Maybe Moms Really Are Superheroes

Moms Are Superheroes

Everybody tells you it’s a dream.

“You’re living the dream! Motherhood is such a dream!”

What they don’t say, is that it’s not always the kind of dream where Channing Tatum spoon feeds you endless amounts of mint chip ice cream, which has zero effect on your Victoria Secret model body. No, they neglect to tell you that sometimes it’s a straight up nightmare. One that feeds on every fear, and insecurity, and weakness you’ve ever had. The kind of dream that leaves you feeling weak and vulnerable for days.

How can something so incredibly wonderful also be so insanely challenging?

I guess that’s easy. A quick convo with your neighborhood superhero will reveal that all good things come with a price. That it takes every ounce of your abilities to change the world— to raise the future of the world.

But you’re not a superhero. You don’t have laser beam eyes, or telekinesis, or freeze ray guns. (Though, that last one would sure come in handy when the kids are mid- “fall off the chair for the hundredth time”, am I right?)

The only fire that comes out of your mouth is “If I have to tell you one more time..!”, and the only bad guys you chase away at night are the invisible monsters underneath the bed. They’re off saving the universe, while you’re trying to find a way to sneak veggies into your child’s food.

But maybe, that’s just it. Maybe that is exactly why you are a superhero.

I mean, it surely seems like you have super human strength when you walk out of the store with two kids on either hip and arms filled to the elbows with groceries. You can’t for the life of you open the pickle jar, but you can carry 50+ lbs. of tantrumming children out of Target— which is pretty damn impressive.

And it takes some sort of other-earthly patience to listen to the same song sung, same question asked, same scream screamed, all day long. Only a radioactive spider bite can explain how you manage to survive off of sandwich crust and zero sleep. And don’t even get me started on potty training— I’m pretty sure that Superman himself would rather battle Lex Luther any day of the week than have to clean human poop out of the carpets.

And sometimes our kids feel like our kryptonite— our Achilles heel, our own personal vortex of chaos and destruction. Right? I mean, there are days, weeks, months even, where they just drain every ounce of… everything.

But we really are superheroes, and it’s time we start believing that. You can get through this stage— whatever terrible, awful, losing your hair and your sanity, stage it may be— you can get through this. It’s not going to be teething, or breastfeeding, or the terrible twos that cue your demise. You’re a damn superwoman. You will conquer this phase— the nightmare will not last forever.

So next time you find yourself completely immobilized by the stress, the lack of energy, the anxiety, etc.— do yourself a favor and put yourself on time out in the bathroom for two minutes. Stare at yourself in the mirror— hollow shell, full-faced beauty, whatever you see that day— and repeat this mantra: I AM A SUPERHERO. I CAN AND I WILL CONQUER THIS. Repeat it until you feel it, mama.

Remember, you’ve got this.

It won’t last forever.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Whine now, Wine later.

[Inster snazzy catch phrase here]

You get the drift. You really are remarkable, and I hope you are able to see that these seemingly small actions you make every single day, make a huge difference.

Fly high, my sweet friends.

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The V Treatment

Lend Me Your Kite, Jan 2016-0030

(Photo: Brenda Munoz Photography)

Have you guys seen this video floating around? It’s pretty funny, and also pretty spot on.

I’m not going to lie— after my first, it wasn’t that bad. I remember only one instance where I was doing star jumps in my living room and felt like I might pee myself a little.

But after a second baby, it’s a whole new playing field. Almost every single time I jump I find myself needing to pee. This can be incredibly problematic for someone who works out as much as I do.

Get down and give me 10 burpees! Then 20 jumping jacks!

Sorry lady, but all the kegels in the world can’t seem to make that happen for me.

It’s one of those things that we hate to talk about as women. It feels embarrassing and almost shameful— but why?

80% of us struggle with weak pelvic floor muscles after birth. HelloFlo knows that, which is why they created this hilariously accurate music video.

There’s got to be more to life than living in panty liners until you graduate to adult diapers though, right?

Right.

So, when I found out that my doctor friend started doing this new procedure called “The V-Treament” I was like:

Yep. Sign me up. I’ll take two, please!

