed moms exactly how to do what I’ve done and create a future they can look forward to.

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