Friday Favorites – Start a Friendsgiving Tradition!

 

Happy Friendsgiving No Kid Hungry

It’s the start of the thankful season. Everyone is posting their daily gratitude on social media to express what they are thankful for. Here is what I am thankful for- food. I am really thankful my kids have enough to eat (and even throw away). I’m also thankful for organizations like Share Our Strength which helps feed hungry families every where. No Kid Hungry.org helps connect thousands of kids around the country to food resources. They educate struggling families how to to prepare low cost, healthy meals.

Anytime this November you can host a pot luck, or gathering in your  own home with friends and ask everyone to give a financial donation (or, they can donate online at any time). What a great way to connect with friends and family before the busy holiday season starts! Plus, you can help bring Thanksgiving to other families who cannot afford a meal on their own. Spending time with your friends AND giving to a good cause makes “Friendsgiving” a win-win!

To host your own FriendsGiving event visit the No Kids Hungry  website and start a fund raising page. Register your event, send out invites and check out the resource center for tips on how to host a successful event! Super easy!!

There are also incentives for raising the most funds! Check out the No Kid Hungry blog for details. Why not make this an annual event and start a new tradition with your friends and family? Or, get your school involved and encourage your kids to help give!

No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength

 

Remember sharing is caring! Please feel free to share this blog post on Twitter or Facebook with the hash tags: #FRIENDSGIVINGNKH #FRIENDSGIVING

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here, Find her two party Body Beautiful project here and here. 

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

There’s No Crying In Childhood!

Kids Can Cry It Out

Oh, but there is. There is lots and lots of crying. There is crying over spilled milk. There is crying over a lost lovie. There is crying over the color of socks, and cups. And, some days it seems there is non-stop crying over the injustices your sibling inflicts on you. So. Much. Crying.

From the first day we bring our new little babies home with us it is our job as parents to discern what our children’s cries mean. Are they crying to request comfort? Hunger? Sadness? Pain? Is it just gas? As our babies become big kids our job becomes soothing them through the tears and helping them understand the emotions pushing them to cry. With two very emotional humans in my charge, I have come to realize there are times when I simply have to let them cry it out.

Last week, during gymnastics class I hear my daughter cry from across the expansive gym. I immediately jump up and start moving toward her when I notice the instructor is still instructing the other kids over my child’s cries. I realize she isn’t hurt. She is crying because of some other reason. I battle with myself about what to do next. Do I rush in and save her? Do I remove her from the class (and her consequence) or do I let her cry it out so that she gets the full lesson here?

So, if she isn’t hurt why is she crying? My girl could not get a handle on her energy and got too rowdy for the class. She was not listening to instruction (which can be dangerous when climbing and jumping off of gym equipment). As a result she had to sit out a turn. It made her sad to miss a turn and she became upset with herself for not listening. Her process for dealing with being told “no” is curling up in a ball on the floor, covering her eyes and begin sobbing. I really want to go get her to make it stop (partly out of embarrassment because of my kids lack of maturity, and I also want to assure her she is OK). Instead, I linger on the sidelines where the instructor can visibly see me, but my child can not. And, I wait. A few minutes later, my kid is still crying. The instructor scoops her up and brings her to me and explains she isn’t listening and will not accept the consequence.

Simply being told “no” threw my kid into an emotional tale spin. In that moment I wanted her to understand that her behavior lead to this consequence. She needs to know that when she isn’t behaving safely, or following rules there will be a consequence; and consequences don’t just come from mommy. One day she will be out in the big wide world and will need to know how to cope and process through bigger consequences. I would be lying if I didn’t share I was disappointed and angry. I took a deep breath. Got down on her level and said firmly,  “you need to listen to your teacher or you are not coming back. Do you understand me?” She looked at me with her eyes full of tears, choked back her last sob and said, “Ok mama.” “Are you ready to get back in there and listen?” “Yes.” “OK, class is over in 10 minutes.” She ran back to her class eager to finish up the remaining few minutes with them.

Processing emotions with our kids can be so hard! It is hard to set aside our demands and expectations for what we WANT them to do RIGHT NOW! I think my taking a moment to breathe and taking a moment to think really helped not only steady me emotionally, but steady her emotionally as well. So, she cried a little. So, her feelings were hurt because she was disappointed. That’s life. We need to let our kids live life and feel the full spectrum of emotions- not just the fun stuff, not just the magical joy. Those are important too. But, if we always swoop in to take away our kids hurts they won’t learn to cope with them.

