Open Letter To That New Mom

Dear New Mother,
First, congratulations on your bundle of joy! Right now, they may not seem very joyful, but trust me, they are.

They may seem like screaming, inconsolable terrors from the depths of insanity. You might feel like nothing you do is right. You probably feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and as if you’ve bitten off way more than you can chew.

It’s ok. Almost every mother feels like this-a lot! This won’t be the last time you feel this way either.

You may even feel lonely and afraid as you adjust to the new weight of the unimaginable responsibility of caring for another tiny, helpless human being. This is ok too. 

Just know that you aren’t alone.

It does get easier…but then it becomes hard again. Just like Life itself. But what you are doing is a Great thing, And believe me, it is worth it. Even at 4am, running on 3 hours of sleep in the last two days, overwhelmed by teething and fevers and God knows what else that could possibly be wrong….it is worth it.

Your baby will look at you and smile. Snuggle up and coo so softly. Laugh at your presence. And all the anger, frustration, stress will (maybe even just temporarily) melt away. And you’ll see.

Don’t let the difficulties get the best of you. I know this is hard. I know this seems impossible sometimes. But we all have times like this.

Don’t let the stories of those “perfect mommies” make you feel like you’re failing somehow. Trust me, that seemingly “perfect” parent who’s child goes to sleep (and sleeps forever), eats all their veggies, hits milestones early, and is portrayed as the picture perfect baby-does something that makes that Fake Untouchable Parent cringe and want to pull their hair out. They just aren’t going to tell you about it. *wink*

But all the messes, meltdowns, and missed opportunities you gave up for your child, are all worth it in the end. They really are. And don’t for one second think that you are the first one to spend the day with dried puke (or pee..or even poop) on their clothes, too spent to think about changing, walking throughout the house with a squalling child just begging for a break. We’ve all done it. And anyone who isn’t sympathetic to that is not only untrue to themselves, but not worth wasting any energy on thinking about.

Find mothers who keep it real to form your tribe. It’ll help you keep your sanity, and you might even learn some things along the way.

Keep trekking. The Journey is long, but oh so worth it.

Sincerely,
Another Mom.

An open letter to all New Moms, from a New Mom

 

Guest Post: When Your Husband Is Trilingual (And You Aren’t)

Today I have a guest post running on Working Mommy Abroad (one of my favorite blogs!) about a very prevalent situation in our household. it’s growing by the day, and it’s something to look forward to.

My husband speaks three languages and will be teaching them to our son. I, however, do not.

So head over there and check it out, as well as other posts!

Learning to Love Myself

People are made in all different shapes and sizes. Diversity is not only a very beautiful thing, but a very common and normal part of life.

I think it’s awesome that we live in a world where everyone looks different, and unique. It could be much worse-we could live within an episode of Star Trek where everyone looks exactly the same, and it’s boring and bland…

I’ve written about the “unwritten mom-wardrobe code” and  body shaming before, but today I’m going to focus on why I’ve stopped putting myself down for my looks, and my plan to learn to love myself.

I’ve been my size pretty much my whole (nearly 30 years) life. Except for pregnancy, and I naturally lost all the baby weight. I’m not a work-out fiend. I wish I were, and I get excited about trying a new ab challenge every once in a while, but it’s always the same; I put it off until tomorrow, and then before I know it, it’s taco tuesday and I’ll start that 30 day challenge next month. I’m lazy. No shame.

Do I wish I had bigger breasts and a bigger butt? Of course. Who doesn’t want their body to look better? I don’t think anyone is completely happy with their looks. We all want nicer bodies, hair, nails, whatever. I honestly hate being skinny. Whoever made up “thin privilege” has never went to the mall with me. I’m lucky if I find anything I like in my size. Although, I think that’s a universal woman problem, regardless of size…

And it does really upset me when I hear stories of people who have felt such pressure by peers, or celebrities they admire, that they began to hate their bodies. It’s a terrible thing to know that somewhere, there’s a 15 year old girl starving herself to look like the model on the cover of Cosmopolitan. There’s a 16 year old somewhere who thinks she needs breast implants and butt injections in order to feel beautiful. And it kills me to know that even a few people I personally know went to extreme lengths to look as skinny as I do (but really I was sitting on the couch eating nachos and not exercising).

