postpartum doula featured image

What is a postpartum doula?

You’ve probably heard of a birth doula, but have you heard of a postpartum doula?

A postpartum doula, as I like to put it, is a magical unicorn. I mean, we come and help out with baby, take care of Mom, and make sure that all is well at your home. It is pretty magical (and the whole unicorn thing just kinda sounds good alongside it).

Why have one?

Basically, a postpartum doula is there to “mother the mother”. The postpartum period is a really, really, REALLY hard one-you’re navigating hormones while learning how to take care of your baby while dealing with the physical aftermath of birth.

This is not something that any person should have to deal with alone. Ever. Even when there is a partner(s) available to help out they’re often dealing with the same “newness” themselves and are also depleted and overwhelmed. Having a postpartum doula come in can alleviate the pressure for both/all parents and allow them to get some rest.

Your postpartum doula will be able to refer you to community programs and provide you with resources. They are also keenly aware of what the symptoms of Postpartum Depression and/or Anxiety look like in parents and can offer assistance in finding professional help if need be.

What will they do?

Every family has their own unique list of needs. What might work for one family might not work for another. This is a conversation that your postpartum doula and your family need to have to ensure that you’re getting the most of having your postpartum doula there.

Some of the tasks that your postpartum doula might do are:

-newborn care support (diapering, burping, bathing, etc.)

-breastfeeding support

-assist with household organization for ease of transition into life with a newborn

-light housekeeping

-emotional support and mental health check-ins for parents

-help with older siblings transitioning to having a baby sibling

-care for baby while parent(s) nap, involve themselves in self care, or step out of the home

-provide resources for local community services

-meal prep, planning, and/or grocery shopping

-light pet care

Who needs a postpartum doula?

Do you need a postpartum doula for when your baby arrives? Find out exactly what a postpartum doula does and if you need one!

EVERYONE!

It doesn’t matter if this is your first baby or 14th baby (actually, a postpartum doula is highly recommended in both of these situations)! Vaginal birth or cesarean birth. Parents with twins. Parents who have adopted.

Everyone who has a newborn can benefit immensely from having a postpartum doula come to their home.

Folks who are lacking familial or partner support, are trying to maintain a business during their postpartum period, have had traumatic births or experiences, are having breastfeeding struggles, or are at high risk for Postpartum mood disorders can potentially benefit most from having postpartum doula services.

What education is required?

In order to be considered a Postpartum doula, you have to take a course through an accredited Doula agency. For example, I took my course through DONA as theirs were the values that I most related with and felt most comfortable advocating.

Within this course a postpartum doula will learn about:

Breastfeeding-how to help a new parent establish a breastfeeding relationship with their child, the physiological responses that occur in the body while a milk supply is being established, breastfeeding positions, the hormones that contribute to various aspects of breastfeeding, potential challenges that can arise with breastfeeding and how to problem solve to create a positive and effective breastfeeding relationship between parent and child.

Birth- what is entailed in each form of birth and how to best help in the recovery of the birthing person, what is normal healing, what is abnormal, and when to suggest seeing a doctor. (**Postpartum doulas DO NOT administer any medical tasks nor do they offer medical advice or make diagnoses. They are aware of what is typical but will always encourage you to see your midwife or doctor if you are concerned).

Newborn care-bathing, differences between types/brands of diapers, diapering, bottle feeding, differences between baby carriers, soothing techniques, teaching strategies for new parents, developmental milestone awareness, burping, getting baby dressed, newborn characteristics.

Emotional support-listening to new parents as they divulge their struggles, assess new parents for postpartum mood disorders, encouraging new parents to rest, understanding what needs to be done without being asked to do it (i.e. making meals, getting groceries, light housekeeping), nurturing new parents, providing resources that could be beneficial for the parents.

Family dynamics-introducing baby to older siblings, helping older siblings adjust to their new role, walking pets, feeding pets.

