The mantra, “Sometimes the body takes a back seat while the heart is busy” came during a thirteen hour work day. My partner and I were preparing a pitch deck for a potential investor that wanted to see our plans to bring The Mindful Mamas Club to life in the form of a self-care and mindfulness app for mothers and mothers-to-be. We had been working tirelessly and during a quick stretching break, we were laughing about how tight and stiff our bodies felt.
So a few weeks ago I posted a story series announcing our decision to sleep train. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who wanted to know how it went, so I decided to write up a quick summary on our experiences. While most people were curious, I did get a few hateful messages about our decision and so I kindly ask that you read this without judgement.
It is pretty difficult to be so transparent about my life on such a social platform, but I do it because the positives outweigh the negative. I think the coolest part about parenting is that there isn’t a one size fits all philosophy. YOU get to decide what’s best for your children! So without further rambling, here is our story.
Back in November, just after Winter’s 3rd birthday, our nanny gave us two-day notice that she was quitting because she got another job. TWO DAYS! Perry and I looked at each other in a panic because here we were with a newborn, both trying to work from home and Winter’s world had completely been flipped upside down.
After getting over the shock that we lost our childcare, we had to regroup and do so rather quickly. We got so lucky that our neighborhood Montessori preschool had an opening and we started Winter that following week.
A little bit ago, I polled you on stories asking what you wanted to see from us in terms of marriage posts. One of the topics that was mentioned the most was how we divide, conquer and balance household responsibilities, childcare, work and social life.
I recognize that everyone has their own way of doing things…ours isn’t perfect, but I think what has helped is that we really honor each others’ strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses. I know what I thrive at and what I don’t. Perry knows what he is a capable of and what he prefers not to do and somehow we overlap each other to make it work. When we moved in together when we were engaged, it took us a longggg time to figure this stuff out. But after eight years of living together, I think we are on the right track!
In January, I realized that I was working too much. Every spare moment I had was spent on the computer. I really like being a working mother. My work is my passion and I don’t for a second take it for granted. However, when it began to interfere with time spent with my family, I knew I needed to do some soul searching about my priorities and adjust some things.
I wrote a reminder on my mirror that says, “Today you will work and you work hard. And then you will shut it all down and be with family. Today you will love and you love hard too! You have time to do both things.”
As a first time Mom, I used to pack everything in my diaper bag! I found myself being anxious about not having this or that, so I would pack it ALL!
My overpacking turned into the very thing that gave me anxiety because when I was out and about, I would have to sift through so much stuff to try to find the item I was looking for. I learned quickly that packing and bringing too much with me negatively affected my mindset.
So for my own well-being, I had to say bye to my Mary Poppins mentality and hello to a simpler version.
Surrounding Lennon’s birth, Perry and I made a conscious effort to minimize our belongings in our house, and get better about packing smarter, not more.
I found that when I pack with purpose, intention and a plan, my outings with Lennon and Winter run smoother and seamlessly. The more time I spend on the front end getting organized, the less time I spend in the long run when I am needing to access to our belongings.
I have been thinking LONG and hard about this. I will be the first to admit…because my work is in social media, this is a topic that I continue to come back to time and time again. I am constantly “checking” myself and asking Perry to help keep me accountable when it comes to my social media intake and habits.
Let’s be real here for a moment: I am a 34-year-old adult and there are moments when social media affects my self-esteem and self-worth. I fall victim to comparing my creative work to others, wondering why I don’t have as many likes or followers as so and so and really begin to question what my purpose is on this space.
Let’s talk about self-love and bravery for a second. Bravery is NOT telling myself that I need to get my pre-baby body back. Because when I even mutter the words “get my body back” I am telling myself that something is wrong with the way I look right now.
The braver version of myself is softer, squisher, wiser, and full of smile lines etched upon my sleep deprived face. Bravery is acceptance. Bravery is me.
I know I am a wee bit late on getting this blog post live, but I did want the chance to write about what the first three months of Lennon’s life was like and here it is. Below is a little round up of common questions I get asked and my thoughts on each topic!
