Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What Your First Year As a Mother Teaches You

Motherhood continues to be a learning experience even when your child is no longer, well, a child. The surprises it brings are indescribable to someone who has not already been through it. Because of this, it isn’t possible to be entirely prepared to enter the world of motherhood. There are no baby books, classes, or people that can fully brace you for the chaos of parenting…in fact there really isn’t anything other than experience. And even that doesn’t always suffice! So as you can imagine, a mother-to-be with no experience is in for some big surprises, both good and not so good. 

You will learn so much during the first year as a parent, about you, your partner, and your baby. I asked real women the most valuable (and surprising) lessons they learned during their first year as a mother and these were their responses:

1. “It gets easier, then harder, then easier, then harder again.”

2. “Your first meal after giving birth will feel like the most incredible meal of your life- even if it’s just a sub and a diet pepsi.”

3. “It’s okay to leave the baby with the husband for some time alone, even if it’s just a shower!”

4. “You will Google things you never thought you would Google.”

5. “Take lots of pictures and make a photo album.”

6. “You have never known the definition of tired until now.”

7. “Seeing your husband in the role of a father makes you fall in love all over again.”

8. “It’s okay to use paper products instead of dishes because you’re too tired to even load the dishwasher.” 

9. “Take help when it’s offered and don’t feel ashamed about it.”

10. “Never say never.”

11. “You will learn what the true definition of ‘unconditional love’ is.”

12. “You will buy endless amounts of beautiful baby toys and all they want to play with are the remote and your phone.”

13. “Having a baby will test and strengthen you and your partner’s relationship.”

14. “Hangovers suck, hangovers as a mom suck way more.” 

15. “You will learn to be both humble and patient from your baby.”

16. “When you hear a baby crying in public, instead of feeling annoyance, you’ll feel sympathy. Even on an airplane. Actually, ESPECIALLY on an airplane.”

17. “Nothing slows you down like being a mom. Always remember to slow down and enjoy the moments because they won’t be babies forever.”


18. “The dishes can wait. Take a few moments to stop and just play with your child.” 

Friday, July 18, 2014

These Old Photos Show What Parts of Motherhood Haven’t Changed In 50 Years

Ken Heyman recently uncovered a box of amazing photographs that had remained untouched for 50 years. The 83-year-old photographer had requested his belongings be removed from a closing storage facility and upon clearing the unit out, a box titled, “Mothers”, was discovered. The dusty, old box contained half-a-century old photos of mothers with their children. 

The beautiful images were part of a project for a book called Family, which Heyman co-wrote with anthropologist Margaret Mead. But the pictures represented so much more than just an exciting blast-from-the-past- they showed how, despite the pictures being published so many years ago, they looked strikingly similar to images of mothers with their children today. 


So although certain elements of parenting have seen some changes, these photos revel that the core foundations of motherhood do not change over time, even through decades. 

The chaos, the love, the joy, the kissing of boo boos, the multitasking, all mirrors what we see in mothers with their children today. Seeing this fact through in the eyes and smiles of these mothers in the pictures is not just fascinating, but quite touching and powerful as well.  

Even as we have witnessed a shift in culture, music, clothes, technology, some parenting styles, education, and more- the love a mother feels for her child remains the same. 






























Sunday, July 13, 2014

Colbie Caillat Encourages Women to Feel Comfortable in their own Skin in her Powerful Music Video "Try"

Colbie Caillat has always felt more comfortable in makeup-less skin, and in her new song she shares how she wants all women to be able to feel that way. The inspiring song, titled “Try”, accompanied by a powerful music video highlights how unfair beauty ideals can be and showing women happy and secure in their natural, makeup-free selves. 

Caillat talks about how she got the idea for the music video from personal experiences. She says she knows how trying to hide your faults or feeling insecure about blemishes is something that all women go through. That even women who feel more comfortable naturally worry that other people won’t approve. 

