As newly expecting parents, we all want to be prepared. We do the research, we get advice, we stock up on supplies and books. But even the most prepared mother can get completely blindsided by the isolation that can come with early motherhood. First time mamas-to-be often want to know, what are the most important items necessities for a new baby? My answer is: find your tribe. Start identifying your support people, find a mom group in your area, start connecting with other moms who are a little further ahead of you. The kind you can text when you're in the throes. The kind that will come over and hang out with your kid while you take the first shower you’ve had in a week. The kind you can laugh with over your fumbles and bring levity to long days and send courage to see you through long nights. The kind you can talk about the hard stuff. Everything else you’ll gather along the way. Motherhood is an experience as unique as each of our babies. But we are stronger when we remember that there are other moms out there too, elbow-deep in the work of mothering and that we have each other's back. For better or worse, we are moms. And we are all in this together.
1 in 7 mothers in the US today report experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety. Among lower socio-economic groups, the numbers jump to 1 in 4 women. It takes many forms. It may not look what a woman or her family thinks depression or anxiety look like. You cannot always tell a mom has postpartum depression just by looking … Continue reading 1 in 7
Today at our weekly mom support group we made Mother's Day cards for ourselves. I decorated mine but I could not think of what I wanted to write as I was sitting there. It has been a tough couple of months. My son's father and I have decided to split up. For the moment I am … Continue reading You are amazing, Mom.
Karen Maezen Miller is a Zen priest and author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood, Hand Wash Cold and Paradise in Plain Sight. I have written before about her profound book, Momma Zen, and how it inspired me more than any other parenting text I have ever come across. And this interview by … Continue reading The education of a lifetime: Karen Maezen Miller on Motherhood, Meditation and Anger
I have been pretty unsentimental, I guess, about a lot of the milestones so far in my son's almost-three years of life. I don't necessarily feel the pang of being needed less as time goes on, certainly not in the way that maybe the mother of three does watching her last baby graduate from infancy to the … Continue reading And then suddenly, he was a boy.
A couple months ago I got this message from the Universe (I know, one of those). The message was that I needed to get start getting up earlier. Now, let me tell you what the big deal is about getting up early. I have this kid, you see. This sweet, wily, hilarious and over-the-top crazy little human who controls … Continue reading The only true thing.
I have been trying to formulate a post for awhile now about what it feels to be in the throes of early parenthood, where any and all free time seems to go to maintenance of the body, mind, general household or inadvertently catching up on sleep (ie; every time I pick up one of the eight … Continue reading The Siren Song.
I've had enough Of this made up concept, this ever-changing barometer Of what it takes what you are, what I am and what we are each not quite, not at all, just below or too much. Isn't it time we called an armistice? How much, will it do, is it best and - My best … Continue reading The Myth of Enough
There is some popular rhetoric out there that negative feelings can be extinguished simply by overriding them with positive thinking and affirming thoughts. But we can't wish the ugly stuff away. Yeah I know. Damn it. And what a well-oiled machine I have developed for ignoring, for dismissing, for arguing against my real experience: "I shouldn't feel … Continue reading The real story.
Ok, Daniel the Tiger, I get it. This show was really written for parents. Sure, the cute animation is for the kids, the age-appropriate dialogue, the borderline annoying songs - but more than once the content has been explicitly aimed at …well, me. And I know it's on purpose. I am on to you, PBS. There are … Continue reading What I don’t want to admit I learned from Daniel the Tiger