Professionalism-providing care with no judgment or personal bias, maintaining confidentiality with each client, not offering medical advice, respecting the needs and requests of the parent(s), accepting various family dynamics, communicating effectively with clients so that everyone benefits from the interaction between family and postpartum doula.

Questions to ask

Your search for your postpartum doula should begin while you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy to ensure that you have found someone to begin right away when baby arrives.

You can do a quick Google search to find out what postpartum doulas are available in your area. Check their websites to see if you might be able to establish a connection with them, and then consider asking these questions that are recommended by DONA:

-What training have you had? (If a doula is certified, you might consider checking with the organization.)

-Have you had a criminal background check, a recent TB test, current CPT certification?

-Tell me about your experience as a postpartum doula.

-What is your philosophy about parenting supporting women and their families during postpartum?

-May we meet to discuss our postpartum needs and the role you will play in supporting us in the postpartum period?

-What different types of services do you offer?

-May we call you with postpartum questions or concerns before the birth?

-When do your services begin after birth?

-What is your experience in breastfeeding support?

-Do you work with one or more back up doulas for times when you are not available? May we meet them?

-What are your fee and refund policies?

These are all reasonable questions to ask your potential postpartum doula. You may also ask:

-How far are you willing to travel (if you live outside of their service area) and will there be a travel fee?

-What is your general availability?

-Do you offer a night service? What are the fees for that?

The postpartum period is a very intimate one and you will be at your most vulnerable. If you have an interview with a potential postpartum doula and decide that they’re not for you don’t feel bad about kindly declining their services and continuing on your search.

Hiring a postpartum doula is a very personal endeavor. It takes time and energy to find someone that you feel will fit in best with your family in this postpartum period. Often times, postpartum doulas will offer introductory meetings free of charge so make sure you take them up on that. While it’s possible to get a feel for someone via text it’s worthwhile to meet up and see if you jive together in person!

Do you have experience with a postpartum doula aiding you when you welcomed your baby? I’d love to hear about how your experience went.

what you need to know about your first period after childbirth

9 Things to know about your first period after childbirth

You just had yourself a roughly 9-month reprieve from your monthly visit from Aunt Flo, but now that baby is here you have to worry about your first period after childbirth.

Yay.

Don’t be too scared of your postpartum period; once it comes back you’ll remember what to do. It’s kind of like riding a bike (but with more menstrual blood and discomfort, you know?!)

Your first period after childbirth isn’t quite the same as the regular, consistent period that you were once (possibly) used to and there are a few things you need to consider.

What you need to know about your first period after childbirth

You're awaiting your first period after childbirth, but you may want to read this first and get a little more prepared for what's to come.
  1. “Most” folks get their first period after childbirth at around the 6-8 week postpartum mark. However, this is different for each and every person and things like breastfeeding and stress may change that.
  2. It’s going to be unpredictable. Some folks can mark it in the calendar exactly when they’re going to be getting their period or they have sure-fire signs that it’s about to grace them with its presence. Your body is still in the process of returning organs back to their original place before baby moved them, so things internally are a little out of whack. You may end up with some symptoms that you think are premenstrual but are just normal post-baby body things.
    You may find that your periods are off-track for quite some time and take a while to regulate again. For the first year especially you may experience some periods that are longer than others, fluctuating lengths of your cycle, and periods that are heavier than others.
  3. Your first period after childbirth may take longer to come back if you’re breastfeeding. Your hormone levels continue to fluctuate significantly when you’re breastfeeding. This can have an impact on when your menses might start up again after having baby.
  4. Depending on when you get your first period after childbirth you may not want to jump back into using tampons, especially if you’re closer to the 6-8 week postpartum mark. This is something that you’ll need to base on your comfort level, but it’s also worthwhile having a chat with your midwife or doctor in one of your postpartum visits to get their insight on when tampons are appropriate.

