Pregnancy – 5 Tips to Help You Transition into Motherhood

Pregnancy is a pretty surreal time for mothers. Not only are you trying to plan for ‘the best nursery decor’, but you’re starting to think about what life will be like with a new family member. It’s a pretty shaded road ahead – filled with adventures and many unknowns. The truth – no mom can prepare fully for what’s to come. Every pregnancy is different and every child is unique. What all moms can do, however, is begin to take steps towards emotionally transitioning into motherhood, regardless of whether this is your first pregnancy or not. Below are a few steps to consider as you prepare for the changes ahead.

1. Find New Friends Now
– Sounds pretty weird, right? In a survey conducted by Mom Central Consulting, four out of five moms reported that they didn’t have enough friends and 58% of mothers reported feelings of loneliness. Pretty tough odds, huh? Transitioning into motherhood is no doubt exciting, but leaves many women feeling a bit isolated. You may have some great friends to fall back on, but there is a good chance that 1. those friends are not right down the road and/or 2. they are at a different stage in their lives. They may be single, married without children, or even married with children but their children are much older. By no means am I suggesting you ditch your lifelong friends, but instead, expand your friend roster. Get out there and start building your local village of support with moms and expecting moms down the road to make your social transition easier when your bundle of joy comes along. Start with Mom Meet Mom – we make it pretty fun and effortless for you. Test out our new search filters, which allow you to search for moms or expecting moms based on a variety of unique criteria.

2. Define Your Independent self – This may sound strange at first, but here’s the deal- you can fight it all you want, but in a few months you will change. You will become a mother and things will start to get a little crazy. You’ll need to adjust. For however many years you’ve worked hard to define your personality. Things are about to get shaken up and it’s important that you enter this new phase of your life with your head high, priorities at the forefront, and confidence in check. Make a list of your values, favorite hobbies, best friends, romantic pleasures, and life goals. The road ahead will be crowded with mom and work commitments that can eat your personality up if you’re not careful. Hang this list somewhere visible and begin to attach commitments alongside each line item.  Example: 1. Every month, my husband and I will have at least one date night (must find a sitter to make this possible/bring baby if necessary) 2. Every Saturday morning, I will get out and go for a long run 3. Find two moms nearby who I will click with and schedule playdates with….. the list will go on.

3. Begin to Figure Out Your Mom Values - For some strange reason, when we all become moms, especially for the first time, people come out of the woodwork with an abundance of tips/advice that can be, well, overwhelming. The truth – some advice is very important to hear out, while other things you would be better off figuring out on your own as good ol’ Mother Nature intended. The best way to prepare for this, is to do some research and start to define how you want to raise your child. Are you going to breastfeed? For how long? Are you going to feed your child organic foods, vaccinate him on schedule, let him cry it out in the crib? You may not have answers to these questions and the hundreds of others that will come up along the way, but it’s a good idea to find out what your baseline parenting style will be, so that when people do approach you with advice or feedback, you’re prepared to listen, or gracefully decline with self confidence as your driver. It’s also important to understand that you will change your mind about a lot of things and that’s OK. Realistically… every mom watches some of her “best laid plans” fall to the wayside at some point. Life is an adventure and flexibility can actually be quite rejuvenating.

4. If You’re Married, Start Dating – Your husband of course! The road ahead is pretty bumpy and exciting. You’re going to want a fun co-pilot to share the many adventures ahead. To prepare for the upcoming transition, dig deep into your relationship and identify the spark that brought you two together. Now more than ever it’s time to rekindle it. Sure, you will have your hormonal moments where you want to throw your husband out the window for absolutely no reason at all, but all the more reason to focus on quality alone time with each other. Turn off your cellphones, turn on your favorite background music and tune into one another. Make dinner together at home, order take out, or indulge by going out to a nice restaurant. This is also a great time to start having some conversations about how you will co-parent your child. It’s an opportunity to get to know and love dad, before he’s dad. As your due date approaches, it’s important to continue to invest in your marriage.

