Shortly after my first child was born, an online friend of mine lost her baby. She was 7 months old. There are no words to describe a loss like that. No words of comfort. No words of peace. There is just a void that is felt in your world – a gut wrenching emptiness that grasps the very core of your being and doesn’t ever let go. And those were just my feelings – for the loss of a child of a woman I barely knew. My heart ached for her. I cried for her. I weeped for her sweet baby. And then I weeped for my sweet baby as thoughts of “what ifs” played through my head over and over again in the days that followed.
There are dozens of blog posts spiraling virally through the realm of the social media world lately about things that we absolutely should and shouldn’t be telling our daughters – things that will supposedly be detrimental to their emotional growth and development and drastically influence their educational, social and future career path decisions.
If you’ve seen any of these posts, they might have ignited a fear deep within you, leaving you questioning yourself and your simple day-to-day interactions with your daughter. One post passionately insinuates that you are setting your daughter up for a lifetime of unfulfilled potential by telling her that she’s pretty. Another suggests that telling her she is smart will boost her ego too much, and instill in her unrealistic fabrications of her intelligence, setting her up for disappointment and rejection later in life.
Every mom dreams of peaceful mornings: a hot cup of coffee, a warm shower, and a relaxing start to her day. For most moms, however, that is rarely the case. Many times we are rushing ourselves out the door with our kids underfoot. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom whose morning routine consists of hair in a messy bun, yoga pants on, and a quick brush of some makeup and you are out the door. Or you are a working mom who is expected to do more than the bare minimum to get ready each day and need something that is fast, easy, and provides the coverage needed to cover up those tired eyes and less-than-luminous skin.
As a mom of three young girls, I am no exception. In fact, I’m more like the rule. Getting myself ready is usually low on the totem pole of the list of responsibilities I have in the morning, but I still like to have a decent amount of coverage before I head off to take my oldest to preschool or run errands. I want something that is light and easy to put on, looks natural, and helps to make me look fresh instead of the dead-tired exhaustion that I actually feel. That is where BareMinerals Complexion Rescue comes in to help me with my morning routine.
Depression has been something that has clung to me like an unwanted acquaintance, and it became more prevalent after my first daughter was born. It has taken over significant chunks of my life and ruined times that I should have been reveling in the magic of our growing family. I wish it wasn’t a part of me, and I have done my best to keep it batted down from affecting those I love the most. But there are times where it rears its ugly head and there seems to be nothing I can do from stopping it.
I have had some level of postpartum depression with each subsequent birth of my three daughters. However, after my last child was born in November of 2015 my postpartum depression took a dive into the darkest parts of my soul and brought out a person I did not recognize. I am now able to look back from the other side, and this letter is to the people most affected by those negative days.
You hear it all the time. It shows up in your social media feeds in inspirational memes. Your mother-in-law’s eyes glisten just the tiniest bit as she recalls her early days of breastfeeding her now grown children. The young mother who sits beside you on the bench at the playground, painstakingly trying to get her fussy newborn to latch, tosses the words in your direction with a hint of exhaustion in her voice.
“Breastfeeding is an emotional journey.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful mothers out there! Here at Daily Mom we are known for bringing you useful and informative articles packed with gorgeous photography. We are a fun loving group of moms, but you certainly shouldn’t let that fool you. Like many of you, many of our days end in tears and frustration and some days we aren’t entirely sure that we are cut out for this mothering gig. Though we all have different parenting styles and fight different daily battles, one thing is for certain – we all love our children to pieces.
In honor of Mother’s Day, today we are getting “real” with you and bringing you a little bit of real life from all the wonderful moms who make up our team.
“Now, is not my time. Now, is their time.”
Those are the words that I have rehearsed over and over. Words that at times, I struggle to adhere to, to even desire. Some days I am able to fully convince myself that those words couldn’t be more true, yet I still struggle with an inner dialogue that says time is passing me by.
It wasn’t always that way. I worked for the first 9 months after my first child was born. I had always heard that dropping them off with the sitter would get easier, but it never did. When I finally got the chance to scale back my work hours to part-time, then part-time from home, I jumped on it. I was so excited to finally be a stay at home mom, thinking I could finally have it all.
