Amber Michels is someone you want on your side. To know her is to know she’s going to take whatever steps she can for you to put your best foot forward. Michels, the co-creator (along with her sister-in-law, Kimmie Johnson) of the Peace of Mind Initiative, wants to get new moms/struggling parents/corporate-maternity-leavers who are returning to work back on the upside if they’re down after the life-changing event of becoming a parent.
Michels knows firsthand the dizzying vertigo when the sheer face of the downslope can hit. After the birth of her first child in 2014, Michels, a mother of two, whose former life included working in commercial business development in New York City, was struck with severe postpartum depression and anxiety. “I literally didn’t leave the house for four months,” says Michels, “and being the type of personality that wants to always affect change for good, and can’t just sit there and watch something fall apart and not want to fix it . . . well, I was the thing falling apart and I knew I needed to fix it.” She began writing out her thoughts and journaled her way right into a business model, knowing she couldn’t be the only one who felt this way as a new mom.
Formerly known as Your Milk Shoppe, the Peace of Mind Initiative is a resource service that serves as a road map (if not a lifeline) for parents-to-be, but also for the employer the new mother goes back to after 12 weeks, if she’s lucky to have maternity leave, that is. “We intercept the burnout,” says Michels. “There’s such a need both for companies to support, attract, and retain working moms, and then for the mom to keep her head above water during this challenging part of her life where she’s expected to go back to work like nothing’s happened, and that’s not working.” Her company sells online modules, which encompass everything from financial planning to meditation classes to dad-centric support, to corporate businesses. The human resources department then becomes less the archaic, scary scenario of having to admit you’re about to have a baby, and instead has the tools to help the whole unit navigate the new and sometimes choppy waters.
Ultimately, Michels wants women to feel better, vibe higher, and know they’re not alone. There is always a sublime peace of mind that comes with that.
Photography by Will Crooks. To learn more about the Peace of Mind Initiative, go to thepeaceofmindinitiative.com.