Moms Are Tired, and Self-Care Alone Won’t Fix It

A picture of a young mother and son fast asleep in the bedroom at home.

Moms Are Tired, and Self-Care Alone Won’t Fix It

It’s early in the morning and my older toddler comes running into our bedroom, brown curls bouncing up and down, a big grin on her face. She throws herself at the bed and climbs on top of me, sometimes with a cache of toys, stuffed animals, or dolls. She happily exclaims, “Sun’s up, mommy! Sun’s up!” It’s a typical morning and my toddlers—I have a one-year-old and an almost-three-year-old—are awake and chattering at dawn. I wish I could share in her early morning joy. But I am one tired mom; and not in the I-stayed-up-too-late sense of the term. I am simply burnt out, as many other tired moms are, and it’s starting to show.

Rubbing my eyes and trying to sit up, I give her my best smile and agree, “Yes, the sun’s up alright.” I wrap her in a big, sleepy hug. The world has changed and we’re changing with it. The role that we have as moms of young children and school-age children has shifted—for many of us—tremendously.

Mom Burn-Out is Real

Only a few months ago, most moms used to have a bit more time and space to ourselves. Maybe we were able to catch up on sleep on the weekend. Or we got some alone time when we sent our kids off to school, either full time or part-time. A lot of us hired people to help us with childcare and cleaning. Or sometimes we got to go get a manicure, massage, or a haircut to treat ourselves. Maybe you went to the gym to release stress, or simply spent time over coffee with friends talking, laughing, and decompressing. These options that once allowed us to recharge our batteries and renew our minds have either changed or evaporated entirely.

Even under more normal circumstances, we moms were burnt out. Even with the little bit of time we managed to get for ourselves, or the help we managed to secure for our home or family, we still struggled with exhaustion. But since the outbreak of Covid-19 and quarantine measures began, I’ve grappled with some deep, bone-aching tiredness. And I’m willing to bet I am not alone.

Self-Care is Great, But It’s Not Enough

If you are a mama who is feeling exhausted or depleted, please know that you are not alone in your experience. Many of us have known for a while that self-care is important. Many of us have taken measures to try to continue what self-care we can muster these days. At this point, though, self-care may not be enough anymore. If you are feeling burnt out to the point that self-care is insufficient, you may need to explore some lifestyle changes that may help you get the soul-satisfying rest you need.

I want you to have hope that it can get better! Today, I’m sharing some ways that I’ve recently employed which have gone beyond self-care as we know it. These lifestyle adjustments have actually helped me to regain my energy and take back some of my strength, both physically and emotionally.

Lower Your Expectations

Moms are tired, in part, because we expect so much of ourselves and our family. Sometimes, the best way to give yourself rest is to lower those expectations. Stop trying to do as much as you used to do, or with the same intensity that you used to do it. We are in a new phase of life, collectively, across the country and across the world. This new era is calling for you to cut back and slow down. You can’t do that unless you lower your expectations for yourself and your family, and see that this is actually a good thing.

A primary way that I’ve improved my level of energy and decreased how tired I feel is by lowering my expectations for myself and those around me. Honestly, this has been the absolute hardest thing I’ve done all year. I have a type-A, sometimes over-achiever personality so asking me to not accomplish the things I want to accomplish is a challenge.

But through many conversations with friends and mentors, I have realized that expecting less of my family and myself is actually really healthy for us. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to-do lists or set goals. It means those lists and goals are less ambitious and less stressful. I can be more flexible and even grateful and positive if the winds change direction and I have to modify the schedule for our day.

This also means I’m not as tired anymore. I’m not forcing myself to accomplish things that, while they used to be easy to do, are now much harder to do. I’m learning to let go. Friends of mine who have kids in school have told me how they’ve relaxed some of their expectations for their children and teens around schoolwork. For them, it has resulted in happier children, a more relaxed mother, and a more peaceful household.

Action Step:

Talk to your people, including your husband, friends, mentors, or a woman’s support group about your intentions to lower expectations. Ask for practical ideas they may have. Surrounding yourself with people who give you the space and encouragement to be kind and gentle with yourself. Consult with your partner and children and ask them to begin making the mental switch as well. This is an important step in making the switch to running a more calm household.

