raising happy children

The secret to raising happy children

Once upon a time, women worked together. They complained about their partners together (some things are timeless). They grew food together. They raised their children together.

Once upon a time, women shared feelings together. They grieved together. They anticipated together. They protested together. They celebrated together.

Once upon a time, women built each other up. They helped each other grow. The gave each other encouragement. They showed each other love.

Once upon a time, women created their village.

Today, our society is filled with women who challenge one another. They compete. They compare. They are not united.

They are missing out.

Finding a village is the most empowering thing a woman can do for herself, especially when she is a mother. Surrounding herself with other women experiencing the same spectrum of emotions gives her confidence. It allows her to feel fully understood. It helps her learn and flourish. During the times she needs to be supported, whether she needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to watch her children, she has her village to help her. This is unachievable alone. In order to maintain a healthy journey through motherhood, a woman needs a solid foundation of people who will lift her. Motherhood is an incredibly challenging job and one that shouldn’t and doesn’t need to be accomplished alone.

There is something magical about being surrounded by a village. Women are a fierce and strong force. Their energy is undeniable. A village can bring a woman from a dark, low place and set her soaring. She can be liberated from her feelings of depression and isolation; feelings that are sometimes involved in motherhood.  She is better for this. Her village is better for this. Her children are better for this. Her children will benefit, not only from having their mother in a state of fulfillment and capability but also from witnessing the powerful effect of women uniting. Her children will learn and gain experiences from members of the village, each of whom brings something to the group.

A mother will do everything in their power to ensure that their children are getting the best life possible. She will work incredibly hard to make sure her child has the best clothing, food, house, education, and entertainment that she can provide. She would walk the ends of the earth to have happy children.

She doesn’t have to.

The secret to raising happy children is in the village they are raised with. By allowing herself to collaborate with a like-minded group, a woman opens herself up to an opportunity for happiness within her child and herself. The bonds she will build and the memories she will create with the other members of her village will leave a lifelong impression on her own personal growth and development, as well as the person her child grows to be. It takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a mother.

Mothers, raise yourself, to raise your child.

Find your village.

this is the best birth control you can use

THIS is the best birth control you can use

Dear, guy,

I’m done having babies. Like, so done. I’m done having babies to the point that when I see a baby my ovaries scream at me in such a way to remind me that I’ve had babies and I DON’T WANT ANY MORE BABIES. I’ve also gotten rid of all my maternity clothes so unless we’re going to buy hundreds of dollars worth of boutique maternity clothing (not that I ever had boutique maternity clothing but I would definitely want it if we got pregnant again), we aren’t having any more babies.

You don’t want to get a vasectomy. Fair enough. I know it’s intimidating wrapping your head (sorry, didn’t mean for that insensitive pun there) around a simple, relatively painless, 15-minute procedure. I’m sure I can be empathetic of it CONSIDERING I PUSHED OUR BABIES OUT OF MY VAGINA after a 10 million hour labour. But…your body, your choice. I dig it.

I don’t want more babies. You don’t want to lose your ability to have more babies in case I finally actually leave you. Fair.

So, what do we do to appease both of us?

We have a few options for the best birth control to use.

I’m not a fan of most of them, except for one:

Condoms.

They might be a nice idea but your whining about the use of condoms often takes the pleasure out of sex (although maybe your whining could cover up my vagina fart). I agree, they’re really the best birth control for having a whole lot of fun-unless they’re used as balloons…balloons we maybe shouldn’t use at the kids’ birthday parties.

Hormonal birth control.

“GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!! Oh, I’m so sorry I yelled at you *wipes tear*. Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahaha.”

You like that? That will be your life if I have to remember to take a tiny little hormone-altering pill at the same time every day. Also, I forgot to pick up our kids from school the other day; do you really want this whole birth control thing to be on me?

IUD.

It’s probably the best of all the options but it’s still not awesome. You see, there’s a foreign object inserted into my body for an extended period of time. Considering I’ve spent a considerable portion of my life already with foreign objects in my body (babies) I think I wouldn’t mind taking a break.

Tubal ligation.

Speaking of simple, relatively painless 15-minute procedures let’s hop right on over to the other end of the spectrum.

Abstinence.

I’m 150% game for this. Wanna know why? My Battery Operated Boyfriend (BOB).

