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What I Would Do Differently – Advice to First Time Moms

What I Would Do Differently – Advice to First Time Moms

So many of my friends are having babies these days. As I sit here with two elementary-aged kiddos, I can’t help thinking about what I would have done differently in the beginning. So, consider this to be my unsolicited advice to all you first time moms out there.

Throw Expectations in the Diaper Bin

We grow up thinking that love is like all the beautiful fairy tales and happily ever afters… and that the babies that come along with that only cry when they’re hungry and tired, and are more cute and snuggly than anything else. Every day is a big dose of reality punch-to-the-gut that nothing is how we expected it to be.

But it’s a beautiful thing! If we always knew what was coming, where would the joy come from? Life would be drab and predictable. Recognize the beauty in the unexpected, even the difficult stuff. I wish I had more in the beginning. Thankfully​, I do now.

Really - Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

That advice you hear so often is sound. Take it from someone nearly 10 years in, if you don't sleep now at every chance you get, you'll never catch up. I never listened to that advice. Instead, I used the time to get stuff on my never ending to-do list done.

Sure, that's a respectable ambition, but I miss sleep. And to have something like the Hush Hat to help baby sleep more soundly so I got more shut-eye, well, that seems like an obvious course of action!

Embrace the Village

You don't have to do it all in your own. It's okay to ask for help. And it's okay to take a break. I know the ever present dilemma: feeling overwhelmed while simultaneously never wanting to leave your baby's side. But it's good for both of you. And you are likely surrounded by people who want to help you, they're just waiting for you to ask.

So do it. Give in to the tribe mentality and let other people love on and care for both you and baby. You'll be happier and able to enjoy those fleeting moments with your precious bundle all the more.

I won't tell you to “savor every moment” or that you'll simply blink and your baby is grown. Those things are obvious realities. I'll remind you that it's hard - harder than anyone really lets on - and worth every second. Deep breath, Momma. This is the best journey of your life. Your legacy. Final word of advice: embrace it.

Summer Reading Recommendations

Summer Reading Recommendations

Lazy summer days are meant to be spent by the pool or under the shade tree with a book (or an eBook!) in your hand. Add a glass of something cool to drink by your side, and a big, floppy hat or a great pair of shades and you’ve just created the perfect summer afternoon.

If you need a little help rounding out your summer reading list, you’ve come to the right place!

All Stories are Love Stories

Elizabeth Percer

Two major earthquakes strike San Francisco and destroy the city on Valentine’s Day. Three people’s lives are changed forever as they fight for survival, confront their pasts and search for those they love.

Miller’s Valley

Anna Quindlen

An emotional story about family life in a small town, and all the secrets, history, memory and loss that go with it. But more than that, it’s also a story about finding identity and hope.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Chris Cleave

Love triangles are always complicated - especially during times of war. Travel from London to Malta during WWII as Mary, Tom and Alistair fight not only the way, but the small daily battles of life. Inspired by the real-life love letters of the author’s grandparents.

Relativity

Antonia Hayes

Ethan is a gifted 12 year old boy, being raised by a single mother. He’s becoming curious about his missing father when he suddenly becomes very ill, tied to a tragic accident that occurred when he was a baby. His illness brings his father back into his life, forcing his parents to face the issues that first tore them apart.

The Girls in the Garden

Lisa Jewell

Things are not always as they seem. Even in beautiful neighborhoods, where you know and trust those who live near, bad things can happen. What really happened? To what lengths will your neighbors go to protect their own?

The Marriage of Opposites

Alice Hoffman

Young, beautiful Rachel was married off to an older widow with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband suddenly died and his younger, handsome nephew arrived to settle the estate, Rachel’s love story began. While she followed her heart, her choice was not without consequences - for her entire family.

The Sunlit Night

Rebecca Dinerstein

Sometimes, running away and coming home turn out to be the same thing. In The Sunlit Night, Frances and Yasha have both fled to an archipelago of tiny islands nearly 100 miles north of the Arctic circle to find isolation. Instead, they find each other, and love.

Ready to start reading? Well, what are you waiting for?!?

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Feeling Overwhelmed?

You have those friends on social media who post nothing but rainbows and unicorns. Their toddler joyfully named all the vegetables in the produce aisle at the store, while yours threw an epic meltdown in aisle seven. Their nine year old ended the school year with straight A’s and a perfect attendance award, while yours has 17 tardy's and frequent anxiety attacks. They rave about giggles and sleeping 7 hours a night for their baby, and yours has colic so bad that you can't tell if it's the baby or you crying anymore.

Reality check: Facebook mom isn't real! On the other side of her screen is a woman ragged and worn like you, she's just working harder to hide it. And rather than hide it, we think you should handle it.

Release It

Has anyone given you permission to scream yet? I’m serious. Because it's a viable outlet for all the pent up angst you're feeling right now. I mean, for the love of Pete, don't wake the baby (you'd better put her Hush Hat on first)! But find a way to release it! Scream in a pillow as loudly as you can if that's what it takes. But, for crying out loud (pun intended), let it out already!

Take a Break

You can't be “on” 24/7/365. It will leave you utterly defeated. Plan at least one day off every couple of weeks, even if it's just a couple of hours. If you don't have family or friends you can trust with the care of your kids, take time to find a quality, reliable sitter. It's worth the expense. And take time to recharge a bit each day with some me-time: Netflix, a hot bath, a good book, a glass of wine, whatever relaxes you.  

Breath and Leave (the Room)

Don't actually take off running down the road, as much as you may be tempted to do so. But when a situation is particularly overwhelming, focus on breathing. Put your children in a safe place - in the crib, in their room, whatever it takes to know they're safe and occupied - and then bail to the other room or yard for a minute to pull yourself together.

We'd all like for the airs we put on social media to be our reality, but, well, they're not. But don't let it get you down. You've not failed as a parent because you get overwhelmed. It's what you do to respond to that feeling that builds you into a strong and loving mother.