Real Mom Tips: Staying Sane as a SAHM Mom

I’ve been a SAHM since my daughter was born, two and a half years ago. Being able to stay at home and watch her every development, her every step, her every movement has been a blessing that not every mom gets to enjoy. But to be completely honest, I get a little sick of watching her EVERY MOVEMENT. I’m still more than a mother, right?

Here are some things I’ve learned are super important when it comes to staying sane as a SAHM:

1. When your little one was first born, I’m sure that people said, “If you need anything, let me know,” right? Well, those are usually good people and most are willing to watch your kiddo at any age while you get a couple hours of alone time.

2. As she starts sleeping better, make time for yourself. I get up an hour and a half earlier than my toddler so I can play online or catch up on an episode of my fave TV show.

3. Unless you still sleep when he sleeps, take advantage of naps! Don’t just do chores or pay bills; one nap a day should be for you to draw or crochet or whatever you do.

4. If you’re married, don’t neglect your other half! They are in this with you and typically have no idea what they’re doing either. Be each other’s support, and allow a date night every once in a while.

5. Hook up with other local moms…and talk about more than just the kids! Sure, you can swap tips and tricks, but talk about adult stuff too.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more than life itself. Some may disagree with me but this is my motto: Being a mom is my number one priority, but I’m more than just a mom; I’m a woman/wife/daughter/sister/friend that has my own needs – and you do, too.

Amber Goodman is a wife and SAHM of her two-year-old daughter. When not reading Curious George, she enjoys reading Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and writing her own works.

A Letter to the Mom of the Screaming Baby on the Plane

Dear mama,

Yes, I can hear your baby. I can see you both, too, when I get up to go to the bathroom because you’re only a few rows back. You’re avoiding eye contact with everyone around you, tearing frantically through your bag while trying to engage your yowling little one in a game of peek-a-boo. And I feel for you.

I have been in your shoes, flying solo with a baby who decided to exercise his lungs all the way from Nashville to Boston. Literally from takeoff until touchdown.

I have sat hunched over in the middle seat blocking my baby in his Britax with my body from the view of the aisle seat occupant as if that would make us all invisible to one another. Knowing all the while that people rows ahead and rows behind were clucking their tongues in disgust at the caterwauling they couldn’t escape.

Not that I could escape it, either. I couldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom because it was just me and my screaming baby with no co-parent on the flight. Picking the baby up didn’t do anything to stem the tide of howls anyway (even if I did briefly consider taking my beautiful bundle of volume into the pantry sized potty just for a change of scene). And if picking him had been a viable option? That would have meant revealing ourselves to a plane full of people who probably hadn’t paid good money to listen uncontrollable sobbing for 943 miles. Keeping a low-profile seemed like the mannerly thing to do.

I know how it feels to want to don a parachute-Ergo hybrid, rip open an Airbus 320 door at 30,000 feet, and take the plunge to escape the judgmental stares of a sea of strangers. So I have something to say to you and all the other mamas flying solo with babies who for whatever reason can’t seem to relax and enjoy the trip.

Just stop.

Stop the endless shushing that we both know isn’t doing anything. Stop trying to read yet another board book through the noise. Stop offering a cycle of snacks and toys and pacis and juice and books and crayons at breakneck speed – loudly enough so the passengers around you can hear.

Remember, I’ve been there, which means I know that what you’re doing is not trying to comfort your baby who is now past the point of no return. Instead you’re trying to make sure that your fellow travelers – especially the ones who gave you the stink eye the moment you stepped onto the plane with a baby in your arms – know that you are doing something… anything to calm that sound machine in the car seat next to you. You’re not just letting your baby scream, you’re doing something about it. Trying to, anyway.

In other words, you have been making shushing noises for the last 45 minutes to make sure everyone knows you’re a good mom. Even if you’re the mom with the screaming baby.

But you know what? Those people who are silently or even not so silently judging you are going to judge you no matter what you do. They’re not going to see that your entire carry-on bag has been packed full of age-appropriate diversions from graham crackers to toy cars and your little one’s favorite lovey plus fifteen spare pacifiers. They will never know you came oh-so-prepared. The minute those folks saw a baby, they had you pegged.

And the moms like me who have been where you are right now aren’t going to judge you no matter what you do. Or don’t do. We know that sometimes babies are just gonna wail. Maybe it’s the air pressure popping little ears or a nap got skipped, but in any case there is nothing you can do.

