In Flux

Mar 28, 2020

Listen.  I thought at first that a quarantine couldn’t be worse than postpartum hell after a c-section during the summer with older children home.  And to be honest - and probably a bit disappointingly so - I do not struggle with being at home without lots of human contact. But, still, this experience is way more jostling than I could have expected and in ways I can’t yet find words to describe.  

And I’m grateful that we are all doing what we need to do to keep our communities safe.  It is the right thing to do. Period. I am also a believer in helping each other stay informed with all that is falling apart and needs our help, but also staying buoyed with all the things that we are doing right.  We can do this. Together, we can do this one day at a time.

Outside of all that stuff, I will confess that I am experiencing some incredible turmoil for which I can’t find a name.  Is it overwhelm and overstimulation? Yes,...

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So Now What

Mar 16, 2020

As the daughter of a 74 year old recent cancer survivor; as the twin sister to someone with type 1 diabetes; as a woman with two autoimmune diseases, I thank each of you for choosing to be impeccable with your self-care and with care for our community right now.  For real, thank you.

This isn’t easy.  We are all freaking out, for good reason.  The internet is a terrifying place right now.  And none of us are able to grapple with how in the world we will get through the next __________ (insert: no one knows) amount of time with children home and the world in utter chaos.

Repeat:  This isn’t easy.

I am trying to find my homeostasis in all this.  I am trying to be ok with the flurry of emails I am getting from therapists and 12-step recovery meetings and doctors and teachers and colleagues, all of them saying, hey, I don’t know when we will meet again in person, but until then, let’s hop online and try our best from there. ...

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The Bigger Picture

Feb 26, 2020

Every once in a while I get tempted to fall into some weird fitness trap that is 100% focused on me becoming a superhero in a bikini or something insane like that.  This is especially true right now as my sweet babe edges close to 9 months old and her distance from my body grows by the day.  The more autonomy I get, the more I want to “get my body back.”  Whatever that means.  But, I feel it… even though I have the spent the last 8 years here at MommaStrong being entirely against that in every way.  And if I feel it, I know you do too. 

How could we not?  It’s everywhere around us.  Autonomy = living your best life = being super fit.  And up until recently being super fit has definitely lived inside the “thin and buff” container.  Fortunately, now, with the rise of research from initiatives like Health at Every Size, we know that the qualifications for a woman who is healthy have nothing to...

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FEBRUARY, Do Over.

Jan 29, 2020

The only reason I am able to get this blog written right now is because my 7 month old is taking a nap and my 8 year old is painting while watching an incredibly irritating show on Netflix.  The 8 year old is home sick - the type of sick that means she can’t go to school, but she is well enough to do crafts.  Which also means that my long list of work/life survival tasks will be all be 0.00000001% completed by end of day. 

In any case, I am going to try to get this done before the baby wakes up, so this means I will keep it short.  That’s rather easy because the message for today is:  JANUARY, YOU STINK.  Or, JANUARY, WHY OH WHY?  Or, JANUARY, JUST KIDDING.  I don’t know about you, but this is not a new phenomenon.  In fact, I believe this happens every year.  I get all excited to start fresh and begin again and then BLAMMO.  January comes roaring in like a train being operated by a maniacal conductor...

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Why Are You Here?

Dec 30, 2019

 

I’m laying in a twin sized bed in my dad’s house, with an actually sleeping baby sacked out on my chest.  This sweet babe used to sleep through the night and then four months came around and, predictably, that magical skill fell apart and devolved into 45 minute wakings and a need for 24/7 nipple in the mouth.  This is especially exciting to experience when traveling for the holidays, with three kids and very little reserves left for life.  But, alas, this is how it goes when we decide to be engaged humans who happen to also be mothers.

In any case, the obvious moral of the short story above is that I’m tired.  But I’m still showing up and I’m not freaking out and I’m somehow just taking it in stride.  This is new for me.  There’s a resilient, easy going part of me that I’ve never known before.  Maybe it’s age or surviving enough ups/downs in life or surrender ... or maybe it’s that...

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Duh

Dec 02, 2019

I’ve been doing this fitness career thing for almost two decades now and I still feel like I am chasing relentlessly behind a fast-moving vehicle that contains all the knowledge about human movement that I need to know.  It’s just one giant, magnificent onion.  Layers and layers and layers underneath others layers.  Just when I learn one thing, another one slides out from underneath.  And each time I learn that one other thing, I always feel so dumb that I didn’t know it before.  So, whenever we have new members come in, I always have such compassion when they reach out and they’re like, “HOW COME I DIDN’T KNOW THIS BEFORE?”  I’m like, “Me toooooo.  Get me to the end of the dang onion!”

But, I must be careful not to confuse layers with complexity.  Because even though there is a lot to learn, the truth is that human movement and biomechanics is just not that complicated.  It...

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I UNDERACHIEVED

Oct 30, 2019

I’ve been thinking A LOT lately about the emancipation of women … where we went wrong, where we are continuing to go wrong, and whether or not we are truly “free.”  And my experience postpartum this go around has sort of kind of really shown me that, um, no, I do not feel free.

I’m embarrassed to admit that.  I’m a feminist.  I’m a strong woman.  I don’t want anyone to know that I’m still making way too many dinners, doing way too many dishes, feeling pressure to be prettier than I am, taking care of an infant, taking care of two other growing children with a bazillion after school activities, not getting enough sleep, feeling like a martyr, feeling invisible, being the default manager of the household, falling behind on my mental health self-care, AND working full time.  But I am. 

This is not anyone’s fault.  This is not a diatribe on equal partnership or social inequality.  ...

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Make It Work

Sep 27, 2019

I’d like to formally say that whatever you end up with in terms of how your body looks during and after you’ve grown and birthed a tiny human (or endured miscarriages and loss), is just 95% genetics and pre-programmed systemic stuff.  I’m talking about your stretch marks, your belly, your boobs, your butt, and all the other things in this arena.  The remaining 4.5% goes to luck.  And 0.5% goes to effort.  

Now, that’s not the story we are told as women, right?  Right.  We are told verbally and non-verbally that 95% is effort (remaining 5% hiring a night nurse).  And we believe it.  We gobble up this bullshit fake statistic and convince ourselves that we will eat "clean" (ugh), drink green smoothies, and exercise just exactly right such that we will somehow control genetics and make ourselves glossy pregnant and postpartum goddesses, looking nothing like our mothers and...

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Slump Buster

Aug 29, 2019

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...

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Back to Basics

Jul 30, 2019

I rented a SNOO the other night, in a desperate, sleep-deprived haze. You can thank the internet for that and the never-ending dungeon maze that is the search phrase “my baby only sleeps on my chest.”
 
Within that maze was a taunting beacon of hope, the SNOO, developed by none other than Dr. Harvey Karp of The Happiest Baby on the Block. What is it? Oh, just basically a ridiculously expensive but impressively well-designed bassinet that claims to teach your baby independent sleep within weeks.
 
I know. I did that. Sleep deprivation and the internet are not a promising pair - unless you’re the inventor of genius bassinets and other trinkets.
 
In any case, the SNOO arrived and I read through all the material excitedly and, once my hands were free of a nursing/crying/napping babe, I put that thing together. A few clicks, a WiFi connection, a cute little swaddle blanket that gets everything all snuggly.
 
I’ll cut to...
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