Today, this life feels hard. Maybe not just today maybe it is just this stage of life, maybe this season in my 30’s building a business and building a family, staying connected to myself and hubby, friends, family!
Exhaustion is my dear friend, it reminds me a little bit of Liz Gilbert talking about fear riding shotgun but never being allowed to drive... except sometimes you have to drive even when exhausted. It is levels and layers of exhaustion — mental, physical, and emotional. It is exhausting to have patience all the time (ok, let's be real no one has it all the time, but if I am batting 85% I am stoked). There is the constant juggle of nap schedules, school drop-offs & pick-ups, dance, soccer, and a workout and shower for myself.
As a woman, and as a mom, I’ve been learning how to ask a question that was previously considered selfish and incredibly foreign to me: what do I want?
I remember sitting across from my therapist - pregnant, emotional and tired of a lifestyle of people pleasing and knowing that with the birth of my first child I had to do something different. She leaned forward, looked me in the eyes, and gently asked: “What do you want?” I blinked back at her: “I don’t know.” She told me that was ok, that the simple act of continuing to ask myself that question would eventually result in answers. It would take time.
Well a couple weeks later after a little bit of market research and a few conversations that went something like… Yes! Do it. – Please do it! – I want that!! And here we are! We did it! From there we put out the call asking our friends and family, our villages which make parenting possible for their wisdoms. We received so much beautiful wisdom. Self-care, compassion, empathy, trusting your intuition and learning to let go.
From the moment I shared the news that I was pregnant with my first-born I received wanted, and the oh-so-dreaded unwanted advice, about everything related to my body and then my baby, and now these days how to parent two toddler boys very close in age. I remember filling out a form for a care provider early after my first was born that asked, “what’s your parenting method?” and being stumped, then feeling guilty that I didn’t know the options nor had decided upon one. I finally just wrote “loving our children and trying to do the best we can.”
Randi Zinn shares an excerpt of her new book, Going Beyond Mom: How to Activate Your Mind, Body & Business After Baby, to inspire moms everywhere with tips and anecdotes during this new chapter of life.
In this interview with Maven Mamas, Melaney Lubey chats about everything from her favorite place on earth to what she is doing for the mama-universe. She also shares some insight into how she strikes a work-life balance for fulfillment not only as a fierce mother and wife, but also as a marketer and women’s advocate.
In this interview with Maven Mamas, Stephanie Reubino shares her interest in literature, her favorite place on earth, and how she strikes a balance with work and family. She also details how her self-care routine has evolved as her son has grown, inspiring mamas everywhere to take time for themselves as often as they can.
Mother and entrepreneur, Clio Wood, reflects on the difficulties of being a first-time mother and how insecurity can creep-up at every turn. Am I doing this right? Am I enough? However, Woods found that with enough self-love, patience, and support from her community, she was able to overcome this cycle judgement and insecurity.
If you are feeling burnt out, defeated, or like me, need a refresher every once in a while, I encourage you to take a look at our Self-Care Quickies for Mamas. Self-care is critical for our mental and physical wellbeing.
am going to let you in on a life-altering secret that was shared with me once: friendships will save your marriage and help you be a better mother to your children. At first, this didn’t make sense to me. Why couldn’t my husband be that friend who I could unload my thoughts and feelings to at any point during the day? I mean one of the reasons I married him was so we could be partners in this life, and partners in this adventure of parenthood.
Most of us that have growing businesses and communities desire an app to easily communicate and connect with our people. Having the ability to be front and center on someone’s smart phone through push notifications, fresh content, and group messaging allows us to serve our members better. But apps are expensive!
We did the hard work when we created Mama, the app. And now, as we are working with other organizations that want to support mamas, we realize how much this community needs access to affordable app creation.
Before becoming a mother, I found pride in being an overachiever. Unfortunately, with that came discontentment. My mind decided to focus on what was left to do, or where I was lacking. Enter motherhood. The high expectations that were unmet became breeding ground for negative self-talk, guilt, anger, and sadness. So, I did what us strong mamas do, and I fought back. Hard.