So sit back. Press the call button and get yourself a tiny bottle of sub-standard wine. Or two! While you’re not going to relax and enjoy the trip if your baby refuses to do the same, that doesn’t mean you have to spend the next however many hours stressing out or, worse, beating yourself up. You know you’re a good mom. I know you’re a good mom. You shouldn’t have to playact to prove it to a plane full of strangers you’re never going to see again.

14 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Pregnant Woman

Was it planned?

First, none of your beeswax. Second, seriously none of your beeswax. If you don’t know the mom well enough to know if she was trying for a baby or not then you don’t know her well enough to ask that kind of question.

Ooooh, you’re getting BIG.

Most women spend their lives trying to avoid gaining weight. During pregnancy it’s pretty much inevitable that it’s going to happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. The big in the above comment probably refers to the pregnant person’s belly but you never know how she is going to interpret such a pressure-laden word.

You must be having a BIG baby!

See above. Variations include: Is your husband tall? and Are you sure you’re not farther along?

Don’t worry, you’ll lose the baby weight if you breastfeed.

Since when it pointing out someone’s weight okay? Oh right, since never. Ditto for asking a pregnant mama how much weight she has gained or how she plans to lose it.

You’re really eating for two, huh?

Comments about what and how other people are eating are never mannerly. Just because the person in front of you is pregnant doesn’t suddenly make it socially acceptable.

During labor I ripped from here… to here!

We’re all tempted to tell pregnant friends our labor and delivery horror stories and we should share… when the time is right. Like after that pregnant friend has her own labor and delivery story to add to the convo.

Sleep/take a vacation/go to dinner/remodel/etc. while you still can.

Um, sleep is not something you can put away and earn interest on like money – and speaking of money, if a mom can go on a vacation (please don’t say babymoon ever again - that word is uuuugly) she probably has it under control with no prodding necessary.

Are you going to give birth naturally?

Holy loaded question, batman. And probably not one you should not be asking. Some moms-to-be just don’t know until they’re in the delivery room and that’s okay. Plus, none of your beeswax.

Make sure you’re getting enough rest!

Okay there, Dr. Notadoctor. I’m pretty sure that any mom who can rest is resting. The rest of us spend the nine months of pregnancy parenting our other children, working at our jobs, and generally taking care of business. Yes, we’re tired. No, putting up our feet is not always an option.

Can I touch your belly?

Pro tip: If you have to ask, the answer is probably going to be no.

You must be hoping for a girl/boy.

A good mom friend will already have told you if she’s hoping for a girl – and not just any girl but a future prima ballerina assoluta. If she hasn’t, you probably should refrain from making assumptions about what she is or isn’t hoping will be between her baby’s legs.

Are you planning for more?

Um, wayyyyy to jump the gun. Chances are if she’s older than 25 this mama has spent the past few years being asked when she was going to finally have this baby so just leave her alone for a few months, okay?

You’re definitely having a boy/girl because your butt/boobs/everything is getting so big!

Can we just make a rule that you never, ever use the word big in reference to a pregnant woman’s… anything?

Do you know who the father is?

WTF, people. WTF.

Every Interruption Imaginable: Why Keeping Mom Friends Is Hard

I think most of us, when we were pregnant with first babies, kind of expected our friendships to suffer. Mostly because it’s not that unusual to lose friends when you’re pregnant. Creating life takes a lot out of you – you simply may not be the life of the party anymore because your idea of fun can change dramatically when wine, sushi, soft cheeses, and staying up all night are off the table. Enter the baby and getting together with non-mom friends is even tougher.

What most of us don’t anticipate is that being friends with other moms can be equally hard – and then only gets harder as babies turn into toddlers and toddlers turn into kids with dance classes and preschool and then school-school.

We’re all moms so the theory is friendship is easier because we get it. And sometimes that’s all it takes, especially for local moms with kids who are at the same ages and stages. (Like my friend S. who walks with me when the weather, the year’s cold and flu strains, and our children’s moods allow it.) But for a lot of moms there are all kinds of factors that make being a good mom friend kind of hard.

Like sleep deprivation. If you’re one of those lucky mamas whose kids started sleeping through the night right on schedule, go you. The rest of us will be over here in the corner rocking back and forth drinking high octane coffee and pinning each other’s eyelids up. How does sleep dep affect friendship? You forget things. Like the time I forgot I had invited an entire family of four over for Sunday dinner until I received the mom’s text asking what she could bring an hour before they were scheduled to come over.