My kids are still little, so listening attentively just isn’t going to happen. I get that. But, what we are working on here at this age is building a foundation our kids can build upon- a foundation that will keep them secure when they grow up and live on their own. Sometimes it’s OK to let the kids cry.

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Friday Favorites – Poofy Organics GIVEAWAY!

The Whatever Mom Giveaway
Poofy Organics does not offer samples of products for personal consumption, or review. They are a small family run company and unable to fulfill sample requests. No financial compensation was received for this review. All honest opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

Does facing hundreds of little ghouls and goblins, princesses and pirates make you break out into a cold sweat? No worries! I’ve got you covered with this weeks Friday Favorites and a special give away!

First, let me share with you a little bit about why I love Poofy Organics. This is a very small, family run company that is dedicated to producing small batches of product made by  hand. This means significant quality control measures and higher standards for production methods. You can visit their website to meet the team and for an inside look at their production. They are also one of a few USDA Organic Certified personal care companies (but, not every single ingredient has an organic counterpart so organic ingredients are listed individually).

I ordered a few hair care products for my girls. They have thick hair that tangles easily. So, I purchased the Raspberry Lemonade Punch Shampoo and Leave in Conditioner from the Young Wild and Free kids line.

Young Wild Free Poofy Organics

Now that my kids are in school I worry about lice so I also purchased the Organic Lice Prevention Spray (also comes in a shampoo).

Young Wild And Free Poofy Organics

All the products are toxin free and use mostly essential oils. I love that the website lists every ingredient in each product so you know what you are getting before you buy. Each product I purchased is labeled as vegan, eco friendly, cruelty free and made by hand. (Except for the lice prevention spray- it is so new they haven’t even designed a label for it yet). The only thing about the shampoo that I don’t like is that it is not tear free. So, we have to be very careful while shampooing. Otherwise, these products smell great and my kids get excited to use them. And, I like that I can pronounce every ingredient.

Now my next product of choice is the Max Deo. It’s a natural deodorant. I have been reluctant to make the switch to natural deodorants because well, in the past they’ve never worked for me. My friend Rachel and Poofy Organics Guide gave me a deodorant to try. The results are it works! I started using the Peppy Mint a few weeks ago and so far it has worked just as hard as my traditional deodorant. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a white, flaky residue.

Max Deo Poofy Organics

I love it so much I’m giving away one Peppy Mint Organic Max Deo for you to try!! Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter for your chance to win! One lucky reader will be chosen at close of the contest on Sunday at 12:00 Midnight EST. Winner announced on my Facebook page on Monday morning!! (If you aren’t following already head over there now!).

OK, so you won’t receive this in time to get you through the Halloween rush, but it will arrive in time to get you through Thanksgiving with the in-laws!

**GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED**

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here, Find her two party Body Beautiful project here and here. 

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Whatever. It’s Just Breakfast.

Breakfast Ideas

Before I was a mom I knew my kids were going to eat perfectly balanced, delicious, organic meals because that’s what I planned for them to enjoy. It was like I had psychic abilities and just knew they would love wearing adorable coordinating outfits and having their hair tied up neat with pretty little bows. And, of course, my children would know how important it is to follow directions perfectly and need only a few gentle reminders.

Then I had kids. Twins in fact. So, that’s two at once. I didn’t know that I would eventually eat my own words. My kids are picky eaters who typically wear crazy mismatched outfits with their hair tied up loosely in a sloppy bun. Most of their outfits are accessorized by large, rubber rain boots. I once had a parent look at my kids outfit and ask me during preschool drop off, “I thought wacky day was next week?” There is just NO “bending my kids will” in my parenting.

My one daughter is NAHAHAHAT a morning person. Waking her requires three stages:

  1. Duck and cover.
  2. Run like hell.
  3. Screw it you’re going to school like that.

It is rare we have a peaceful morning. There is usually a 20 minute meltdown about the breakfast choices; which is then followed by another 20 minute crying fit because I made her selected breakfast items according to her exact specifications, but “that’s NOT WHAT I WANTED!!” This has resulted in many mornings of me shoving a piece of sandwich meat, or string cheese in her hand and marching her out to the car. We have exactly a four minute commute to her school so she eats what she can eat during our short trip.

