Childbirth, Parenting, Video

Wildest Postpartum Traditions From Around the World

From telling a baby that you hope chickens poop on them, to making the first person that makes them laugh throw a big party for them, I’m sharing some of the strangest postpartum traditions from culture across this diverse planet.

If you would like more information about pregnancy-and-beyond topics, check out Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood – https://www.amazon.com/Feng-Shui-Momm…

Guilt & Forgiveness, Parenting

Don’t Let Your Baby Become the Third Wheel

*Guest post by Emily Graham from Might Moms

You’ve brought your baby home, settled into life as new parents, and now you’re ready to start thinking about acting like a couple again. But wait — you’re breastfeeding around the clock, you feel jiggly all over, and you can’t remember what it was like to put on clothing that wasn’t stretchy and covered in spit up. That’s motherhood (and it is glorious), but having a third human around all the time can make it tough to connect with the one who helped you make your family.

But you have to keep your relationship a priority. One mistake that many moms make is letting that aspect of their life take a backseat to their responsibility as a caregiver. If you’re wondering how to do it while still rocking the nursing bra, put the baby down for a nap and keep reading.

Making Time

Start by dividing the chores! This can’t be underscored enough. If you are at home with the baby, it is easy to feel like the house is your domain. But it is not just yours, and you are also taking care of another human. You can’t expect to have time with your partner if you are constantly doing housework in the few rare moments when your baby does not need your undivided attention. Divide the household chores and let your partner do the dishes now and then. This will give you time for a shower (and maybe even to shave your legs!) so you can devote your evening to cuddling on the couch.

Other ideas to help you enjoy some one-on-one are to cook dinner together, which Foodal stresses can improve all aspects of your relationship, play board games when your baby sleeps, clean together, sit down and plan a family vacation, or simply turn the TV off at night and talk instead of the customary Netflix-and-chill session.

Sexy Stuff

At some point, you and your partner will be ready to resume the more romantic aspects of your relationship. This can pose a challenge for many of the reasons we’ve already mentioned. Intimacy after childbirth is not the same as it was; keep this in mind and you can find a new approach to sex that works for you both. Kindred Bravely covers the topic of sex after childbirth thoroughly in a recent blog post and smartly suggests maintaining an open line of communication about your sexual desires and preferences. After all, your body has been through a lot, you may have engorged breasts or are still healing after a C-section. There is no need to rush, and it is perfectly fine to let your husband know that you are or are not ready.

Oh, the Anger!

Something to keep in mind as you learn to reconnect with your partner is that your feelings for them may have changed. It is not unusual to experience feelings of resentment, especially when you’ve been home nursing a baby all day and your partner has been out in the real world, with adults, after having had a shower and a full night’s sleep. But remember, they may also be jealous that you are forging closer bonds with your child than they can at this point. Rest assured that these feelings are temporary, but they are important to acknowledge and talk about so that you aren’t compounding the problem by not getting it off your chest.

There is no way to predict how having a baby will change your relationship. The only thing that is certain is that it will. The first few months are chaotic, and you will get into a routine that is vastly different than what you are used to. Make sure to include your partner by dividing responsibilities and making a conscious effort to be a wife instead of just a mom.

Image via Pexels

Career, Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Mom Humor, Parenting, Pregnancy

Moms Who Inspire: Bailey Gaddis

Featured on Expectful! Whoop whoop!

After one read of Bailey Gaddis’s About Me page on her site, Your Serene Life, I knew I wanted to interview her for Moms Who Inspire because she’s insanely inspiring and  hilarious.

During our conversation, I mentioned to Bailey that I find it hysterical that she admits in her bio that she can’t stop bragging about attending an event hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House. She laughed and went on to tell me that she was at an event that morning and bragged about it to the strangers next to her. “It’s just such a cool thing to have experienced, why not brag about it?” she said laughing.

This is Bailey Gaddis. funny, honest and high on life.

Bailey is the Author of Feng Shui Mommy (coming out May 2017), a Childbirth Preparation Educator, Hypnotherapist, Birth Doula, travel addict and writer on all of the above. Bailey decided that she wanted to help women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum after the birth of her first child. Using Hypno-anesthesia as a method for her labor, she was able to have a pain-free natural childbirth. This empowered her to want to help other women experience their own bliss during their motherhood journeys.

