Tag Archives: motherhood

What “Maid” teaches us about lifting up our fellow moms

I finished watching “Maid,” the Netflix limited-series, last night, and I still find myself sobbing at random moments, while recalling the powerful, gut-wrenching scenes of the show.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

“Maid” touched on domestic violence, alcoholism, toxic masculinity and other heavy issues, which, hopefully, sparked a conversation on breaking the cycle of abuse and doing better by DV survivors, while also acknowledging that many abusers are survivors of abuse themselves.

At the same time the series was shining a light on abuse, “Maid” was reflecting the stark difference in reality for those with financial means, and those without. This point was illustrated by the incredible story arc involving the relationship between main character Alex (Margaret Qualley) and Regina (Anika Noni Rose).

The viewer is introduced to Regina, when Alex shows up to clean her massive home. We quickly learn Regina is a power player, and, so it seems, has little to worry her. Meanwhile, at this point, we have already seen Alex escape her trailer home, sleep on a Ferry Station floor, and, thanks to visual reminders on screen, try to get by with little money.

From this vantage point, Regina seems entitled and self-absorbed, and our sympathies (at least mine) were with Alex, when her DV shelter friend, Danielle, “dognaps” Regina’s dog as payback for Regina refusing to pay Alex what was owed to her.

In a stand-off between Alex and Regina, we see Alex lay into Regina for freaking out over her dog missing for a few hours, when she herself had her daughter taken from her.

Perhaps motivated by Alex’s speech, Regina does pay Alex for her work, and continues to engage her cleaning services.

In what is a pivotal shift in her story, we first see Regina hastily packing up homemade pies for Thanksgiving, while her husband urges her to hurry up, all the while questioning the need for seven pies, which, apparently are for decoration only.

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Yes, my “big” kids still sleep with me

Pitter, patter, pitter patter, little footsteps make their way across the hall and into our bedroom. Our youngest child, age five, crawls into bed with my husband and me.

Thump, thud, thump, big kid feet noisily follow suit, and soon our oldest, nearly 9, squeezes himself between the covers.

Four of us in a king-sized bed, which once seemed so vast and endless, now filled with our family.

All of us struggling to find our space, yet not wanting to leave. Snuggling close in a sea of arms and legs.

Our bed has always been open to our children.

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Five phrases we need to stop saying to new mothers

Giving birth seems to invite all sorts of opinions and input from everyone from close family to complete strangers. Here are some of the more common phrases new moms hear, and why they are problematic.

Breast Is Best

I breastfed both my children for about two years each (both directly from my breast and via pumped milk in bottles). I loved the bond nursing built between myself and my kids, and I am proud of myself for being able to do it for as long as I did. However, just because breastfeeding was right for me, doesn’t make it right for all mothers.

All who want to breastfeed should be supported in every way possible. However, many new moms are unable or prefer not to breastfeed, and need support as well. Breast milk is truly amazing, no debate there. However, breast milk is not the only way to feed a baby. Breast milk may be remarkable, but what’s more remarkable is a mom who is supported in her choices.

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New moms share truths about caring for babies in the age of COVID-19

Being a new mom at any time is filled with uncertainties, but bringing a new baby into a world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic comes with a whole new set of challenges unlike many of us seasoned parents have ever faced.

In a time when they need plenty of in-person support and comfort, these new families are in the difficult position of having to navigate the world of new parenthood with often their only assistance coming in the form of FaceTime or Zoom.

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Even doctor’s appointments, a crucial part to maternal health, are being conducted virtually.

On my Facebook page, I put a call out to new parents, and asked them to share their stories in the hopes that their words would reach other new parents and inspire older ones, like myself.

I was amazed by the response, and how willing these women were to share their fears, their joys and their hopes with the Maybe I’ll Shower Today community.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am pleased to share their incredible stories of #parentingthroughquarantine.

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“Will G-d punish me?” Understanding childhood fear in the age of COVID-19

“Will G-d punish me?” My son asked after admitting he had lied to me earlier that day.

The question caught me off guard, because, while my son does have a strong moral compass and feels ashamed when he makes a mistake, never before had he pondered G-d’s involvement in his own life.

I am all for intense philosophical and theological debates on the existence of a higher power, and what, if any, role said power plays in the shaping of human existence.

However, when these questions come from your own child, no amount of scholarly texts or Biblical excerpts will ease their fears.

