survival tips

MMHA Month Recap: Perinatal Mood Disorders, Sharing Your Story, & Simplifying Motherhood *BONUS RESOURCES INSIDE*

Well, May has come and gone and summer is in full swing.  But, just because Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month is over doesn’t mean the conversation is over.  Maternal Mental Health is important 365 days a year.

So, we might be well into June by now, but I want to recap what we discussed in the last month and share with you some weekly tips videos I did over on my Facebook page. PLUS, TWO FREE DOWNLOADS INSIDE!

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.

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.

Letting New Parents Off the Hook: Mommas of 2+ Kids Give You Their Best Hacks & Cut You Some Slack!

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.

How to Deal When Your Baby Hates the Car

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. 

Travel Tips for Parents with Little Ones

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.

10 Tips to Tame Your Busy-ness

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.

Get Mom What She Really Wants: 12 Gift Ideas to Make Her Life Easier

In case you are in the dark about this, let me let you in on a little secret:  moms are busy people.  There are probably all kinds of great gift ideas that might be more romantic or luxurious than the ones I'm about to recommend, but if you really care about making a mom feel truly happier, lighter and supported, I think these are some ideas worth considering. 

 

And before we go any further, let me preface by saying that unless otherwise mentioned, I am in no way affiliated with any company I recommend here.  With the exception of my own classes, I'm not getting a commission on any of these products or services.  These are just my honest personal suggestions for things that have worked for me and other moms I know. 

 

Now, let's get right to it:

 

1. Vitamix blender

- These gadgets are pricey, but worth it.  There are few things in our homes that have so many uses as a Vitamix does. This blender great for smoothies which, if you’re as busy as I am (and what mom isn’t?), this is a great way to make sure you get your breakfast and/or fruits and veggies into your day.  It’s also great for making baby food, blending soups and salsas, grinding coffee, even making your own nut butters.  You could probably get rid of several kitchen gadgets and just use this one--I’m all for reducing clutter.  Plus, I’ve heard of people that have owned the same Vitamix blender for more than 20 years and it’s still as powerful as it was when they first got it.  Talk about a good investment!  Prices start at $199 on Vitamix’s website.  (And if you’re price shopping, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  For example, I’ve seen them for cheaper at Costco, but they also make them with a slightly less powerful engine just for Costco so that they can offer them at a lower price.  This may make no difference to you--just something to be aware of.)  https://www.vitamix.com/Shop

2. A good water bottle

- Because I, for one, often forget to drink until I'm already dehydrated.  And, I can’t be the only one.  Go for a glass or stainless steel one, since plastic ones always have a risk of leaking chemicals and often have multiple parts like straws or leak guards that can be hard to get clean.  Not to mention plastic ones are more likely to take on the smells of your dirty dishwater or dish soap (gross).  Glass ones are easiest to clean, but they’re also heavier and obviously somewhat fragile.  If you want a glass one, this is the brand I love for their modern styling and variety of sizes:  http://www.mybkr.com/shop/#/shop  If you prefer stainless steel, I like the slim shape, style and simplicity of this one:  http://www.target.com/p/s-ip-by-well-bubblegum-pink-stainless-steel-water-bottle-15oz/-/A-50284913  

3. Yoga Classes at Herself Moms

- (This recommendation only works for Sacramento-area moms, but if you’re not local, jump down to number 4.)  I can’t say enough good things about Herself Moms, and not just because it happens to be where I hold several of my classes and workshops.  They have a variety of yoga classes all tailored specifically for the prenatal or postpartum mom.  So, whether the goal is to have a healthy pregnancy, get ready for labor, or reconnect with and rejuvenate the postpartum body, Herself Moms has got you covered.  And many classes invite you to bring your littles along!  You can purchase a 4-, 8-, or 12-class pass starting at $50.  http://herselfmoms.com/

4. Online Yoga Programs

- This can be a great affordable gift idea that offers mom some self-care at her convenience.  There are a variety of program options out there.  Two reputable ones that I like are Cody and YogaGlo.  Both sites attract some of the biggest names in the yoga world, like Seane Corne, Noah Maze, Jason Crandell, and Kathryn Budig (all with YogaGlo), and Kino MacGregor, Meghan Currie, Ana Forrest, Briohny Smith, and Sri Dharma Mittra (on Cody). YogaGlo is a membership site, with fees of $18 a month for unlimited access (and if you’re local to the Santa Monica area, you can go to a class in person).  Cody functions a little bit differently, in that you actually buy a themed bundle of classes featuring a specific instructor for a flat price, and you get lifetime access to any purchased (and some free) courses, as well as access to their online community to post your workouts and connect with other yogis.  They also have an app for phones and tablets.  Bundle prices typically start at $19.99.  Check them out at https://www.yogaglo.com/ and

Not sure about the benefits of yoga? Check out this detailed article  https://www.jenreviews.com/yoga/