Just as I began feeling guilty about the food choices she gets in the morning, I realize she only rejects the hot meals I wake up early to make. So, I no longer feel like a bad mom because she just won’t accept the available choices. I have come to accept that doing whatever it takes to make it through my morning is giving my kid a strange breakfast in the car on the way to school. Fighting against that just makes for more tension and arguing and resistance from my already super strong willed child.

I used to think (and judge) parents giving into their child like this was bad parenting. But, now that I am a mom I think it’s good parenting- good parenting looks like picking your battles. Fine, eat cold cuts for breakfast, but you are not getting away with pushing your sister. Go ahead and take your socks off before getting out of the car, but you cannot run through the parking lot without holding my hand. Sure wear that crazy outfit to school, one day you’ll decide six different layers of stripes isn’t necessary.

My mission isn’t to go to battle over every little thing my kids do that goes against my grain, or to control their behaviors to the point they can only respond with robot precision. With two kids in the same developmental stage of pushing boundaries, I’d loose my ever loving mind (and many days I do) trying to keep them perfectly in line. I think they’ll go farther in life when they know mommy loves them enough to accept them just the way they are; even with their crazy hair, mismatched outfits and refusal to eat my stellar breakfasts!

So parents with strong willed picky eaters your kids are going to be OK! You, are going to be OK! Believe me, I know how hard it is to choke back the tears and suppress the obscenities every time your efforts are rejected. As for me, I don’t think eating breakfast before leaving the house is ever going to be a non-issue, but I also won’t let it be our biggest battle. In the grand scheme of life letting my kid eat a weird breakfast on the way to school isn’t what’s going to land her in therapy one day. I am sure I am doing plenty of other things wrong that will keep her future therapist in a comfortable lifestyle.

Whatever. It’s just breakfast.

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here, Find her two party Body Beautiful project here and here. 

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Love Me Or Leave Me

Love Me Or Leave Me

I hope you enjoyed  Part I and Part II of my Body Beautiful series. I asked moms everywhere to accept the beautiful bodies they have been given through pregnancy and child birth. During this process friends kept asking me why I wasn’t posing in front of the camera and including my own post partum body. Well, I didn’t want this project to be about my image, I wanted it to be about the journey’s. I thought I’d offer a more intimate look at my post partum body acceptance journey by sharing my story and how I got here.

Nearly five years ago I stood in my bedroom and cried. I was only a few months post partum, but this was the first time I had looked at my body. I was so big during my pregnancy with twins that I couldn’t see the stretch marks forming. Now they were bright red lines stretching out like lines on a map. I was also left with a C-section scar and what most twin moms are lucky to receive, the “twin skin.” That’s a nice roll of skin that will never snap back into place and so it just kind of hangs off of your mid section. I was feeling pretty powerless.

My husband walked in just as I was in the moment of taking it all in. I covered myself up quickly because I didn’t want him, or anyone else to see me like “this.” He asked me what was wrong and I told him, “I am hideous now.” Then he stepped closer and said, “show me.” I wasn’t prepared for what he said next. He looked me in the eye and said, “how could you ever think this isn’t beautiful? This was our babies first home. It kept them safe and healthy.” I was absolutely stunned. So stunned I stopped to really soak in what he said.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just flip a switch and suddenly love my body. But, that moment is the touch stone that keeps me on this path of acceptance. I worked my body hard after having the twins. Despite five months of bed rest and a painful year of physical therapy I made myself lose the baby weight and then some. I felt accomplished. But really what did I accomplish? There wasn’t a trophy or award handed to me. No pat on the back with “atta girl.” What I accomplished was satisfying everyone else’s expectations of what I was supposed to look like after having children. I mean every mom is supposed to make it her mission to lose the baby weight, right? I started to really wonder where that pressure comes from.

People made comments about how I looked good “for having twins.” I wondered what they would say if I only had one baby at a time. Did their comment mean I didn’t look as good as my singleton mommy counter parts? Did they mean I look healthy after coming through medical complications and a major surgery? Did they mean I looked great now because I looked like a giant whale before?