Join A Support Group

A support group can look like anything from a group of friends meeting weekly on FaceTime, to an online book club, or a 12-Step Recovery program that meets daily or weekly. Find a shared interest group that works for you. The important thing is that you feel safe and supported to share about yourself and your experiences. You might have to try a few meetings with that group to get a feel for it, before deciding what works best for you.

There are numerous communities and online gatherings that will welcome you into their program, whatever that may be. Personally, I have found that having a sacred space where I feel safe to share about my life, has been so important for my emotional rejuvenation and spiritual fulfillment. When I don’t connect with my group weekly, I tend to lean too heavily on my partner to meet my needs emotionally, which can become unhealthy for our marriage.

Regular human connection is essential to our physical and mental health. Cooperative interactions are ingrained in us, and we are designed to connect and be with each other. Talking and videoing with like-minded people in support groups can help you to work through your feelings of burn-out and cultivate new ways of overcoming it.

Action Step:

Find a support group in your area (or online). There are also groups on Facebook you can become a part of. Once you’ve joined a group, introduce yourself and start interacting! It may seem intimidating at first, but you need to reach out to start making those all-important human connections. The other people in the group are probably just as nervous as you!

Personally, I participate in a twelve-step recovery program for maintaining my emotional sobriety. It helps me stay emotionally balanced and healthy on a day-to-day basis. I partake in a weekly online meeting (which used to be in-person) to support my own mental health. Since quarantine began, our group added a second weekly meeting (both online), so I have an opportunity to meet with my support group twice a week.

Through this program, I have gained a close-knit group of women whom I trust and care about very much. We support each other, cheer each other on, and call and text each other during the week if we’re having a hard day. Or we call each other to celebrate when something is going well!

Ask For Help In Bold New Ways

Moms are tired because we simply don’t ask for help! Recently, I have had to ask for help in bold, new ways. I have had to ask for help with cleaning and childcare. I’ve had to ask for more sleep. I’ve had to hire a delivery person to do my grocery shopping, when before my husband or myself would do it, often with the kids in tow. As the curve has flattened in my state and some restrictions have changed, I’ve had to ask for a few people (who are not in the category of vulnerable population) to come help me out.

Before now, I used to do it all by myself. I never got the help I probably needed all along. Why? Because I never asked for it. Getting over my pride and putting my mental health first has been the best thing I do for my family every week. When I am caring for myself, I’m better able to care for my family.

Action Step:

What does asking for help look like for you? Maybe asking for help comes in the form of getting a counselor to help you sort through your thoughts and feelings. Maybe it means asking someone to take care of your children so that you can focus on your needs a few times a week. Or asking a delivery company to do your grocery shopping for you. What bold, new ways can you ask for help from your tribe?

For me, it means I’ve asked my husband to watch our kids on the weekend so that I can simply sleep more—whether that means sleeping in or taking a nap in the afternoon. And if he needs extra sleep, I reciprocate and give him space for extra sleep. It means I have someone watching my kids while my husband is at work (he’s essential) and I’m writing. The act of picking up the phone and asking people who can lend a hand has been instrumental in supporting myself, my family, and getting enough sleep.

Exercise With An Online Community

Research shows that when you work out, you actually gain more energy and feel less tired! I used to go to the gym several times each week. Working out on a stationary bike, jogging on the treadmill, or taking a class at the gym was an excellent way for me to burn off stress and release those feel-good endorphins. Sometimes I worked out with one of my girlfriends or my husband. Or, I made friends with people in my gym classes. Going to the gym was good for my physical health and also allowed me to be socially connected to others.

Like many other tired moms, when the stay-at-home orders began, I was at a loss for what to do. I used to use the childcare at the gym whenever I’d workout. Now, I was home all the time with two toddlers and unsure of how I’d exercise at all. What I found was a wonderful online community for fitness workouts.

A California fitness trainer, whom I follow on Instagram, began offering free online classes a couple of times per week. She has now built a following for her online classes and I signed up to take them a couple of times a week. They are short 30-45 minute workouts that focus on bodyweight workouts, which means you use your body to build and tone muscle. She also incorporates some HIIT workouts so that cardio is a part of the exercise routine. This is an easy way for any tired mom to incorporate that much-needed workout into her at-home routine!

Action Step:

There are many free, online workout communities right now. Some require that you pay a monthly subscription, similar to if you were paying for a gym subscription. You can also find local classes from your local gyms, barre, and yoga studios. There are also online programs that offer accountability and mental health meetings in addition to a gym workout, offering a holistic approach to helping you maintain a healthy routine all week. Do a quick google search and sign up for one today!

