6 Ways to Stop Taking Things Personally as a Mom

When you’re a mom, the unsolicited advice and passing criticisms from others can come out of nowhere sometimes.  

 

Because the holidays tend to bring about more family gatherings and social events, this can set us up for a lot of opportunity to to be on the receiving end of those comments.  Not to mention, with all the added stress and hustle that the holidays often bring with them, we might be feeling just a bit more frazzled or sensitive than other times of the year.  As if being a parent to babies and small children isn’t challenging enough.

Slow Down to Stay Flexible this Holiday Season

Recently, I had a conversation with another mom about that tricky phase many of us go through when we parents are trying to determine whether it’s time to drop a nap in our little one’s sleep schedule.  Sometimes babies and toddlers can be really good at sending us a mixed bag of signals--particularly when it comes to naps.

And now that we’re in the full throes of holiday season, I think this topic is especially important since many of us spend time traveling or going to holiday events that also can bring about disruptions to our little ones’ sleep schedules (among other things).

Owning Your Confidence as New Parents When Others Have Opinions

ast week on the blog, I talked to you about managing outside expectations on your family for the holiday season.  If you’re wanting a quieter, simpler, more peaceful holiday season without the rushing around from this party to that dinner… First of all, I don’t blame you.  Doing all that with a brand new baby or even a toddler can sometimes just be way too much.  Especially if you’re only doing it because you feel like it’s expected of you.

But also, I do realize that telling you to set those boundaries with friends and family is kind of easy for me to say.  I’m not the one that has to look them in the face and say it for you.  So, I understand the anxiety that comes along with that.  

Setting Boundaries as New Parents for a Peaceful Holiday Season

Well, the holiday season is upon us.  Thanksgiving is a week away and I swear it sneaks up on me faster and faster every year.  The holidays can be stressful, chaotic, busy for everyone.  This can be especially true for new moms.

I have couples tell me all the time how stressful the holiday season can be with a new baby at home.  They share that they feel obligated to make the rounds.  I always tell them that they don’t need to do that.

Weathering the Weather in this Season of Motherhood

We’re officially within the bounds of “holiday season” by now.  We survived the time change (how did that go for your little ones, by the way?).   It’s getting darker way sooner than it was just weeks ago.  And fall is transitioning into winter.

 

This time of year, the sun sets so early in the day and even when it’s out, you might not always see too much of it.  Skies turn grey or overcast many days out of the season.  Northern California, where I live, definitely tends to get more precipitation this time of year than it does the rest of the year.  And many places across the country get much more rain (or snow!) than we do.

6 Things to Never Say to Someone Who Has Lost a Baby (And What to Do Instead)

Last week, in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I wrote about some of the common threads experienced by moms who have miscarried or lost a baby.    This week, I want to talk about how to be a support to these moms.  

Because I think we often struggle with how to support someone who has lost a loved one in general, and when someone who has lost a baby it can seem almost not real to the people in her periphery.  But even when our intentions are good, we can sometimes slip up and say the wrong thing in our attempts to be supportive. 

Miscarriage & Baby Loss: 7 Key Things You Need to Know

This Sunday (Oct. 15) is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and all of October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  To honor that and the moms* who have lived through the experience of a miscarriage or baby loss, I wanted to share with you just how common the occurrence is, what the experience can feel like for some moms, and ways friends and family can help.  

How to Parent When Your Heart is Broken

Parenthood is never easy, even when life seems perfect.  And those times when life is not so perfect?  Harder.  And those times when loss, tragedy or trauma happen?  The hardest.  Lately, it’s hard to listen to the news log onto social media.  It seems like there’s a new natural disaster or political mess every single day.  It’s starting to feel normal, even though we know nothing about any of this is or should be normal. 

With details about the Las Vegas Shooting coming out nearly a week later (and will probably continue to roll out in the weeks and months to come), we might be in for a rough emotional ride.  Especially because of how particularly senseless or inexplicable this event feels.  Especially especially if you know someone was there or otherwise feel some connection to that particular place.  

The Emotional Side of Potty Training

Ugh, potty training.  Am I right?  It can be so challenging, so stressful.  For you AND for your little one.  I want to help you get through potty training a little more pleasantly (Is pleasant potty training a thing?  OK, maybe not.  But let’s at least make it a little less torturous, shall we?)

There are a lot of good articles all over the internet on HOW to potty train your child, so I’m not going to spend time saying the same things many experts have already done.  My aim here instead is to take into account the big emotions you and your child will likely be feeling during this process so that you can get through it calmly and with empathy.

The Taboo of Having a Favorite Child

DO WE REALLY LOVE EACH OF OUR KIDS THE SAME?