Maybe I don’t have the time in my day to really focus on my flaws like I did before having children. Or, maybe since turning 40 I am just tired of listening to my inner critique. I’ve gained a bit more wisdom about what’s really important in life. I don’t really care that I now weigh more than I did right after having kids. I don’t really care for people’s judgement of my body because they don’t know the story behind my body. They don’t know how fit I used to be, or how months of bed rest reversed all of that hard work. They don’t know what my body has lived through and survived. I don’t really need them to know either.

So go ahead world, judge away. What  you see on the outside isn’t a reflection of the love and care I’ve given to my body to be able to create two healthy and amazing little humans. It isn’t equal to how big my heart is, how generous I am, how much I love to laugh or how much I love my children. I’ve always had a “love me or leave me” attitude. So, if someone isn’t going to love you for the person you are (not the body you are)… just let them leave.

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here, Find her two party Body Beautiful project here and here. 

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

Friday Favorites- Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm!

As promised last week here are my new favorites from Beauty Counter skin care. I know a cleansing balm sounds strange. Rubbing a balm with the same consistency as my lip balm all over my face feels a little odd … at first. After a couple of days using this method I am totally hooked and in LOVE!

Nourishing cleansing balm

I received a small sample of the CounterTime Nourishing Cleansing Balm in my face kit. After applying to my face I used a warm wash cloth to remove the balm. I don’t know why this just feels so relaxing and simply luxurious. It’s like a hot towel service for your face.

Beauty counter nourishing balm

After using the balm, I apply the Lustro Face Oil 2. This part made me incredibly nervous! We have all learned that oil is what causes break outs. But, with the mix of oils in this little bottle there is no worry about break outs. My skin felt so soft and completely hydrated after using. I was completely amazed!

Lustro Face Oil 2

Again these products are all toxin free and score low on the Environmental Watch Group database. These products aren’t cheap because Beauty Counter uses quality ingredients. Chemical additives can be manufactured cheaply- so cheap products can give cheap results and have long term harsher effects. A little bit of these products goes a long way!

Take a look at the Beauty Counter website to learn more about the company and read the list of ingredients in every single product they offer.

 

Tune in next week for more Friday Favorites!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry and writing her blog. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Announcing: Friday Favorites!

A few of my favorite things!

 

Happy Friday Everyone!

I’ve discovered some new and exciting products I want to share with you, as well as some fun websites and videos. Tune in every Friday for some fun stuff! Starting right now!

This week I discovered Beauty Counter. Now, I am a Mary Kay girl at heart but they have changed a few formulas for one of my favorite products. So, I’m on a search to find something new to love. Enter my Beauty Counter Rep, Lynn. I told her what I am looking for and she sent me an entire face kit to try out. How awesome is that?! Getting to try in home before you buy is such a fantastic way to shop!

Beauty counter face kit

Why Beauty Counter? Beauty Counter products are toxin free, safe for cancer patients and their products score low on the Environmental Work Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. A low score means there is a low hazard to using a product.

I tested Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer with an SPF 20. One of the best weapons we have against fine lines and wrinkles is using an SPF. Sun damage is the number one reason we get wrinkles. This tinted moisturizer is light weight, non-greasy and provides a slightly dewy look. I was most impressed that the light color fit my skin tone immediately. You have no idea how much this pale girl has struggled to find the right shades of foundation/cover up.

dew skin

I have worn this tinted moisturizer every day for a week and I love it’s flawless coverage and how it evens out my skin tone! It has a very light scent and I love that I am not covering my skin with chemicals that are just not necessary to be beautiful!

 

Take a look at the Beauty Counter website to learn more about the company and read the list of ingredients in every single product they offer.

 

Tune in next week for more Beauty Counter Favorites!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry and writing her blog. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

 

No financial compensation was given for this review. All opinions and excitement expressed for this product are provided by The Whatever Mom.