Here’s the low down:

Have you ever seen how they use a blow dryer to heat up plastic and suction it to a gift basket?

That’s basically what happens here. The probe uses radio frequency energy to transfer heat to the vaginal region, which causes it to tighten.

If you’re afraid of being burned in the vajay by a probe, I was too. But I legitimately did not feel even the slightest bit of discomfort.

I actually forgot anything was even happening, because I was mostly just chatting about motherhood to the RN who performed the procedure. If you’re not the chatty type, you can toss in some headphones, or take a nap, or even work on your phone. Seriously, people do all sorts of things while getting the treatment done because it’s that easy going.

After my first treatment, I can honestly say I already notice a difference. I did burpees and for the first time in what feels like forever, I didn’t feel like I was going to pee my pants from it! That’s a major victory in my book.

People usually require 2-3 sessions to get optimal results, so I’ll definitely be returning and I’ll be sure to update you guys on the final results!

I’ve got no shame in my game, and you shouldn’t either. Is it embarrassing to get a treatment like this? Nope. Is it embarrassing to pee your pants on a run? Yep.

You can learn more about “The V Treament” and the doctors who perform it here. And if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a comment or message!

 

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A Lesson In Kindness

A Lesson In Kindness

(You can be our “Raise Them Kind” tee HERE)

There’s been a lot of pressure to come to this space and sort of explain myself in regards to the HuffPost article I wrote.

And by “a lot of pressure” I mean that I’ve had like two people tell me to. But I value those people’s opinions, so I’ve been having anxiety over it.

Writing that piece was one of the most controversial things I’ve ever done, right up there with calling a guy in my Sophmore math class an asshole—landing me in-house detention for the period.

I’m not much of a pot stirrer in my everyday life, but I do stand up for what I believe in and I believed in what I wrote. Should I and could I have been gentler in my approach? Absolutely. I see that now. I was trying to use wording that was captivating (because hi, I’m a writer) and theme appropriate. But for the people closely tied to my words, everything came off as an attack rather than a humorous take on a serious issue.

I found myself being called a hypocrite by some, and I thought it weird that standing up for others and myself was seen as that way. But then I thought about it again.

I had a woman approach this space to defend someone she loved who she felt was being bullied by me. Wasn’t that the same thing I had done in my article? She used choice words that weren’t always kind. I did too. And I couldn’t be mad at her. In fact, I related. All she wanted to do was defend her friend from a bully— me too.

But where does it end? When is it okay to fight back and when isn’t it? And who decides that? Everybody applauds a woman who speaks up and isn’t afraid to call people out— that is of course, unless it’s them or someone they know that are the victim of that call out.

And I say everyone, because I mean that. I would have done the same thing as this woman, had it been about someone I loved.

In the spirit of good writing, I allowed myself to detach from humanity a little bit. I allowed myself to stumble off the very pillar of motherhood that I pride myself on protecting. It’s not up to me to decide who needs a slap on the wrist and who doesn’t. And while I know my article helped to open the eyes of some who didn’t realize that they themselves, may be part of a bigger issue here in mommy wars— it also made some women feel bad about themselves, put them in a dark place over being publicly ostracized. To them, I am sorry. I’ve personally expressed that to them, but I feel that I need to say so publicly as well. There’s a difference between writing something that is going to bring on criticism and straight up hurting people’s feelings. This piece got hardly any criticism. But it did really hurt some people, and that’s where I seriously missed the mark.

Raise them kind, I say. Well, I  learned a new lesson in kindness and have been humbled by the reminder that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. – Martin Luther King Jr.

I burned a few bridges last week— may those flames light my way. May walking through the waters, refresh my soul. May I start again on land.

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Motherhood Sort of Steals Our Identities

Motherhood

For Mother’s Day, my Fit4Mom group in Long Beach that I am a part of decided to take candid shots of the moms and their babes to gift them with.

I don’t know much about photography, but I know enough to squeak by, and well— really my camera does all of the work. But I was asked to take the photos, so yesterday I met up with them after the workout and snapped away. I uploaded and edited them when I got the chance (read: after the kids went to bed) and decided that I wanted to go again today to take more photos for any of the moms who couldn’t make it yesterday.

