Motherhood is one of the most rewarding yet challenging jobs in life. It’s a role you can get completely lost in, and despite being around many, can make you feel completely alone, and who needs judgment when you are already judging yourself every day. Even with all of this, I know I would never change a thing because becoming a mom has expanded my heart beyond limits and pushed me to bloom as a better person – daily. What I love about Gervase Kolmos is the fact she not only acknowledges these things but gives moms permission to feel them while bringing us all together in community. And beyond even that, her definition of mom includes step-moms, angel moms, want-to-be moms and soon-to-be moms. We are a tribe.
Hailing from Queens, NY she has that characteristic NYC spunk softened by her time at College of Charleston, and the city she has now called home for fourteen years. Married to marine biologist, Kevin Kolmos, they raise chickens in their West Ashley backyard with their two daughters – Aria, 5 and Maya 2.
Finding her Calling
Gervase always wanted to be a working mom but knew shortly after her first’s birth, her corporate job was no longer serving her or this new season of life. After much talk, therapy, applying for jobs that never seemed to work out, hints from the universe and a serendipitous encounter, she realized becoming a life coach was her next calling. What is a life coach? In her words,
“A life coach is someone who asks hard questions to help you get to where you want to go. The key is that there’s no ONE final destination…”.
She helps women, specifically moms, reconnect with parts of themselves they may have lost in the transition to motherhood, and find the new strengths they now possess as mothers.
The Transition to Motherhood
Her transition to motherhood was not what she expected, and like most of us she wasn’t really sure what to expect, but she says she expected to “crush it”. Expectations are rarely reality though, and starting with pregnancy Gervase realized there was a shift when the extroverted party girl started to judge her foreign, low energy body for staying home. When Aria arrived, she was weighed down even more by her own judgments despite the perfect baby girl she now held in her arms. In those first six months, she judged herself for how long it took to get the hang of breastfeeding (eight weeks), how weepy she felt leaving her daughter for any amount of time, and anything else she could think of. She truly believed she “should” be able to do it all…and when she realized she couldn’t—at least not with the ease she had expected—she judged herself as “failing.
Her second daughter’s arrival found Gervase in a completely different space. She had the proper emotional support network, along with a postpartum doula, lactation consultant, life coach, meal train, and a space she had created for herself and others in the Mommy Soul Tribe (MST) Facebook group. The difference was palpable and she has been sharing these tools to help other moms. Moms in the trenches need support, and what they need to hear the most is “me too”. Gervase provided this space in the Soul Tribe, but also brings this to her personal coaching and small groups. Moms need to be “reminded they’re not the ONLY ones in the trenches and there’s actually a million moms in the exact same spot they’re in, with the exact challenges feeling ALL the feels!”. Her goal is to normalize this message and continue to create a community “for mamas to HEAR” they are not alone and completely normal.
Even with the proper support, we all know “mom guilt” is real. Gervase encourages moms to zoom out a bit and see the whole picture. For example, leaving your kids to travel for pleasure or work can sometimes lead to a “guilt spiral,” as she calls it. Instead, she encourages moms to choose to celebrate the excitement of reconnecting with a partner, fun with friends you have not seen in a while, or a big step in your career.
ALL the Moms
Gervase does not exclude any type of mom and her business Shiny. Happy. Human. has grown to reflect this inclusion from her now archived MST group and current private/group coaching offerings to The Champagne Society (virtual) and The Champagne Society. The extroverted party girl may have become a mom of two, but she still loves getting dressed up, heading out with friends, checking out new spots, and drinking ALL the bubbly and dancing into the night. As a mom, she is super picky about what nights out she says yes to, and so she bundled up all the things she loves with her desire for community and inspiration among moms, and The Champagne Society was formed.
Moms crave connection, but REAL genuine connection with other women, and in this age of social media pretenses, it can be hard to find. Moms want (and need) mom friends, but we all know finding mom friends can be as difficult as first dates. We “want friendships that are deeper, where [we] can share it ALL and feel truly supported, not just when life is awesome and Instagram-worthy but when [we] are in the trenches!” The Champagne Society provides the judgment-free space for these honest conversations where the stage is set for all these feelings, ideas, and types of women anchored in authenticity. Not to mention, when you have a room full of women smiling ear to ear and feeling their best, and you know the one thing everyone in the room has in common is motherhood, “something shifts in the way you perceive moms and yourself.”
Two Mindset Shifts
Gervase offers these two mindset shifts for moms struggling with their identity, failing to give themselves grace, or make time for themselves.
- Challenge your irrefutable statements. For example, if you constantly repeat, “Good moms love playing with their kids.” Ask yourself “Do I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that’s true? Is it possible that there’s a good mom out there who doesn’t love playing with her kids?” Finding even a crack in your belief system will allow you to reconsider statements that make you feel bad! So, the next time you’re tired of playing with your kid, you’ll give yourself some grace, instead of making it mean you’re a bad mom!
- Remember your worth is not tied to your productivity. Women buy into this lie very young and it is so detrimental when they suddenly find themselves juggling tiny unpredictable humans instead of executing predictable tasks they have in the past. Remembering that your worth as a human has nothing to do with how productive you are is key. If you need convincing, ask yourself how you know your children have worth? I highly doubt it’s their productivity!
As a mom who barely survived becoming a stepmom and mom of two under two in less than three years time, and then coming out of survival mode to realize I no longer recognized the woman in the mirror, Gervase was a life preserver thrown my way at the perfect time. She not only helped me find my identity again (and accept that it was okay to be different than who I identified myself as pre-kids) but that I was most certainly not alone, and it was OKAY to feel ALL the feels. As a true connector of moms, any and all moms, Gervase is a Mom to See in the 843…and beyond.
Check out some of our other Moms to See in the 843!
Moms to See in the 843: Laura Allen and a Guide to Healthy Eating
Moms to See in the 843: Kate Camp & BabyQuip
Budget-Friendly Style Tips From A Local Fashion Blogger & Mom
Moms to See in the 843: G.M. Whitley
Moms to See in the 843: Lindsey Henderson & Activism with Kids
Moms to See in the 843: Gervase Kolmos