Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Being Content in Your Stage of Motherhood

Monday, May 9th, 2016

being content in your stage of motherhoodMotherhood is such a journey. You have a baby and your world changes. It changes in so many ways for the better, and then there are the harder changes. You suddenly care way less about yourself and your world revolves around this tiny being. You get less sleep, wear more yoga pants, and drink more coffee, but your world is perfect. Or is it?

Motherhood is hard. Not all days are sunny and full of rainbows. We have hard days where we cry in the bathroom and need a friend or our mom to talk to. People are always saying to enjoy the stage you are in because it goes so quickly, but this can be so hard.

Does anyone else struggle with being content where you are? I have two amazing young toddlers who I wouldn’t trade for the world, and yet I find myself dreaming of days when they will be older, in school, or not as whiny. Awful? No. Real life? Yes.

Social media tends to make this worse for us moms. If you scroll through your newsfeed on Facebook, you see pictures of moms who seem to have it all together. I can think of a couple of these moms who continuously post their highlight reel. Kids in matching dresses on vacation, moms with perfect make-up, and their families are poised and perfect. We see these things and want what they have. We want to appear to have it all together. We want our kids to be the ones who always get along, never throw fits in Target, and we want to be the moms with perfectly kept nails and eyebrows.

Material things are also a struggle for us moms. Facebook is full of groups where you can sell your kids things and buy new toys for them. I honestly enjoy these groups, but I find myself having to take a break from them occasionally. We want the best toys. We want our kids to have the nicest clothes. We see other moms who have play rooms and outdoor toys and we think, “Man, if only we had a bigger house and money to buy those toys!”

I don’t have the answer on how to be content, moms. This is something I struggle with daily. With two little ones and one due this fall, I am finding myself desiring a bigger car and a house with another bedroom. But, do I really need these things? No. I want to choose to be happy with what my family has. I mean the important things aren’t the toys, clothes, perfect pictures, and immaculate homes, right?

I want to focus on the fun. I want to embrace toddlerhood and all of the crazy that comes with it. It’s okay if my kids don’t look perfect. My daughter has decided at age 2 that she can choose her wardrobe. It’s okay if we look a little crazy in Target and my kid is eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch to get me through a long list. It’s okay if we don’t have a big house or a new car.

I want to cherish my kids every day and the gift of being a mom. I want to be content.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana where she loves the giggles, messes, and crazy outfits that fill her days. 

Finding Support in Moms Groups

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Finding Support in Moms GroupsIn today’s culture, having a baby can become an isolating factor for many mothers. Oftentimes, we are far from our family or used to being able to go our own ways. Motherhood changes your perspectives and your priorities. It resets your schedule and dominates your day-to-day calendar.

Finding others in similar situations can really relieve stress and restore your sanity! It can be hard to make new friends that are in the same life stage you are, especially if you don’t have anyone already in it.

Our society has a great many ways to help us find a new tribe and begin to forge new bonds of friendship. Meetup.com was the first place I began to look when I found myself with a new little one and no close friends nearby with little ones themselves. I tried a few different groups before I found one I clicked with.

It took courage to go to a few meetings, not knowing anyone and not being super outgoing and willing to insert myself into conversations. But babies are great ice breakers. After a few times, my son gravitated to a few of the same kids and I found myself being easily drawn into those mothers’ conversations.

Facebook has a plethora of groups these days, and many times can be a great place to find other mothers that have similar interests and build your new community. Whether it’s an interest like fitness or a geographical location, pick a few that appeal to you and try them out. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

La Leche League or local library story times are other great places to begin to branch out and meeting new mamas and their little ones. These are free and often can be found in the evenings and weekends so working families can get in on the fun, too.

Building your community takes time and effort. Stick with it and keep going when you find a group you love. Let your little one help you break the ice with new friends and, in your turn, welcome those new mamas when you see them. Each of us needs each other.

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones. 

Staying Out of the Mommy Wars

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

I was in the parking lot of Fry’s after grocery shopping with my daughter, who was somewhere between the ages of 6 and 8 months. She was old enough to sit in the grocery cart with no problem, but small enough not to be able to maneuver to standing in that death-defying move so many moms of toddlers know.

I was unloading the cart myself, trying to keep track of my baby, my purse, the groceries, and allowing the car to cool down enough to stick my baby in her sweltering bucket seat in the hot Arizona summer. A car honked loudly several times as it pulled in beside us. I looked up, startled, to a grandmotherly kind of woman practically leaping out before it was in park. “You shouldn’t leave your baby in the cart like that!” she scolded me. “She could fall out!”

“But I’m right here,” I countered, kind of stunned and unprepared to defend myself at the moment. She proceeded to tell me a story of her nephew/grandson/neighbor’s kid who had, in fact, leapt from the grocery cart and sustained a head injury as a result, but I couldn’t really focus on her message. I didn’t know her, she scared the crap out of me, and now she was standing here judging my parenting when I already felt completely overwhelmed as a first-time mom with my one child. And anyhow, she’s my monkey baby.

Staying out of the mommy wars

Whether you’re in a store, on a play date or on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a parent doing something you felt was unsafe. It might be something that just gave you pause, or it might be something you felt strongly about—a car seat facing forward too early, a baby bucket balanced precariously in the shopping cart basket, a shot of a baby standing in a crib that needs to be lowered, a kid in the car in front of you standing in his seat.

I don’t know the parent or the situation–all I want to do is make sure that baby is safe. I have to trust that it’s mom wants that for her child more than me. But there is part of me that wonders, What if she doesn’t know better? What if she needs someone to say something? Should that person be me?

Online, when these things get pointed out either by stranger or friend, it’s labeled as mommy wars. It’s seen as saying, “I’m a better parent than you because I wouldn’t do that.” I think most of us aren’t trying to come off like that, but we get defensive, we start projecting, and all of a sudden we’re in a Facebook fight with a mom we don’t even know over how to best take care of our own children.

I feel like I’ve learned how to handle this issue with nursing. Rather than preach and prod about the benefits of nursing to pregnant or new moms, I simply text or message them with a congrats and a reminder that I am here if they need me and that I would be happy to help them find any resources they may need to be successful with nursing. I’ve had many friends that I didn’t think would contact me, to ask questions and seek out resources. I have been so happy that they asked and that I could help without any confusion about my intentions.

But when you have that chance encounter with someone in the store or online, there’s no relationship of trust to work from. They don’t know your motivations or your background. I still don’t know whether it’s best to say something because I am sincerely worried about a safety risk, or if I’m being egotistical in thinking I am somehow more informed than any other mom, or that a random brush with me would change anyone’s life.

I still wince when I see car seats on top of grocery carts and babies standing in crib on the highest settings—those  things just worry me. I want to say something on the off chance that it will be heard. But for now, I just say a quick prayer and keep on walking.

Erin Burt is the mother of three daughters and a freelance writer who lives and works in Queensbury, New York.