5. Learn to Cherish Moments – With a beautiful baby growing inside your belly, you are already beginning to experience life as a mother. And what we all discover really fast, is just how fast time passes. When I was pregnant with my first, someone told me ,”This is your chance as a woman to assist God in creating a miracle”. That comment changed my entire perspective. Life is too short to wish moments away and think too far ahead… “I can’t wait, only 4 more weeks until the baby is here!” Anticipation is healthy and wonderful, as long as you remember to stop and take in the moments. The more you do this throughout your pregnancy, the more you will do it when the baby is here.

Good luck fellow expecting moms. You’re gonna do awesome :)


It Takes a Village – Helping One Fellow Mom Find a Donor

With all of the positive parenting stories out there, at times, inevitably, we are crossed with the tough ones. A few days ago, I was hit with that tough story when a friend called on her Facebook network in an effort to spread the news about a dear friend. She included a link from the Boston Globe: Awaiting Transplant Cancer Patient Chances Depend on her Korean Heritage.

The Globe article explained how this one local mom’s fate depends on slim odds and the possibility that someone from a similar genealogy makeup will read about her case and step up to the plate. Time is critical. With acute myeloid leukemia, Mandy Manocchio-Putney, mother of two boys, needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

Mandy and her family

This will be far from easy compared to Mandy’s Caucasian neighbors, as a bone marrow donor is required to have a similar genetic makeup of the recipient. Mandy’s Korean descent makes it all the more challenging. The Globe article explained, the more diverse an individual’s evolutionary history is, the harder it becomes to find a match. Since populations in Africa and Asia developed in the face of some of the most diverse conditions, many of its people have unique genetic types.

It Takes a Village - Bone Marrow Drive for Mandy!

With faith and hope at the forefront, Mandy’s friends and family are working hard behind the scenes to organize two donor drives. One will be held on Sept. 4 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA and the second on Sept. 7 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Sharon American Legion headquarters, MA. The drives are open to people of all races, but organizers are particularly interested in Asian-Americans.

Despite her obstacle, Mandy’s spirits are positive and hopeful. She currently is undergoing chemotherapy at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and hopes to return to Boston soon for a transplant. As fellow mothers, let’s please help Mandy’s family and friends spread the word and continue to build a village of support, so that her prayers for a transplant will become a reality.

The Perfect Playdate for Kids (and Moms)

Oh how I wish there was some mathematical formula that I could use to plan reliably good playdates. Alas, in real life, there are just way too many variables. Ages of the kids involved – are we talking playdates for kids or playdates for toddlers? – energy levels of kids and parents, recency of snacks, frequency with which all involved parties experience sleep deprivation, presence or absence of any of the approximately one million developmental spurts and milestones that kids experience. And that’s still assumes that all involved personalities and temperaments are sufficiently compatible and that a playdate invitation is accepted.

That’s right. Once you meet moms, there’s a new hurdle.

To be sure, successful playdates for kids or toddlers are more art (and perhaps luck) than science. It gets even more complicated if you add a new person to the mix. I go back and forth between thinking that meeting outdoors (neutral territory, no need to worry about sharing, opportunities for both mutual and independent play) and hosting in my own home (mainly because the barely controlled chaos that defines my home seems to appeal to small children and reassure adults that they will neither be judged nor found wanting) as the best location for a first playdate.

Of course, regardless of how well you plan, there is always the risk that a playdate will go horribly awry. Perhaps there will be a tantrum that just won’t stop. Extreme failure to share. Crankiness that isn’t satisfied with snacks or hugs. That’s when things get really complicated – terminate the playdate early? Tough it out and try another distraction or a brief time-out?

I admit, we tend to cut out early. My daughter is an “intensifier;” she tends to get more and more upset and resists all but the most crafty distractions. Fortunately, she also tends to be good-natured, so this has only happened a few times.

What are sure signs that your playdates are spiraling out of control? And how do you react?