Meet a Mom Monday, to end the year with a life and business coach, because who doesn’t need one! Meet Kelsey Banfield, a Fairfield mom of 2 and the owner of Kelsey Banfield Coaching. I moved here with my family in 2010 when my husband started working in the area. Early in my career I was a food writer and have written two cookbooks, then several years ago I transitioned into coaching. I’m an integrated life and business coach and focus on helping people with their personal and professional lives so they can live with more ease and joy. Sometimes people simply want to tweak and simplify, others want to make sweeping changes. I love what I do and feel so privileged to be able to do this work.
I met Kelsey years ago when we were both members of Dames Collective, a women’s networking group here in Fairfield and was always so interested in what she did. I did some of her workshops then and was on her monthly newsletter list and finally I messaged her to chat. From organizing my home life, or my computer I feel ready for 2024. This might be the sign you needed to reach out to Kelsey yourself!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
A: I’m originally from Cooperstown, NY. We’ve lived in Fairfield for 12 years. Before moving to Fairfield we lived in New York City.
Tell us about your Family!
A: My husband and I have two children, Daphne (16) and Garner (10). Daphne is in high school and Garner is in his last year of elementary school at Roger Sherman.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I can’t think of anything people would find surprising!
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
A: It’s the most delightful, intense journey. People always told me that it goes quickly, but I don’t think I knew what that really meant at the time. I’m glad I took so many photographs and documented a lot of their childhood in albums. We’re constantly leafing through them and smiling at the memories.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
A: There are endless options of things to do. We love being able to hit the beach, take a hike, or take a stroll down the Post Road when we feel like it. We also really enjoy taking the train to NYC to see friends or just spend a day enjoying the city.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
A: I’m a planner so I’d say that’s the hack I swear by. Every weekend I carve time out for myself to plan out the week and whatever needs to happen. It doesn’t always go exactly as planned, but I feel better with a structure in place rather than constantly being in reactionary mode. I also always make sure our schedules have plenty of free time. I don’t like being overscheduled and neither do my kids.
Tell us about your business, and when & why you decided to get into this business?
A: Food writing was fun, but when the blogging world morphed into the influencer world I didn’t feel aligned with that career path. I didn’t want to expose myself and my family to the world in the way I was increasingly being required to do. However, by that point I’d had a LOT of experience in working as an entrepreneur, navigating the pitfalls of taking risks and reinforcing my mindset, and growing as an individual. A lot of people I knew were casually asking me for advice so I decided to go in that direction. It’s become my life’s work to help people understand what they want in life and help them craft their happiest lives and make fulfilling choices for themselves. I love this time of year because a lot of people start thinking about what their 2024 will look like and I have a lot of amazing conversations. I’m always encouraging people to dream a little bigger for themselves. It’s so fun to hear them explore the visions they have for their lives and get excited about where it could take them.
What is important when choosing a career coach? Life Coach?
A: It’s important to have a real-life conversation with them first. I never work with a client until we’ve had the opportunity to connect and discuss where they are. There is a lot of quick coaching out there, but remember that real change takes time. I strongly advise people to remember that a few great affirmations and insta-quotes won’t change things for you. Getting clear on your values, what you seek, what you truly want, and then taking action towards it takes time and courage. Make sure a coach you work with understands you and your timeline and doesn’t box you into a one-size-fits-all program. There are different coaches for different people, make sure you find the perfect person that resonates with you and your needs.
Tell us about hobbies other than working and being a mom?
A: I love to read. I read a lot of novels every month and don’t really consider my day complete until I’ve read a few chapters of something. I’m grateful Fairfield has such a good public library system. A few years ago my husband gave me a Kindle and that unlocked a whole new level of immediate access to books via the Libby app. I also love to travel but that requires a lot of advanced planning so I dabble in that hobby as our schedule allows.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
A: Your kids want quality time with you. That matters more than the quantity. I’ve always made a point of sharing what my life is like outside my family with my children. It’s important they see that I’m happy, I love what I do, I enjoy my own friends and activities. I think it’s harder when they’re young and need you more physically, but they’ll gradually become more independent and appreciate you for who you are and what you do. Don’t feel guilty about doing what works best for you. When mom thrives, the family thrives.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
A: My friends. My moms groups have been instrumental for me since Daphne was born. It’s so helpful to have a great support system experiencing the same stages of child-rearing. I love comparing notes with people as a way to help each other as moms. We all want the best for our children and I don’t think we’re meant to figure it all out on our own. I really value my friends’ input and I’m certain it’s directly benefited my kids. Mom groups are communities within our greater Fairfield community, I’m so grateful for mine.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
A: Keep it simple! When I was a new mom I learned very quickly that kids just want to play with their friends, take walks for fresh air, and be with you. It’s easy to overcomplicate everything. When life feels overwhelming try to slow down and simplify whatever you can. When my children were young it didn’t take long for me to realize there was a lot of magic in simply packing a little snack and taking an easy exploration walk in the neighborhood.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Bonda! We love the atmosphere and the food. It’s our favorite place to go for a night out.
Grab a Drink with Friends: Malibu Taco. We love sitting outside on the patio in the warm weather and enjoying chips and guacamole and a spicy margarita.
Spend time together as a Family: The beach! We’re always up for a swim and the chance to build a sandcastle.
Outside Activities: In the winter we love to find one of the good sledding hills and go early in the day when the snow is still fresh.
Grab coffee: Isabelle et Vincent – because I can get a delicious cappuccino and fresh croissant in one fell swoop. Is there anything better?!