How to (really) be a mother

25 Things You Should Know About Being a New Mother
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http://www.blueberrybearbooks.com/wp-content/hotel-deals/vany-20-bed.php I like you. We have fun together. If I am not present, my mind is too cluttered to recall the nuances of the moment.

A Monologue About Parenting

It all becomes entangled in an indistinguishable mess of memories and time-lapses. And then I feel like the time passed without me. As mamas, we inevitably have to multitask.

Multi-tasking is a must for moms, and as women, we are wired for it. But as much as we can—soften the mind. Tone the multitasking down a wee bit. Let it go. Do one thing at a time. To focus on one aspect of our life at a time. Life gets so much juicier when we come from that place. It sounds stupid—t o realize we can only be where we are. We can only be in one place at one time. Yet, we attempt to solve problems all over the place.

We think ahead and around and behind us constantly. We try so hard to be so many things at once. We run ourselves ragged, and then we are left picking up the pieces of our frazzled selves. Instead of responding to our children from a place of presence and wholeness, we are detached, hurried, and tired. When we take each moment for what it is, do it with intention and heart and grace, all that extra stuff that seems to get in the way fades away. I find that the tension in my neck and head subsides. I feel laughter bubbling up more often.

When I am working, I am working. When I am listening to a story about which friend he sat by at lunch, I listen. Lovely sentiments, I know. But how? As often as you can, breathe fully and completely. Pay attention to your breath. Notice what is happening when you are having one of those Mama-anxiety moments.

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Slow down. Breathe into your belly, breathe all the way into your feet. Breathe, breathe, breathe. I work with a yogic breath, pranayama called Alternate Nostril Breath. This breath is essential for my ability to stay present. Instructions at the end of this essay. Find words for your mind that take the place of the noise, the chatter, the daily grind that weighs you down. Find any word or phrase that works for you— Peace. Om Shanti. Breathing in I feel peace. Breathing out I feel love—a nything that stops your mind from wandering here, there, and everywhere.

Stop and stretch. Do yoga. Go for a walk. If you can get out alone, great. If not, take the brood and walk. Search for new colors, flowers, birds, anything that reopens your heart to the beauty around us. I would be a very, very, very cranky Mama without taking care of my body. Massage, reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments—whatever. When my body is off, I am way off. For me, this is a constant and challenging practice. These days, I am trying to make it a priority to cut my list in half. And then maybe into half again. To breathe in the now and no place else.

To trust that what needs to happen will happen. To stop rewinding the tape of yesterday and projecting the worries of tomorrow, but to trust that the now is the only place I need be. Every single day I find myself cycling through these techniques in order to stay heart centered, trusting, joyful, ready to face whatever my babies throw at me. When we Mamas are rooted in the present with our children, we invite magical moments. We create album after album of photographs, memories placed securely in our hearts, and the experiences that build the foundation for their futures.

All we can do is to be present in our now. Just as they are now. Just as they were born into this world. Present, joyful, and attentive. What more should we be here for? In my opinion—absolutely nothing. There is no way to pause time. The only thing we can have control over is our state of mind. Our state of heart.

Our presence. Our trust in the moment. Our movement from one breath to the next. Catherine is a mother, teacher, and writer living in Seattle with her husband Joe, two children, Tucker and Grace, and furry baby, Jersey Dog. She attempts to stay mindful and grounded, and is always on the search for all things beautiful and joyful. Catherine's first book, There Was Supposed To Be a Baby , was inspired by her journey to healing after two miscarriages.

In her spare time, Catherine practices yoga, enjoys music, and spending as much time as possible outdoors. Those first weeks and months after giving birth are a time of change and adjustment. The fourth trimester —the first three months of baby's new life—require a little extra help and love for mama and baby. And, then comes the rest of baby's first year—it's fleeting and it's a lot of work.

The milestones are memorable and it can feel like the days are oh-so-slow. With chef-designed recipes and quality ingredients, you'll be sure to love these meals. Because you have so much on your plate, enjoy the portioned amounts—no need to run to the store for last-minute items or have extras sitting in your fridge. This modern classic combines short sleeves, a tie waist and a full, flared skirt to deliver a casual-chic effect in one simple piece.