    **If this is your first baby and you wanted to give the Diva Cup a go-round make sure you read about which one is going to be best for your vagina now that you’ve had a baby or if you’re over 30. I highly recommend the Diva Cup but recommend you have a bit of patience learning how to get that sucker in properly. It takes a bit of practice but at the end of it you won’t be afraid of getting all up in yourself-I promise.**
  5. You don’t need to be as prepared for your first period after childbirth as you might think you do! If you’re used to unpredictable periods you probably have gotten into the habit of carrying hygiene products around with you wherever you go. Now that you’re carrying around a BABY and everything that they need you may have gotten out of that routine. Fortunately for you, you’re likely carrying around the ultimate premenstrual pad with you at all times: a diaper! (Unless you’re me and you forgot diapers all the friggin’ time and had to ask random folks with or without babies if they happened to have a spare diaper on them. It worked better than you might think). Seriously, if you’re in a pinch take that tiny little diaper out, remove the tabs, and shove it down your pants. It’s less bulky than you imagine and is way more absorbent than any pad I’ve ever encountered.
  6. Your first period after childbirth may affect your breastmilk! Okay, don’t freak out. It’s usually not a major impact, but you may notice that your baby is acting a bit out of sorts. Your menses can alter the taste of your breastmilk, as well as the quantity you make. These slight changes shouldn’t shift your ability to breastfeed.
  7. Your first period after childbirth may be a little more intense than you’re used to. You may find that your cramping is a little more than before (you have a uterine lining that is still being shed) and you may have some small blood clots that can be a bit alarming. If you feel that it’s too intense and you’re concerned don’t ever hesitate to go to your midwife or doctor as soon as possible.
  8. Lochia is not our first period after childbirth. Lochia is vaginal discharge after you’ve given birth that consists of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. This is a normal output after a vaginal birth or cesarean birth and can last up to around 10 days with continued spotting up to 6 weeks.
  9. There are some things that you need to watch out for with your first period after childbirth (as per Healthline Parents):
    -soaking through a pad every hour
    -sudden fever
    -bleeding continuously for more than 7 days
    -bleeding that’s accompanied with sudden, severe pain
    -blood clots that are bigger than a softball
    -foul-smelling discharge
    -severe headache
    -trouble breathing
    -pain while urinating
    These symptoms may indicate an infection and require immediate medical attention.

I got my first period after childbirth with my fourth baby in the middle of my Grandmother’s funeral. Thank Goddess I was wearing black and THANK GODDESS I actually had diapers with me that day. That little tidbit of info about the shoving the diaper down the pants thing…ya, that came from experience.

Do you have a funny “first period after childbirth” story?

christmas gift ideas for mom

Awesome Christmas gift ideas for Mom!

Every Mom loves getting Christmas gifts, even the ones that say “Oh, honey, I don’t need anything.”

They do, and you are 100% expected to know exactly what to buy her.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Moms like pretty things that are FUNCTIONAL. She’s got enough knick knacky stuff to clean up on a daily basis so another little glass trinket that says “World’s Best Mom” on it probably isn’t going to go down in the history books as favourite gift. **

**Allow me to clarify that trinkets that are handmade by Mom’s sweet little darlings are almost always cherished forever.

Christmas gift ideas for Mom that she will LOVE!

By the way, there are affiliate links in this post. That means that if you purchase something based on my personal recommendation I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Trust me, Mom will love that, too!

christmas gift ideas for mom phone case

Customizable Phone Case

Mom's phone is her key to the outside world and she entirely relies on it to be able to zone out while she hides in the closet for 5 minutes and eats her chocolate stash. Why not get her a custom case? Choose something that she really loves (ya, the kids....but that's just so cliche) so that everyone knows it's MOM'S PHONE!
Photo credit: Custmode

Initial necklace

Let's face it...Mom forgets her kids names from time to time. Let's give the lady a bit of credit; she's got 8 trillion things on her mind at one time it would be weird if she DIDN'T forget a kid or two's name on occasion.
This handy necklace will look cute and will also act as a reference guide for Mom when she's put on the spot and asked a difficult question like: "What are your children's names?".
Bonus idea: Have birth dates put beside each child's initials. That's the hardest question of them all!
Photo credit: Oroandargento