When I receive those comments that, “Not all of us look like you!”, I used to explain that it’s always been very hard for me to gain weight. I have health problems that seem like a blessing in disguise to some. But my weight isn’t something I can, unfortunately, control.

But since I can’t control it, I’m not going to downplay myself to put anyone else at ease. I used to say “Oh, I got that dress in a size (3 sizes bigger) because it didn’t fit,” just to make a friend feel better. I’m not going to admit to working out like crazy four times a week, when I know that I spent that time vegging out on the couch once the baby was asleep. I’m not gong to agree with someone’s assumption that I just “Don’t eat a lot” when most days, my plate is bigger than my 250+ pound husband.

I don’t feel like lying is helping the issues that someone else has with their appearance.

We need to teach people, young and old, that health is all that matters. Not striving to be like the cover of a magazine, or comparing yourself to someone you know-but to just try to be healthy. And don’t look to your peers and the beautiful people on TV to be your comparison. Motivation is one thing, but when it becomes dangerous to your own self image, it needs to stop. And by lying, you can inadvertently create an image that may cause someone trying to replicate what they think is real, to spiral out of control.  

Not to mention, it just isn’t fair to me. If I can wear something, I’m going to. If I don’t feel like going to the gym, I won’t. It’s not up to me to be a spokesperson for my type, or to encourage anyone else to strive to be like me. I’m just myself.

And with that in mind, I’m going to learn to love myself. Other’s might not like me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need to. I need to learn to love my body (and hair, and personality). Every woman needs to learn to love themselves. Because no matter who you are, someone somewhere is envious of you. Differences are what makes us all unique. And the fact that someone is envious of a quality about you that they wish they had, that needs to be motivation enough to love yourself. And at the end of the day, if all you receive are haters, jealous because of the qualities you have and they lack-then if no one else is going to love you, you really need to love yourself.

So embrace what you have-because I’ll bet you anything that whatever it is, someone else wishes they had it. And the only opinion that matters of how you look, is yours. I will no longer make up excuses, or put myself down for how I look, to appease others. I only need to appease myself.

 Finding the qualities within yourself, and about yourself, and becoming happy with them instead of changing to appease others

 

3 Reasons Self-Care Is Crucial For Moms

We have an awesome guest post, written by Lisa Benavidez, on the importance of Self-Care as a Mother. If you don’t take care of yourself, it really is hard to care for others. I really enjoyed this, as I hope you all will too. Don’t forget to check out her blog!

It’s 8 pm, you’re getting your kids ready for bed and preparing for tomorrow. You’re exhausted, glad the day is over, and trying to decide between enjoying some quiet time or going to sleep.

I get it. I’m a mom too!

We go and go all day for our family. From cooking to cleaning to driving around from soccer to ballet. Some of us work or have a business too. We are supermoms, there is no doubt.

But being supermom doesn’t mean you have to do it all, all the time. Being a real supermom means you know that you are an important part of your family and they really do need you. And part of your role is making sure YOU are taken care of so that you can take care of your family. Right?

You hear the airline video tell you to put on your oxygen mask FIRST before helping others. As a mom we might think “No way! I have to make sure my kids are ok first!” But really, this is so important. If something happens to you, who will be able to care for them?

And I know what it feels like to put your oxygen mask on last. A few years ago I got rheumatoid arthritis and started a whole new journey. I had to take a break from parenting because I physically could not do things. I quickly had to learn that my health was important. I had to take care of myself if I wanted to start taking care of my kids again.  You can read more about my story here.

What I want to share with you is how important self-care is especially for moms! Here are 3 reason why it’s crucial for moms to take care of themselves.

1. YOU CAN’T SERVE FROM AN EMPTY CUP. If you are not at your best, how are you giving your best to your family? Stop half-assing (sorry for the language!), and take care of yourself so you can be 100% for the people you love!

2. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET.  Self-care is NOT selfish! Taking care of YOU is taking care of your family. You are part of your family. And to be a little harsh, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Flip the language mama…it’s ok to make sure you are taken care of!

3. MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO. Your kids are watching you. If you take the time to show you’re important and deserve to be happy and fulfilled, they learn to do the same. Teach them to love and care for themselves too!

And a bonus reason is that when you are taking care of yourself, you are a happier mom. When you are a happy mom your family feeds off that energy and is happier too!

