06: The Reluctant Mother with Jen Vertanen


Every road to Motherhood is unique, but today I am bringing to you a guest whose story is unlike any we’ve had before. Jen Vertanen never wanted to be a mom. In fact, she went so far as to try to get a hysterectomy! Now, she is the mother to three kids, 27, 21, and 13, and wouldn’t have it any other way. From unplanned pregnancy, being a working mother, and sharing custody of two of her children, Jen knows what it is like to live “unconventionally.” What she knows is that each challenge has only deepened her love for her children, and isn’t that what matters? 

When she’s not in Mom Mode, Jen works with software developers, and hosts her own podcast “Going There with Jen Vertanen.” She also works closely with women who have experienced emotional trauma to find healing and support. Jen wants to meet women in the middle of their mess. No story is too far out of the ordinary, and no trauma is too frightening for their story to be told. Jen shares honestly and humorously about the experiences that made her a mother. We hope you enjoy this episode and are inspired to share your messy road with someone soon!

We’ve all been through tragic things. We’ve all had traumas...but there are always silver linings.
— Jen Vertanen

Show Highlights:

  • Jen shares how she never wanted to be a mother, and yet found herself having a baby at 20! 
  • Why Jen kept her son and why raising him changed her life forever. 
  • Early motherhood for Jen was filled with college courses, financial hardship, and a lot of guts. 
  • Why Jen chose to have her second child, and how that age gap was a blessing in disguise. 
  • After her marriage ended, Jen shares how she was able to find love and healing in her second marriage. 
  • How Jen’s own childhood trauma led her to fight to be a good mom. 
  • Jen and I chat about difficulties in marriage and how pregnancy can bring both joy and hardship to relationships. 

Jen's Favorites:

  • Jen shares how she never wanted to be a mother, and yet found herself having a baby at 20!

Jen's Recommended Resources:

Connect with Jen:

More about Jen:

Jen Vertanen is a coach, mentor, speaker, and writer encouraging people to share the hard to tell stories and start to heal the places that hurt. Jen knows the power of telling your story (hers stems from an emotionally abusive childhood) so often that the shame starts to fade away. Jen is also the creator and host of the podcast Going There with Jen Vertanen where she shares intimate conversations with people working to heal the places that hurt. She reminds people that we are never alone even though it oftentimes feels like it. Known for her candor, willingness to go there (especially when it’s uncomfortable), humor, and openness, Jen is often thanked for asking the hard to answer questions and exploring the dark bits – even when (especially when?) it’s awkward.


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