Headphones

Whether or not she's plugging these babies in she has the excuse to ignore the kids for a few extra seconds. Usually she pretends the vacuum is too loud to listen to tales of woe from one sibling about another, but now she can do the same thing without having to go to the trouble of lugging the vacuum out!
Photo credit: ArtsyWallsAndMore

Christmas gift ideas for mom car difuser

Car Diffuser

Just like Mom masks the smell of spit up and 2 day old smoothie with perfume, she can do the same in the car! No matter how thoroughly Mom cleans the car there's always a lingering smell of something she's inevitably missed (it's always under the car seat). Pair this diffuser with a calming scent like Lavender and Mom will blissfully forget about whatever "that smell" is.
Photo credit: BellsAndWhistles18

Solidarity onesie

Let Mom's baby's clothes speak on her behalf. As lovely as unsolicited advice is (not) she probably doesn't need or want it. She knows the company to put this particular onesie on her kiddo around, or she can put it underneath another shirt and pull it out whenever necessary. A simple passive-aggressive "can you hold my baby a second" is all she'll need to do.
Photo credit: ChilkoPrints

Custom Planner

Mom likely loves to be organized (because life really is easier when you're organized), but she's probably busy organizing EVERYONE ELSE'S lives. Here's what you're going to do: Get her this planner, but write in days for Mom to go out and do something just for herself. Bonus points if you get her some gift certificates to correspond with her "me time", such as a local hair salon or yoga studio or whatever she's into!
Photo credit: SHPplanners

christmas gift ideas for mom purse

Cute Purse

Mom's been lugging around a massive diaper bag for years...isn't it time she downsized to something smaller (and crazy cute)? Still in diaper bag mode? This little purse is still a nice thing for her to have to go on those "me-time" adventures you've scheduled in for her where a diaper bag will absolutely not be needed.
Photo credit: gracedesign

christmas gift ideas for mom strong as a mother

Strong As A Mother Sweatshirt

We all know that Mom is one tough lady...but let's let everyone know just how strong: Strong As A Mother! This sweater is cozy, it's cute, and it'll let you know exactly what you think of this lady who's strong as a Mother!
Photo credit: MountainMoverz

There ya go…a few Christmas gift ideas for Mom that she will actually, genuinely love. Still have more shopping to do? Check out this list for kiddos and this one for the dude in your life!

gift ideas for kids

21 unique and cool gift ideas for kids

Gifts for kids can be the easiest and the hardest things to shop for.

If the kids in your life are like the kids in my life your conversations go something like this:

ME: “What do you want for Christmas?”

KID: “I dunno.”

(December 24) KID: “Actually, I really want ________!”

My approach to shopping for gifts for kids has changed from asking them what they want to assuming that they will love whatever I buy them-which means I’d better make it good!

Thanks to Etsy, here’s a solid list of idea for gifts for kids by their age group.

Gifts for kids that will rock their world

 

Are you struggling with a gift idea for kids in your life? Here are some Mom approved suggestions for kids of all ages!

Newborn to 1 year old

gifts for kids

Customizable spoon

They'll get some great use out of this AND be able to save it as a keepsake! Photo credit: MyMomentsOfBliss


Puppets!

These puppets are handmade, soft, and super cute! They're a great option for quiet time or silly time.
("Baaaaaby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.")
Photo credit: CateandLevi

Teething toys

Give baby something to chew on other than their parents! These are high quality silicone and perfect for sore gums! Photo credit: SloaneandBlake

Toddler

gift ideas for kids

Bowling!!