Hang in there, tired moms!

Moms are tired. So tired. We are burnt out. We have the weight of the world on our shoulders now more than ever. But there are these, and other, things you can do to incorporate more balance in your life. Things that are beyond self-care, although it is still nice to indulge in that, too!

I’ve had a steep learning curve over these past two months in trying to regain some balance. I’ve had to lower my expectations of myself and others. I am asking for help in bold new ways. Community support and exercise have been moved to the top of my priority list. All of which has helped me to become a more energized—and ultimately happier and healthier—mother to my children and partner to my husband.

You got this, Mama!

About the Author /

Kristen v.H. Middleton is a former school teacher & administrator turned stay-at-home-mom. She lives with her husband and children in eastern Washington.

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SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!! 🗣️ SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!! 🗣️📢👏👏👏⁠
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Words & 📷: @mrs.caitlin_fought⁠
"You want to help a mom? Support her.⁠
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I breastfed my daughter and plan to do the same with this next baby.⁠
I have friends that formula-fed.⁠
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I decided to stay home with my kids.⁠
I have friends who decided to go back to work.⁠
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Never once has my parenting choices gotten in the way of our friendship.⁠
Never once have I felt the need to lecture another mom about how she decides to raise her child.⁠
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You want to help a mom?⁠
Support her.⁠
Let her know you're there for her.⁠
Tell her she's doing a good job.⁠
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Your opinion doesn't help anyone but maybe your own ego.⁠
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Mama, I support you. I support the sacrifices you've made. Just because we parent different doesn't mean I won't be your biggest cheerleader. ❤️"⁠
I know a lot of mamas can relate to this picture. I know a lot of mamas can relate to this picture. If only there was such a thing as a coffee IV-drip. 🤣☕☕☕ You're doing great, mamas! Hoping that this week brings you a extra rest and a whole new found energy! 😘
🖌: @spiritysol
When I think back to when I gave birth to my son, When I think back to when I gave birth to my son, I do remember the surges of the contractions, the release of being in the water in the tub, and the pushing. So much pushing. 😓⁠
But I also remember the relief I felt when I first saw Mary Alice, one of my midwives, walk into my master bathroom while I was laboring in the tub. I remember my doula holding my hand in between pushes giving me encouragement, and my husband gently stroking my hair as I came down from the height of contractions.⁠
After giving birth, I remember how my midwives made my bed with fresh linens and with me in it feeling comfortable as I nestled with my newborn son. I remember how a meal was brought to me in bed and how everything was cleaned up and looked as if nothing happened -- not like I had just given birth to a baby. (I had a home birth, by the way.) And I remember how they were all with me by my side every step of the way.⁠
I felt the love, the patience, and the respect that I needed. Those are the memories that I hold with me when I think about the day my son was born. It's how I was cared for and how my birth team made me feel that stays with me.⁠
For expecting women out there, be intentional with the people that you invite into your birthing room. That includes your doctor, your midwife, and your support people. I know that things look very different right now with hospitals only allowing one support person, but you can still receive good support. Take an online birthing class with your partner and practice how they can help you in labor. Speak up to your nurse and ask for what you need and what you want for your experience. Be your own advocate! And if you feel like you can't speak up, hire a doula and receive virtual support during your pregnancy, birth, and immediate postpartum. Feeling supported, respected, and truly cared for is just as important as having a successful birth with a healthy mom and baby. 💗
I've been searching for an image that captures how I've been searching for an image that captures how I've been feeling. And it's this. Parenthood. Love. Protection. ❤️ Standing up for those who can't or they get struck down. 
For my friends with children who are at risk, just from doing normal things that shouldn't include risk of death. For the women who are more at risk of dying or having their babies die. I don't have the right words but I do have a heart that is breaking for the families who don't get to see their loved ones come home.
Thank you, @JadeBeallePhotography, @the.shine.cloth & @mswrightsway for this beautiful image. #blacklivesmatter
O.M.G. Cutest thing ever! This is exactly how I wa O.M.G. Cutest thing ever! This is exactly how I want to spend my weekend. Don't mind me 😎💗⁠
