Being a new mom is an adjustment. OK, that might be an understatement. Sometimes, being a new mom is hard, and scary, and nerve-wracking, exhausting, confusing. Being a new mom can make you question whether you’re even cut out for this. Whether you’re any good at it. Why everything in the book isn’t working. Or, how you surely must be screwing your kid up from the get-go if you don’t do x-y-z right. Let me tell you: Every single mom has felt this way at some point. You’re not alone.
Not all of us win the lottery when it comes to kids and car rides. Some parents love driving their babies or kids around because they’re guaranteed to knock out during the ride. Other parents, not so much. If your baby screams as if they’re being tortured during any drive or if your toddler gets carsick, I know how traumatic it can feel for you, momma. I have two kids and they are like night and day when it comes to personalities. Their reactions to car rides….also like night and day.
Since it’s generally Spring Break time for many of us this time of year, I thought I’d focus on some thoughts on traveling with little ones and some hacks to make it easier. Plus, summer is coming, so it can’t hurt to plan ahead for your upcoming summer trips. First of all, I know that traveling with a little one seems daunting, but really, it’s not so bad. You’ll figure out your own system and your own travel hacks (which I’d love to hear!). And secondly, just do it. Do it now, while they’re young.
Like it or not, we live in a technological age. And, while there are definitely some hazards that come with that, there’s no denying the advantages. Since many of us use smartphones anyway these days, I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of apps that might make your life as a parent a bit easier. Now, by no means does anyone necessarily need ALL of the apps listed here. Just pick and choose the ones that suit your lifestyle and discard the rest. And, hopefully, this at least gives you a range of ideas for ways you can use your smartphone to simplify your life as a mom or dad.
Now, honestly, I mean that in the nicest way. Because if you’ve met me before you know that saying something direct and possibly hurtful is not my style. But I feel like if I don’t tell you, then I can’t continue to sit back and watch you be miserable and continue to let you commiserate. Because momma, you are so focused on what isn’t right that you aren’t noticing the positive.
Anxiety sucks. Anxiety while being a mom really sucks. One of the things I hear from moms is that they often blame themselves if they feel anxious. As if somehow they are failing as a mom, a partner, a person if they experience anxiety and motherhood at the same time. Maybe they just weren't cut out for this job. But NO! That's so not true. The truth is that you do love your sweet baby and no one can parent the way you can--there is just something else going on.
One of the most common concerns I hear from moms both in my practice and in my personal life is the constant worry they feel since bringing their baby home. For many, it starts during pregnancy. And, on the one hand, worry makes a lot of sense. We have been entrusted with the fullest of responsibilities--creating and raising a life. “I am a mom--it is my job to worry.”
One of the biggest challenges I hear from moms is how difficult it is to find mom friends. Some even liken it to going out to a bar and hitting on someone, hoping that they like you and want to start hanging out. That doesn't always have the best memories associated with it, does it?
The fear of rejection is real. And the effort it takes to meet new people can feel daunting or even draining for some of us.
Whether you are pregnant, have a new baby or even an older child, we moms all can feel touched out at certain times in our parenting adventure. I especially hear about this from breastfeeding moms. If you’ve already been there, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The baby wants to do nothing but nurse. Or be rocked in your old rocking chair. Or will only sleep if she’s lying on your chest...
“When will we have a sex life again after the baby is born? And will it be any good?”
I hear this a lot from expecting parents, both with the couples I work with and in Facebook groups online. I’d venture to guess there are plenty more that are wondering the same things, but haven’t been brave enough to ask. Every new or expecting parent wants to know what’s normal.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about stress and the brain. In it, I talk about the limbic system (our “reptilian brain” that controls our emotions) and the five main ways to impact its response to stress.
There is nothing quite like motherhood to make you feel like you’ve lost control or that you’ve met your limit, right? Often times, motherhood can feel joyful, meaningful, boring, stressful, exhausting….all in one day. I think ideally we’d all like to feel more joy and meaning than stress and exhaustion though. And, thankfully, there are actual things you can do to make sure you feel more ease and can enjoy the positives more.