While I went around to get shots of each mom, I watched as one sweet mom sort of cringed when she noticed my lense facing her. She bashfully told me that she hardly ever finds herself on that side of the camera because she just gets insecure.

I let her slide and moved on, but later, I came back and encouraged her to let me get a few shots.

Okay, I’m going to do it! I need to get over this fear. I don’t want my son to grow up with no confidence like his mother. 

This broke my heart. Not just because this woman is absolutely beautiful inside, and out, but because I knew exactly how she felt. I met her with an “I hear ya” and we agreed that it’s one of those things that are much easier to say than do. I went on.

Motherhood sort of steals our identities. 

She instantly lit up— one of those “Yes! Someone else feels it too!” kind of moments, and I wanted so badly to continue the conversation, but I had to go get Declan and we sort of just left it there. But I want to pick it up here, because I feel like this dialogue is so important.

Moms— do you feel like you lost the “who” behind “you”? So many of us embrace our new role with so much oomph, that we tend to forget about all of the wonderful things that make us amazing that have absolutely nothing to do with our kids.

Who am I, if not a mom? I mean, right? Do you even remember? Between the middle of the night cluster feedings, and the 2 hours of sleep you got, and the fourth day in a row of messy buns and yoga pants, it’s no wonder you no longer recognize yourself. This woman is surviving purely off of coffee and leftover food from her child’s plate— she looks nothing like the put together, “has time to make herself a five course meal and curl her hair” version you once were.

It’s a swamp, ladies. It’s a murky, icky, quicksandy swamp that we have to get ourselves out of. The longer you stay, the more you’re going to sink.

You were someone before you became a mom. You’re still her. Being a mom changed you— absolutely, of course it did. But it did not morph you into a completely different person. Your genetic makeup did not change. You are still you. And I know you love your children. I know your entire world revolves around them. But you have to fuel your fire. You have to fill your cup. 

It’s time to remember who you are. Knowing this, believe it or not, will help you to be an even better mom. Being able to show your children that you are a woman, not just a mom, will allow them to see themselves as people too, rather than just titles.

So, who are you?

Are you an athlete, or a painter, or a teacher? Do you like to read, or sew, or cook? Maybe you love jewlery or a great hair tutorial.

Do you. 

Make time for you. 

If you give yourself permission to rediscover yourself, you will find your confidence again. You will find your passion. And you will find that you are a phenomenal mom, and then some. 

Mother’s Day Giveaway

Mothers Day Giveaway

Being a mom is tough.

It’s rewarding, and fulfilling, and incredible— but hot-damn, it’s tough.

The reason things like coffee, wine, and dry shampoo are known as “mom essentials” is because we are universally in agreement that we are tired, stressed, and on our third day of not washing our hair.

But despite the things we have in common, we also have a lot of differences— and some of us have it easier than others. I’ve always considered myself as one of the people who had it a little harder because I’m raising a kid with a very dominant, hyperactive personality. And sure, that’s a challenge. But recently I was given a glimpse into the life of single moms and I’ve got to say— you ladies are incredible.

You do it all, literally. Cook, clean, work, feed the kids, and bathe them, and put them to bed, and and and. You do so much, mama— and I want you to know that I see you. I see you and I’m always in the background cheering you on. But I don’t want to just be your silent cheerleader. I want to do more. I want to show you just how special you really are.

And so I’ve got a really special Mother’s Day present for one special mama, but I need your help finding her. I’ll be on the search all week long. You can nominate yourself, or any single mama you know that you think deserves to be recognized for her hard work.

What’s the prize?