📷: @__.asuu
Ain't this the truth?! 🤣⁠ 📷: @themessymomm Ain't this the truth?! 🤣⁠
📷: @themessymommy
"I'm a sucker for birth stories! I've had a variet "I'm a sucker for birth stories! I've had a variety of lengths of labor and birth situations, no C-section or breech experience so far though, but I hope we can find encouragement and hope in each of our stories. While I love sharing about all these boys' births, I don't have the space here for all of them so let's chat about my fav and most unique one. Boy number 4's says an accidental unassisted home birth, but the true reality is that I was assisted by my husband, Michael. My midwife just didn't make it until he was 15 minutes old. I have prodromal labor for weeks before the real thing so when I first went into labor with him, I thought it was the same as it had been almost every night for weeks. When I finally got into the shower, Michael knew I was in transition (7-8cm) because it's what I always do at that point and called the midwife. She could hear me and knew she wouldn't make it, but she had only made it for 30 mins with the one before so that man of mine was prepared. The comical part of this story is that we had a 4-month-old puppy at the time and he was trying to get into the bathroom so Michael went to put him outside, realized the dog had pooped and cleaned it up, only to come back to the bathroom and tell me 'His head is almost out!' I told him, 'no duh!' And within a few more seconds, he was born in the sac still 😳 so I freaked a bit that he wasn't breathing before I realized. Michael calmly broke the sac, go the suction bulb, and then I held him wrapped in a towel in the shower until my midwife arrived. It's my husband's favorite story to tell because of his calm demeanor in the crazy 😝 and I'm all "yeah, I had NOTHING to do with it!" So what's your #birthstory, friends?" 📷 & story: @arielctyson
One day a pregnant client of mine started having a One day a pregnant client of mine started having abdominal pain. She called her OBGYN's office and they had her come in to check on the baby to make sure everything was okay. Everything looked fine and well with the baby so they sent her home saying that it was probably something that she ate and that it must be gas or indigestion pain.
Days went by and the pain not only continued but it got WORSE. I encouraged her to continue reaching out to her doctor, which she did. She would call the office and the nurse and doctor would tell her that everything was fine. They told her what meds she could take that could help, and that if she wanted to come in again the next day, she could.
The next day she went in and they looked at the baby and the baby was still perfect. They told her to go home and said to her, "You must have a very low pain tolerance because everything is appearing normal." Little did they know that she had labored for days and delivered her first baby withOUT any pain medication. (She had a different OBGYN with her first baby.) This client of mine is a strong woman and definitely does NOT have a low pain tolerance. I would know because I was her doula for both of her babies.
The pain she experienced only got worse the next day. She was in agony. She did her own research and thought it might be appendicitis. She decided to drive herself to the hospital this time without calling and told the nurse that she was in severe pain and that she thinks she has appendicitis. The nurse said, "there is no way that you could have appendicitis. You wouldn't be able to stand or drive yourself here or even talk if you had appendicitis." My client demanded that she see a doctor to get evaluated. Once a doctor was available to see her and examine her safely (since she was 34 weeks pregnant) they realized that, in fact, she DID have appendicitis & that it was so bad she needed immediate emergency surgery since it could be life-threatening. The surgery then caused her body to go into labor. Just hours after her surgery she pushed & delivered her second child.
I tell this story because I have seen & been told countless stories like this. (Continue reading in the comments.)
😐😐😐😐😐😂⁠ 📷: @thedad 😐😐😐😐😐😂⁠
📷: @thedad
The Ultimate List of Grandpa Names⁠ 👴⁠ .⁠ The Ultimate List of Grandpa Names⁠ 👴⁠
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We recently posted our ultimate list of Grandma names, but you might be looking for the perfect match for a Grandpa name. 💙 Many fathers that turn into Grandpas usually go with what their dads were called as grandparents or something traditional, but we encourage you to take a look at all of the options! There just might be a better fit that suits you. 😊 Here is our ultimate list of over 100 Grandpa names to choose from!⁠
{Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @royalty_europe
Tag your squad 😎⁠ 😂😂😂⁠ 📷: @then Tag your squad 😎⁠
😂😂😂⁠
📷: @thenewsclan
As soon as a woman becomes pregnant she will hear As soon as a woman becomes pregnant she will hear ALL kinds of unsolicited advice from everyone around her. 🤰 Friends, family members, even strangers will tell her what they went through and what they think she should do with her body and her baby. 😑 And this unsolicited advice continues long into parenthood. ⁠
