Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Living Out Her Purpose - Paula Tobey

From being a school teacher, afraid to teach adults, to becoming a parent coach, with adults as her primary students, read about Paula Tobey's journey in uncovering and living out her life purpose.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a former teacher, and now a certified parent coach.   I work with parents (mostly moms) who have children with special needs.  The parents that I see most frequently are the ones with kids that have ADHD, or Aspergers, which is a mild form of autism.

I found the moms who needed the most help were completely overwhelmed and did not know where to start. The parents who have children with special needs know how difficult it can be!

What would you describe as your God-given life purpose, and how did you discover it?
I've always known that my God-given purpose is to educate.  I'm a natural leader, and educating has always been something that drives me, excites me, and brings me joy.  However, being a full time mom to my girls while being a teacher simultaneously was very difficult.  As such, my plans have changed from what I originally thought they would be.  I decided to join my love of parenting with my love of teaching by becoming a parent coach, teaching parents.  This allows me the flexibility to be able to do things with my children whenever I need to.

I enjoy sharing my struggles and successes openly and use coaching to fulfill that purpose. It was the best fit for what I wanted to do when I grew up!

After discovering this calling,  what did you do to bring it to fruition?
I used to think that I could only teach children.  After I left classroom teaching, however, I taught part time at a local athletic club, teaching water aerobics and swim lessons. From there, I realized that I didn't need to necessarily be afraid of working with adults.  Once I let go of that fear, and realized that it wasn't really as hard as I was making it out to be, I moved forward.  I think that God really spoke to me during that time, helping me to see that it was about sharing and guiding.  I realized that the best way to make it all work together was to pray, ask my husband for support, and to let go.  When I did that, everything just kind of fell into my lap!

I went through Life Coaching as a participant and knew that I found my new calling. The fit was absolutely perfect! I was determined to find a good program for me, and between a lot of prayer, and my supportive husband, I was able to open my doors a year ago as a parent coach.

Tell us a little bit about being a parent coach.
I work with parents of special needs children, as a leader, a confidant, a mentor-- or whatever role that they need most from me.  Usually, I end up being an accountability partner, checking in with them, making sure that they're sticking to what they've said they want to do. A lot of times, they get overwhelmed, forget what they've set out to do, and then beat themselves up about it when things don't pan out as planned.  So as a parent coach, I come in and help them out, telling them "It's okay.  I'm here for you", and they really appreciate that.

What has the experience of living out your purpose been like?
Honestly, at first it was really scary, because I didn't know anything about coaching.  I just knew that it seemed to fit what I wanted to do.  But the more I learned about it, the more that I realized that I'd really be working independently, and a lot of what I needed to do was going to be computer-based.  Prior to then, computers and I hadn't always been the best of friends.  So I really had to get over that, and learn some things-- trial and error. I have a husband who is very "techy", and helps me out when he can, but I've had to learn a lot of it on my own, and step out of my comfort zone.  But the more that I do it, is the more proud of myself I become.  Because I realize that this is what God is wanting me to do-- to stretch and to grow. Just like I want other parents, and my children to do -- stretch and grow.

What's the next level to which you'd like to live out your purpose?
Immediately, what I'd like to do is network with other moms, and find ways that we can all support each other.     

I've recently found a nutrition coach in my town, and I'm working with her on a joint venture, having her speak about nutrition, because a lot of times, parents with special needs children find that their diet really contributes to their success, or the lack of it.

I'd like to offer parent teleseminars, and have a panel of different people sharing information and resources that would be helpful to other parents.

I love public speaking, so I’m hoping to eventually do that as well.  As my children grow, I’d like to use business to travel.  That would be so cool! 

For now, however, I just want to develop my skills as a coach and help more families. 

What words of encouragement do you have for others who are still seeking out their purpose?
Don't give up.  I did a lot of praying, and just kind of waited.  The more I did it, the more I felt supported, and eventually, things started falling in my lap.  I was like, "Wow!  Thank you God".  I couldn't believe He listened and provided so quickly.  I was kind of in shock.  I asked for it, and I got it, and it was unreal.  So, I would encourage others to pray, and to be determined.  You know,  somewhere deep inside of you, what it is that you want to do.  Express that to God.  Share it with Him, and He will help you, and guide you, and wrap His arms around you, and help you see that you can do it.

Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do everything in Christ, because He gives me strength".  Once I kind of realized that, it gave me the ability to let go and let God take care of it.  Trust in Him, and it will work out.

Paula Tobey is a Certified Parent Coach who works with parents of mostly special needs children. Paula began by teaching special needs, and later learned her God given purpose was to first be a mother, and then an educator. She now helps parents balance their lives as a support system, confidant, mentor and friend. If you or someone you know could use some support in parenting, contact Paula at or

Thank you, Paula, for sharing your story of uncovering and living out your life purpose, here at Unstuck and Unstoppable! May God bless your ministry as you use your gifts to help parents manage the challenges of raising special needs children.

To the readers, thank you so much for stopping by! If you know anyone who can benefit from the services of a parent coach, you now know who you can send them to.

If you would like to share your own story of uncovering and living out your life purpose, write to me at

Until next time...


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