Posted in Mom life

Sometimes We Need a Hand

The title is a metaphor for a story that happened last week.

We went out to dinner at a restaurant located at our mall. Afterwards we went through the mall to Target, of course. As we approached the escalator to go down a dad and two kids were ahead of us. The dad and son hopped on and down they went. The daughter froze at the top in fear and began to cry. She was maybe 7 or 8 years old.

He quickly realized he made a mistake and was in a pickle as he saw us coming up behind her and she wouldn’t move. He kept saying, “c’mon, it’s alright!”

My best guess is that he doesn’t go out with them alone much or else he would have grabbed her hand for the confidence she needed to step on it. He wasn’t anyone I’d say wouldn’t have helped her if he had known. I saw the fear and worry on his face of, “do I keep going? Do I run up? Do I ride back up?”

Before anyone comes at me for COVID rules, everyone was masked, kids included, but mine who is still too young for the restrictions.

My son was beginning to be restless himself, so my husband was carrying him through the mall, so he had him, and I was the diaper bag carrier. There was lots going on from a parent’s perspective at this moment as we got closer to the escalator and I realized the dad was stuck on what to do next.

My reaction was asking her if she would hold my hand to go down the escalator. She didn’t even look at me to know that’s all she needed. I was a perfect stranger, and she needed a hand that I was willing to offer. I did look at the dad for some form of “okay” and we rode down together.

She kept crying a bit, but she said, “I was just scared!” Girlfriend, let me tell you, I get it!

We made it down safely and back to dad and brother she went.

I relate to her in the fact that when something scary is happening, I want a hand to hold to tell me it’ll be alright, whether it’s physically or someone supporting me verbally. I want someone with the courage to tell me, “we got this!” I want someone to push me to do it even though I’m scared.

A little bit of support truly can get someone through a really tough situation. Of course, we all handle them differently but simply being there for someone can make all the difference in a situation.

I believe this goes for children, as that little story tells above that we experienced last week. They rely on us as their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. to help them find a way through the scary and hard stuff life throws at them that they have not experienced yet.

My son is showing more and more emotion as well as using more and more words to express himself daily. We’re currently in the “no” phase.

I keep reading and watching things on how to help children develop or handle things because I don’t know what to do all the time. The things I’ve learned help in knowing that sometimes if I simply sit with him when he’s upset, that is all he needs. He doesn’t know how to handle big feelings yet and to be honest, I don’t either some days.

But if as his mom I can show him that I’m here, even after I scolded him for something, that is going to show him the support and hand is there to help him in the end to resolve the situation and I’m not simply the bad guy all the time.

I may be rambling to you, but do it, put your hand out for someone. Even if that someone is your child after a bad day at daycare or school. Show them you’re there to just sit and be there to talk about what happened and that it can be corrected or avoided.

I’ve had a few friends put their hands out for me in all forms of personal life or work life and I can’t tell you how much that’s meant to me. Also a little *high five* for my hubby because he handles me so well when I need that support.

Sometimes, we need a hand, even the little ones around us.

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Mom Friends. We need them.

Mom friends. You need them.

You don’t need to see one another daily or talk daily to be able to get together once in a blue moon and feel great about being a mom. All the quirky things you do at home thinking you may be the oddball of a mom are actually “normal” and your mom friend did the same stuff as you and you two can laugh about it.

I’m lucky enough to have friends who have all had kids within the last few years or around the same time as my son. We are obviously busy and stretched thin some days. But in the moments we can get together it’s SO NICE.

One of the best reasons is to see them again is we can get out and enjoy an evening as who you met them as without the kids. We were someone before we became moms. That girl matters, never forget that.

The next reason is because it’s nice to have friends that can be real with you about motherhood. Real in the fact that it is hard and it is quirky and it is the best moments in your life.

I’ve been able to see a handful of them recently and spend some time together and the conversations are just what I needed to refuel my own tank.

Some things I heard among our get togethers are below. These are all different ladies, who are different moms, who have different lives, yet we love our kids unconditionally but also know how to keep it real.

  • “We were out one night with a babysitter at home. We waited until 5 minutes after their bed time to go in knowing they were in bed so we could sit on the couch and watch what we wanted to watch.”
  • “I shut his door. I shut our door. I went into our bathroom and shut that door. Then I screamed.”
  • “I told my son I was over him today.”

Those comments stuck out to me because they are all things I have done. I didn’t say them, but I did them as well. And those comments are from three DIFFERENT friends that weren’t together with me when they said it. Yet we all have moments in common because we are moms.

We’re all here just trying to do our best. No matter how different we choose to parent our children, we are the same in some ways.

The life we chose is to have these minions and we absolutely love them, but knowing we are still human and have flaws and thoughts the same as another mom can make us feel like we aren’t failing on those tough days.

The tough days come and go. Having mom friends is so critical though.

If you need a mom friend, I’m here! I’ll bring you into my tiny tribe! It’s how we can all survive, even if we aren’t able to see one another as often as we like. Let’s keep it real and support one another!