So what will you do today to start taking better care of YOU?img_7885

Lisa Benavidez is a wife, mom of 3 girls, coffee fanatic, lover of life and a Happiness Coach for moms! She helps busy moms who struggle with finding the time to enjoy life and feel like they’re losing themselves in the process, to instead create balance and ditch the mom guilt by implementing clear boundaries and changing their mindset, so that they can finally step into the best version of themselves and live their dream life!

3 Reasons Self-Care Is Crucial For Mothers, and how you can take steps towards taking care of yourself, in order to care for your children

The Decline of Etiquette

In today’s society, etiquette is totally lost.

Maybe it’s from the new inventions of smartphones, internet, and social media. Maybe it’s lessons, that were once passed through the generations, lost in translation over time. But it seems like people today, lack the basic mannerisms and proper etiquette that was once considered a norm.

Since when did we stop…

For instance: when did people stop RSVP’ing? It used to be that when you received an invitation, you sent back an RSVP (if you were coming), or politely declined. All of this was done by paper mail 20 years ago, but email and social media has made it incredibly easier to plan events and invite guests. But the correspondence between the hosts and the party has declined…most don’t ever respond with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, making it harder on hosts to determine who’s actually coming. And even if they did, you can’t always go by the guest list of those who sent back their RSVP, because half of them don’t follow through (and you can’t depend on them to tell you when plans change.) All too often we have heard of Newlywed’s missing most of their guest list because of lack of communication (or even too many guests showing up unannounced!) and children’s birthday parties becoming lonely events because someone couldn’t decline properly. It’s a headache for hosts, to plan for one number of guests or another, to have the outcome be as unexpected, not to mention the financial strain of paying for those who don’t show (and those who do that didn’t say they were coming!).

Then there are the types who can’t make a “plan.” I’m a plan person-call or message me ahead of time (and by ahead I mean not an hour before…like maybe a few days at the shortest notice) and let me know what’s going on. I’ll tell you whether or not I can make it. if something happens, I’ll let you not not to expect me. But so many people I know want to get angry because I won’t commit to something you invited me to five minutes before it was time to go. I get angry when I don’t have enough details to make a decision (“come hang out” isn’t a plan. I need details-where we going, how long will it take…people with kid’s need to know these things. One: for babysitters, Two: In case of emergencies so others know how to contact us!), and people get offended that I didn’t commit to vague plans. Once you have kids, you can’t just “see where the night will take you.” Your night isn’t ever that long, and you usually have things to do afterwards (again, I need details because of other plans…like my responsibilities). 

And when you do go out, be polite. Try to interact with other members of your party, even if you don’t know them. As a member of the RBFC (Resting Bitch Face Club), people often think I might be standoffish or stuck up, so even when I try to say ‘hello’ to strangers or acquaintances I don’t really know, while amongst friends; they don’t talk to me. They don’t have to. But I have to at least try to initiate conversation. That’s being polite. or you are standoffish and rude. Too often I’ve had friends of mine say “Well, the only one I know here is you, so I’m not talking to anyone else.” And they scowl. And play on their phone. And refuse interaction. If you don’t want to talk to me after I’ve introduced myself,smiled, and was polite, then that’s on you. But I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to talk to someone who shows no interest in the other’s around them and acts like they don’t want to be there. Anxiety is one thing…being rude is another.

Speaking of rude, what ever happened to ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you?’ I see it in adults, and especially children. No one ever remembers these simple polite etiquette terms. They ask for something, like where the soda’s are or if they can have a cupcake-without ever saying Please. And take…without ever muttering Thank You. Children who are never taught this, become adults who have never learned it. And it just becomes part of the great Circle of Life we all know and love.

Today’s Reality

It’s sad, but it’s true. Some people just don’t know how to socialize in a kind and polite way. It can be inconvenient, disheartening, and downright infuriating at times. That’s why I think it’s important to practice being courteous-and teach courtesy. You can change a room’s atmosphere with your presence. And maybe if you are nice and polite enough, you can encourage others to be. One can hope, anyway…

I’ll start with my child. Maybe if enough people teach their kids and practice manners themselves, we can pull out of the etiquette slump.

Mannerisms and Etiquette have taken a downturn turn, and become a thing of the past in today's society.Reminder of how people were, versus how they are now