(Seriously, I literally thanked God for that text.)

Then there’s the economy. Working vs. SAHMhood is just one piece of the puzzle. When you’re the only one in your circle of friends who has to (or wants to) go back to work after maternity leave or even later, there’s a good chance your besties are going to forget you exist  because they’re enjoying Tuesday morning Baby Boot Camp while you’re writing up TPS reports. But even if you all seem to be in the same boat could be you’re not. Lunch out with the kiddos every Wednesday is fun for some, a budget buster for others.

The little ones are another challenge to overcome. Same age and stage does not mean same naptime routine. Or the same tolerance for going to the coffee shop. A trip to the playground with a group might be relaxing for the mom with the independent kid for whom self play is natural and a nightmare for the mama with the shy kid or the needy kid or the kid who attracts bullies like flies. Or hey, the mom whose kid is the bully and it’s driving her crazy because she just doesn’t know how to handle that. Sometimes two moms have two kids who stop getting along – can they still be friends?

And finally, there is life interrupted. And interrupted. And interrupted. How many times have I sat trying to have a convo with a mom friend only to have our chat broken up at least once a minute by little ones needing juice or a wipe or to tell us what so-and-so said last week at school or just because they saw two grownups talking and now we couldn’t have that. No, sir.

Is keeping mom friends impossible? Of course not, but it is harder than you might think, So if you have mom friends who’ve stuck with you through not only the joyful times but also the tough ones, send them a message telling them how much you appreciate them. I bet you will make their day!

16 Fun Summer Activities to Do with Mom Friends (and the Kiddos)

Mom friends, check.

Babies and kids, check.

Warm weather, check. (finally!!!)

Now, what to do….

For some moms it can be awkward meeting mom friends. And once you finally start to build your local network, someone has to come to the table with things to do and initiate a plan. It’s time to get active and get social. And with summertime right around the corner, we decided we’d give you a little boost in the right direction. To help you out, we threw together some activities that are ideal to plan for with other moms in your area. So grab the sunscreen, throw aside your cabin fever and get ready for some summer fun mamas…

1. Hit the Local Museum: There are SO many museums and most of them are super family friendly. Pack a lunch or plan to swing by a family-friendly restaurant after. Pro Tip: Check out Groupon and other deal sites for admission savings. Also, some town libraries have stashes of tickets that they can sell at a lower rate to locals (score).

2. Walk to the Park: Why just go to a park or go for a walk? Why not do both? This is the perfect activity for moms with toddlers and older children. Plan your walking route to pass a fun park where the kids can get out and play for a bit. Pro Tip: stock up on popsicles… when it comes time to leave the park, it will give your little ones something exciting to focus on until they get home.

3. The Movies: For the newbie moms, you might just luck out and have a theater near you that hosts mommy and me movie times. And for moms of toddlers and older children, plan for a movie at your place! Prep your living room with pillows and blankets and order the newest kids flick from RedBox or Netflix. While the kiddos get lost in the movie, you and your mom friends can hang out in the next room. Pro Tip: Prep popcorn and/or other movie snacks to make it feel like a real movie theater.

4. Lunch Date: Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean you can’t go out to lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced the tantrums and other major restaurant #fails with kids, but I say it’s still totally worth a shot. And who better to take a chance with than another mom who obviously gets it. Pro Tip: Have a backup plan in place, should one of the kids flip out. Pro Tip: Go somewhere loud and family friendly.

5. House/Backyard Playdates: This is the cheapest way to play. Depending on the weather, invite your mom friends and their kids over for a good old fashion indoor or outdoor playdate. Pro Tip: once in a while, plan ahead with a fun activity for the kids. Ideas: fingerpainting, sidewalk chalk, kid pool.

6. Wine and Play Social: Best for a Friday or Saturday afternoon when everyone is ready to unwind after a long weekend. Invite your mom friends to come over for a playdate where they can really kick up their feet and relax. Tip: Buy or have one of your mom friends bring along some cheese, crackers, and fruit.

7. Drop and Play: For those rainy summer days, find an indoor play center. While the kids run around and have the time of their lives, you can kick back with your mom friend and catch up on some much needed adult conversation. A win win.

8. Storytime: Depending on where you live, there is a good chance you can find a local storytime. Most libraries offer this, as well as some local farms and other family friendly organizations.