Never in a million years did I think a platform that I began creating content for would end up replacing my job as a psychologist and allow me to work from home with my babies. I am so grateful! This is my FIRST full year going at this content creator/entrepreneurial gig and I know the learning curve is going to continue to be steep!
I want to take you all behind the scenes as intimately as I can. There are no hard and fast rules on owning your business and everything I have learned up until this point has been completely self-taught.
We are a few months into life with two kids. The visitors have slowed down, the meal preparation from friends and family have dwindled and we are settling in as a family a four. Lennon spends most of his time in his bear suit (it calms him down and he loves to be outside so it keeps him extra warm) and I am starting to feel like crawling out of the newborn hibernation phase and plan little parties here and there at the house.
To be honest, I am working a lot. I have so many professional goals that if I don’t take time to pause and make plans with our friends, I feel super off-kilter and crave socialization. I am definitely one who gets energy being around others. What you see pictured is a set up from Green Box Art Culture, a company that specializes in making contemporary art and wall decor. We are so in love with the new serve wear and other accessories that we got from them. At the end of the post, I will tag exactly what you see pictured here in this post.
I recently had my six-week postpartum appointment and while I am feeling really good emotionally, I have some work to do before I will feel like myself physically. I’ve noticed that I have a really hard time getting up out of bed or off the couch and have been protecting my abs. I still roll to the side and don’t feel like my core is super stable. Also, (full-disclosure here) I have peed myself a few times walking down or up the stairs, which is rather uncomfortable and quite embarrassing. After consulting with my midwife, it turns out I have about a three-finger separation between my abs (aka. Diastasis Recti) and my pelvic floor, which doesn’t seem to be healing as well as it should either. What does this mean? Well, it means I get to start physical therapy for both issues next week! Oh boy!
I read somewhere that when babies are born they have no idea that they are actually separate entities from you. They literally think that they are you...that your hands are their hands, that your heartbeat beats for them.
Overall, Winter has taken this whole new brother thing with grace and understanding. However, it hasn’t been without some challenges. I wrote a bit about it in my One Week with Lennon update, but Winter experienced some really strong emotions the the first few days and is still showing some signs of regression. For example, she is wanting to wear her nighttime pull up during the day, asks me to rock her like a baby and at times, does the whole “baby talk” thing. All of these behaviors are to be expected and we are doing our best to meet her where she is at with love and understanding.
I look at my son and cannot believe that it has already been one week since I first laid eyes on him. It feels like he has been here my whole life. I am just so grateful that we decided to try for him, that we never stopped hoping for him and that we didn’t let my past experience with mental health stand in our way of creating him. I am just so thankful right now.
He is in my arms most of the day, so responding to comments is difficult, but I just wanted to thank every single one of you for your well wishes, congratulations and kind comments.
Life with Lennon is so much sweeter. Below is a little recap of how the first week with Lennon has gone.
These last few weeks with your brother or sister in my belly have been some of the most magical times of my entire life. It’s not that we’ve done anything extraordinary…no big outings, no huge plans, no big surprises. Yet, the every day routine from bath time to bed time to playing in the yard has been some of the most memorable moments of my life.
The other day I stopped off at the local greenhouse to purchase a plant for the baby’s nook in our room. I chose a string of pearls, which is one of the plants we incorporated into our wedding decor and have had ever since. It’s currently sitting on our window sill in our bedroom and I can’t wait until our sweet baby is here to enjoy it as well. The string of pearls has always symbolized the connectedness of our family and friends to each other and I know that this baby will make the best addition to our little family.
I was 13 weeks along the last time we shot in this same location, bright-eyed, so full of hope and just really excited to be pregnant. I can't stop looking at those photos from that day and compare them to the ones that you see here in this blog post. My belly has grown quite a bit. I have grown quite a bit as a human being also and it's really neat to see where I came from and where I am now.