Kids love setting things up just as much as they love destroying! Give them the gift of both with this bowling set! Photo credit: TheFortToys

gift ideas for kids memory game

Memory game

This adaptable game is perfect for toddlers and up. Plus, the musical instruments on the tiles can make you feel super cultured:) Photo credit: WoodContourCanada

gift ideas for kids toddlers

Training underwear

Nothing motivates a kid to get potty trained like getting some big kid undies! These are cute, gender neutral, and perfect for kids of all ages. Photo credit: TotsSmartyPants

puzzle gift idea for kids

Customizable puzzle

Cute and educational...can't get much better than that! Will your kiddos name fit on a puzzle? Photo credit: BusyPuzzle

Preschool

gift ideas for kids

Messenger bag

This sweet bag is perfect for days at the park and trips to the library. Your pockets won't be filled up with treasures...their bag will! Photo credit: TarrahAtHome

gift ideas for kids preschool

Sequin pillow

Most kids are their own biggest fan...so a flashy pillow with their name on it seems like a great gift idea for kids!
Photo credit: TheosLane

gift ideas for kids

Teepee

What kid doesn't love a tent? From snuggling up and reading stories to livingroom campouts this teepee will be well loved. Photo credit: iloveteepee

gift ideas for kids preschool

Felt board

Give your kiddo hours of fun (while you get hours of quiet-always part of a great gift idea for kids) while they create stories on a felt board!

School aged 5-9

gift ideas for kids

Apron

Bring out the chef in your kiddo (trust me-this will work in your favour). They'll love having the opportunity to gain some independence in the kitchen while looking super cute! Photo credit:ChezCarolie

Boomerang

Get your kids outside with a boomerang! Just...watch your windows.
Photo credit: WallabyBoomerang

gifts for kids

Sewing kit

Sewing is a skill that kids should have! This is a great project for a beginner with a result that will provide loads of love. Photo credit: CateandLevi

gift ideas for kids cape

Superhero Cape

Kids love to dress up, and what a better thing than a cape and mask to do it with! Don't forget: Superheroes always do what Mommy and Daddy tell them;) Photo credit: MyHeroHeadquarters

School aged 10-14

Wall hangings

Their bedroom is becoming one of their favourite places to be and they may as well make it beautiful! Photo credit: ShikishMTL

gift ideas for kids

DIY art kit

It's relaxing, it's rewarding, it's beautiful! Art promotes relaxation after a long day of school and pre-puberty life. Photo credit:TheDottingCenter

gift ideas for kids bracelet

Lava stone bracelet

They look nice and they smell nice. Pair them with a relaxing essential oil to help with anxiety or stinky kid smell. Photo credit: BlueberryMtnNaturals

Teenagers

Push Pin Travel Map

Encourage some wanderlust in your teenager. Give them an opportunity to explore where they might want to see in the world in an aesthetically pleasing way! Photo Credit: CanvasVows

gift ideas for kids

Journal

Give them a spot to write their thoughts, ideas, and feelings about how unfair you've made their life. **Don't snoop. It's tempting, but everyone needs their privacy:) Photo credit: SanTanLeather

gift ideas for kids watch

Wooden Watch

They'll look good...and they'll never be late! This beautiful wooden watch is unique and can be engraved. A beautiful momento. Photo credit: WoodInPhilosophy

There you have it! There are some unique gift ideas for kids that will ensure big smiles Christmas morning. 

Still have shopping to do? Check out this gift guide for HIM, this gift guide for HER, and even this one for the furry loved ones in your life! 

HAPPY SHOPPING!

postpartum care after vaginal birth

How to: Postpartum care after a vaginal birth

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase something I recommend in this post I may receive a commission at no cost to you.

You spent 40 ish long weeks trying to keep the fact that your growing baby would eventually be coming out of your vagina off the forefront of your mind.

I mean, you had to acknowledge it and prepare for it because being blindsided by THAT would be unfortunate. It’s in your best interest to become knowledgable on the process of having a vaginal birth. This will ensure that you can be informed and EMPOWERED in your journey and make decisions that are best suited to you.

Now that you’ve had your baby you can’t help but be reminded that your baby did come out of your vagina and you’re looking for some relief.