 

BOB, BOB, you’re not a man,

You won’t get me pregnant like a real penis can.

You give off great vibes and you don’t want to cuddle,

I use you when I want to; no need to be subtle.

 

I think we have a winner for the best birth control!

I’ll enjoy a healthy relationship with BOB while you go fuck yourself!

 

Lots of love!

 

 

modern day hippie mama

Are YOU a modern day hippie mama?

We all fall into a category of some sort. Our “type” helps define who we are, and allows us to seek out others who are like us. Sometimes you don’t fall into any one specific category; you kind of flop in between two. I’m not a full hippie mama, nor am I fully up with the latest trends. I am…a modern day hippie mama!

 

I’m a hippie mama when it comes to babies, but I’m a modern day hippie mama when it comes to…

cloth diapers.

I’m all for home births and eating my placenta, but after that it’s fair game. There’s a bit of controversy surrounding which diaper is best for the environment: cloth or disposable. I won’t get into the details because that’s an entire post in itself, but I’ve made the decision to not cloth diaper after failed attempts with two of my babies. Painful yeast rashes, too many dollars spent on expensive soap, and too many hours spent washing diapers deterred me from being a part of the (somewhat intimidating) cloth diaper community any longer. I’m a big fan of the convenience of disposable diapers, and to make sure my eco-conscious brain doesn’t feel guilty I buy the ultra expensive ones that are made from corn and biodegrade into some sort of edible mushroom. Now, how’s that for resourceful?

Do you refuse to buy organic apples so you can save money for fast food treats? You may be a Modern Day Hippie Mama!

I’m a hippie mama when it comes to natural therapies, but I’m a modern day hippie mama when it comes to…

those times when western medicine is necessary.

Homeopathy. Acupuncture. Herbs and vitamins. Chiropractor. Reiki. Food as medicine.

I try to use all natural therapies for most elements of our lives. However, I know darn well that there are times that call for the use of western medicine treatments. It’s different for each person for when they need to take a Tylenol or go on some anti-depressants, but I will happily advise that any time an ailment is restricting your ability to function normally it warrants intervention. Sometimes natural medicine doesn’t work. Sometimes western medicine doesn’t work. Whatever does work to get you back to your life lovin’ self is the guilt-free route you MUST take.

 

I’m a hippie mama when it comes to food, but I’m a modern day hippie mama when it comes to…

over-priced apples.

Don’t get me wrong. I love me a good farmer’s market. I fully appreciate non-GMO, organic, locally grown, antibiotic-free, free-range food. However, there are times when it just can’t be a priority according to our budget. Paying $1.50 for an organic gala apple vs $0.50 for a conventional one seems a little ridiculous to me. We choose certain things that we always buy organic, but there are just some things we can’t justify paying triple for.

There’s other things that money can go towards, like the blizzards from Dairy Queen that I eat in my car while my toddler sleeps in the back and the older ones are at school.

 

I’m a hippie mama when it comes to beauty products, but I’m a modern day hippie mama when it comes to…

under-eye concealer.

Organic mascara: Check

Organic blush: Check

Organic lipstick: Check

Heavy duty, chemical laden, industrial strength under-eye concealer: Check

For the most part, there’s a lot of companies that offer organic makeup at comparable prices to the classic non-organic. Unfortunately, organic makeup doesn’t have the chemicals in it that I need to effectively cover up the big, black bags under my sleep-deprived eyes.

I have a rule: I don’t want to look how I feel. On days when I haven’t had much sleep the night before I tend to do myself up a little more.

So, basically, I’m done up all the time.

 

I wear hemp mumus, grow my own food, play the didgeridoo (ok, I tried it once) and practice yoga. I also drive a gas guzzling SUV, order french fries through take out, and frequently forget my reusable bags. Being a modern day hippie mama is all about balance!

Namaste, Mamas!!

 

 

vagina farts social media

What you can do about vagina farts!

Kwif. Muff puff. Queef. Vart. Cooter Pooter. Vagina farts!!

If you have a vagina, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there: the dead silent yoga class. You’re in a blissful state and looking hot in your yoga pants. You’re standing directly in front of the cutest person in the class. You gracefully go from shaking your tush in Downward Dog into Warrior Pose — and pffffffffft.

Fuck.