But Caillat didn’t want to just talk about how women should feel more comfortable in their own skin, she wanted to back it up too. So when getting ready for the photo shoot for the album cover, Caillat did not her usual preparations. She skipped the manicure, the hair cut, the stylist, and even requested that her album cover remain untouched by photoshop. Then for the music video, she joined several other women in taking off all make up and proudly wearing their natural faces. 

It is an amazing message to send to girls and I admire not just Caillat for her bravery but also each woman who participated in the making of the beautiful and inspiring video. It is fun to get dolled up every once and a while, maybe even every day, but women should be doing it for themselves- not to impress or feel accepted by other people. 


Click below to watch Colbie Caillat’s beautiful new music video, “Try”:


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Most Critical "Don'ts" in Motherhood

As you prepare for motherhood for the very first time, there are lots of books and people giving you advice, filling you in on all the things you should do as a mother- but there are also a lot of things you should avoid doing as a parent that the books aren’t as quick to tell you. A lot of the “do’s” of parenting aren’t universal, every situation and every child is different, but there are some “don’ts” of mothering a child that every woman should take into consideration. 

Jill Smokler tells us some of the most important don’ts in parenting, something that every mother and mother-to-be can learn from.


1. Don’t ever claim that you have mastered parenting or are the best at it
Jill’s first piece of advice is crucial. The world of parenting is unique from any other world, even in some ways from other parents’, and even the most “prepared” parent will find it has many curve balls to offer. Always remember to be humble because you never know what kids can throw at you. 

2. Don’t sweat the small stuff
I’ve said this in blogs before and I’m sure I’ll say it again in blogs to come- because this advice is so important. Don’t get lost over the insignificant things, like clothes on the floor or unmade beds, because if you do you’ll go crazy. Not to mention, you won’t have energy left for the things that really do matter.

3. Don’t ever lose your sense of humor
This goes hand-in-hand with no sweating the small stuff. Always remember to laugh and make light of the things that can be made light of. It will help you stay sane in the crazy world of motherhood.

4. Don’t get upset over milestones
Their first day of kindergarten is bittersweet for every mother, but don’t let it get to you passed that morning. There will be many milestones in your child’s life, all the way through the birth of their own child, so it’s important to put a positive spin on it and not get weighed down in negativity or the past. 

5. Don’t judge another parent’s parenting
Some parents do this a lot, but don’t be one of them. Every child is different, so there is no such thing as one right style of raising them. It is so important to be supportive and nonjudgmental of other mothers and their children because you never know when a time will come where you’re going to need other mothers to be supportive and judgement free of a situation your child is in. 

6. Don’t let another parent make you feel bad about your parenting 
Like I mentioned above, every child is different. No other parent has raised your child, so it is not their place to tell you how to raise your child. If the other classroom mom is judgmental of you being a working mom, don’t let it bother you. What works for her is fine, and if what works for you and your family is different then that is fine too. 

7. Never say never
I love this because in life in general this is true, but it becomes especially true in parenting. Once you become a mother, you google things and do things you never imagined you would. 

8. Don’t ever go to bed without saying “I love you"
No matter how long or stressful your day was, never let your kids go to bed without telling them how much you love them and how special they are. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Most Creative Ways Moms Can Sneak in Workouts

One of the trickiest aspects of parenting is finding time for oneself, meaning time away from the kids and the spouse. To many moms, going to the gym and working out falls under that category. If you ask me, running around after kids is a workout in itself but for the moms out there who were looking for something a little more than that- there are some ways you can creatively sneak in some exercise between (or during) working and parenting. 


1. Walking the dog
One of the best ways to sneak away from the house for a little while, with a good excuse, and get some exercise is to go for a power walk with the dog. It can be in the early morning or evening time, whatever fits best with your schedule. If you have little kids that can’t be left unattended- take them with you! Pushing a stroller in front of you while you jog or power walk just amps up your workout and burns more calories.


2. Squeeze in a yoga or Pilates class
Even if it means getting up earlier to make this work, attending a class a few times a week can do wonders for your body- and your mind. Yoga not only makes you sweat, it also can be that one hour a day to completely relax, get that to-do list off your brain, and focus on yourself. Plus, it is the perfect place to meet other moms who are there doing exactly the same thing as you.


