Being in the trenches of motherhood is rough some days. It always goes in streaks too. Several days will be extremely tough, making me rethink why I ever thought I could raise tiny humans. Then a switch is flipped and I'm granted several days in a row that go well with children listening and getting along. It's funny though, because earlier this month I wrote about 5 things all moms need to hear–from friends, partners, family, and strangers. It didn't really matter who was saying these things, but they are important for moms to hear. New moms AND been-there-done-that moms. It felt like sage advice I was passing on. After all, I was writing it during a pretty good stretch where I felt like I had a handle on this parenting thing.
Then this week happens. I'm hormonal, emotional, busy, anxious, and–WHAM. Both of my children lost their listening ears and I feel like I'm screaming into nothingness. I also suspect depression and anxiety might have been peering around the corner, stalking me, wanting to slip in and pull self-doubt over me until I'm drowning in it. It has a way of doing that. It follows me around, waiting to sneak in before it strikes. It really likes to ride the coattails of mom guilt, let me tell you.
Anyway, I received a nice, supportive reminder from my best friend to be gentle with myself. To process my feelings then hug my kids and apologize. We truly all need that reminder from time-to-time, which is why I shared it!
#4 – Be gentle with yourself. When she feels frazzled or thinks she is a contender for the Worst Mom of the Year award, listen to her, validate her feelings, and remind her to be gentle with herself. We can all use a reminder that we're strong, capable mamas and our kids will be fine. [continue reading 5 Things All Moms Need to Hear]
This month at Mom.me, I also wrote about:
I Refuse to Let My Body Image Ruin My Sex Life
No matter how I'm feeling about myself, there is one place I know I'll feel sexy—in the bedroom. It wasn't always that way. After spending most of my life hating something about myself, I've learned to love myself better. Or, at least, I've learned how to see myself from the perspective of someone who loves me.
When I was younger (well, before marriage and kids), I frequently confused sex for love and acceptance. Even if I sometimes got between the sheets for the wrong reasons, it didn't negate the fact it made me feel good. I deserved to feel good, to escape negative thoughts about myself.
It's taken a long time to accept and love myself where I'm at today, rather than longing to love the body I wish I had. Let's be honest, it's hard to let go and enjoy sex when you're too worried about how you look without your clothes on because you don't even like how you look with them on. One of the first steps was to believe that my husband truly found me beautiful. I needed to realize he wasn't just saying things he thought I wanted to hear. [continue reading I Refuse to Let My Body Image Ruin My Sex Life]
The Middle Child Legacy
When I think about the traits I want passed along to our children, I think of things like kindness, compassion, and honesty. I want all of my children to find their own success and be happy. I never thought a lot about the birth order, though. It's not exactly something we can decide; however, my husband, Brian, discovered something interesting in his family history about middle children.
For the past year, we've been actively trying to conceive Baby No. 3, which would move our son from youngest to middle child status. In all honesty, I hadn't considered how birth order may or may not affect my kids. I only knew our family didn't feel complete yet. Birth order was the farthest thing from my mind… until now. [continue reading The Middle Child Legacy]
Real Moms Nursing in Real Places
As a nursing mom, I want to see breastfeeding in public normalized and for new moms and moms-to-be to feel confident in feeding their babies while out and about. This is why I absolutely love the Public Breastfeeding Project by Azure Mahara Photography in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Azure's images and the women's stories that go with them truly portray public breastfeeding in everyday situations. And that's something many moms can relate to. See the stunning photos of public breastfeeding we featured!
My son enjoys dressing up like a princess and playing dolls with his sister. My daughter has a blast racing cars around a track and taking orders to fix things around the house. The kids share most of their toys because within our home, there is no such thing as a “girl toy” or a “boy toy.” And apparently, I'm not the only one.
In response to their customers, Target announced they are getting rid of their gender-based marketing and signage. According to Target's blog, they “never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented.” I was thrilled by this announcement, because it's an important move.
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