Let’s face it, if you’re a mom, YOU ARE BUSY. It’s just a fact of modern life.
And, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you: The bad news is you’ll always be busy (at least until you’re empty-nesters, I’m afraid!). But, the good news is there are definitely ways you can simplify and streamline your beautifully chaotic, messy, imperfect life.
sn’t it crazy just how much we need to do, think about, and plan for when we are expecting a baby? It is an amazing time, but it is also a life-altering, world-changing event. If you are an expectant parent you are probably already inundated with books, research on the best products, and get loads of unsolicited advice. (And if you're not yet, just wait....)
I recently read another blog by a friend, colleague, and brilliant business coach, Jo Muirhead. In it, she talks about reflecting on the past year. As I read it, my most immediate thought was that I had accomplished nothing over the year. I had big goals that went unmet.
And then one of the questions jumped out at me and honestly, brought tears to my eyes: “What were you doing?”
Ah, self-care. This is something that takes constant work to master. (Does anyone ever really "master" it?) Sometimes I'm great at it. Other times, not so much. And when I fall out of the habit, I have to bring my attention back to it (sometimes after my husband calls me out on it!) and work it back into my routine.
What is it like to feel like you don't belong? Or, to feel like everyone else makes friends so much easier than you do?
I talk to my clients all the time about how important it is to have a community--a tribe--a circle of other mom friends to support you, laugh with you, lift you up, or let you fall apart in their company. Moms who “get it” and don’t judge you for your struggles or imperfections.
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Anna Osborn, a dear friend and colleague, on her podcast, Her Life Unscripted, all about new motherhood--its effects on our relationships with our partners, how our needs change even though our wants might stay the same, and the imperative of finding your tribe as a momma.
Earlier this month, Catherine O'Brien was interviewed by Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D. for the "Mom & Mind Podcast". In the interview, Catherine talks about how she found her true passion in her work, how she supports both moms and dads during the transition into parenthood, and her special affinity fora all moms regardless of the differences in experience or technique.
The other day, I was so tired I just couldn’t get out of bed. I knew I really needed to get going because I had to wash my hair before work and get myself ready before getting my kids up to take my daughter to preschool. But I just couldn't move and then I heard those little footsteps coming down the hallway….
Let's face it: We moms are all guilty of....well, feeling guilty. At least a little bit, at least once in a while. We all do it and we all know it's futile. It's time to let ourselves off the hook a little.
In her latest feature on PsychCentral.com, Catherine O'Brien says, “Not every mom is going to be good at everything, But there are so many things that [moms] provide on a regular basis that only we can do so well.”
Catherine O'Brien, LMFT has once again been featured in an article on PsychCentral.com, this time discussing specifically how social media influences self-confidence, mental health, and choice as mothers. Do you use Facebook or other social media platforms as a little break, some socialization or support? Notice how you feel whenever you do log on to social media and whether it is actually serving you.
This week, we're hearing from a momma who turns to God when running her home and running after her sons gets overwhelming. When she feels unsure or uneasy, she listens to her inner voice and instinct to make the right choices.
tHIS WEEK, we're hearing from a momma who lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis and manages to chase around two energetic boys. when she feels stress coming on or judgement from others, she reminds herself that her sons are loved and at the end of the day that's all that really matters.
This week, an Aussie momma shares with us how she checks in with herself and makes realistic expectations of what she can accomplish each day. She is only interested in doing what she feels is best when it comes to her son and understand that other moms are doing the same!
I don’t know about you, but I have yet to meet a momma that is not a working momma. It doesn’t matter if you’re working in the home or out, the unending balancing act is universal. And quite honestly, as a momma of twins and business owner, I cringe each time I hear the word balance. It’s almost like “balance” starts to feel like an expectation or a “should”. Some way we should be having it all, managing it all or making it all work. I think that attempts at achieving “balance” is a driving force behind mommas running on empty.