Bleh. I really did convince myself with the third kiddo that THIS TIME I’d not get so gross afterwards. Like, I’d shower at least and when I didn’t, I’d still manage to appear messy, but cute. Tired, but sweet. Grungy, but sexy.
Yeah. Um. No.
I’d blame Instagram for all the whitewashed pictures of new mommas, tousled hair and fresh faces. Some of them even have six packs under sweatshirts. I mean. BUT, why did I even look at these images? Why did I even convince myself that this was a good idea? Oh, yeah ... now I remember ... Because procreation and survival of the species absolutely depends on maternal amnesia.
As much as I’d like to say, as the founder a company completely dedicated to function over appearance, that I care more about function over appearance, this isn’t entirely what has happened. There’s this slippery, slithering thing in my deep...
I always thought the book Eat, Pray, Love ought to be rewritten for regular humans and instead be called, Eat, Shit, Shower. Because, let’s just be real here: Most days, if I get those three things done, that I consider myself spiritually whole - forget Bali and Italy and Silent Retreats.
Don’t get me wrong, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book was incredibly inspiring to me when I first read it and I’m confident there is a ton of wisdom in there that I have yet to appreciate. In fact, the scene in which she sits on the bathroom floor and decides to REALLY listen to herself in regards to her crumbling marriage was hugely helpful during my own divorce. BUT, I had to pull myself away from the temptation she lent me to leave my entire life, run for the hills, and live in silent and divine communion with the natural world.
You see, as moms and as partners, we can’t often do that. We can’t afford it in any sort of way, can we?...
Quilt and beautiful bee made by MommaStrong crafters!
The most common comment I get these days, by strangers or friends, is “You must be so ready to be done being pregnant!” And I know I look uncomfortable and I certainly know my belly appears to be an engineering feat (it is), but whenever I get asked that, my internal response is always "NOOOOOOOOOOO, I am not done!"
Don’t get me wrong, I am endlessly excited to meet this little person. Endlessly. We have already been through so much together and I’ve had the distinct benefit of enjoying a pain-free, anxiety-free pregnancy (thank you MommaStrong). And, because of that, I feel that I’ve been present enough for the last 9 months to really get to know her and to get to know myself as a mom more than ever before. I understand now why having kids in your late 30s is actually such a divine experience. I feel integrated and whole for the first time in my life, like...
I will admit that for much of my life, I really thought the goal was to be as independent as possible. Asking for help, getting help, or even needing help felt like things that violated the code of Grown Up. And seven years ago, when I first started MommaStrong, you would have found series of self-help and business books near my bedside table all about how to “go it alone” and to “never give up.”
I’m happy to report that that experiment failed miserably. Trying to go it alone was the dumbest idea I ever had and left me at the hands of someone who ought not have been steering the ship all by her lonesome - MYSELF. I made epic mistakes in life and in motherhood and in business that would have never ever happened had I done one important thing: Run it by another grown up first.
Who could have blamed me, though? I don’t know about you, but this “independent success” value system wasn’t...
I’m 38 years old and 28 weeks pregnant. After my last two pregnancies, I swore I would never get pregnant again, much less endure the postpartum experience, much less raise more little people. That was partly because of how motherhood had felt to my body and to my nervous system. In one word, it felt: Harrowing. Overwhelming. Painful. Stunting. Paralyzing. Overstimulating.
Ok, that was more than one word.
That was my reality though. I spent both pregnancies in states of panic, convinced that everything around me was harming my baby and that my anxiety about everything harming my baby was going to cause more to harm to my baby. I dipped out of life as much as I could, obsessed over tiny little things, and just agreed to get through the nine (ten) months alive. Every time I went to the doctor - which, hello, when you’re pregnant is like allllll the time - I have a full blown panic attack...
Tight equals strong, right?
That is just not true when it comes to the most important muscle groups in the female body: Your pelvic floor. In fact, a too toned and too tight pelvic floor is actually a very, very weak and vulnerable pelvic floor. I would say that most, if not all, of the women who come to me for incontinence, prolapse, diastasis recti, back pain, and so many other issues are there because they have hypertonicity in their pelvic floor. This basically means that they’ve been kegeling the bejeezus out of their hoohas in an effort to tighten things up down there and instead of making things better, they’ve made things worse.
Along with that, traditional ways of strengthening our bodies and holding our bodies all lead to hypertonicity as well. So, let’s say you enjoyed decades of Pilates classes and boot camps and you kept on squeezing when they said squeeze and then you felt the burn, well … I hate to...
Ever since I was a kid, there was one main thing I thought to be true about life: Work hard so that you can get “there.” In fact, if I were to be honest, I would say that drudgery, determination, and deprivation were core values to what I thought was the meaning of life. I believed - and was told through coaches and teachers and every grown up around me - that if I put my nose to the ground for as long as I could, that it would pay off.
There was no one around me saying, slow down, sweet girl. Take a deep breath and take a load off. And I don’t remember that being modeled in front of me in any real way, and if it were it was immediately deemed as lazy or entitled. By middle school, I was doing competitive kayaking at 4:30am, followed by a full day of school in which "straight As" was the only goal, followed by at least 3 hours of ballet class, followed by a quick dinner, followed by homework, followed by falling asleep in my...
I’ve learned a lot in the 6.5 years I’ve been at it here with MommaStrong. I’ve learned that mothers are the most tough of all humans. I’ve learned that our society neglects the female body. I’ve learned that everyone has crappy posture. I’ve learned that a lot of women pee on themselves and it took until 2018 to really start talking about that. I’ve learned that your butt muscles matter more than your core. I’ve learned that showing up every day for exercise is actually possible and entirely brilliant. I’ve learned that you can’t do anything alone. I’ve learned that groups of women are literally the most healing quality of modern civilization.
And I’ve also learned that mothers are tired as fuck.
I get tons of emails from incredible women all around the world and, I kid you not, the main underlying theme in them all is: ...
We are 38 years old. We’ve been through a lot together. Like, a lot. A LOT. I’m writing to you today because I know without a doubt that though all of that “a lotness,” you have been primarily focused on my survival. Even when I beat you up, didn’t feed you enough, overfed you, treated you like a trashcan, exhausted you, asked you to perform on two hours of sleep, ignored your pleas for rest or attention, grew and birthed babies inside you, and bartered your value for the pressure to be attractive … even in light of all this, you woke up and said, “How am I going to serve this human today?”
I’d like to think that on bad days, when I felt like shit or when you felt sluggish or when you caused me to feel pain, that it was all your fault, that maybe you were out to destroy me. But, the truth all along has been that you were simply weeding through the muck and the mud to find...