Yes, it is exactly what your wardrobe needs so you can feel confident and comfortable postpartum. Your mental load is heavy—take one thing off your to-do list with this vacuum. We love that it connects to Wi-Fi for mapping so it remembers those messier areas. Plus, it is great at getting up pet hair.

Coterie has just introduced the highest quality diaper on the market with 2x more absorbency than the national leading brands, an entirely new standard of safety and easy text message reordering. Additionally, they're developing a better diaper recycling solution. More comfort for your baby, one diaper for day and night, and a more sustainable environment for their future.

Offer valid for first customers who redeem! This one is a splurge, but mamas swear by it! It was created by pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp and gently rocks to make sure baby is constantly soothed. We love the app that lets you adjust the settings from across the room. The Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna pairs exclusively with the Bugaboo Fox stroller offering a complete travel system that enables you to transition smoothly from car to stroller without disturbing your baby, thanks to the integrated adapters.

True-LockTM base securely snaps into the car's latch system while the load leg stabilizes the seat. The red and green confirmation indicators help ensure a safe and swift installation every time. You can use the belt path instead of the base for carpooling, taxis or flying as the Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna is aircraft certified.

From car to stroll and back again, quality and durability to protect what matters the most. Discover the power of play in their research-based play classes designed by experts to spark confidence, creativity and a love of learning in your child. Watch your little one achieve new milestones and learn through play like never before! Motherly is your daily momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work.

We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. I am becoming a mom who can emotionally respond to her kids without yelling, and I am proud of that. Do I still struggle? Yes, but I am overcoming one day a time. Before giving birth 15 weeks ago, I knew breastfeeding would be challenging, but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer amount of time, stamina and dedication that it takes to feed my son.

After a few painful weeks of trial and error on both our parts, I eventually came to cherish this intense bonding experience. As my mat leave dwindled to an end and it came time to leave my cozy little cocoon of newborn bliss, I had to start pumping so that my husband and other loved ones could help care for my son while I transitioned back to work.

When I unpacked the box to my hospital-grade pump and set it up for the first time, I found myself completely overwhelmed once again, just like I was with breastfeeding at the hospital. The process of being confined to an area by cords with bottles dangling from my breasts and the loud drilling of the machine felt so foreign to me—in fact, it was downright archaic.

My baby would start wailing in the next room and I had to disconnect everything, careful not to spill a single drop, only to start over again. My breaking point came when I was watching The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu and the main character, June Osborne aka Offred , was being held as a prisoner in a room to pump breast milk, which was collected and brought to her daughter in the nursery. The irony was not lost on me. I knew there had to be a better way. That's when I decided to try Willow, the first wireless, all-in-one smart breast pump that works quietly inside your bra.

The innovative design allows you to pump from anywhere, even while lying dow n! Thanks to its one-way valve, milk can only go in, not out, so you can easily bend over or hold your baby without worrying about spillage. It's so compact that you can tote it in your diaper bag without needing a separate one just for pumping.

Willow syncs to a mobile app that tracks your milk production in real time and stores the history of past pumping sessions. My husband, who has been incredibly supportive throughout my feeding journey, placed the order one day when I wasn't looking. He reasoned that nourishing our son was difficult enough, and it was worth trying to see if it would make my life that much easier.

During my pregnancy, I was unaware that you can pay for Willow with an FSA or HSA account, and it also may be fully or partially covered by your insurance company. You can learn more about coverage here. The first time that I left the house with my Willow on, I felt utterly victorious.

Not chained to my sad little chair at home. When I reached my aunt's house for a get-together, I specifically didn't say anything to my relatives to see if they would notice. I held my breath but no one seemed to pick up on the sound though to be fair, it was noisy with all of the happy chatter going on.

Sure, I looked a little like a Fembot from Austin Powers but an exaggerated bustline was a small price to pay for freedom. It took a few tries to get the hang of using Willow from start to finish, but here's how it works:. Tip 1: To prevent air from getting into the bag, make sure you wear a full-coverage nursing bra that has a flap to keep the pump pressed securely against your breast no underwire or padding. One of the most unique features of the Willow is that it senses let-down and automatically transitions to expression mode based on your body's milk production so you aren't forced to wait a preset amount of time.