You look around in an attempt to not appear suspicious while also making sure nobody is looking at your accusingly. You notice a couple of people looking over at your direction and you desperately want to yell “that didn’t come from my bum!” because for some weird reason that would make you feel better. You try to shrug it off like it ain’t no thang, but it’s hard to envision your chakras aligning when you’re focusing on your fear of fluctuating from your vagina.

You feel like there’s no way you could ever go back, but listen up lady: you can reclaim your yoga class!

Understand that this is normal. Just like boob sweat, upper lip hairs, and PAP smears, vagina farts during inopportune moments (quiet yoga class, romp sessions, etc.) is just another thing to add to the list of weirdly wonderful things our female selves get to deal with.

Vagina farts are not the result of too much raw broccoli in your lunch. Air gets in your vagina during various activities and then escapes shortly after.

That’s it.

There’s really nothing gross about it…other than the sound it makes, which exactly resembles the ones that men and toddlers find inexplicably hilarious (minus the stench that goes along with theirs). However, regardless of the reason behind it, it doesn’t negate how embarrassing it can be. For most people who don’t have a vagina- and even some who do- the sound coming from your lady parts isn’t what they’re assuming caused the “pfffffffffffft”.

How to avoid vagina farts

Preventing these red-faced moments is actually reasonably easy. We all know that kegels and squats can be helpful when it comes to avoiding urinary incontinence (i.e. peeing your pants when you sneeze, laugh, jump, cough, breathe…you know), but they can also be helpful when it comes to toning the muscles so the air doesn’t pass so easily.  Your doctor, midwife, pelvic floor physiotherapist (this is a thing, ladies- CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION!!) can all give you tips on how to do a proper kegel to make sure you’re getting the most of your efforts.

Now you know exactly what’s causing this fantastically annoying occurrence, so how do you deal with it when it happens?

There are a few options:

  1. Completely deny it was you. Point your finger at the guy sitting beside you (because for some reason it’s far more acceptable for men’s bodies to make these noises). Blame your child. Accuse the dog. Don’t take any ownership.
  2. Say “excuse me” and allow everyone around you to assume you had too much raw broccoli in your lunch.
  3. Nonchalantly say “Sorry, that was my vagina”.

Your response will be situational, but whenever possible it is ideal to fill other folks in on the wonders that is the vagina and casually mention the third option. It’s the only way we’re going to end the embarrassment of vagina farts so that women can resume that downward dog–in the yoga studio AND in the bedroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

child's eye view

From a kid’s eye view: My right to tantrum

O. M. G.

Mom seriously took it too far. I’ve never been as appalled by her behavior as I was during this moment.

I was so embarrassed.

I wanted to crawl into a hole.

You see, I’m a kid. Kids have tantrums. It’s what we do. I heard once that we don’t quite have the capability to communicate what our needs are and therefore we become frustrated when trying to relay information to adult persons.

At least that’s my story when I need Mom’s sympathy.

I know damn well what I want.

CANDY.

It’s really not that hard for me to tell that to Mom. There’s no issues with communication there. I just don’t like to be told “no”.

Hence the tantrum.

So, when Mom told me we weren’t getting candy at the store I proceeded to express to her my frustration in the middle of the candy aisle.

I went about my usual routine:

1. Whine.

2. Tilt head slightly upwards, bounce shoulders up and down and ask “why” in a reasonably loud voice.

3. Stomp feet.

4. Collapse on the floor.

5. Ask “WHY” in an unreasonably loud voice.

6. Kick legs, throw arms, and start screaming uncontrollably.

7. Get up and chase Mom when she starts to walk away.

 

Usually this routine goes down without a hitch, but this time Mom didn’t walk away.

During the “kick legs, throw arms and start screaming uncontrollably” portion of my routine Mom decided to join me.

On the floor.

Kicking HER legs, throwing HER arms, and screaming uncontrollably.

(I’ve only ever seen her do this once when daddy took the last glass of wine.)

I was mortified.

She was acting like a complete fool.

She was coming across as an absolute moron.

She looked like…oh…..shit.

She was mimicking me.

I kinda look like a huge dick…

 

Well, if this is her new course of action against me I am going to have to make the best of it.

Let’s see how she likes peeing her pants at the library!

 

 

I’m the smartest person in the world.

