Doña Bumgarner, Life Coach for Moms

SCC Catalyst Member Doña Bumgarner is a life coach for frustrated moms who are exhausted living in a culture that doesn’t support them as moms or as women. She helps them get in control of all the parts of their lives, so they can feel like great moms AND whole humans. 

Doña is also host of Nurturing Habit podcast, about the ways we nurture ourselves as whole women so we can live more complete and vibrant lives. Learn more about Doña on the SCC Coach Finder!

SCC: How did you come to coaching?

DB: I quit my job when my daughter was born, and went from being a six figure manager to being a stay at home mom. When my daughter was 18 months old, I started writing a blog to figure out my own path in motherhood. I noticed that my writing was resonating with a lot of people, so I started to teach classes, and then I trained as a life coach. 

As a coach, I began to bring my activist self to the table, to examine why being a mom can feel so hard. On one hand, motherhood is so glorified, and on the other hand it’s impossible to meet society’s expectations.

SCC: Often coaches transition to offering group classes, but you moved in the opposite direction. How does one-to-one coaching contribute to your activist goals?

DB:  If I can help one woman change her life, she’s going to affect her daughter’s life. I think I came to that understanding because I have a daughter. I want things to be different for her, but I also want to model what I want for her in my own life.

Coaching allows women to be aware of what they’re creating in their own lives, within the political context of motherhood. The culture tells us a story of what it means to be a good mom. The more we can be conscious of what we’re doing as moms or within our communities, the more we can question that story. 

SCC: What’s a typical coaching day for you? 

DB: I work part time, so my typical day is a balance of parenting and working, which is deliberate because i want to be with my daughter while she’s little. I do a bit of networking–getting interviewed on podcasts, being on social media, writing content (either for my blog or podcast), coaching, working on material for my online class, doing the business. All the back end stuff. I don’t have a typical day–every day is different, and every day has more to do than I can fit!

SCC: What lights you up about coaching? 

DB: I guess there are two answers. One is the trust that’s given to me by my client to see into their life–their soul, their fears, and their desires–and the belief that I can help them create something from that. 

The other is working with someone over time and witnessing the growth. What I do is hard to quantify–it’s not like weight loss or business coaching. But when I hear a client talk about her life with so much more confidence, I just want to cheer!

SCC: Why is SCC important to you? 

DB: Because it’s important to know the people working around me, not just to build a referral network, but also to meet other coaches face to face who are doing this work in this community. 

Santa Cruz coaches experience unique opportunities and challenges, such as the high cost of living. It helps to recognize that what feels hard to us feels hard to somebody else, too. While maybe we come to solutions differently, there’s a solution out there.

Every month, Santa Cruz Coaches highlights one of our Catalyst or Expert Coaches in the newsletter, on social media, and on our website. Interested in being interviewed? Contact Hannah Jones at