5. Gift Membership to an Online Food Delivery service

- This would be such a life saver for any mom.  Groceries delivered with all the prep work done?  Sign me up!  Blue Apron, HelloFresh or Thrive Market are some good options.  With both Blue Apron and HelloFresh, you shop based on the meals you want to make each week and they provide you with recipe cards and all the prepped ingredients.   To do a gift membership with Blue Apron, you select the number of weeks you want the service to run (available in 1-week, 2-week, and 4-week options), the number of meals you want to provide, and the size of the family and it is priced accordingly.  With HelloFresh, you can send a gift card good toward one box of food--the amount depends on whether you select the “Classic”, “Veggie” or “Family” plan.  Thrive Market is a bit different in that it is basically a health food store that happens to be online.  They carry mostly pantry items, household items, vitamins and supplements, and bath & body items, all with an organic and natural bent at a discounted price.  (Think affordable Whole Foods delivered to your door.)  So, if you know a health-conscious mom who likes versatility, this might be the way to go.  But to have access to their good prices, you need a membership.  You can gift someone a 1-year membership for $59.95, and for every membership purchased, they donate one to a low-income family, teacher or veteran.  Love that!  You can compare options for each online store here:  https://www.blueapron.com/gifts , https://www.hellofresh.com/tasty/gift-landing/ , https://thrivemarket.com/thrive-market-1-year-membership  

6. Printable Life Planner

- You can find tons of printable planners on Etsy, but my favorite one is by Secret OWL Society.  This designer really thought of everything.  And, I love that you can print out as many pages as you need and create your own binder.  Preschooler scribbled all over your December agenda? Need to rework your schedule?  No problem, just reprint.  This particular planner is especially great for the self-employed mom, with the pages for goal and habit tracking, and blog and social media planning, but really this planner could work for anyone.  Check it out here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/465356577/ultimate-life-binder-planner-budget-blog?ref=shop_home_feat_1

7. Crock Pot

- “Set it and forget it” dinners.  Enough said.  You can find one for as low as $12.99, but for a family, I’d opt for one that holds at least 4-6 quarts.  http://www.crock-pot.com/top-sellers/

8. Bath Bombs

- For the mom that really needs a break, but just can’t seem to get it, why not encourage a spa day at home?  This is a great option for a gift-giver on a budget.  For a total sensory experience, I love the bath bombs at LUSH: http://www.lushusa.com/bath/bath-bombs/

9. Makeup to make her look great in a hurry

- This might vary from mom to mom, but I find that the stuff that makes me look awake, healthy and energized are my go-to’s.  For me, that’s BB cream and blush.  And for when I have a little extra time or need a touch more polish, mascara and lipstick (it’s actually pretty amazing how much just those two can make your eyes look brighter and more perked up).  Garnier’s BB Cream makes color selection easy and the coverage is pretty good.  It’s also affordable.  And, NARS powder blush in orgasm looks good on just about anyone.  It’s pricey, but worth it and lasts a long time ($30 on Sephora.com).  Mascara and lipstick might boil down to personal preference, but you can’t go wrong with a classic red lip in my opinion.  When in doubt, opt for a Sephora gift card.  http://www.sephora.com/giftcards?icid2=gifts_giftcard_link

10. Buy her and a friend pedicures

- You can swap out “pedicures” for any other self-care activity you want...a yoga class, a wine and painting night, a desserts-only date.  Whatever suits the mom in mind.  The real goal here is to kill two birds with one stone by providing her with some much needed self-care and some social time all in one.  Because she really, really needs both.

11. A Happy With Baby workshop

- Shameless plug here, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t really think that it’ll be a sanity saver for any new mom.  I’ve got my “Relationship Survival for Baby’s First Year” workshop coming up for January, as well as a Calm Moms Group Therapy series.  And, my Finding Calm workshop in February.  Why not kick off 2017 right?  Get details here:  http://happywithbaby.com/classes-events/

12. Offer Your Time

- When in doubt, time is something almost anyone can give.  And it costs you nothing.  You can even make cute little coupons, if you want an actual thing to hand to her.  Offer to babysit so she can have a date night with her partner or girlfriends.  Offer to hold the baby so she can take a nap.  Offer to feed the kids dinner so she can finish her own holiday shopping.  Whatever it takes.  Show her she is supported.


Well, what do you think?  Do any ideas stand out to you for a mom you know (or maybe for yourself)?  What ideas would YOU add to the list?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

When Overload Strikes: 3 Tips to Get Parents Through It

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….  

Survival Tips for Major Life Transitions

OMG, moving with kids is not easy.

I remember a time when I could be moved and unpacked in one weekend….Oh, the good old college days!  

It is definitely not the same with a husband and two kids.  The end of 2015 was exhausting.  We sold our home and moved into our new place. And, of course, the holidays are always a busy time.  But, I can finally say we are all sleeping happily in our new rooms.