Something that I think ALL mothers should know and learn is that you do NOT have to own or accept any information or stories someone tells you if it does not serve you. If it's unhelpful and not inline with your choices, hopes, and desires as a mother, then as soon as it was received immediately discard it. Don't harbor any information that does a disservice to you. The mind is a powerful thing. When we are told war stories and how terrible, awful, or painful things were for them (pregnancy, childbirth, or parenthood), that can live and stay with you. You do not have to own someone else's story. It may have been told with good intentions, but if you do not find value in it let it go. Release it and surround yourself with positive talk, uplifting stories, and happy, respectful, and supportive people.⁠ Be bold enough to go against the grain if you must and do what is right for you and your family.⁠
Ultimately, listen to your intuition. And if you're unsure of what your intuition is telling you, seek counsel from people who you admire and trust.⁠
You're doing great and if you didn't know this, you're already are a great mother. 💕 #thebabychick
Transition to Motherhood in Uncertain Times⁠ 🤱⁠
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When a first baby is born, so is a new mother. 💗 The transition to motherhood can be a very difficult one that is impossible to be fully prepared for. As you become a mother you take on a completely new identity. It is a new phase of life that comes with new challenges, emotions, and growth.⁠ 🌱⁠
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As a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit occupational therapist, I find that I take care of the mothers just as much as I take care of the babies. ❤️ Many, if not most mothers, are prepared with the tangibles: a place for the new baby to sleep, clothes for the new baby to wear, bottles, and diapers. But it is impossible to fully prepare for the emotional transition that takes place. New moms are met with not only a little baby who is completely dependent but also a barrage of new and different emotions that you may not fully understand.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Author by: Aimee Ketchum⁠ @aimeeketchum⁠
📷: @trinitysierra
Let me just stop you right there! *pew pew* 🔫🤱
Surprising Body Changes During Pregnancy – Podca Surprising Body Changes During Pregnancy – Podcast Ep 33⁠ 😮⁠
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Pregnancy is such a beautiful time in a woman's life. 💕 But don't get me wrong, not every day of pregnancy is glamorous. 😬 We've all heard of the luxurious hair, the glowing skin, the stretchmarks with the growing belly, but there are also things that happen to a woman's body during pregnancy that aren't really discussed. That's why we are covering all of the surprising body changes a woman can experience during pregnancy on today's podcast episode. So if you're currently expecting and are noticing some odd changes happening to your body, you can feel relieved knowing that you are not alone. 🤰 {Click 🔗 in bio to listen to the episode!}⁠
Now that "homeschool" is over, we can now enjoy ou Now that "homeschool" is over, we can now enjoy our summer! 😎 Oh, wait . . . #looksalotlikerightnow 🤔⁠
📷: @hallmark
When you become a mother you realize how much your When you become a mother you realize how much your mother did (or didn't do) for you. 💗 Sending love to all of the mothers, step-mothers, mother figures out there.
Happy Monday, mamas!⁠ 👋⁠ ⁠ Lately, with e Happy Monday, mamas!⁠ 👋⁠
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Lately, with everything going on, I've been thinking a lot about mothers with newborns. 🤱 As a postpartum doula, I get the pleasure of supporting new families in their homes and helping them navigate the winding roads and highs and lows of early parenthood. But right now I know that families are bringing home their precious babies and are feeling alone more than ever. They have less physical support, which can feel like they have less emotional and informational support as well. This breaks my heart. 💔 I wish this wasn't happening to families or to our world and I wish that I could be there for these moms.⁠
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That's why today, I am hopping on our stories and answering YOUR questions. Since I can't be there PHYSICALLY to help you with your pregnancy and newborns, I want you to know that I am here virtually for you. How can I help?⁠
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{I've left a question box in our stories. Have a question about your postpartum recovery? About your newborn? About breastfeeding? Bottle-feeding? You name it! I've been helping mothers as a birth doula and postpartum doula for 10 years and I am here for you.💕}⁠
📷: @creativeclicksphotography
Okay, grandma. 🙄⁠ 📷: unknown Okay, grandma. 🙄⁠
📷: unknown
To the mamas, papas, dreamers, visionaries, SAHMs, To the mamas, papas, dreamers, visionaries, SAHMs, etc. out there, kudos to you! For going so hard, for not quitting even on the worst days, even on the tired days, even on the days you don't know how you're going to do it, or don't feel like you can. You know it's okay to have some patience, grace, and forgiveness with yourself, right?⁠
