Hello and happy Friday! This week’s Friday Five is about all things motherhood and family. I’ve been working on some motherhood content to share with you – but they’re the types of posts that take a long time to write, that I read 30 times over, and feel my heart race as I hit publish. Even though I’m always nervous to publish such personal content, sharing my journey in motherhood (both the good and challenging aspects) has made me feel more connected to this community than ever.
O N E
I listened to a GOOP Podcast about postpartum anxiety and caring for new mothers and it really hit home for me. It’s so interesting to learn about how other cultures care for postpartum women and how that experience differs from how women in America are treated in the postpartum period (this is a totally generality, obviously, there are a wide array of experiences). The episode can be found here (scroll down to the second one titled “Postpartum Anxiety & The Motherhood Shift”) – I encourage you to listen!
T W O
Writing about motherhood is a therapeutic process for me, but also requires a really extensive amount of vulnerability (speaking of vulnerability, watch this TED talk with Brene Brown). I’ve actually started writing about motherhood and my own childhood as part of my therapy program and it helps tremendously with perspective, healing and moving forward. What I want to say before I start publishing some of this content, is something I alluded to on Instagram stories recently.
I got a comment on my blog a few weeks ago suggesting that I “stick with talking about style and clothes” because “parenting advice isn’t my forte.” I have to admit that this comment really impacted me and I’ve waited a few weeks to really gather my thoughts about why it bothered me so much. It didn’t bother me because I thought it was true – but because I feel like no one should attempt to silence or diminish someone else’s lived experiences of motherhood, or discourage them from sharing those experiences. And to clarify, the comment was left on a post that did not actually dole out parenting advice – it was a post sharing our family bed time routine. I’m not trying to call out one person – over the years, I have gotten similar comments (and my friends in the blogging community get them often, too). This isn’t about one comment – it’s about the underlying message.
Every mother, no matter what her circumstances, has the right to share her experiences, and to suggest she silence herself, is essentially saying that her voice is not worthy of being heard. Is there one right way to mother? Is there one “way of living as a family” that is the only way worthy of sharing publicly in a space like this? Is a mother’s story deserving of being silenced or diminished because her circumstances and experiences are different than your own?
Haven’t women been systematically silenced throughout our history enough? Why perpetuate this instead of recognizing and embracing that every mother’s story is different? You don’t have to agree with or like everything about someone’s motherhood experience or the choices she makes – but please, don’t feel compelled to tell her she should just shut up.
I won’t apologize for or walk on eggshells about sharing my experiences as a mother and I won’t stop writing about motherhood, because it’s in my heart to share with you. We can have different values and opinions and make different choices for ourselves and our families without trying to silence one another, it’s as simple as that.
T H R E E
Since we’re on the topic of motherhood and parenting in this post, I’m going to answer one of the questions that came in through my google form — “is it a big difference going from one child to two?” I feel like I could spend an entire post just on this question – but for me, it was. Going from zero to 1 child was something I found to be really natural – not easy by any means, but I didn’t feel like I struggled a lot. Going from one to two was and is still, at times, challenging. I’m an only child, so I’m not sure if that plays any role in how I feel about raising two children, but that transition wasn’t easy for me. So many factors made transitioning from 1-2 children hard – Lincoln was a very colicky baby, he was dairy intolerant so I had to completely change my diet, I was nursing and pumping around-the-clock, I had crippling PPA, I had to have D&C surgery at 8 weeks postpartum after I hemorrhaged from a second placenta accreta, had to learn to divide my time between two children, felt a lot of guilt, etc. In addition to all of that, Lincoln had some physical delays that resulted in us having to go to specialists and physical therapy. It was, in a word, completely overwhelming to balance all of those things plus working full time and more. After he turned one is where I felt things started to become easier. I stopped pumping, finally sought help for my PPA, Lincoln graduated from PT and was sleeping well. But that entire first year of his life was a hard adjustment for me. If he had been an “easy baby” like Harper, I’m not sure if the experience would have been different or not. Now that I’m on the other end of it – I can tell you that I LOVE being the mama of two sweet children. The amount of joy they bring to our lives is worth every struggle and every bad day.
F O U R
On another parenting topic – we started potty-training Lincoln. He went to the potty at daycare a couple of times but he has some trepidation after he had a little accident. We bought him this race car potty, which aesthetically, I absolutely despise, but I know he will love it, so I happily and lovingly brought it into our home. I’m learning that potty training boys can be a little bit of a different experience, so I welcome your tips and suggestions – bring ‘em on! Just like with Harper, we are of the “slow and steady wins the race” mindset. He keeps telling us he wants “fire trunk and big truck undies” so he’s definitely got motivation!
F I V E
Did you miss my “7 things that make me a better mom” post from last week? Below are more links to some of my favorite motherhood content from my blog:
If there are any other motherhood topics you’d like me to cover, please send me your ideas via my google form.