It uses different sounds to indicate which "phase" you're in—initiation of suction loud and slow , stimulation short and quick and then expression slow and quiet.

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How to (Really) Be a Mother [Emily Hourican] on dynipalo.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. There are many books on how to be a mother, but do they. There are many books on How to be a Mother. But do they ever tell us how it really is? Thankfully, Emily Hourican is about to, via a series of hilarious.

Willow automatically pauses after 25 minutes of continuous pumping. The only downside is that you have to reach into your bra to push the play button from the device to resume or to adjust the amount of suction. You can't currently do it from the app itself. Tip 2: When double pumping, get to stimulation with one pump before putting on the second.

After you break latch, there will still be a little milk left in the flange tunnel, which is totally normal. To empty it into the milk bag, you need to "flip to finish," which involves rotating the pump, tilting it away from you until you hear a gulping sound, and then flipping it over completely once you hear a loud slurp. Tip 3: Take advantage of Willow's free personal coaching program to get any questions that you have answered via text or even video conference. You might also like:. My husband and I fought our way through infertility for six years. We went through multiple procedures and tests to do what seemed to come so easily to others.

Those that have been through that journey know the mixed emotions it can bring. You go from anger, to sadness, to hopelessness, and back to hopeful all in the matter of a few weeks. When we finally found out we were pregnant, I immediately focused on preparing for this miracle baby. I read all the books I could get my hands on. I downloaded so many pregnancy apps. I was completely prepared, or so I thought, to bring a new life into this world.

The first time I heard my son cry, was truly one of the more magical moments in my life. The first time I held him I felt all the bitterness that infertility had created in my heart just melted away. Those first few days went by like a dream. The baby was doing well, I was adjusting to motherhood, and all the cards were just falling into place.

Then I had a moment when it suddenly hit: Motherhood is just plain hard. My son had a lactose intolerance problem that did not surface until he was about 6 weeks old. He would scream a few hours after each feeding. I was exhausted. He would have days of excessive spit-up to the point where I had to change both of our clothes several times a day.

I felt like I was not allowed to complain. This is what I wanted after all these years, wasn't it? This guilt comes and goes in waves. We were "one of the lucky ones" to have been blessed to have won the battle against infertility. Let me be the one to tell you: Mama, it is okay to have those feelings. Motherhood is hard. And also know you are not alone in the feeling. For me, these were the things that helped me overcome everything that came with going through infertility. You are allowed to vocalize how hard this actually is.

Just because you endured a longer road to get here does not take away the fact of the pressure of being a mother. You are responsible for raising a person. This is a lot of pressure for anyone to be under. You are allowed to wish that someone had truly warned you about the immense love you would feel from the moment you heard their first cry and the immense amount of frustration when they are crying non-stop for the third night in a row.

You are allowed to grieve for those that are still fighting this battle.

I’m not a mom, and it’s complicated

Those women need you to still be there for them. They may not be as open with you anymore about their struggles. That's ok. Keep showing up for them. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, click here , here and here for more resources. My career is amorphous. I write about style, food, travel; I art direct fashion shoots; I have television goals. That career nebulousness is unsettling for my mom. Another thing my mom and I argue about is how I dress.

People are going to talk about you. I simply wear what brings me joy. My parents were never married, and I think part of the reason our relationship is so complicated is because every time she looks at me, it reminds her of my father and their very painful history. I think she takes out that frustration on me without even realizing it.

I have always wanted so badly for my mother to understand the core of who I am. The most important thing I remind myself of: arguing with her is not productive. I mean, I love my mother to death. How to be a better listener , and happiness vs. Illustration by Alessandra Olanow for Cup of Jo. She herself would blame me too. There is too much to say here about our full story, but I believe she has some form of narcissistic personality disorder borne out of trauma and abuse.

I would write her letter after letter as a teenager, trying to reason with her and trying to make sense of our interactions. It made no difference. She was irrational and emotional and my words never seemed to hit the mark and she never seemed able to truly empathize with me at all. It makes it easier. The anger I held against her for so many years masked the grief and pain that.. We HAD no real connection. The struggle, pain and disappointment on both sides served as a form of toxic and empty intimacy. I wrote it on my calendar as the 3rd! It hurts a little, but nowhere near where it would have a few years ago.