I went to counseling, I read books, and I practiced replacing those hurtful comments with new truths. Here are three things that I exercise to maintain positive self-talk and maybe they could help you, too
Your head hits the couch pillow, and you are hoping your kids don’t see your tears. It has been one of those days. You know the ones where motherhood tricks you into thinking you are less than, or life gets too overwhelming. The need for a friend to hug you, or for your mother to tell you how great you are doing comes to the front of your mind. When you need support most, you hear a little ding from your phone.
This wisdom was inspired by my own need to dig deep for the confidence and feel connected to the strength of the woman who walked before me. We may not always feel like mother of the year, golly we might not even feel like a good mama somedays…
My soul is tired. My body is fatigued. My emotions are heavy. The only part of me that has energy is my mind. It doesn’t turn off. It reminds me of the tasks I am forgetting and the work still to do. I am beginning to realize that my mind, the strategic motivated overthinking brain I have nurtured for 37 years, has no interest in my wellbeing.
I’ve been on a work trip that I have desperately been looking forward to as an escape from home life. And now here I sit, at the airport, after four days away from my family, and I am even more exhausted than when I left.
I got to sleep for four straight nights on this trip — no middle of the night wakeups from bad dreams and toddler potty needs. I haven’t had to make different versions of one dinner to appease my two boys with the most opposite palates. I haven’t had to clean said meals up off the floor after each meal. I haven’t had to reason with an unreasonable toddler about getting his shoes on for school. Or intervene in the nightly toddler wrestling session that typically ends up in one or both boys crying.
This is my bathtub tonight. Looks cozy, no? Those pure white bubbles, mmmm…they’re not the organic orange and lavender bubble bath I meticulously picked out for my daughter. It’s Clorox. When friends walk into my home and smell the bleachy-fresh air, they think I’m a neat freak, but, to be honest, it’s usually the sign of a bad day.
Today was a doozy. It was clear from daycare pickup that L. was more than usually exhausted. As though to prove me wrong, she decided to abandon her friends on the toddler playground and climb to the top of the 25-foot spaceship at the park.
My husband and I: afraid of heights.
While I try to engender this confidence in her, I wish it didn’t manifest itself on a rusted, rickety spaceship. After ensuring her safe return to the ground, we leave the park for Target, where she cheerfully points, “I want that. And that. And that.” I harness my temper.
Take a moment and reflect on the top three hardest challenges you've gone through in your life. Imagine what it felt like when you were in the thick of it, and how manageable it feels now. Maybe still emotional or painful, but way less sharp when you think about it.
Next, identify the key lessons and takeaways that you learned from these experiences.
I imagine that you will find that you have manifested some characteristics through your hardships that are considered virtuous:
Do you ever wish you had to be hospitalized? Just for something minor: a botched mole removal that needed to be fixed, something to remedy a perceived cosmetic flaw, but imagine three or four days of sheer, uninterrupted sleep, clean(-ish) sheets, prepared healthy meals…it kind of sounds like a spa. This may be a sign that I need just a bit more self-care in my life.
On that note, I’d like to share the secret to my (questionable) sanity. It’s Whole Foods. While the prepared foods section would be a good start on a hectic night when dinner plans aren’t quite going my way, it’s actually the massage section that really won me over.
Last week, I got a message from my husband saying he wasn’t excited about the kids spending an extra night a week with me because the ‘kids sleep better etc.” when they are with him.
Hmmm, that’s interesting: Etc. Etcetera? ETCETERA?! What the $&*! was that “etc” supposed to mean? I’d like to say I was initially interested in understanding what he meant with the “etc,” but really I wasn’t interested in much understanding at all. I was interested in one thing: DEFENDING MY WORTH AS A MOTHER.
When I was six months postpartum, I felt this incredible need to get my body ‘back’. Not only had I not lost any pregnancy weight, but I added some because of the insane sleep deprivation and lack of self-care that every new mother goes through. I conned myself into believing that if I ate less or stuck to a whole foods diet, the weight would come off faster. So I did this and before I knew it I found myself in a binge-restrict cycle that is always the outcome of a strictly regimented diet.
As soon as I realized this, I stopped what I was doing and started practicing total body acceptance at my current size. I shifted to eating from that mindset, rather than from the belief that my body wasn’t good enough. I now know that eating as if my body isn't good enough, will always keep me locked into believing that, MY BODY ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH.