If you’re expecting a baby, or about to return to work after maternity leave, you probably have breast pumps on the brain. The type of pump you rent or buy will depend on your personal needs, such as how often you’ll be pumping and whether you’ll need to carry your pump to and from work […]
Posts Tagged ‘Just for Mom’
Since my book Raising Happiness was published, I’ve met so many unhappy mothers I’ve come to believe there might just be an epidemic of unhappiness in mothers. Studies have long showed that parents tend to be unhappier than their childless counterparts. (Seven percent unhappier, on average.) Parents tend to feel happier grocery shopping and sleeping than they […]
I write this from the aspect of a woman who is a daughter. I write this from the point of view of a woman who has a stepdaughter that came into my life when she was 7 years old. I write this from the stance of a woman who wants to have a daughter some […]
Before my son was born, I spent a decade working in a fast-paced and stressful environment. Things moved and changed quickly, and I suppose I got used to that pace. For a variety of reasons, I chose to leave my career when my son was ten months old. I knew that there would be a mental and emotional transition to being a stay at home mom, but I assumed that merely being aware of it was enough to deal with it. It turned out that going from the speed of the working world to the speed of a toddler was harder than I anticipated.
Once I was home fulltime with my son, I felt bored and lost. The days passed so slowly – an hour at the park was like three hours. I found myself second-guessing my decisions, trying to make the perfect decision. In the back of my mind, I felt like – if I was “just” going to be a mom, I had better be a really good one. The time I spent deliberating over each decision point and berating myself for making the wrong choice made me really annoying to be around. I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do next because apparently toddlers don’t like to play quietly in the living room all afternoon. This created an additional challenge of trying to pass the time until dinner and bedtime.
Over time, I started to figure out a few tricks. For me, having a schedule is key. I enrolled my son in some classes to give me milestones during the week. I know what I am doing on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and it ensures that I don’t find myself in pajamas at 11am. I also try to set a general game plan for the day. It is usually a mix of playgrounds, running errands and walks – with field trips thrown in periodically. Now, I don’t have to spend mental energy deciding what to do in the moment, I just execute my plan. Obviously, if my son’s mood has gone off the rails, I adjust.
However, what really helped was therapy. I saw someone that allowed me to talk through what I was experiencing and become more aware of what I was doing to myself. The thing I found the most helpful was giving my inner voice a name and treating her like the devil that sits on my shoulder. Seems silly, but it has allowed me to choose to ignore her talking. I am not perfect, but definitely getting better at it.
It took time to slow down to a toddler’s pace, but now that I have given myself permission to relax and enjoy it, I am much happier. It still doesn’t come naturally to me, but I am better able to work toward improvement.
When I was pregnant with my second baby, I was lucky enough to have long discussions with my midwives. During one of those conversations, we talked about my postpartum support plans. We discussed my experience during the early days and weeks with my first baby, what I wished had been different and whether I had […]
I recently attended a friend’s baby shower, and as she was about to be a first-time mom, the well-meaning party planners put up a well-meaning board where all guests could write “Parenting Advice”. As a mom of two young kids, I had to chuckle at the notes that were scrawled on the board: “Cherish every […]
Will this Mother’s Day be special for the moms in our lives, or will it be a mere “Hallmark holiday”? Practically from the start, the commercialization of this holiday has been a concern. Early in the 20th century, the founder of the American version of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, recoiled at the growing tradition of […]
As a mom of two kids under age 5, I know how hard it can be to take care of yourself on a regular basis. And I don’t mean taking a shower or brushing your teeth. I mean something I call “self-care” — practicing self-nurturing and self-development. It may seem like the only people who […]
Let me tell you something personal: I gained more than 40 pounds during my second pregnancy. Then I worked extremely hard and lost it all. Losing that much weight (from pregnancy or not) isn’t an easy task. Initially, I had difficulty becoming motivated to lose weight. I told myself it was because I’m a foodie. […]
I did all the organizing for our son’s second birthday, hoping that Bob would help out during the party itself. But no, he spent the whole time talking with his buddies while I raced around doing everything, except for when he cut the cake and then looked at me like he deserved some kind of […]
If you find yourself craving a community of caring moms, you are not alone—although you probably feel like you are. Motherhood can be isolating. Mothers in our society spend so much time interacting one on one with their children, navigating new and challenging situations all by themselves, that they end up believing that they
Since becoming a mom, I’ve been experiencing more intense PMS. Is this normal? And what can I do? Yes, studies have shown that having children increases the chance of having more intense premenstrual syndrome (PMS). While it’s not going to put you in the hospital–though the prospect of that kind of rest may sometimes sound […]
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s hard not to dream of that one day a year when you can take a break and your family takes care of you. You may be looking forward to being served a special meal or going out to your favorite place with well behaved, cooperative children. Are […]
Nothing changes your life like having a baby. There are all the changes to your body and way of thinking, all the work to prepare for the delivery, and all the adjustments you weren’t prepared for in getting used to the baby’s needs. As if that’s not enough, there’s learning how to leave your precious […]
Cucumbers on your eyes. Subtle, new age music soothing you to near sleep. Soft, cushy pillows. The aromatic scent of candles and lotions…Ahh… The Spa Experience. You remember it, don’t you? From Before. Before the baby. Before sleepless nights. Before preschool drop-off or swimming lessons. Before you lost yourself to the responsibility (and, of course,