 

 

Body Beautiful Part II

Part II

Society and the media often view our postpartum bodies as weak and flabby. It is not only expected that we WILL “get our bodies back” but it is also expected that we want to get our pre-baby bodies back right NOW.  Lifestyle magazines devote entire editions to watching and tracking new celebrity moms for weight loss and speculate how quickly they will return to their pre-baby body. If any celebrity mom should take a little too long to get back into screen-worthy shape after childbirth it becomes headline news. I want you to see your body as more valuable than a commodity and front-page fodder.

bodybeautifulBLOG-8

It doesn’t matter if you’re 200 pounds or 130 pounds–bodies are beautiful, strong and multifaceted. I’ve always had body issues, but been very confident on the outside. After children, I felt like I had completely let myself go. It’s very hard to make yourself a priority when you have kids. With my daughter I was induced on my due date and labored for 47 hours and 41 minutes before she finally arrived. With my son I labored for 60 hours. I kept begging the midwife to let me go a little longer… a little longer… a little longer. She let me go another 10 hours and at 6 am on his birthday, she said I had to go for the C-section. Best thing we ever did. I was very impressed with my body! However, while not making it a priority, I let it go. Now, it’s my turn for rebirth! –Amy, mother to two ages 6 and 4.

Every time you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and turn the other way or you hide out from the camera, I want you to remember your body is a powerhouse. Embrace it. Don’t ignore the newness of it–how it looks and feels. This is the skin you are in now. You aren’t who you were last week. Let the camera capture where your child came from. Show how much you loved them with your whole body, not just your heart.

bodybeautifulBLOG-7

I didn’t gain too much weight while pregnant. I was active the whole time doing yoga and walking and went back to my pre weight almost right away. I’m 41 and in a great place in my life where I don’t care much what other people think. I have one boy, born three days early. It was a fast laborhe was in a hurry and still is. He was walking at 10 months. Some heart distress at birth and there was talk of an emergency C-section but in the end he came out on the third set of pushes with suction. I love my body after childbirth. It was the first home of this incredible little personit made him and fed him. I have new respect for it and will never abuse it again, only nurture it. Linda, mother of one age 1 year.

Use kind words to describe your body. Not just in front of your kids, but to yourself. In that early morning hour before you step into the shower and you look down, please think loving thoughts about what you see. Remember to be grateful to those powerful legs that helped you carry the extra weight as your body grew. Give thanks for the way your hips shifted to make more room. Nothing and everything may look the same. Your child is a part of the beautiful body that created it. Would you ever look at your child and say or think they are less than gorgeous? Please don’t think that about yourself.

bodybeautifulBLOG-14

Being photographed “naturally” scares me.  My inner critic feels ashamed that I haven’t kept up the shape I had two to three years ago. So my thoughts of myself get pretty wicked: “stop eating so much”; “your arms look awful in those pictures”; “need liposuction on those thighs of yours”; “if only you didn’t like food so much”.  
I have boy/girl twins. They are our miracle IVF babies. My husband and I went through a lot and we were finally blessed with my son and daughter. After hating my body and being so heartbroken and devastated at not getting pregnant, I totally fell in love with my pregnancy. I was so healthy and happy while pregnant. I know it’s vital that I show inward and outward love for my body because I have a daughter. I don’t want her to see or hear me getting down on myself. I want her to always feel beautiful and confident and I know that starts at home. –Melissa, mother to twins age 3. 

bodybeautifulBLOG-38

I want to show my children and myself how amazing the female body is–also to view my body in a different way. [I felt] pressure to get back into shape quickly. Though it took nine months to gain weight, I should be more gentle with myself. [It’s] pretty amazing how your body can swell, organs move, ligaments become stretched and loosen all to accommodate a life and create a placenta and cord to feed it.  Only to return to a somewhat normal version again after birth–and multiple times! Also, to provide nourishment, protection and antibodies for months afterward is amazing. My body is pretty strong, capable and amazing. -A.S., mother of two boys ages 3 and 8 months.

If we can see the power within ourselves, perhaps it will start a movement. Maybe together we can shift the perception of the mom bod from being a flabby, worn-out body to an intrinsically competent being. If we can celebrate in awe the amazing feat of childbirth and what our bodies can do then perhaps our children will look at their own bodies with awe and wonderment. And thus starts the movement.

Love,

The Whatever Mom

Body Beautiful Part I

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

All images belong to Leyla Cadabal Photography. Any use of these photos without express written permission from the original photographer is prohibited. 