9. Bonfires: This is my absolute favorite pick. What better way to spend a weeknight? Order up the makings for some smores, drag out the cooler filled with kid and adult drinks, send the kiddos hunting for the perfect marshmellow roasting sticks, pull out the lawn chairs and cue up a fire. TIP: if your mom friends have babies, tell them to bring and setup their pack n’ plays inside so they can put the little one/ones down and continue to hang out.

10. Backyard BBQs: Why stay inside? Throw on your George Foreman apron, order up some burgers and hot dogs and schedule a backyard BBQ playdate. A few tips: this is a perfect event for some fun music (if it were my house, you’d hear reggae music blaring in the background), pull out the kid pool or slip n’ slide, maybe throw together a fun kid and adult lemonade drinks.

11. The Pool: Find the nearest public pool, or if you have one, invite your mom friends over for an afternoon pool party. Make sure to check out our summer swim safety post first!

12. The Beach: What kid doesn’t LOVE the beach. Talk about a destination that works for just about every age group. Whether it’s your local lake or salt water shore, this is the perfect place to meet moms near you.

13. The Zoo: Plan for an all day or half day local zoo excursion. If you don’t have a major zoo near you, try to find a local farm or petting zoo.

14. Water Park: I still remember going to water parks as a kid. SO MUCH FUN. This is obviously best for older kids. Pro Tip: Pack a lunch to save money.

15. Splash and Play: I am seeing more and more of these. What is it? Simply a bunch of sprinklers that shoot up in the air that little kids can run through. We have them here in Boston and I’ve seen them in a few other major cities. A great free activity that will literally make your toddler beam with joy. Pro Tip: Pack an extra set of clothes and maybe some skid free water shoes depending on the spot.

16. A Boat Ride: If you live near the ocean this is probably easier to find, but some rivers and lakes have boat rides/tours as well. Pro Tip: Depending on the area, you might want to plan this for a day that is not too hot, unless of course there is a place to swim after.

Any moms out there have other fun summer activities? We’d love to hear them!!!

P.S. Don’t miss our local events slash mom social feature that will be rolling out ANY day now… Really, it’s going to be AH-MAZING.

XOXO

Why Meeting Mom Friends Isn’t Easy

Ever change schools growing up? I did – a few times. Can we say BRUTAL?

First I moved from a Catholic school over to a public school when I was in 3rd grade. I’ll never forget stepping onto the playground for the first time at morning recess. I knew no one. To top it off, I was quite small for my age, making everyone else (from my perspective) look like they were in high school.  And I’ll never forget that ONE girl. I kid you not she was rocking a short, curly hipster hairdo, a shimmery gold jacket, purple suede boots, and a Debbie Gibson hat. BAM – no prisoners for that one. She was on fire, just waiting to take out anything that got in her way. Instantly I was intimidated. Not one friendly nun to be seen. Welcome to public school, pipsqueak. You’re on your own.

What happened next?  I figured it out. We all eventually do. It took throwing myself into soccer games and any other activity I could find. Soon enough, the other kids started talking to me and I began to find my group of friends. We got super close. So close that I actually cried at our 8th grade graduation because I happened to live on the opposite side of the river as everyone else. Do you know what that means? Different high schools. Awesome. Time to start over. Again. Super.

High school was so much easier. NOT. Cue MUCH older looking girls with boobs that I certainly did not have, hot teenage boys, city kids, drugs, alcohol, and quadruple the population of my last school. Lucky for me, my mom was a teacher in middle school for the town that several of the kids at this high school went to. This would either help me or seriously hurt me. Might I add that my mom used to dress up as a globe for social studies lessons? That’s right, she would trek out of our house wearing a ginormous world. Super cool.

Fortunately (and to my utter surprise)  a few days into high school I am interrupted by shouts from a few guys: “Oh my gosh! No way! Mrs. Toland’s daughter!”

I found out she was one of their favorite teachers, globe costume and all. Never could I have imagined my mother helping me make friends in high school. I’ll take it, I thought. I’ll take whatever I can get.

Within days I was introduced to a group of girls who ended up becoming my best friends on the planet (no pun intended, mom). We had sleepovers, talked on the phone, slipped each other notes in class, and together we ran from the cops when our back woods bonfire/keg parties got raided on the weekends. It was so much fun. A dream. And then before I could blink, it happened. We graduated. All ten of us threw our black hats in the air and took off to different colleges.