Last week, I announced an exciting new project that I have been pouring my time, energy, money and resources to, The Mindful Mamas Club. It's an online membership site that will teach Moms across the globe how to do mindfulness tools and practices to enrich their lives. With a membership, you also get access to a closed Facebook group where we will be diving into deeper themes and topics. Members get access to videos, guided meditations, mini pauses (1-5 minute mindful activities to do throughout the day to reset), breathing techniques and more. It's something I am so proud of, and I hope to see you all there!
I am a firm believer that if a person has an idea and isn't ready to receive it, bring it to life, or run with it, the idea will be transferred to someone else. This is an idea that I could not risk slipping through my fingers as it is one that pulling at every heartstring that I own.
But with starting a new business endeavor, I am challenged with long hours, stress and emotions surrounding the launch of this project. Up until now, I feel like I have been "keeping my head in the game" so to speak. I wake up every single day and balance family life, building this business and maintaining the blog. I have had minor moments of panic and thoughts like, "What am I doing? Is anyone even going to want to join my membership site or interested in learning mindfulness? And can I do this?"
I am a wee bit behind on blogging this month. With the ensuing launch of a new project,The Mindful Mamas Club, the half-written blog posts are beginning to stack up.
So sorry that it's been kind of quiet around here. I have some wonderful content coming to you soon, like an update on marriage counseling, tips on finding the perfect doula, more about my birth plan, why I jumped on the essential oils train and more.
Tomorrow we take our five-hour birthing class at the birthing center where we learn all about the natural birth process. I know so many women have natural births and I am going to give it my all to do it, but man oh man, I am anxious about the whole thing.
I tend to have a much higher tolerance for emotional pain than I do physical. To be honest, I am such a baby when it comes to being hurt or in pain. I complain if my back aches, am over dramatic about a hangnail and cry when I stub my toes. Haha, how am I going to give birth naturally?
I have stayed quiet about my career as a school psychologist for several reasons, but the main reason is I just wasn't ready to share about it because it's been a lot for me to process.
Since becoming a psychologist in the public sector I have watched myself give more than I have, lost faith in the systems that we call public education, special education, and social services and, when it boils down to it, I have experienced depersonalization, compassion fatigue, secondary trauma and burnout.
he other day I was desperate for some guidance after two long days of having tantrum after tantrum with Winter. Even though I have a background in child development and child psychology, raising your own kid can bring on doubt and insecurities. So, I asked you guys to tell me what parenting books you loved and I was blown away by the responses and insight.
This community really rocks!!!
I figured, if it helped me so much, it might help another mama or papa out there. So I have rounded up the top book recommendations tried and true by the Love & LaRock community.
The other day, I had the opportunity to work with some really amazing creatives to do a styled shoot.
Together they created a Mexico-inspired look and honestly, I have never felt more beautiful.
Perry and I got engaged in Oaxaca, Mexico and we both feel so connected and in awe of their culture. We feel like our love story really began in Mexico, so I wanted to honor our love by doing a shoot with a Mexican flare.
Who here is an avid Amazon shopper? I know my family gets a ton of products from here and I wanted to start a new series that shows you what we purchase and use on a monthly basis. You will find a vast array of things from clothes, kitchen and houseware, health + beauty products and more. The post will cover items for the entire family! I hope you enjoy the round-up and stay tuned for next month's post!!!
Hello, 3rd trimester. I am having so much fun thinking about how close I am to meeting this little nugget. The other day on Instagram I ran a fun little contest to see if anyone could guess the name. I was blown away by how many of you entered and got it right. If you are in the need for some gender neutral names, seriously check out the post. So many amazing ideas. So the hints were: The baby's name is gender neutral and it has to do with imagination. The top ten guesses were as follows: Wonder, Art, Charlie, Story, Jude, Lennon, Phoenix, Bowie and London. One of those names is in fact the baby's name but we aren't revealing which one just yet. :)
The hard truth is that women who've experienced postpartum depression in the past have a 50% chance of getting it again in subsequent pregnancies. I really hate this statistic. As silly as it sounds, when I think about the risk factors of postpartum depression with baby #2 I begin to visualize a little man in the clouds doing a coin toss in the delivery room to determine my fate saying, "May the odds ever be in your favor".