When it comes to postpartum care of your wonderful vagina after a vaginal birth there are some do’s and don’t’s. Of course, these are suggestions from a person who’s experienced vaginal birth, but I’m not a midwife or doctor. If you have concerns PLEASE go to your healthcare professional.

When it comes to postpartum care of your vagina after a vaginal birth there are some natural ways you can help heal.

Do’s and Don’ts of taking care of your vagina after vaginal birth

Don’t:

Use tampons or a diva cup for around 6 weeks and after the a-ok from your health care provider. Once you’ve got the all clear you may not even have to worry about your period for quite some time like some incredibly fortunate folks with a uterus….but if you’re like some other less fortunate folks (ahem) you’re looking at a super 3 months before you’re right back to your monthly blessing. Anyways, I digress…

-Speaking of putting foreign objects in your vagina, save sex until about the 6-week mark, too. This is again something to talk to your health care provider about but don’t forget you aren’t obligated to put out at the 6-week mark regardless of your doc’s go ahead. Give this a read for more info on having sex after birth.

Use scented products. These can be bothersome to your bits and your body truly doesn’t need any more irritation.

Overexert yourself physically. Your body JUST PUSHED A BABY OUT OF IT. Allow yourself some time to rest. If you don’t you may find that your lochia flow (the discharge experienced after giving birth) may increase, which is your body’s way of asking you to slow down. You may also find that if you don’t have some time to recover you may irritate any stitches you have…it’s just not worth it.

-Use toilet paper. You got yourself a neato Peri-bottle from the hospital or midwife and that baby works like a mini bidet. Even the softest toilet paper can feel like sandpaper on your poor vagina, so some warm water to rinse yourself off after using the toilet will be absolutely heavenly.

Do:

Use organic cotton menstrual pads if possible. I mentioned above about heavily scented products being irritating. Heavily chemical-laden products can have the same effect. Even if you don’t normally use organic products for your menses it’s a good idea to do so immediately after vaginal birth; you’re likely a little lot tender and possibly torn up. It’s worth a bit of a splurge for your bad-ass vagina to have some organic comfort.

-Have sitz baths as often as you can. Pass off that baby to the nearest bystander (or, ya know, the Postpartum Doula that you hired) and get yourself to the bathroom. You can have a sitz bath in your bathtub or with a kit that attaches to the toilet. Either way you do it you’ll likely find some relief from any swelling and discomfort.

There are some folks who add botanicals and such to their sitz bath but make sure to talk to your healthcare professional before doing that. However, if you’re looking for a good brand “Earth Mama Angel” has a great reputation. I’ve used a few of their products and have enjoyed the simplicity of the ingredients.

-Use stool softeners, if necessary. Don’t use them if not necessary, because, why would you? However, if you’re finding it difficult to have those first postpartum poos you may want to consider talking to your healthcare provider about some stool softeners if the classic: loads of water, prunes, fruits and vegetables, a bit of wine, and flax seeds aren’t doing the trick.

Bearing down while you’re trying to poop will just add more pressure to your perineum which will ultimately cause more pain and swelling.

Not good.

Use Witch hazel. Witch hazel saved my perineum. I found that dabbing a bit directly on my perineum or wearing a pad with Witch hazel on it gave me some relief. You can grab standard Witch hazel from your local pharmacy or buy premade pads (along with everything else you’d ever need for relief through the suggested products).

**If you have extra Witch hazel left over you can use it as a toner on your face:)

Use cooling pads or ice packs. Or, if you’re a bit of a baby like me, run a cloth under cold water, ring it out, and apply it to your perineum. I hated using ice and that was a happy compromise between my preferences and what Google was telling me I should be doing.

Wear loose, comfortable undies. I know, I know…you’re saying: “Oh, but I was SO looking forward to wearing my sexiest negligee and thong combo that I just couldn’t fit into until the baby was born”, but trust me on this one.