I’ve teamed up with the ever-so-talented Brenda of Brenda Munoz Photography to offer a mommy + me mini session to one lucky winner. I’ll also be giving you $50 to go buy yourself an outfit for the shoot, and I’ll be taking you to get a Blow Out beforehand. (Hanging out with me is just a bonus! Just kidding. But seriously, I’ll be there). I’ll also be giving the winner a shirt of her choice from my site! Let’s recap:

  • $50 to buy a new outfit
  • Blow out (Salon will be determined with the winner, for convenience)
  • LMYK shirt of choice
  • Mommy + Me mini session with Brenda Munoz Photography

Since we know that finding time for something like this can be difficult, Brenda is being super flexible to try and accommodate the winners schedule. We are doing this now so that mama can have her special mommy + me photos in time for Mother’s Day.

Rules:

– Must be 18 or older to enter.

– Must be able to do the photo session in Los Angeles County. (So they have to be able to get out this way if they don’t live here).

To Nominate: 

Comment in my Facebook thread, on this blog post, or if you want to be super sweet, post a photo of your mom friend on Instagram and tell us why they should win this package, using the hashtag #SweetSoloMama with your nominee. Remember, they must be able to do the shoot in LA county during the month of April.

Winner will be announced on Sunday, April 10th!

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5 Things To Do When You Wake Up In A Bad Mood

5 Things To Do When You Wake Up In A Bad Mood

Guys, I’ve been going through it.

Long story short, hubs was selected to be on a jury for a murder trial which has tacked on an additional 2 1/2 hours of solo time with two kids to my days. That might not sound like a lot, but 5:30 am to 5:30 pm with an almost threenager and an almost walking 8 month old is no easy feat.

Lack of sleep and almost no down time to recoup has cause me to wake up on the wrong side of the bed on more than one occasion recently. But when you’re a mom, you can’t let those things keep you in a mood all day, so I’ve come up with some sure fire ways to turn my frown upside down when I’ve got the morning blues.

Need a pick me up the moment you get up? Here’s 5 things to do when you wake up in a bad mood.

1. SHOWER

Don’t virtually look at me like “duh!” Truth is, we moms tend to put showers on the back burner of our to-do lists. When you’ve got little ones, it can feel almost impossible sometimes. But I encourage you to ignore the voice in your head telling you that you don’t have time,  that your four-day-old hair doesn’t smell that bad, and just go for it. Have you ever heard someone (outside of prison) say, “wow, I really regret that shower I just took.” — Nope. Because showers are amazing, and being doused in water and soap is the ultimate way to say, “screw you, bad mood! Me and this coconut scented body wash are in charge now.”

2. GET YOUR PLAYLIST GOING

If you don’t have a “cheer me up” playlist, go make one— like now. Fill it with classic 90s jams or catchy John Mayer songs or the Wiggles, if that’s what gets you smiling. I like to play mine through the speaker we have so that it resonates throughout the whole room and gets the kids involved and dancing with me. Let yourself ugly dance to some Beyoncé and I guarantee you’ll have a better day.

3. CROCKPOT DINNER

Nothing gives you a false sense of accomplishment like throwing a bunch of shit in a pot and watching it magically turn into a meal 4-6 hours later. Being able to cross dinner off of your checklist at 9am is the ultimate boss feeling, and a sure fire way to help turn your mood around.

4. GET OUTSIDE

There’s a reason that sunshine represents happiness in almost every song, and that’s because being outdoors feel good. If I wake up in a bad mood, I get outside as soon as possible. Being in the fresh air allows me to regroup, remember that the world is so much bigger than whatever I’m grumpy about, and move past it.

5. EXERCISE

You know what Elle Woods says: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”

And while you may not agree with her over obsession with pink or her paw-lictics (Legally Blonde 2 pun, anyone?) girlfriend is dead on about this one. You know when you hear people say that working out is their drug? And we all kind of roll our eyes at them and say, “nobody likes working out.” Well as it turns out, they may be telling the truth after all. Endorphins are a chemical that is released during exercise, which gives off a positive feeling in the body that is similar to morphine. Yep— drugs. And since we can probably all agree that exercise is a better idea than breaking a limb in order to get the special morphine button at the hospital,  I’d say this natural high is total go for cheering you up. Snaps for endorphins.


 

So there you have it. Next time you wake up on the crotchety side of the bed, try one (or all) of these things and I guarantee you’ll see you’re mood and your day turn around!

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