Diane Dempster, MHSA, CPC, PCC
As a professional in my late-thirties, I was the “get-it-done-woman.” Known for my tenacity and achievements in the corporate world, I hit every pitch out of the park… Enter ADD! As the reality of raising two complex children (and being married to a complex adult!) set in, I realized I needed to make some changes, for my family – and for me. It marked the start of a lifelong journey of growth, acceptance, and compassion.
Like any challenge I’d overcome in my professional life, I thought I could tackle ADD with sheer willpower and hard work. I became Super Mom, getting everyone up and moving in the morning, making sure homework was done at night – and managing everything else in between. A walking, talking Executive Function machine!
It worked, too. For a while. As I poured more and more of myself into my family, I had less for work, less for my relationship with my spouse, less for myself. Super Mom became Short-Tempered, Stressed, Resentful Mom. I felt like I was losing myself. Nothing worked, from yoga to anti-depressants. I realized I needed to make some major changes.
Helping My Family Started with Helping Myself
Through coaching, I was able to regain confidence in myself. With a strong spiritual connection and the tenacity I thought I’d lost, I redefined “Super Mom.” Now, I know that it means honoring my own needs and taking care of myself with as much compassion as I do my family (and as much patience!).
With my coaching clients, I use an “inside-out” approach. When they connect to a positive vision, and identify roadblocks that are impeding their journey, they can overcome and thrive. First inside, then outside, as that energy and awareness impacts every aspect of their lives.
Coaching was a turning point. I became better equipped to support my family by treating them – and myself – with compassion and understanding. The support I didn’t know I needed helped me see things with more clarity, and more effectively empowered my family.
Diane’s Expert Advice
Diane’s helpful articles, tips, tricks and videos to help you turn the chaos into calm.
Recognizing that my kids (probably) weren’t engaging in unwanted behavior on purpose prompted me to figure out how to solve problems with support, rather than judgment. Recognizing that my expectations for them were setting them up for failure (and me for resentment) encouraged me to set more realistic goals. I needed to set the bar high enough to be challenging, but not so high that they could not succeed.
And recognizing that I needed, and deserved, to take care of myself gave me the permission to focus on my physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
I still have my moments. I still act like Executive Function Mom on occasion, or feel resentment flair when someone fails to live up to some arbitrary expectation I’ve set for them. At the same time, I realize that while I do not have control of everything, I do have control of my responses.
And so do you. As parents of complex kids, we owe it to them – and to ourselves – to find our own joy, happiness, and calm. We start helping our families from the inside out. It starts with us. And when we nourish ourselves with information, support, guidance, and community, we are definitely up to the challenge!
As a coach, I have combined my passion for helping people with my ability to lead with integrity, building powerful corporate and coaching careers. I have:
- Co-founded ImpactADHD, the first virtual coaching and training resource designed specifically for parents of children with ADHD
- Served on the Board of Directors of ICFGeorgia (state charter chapter of the International Coach Federation)
- Earned my coaching certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
- Founded Inner Progress Coaching to help professionals discover, or rediscover, their passions, reduce stress, maximize performance, and focus on priorities
- Held leadership positions within Kaiser Permanente
- Earned certification as an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner and Reiki Master
- Graduated with a BA in Biology/Human Services from Albion College and a Masters’ Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Michigan