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Our children are the future. I had to learn to give myself some grace. Sometimes when I evaluate where I am in life and see that I'm not exactly where I want to be or could've been frustrates me, or gets me down. I'm so hard on myself. But then I realized if the ONLY good thing I've done or successfully done is raise great children, I am in fact doing well!! *Parents, it's so important how we raise our children, and many of you KNOW that is not an easy task.⁠
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There are so many different aspects on this one topic. First, their confidence, self-love, etc. is so important. They need to know who they are, so when they encounter times and people that aren't so kind they are not completely crushed.⁠
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Secondly, think about who you're putting into the world. Do you remember your heartbreak(s), or some of the sh*%$y people you've come across and thought who raised them? Or even when you encountered a child that needed a hug or just some TLC. It's important!⁠
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Thirdly, but not least, for the dreamer or the visionary . . . Yes, we are working so hard for our dreams and goals. And one day we may achieve them, but our building and growing may also be in the building for our children. As we are building a future for them. Show yourself a little love. ❤️"⁠
Words & 📷: @tanishasnell_
"On my headstone, I hope they write, 'Here lies a "On my headstone, I hope they write, 'Here lies a devoted mother who suffocated under her enormous laundry pile.' #kiddingnotkidding⁠
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I'm trying to be more mindful about laundry and use it as a meditation practice (my main squeeze Thich Nhat Hanh talks about washing your dishes like you're bathing baby Buddha. 😊) Sometimes I can do it and feel grateful and grounded (I find cloth diapers particularly soothing for some reason. 🤷‍♀️) And sometimes I consider just turning our living room into one huge laundry pile and letting everyone forage for their clothes each morning. #wildstyle⁠
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So tell me, wise women of the world--how do you do laundry? Are you a load-a-day type or do you wait until it piles up and tackle it all at once?"⁠
Words & 📷: @spiritysol
It's called balance. And motherhood. And it's the It's called balance. And motherhood. And it's the weekend. 💁‍♀️🤪 Cheers!
Want to jazz up breakfast or lunch for the kids (o Want to jazz up breakfast or lunch for the kids (or yourself 😉) in an easy way? Animal Face Toast! 😍⁠
Pop an emoji for your favorite animal!🐱🦉🦊🐻🐷🐵⁠
📷: @weelicious
Staying safe for mom and baby has never been tough Staying safe for mom and baby has never been tougher than it is now. 😷 Shout out to all the pregnant moms and moms with newborns!! You are amazing. 🙇‍♀️ You are strong. 💪 And our hearts are with you. ❤️⁠
📷: @themommaprentice
The Ultimate List of Grandma Names 👵⁠ ⁠.⁠ The Ultimate List of Grandma Names 👵⁠
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When I found out I was pregnant, one of the many things I began to wonder was, "What are my parents and in-laws going to go by as their grandparent names?" Grandparents are not just going with the classic "Grandma and Grandpa" names anymore. Some are now getting creative and are coming up with new ideas. If your mother or mother-in-law are unsure of what they want their special Grandma names to be, we're sharing our ultimate list of over 100 Grandma names to choose from!⁠ ❤️ ⁠{Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @newmommy_in_city
FOR REAL. 🤦‍♀️😑⁠ 📷: @alyceoneword FOR REAL. 🤦‍♀️😑⁠
📷: @alyceoneword
Mommas . . . have you stopped to take a moment for Mommas . . . have you stopped to take a moment for yourself, take a breath, or take a sip of water yet? This is your friendly reminder. ❤️ Whether you are pregnant, a new mom or a mom with little (or big) ones running around the house, take a minute for yourself right now and drink a big sip of water. If you have a headache from your toddler screaming, feeling sluggish from the lack of sleep, cloudy from your neverending to-do list, or hungry because of pregnancy or just because, this will help. So take a sip. Your body and mind will thank you for it! 🙏
Do you agree?? 😳😂⁠ 📷: @surrounded.by.bo Do you agree?? 😳😂⁠
📷: @surrounded.by.boys
😯😯🤣🤣🤣🤣 *sip sip*⁠ 📷: unknow 😯😯🤣🤣🤣🤣 *sip sip*⁠
📷: unknown
Episiotomies: Are They Still a Thing?⁠ 😳😬⁠
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"My birth plan was all typed out and edited. 📃 I'd read everything I could about the pros and cons of typical birth procedures. I wanted skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible, I wanted my partner to clip the cord after it stopped pulsing, and I did not want a routine episiotomy.⁠ 🙅‍♀️