I focus on the fact that in the first voicemail she recounted what the day was like when I was born and some lovely details, as she usually does. I so relate! Thank you, Agnes, for this comment. My comment somewhere in this thread! I am also super wary at this point 49 years old about romantic relationships, as I have made so many decisions in the past that undermined my own value, needs, and desires…and I think that is because I just did not grow up valuing myself! Things were always so off between my mother and me, and that leaves a mark. Anyway, thank you for your brave and honest comment.

My mother today barely resembles the woman I knew as a child. Growing up, she talked to us like adults and knew almost every answer on Jeopardy. She was physically affectionate and I remember feeling so loved, even as the middle of 5 kids. She often staged huge fights at the first sense I was pulling away going to college, a new well paying job. My understanding was that she has some undiagnosed personality issues, now exaggerated by the onset of dementia.

I hate that this troubled and mentally ill person has colored all my memories of her. At nearly 70, she is giggling, sweet voiced, overly emotional and repeats the same phrases over again and again and then other times harsh, lacking any compassion, and moody. I could go on and on. I feel awful, because she feels like the last 30 years of my life have been a lie. Agree to disagree and focus on the parts of our relationship that are effortless and fun. I really really needed to hear this and absolutely loved the post and all of the comments.

This has been so comforting and I think something that a lot of people needed to hear so thank you very much to everyone sharing. I witnessed this all through my formative years, the smack down arguments in public, the near car accidents driving back from any public event due to her screaming, my dad is also a small business owner and has basically stopped taking any kind of female client because she will fly into a rage if he so much as breathes in their direction. Cool cool cool yep that set me up for a lot of wonderful relationships with men and with my self image in my teens not.

The last straw was when I started dating my now husband and she became convinced that HE was cheating on me with one of my best friends, calling to tell me that she was looking at his car parked outside her house basically admitting to stalking my friend when he was right beside me, going into extreme hateful rage rants about my friend out of nowhere.

I would love to hear more of these stories. Women and their mothers, women and their fathers, men and their mothers, men and their fathers. All of it. I can relate so much with Genevieve! I too lost my faith in the religion I was raised in and it really impacted my relationship with my mom. My mom used to be my literal best friend that I would tell everything to. But, as I went through a faith transition, when I would try to talk about it with her, she would get very defensive and I would feel hurt and it just really made it hard to have an open, close relationship. HUGS Genevieve! My faith crisis was devastating, but navigating the relationships afterwards was the hardest part!

These stories validate my difficult and strained relationship with my mother. I cannot talk freely with family members, relatives and friends because of their judgement and harsh comments. I end up feeling guilty and ingrate. If one has not experienced what I went through, they will not fully understand.

I can only discuss with comfort my cycle of issues with my therapist. As I assess my family history, dysfunction is heavily rooted in their own families with genetic predisposition on mental health diseases. My family issues has great impact on my mental and physical health, career and financial growth. More than half of my life, I have been in and out of hospitals and doctors which took a lot of money.

I never got married and still lives with my parents, a tradition for single children in our culture and for the need for support when medical problems arise. However the cycle of family of origin issues continues. One day I will have to move to my own place for the sake of my mental health. Even with my parents, few family members and me meeting with my therapists, very little change has happened. I regret not having the courage to live independently when I was young but I hope to move one day soon. I highly encourage single and especially married women to seek consultation with mental health professionals before and while having children.

Especially when they were raised by mothers and parents who were abusive and unfit. It is not easy to become parents.

Thinking it through

Submitted by Jessica on May 15, - pm. Are there no other possible outcomes? See, I'm never going to ask for help. It's teaching them to talk, to walk and to eventually run. My son was angry and continued to kick and scream, as I tried to get him buckled. I just exist at this point.

It is a lifelong commitment. It can be damaging for children when they are subjected to the same dysfunction and toxicity. My family dynamic between my mom and sister is very similar and unusual. I too have a complicated relationship with my mother, but at the end of the day, she is still my mother and I am here because of her. I have two children of my own who I love deeply.