At home workouts for mom

Become a fit Mama…without going to the gym

Hey! Just an FYI that I will receive compensation if you click on one of these links. It’s a pretty neato deal, really-you’re getting a great product that I personally endorse and I’m getting a bit of extra dough so I can buy the programs I need to lose my extra dough (particularly around the hips). Thanks in advance!

Once upon a time there was a specific idea of what beautiful was: skinny, blonde, skinny, tanned, skinny.

That seems to have shifted over the past few years. There are numerous campaigns from major companies encouraging women to love and embrace their bodies. Average sized women run in advertisements. Normal is the new norm.

Fantastic!

Women should love and embrace their bodies. Our bodies go through A LOT. From the time we hit puberty and experience the physical discomfort of our menses, to growing life inside of our womb and bringing that life earthside, to when our bodies transition into menopause, our bodies are constantly enduring awesome transformations.

My body experienced massive change 4 times. 4 babies grew inside of this body, and for that I am forever grateful. With my first pregnancy, I gained 65 pounds. I lost a portion of that, but never went down to my pre-pregnancy weight. After our second and third pregnancies I continued to carry the extra weight that I didn’t shed after my first.

Now, after my fourth (AND LAST) pregnancy, I find myself trapped in this state of discomfort with my body and the extra weight that I still have. I  do try every single day to embrace my image and not relay my insecurities to my four daughters who are watching me. They see, though. They see the frustration in my eyes as I try on my fifth outfit of the morning. They see the clothes I’ve put in the closet labeled “Don’t Fit”. They see my discontentment.

As much as I want my babies to love their bodies, I also want to inspire them to change what they don’t like about themselves to make them as confident as they can be.

So, I led by example.

A woman who I went to high school with had recently become a Beach Body coach. I saw photos of her transformation and read about her fitness goals, and decided to contact her and see if there were any tips she could give me.

By the end of our conversation I was convinced to sign up for the 21 Day Fix Extreme nutrition and exercise challenge. There was a Facebook page of all of the women involved in the challenge so we could stay accountable to each other, keep on track, offer encouragement, and learn from what everyone else was doing. Most importantly, I didn’t have to step foot in the gym-which can be really complicated when you have kids!

I was given a guide to portion control by using labeled containers for each food type and a record sheet to account for what I was eating. Within the first few days of following the guidelines I realized how much I was overeating. After a week of eating as per the guideline I realized how much less food I could fuel my body with and became so much more conscious of what I was putting in my body to accumulate the calories I needed to have enough energy to keep up with my little gals.

I was also introduced to 7 different workouts that were half an hour a day and from the comfort of your own home. That doesn’t sound like a long time, right? I strapped on a maxi pad (welcome to exercise after vaginal birth, ladies) and gave it a go.

Me, after the longest half hour of my damn life.

Me, after the longest half hour of my damn life.

Now, my last labor was half an hour long and I truly think it was easier than the workout I did. Every muscle in my body ached. It hurt to go up the stairs. It hurt to lift up my toddler. It hurt…but I felt amazing. The pain eventually disappeared and the workouts got easier as I got stronger. I needed a few basic things (some weights and a resistance band) but these workouts required nothing like the equipment you would find at the gym.

Within 5 days of sticking with this plan I lost 5 pounds! 5 POUNDS! I wore pants with a button AND a smile. I hadn’t done that for quite some time.

That taste of accomplishment gave me the motivation to carry on. I was that much closer to my goal of reaching the level of fitness I wanted to have and the physical state I desired.

I included my girls in the workouts. I fed them what I was eating ,which was anything I wanted, within reason (even wine, y’all!!) but in portions that were customized to what my body type and level of activity required. When they asked why I was eating out of containers and always sweaty I told them it was so I could feel better about myself. I also told them they didn’t need to look a certain way to be confident, but they did need to feel good in their skin.

By the end of the 21 days on the 21 Day Fix EXTREME program (which, by the way, is only one of the many home workouts that BeachBody offers) I felt SO good. I lost 6 lbs and 2 inches but gained a lot of strength. I also gained a lot of confidence in my ability to change the things I wanted to while doing something for ME!

If you’re thinking of doing something for YOU I highly recommend these programs! Don’t worry about going to the gym for a pass-you can do this all in the comfort of your own home! Heck, you could do it naked if you wanted!! (Please let me know if you do that because that is really awesome!!)