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The contractions started so close together that there was no waiting time. The nurses did not believe they were as close as I was reporting. 😖 My partner and I were trying to play cards on the bed, but I was worried. Every two minutes, like clockwork, another contraction waved over me. 'Go for a walk, dear. It will be a while yet,' a nurse told me without any physical check. I got up and tried to go for a walk but was stopped by a single very sharp contraction. 😧 Then I went to the washroom and got sick. 🤢 I knew I was in transition.⁠
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On the bed, ready to push, an elderly doctor entered the room. 👨‍⚕️ He walked up to me, picked up a scalpel, and immediately sliced a small incision in my perineum. ✂️ At the time, it didn't seem relevant. I was about to become a mother! In only two pushes and a total of two hours of labor from the first contraction, I was holding my baby. 🤱 Nothing else mattered; not even my well-crafted birth plan or the raw pain I felt meant a thing. He was here, and he was perfect.⁠ 💙
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Luckily for me, my healing process was minimal and did not result in any further complications, however, many other women are not so fortunate." Learn more about the history of episiotomies, why they are performed, and how to avoid having one. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: ⁠Rachel MacPherson⁠
ALL. THE. TIME.⁠ That and, "I can’t believe I ALL. THE. TIME.⁠
That and, "I can’t believe I grew that." ❤️⁠
Still my greatest accomplishment. 🥰
A note from @olesiastefanko to our Baby Chick audi A note from @olesiastefanko to our Baby Chick audience: How have my nutrition & workouts changed during pregnancy? 🤰💪⁠
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Each woman knows that pregnancy is one of the most important events in her life. ❤️ This wonderful process makes a lot of changes in a woman’s organism and, as it follows, in her lifestyle. And I am not an exception.⁠
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The first things that have changed are my workouts. Right now I'm at the end of my second trimester and I still workout 3 times a week, like I did before, but the intensity is much lower (about 10-20% of what it used to be).⁠
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As for my exercises, I am focused on glutes, legs, arms, and a little bit of side abs. What do my workouts usually include?⁠
- 15 reps per each exercise, all in a row for 3 rounds⁠
- rest between exercises for 10-30 sec⁠
- then rest between rounds is about 2-3 mins⁠
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Currently, I do avoid jumping & abs exercises because they feel uncomfortable and too exhausting. But if anyone still wants to do abs exercises, do not do them on a flat surface - it’s better to use a fit ball or bosu ball.⁠
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Remember that it’s safe to work out during pregnancy if you have been consistently working out before pregnancy and have clearance from your doctor. Pregnancy is very individual & depending on your and baby's health, your doctor may decide that you should avoid physical activity for some time. For example, I was unable to work out during my first trimester for about a month, but I did some light stretching and walking instead. It's important for us to all remember that we are carrying a little human inside of us and, obviously, we should think about him/her first. Do not work out if your doctor has not given you medical clearance. If you feel that you can’t do some exercises, it’s better to skip them altogether - listening to your body is very important right now.⁠
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The second main thing during pregnancy is nutrition. 🍎 First of all, I have always been against strict diets 🙅‍♀️ and my daily routine included 5 meals--eating small portions regularly throughout the day. My diet before pregnancy excluded ❌ red meat, milk, and animal fats. I followed these rules 5 days a week. (Continue reading in the comments!)
Postpartum Expectations Versus Reality⁠ ⁠ "Eve Postpartum Expectations Versus Reality⁠
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"Every new mom probably envisions herself swathed in a soft robe, snuggled up with her freshly-born baby. 🤱 Beautiful and glowing, she smiles as she blissfully nurses or feeds a bottle to her beautiful pink-faced baby. 🥰 These moments are precious, and they do exist, but it's more the expectation than the reality of what the postpartum experience looks like. I spoke to pediatrician Harvey Karp, baby sleep wizard, and the author of the popular book 'The Happiest Baby on the Block', about how to manage postpartum expectations versus reality, including bonding, a lack of sleep, and handling all the new responsibilities of having a newborn." {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: ⁠Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @the_pettylife
Boobies leaking and fires blazing! 😵🤣⁠
📷: @mommymemest
The Day I Realized My Kid Is Not Like Me⁠ ⁠
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"On the day I realized my kid is not like me, I could tell by the look in my daughter’s eyes that I’d breached a moral line.⁠
