Before becoming pregnant, I worked as a Medicaid Service Coordinator for almost three years for an agency that supported families who had a child with either severe medical diagnosis or disability. Even before then, I worked in the mental health, special education, and human services field for several years. I had learned the ins and outs of providing supports to families who needed them most. These supports ranged from helping families find ways to put dinner on the table to helping create a modified bathroom to suit a wheelchair-bound individual. Many, or most, of my clients had Medicaid and with this insurance, they were able to access supports and services to benefit their family’s specific needs – whatever they were.
Being a mom of twins, I walked into motherhood knowing comparisons would probably happen. I also knew it was something I had to do my best to stray away from. I have officially learned how difficult it is not to compare your children and not to compare yourself to other moms – even when you try desperately not to. Every single day, I make comparisons and every single day, I try to stop myself. This has become an ongoing battle and simply knowing other people genuinely fight this same battle makes it a little bit easier of a pill to swallow.
However, it still leaves me feeling like one heck of a guilty mom.
Though pregnancy should be a beautiful time, additional stressors and anxieties can often make it a tad bit tougher than hoped. Food and drinks are often a staple at events, gatherings, and work-based functions. Heck, food and drinks are usually what get us up in the morning. When a person has to change a lot of their diet due to pregnancy, this change can transform their lifestyle. Finding positive, healthy snacks that allow expecting mamas to feel less guilty and more confident is often the ticket to a happier, less stressful pregnancy.
I knew right away that I was not going to force breastfeeding upon myself. This choice wasn’t because I knew tandem breastfeeding twins may be tough. This choice also wasn’t because I feared my girls may face latching issues or I’d have trouble with milk production.
I made my choice not to breastfeed because of these three factors: comfort, stress, and anxiety.
Bonding with Baby: It Doesn't Always Happen Right Away. This truth is a tough one for many women to admit. However, it is a truth that needs to be discussed openly. Too many women believe they need to feel that immediate wave of emotions the second they lay eyes on their baby. They believe they should know absolutely everything about their baby within that first week. They think they should feel this overwhelming, overflowing amount of love every second of every single day.
The truth is, many moms don’t feel any of those things for many, many months – and it is completely normal.
Parents either dread bathtime or look forward to it. It can be a bonding time when you truly get to involve yourself in your little one’s life or it can be the messiest, tearful tragedy of the day. However the outcome, it makes for memorable moments – many which are entertaining to catch and cherish on camera.
When asking some moms about their go-to, positive read for the new year, one of them responded with this: “Um… books? What are books? I’m lucky if I have time to read the back of a shampoo bottle before my toddler comes busting in the bathroom while I’m trying to go.”
My sister's due date had passed and we were all eagerly waiting to meet her new baby boy. I wanted to help ease her last days of physical discomfort and built-up anticipation. Each day I texted my sister a relevant music video to help spread cheer. If you have a family member or friend in a similar situation, feel free to use the below playlist.
I have learned that being a mom never gets easier and the experiences never get less fascinating. No matter where you go or what you do, new and interesting moments occur because that’s simply how motherhood works. I have also learned that motherhood brings forward both moments of frustration and fun – often combined together.
I recently experienced both of these emotions at a restaurant – yes, a restaurant.
If a pregnant woman is ‘eating for two’ whenever she sits down for a meal, then it’s also true that she is ‘sleeping for two’ every time she goes to bed. Pregnancy can significantly reshape the sleep architecture of expecting mothers, often for the worse. Sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are somewhat commonplace. Furthermore, physical symptoms of pregnancy like cramps and nausea, as well as the general discomfort of carrying a child to term, can greatly exacerbate sleep-related conditions.
Even before the girls were born, people asked me about how I would handle favoritism and the sharing of attention between my twins. For parents who have more than one child, this concept can come up in conversation often. At first, I was nervous.Would I have a favorite? Would I not be able to show my babies equal attention? Would it be harder than I thought it would be?
Well, of course it would be hard – that’s just motherhood in a nutshell.
I was told during my pregnancy that being a mom of twins would be different than being a mom of a singleton. At first, I really didn’t know what that meant because this was my first time stepping foot into motherhood. I didn’t know what to expect and all I knew was what I was experiencing. Of course, it wasn’t easy. However, it was all I knew.
The starting line begins with Halloween and the finish line ends with New Year’s Day. The “Holiday Race” has officially begun.
This time of the year can be just as exciting as it is stressful for many parents. While many moms may love putting together creative costumes and buying every decoration they see, anxiety may also be very present. Between the planning and purchasing that goes into the holidays, parents may find this time of the year quite stressful when it should be enjoyed with loved ones.
When you become a mother, you want to give your child the world. You also may want to give your child lots and lots of ‘things’ because, well, it can be hard not to. Sometimes the toys, books or blankets you receive or purchase become more clutter than parts of your little one’s playtime. However, when you find a company or a product that holds a powerful message, those products may become a little more special than the others.
It’s official - we’re in Kindergarten! Well my daughter to be exact, but it sure felt like we all started school with her last week. The struggle is real! The change in schedule has been hard for all of us, but here are my 4 biggest tips to survive the new schedule and challenges that comes with it as a working mom.
It can be incredibly tough embracing your postpartum body. The saggy skin. The scars. The stretch marks. It isn’t the body you were used to before your pregnancy and will most likely not be that body ever again. However, there is a sentence many “Mom Bloggers” are using on social media to help build a positive “Mom-Bod” mindset when it comes to facing your postpartum body. This sentence not only rings true, but can help build a different, more positive thought process when looking in the mirror.
When looking at your postpartum body, think this: “This is the result of my successes, not my failures.”
I’ll admit - I was blessed with pretty good skin growing up. However, when I got pregnant with my girls, it didn’t take long before I noticed little bumps breaking out along my hairline. From there, they’d appear randomly on my chin or cheeks or nose. Being a self-titled “Picker,” I couldn’t stop attacking them whenever I found them.
Between facing mental health battles as a teenager to facing similar struggles during pregnancy, one thing is for sure – life doesn’t hand you what you can’t handle. Clichés are often overused, but some do hold a lot of truth. I’ve conquered quite a few demons in my lifetime: cancer, self-harm, suicide attempts, depression, anxiety. I’ve managed to make it through those difficult times and learn from them – something some people, unfortunately, do not. The dark hole of mental illness is a dark hole, but there truly is light at the other end.
With the courage “Mom Bloggers” have recently shown when posting their personal “1 in 5” stories on Instagram, I felt encouraged to share my personal “Mental Health Mama” story as well. Being someone who has struggled in the past with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal ideations (as well as attempts), I felt drawn to this viral hashtag and the message attached to it.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that “1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year.” Many “Mom Bloggers” have taken to Instagram to share their personal mental health stories by involving this statistic as a hashtag. Putting yourself out there isn’t for everyone, but for those who do it carefully and appropriately are strong, courageous individuals – such as the following “Mom Bloggers.”