When I was pregnant with my daughter (our second child), I distinctly remember being really worried that I would not be as in love with her as I was with my son (our first).  In fact, my husband and I use to joke that we shouldn't have a second kid because he was so awesome and perfect--there was just no way our second could live up to that.  “Our next kid would probably be a total nightmare,” we’d tease.  

Is There a Right Way to Celebrate Baby's First Birthday?

This is not a post about how to plan a Pinterest-worthy, uniquely-themed first birthday party that will wow your guests and make impressive Instagram photos.  

I’m not going to talk about smash cakes, decorations, or party tutus.  You can find plenty of that with just a quick Google search.

What I really want to talk about is WHY baby’s first birthday is such a momentous day worth celebrating, and how to celebrate it in ways that honor that WHY.

Shifts & Starts: 3 Major Times Our Little Ones Change Up Our Routines

I don’t know about you, but lately, my Facebook newsfeed is filled with adorable first-day-of-school photos.  I love it.  You can see the anticipation in their little faces and I completely understand what those moms and dads posting them must be feeling.

This time of year always makes me a bit reflective about transitions.  And I can’t help but think about how parenthood is constantly insisting we grow right along with our kids.

Shaping Perceptions of Racial Diversity in Babies, Toddlers & Young Children

Quick--If you had to guess, when do you think our children first begin to notice racial differences?

 

You might guess that it begins in grade school, when kids are under more pressure to fit in or have had more time to absorb their parents’ perceptions and commentary on different races. But, you’d be wrong.  These concepts begin taking shape much, much earlier than that.

Separation Anxiety & Stranger Danger: How to Get through it with Confidence & Empathy

Has your baby or toddler hit the “separation anxiety” phase in their development yet?  Our littles can start feeling separation anxiety as early as 6 months and usually phases out by age 2, but the peak age range is 8-18 months.  It usually looks like clinginess, tantrums or resistance to other caregivers. It often happens when mom or dad leaves the room for a moment, or during bedtime routines, or when a child is dropped off at a caregiver’s place.

How to Cope When Your Partner Has Postpartum Depression

What is it like as a dad or co-parent when your partner has Postpartum Depression or Anxiety?  Well, "difficult" would be an understatement.  Imagine you and your partner have the baby you’ve always wanted, but mom is just not herself anymore and you don’t know how to make things better.  It can feel helpless or hopeless.  It can feel frustrating.  You might feel angry or impulsive.  Or worried or sad.  Or numb.  Or way too preoccupied with tending to her needs and feelings that you have no idea how you even feel about it.

3 Simple Steps to Quit Keeping Score in Your Parenting Relationship

Remember back when you had roommates and it was so easy to divvy up the chores list and make sure everyone paid their share of the bills?  And if someone wasn’t pulling their weight, it was really clear, right?  Everyone knew who the lame roommate was and a simple house meeting could nip it in the bud or that roommate would be finding a new place.

New Dads: What is Your Role After Baby Arrives?

First-time dads, do you (or did you) ever feel like you’re unsure of what you’re supposed to even do in those first few weeks after bringing baby home?  

Do you (or did you) feel like you don’t even exist or that there’s not much reason for you to be around because the baby needs mom and mom is doing it all?

 

Every new parent will tell you that those first few weeks after baby comes home are rough.  

Securing Childcare: Questions to Ask to Get the Best Fit for Your Family

Finding childcare for your little ones can be an incredibly overwhelming thing for new parents--especially if you are bracing yourself to go back to work for the first time.  

 

There’s so much to think about just logistically:  the research involved, phone calls to make, interviews to conduct, budgeting to figure out, and so on.  And when you factor in all the emotions that come with it--The guilt! Oh, the guilt!--it can almost feel like too much to handle on top of everything else you already have to do everyday.

Summer Travel Plans? Keep Your Toddlers & Kids Occupied & Happy While Traveling with These Clever Ideas

Ah, summer travel…  Second maybe only to the Christmas/Chanukah season, this is probably the most popular time for travel.  Vacations are always worth it--it’s great family bonding and relaxation time for parents, and little ones always have a blast when experiencing new things.  But, let’s be honest:  the traveling to and from our incredible family vacations is not always so restful.  Or even pleasant.  Whether flying or driving, the challenges often the same--keeping our little ones content and occupied.

Creating Your Kid-Friendly Lifestyle: How to Work In All the Important Stuff from Boring Chores to Fave Hobbies

So often in my practice, I see women who are struggling with a loss of identity now that they're a mom.  I also see many parents--both moms and dads--who feel like it just isn't feasible for them to continue certain activities.  That it would be impossible for them to enjoy it, to focus, or do it the way they want to with a little one tagging along.  It can feel very literally like a monkey on your back while you're trying to do your thing.  Or, like you can't just lose yourself in the activity because you have this other person to tend to.