Before I could approach my son’s question, I needed to take account of our current reality and it’s impact on my children and indeed all children around the world.

We are in the midst of what maybe the most frightening experience thus far for many of our children. Certainly, this is the case for mine.

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And, even if we as adults do our best to keep COVID-19=related news to ourselves, our childre are smart. They can sense our fear and worry. They see us donning masks to run errands. They conduct their studies via video meetings. They wave to their friends from across the street.

They know life is far from normal.

Take ten minutes to peruse online parenting groups, and you fill find countless cries for help, frustrated commenters and moms and dads at their wits end over their kids’ behavior. Continue reading

The five judgmental people you are bound to meet as a parent

When you become a parent, you enter a world that is nothing but loving, supportive and judgement free. Just kidding.

While, I certainly hope you have at least a small group that fits the aforementioned description, chances are as you will encounter several sanctimonious people who believe they know best, and will be sure to tell you that any chance they get.

Parents are getting judged all the time by people around them. From the moment you have your first baby, to even seasoned moms, everyone is giving parenting advice and telling you how to be a parent. Here are five types of judgmental people you’ll meet as a parent. Continue reading

I’m a mom who makes mistakes

I wish I could tell you about that one time I lost my cool in front of my kids;

Or about that time I forgot to send in something important to my son’s school;

Or that time I was late picking my kid up.

I wish I could tell you about that “one time,” but, the truth is, there’s more than one time.

There are many, many times.

Because, I am a mom who makes mistakes. Continue reading

The five stages of embracing the awesomeness that is leggings

My early days of motherhood were a blur of sleepless nights and unanswered days. I often wore the same raggedy clothes around my home with no concept of when they were last washed. With a baby who spit, pooped and peed all over me, my fashion was not top of mind.

Despite how little I cared about my wardrobe in the comfort of home, when I did manage to venture outdoors, I always put on “real” pants. And by pants, I do not mean leggings. It did not matter how exhausted I felt or how gross I looked, I made a statement which said, I will try and look like a put together human. It could be a plain t-shirt and jeans, but it was something. It was clothes.

Leggings were not something you wore out in public.

I resisted leggings for many years because I felt they were the one clothing item left to take me over the edge to utter hot mess. Sure, I wasn’t the picture of style before, but at least I took a little pride in myself.

I never thought I would be the mom who wears leggings 90% of her week.

I have changed.

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Six years into raising humans, I have come to embrace the stretchy goodness of leggings and have accepted them as a staple of my wardrobe. I realize nobody cares what I wear while shopping for milk and eggs, and I might as well be comfortable.

You may still swear off leggings, standing firm in your belief that leggings are not pants. I respect your conviction, but speaking from experience, you will have to face the inevitability that leggings will take over your life.

The path toward leggings acceptance is fraught with questions about your identity, emotional turmoil and wonder about life’s purpose. You will go through these stages until you emerge happy and ready to love leggings.

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Dear parent about to send your baby off to Kindergarten

I sometimes have trouble believing nearly two years has passed since I sent my oldest off to Kindergarten.

I remember doing my very best to hide my nerves to keep my son from picking up on my anxiety and becoming worried himself.

I had no idea what the year would bring, and my mind buzzed with questions.

Will he adapt to the school environment?

Will he get along with his classmates?

Will he like his teacher?

Will he behave?

Will he meet expectations?

With each school day attended, a little bit of my worry eased. Not just my son, but my husband and I, became more acclimated to school life.

We learned along with him.

We got through the struggles with him.

And, sure enough, our son finished Kindergarten and went on to have an excellent year in first grade.

Your kids will get there, too.

While on their journey, here’s some things which may help.

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Richard Scarry’s “Mother Cat’s Busy Day” is my life

Have you ever read a book, and thought this is my life?

I do, all the time. And those moments of finding yourself in a story are often found in the most surprising places, like a Richard Scarry book.

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Mother Cat’s Busy Day sat on a bookshelf in my childhood bedroom.  Since the book was published after I was already too old to read it, I believe this was a recent requirement of my parents who wanted some children’s books in the house for when their grandchildren were visiting.

As my family was visiting my parents over the Passover holiday, the selection of kids book came in handy. I picked up the copy of Mother Cat’s Busy Day, thinking this would be a cute book to read to my kids.

What I did not expect was how hilariously relatable this book would be.  Continue reading