If you didn’t manage to grab some of those super sexy disposable mesh undies from someone at your birth you can grab them on Amazon. If mesh undies don’t tickle your fancy make sure to wear cotton undies so that your vagina can BREATHE! Once again, the irritation potential is strong after you’ve had a vaginal birth, so doing everything you can to avoid it is vital.

Also, don’t get too attached to your postpartum panty possessions (this post was lacking alliteration) as they’ll likely get quite soiled.

Complain loudly because that provides the most relief possible and because you deserve to do that, dammit!

Okay, so I took that out of the “How to deal with hemmorhoids” post that I wrote, but I feel like the same applies in both situations. Allow yourself to have time to complain to whoever you need to listen (except your Mom-she’ll just tell you that “karma’s a bitch, honey.”), even if it’s just your sweet little baby who has no idea of the trauma she’s just inflicted to your body.

That last one is kinda my favourite and for me the most effective way of feeling better, but truly, using a few of these methods should help alleviate some of your pain.

If you’re finding that the pain is unbearable or isn’t getting better after a few weeks do be sure to check in with your health care professional.

should you travel alone as a mom

Should you travel alone when you have kids?

You’re a mom now, but does that mean you can’t travel alone?

I had always opposed the idea of travel alone without my children, but doing so requires a ton of planning and a whole lot more money (especially if you have four kids!). There’s a lot of patience required to book a massive trip that I didn’t have; I needed to get away NOW!

I booked a ticket for myself to London, England. This adventure for me was solo, but when I say “travel alone” I don’t necessarily mean doing it without a companion- I do mean doing it without your children!

My 11 days touring through England taught my family and I a lot of lessons and we all benefited massively from it.

Should YOU travel alone as a Mom? Here are the reasons why you most definitely should:

You need time to recharge

Remember how INCREDIBLY HARD AND EXHAUSTING MOTHERHOOD IS? You need time to recharge and refill your soul. If you think that travel alone will do that then you 100% should do it.

Never forget that you’re still you alongside being a Mom.

Your partner gets to spend quality time with your children

And by “quality time with your children” I mean they get a taste of what your life is like. Of course, they also actually get to spend quality time with your children which is obviously very important, too.

Should you put your dreams on hold now that you're a Mom? Or should you travel alone even though you have kids? Here's what a Mom of 4 thinks about it...

You’ll inspire your children

When you return from your adventures of travel alone you’ll be able to tell them countless stories of the things you experienced. If watching you doesn’t inspire them to want to travel the world themselves they’ll at least understand and appreciate the need to do things for yourself.

You’ll push yourself out of your comfort zone

Things that made me uncomfortable:

1. Flying
2. Leaving my children
3. Sleeping away from home
4. Using public transit
5. Initiating conversation with strangers
6. Going out after dark
7. Leaving my happy comfort zone

During my 11 days in England I:

1. Flew on my first international flight without hyperventilating👌
2. Left my girls for a longer than 3 day stretch (my past record)
3. Slept at good hostels, slept at dodgy hostels, stayed with family, and had a hotel room. Each one was made my home for however long I was there for.
4. I chuga-chuga-choo-choo’d, double deckered, and Minded The Gap. I didn’t get lost, not even once.
5. From late night chats with fellow travellers to pub crawls with locals I talked to all the people. In doing so I met folks who I will be forever grateful that I encountered.
6. Realizing that I was missing out on a great deal of exploration time by staying in when the sun went down forced me to hold my head high and confidently walk the streets at night. I saw great things in an entirely new perspective.
7. I went so far out of my comfort zone that I nearly forgot it’s existence. I listened to my intuition and my anxiety and differentiated between the two in order to make decisions. My boundary zone grew 3 sizes that trip.

I understand that travel alone without the kids is a big leap, and believe me, it took me a long time to make that jump. The first step for me was booking my ticket-once I put out the money for the plane I knew there was no going back.

I’m not an expert on travel, but if you have questions about what I did and how I did it I’m happy to chat!

Have you done any travel alone? If not, where would you like to go?