One day you’re sharing feeding tips with another new mom and a year later you suddenly realize that you’re actually in a beautiful and intense friendship. Both you and your kids have so much in common, so the time you spend together is never strained—an afternoon together leaves you both feeling light with mutual understanding, your necks aching from all the nodding. And then one of you has another baby. And one of you doesn’t.
Whether you have little ones running rampant, or teenagers getting social all on their own—most moms will tell you that their household is running a busy schedule. Between carpooling and household duties, combined with working outside the home, or the never-ending battle that is being a stay-at-home-mom—coordinating a family’s activities is something that many women are balancing very, very carefully. It’s easy to forget to enjoy the journey, there’s often not enough time, but there are some easy ways to avoid succumbing to the ongoing state of ‘being busy’ and find your inner calm. Here are five simple ways to help bring the joy back to the chaos.
There’s a lot of unhappy going on out there. Buzz words that conjure the worst viral stories and make our hearts drop into the pits of our stomachs. Words that lose all authentic meaning in the moment and become emblems of pure emotion, driving parents to despair. A once normal word like ‘gorilla’ triggers conflicting feelings of anger and hopelessness. Add ‘anti-vax’, ‘forward-facing’, and ‘breastfed‘ to the list and you’re sunk; it’s evolving and eternal. And it’s also true—these things do happen and they’re awful, but reading about them on Facebook every day doesn’t empower us, it drowns us. Sure we’re drawn to the heavy, but shouldn’t we also celebrate the light? 100 happy days was my shift in focus, my commitment to happy—and it can be yours too.
Some time in my twenties my metabolism abandoned me. My nightly bowl of ice cream started clinging to my hips and it only got worse after having a few kids. It became obvious that my fitness regimen was failing—largely, because I didn’t have a fitness regimen. I knew that if I wanted to keep my waistline in check, I would need to get fit quick or stop eating so many cupcakes. And let’s be real—I wasn’t giving up cupcakes.
We’ve all had relationships that didn’t work out, for one reason or another. Maybe he liked to go out more than you, or you liked to borrow his underwear, whatever—we (eventually) accept that the relationship wasn’t meant to be, they weren’t The One, maybe learn a lesson or two about ourselves and what we really want, and ultimately, move on. Friendships are different. Sometimes they fade when life gets in the way, sometimes you grow apart because you’re headed in different directions. It doesn’t always mean you love each other less, it just means your activities aren’t compatible any longer. But sometimes, a friendship can end abruptly and without warning, leaving you with the same bitter hurt, despair and resentment that comes with the terminal end to a romantic relationship. Here’s how you deal, with some tips for surviving a BFF breakup.
“Here should be a picture of my favorite apple.
It is also a nude & bottle.
It is also a landscape.
There are no such things as still lifes.” ~ Erica Jong
Dear Mr. Whitten,
You probably had no idea.
Like many women, as I entered my 40s, I began fighting with my weight just a little bit more. My jeans are too tight, even my clothes from last year are snugger than I’d like. The worst part (and one I hate to admit, but I will to you guys) is that I know that what’s really responsible for the added pounds is wine consumption.
I definitely enjoy the occasional glass of wine here and there, but when I’m stressed (this happens often), I tend to drink even more than usual. Obviously, a lot of us do: Moms and wine have become a boring cliché, a too-obvious meme. We use wine as a crutch when our lives get out of hand, as a symbol to make us feel like we’re in control. Just glancing at a few wine labels at the liquor store, it’s frighteningly obvious that too many wine companies are marketing to the ‘stressed-out-mom’ demographic, like me.
Mother’s Day is on our doorstep and the gift guides are everywhere we turn. Don’t get me wrong, fancy gifts are awesome, but for me, the best Mother’s Day prezzies don’t have a price sticker on them. So, for my lucky number 13th Mother’s Day (and with three kids to celebrate it), here are my five gift ideas to give any mom on her special day. And they’re all totally free.
This Mother’s Day I’ll probably celebrate in the usual way. I’ll sleep in. Around 11am I’ll be gently awakened to the aroma of chai tea at my bedside. There will be cards from my kids and husband and I’ll receive flowers and gifts, surrounded by family. After that, I’ll take several hours for myself and get a mani-pedi or relax with a book—whatever I want. But it wasn’t always like this. I’ve been a mom for almost 19 years, and for the first half of that, I was a single mom. Mother’s Day used to look very different then.
You most likely know someone who has experienced a miscarriage. Even if they haven’t shared their loss, chances are you’re friends with at least one person who has gone through this. Or you yourself have experienced a devastating loss. It’s hard to know what to do or say to help. Each person deals with tragedy differently, and you’ll have to use your judgement to determine the best way to offer assistance.