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nicola-and-valentinaHi and welcome to my first ever blog post on The Naturopathic Mama. This is a place where medical knowledge combines with mama experience to bring you knowledge, wisdom and empowerment on how to support your family, naturally.

I’m Nicola Ducharme, historically Nicola McFadzean. I guess to be proper I’d say Nicola Ducharme nee McFadzean.

I was born in England (hence the need to be proper much of the time). My Dad is English, my Mum is Australian. If push comes to shove, I do call myself half Aussie and half Pom, but if asked “where are you from?” my reflex response is “Australia”.

I have lived in the Unites States for coming up on 20 years, which when I think about it is longer than I lived in Australia. I’ve definitely become Americanized to some extent – I consider the U.S. home, I love it and the opportunities it has provided me, and my husband and daughter are both U.S. citizens (enough reason to keep me here!). I am a permanent resident but haven’t applied for U.S. citizenship yet, not because I don’t want to, simply because I haven’t made it that far down my to-do list. I’m busy getting my daughter her social security number, and that alone has been procrastinated for a couple of months now. Given some recent political goings-on, it might become a pressing issue, but since a green card holder has pretty much the same rights as a citizen, short of voting, I just haven’t made it top priority.

Prior to meeting my husband and having our daughter, I was very much the career girl. I didn’t think I was, of course, because what I pined for deep down was a family of my own. I knew there were women who deliberately staved off family to build their career – that wasn’t me. It wasn’t deliberate at all – I just hadn’t met the right person yet; family seemed elusive. Yet in the waiting my career kept me company. Dave and I met when I was 39, we had Valentina when I was 41 – so I had a lot of waiting to do. I kept myself occupied and productive building my naturopathic medical practice, and to this day that brings me a lot of joy and reward.

Nothing could have prepared me for being a wife and mother. No offense Dave (love of my life, sweetie, honey!), but especially the mother part. Dave and I didn’t date for years and years prior to getting engaged. But our relationship, while hugely enriching, didn’t completely change my life – I could still maintain my hectic schedule, write books, travel for work – but now I had someone else on my side to support me, which was amazing. Our daughter, on the other hand, absolutely changed my life. They are collectively, the best things that ever happened to me, and I can speak for Dave, to us. But I could be married and still work long hours, juggle a hundred projects, write books, and essentially be the person I was before. As a mother, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I still juggle a bunch of stuff, but the pace of life has changed; boundaries have changed; I am not longer the boss of me! There are hours that my phone is in my purse even though I can hear it blowing up, and I ignore it. There are projects that I say no to. There are times that used to be work-related that now are park dates, or puzzle dates, or dates with bunny and binky, babywearing dates, diaper-changing dates. Some of my “business meetings” now happen while sitting on our playroom floor entertaining Valentina. Travel takes on a whole new meaning – we love our family vacations and have flown to both Europe and Australia numerous times, but travel for work becomes almost impossible.

Yes life has changed for the better. My dream has come true, I feel fulfilled and completely overwhelmed at the same time, it’s a constant dance to find the balance – to accept what cannot be, embrace what is, and know what to take on and what to leave behind.

I hope in this blog to be able to integrate the various aspects of my life in a way that leave others feeling that they are not alone; to share some medical knowledge that I’ve accumulated along the way to help others; essentially, my goal is to support healthy families. Thank you for joining me on this journey and I look forward to learning about you and your journey too!