My grandchildren and I visited the zoo. There was so much to see, explore and experience. My grandson is three years old and his curiosity is in full swing. My granddaughter is two and she is fearless, exploring everything around her. So you can imagine how my senses were on full alert trying to keep them out of harm’s way and still have fun.
Wedding season is upon us. Many young women are proudly showing off their beautiful engagement rings and beginning their wedding preparations. It is a time of excitement for brides-to-be, their mothers, and if they’re fortunate enough to still have their grandmothers present, exciting for them as well. For many though, their grandmothers have passed on and it often leaves a void. Many years of wisdom from grandmothers could be shared and unfortunately won’t be.
For this reason, I want to be sure my granddaughter has tidbits of wisdom tucked into her heart, from my heart, before she walks down the aisle. I want her to know, even if I am not there with her physically, that my spirit and the moments of marriage I pass onto her will be remembered for always.
“What do you do?”
That one little question is so incredibly difficult for me to answer. It leaves me utterly speechless. When I am asked that harmless, and often times, thoughtless, question in a social situation, it’s like the words are just pulled out of my mouth and rolled into one big cluster of nonsense and then forced back down into my throat, left to sit there like a scared, frail kitten in the gutter during a thunderstorm.
The night my husband and I were supposed to take the hospital’s breastfeeding class, I wasn’t feeling well. I was exhausted, uncomfortable and felt like I was coming down with a cold. So, we skipped it.
24 hours later — I was holding my first-born, baby boy in my arms.
In hindsight, I probably should’ve taken the breastfeeding class. From the start, I had trouble breastfeeding Julian. We had to use a nipple shield, and Julian constantly fell asleep at the breast. I was told to pump and supplement, so we started on bottles almost immediately. Bottles were much easier than breastfeeding, which literally had me sitting at the couch for hours on end. (Looking back, I really should’ve embraced those long hours full of E! and Twilight marathons!)
As soon as we find out we’re carrying a child, self-doubt begins to creep into our thoughts. We read, observe, question, wonder and worry about everything from pregnancy to when our children will grow old. Having a child is life-altering and can often leave a woman feeling inadequate with the responsibility of raising another human being. It should come naturally, right? Wrong! When I gave birth I use to say, “each child should come out with their own manual.” Like when you bring home a new appliance; the manual comes with directions, troubleshooting, and what to do if you need to exchange it or return it.
Honestly, it would have been easier having a manual than stressing for years figuring out what to do with each child. This was especially true after I brought home my third child who was born with a birth defect. Here I thought I had motherhood down after getting my other children through toddlerhood. Now I needed a whole other manual for child number three.
There’s an ugly side of breastfeeding. It’s the side that’s not often talked about, because it’s one that offers no empathy towards the mother – but more often than not- judgement. I’m not talking about the physical difficulties that can occur – latching issues, pain, clogged milk ducts and leaking. I’m not even talking about the long, sleepless nights of waking every hour to nurse your baby or to pump a reserve. I’m talking about the feelings that arise, deep in the core of your being – feelings that I’m sure every breastfeeding mother has had at some point during her breastfeeding journey, whether she wants to admit it or not. They are feelings of loneliness and feelings of envy. And no one ever talks about these feelings for fear of being seen as bitter and selfish. Well, I’m going to talk about them today.
Today I would like to share my personal story about how bed-sharing and co-sleeping has worked and continues to work for me and my family- despite the negativity sometimes associated with it.
From the moment my little girl was born I had this overwhelming need to have her close to me at all times. I would carry her around in my arms constantly, despite remarks such as:
“Put her down.”
“She needs to learn to be by herself.”
“You are getting her into bad habits by holding her all the time.”
“You are spoiling her.”
And this need persisted even at bedtime. I wanted her right next to me in the tiny, uncomfortable hospital bed, just the two of us together.
My daughter, Mary, will be 3 at the end of November. She’s a strong-willed, stubborn-as-her-mama kind of gal who likes to do things on her own timeline.
For example: Mary started crawling at 5 months. I was shocked, and assumed she’d be able to trick-or-treat with her big brother when she’d be 11 months. Nope. She got really good at crawling; deftly maneuvering across the room on her bottom with her legs propelling her forward (think: ninja-gorilla).