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My loving and kind-hearted daughter had been dealing with teasing and bullying all year. We’d been struggling to get the school and specific teachers to react in any sort of fashion that could make us feel like they cared. I’d become even more jaded as the months rolled by, and the teasing continued.⁠
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'I made Miss Rebecca a birthday card, it’s her birthday today!' my daughter told me after school one day. My reply? 'I really don’t care about her or her birthday.' My daughter gave me that look. How could I be so cold? Her eyes searched my face for any amount of empathy or even a hint that I was sorry. I knew my face was drawn and pinched in that disapproving grimace only mothers can make.⁠
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As I looked down at her while we were walking home, my face softened. Here was this lovely empathetic little soul who only ever wanted to make sure everyone was happy and included. She didn’t deserve to be picked on because she played with the 'different' child in her classroom. She didn’t deserve to be poked and laughed at because of how easily they could make her cry. But somehow she remained this soft, sweet girl she’d always been, making a birthday card for the teacher who’d repeatedly made her feel like she was to blame for her own bullying.⁠
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My response was to get angry, get my back up, retaliate. My full mama bear mode was unleashed. But I also knew that this was my personality. I am guarded, I’m careful, and I don’t trust people. I had a lot to learn from my little girl." {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: ⁠Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @jlo
It’s going to be okay. ❤️ We will get throug It’s going to be okay. ❤️
We will get through this. 💪
No matter how many toddler tantrums happen or work emails come our way, breathe and take one thing at a time. 🧘‍♀️
Because our work will never be finished. 🤹‍♀️
Our inboxes will never be empty. 💻
We will always be striving for happy, healthy children, clean houses, good work done and that will never cease. 🏠
But WE make each day what it is.💕
Only we can determine our own happiness. 😊
Even though our days look far from what we expected, we need to welcome each day with a smile. Be appreciative for what we have and for our health. 🙏
So let go of how you think today or this week is supposed to go. This time is only temporary. This stage is only temporary. ⏱Look for the good, and roll with the punches. We’re in this together, apart. ❤️
Mothers are superheroes, I am convinced. 🙌⁠ T Mothers are superheroes, I am convinced. 🙌⁠
This great image taken by @bubbapage, @jordanpage's husband, shows that taking care of kids & babies (multiples at that!) is no joke. 💪😴⁠
We salute you, mamas! You're doing better than you know. Keep loving, keep mothering, keep going. We are with you. 💗
Now this is the cutest thing I've ever seen in a b Now this is the cutest thing I've ever seen in a bedroom for three girls. 😍⁠
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💤 Sleep Tips for Kids!⁠ 💤⁠
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1️⃣ Have a bedtime routine.⁠
A regular bedtime routine starting around the same time every night encourages good sleep patterns for kids.⁠
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2️⃣ Have some relaxation-time before bedtime⁠.⁠
Have your children wind down by reading a book, listening to gentle music, or practicing breathing for relaxation.⁠ This will help their minds and their bodies to go to sleep.⁠
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3️⃣ Be consistent with your child's awake and sleep times.⁠
Keep your child’s bedtimes and wake-up times within 1-2 hours of each other each day. This helps to keep your child’s body clock in a regular pattern.⁠
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4️⃣ Eat the right amount at the right time⁠.⁠
Make sure your child has a satisfying evening meal at a reasonable time. Feeling hungry or too full before bed can make your child more alert or uncomfortable since their body is either hungry or trying to digest. Either can make it harder for her to get to sleep.⁠
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5️⃣ Keep older children’s naps early and short⁠.⁠
Most children stop napping at 3-5 years of age. If your child is over five-years-old and is still napping during the day, try to keep the nap to no longer than 20 minutes and no later than early afternoon. Longer and later naps can make it harder for children to get to sleep at night.⁠
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6️⃣ Check noise and light in your child’s bedroom⁠.⁠
A quiet, dimly lit space is important for good sleep. Check whether your child’s bedroom is too light or noisy for sleep.⁠
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7️⃣ Make sure your child feels safe at night⁠.⁠
If your child feels scared about going to bed or being in the dark, you can praise and reward her whenever she is brave. Some children with bedtime fears feel better when they have a night light or sound machine.⁠
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Hope you guys are having a great weekend and are getting plenty of sleep! 🙏❤️⁠
📷: @tyson_moore