High five to all you ladies out there killin’ it as a mom and keeping it real too!
So glad to have the ones I know and call my friends!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy & Postpartum

I’m currently surrounded by what feels like a baby boom among my friends! There are many little ones on the way. It is a very exciting time for them and everyone has questions of how mom feels and if she can feel the baby move.

You can read and ask friends all you want about pregnancy when it is your first time, especially. You will be lucky to have some friends be brutally honest with you and others think you should find out on your own. Lucky for you, I am as honest as they come when it comes to things like this. I do not like to sugar coat things and can offend some at times, but you get what you see. Moreover, I had so many questions along the way during my pregnancy and went among my friends to answer some of the odd ones.

I kept a running list, of what I remembered to note, during my pregnancy to share and now seems like a good time to do so. Honestly, if you are offended or grossed out easily, tap out now. I am not trying to rub anyone wrong here but sometimes people like the sparkle and shine of an experience rather than honesty.

I do not intend to scare anyone away from pregnancy by any means with this post, but I believe the realities of it are something to know. I was fortunate to have a very healthy pregnancy and while it was a long labor and delivery, it was as good as it could have gone to bring our little man into this world. I believe being prepared is better than avoiding reality.

My list is a bit different than what your typical things to know about pregnancy from the medical books are. Mine are more along the lines of my real life experience and my way of how I viewed it. So please take with a grain of salt if your experience was different too. Us moms are all different walks of life with our lifestyles and body types so I realize a lot of this may or may not happen to others.

My pregnant self through the 41 weeks

You experience both good days and bad days.

There were days I felt like my baby bump was adorable and the best thing in the world. I could wear what I wanted and rock the bump with the “glow” everyone says you have. Then there were the days I felt like a whale that had beached itself for days in the hot sun and nothing I put on was remotely flattering. It comes with the territory of being pregnant. Your body is working to grow a human and it’s adapting along with hormones going up. Soak in the moments of the comfortable maternity clothing with the elastic waistbands even more on the bad days. This is normal.

Buying new bras and maternity bras, i.e. Grandma bras suck ass. No offense.

I almost had a breakdown in the dressing room when my boobs began to grow and I had to shop for new maternity bras and nursing bras. My husband was in another section of the store, thankfully, or he would have witnessed this ridiculous moment I spent in Kohl’s trying on numerous “Grandma bras.” Can someone please step up and help the prego market out?! We are on this worldly movement of feeling good in your own skin. Well, how about you make a bra that can keep these giant kahunas up and not sagging along with our ego while we have to wear these and remain uncomfortable for another 20+ weeks. Let me add too, the boob size does not dwindle back to “normal” after you are done breastfeeding. Stock up on the bra you like in the larger size. I am still rocking these babies and I am waiting for them, impatiently, to make their move back down!

Panty liners every day. No Joke.

So yes, you are growing a little human and your body is working to protect them and make all kinds of fluids for them to live in inside your body. Among that, the discharge is an ever-steady flow. Do yourself a favor and do not take this lightly. Buy yourself the largest pack of daily panty liners now. It keeps you comfortable daily and not wondering if your water broke. I told my good friend this and she came back to me a few months later laughing saying, “you weren’t kidding!” It is a topic they touch on in the books and various apps but they do not really let you know just how bad it is.

Farts are death. (If you do not fart around your other half, I apologize if I’m offending you.)

Laugh all you want. You will not be laughing when you let one out and see the cat fall over. I am not sure of the rhyme or reason on this one, but it is a very fair warning to you and those around you.

Contradition: They want you to workout but you should not be on your feet much.

I love working out. Yes, I have struggled to find that balance again now that my son is here, but even before him I tried hard to remain active and workout while pregnant. It was tough though. You are carrying around weight where you have never been challenged with balancing before. Any jumping or fast movements make you feel awkward. Then if you are like me, your body swells to all hell and are suggested to not be on your feet for long along with the back pain that ensued. It was a hard juggling act. I worked to do hip stretches daily to keep some movement in my days. I do believe that helped my recovery after delivery.

Bad days from out in left field (nowhere). Hormones suck. You just cry. You think about all the things. Good, bad, scary… just cry. Ugly cry. Your dog comforts you. Your husband does whatever he can but you need to cry. It is scary and you are human.

Hormones are crazy AF while you are pregnant.It blew me away how the bad days swooped in and the tears rolled. My husband just LOVED these days, not. I recall one night having him come into our bedroom when I went in bed before him and I was sobbing. He quickly asked what was wrong. I was crying because we had not told my parents we were expecting yet and I could not go snow skiing in Vail with them that year. Laugh it up. That was a mild day compared to others, but the mood swings come out of nowhere and it is all right, you are okay and you are as normal as the rest of the other expecting moms!

My back. Nothing helped me much.

Back to your body learning how to handle the extra weight you add to the front side. My back has always had a love-hate relationship with me, mostly hating me. I had remained active doing stretches as often as I could and even bought the pregnancy bellyband to help. That did work for a few weeks though I felt awkward wearing it under my clothes at work. When the pain got too bad, my friend who was pregnant before I was, let me borrow their STEM unit. This bad boy was a lifesaver! Certainly, ask your doctor about using one but it was what allowed me relief when I needed it most.

