THE SHORT STORY
Gervase is CTA Certified Mindset Coach for Mothers, and the creator of The Champagne Society. She is a passionate truth-teller and intuition-follower who believes that raising tiny humans is hard, but being human doesn’t have to be. A self-proclaimed “Real AF” Life Coach, she sets mamas free from the stories they tell themselves. She is obsessed with creating the communities, online and off, that she wish she’d had first as a new mom and then as a new mompreneur—safe spaces for mothers to grow themselves, their businesses and each other.
Gervase is a sought after speaker and moderator, and has spoken at the Center for Women NEW Conference, RebelleCon, Charleston Moms Blog and more. She has been featured on Lowcountry Live and in Skirt! magazine. In 2017, she was voted “Woman to Watch” as part of the Center for Women’s Charleston Most Influential Women contest. She has coached LulaRoe, Rodan & Fields and Beautycounter teams around the world, and her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, Best Kept Self, Charleston Moms Blog and more.
Happily married for 8 years, Gervase is the mother to 5 and 2-year-old daughters and has called Charleston home for 14 years. She enjoys dance parties, bike rides, soulful conversations and champagne on a Tuesday and she unapologetically combines as many of those things as possible into her life and business. She firmly believes in “motherhood, AND” instead of “motherhood, OR” and that we truly do have the opportunity to HAVE IT ALL, if we believe we deserve it.
THE WHOLE STORY
Hi! My name’s Gervase (it’s a family name, pronounced “jer-vaze”), and I’m a mom. Just like you. I have a potty mouth, am fluent in sarcasm, super sensitive, and obnoxiously abusive of the caps lock (as you will discover in .5 seconds). I want very, very deeply, to be an extraordinary role model to my two daughters. It’s pretty much what gets me out of bed in the morning (well they are LITERALLY what wake me up in the morning, but I obviously mean on a deeper level, as well).
The thing is, along with this uncontainable adoration for my daughters and deep desire to be my BEST for them, I’ve felt lots of “non-motherly” things since becoming a mother.
While I’m usually perceived as shiny and happy—and I am—sometimes I’m just HUMAN, and I scroll Instagram or snap at my husband or ignore my kid so I can get some work done. I have a nasty age-old habit of being super hard on myself, and have a tendency to overindulge in the two main food groups—caffeine and wine.
When I became a mother, I felt a deep, secret shame in my dark human moments. I also distinctly remember the feeling of crushing isolation that accompanied those moments after friends and family resumed their normal lives of work, yoga, happy hours and grocery shopping in peace.
It was tough. Really tough. I had not been properly warned.
I felt guilty for missing my pre-baby identity and for wanting more time and experiences for myself.
I felt embarrassed of my struggle to breastfeed or master the whole working-mom thing.
I felt ashamed of my raging postpartum depression, which had transformed me into an anxious shell of my former shiny self.
“I should be able to DO THIS!” I cried to my husband and best friends and sister-in-law and therapist.
I totally get, now, why women used to live in villages. We need each other, village or not.
My personal experience was my first glimpse into the vision of what I would create for mothers. The first indication that we gotta get that village, however we can. The internet is our friend when we use it wisely. Whether we have a virtual village or an in-person community, it will make all the difference.
When my oldest, Aria, was 6 months old, I quit my corporate sales job with no backup plan except a burning faith in myself. I knew I would find the answers and ANYTHING had to be better than the life I was living. I was sick and tired of being miserable in the name of motherhood.
With time (and zoloft) things slowly began to shift. My heart made space for a perfect little girl and my life gradually accommodated for one more. The happy hours that pre-baby Gervase held so dear were replaced with family bike rides and a much needed period of hibernation and healing.
I saw motherhood start to shape me into the woman I was destined to be. The wildly sensitive, intensely loving, soulfully curious and inquisitive human parts of me beamed outward, asking my new life to make room for them.
I watched as my identity transformed – not to push out the old, but to embrace the new.
One of my single friends said to me, “Motherhood changed you.”
I felt the hurt and abandonment in her voice, and yet I couldn’t be sorry. I liked the new me better, and I was committed to being an extraordinary role model to my daughter.
Things are different now. These days I wake up, and I acknowledge and have compassion for who Gervase is today.
Five years since becoming a mom, there is now an explosion in the discussion of the darker, harder side of motherhood, where a woman will grapple with stigmatized new feelings and this whispered longing for MORE. Plus the struggle to be EXTRAORDINARY. (Because average simply. won’t. do.) But I don’t feel we, as a society, are carrying women through that with as much depth and empowerment as is available. We are all over the internet sharing our mom life “me, toos” and venting, but I’m passionate about helping you work through your human experience and manage that shit #Likeaboss.
I want to help you rise into the most bad-ass and truest version of YOU, while acknowledging the real AF challenges you’re facing as a mom.
I want mothers to view themselves a whole humans with many parts. TOTALLY entitled to bad days and #momlife moments, AND who, at their core, know they’ve got this. Who know how to find themselves when they lose themselves. Who, at their core, recognize unhelpful thoughts and self-sabotage and have the mindset tools and self-awareness to redirect their thoughts, habits, and actions before the ship is wrecked and they’re left with a case of wine, a prescription and zero sense of self-worth.
This is not about judgment. Moms - I salute you all. I see you all. I acknowledge your unique version of this challenging journey. AND, I will lead a rally cry to remind you that you were made for more - beyond the bottle of wine. That you KNOW what to do. That you CAN do hard things. That you are worthy and smart and insightful and capable and you can truly have it all - so long as you believe you deserve it.
I’m on a mission to encourage mothers to make time and space for themselves. To legitimize the very real needs of women to be kinder to themselves and embrace identities apart from their role as “mom.” To say yes to “motherhood, AND” instead of “motherhood, OR.”
Raising tiny humans is hard; being human doesn’t have to be.
You need a society of sisters who get you. You will find them here.
Go ahead and put on Daniel Tiger and pour yourself a glass of something, because you’re gonna be here awhile, and we are gonna be best friends.
You got this.