When speaking to Bailey, I asked her what the first few days were like after she gave birth. I ask this often to other moms as a way to bond over stories of sleepless nights and crying babies, but Bailey’s answer was one that opened my eyes to a different experience than my own.

She replied as if reliving the experience as she spoke, “Blissful.”

This isn’t the typical answer I receive and it’s not even close to how I describe the first few days of my motherhood path, but when she said it, my body filled with love. It was really beautiful to see a different perspective on what’s usually a difficult time.

I learned so much from Bailey in our brief conversation, and I’m so happy to share more below.

Read more on Expectful!

Career, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Video

#DayInTheLife of a Mom, Writer, Cereal Chef, Birth Professional…

 

Name: Bailey Gaddis

Home city/ country: Ojai, CA, USA

Current Occupation: (student, current job, etc.): Mom, author (Feng Shui Mommy- coming out May 2017!), childbirth educator, birth doula, hypnotherapist and volunteer maid, chef and handy-woman for my people.

Time I wake up: I set the alarm for 6am- but roll out about 6:32am.

First thing I do in the morning: Coffee. Just coffee. If I’m being “good” I’ll drink some water first.

My typical breakfast: Smoothie with bee pollen, hemp seed, cacao nibs, mysterious green powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, apple cider vinegar, half a banana, almond milk and frozen fruit. (You eventually get used to the taste.)

Here’s what my morning commute is like: 15 minutes to son’s preschool, 20-ish minutes sitting in the pre-school playground marveling at how good children are at life, then back home. A 20-second walk to the room I exercise in, then a 45-ish second walk to my home office.

Read more on Mogul!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love, Uncategorized

5 Lessons to Learn from “Motherhood in Focus”

Mothers are the ghosts in many family albums- the facilitator of the photos but never the star.

Photographer Ahna Tessler, who began freezing the beauty of moments with her camera after the birth of her twins, was inspired to create the Motherhood In Focus project after photos of herself became such a scarce commodity she was compelled to superimpose herself into family photos. 

After seeing how moved families (that had hired her) were when viewing the photos she had captured, she decided Motherhood In Focus should focus on single mothers who couldn’t afford her services. With the support of Babble, she grabbed her camera and spent five months stepping into the un-posed lives of 23 families, immortalizing equal parts silly and poignant moments.

Ahna eloquently explained why she selected the families of low-income single mothers as her subjects, saying, “In their fight to provide a better life for their children, there is certainly no room in the budget to hire a photographer. There is no proof, no tangible memories, and simply no photos of them with their children.”

Read more on Huff Post!

Guilt & Forgiveness, Mom Humor, Parenting, Uncategorized

7 Things You Can’t Help but Think on Your First Mother’s Day

*Raw insight into my first Mother’s Day!

IMG_2919When I woke up on my first Mother’s Day, I forgot I was one of the women being celebrated. I prepared breakfast for my own mom and mother-in-law, and I made them both a “We love you!” video, all while spending an hour trying to convince my baby to leave on the clip-on tie we’d bought for the occasion. And then my partner asked me if I wanted to take a break. “Isn’t this supposed to be a day to celebrate you too?”

When I took my break before the “real” mothers arrived for brunch, I sat on a swing chair on our porch and cried. It was the first time I’d had a quiet moment since giving birth 11 months prior, a moment to think about how I felt about being a mother, to consider what “being a mother” even meant. Here are seven thoughts that went through my head.

Read more on Cosmopolitan! 

Parenting, Uncategorized

I’m A 27-Year-Old Mom and I Still Don’t Feel Like An Adult

IMG_2094Here’s to being an adult while feeling like a whimsical child still trying to figure it all out.

I usually look around for an adult when my son is misbehaving. It’s like I’m the babysitter waiting for the sage parents to come home and properly parent. Then, I would go home and be properly parented by my adults.

I thought having a child would be my prerequisite for feeling like an adult. “When I have a child, I will feel like an adult.” But I didn’t — and I don’t.