It was time to start over, again. Ugggh.

Enter college-age me. Going through the exact same brutal “meet new friends” process. Seriously? Luckily, these things continue to work themselves out. Eventually you meet your new group of college friends, create insane memories together, and get super comfortable. BAM – right in time for graduation.  It’s been fun. Time to go home or wherever you need to go to get a job. If you’re like many of us, it means you have to travel to see your college friends maybe once or twice a year if you’re lucky. Time to make new friends. Again…

Depending on where life takes you next, you may face an additional stage where friend-making is once again a brutal start-from-scratch process.  Many of us begin to find ourselves and our independence, and then once again, life takes a turn. Some of us get married, some of us don’t. Some want kids, some don’t. Some of us try for a baby. Some of us adopt. And for some of us it will happen unexpectedly – maybe even before one or a few of the previous stages mentioned.  Regardless, all of us reading this experience a similar change: We all become moms.

Cue the most challenging friend-making time of our lives. Hold onto your carpets ladies because they are about to get pulled out from underneath you.  In an instant we find ourselves back where we started – back on that damn playground again with the same Debbie Gibson lookalikes frolicking around us. As in high school, the number of people we have to choose from to be our friends is overwhelming. How do we know if we will make the right decision?

You know, I thought that one mom was pretty cool until she invited us over for a playdate and showed us all of her husbands impressive guns in the back room. Time for a mommy breakup!

And just like college, logistics eventually play a part. Listen, I want to be your mom friend, but there is absolutely no way I will be able to meet you for a playdate after work if you live 45 minutes away. Not happening. Maybe we can get together once or twice a year? Where do you even meet mom friends? At the park? Grocery store? Gas station? HELLO, AWKWARD.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s toss in the new dynamic of KIDS. Will our kids get along? Are they at a similar stage? Is your child going to dropkick my child in the face because he has no manners? Will my child gross you out because lunch time means food everywhere and if you’re lucky he’ll find his way into his poopie diaper and start a poop war in your living room? It’s probably a good idea to gauge the compatibility of our children. Or if you’re cool enough, I don’t care. Let the dropkicking and poop wars begin. We can just kick back and enjoy some much needed adult conversation while our children destroy the place and each other. Should I bring wine?

Lucky for all of you, a few moms who have seriously been there (oh my GAWSH, the stories) came together to try and help you out. Mom Meet Mom was built to give you a little push toward the right group of mom friends. You have so many other things to worry about – why worry about how to make mom friends? Our goal is to help you skip over the whole awkward throw-up-from-anxiety I’d rather lock myself in the house phase. The best part: all of the moms on our site are there because they want to meet YOU. How cool is that? Oh, and they probably live right around the corner (go figure), and have kids that your kids might actually want to hang with. So before you freak out because EVERYTHING IS CHANGING, head on over to Mom Meet Mom and find your new best mom friends.

P.S. I bet you’re wondering what ever happened to Debbie Gibson. Wait for it….. she’s one of my best friends still today. Go freaking figure. You just never know.

Good luck mamas… you’re gonna do just fine ;)

Weaning: Why Worry?

I have conflicted feelings about weaning. Which makes sense since I lucked out with two little ones who each spontaneously self weaned at eighteen months. That means we weaned on their timelines, not mine. I was honestly ready to give extended breastfeeding a go, having watched many of my friends nurse their daughters and sons until two or even beyond. But sippy cups won out over my D cups and unless the mister’s vasectomy fails I will never nurse another baby ever again.

The conflict in my head and in my heart comes from that word “never”. Nursing my daughter was a struggle for so long but eventually we made it work – and it was work. (Don’t let anyone tell you breastfeeding is easy.) I loved our breastfeeding relationship in that way you love something that costs you time and tears. Nursing my son was a joy from the very beginning, and so I loved that nursing relationship because it felt natural in a way I’d not experienced with my first.

And now there are so many experiences that will only live on for me in my memories. The feeling of a new baby latching on for the first time. The fluttery feeling of a baby who has fallen asleep at the breast. Quiet nursing before naptime. Having my son doze off on my lap. It’s a little – maybe a lot – sad that this part of motherhood is over for me.

But I have never been afraid to wean and so when my children decided that soy milk was more appealing than mama’s milk I made the conscious decision to celebrate rather than mourn. My babies are growing up, and that’s a good thing. I know people whose babies will never grow up, either because they are gone or because for them time has stopped, and I try very hard to remember that every ending will be followed by some fascinating, wonderful, glorious new beginning.

