managing motherhood

Are You Spending Enough Time with Your Kids?

More and more, I hear from moms that they worry they aren’t spending enough time with their kids.  

And, I mean, it makes sense.  Many of us moms work, which means someone else is doing the caregiving for a significant portion of the day.  And then, we come home and it’s boom-boom-boom. We have to do the whole dinner, bathtime, bedtime routine, with the rush hour commute in between.  It often feels like there isn’t much time to “just be” with our kids.

But, it’s not just working mothers.  Stay-at-home moms feel it too.

Manage Your Task List Like a Boss Even with a New Baby at Home

Last week, I showed you how to use my Postpartum Support Matrix worksheet to help you determine where you need extra help right now and over the long term.  

This week, I’m showing you the next step:  How to manage it all and make sure everything is getting done, even if it’s not you doing every single thing.  

(And, in doing this, if you discover that it IS you doing every single thing, you’ll also discover how to pass those things off to someone else.)

One of the most common things I hear from new moms is that they suddenly feel like there are so many more things they have to do now.  The chores seem to multiply literally overnight!

But you can totally handle it like a boss. Here’s how.

How to Start Asking for Support When You Don't Even Know What to Ask For

Are you a new mom or dad that feels like you’re doing too much and can’t keep up? 

Are you so overwhelmed or exhausted that you can’t even think of what to delegate when people ask how they can help?

Or, maybe asking people for help just feels too hard, but you’d love to try to let yourself off the hook a little?

I get it.  Completely.  

For one thing, as a mom,  I’ve been there myself. For another, this is something that comes up in my therapy practice ALL the time.

That’s why I created two tools that can help. You can download both of them here.

Life Hacks for Parents: Solving the "What's for dinner?" Dilemma

For years, I'd say the worst question anyone could ask me is "What's for dinner?" 

I know I'm not alone in this.  Whether you love to cook or not, it's the deciding what to make that is the most exhausting.  And it's only made worse when it's followed by groans of "Ew, not that again...." 

Now, there are a variety of ways to solve this problem in our modern world.

A Conversation Around Community: Catherine O'Brien Interviews Dr. Jacqueline Schoemaker Holmes

One of the most common issues moms bring up to me is that it’s so hard to find their mom tribe.  Whether it’s online or in real life, it’s hard to figure out where we fit in or find that place where we can feel supported and not judged for our choices, fears and struggles.  

But, why is it so hard to find these mom friends?  And how do we succeed in finding them?

Visitors or no visitors? Managing friends and family after baby arrives

“I just had my baby 4 days ago and I feel like I haven’t been able to spend alone time with her at all. My family and friends keep calling and stopping by the house without warning. I don’t want to be mean by telling them not to come over, but I really just want time to bond with my baby right now. Is that bad? What should I do?”


If you’re reading this because you’re having a similar problem, let me just start by telling you that you’re not bad. You’re not selfish. You’re also not alone. Far from it.

When You’re a Mom & She Isn’t

Motherhood is a rite of passage.  It’s a kind of life (and a kind of love) that you can only truly understand if you’re also a mom yourself.  So, what about our friends that haven’t birthed babies or otherwise become parents to little humans? 

I often hear from moms that it feels like there’s a disconnect in the friendship once one of the two has become a mom.  And sure, sometimes relationships run their course and not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.  BUT…  still.  Isn’t it kind of a shame sometimes?

Tips for Navigating Mom Groups on Facebook

How do you feel about mom groups on Facebook?

I’ve been asking around about how other moms feel about mom groups on Facebook and other social media and the funny thing is, I’m met with groans every time.  I’m not surprised, really. More just disappointed for moms everywhere.

I guess we probably should have predicted this.  Road rage has been a problem for probably decades.  Social media trolling, though relatively newer, comes out of a similar mentality.  

Surviving Sick Days with Your Baby or Toddler

Is it just me, or does it seem like this year’s cold and flu season is particularly rough?  Lately, it seems like everyone has taken the hit.  It has definitely shaken things up a bit at my household already.  

 

In January’s issue of Real Simple magazine, they put out a great article on how to survive sick days.  (The advice in it is genius.  It’s worth checking out.)  But, the focus is mostly on families with older kids.  And it hit me: Why haven’t I talked about sick days with babies and toddlers on the blog before??  So, that’s what I want to dig into now because I think there are some specific things to note when your baby or toddler gets sick.

Best of the Blog: Here are the posts you loved most in 2017

Well, moms and dads, it's been another interesting year!  To honor the work we've done over the past year and to help usher in the new year, this week I thought I'd highlight the most popular blog content we've put out in 2017.  These are the posts you've read and loved the most! 

Parents, What Do You Want More of in 2018? A Call For Your Input!

Parents, I need your help!

It's the end of the year and that means I'm deep into 2018 planning mode.  I really want to make sure that I'm providing you with helpful information that you actually want and need.  So, I'd love your input!

I've created a super short survey for you, dear reader.  I promise it will take you less than 2 minutes.  Will you help me out?

Video: Confessions of a Marriage Therapist "Goals & Feelings"

This week's video is all about how, after I had run myself ragged as a mom, I finally learned to focus on how I want to FEEL over what I want to accomplish. 

 

In it, I tell you about my 3 favorite ways to start focusing on the right things.  With some practice, these habits will help you to naturally create your ideal day. 

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.

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.

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. 

Catherine O'Brien featured in PsychCentral's "Mothering Lessons" Article

Motherhood has a way of catalyzing change and growth.  It's like the one great equalizer:  Motherhood doesn't care if you're a so-called "expert" or not.  We ALL struggle.  And we all acquire our own set of mothering wisdom to share. 

This week, I had the pleasure of being featured on PsychCentral's article, "Women Reveal the Biggest Lessons Mothering Has Taught Them."  I'd love it if you'd check it out.  Then, share your own wise mothering lessons in the comments!

19+ Smartphone Apps that Make Parenting Easier

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.

New Mama Worries, Part 1: What's Normal & How to Get Past Your Anxieties

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.”