Swollen feet and hands. Avoid salt but chips tasted so good (they always have for me).

I have been prone to swollen feet and hands when flying over the years but man, I did not expect the amount of swelling I had while pregnant. I swear I had 10 pounds of water weight on me, at least, by the time I delivered. As hard as it became to put them on, I wore compression socks daily to help. They did help a lot too! I did not eat a very high sodium diet either for those maybe thinking that. My only crutch to the salt life was chips and still is but those are rare and more of a treat.

Heartburn in 3rd trimester, woof. Buy milk, TUMs, and honey.

Buy the TUMs. Your organs are reorganized and shifted to make room for that baby and there is nowhere for the acids to go. Bring on the heartburn. Believe it or not, I never had heartburn a single day before I was pregnant. I had to ask my dad what it felt like to determine that is what it was. It is awful and not enjoyable. You can defeat it by loading up on TUMs.

Comments you receive at the end all suck and hurt your feelings. “Wow, you look so pregnant.”

I believe people all mean well when they attempt to comment on your appearance while pregnant. However, best rule of thumb is to not say anything. Be polite and give up your seat to a pregnant woman without anything else being said aloud. I had several coworkers attempt a comment and they came out all wrong and I tried so hard to brush it off but they weighed on me. The comments are not always the best, even with good intentions, and adding in your crazy hormones, it is a bad equation.

The most important tip of all.
Your mental health is JUST AS important as the baby’s health.

Taking care of yourself and making sure that your support system has an eye on you in those first few months is REALLY important. Not only the first few weeks, I mean MONTHS. You may not want to admit that something is wrong but having a confidant and someone knowing you to say you may need help is something everyone needs.

I struggled with postpartum anxiety and still do.

This is me putting myself out there because the only people I have truly talked to about this is my husband, mother, and doctor. It is not easy to admit since I never wanted to feel like I was “broken.”

So if you are being judgmental right now, step away from my blog and go elsewhere. I believe I have great a grasp on it now at almost 8 months of my son’s life. It is managed and being handled so well now that I do believe I am in control of myself again. It did not settle in or was realized until he was about 5 months old when I recognized it was more than I could handle alone and something was not right.

The stigma of mental health has really made headway over the past years and I believe we are heading in the right direction now. Our generation of moms is really working hard to speak more to one another and making it less of a socially awkward topic among everyone.

I had reached out to a few of my mama friends for tips they would share to other moms that no one told them. Here are some wonderful tips from them:

  • “No one tells you really how little control you have over the entire process. You’re literally a vessel. You can eat all the veggies and drink all the water but at the end of the day, it’s all just nature taking its course. I like having control so this was hard for me. Also no one tells you that when it comes to the second pregnancy, you’ll forget how awful your symptoms were the first time around. I’m pretty certain I was this sick with my first, I just blocked it out.” – Bria C.

  • “I’d say the biggest one is about the baby blues, PPD, and what exactly that looks like. I know pregnancy and postpartum is so unique to every woman and every woman has a different experience, but man was it tough. I really struggled with my hormones afterwards for a good 4-5 weeks and often times I questioned whether or not I had PPD. Looking back, I didn’t. But that was such a hard time and I felt so unprepared for dealing with that as a first time mom.” – Lindsay C.

  • “Well, my experience was super different than most people but the two things would be to prepare for the unexpected and it’s never too early to have the nursery set up. And the second would be that your plans never go as expected. Sometimes not anywhere close to what you imagined having your first baby would be like. And that if it doesn’t go as planned, it is okay to feel like you were robbed of that experience. And that it might take some time to be ok with that. And I think the last thing that I just thought of too is that every experience is different and to try not to compare your experience to others.” – Stephanie D.

  • “Postpartum ones: Colace, take it when you come home from the hospital 2-3 times a day. I waited too long to make it a routine on the first one. Another one I wish I knew is that going to the pediatrician for weight check every couple days is way more common than it feels when they keep asking you to come back.” – Katie H.

  • “I didn’t know you could throw up that many times in an hour and still be alive. Even though that’s true maybe I should try to think of somthing a little more helpful…
    It took me a while to get the morning snack thing down. I’d have a higher protein snack near my bed and a shot glass of OJ to help my blood sugar in the morning. I wouldn’t even open my eyes before reaching over to eat before I’d start to sit up.

    I also wish I would have known that being pregnant would actually really empower me and the respect I had for my body. I was so afraid it would trigger body dysmorphic thoughts I struggled with my whole life but I really loved the physical changes and it healed the relationship with my body in a lot of ways.” – Kate M.

From the women’s statements above, you can see that just in those we are all SO very different. However, every person you meet has something to offer you with knowledge and experience. I hope mine and their statements can help even one mom with their journey through pregnancy and postpartum.

As I stated above, I really appreciate the way moms are now speaking about everything during and after pregnancy now among one another. If I did not have my mom, my mom friends, friends, and support from all who love me along this journey as a new mom, it would be MUCH different.

If you are a mom and need support or someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out to me. I do not know it all but I do have an ear to listen and just that can go a long way!

Some of the best support a girl could have