Where’s the omnipresent wisdom, pant suits, financial security, maturity, self-confidence, autonomy, clear decision-making, practicality, belief that I know what the heck I’m talking about, and cocktail parties? Where have all the cocktail parties gone?

I’m living the motto of “fake it ’til you make it” — I’m good at simulating those adult characteristics (I rock a stellar pretend pant suit), but when will I officially make myself into an adult? Is there a course I need to take?

Mom Humor, Parenting, Uncategorized

Rules of the Playroom, According to a Toddler

IMG_5282Dear Parent,

As much as you like to think you make the rules, you’re just fooling yourself — at least when it comes to the playroom.

When I come to town, it’s “game over” organized bins, clean walls, and fully dressed dolls. A new sheriff has arrived and I have a fresh set of laws.

  1. Thou shall not look at, or talk to, me whilst I am smashing my tiny truck into my line up of LEGO® DUPLO® bricks. I don’t care how cute I am — I will demand a snack, a snuggle, or a viewing of my favorite animated characters if you break my play flow, yo.

Read more at Babble!

Mom Humor, Uncategorized

25 Thing I Tell My Toddler (That I Should Be Telling Myself)

IMG_5675
I’m not sure if this photo relates- but I wanted to post it.

I’m quick with the requests (demands) for my toddler, but not so quick to follow my own seemingly wise words. What if those words were translated by my “good angel” into advice that helped me curb a few of my less-than-stellar habits?

I’m giving that good angel (who is more likely an opinionated fairy) a moment to shine and respond to all the chitchat I’m consistently doling out to my son.

1. Only one cup of juice.

Only one cup of wine.

2. Sugar and fried foods will make you tired.

Sugar and fried foods will make you tired, cranky, puffy, lazy, and hungry.

3. Clean up before you move to another activity.

Close your 15 browser windows before you open a new one to browse Amazon.

Read more on Babble!

Self Love

Celebrating the Honest Postpartum Body

Remember the ditty ‘Do Your Ears Hang Low?’ Well, I’ve tweaked the lyrics a bit to apply to my current situation. Here goes:

Do your boobs sag down, do they jiggle to and fro? Do they swing to the right and then reach down to the floor?

Mine do.

At least I think they’re mine.

The postpartum boob transformation occurred quicker than the flick of a baby finger. “My” breasts were small, perky and fluid-free. These new things attached to my chest are droopy bags — albeit fabulous droopy bags. They fill with and distribute milk — fabulous — but they’re just so different and devoid of perkiness.

And “my” stomach, where did that come from? It’s flattish, wide and different. It’s so different from the stomach I came to know so well.

Come to think of it, the only parts of my naked postpartum body I recognize are my knee caps. They’re not saggy. Yet.

Read more on the Huffington Post!

Mom Humor

The 10 Commandments of Your First Mom-Friend Date

Forget romantic dates with actual real life men. Now that you’re a mom, you’re facing something even more terrifying: mom dates. A first-time mom date can be even more fraught with anxiety than a romantic date. Although hanky-panky is off the table, the potential for mom shaming, guilt, and the hopes that you just may be meeting the love of your mommy-friend life abounds.

Read more at Babble!

Self Love

We are Allowed to be Happy.

When the bud of complete happiness begins to bloom I’ve become conditioned to whither the bloom with thoughts of why I’m not allowed happiness in that moment.

I’ve become an unintentional master at procuring negative thoughts that serve to diminish, or even eliminate, that beautiful flower of joy.

Why? Why must I diminish the bud, the bloom and the flower? What would happen if I passed through the resistance and found myself in the still state of allowance? I choose to allow happiness.

The freedom of this choice came to me one morning when I was sitting under a comforting gray sky, holding the hand of my child in a rare moment of stillness and silence. We were soaking in the fresh grass that had surprised us after the last rain, and I felt complete happiness beginning to unfold within me.

This unfolding progressed, until I remembered that it wasn’t allowed. I had let my child watch a television show hours before, while I made a long phone call, and as a result, had guilt stewing in my gut. So, there was no place for complete happiness if I was still holding onto that guilt, right?

Read the rest on elephant journal!