3. Biking with the kids in tow
This doesn’t quite get you that much coveted time alone, but it does offer one hell of a workout! If you have young children, biking while pulling them behind you is fun and entertaining for them while giving you that leg/butt workout you’ve been searching for. Everybody wins. 


4. Taking the stairs at work
Instead of waiting in line for the elevator alongside everyone else, try taking the stairs at work instead! It might be the last thing you want to do early in the morning or at the end of a long day, but taking the stairs every day adds up to become a great leg work out.


5. Doing crunches during every commercial of your kid’s favorite show
Commercials are back on? Cue the crunches! This idea combines spending time with your kids, an ab work out, and breaks all into one beautiful 30 minute period. 

6. Park farther away at the grocery store
Instead of fighting for the closest spot to the door every week at the grocery store, park farther away from it and walk instead. It seems like a small thing but it’s a great way to burn a few calories and not stress over a parking spot. 


7. Forget hiring a swim instructor and teach your kids how to swim yourself
Unless you are a truly terrible swimmer, everyone wins in this situation! Swimming is a fantastic workout and, more importantly, a lot of fun. Even if you don’t have a pool, hit up your local country club/rec center/or public pool with the kids during the summer and give personal lessons a try. You’re spending time with your kids, saving money, and getting a killer workout all in one. What could be better?


8.  Give gardening a try

Digging and planting in the hot sun is definitely a work out, and not to mention, a good hobby. It can be done at home and while watching the kids. Have them come outside to play in the backyard for a few hours while you work on your garden. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Powerful Always Ad Asks Us What It Means to Do Something 'Like a Girl'

While growing up, or watching your kids grow up, were you ever told or heard someone else being told they do something “like a girl”? Think about what the person who was saying that meant with those words. Was it that they were kicking, running, or hitting impressively and with force? Probably not. Most likely the teacher, coach, parent, or peer meant they were performing below average or in a way that would be considered by that person to be weak. 

But why does doing something ‘like a girl’ have to mean doing something poorly? It implies that acting like a girl or being a girl is something to be ashamed of, to try to change. And is that the message we want to be sending to our young girls as they become young adults? Definitely not. 

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure not only do I hit like a girl and run like a girl but I also wake up like a girl, brush my teeth like a girl, and go to work like a girl- because I AM a girl. 

We need to be raising our girls to be proud of who they are and what they are capable of. Young girls should recognize all that it means to be a girl. Because being a woman is a beautiful thing. 

When most people are asked who the strongest person they know is, a lot of the time their answer is their mother. 

A woman

A strong, independent, resilient woman. So next time someone tells you that you hit like a girl, thank them because they just complimented you. And encourage them to think about the meaning behind their thoughtless statement because their beautiful, strong mother raised them- like a girl. 


This issue is finally brought to the world’s attention in an inspiring and powerful ad by Always. 
Click below to watch:

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Funniest Tampon Commercial You’ll Ever Watch

Most people would agree that the tween years are just full of awkwardness- which includes a changing body, and often times an attitude to go along with it. Hello Flo, a start up that delivers monthly care packages of “ladies’ day” products recently released a commercial highlighting these awkward years and putting a light, humorous spin on it. And it worked. The funny ad has blown up across social media networks including YouTube, with over 21 million views in just a week (!). 

The clip, titled “First Moon Party”, opens with a young girl jealous of all her female friends who have entered womanhood while she is still patiently awaiting the arrival of her right of passage. Her patience has run out and she fakes her period, red nail polish and all. Her friends buy the scheme but, of course, her mother sees right through it. To get back at her for her lies (and mostly her attitude), Mom decides to throw her growing daughter a “First Moon Party” to embarrass her into finally admitting the truth. 

The commercial perfectly captures the struggle many women were familiar with during those years and is pretty hilarious. Until watching this, I never knew a tampon commercial could be so entertaining.


Click below to watch what everyone is talking about