It has been a few months now since I nursed my son for the last time. Long enough that I can no longer count off the number of days or even weeks. I can’t remember whether it was a goodnight nurse or whether he signed for it or not, and that’s probably for the best.

I’m glad now to be able to wear all kinds of shirts and dresses without having to worry about how I’ll maneuver a breast out and back in again. My breasts have slowly morphed back into shape to look more or less like they did before I ever had children. Instead of a goodnight nurse, my son and read a story and sometimes have a cuddle if he’s sleepy enough to keep still.

I’ve never been afraid to wean because I knew that a change doesn’t have to be a loss – it’s just a change. My daughter still loved to snuggle after she weaned. And while snuggle sessions with my son were mostly tied to breastfeeding he has his own peculiar ways of showing his affection, and gradually I’m learning to speak my little boy’s love language.

Maybe that’s all it takes. One phase of life gives way to another, sometimes too early and sometimes after a struggle, but walk joyfully from one to another and you’ll see the good. Weaning means our little ones are growing up – and after all, isn’t that the point of the motherhood journey?

Top 10 Signs You are a Mom On a Girls Weekend

Editors Note: The following guest post is from our good mommy bloggin’ friend, Whitney Fleming, of Playdates on Fridays.

I just returned from a girls weekend to celebrate my dear friend’s 40th birthday. It was fantastic. She somehow assembled an amazing group of ladies from the different stages of her life ranging from her college sorority sisters to business contacts she had turned into good friends.

Although all of us were very different, we shared the common bond of motherhood. Each of us could relate to the challenges of raising a child, whether it was: “Should I send my daughter to private high school?” or “When do I wean my son from the boob?”

We all needed a break, just like I believe all mothers do. Time to worry less about everyone else and more about enjoying life. Some of us needed a break from being a working mom and the pressures of juggling a career, a marriage and a family. And some of us needed a break from being around our kids so much that we forgot what it was like to wear real clothes.

Girls weekends give moms the opportunity to recharge and remember what their life was like B.C. (before children.) It is not about what you do, where you go, or what you spend. The important thing is to get away from the rut that can be parenting and connect with the people who know what it’s like to be in the trenches.

I like to believe I am a subject matter expert on girls weekends (check out my blog post on Five Signs You Need a Girls Weekend here or Five Signs You Have a Girls Weekend Coming Up here). No, I am not off galavanting every weekend, but I have been able to spend alone-time with my friends a few times a year. Sometimes, when my kids were younger, it was just a few hours; this last trip was a beautiful three and one half days in glorious Boston.

And although I came back feeling exhausted, with aching feet from dancing the nigh away, I now feel ready to take on the end of school craziness and the summer months with my kids. My husband did great shuttling them to all their activities, and I think it gives him a better perspective of what my life is like on a daily basis. My kids were bursting at the seams to see me and share all their adventures over the weekend. I think we were all the better for it (or at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself!).

So, although there is an unspoken rule that what happens on girls weekends, stays on girls weekends, I did want to share my “Top Ten Ways You Know You Are a Mom On a Girls Weekend.” I normally write Top Five lists, but there were just too many to narrow it down.

Let’s just say that I am going to use the same disclaimer as the Law & Order episodes: “Although inspired in part by a true incident, the following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.” Yeah, let’s just leave it at that.

So here it is – Top 10 Signs You are a Mom on a Girls Weekend

  1. A Liquid Lunch has nothing to do with breastfeeding.
  2. After one cocktail and a Maki Roll you decide to lose your Spanx. You need two of your girlfriends to actually get you out of them in the restaurant bathroom.
  3. You log a night of dancing in a club as activity points into Weight Watchers.
  4. When mentioning you think you are about to get a blister, five different character-themed bandaids are thrust at you.
  5. When a fight breaks out in a bar, it initiates a discussion about time outs versus positive parenting.
  6. When you get “hit on” by a guy, you actually text your husband to tell him you still got it.
  7. The only time the discussion gets heated is when debating whose labor/delivery was worse.
  8. When the cabbie slams on the brakes, your hand goes out to protect the other passengers.
  9. When someone wets their pants, you know it was because they were laughing too hard, not because they refused to go on the potty.
  10. You wipe off the table with a Wet Ones before dancing on top of it.