But, my children know without a doubt that I love them unconditionally. I stand ready. With all that said, you can change the parenting cycle. You are not your mother. You can make the choice to parent differently. I understand deep wounds, but In making mistakes raising my own.

I think maybe we all just do the best we can. Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself and grace is the gift you give to others. This was so well said….. Thank you for those words of grace and wisdom. That has been quite an insight for me as a mother. Communication is key in the process of healing from those misunderstandings…. I have been so moved by this post and the incredibly rich comments people have contributed. My deep thanks to each of you who commented and shared vulnerably about such a tender part of life.

The post was timely and it struck a chord for a lot of women. It is an uncomfortable issue and not easy to talk about. Hi Joanna, I have to tell you something. I had a testy and distant relationship with my mum while growing up and there are just far too many hurtful memories for me to delve into. I started reading your blog way back as a young adult and now I am a mother of 2 little girls under 2. You know who is the biggest influence in my mothering choices? She is always so caring and kind to everyone. For teaching me how to be a mother. In my thirties, I married and I was out of her influence because my husband was fiercely protective of my feelings which she would thoughtlessly tread on.

When it comes to my mother, distance is the best asset.

Life Before Being a Mom

We had a complicated relationship and I wished we could improve it. I had a feeling I just need to… improve, and then she would be happy with me. Improve my looks, my career, my relationships. By extension, I hoped my relationship with her would improve. I lost her less than a year ago to breast cancer. But the worst happened.

Our relationship caused me so much stress for years. But on the other, I miss my mom. Of course I do. I even miss her snarky and mean comments sometimes. I am so sorry for your loss. Just wanted you to know that your words meant something to me. This may be my favorite post ever on Cup if Jo. I, too, have a complicated relationship with my mother and it makes me terrified to have a daughter. I would love to read more posts on mother daughter relationships! I would love to read more of these too, as I have a complicated relationship with my daughters as well.

Thank you for the encouragement to soldier on and for putting it into such eloquent words!! I love my mother. I want the very best for her and this kind of love comes from somewhere really deep in my heart. However, my relationship with her has not always been so lovely. We are very different people and I think we grew apart over the years, even though we are still close to each other. My mother has a kind of bipolar way of loving: she can be very warm and motherly like a blanket on a cold night and also very cold and insensitive when you most need of comfort and hurt you with the smallest comment.

But adulthood brought me enlightment to see things in a lighter way. And even though my relationship with my mother is not perfect, I can see her and aknowledge from where she came and I can understand that what she is able to give me is the very best she can do. Mostly because she is still learning how to be a better mother. And I will always be willing to be her most dedicated student. I love this post.

Mom of an incredible, strong willed, beautiful, intelligent sporty girl age 9. Battle of the wills, manipulative power trips between me and her. She is my first child and I love her to pieces but wow it is not a smooth parenting ride. He may pay back when he is a teen, who knows. This is me and my 9. Complete battle of wills where I truly struggle and fail often to be the adult and not be vindictive in response to what I see as manipulation and outright defiance.

It looks interesting, and like it might align with some of what is discussed in this post, and the comments. Thank you for sharing other mother-daughter relationships- it goes so far to normalize the many ways this familial bond can evolve between two people. My relationship with my mother is neutral, but nothing like the loving, best friend descriptions that are usually depicted. Its isolating for me to constantly read about mothers and daughters who seem to have such a tight and magical connection. Same Melanie. I think I feel the loss all the more because I do have that with my own daughters and husband.

I have so much jealousy for women who have close, loving mothers. And feel such a loss. Sasha L… I feel like I am in the same boat as you. My mother and I have never had a particularly warm or close relationship. Now I have two daughters age 3 and 3 mos and all the time I think about how I can change things with my own children. Thank you so much for this post.

I, too, have a complicated relationship with my mother. My mother attempted death by suicide right after I graduated from college and our relationship has never been the same since. We would talk on the phone all the time and I opened up to her about most intimate parts of my life. Our communication is much more surface-level these days. And I also tell my husband that I wish he would have truly known my mom before she became the person that she is today — the one who raised me and that I could always respect and relate to.