Whitney Fleming has nearly ten years of parenting experience, 15 years of public relations and marketing experience, and almost 20 years of wine drinking experience. This make her extremely qualified to write a blog about family, relationships, and getting through this thing called life. To read more from her, please visit her blog at www.playdatesonfridays.com.

On Mother’s Day, Know That You’re Amazing

No, seriously. You are.

Today, of all days when your family is hopefully celebrating you – and maybe hitting the mark or maybe doing everything wrong with the best of intentions – you may still be feeling like less. Less fit than before kids. Less crafty than that one Pinterest mom. Less accomplished than you felt before wiping someone else’s butt became a daily activity. Less confident in your mothering abilities because yesterday or the whole of last week didn’t measure up to your expectations.

So today of all days, step back. Stop looking at yourself through the eyes of someone who is afraid of not being good enough and just this once look at yourself through your children’s eyes.

What you see may surprise you…

Whether you do it all and then some or you’re the first to admit your life is a perpetually churning chaos machine, your kids think you’re amazing.

And so do we.

Happy Mother’s Day!

XOXO

The Whole Mom Meet Mom Team!

Self Care for New Moms by Ramona Fasula

Ramona Fasula

Becoming a mom is a special time in a woman’s life. With it comes so many responsibilities. Sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Women are the nurturers. We take care of everyone else and always put ourselves last.  As caregivers, women must realize that being the best caregiver means taking the time to take care of ourselves.

Self-care not only means giving your body the nourishment that it needs, but also nourishing your mind and your soul.  It is so important to take the time each day, even if it’s a short period of time, to focus on the things that bring you joy. Happy Mommy=Happy Baby.  Think about all of the things that you liked to do before you had the baby and start doing them again.  Just because you had a baby doesn’t mean that you have to stop being you.

Here are some self-care tips for making a healthy, happy mommy:

  1. Eat right: first and foremost, you are what you eat. Nutrition affects every aspect of our lives, from our energy levels to our mood.  We all know that taking care of a baby requires lots of energy. Add that to sleep deprivation, and proper nutrition becomes even more vital.  Make sure you eat lots of fruits ,vegetables, and whole grains for energy.   Chia seeds are also a great source of energy, in addition to all of the other health benefits that these miracle seeds provide. Sprinkle them in soups, on salads, in smoothies, or just drink them in water. They provide a huge energy boost.

  2. Get a massage: there is nothing like a relaxing massage to revitalize you and release stress and anxiety.  In addition to decreased stress and anxiety levels, a massage also enhances sleep quality, gives you more energy, improves concentration, and reduces fatigue.  So get on the phone and book your massage today.

  3. Laugh: they say that laughter is the best medicine.  Taking the time to integrate humor into your life can have a profound effect on both your physical and mental health.  Numerous studies have shown that laughter plays a role in combating heart disease, stress reduction, and chronic illnesses like diabetes.  It also affects your mood and boosts your sense of resiliency.  Our biggest problems can become more manageable when we laugh about them.   Watch your favorite sitcom, or book  tickets to see a comedy show. Laughter really is the best medicine.

  4. Yoga: yoga is a great method for getting your body back in shape, but it also supports your mind and spirit. There are many different styles of yoga out there. Some focus on strengthening the body, while some focus on clearing the mind.  Yoga will not only reduce your stress levels, but also make you a more patient parent. Join a yoga group with other moms (ed.: or invite your Mom Meet Mom friends!), so not only do you get all of the benefits that yoga provides, but you also get to interact with other moms who are going through the same things that you are.  Having the right support system in place in not only good for your wellbeing, but for your baby’s wellbeing as well.

  5. Get Beautified: when you look good, you feel good.   Step out of those maternity clothes and buy some new ones. You will need new ones when you start losing the baby weight with each passing yoga class anyway. Get a new haircut. Try a new look.  Get a manicure or a pedicure. Find ways to pamper yourself.  Being a mom is hard work. You deserve to be rewarded for all that you do.

Taking the time to care for yourself can go a long way in helping you bring better care to others.   Nourishing your body, mind, and spirit will help to rejuvenate an over-tired and over-stressed body.  Self-care also means knowing that as a mom, you are doing the best that you can. Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Your baby doesn’t judge you, so why should you?  Take the time to show love to yourself and your baby will thank you for it.

Follow Ramona for even more wellness tips for moms!