Body Beautiful – Part I

Dear Moms,

In my last call to arms I asked you to take up charge in my Whatever Army and fight against expectations for perfection. I asked that you spend more time accepting each other rather than judging each other. Now, I am asking you to join me on another quest. This one won’t be so easy and it will require you to dig deep and sift through years of programming. Moms, I want you to accept yourselves. I don’t mean accept who you are. I want you to accept your “mom bod” just the way it is with scars and flaws and every inch of stretched out skin.

Mom Body Beautiful

I feel like the pressure society puts on women to lose the baby weight is ridiculous.  I had an emergency C-section after being induced with my first. I was considered high risk due to high blood pressure. We later found out the cord was around my daughter’s neck a few times. I chose a C-section for my second daughter and glad I did. When they delivered her the cord was also around her neck. I honestly go between being disgusted with my size, and feeling beautiful knowing my body was able to grow and nourish two perfect beautiful girls. –Carrie mother of two daughters ages 3.5 and 2

The term mom bod can have a negative connotation. It segregates us as something less than vs. more than. Bringing a child into this world requires we place ourselves closer to death. If only stretch marks and extra weight were the only tribulations we faced during pregnancy and labor. So many of us have experienced medical complications and traumatic births and survived. The truth is moms our bodies have power and we need to celebrate that!

Mom Body Beautiful

Suddenly, you have a body that seems foreign to you. You don’t know how to dress it. You may find that the pounds don’t come off as easily; you may have the “mom pouch” and extra stretch marks. We might not see this reflected in the media, but our bodies have done something amazing–maybe more than once. While it’s hard to embrace something that society does not deem to be perfect, in reality it IS perfect because it’s ours. The people who love us will love us for who we are not for what size the tag on our clothing says or how many stretchmarks we have. –Gizella, mother of son age 6 and daughter age 4.

Every mother’s body has a story hidden just beneath the surface of our skin. Our skin becomes the book jacket to our stories. The stretchmarks, red lines and scars on our bodies read like paragraphs of secret language that only other mothers can understand. Every pound we gain during pregnancy tells the tale of how far our bodies will go to accommodate our baby’s safety. Every stretch of skin chronicles how week after week or bodies grow to build a safe home for our babies. And, (for some) sagging breasts illustrate our bodies ability to provide nourishment to our children.

Mom Body Beautiful

As soon as I had my daughter 6 years ago, I thought about how I could get rid of the 50 pounds I put on. I want to have more children, but a cancer diagnosis soon after birth caused me to give up on that dream. There are days that I struggle and days that I’m OK. I’m proud of my body. It carried a kind, sweet soul in it for 10 months and I’m happy to see the changes in it. I struggled a lot more with the neck scar I have left from my cancer battle. It changes you. But, it strengthens you. Now, I wouldn’t give it up. –Liz, one daughter age 6.

(Liz was diagnosed with thyroid cancer only 4 months after giving birth. She cites it as the most common cancer diagnosed during pregnancy (second to breast cancer). Her doctors believe the hormones released during pregnancy caused the cancer to grow more rapidly.)

The reality is we willingly put our own lives in jeopardy so we can bring life into this world. Many of us do this more than once. By nature we have everything we need to create and sustain life inside our bodies. Yet somehow, leftover weight and sagging skin are perceived as horrible side effects that we must rid ourselves of. Instead I ask you to see the “side effects” of your pregnancy as beauty marks and medals of Honor. You would not have those marks without enduring pregnancy or child birth. Instead of viewing them as nagging reminders of the body you can no longer have, I hope you see them as souvenirs of the start of your amazing parenting journey.

Be happy in the skin your in NOW.

Now that I’m a mom, I tend to feel invisible to the world. There’s a freedom there – the freedom to stop trying to look good, the freedom to wear yoga pants and a pony tail every day. I wouldn’t say I’m more secure in my body, I’ve been insecure about my body since I knew what the word meant. I’ve spent the last 40 years being annoyed with, ashamed of, critical of and generally hard on my body. I did suffer post-partum depression and anxiety with both of my babies. I was so hard on myself during that time and felt like a failure in so many ways because I was an imperfect mom. I feel like celebrating woman’s bodies in this way helps us all be easier on ourselves, even if just for a moment. –Katy mother of two ages 8 and 4. 

Please stay tuned for Part II of Body Beautiful.

All images belong to Leyla Cadabal Photography http://leylacadabalphotography.com/. Any use of these photos without express written permission from the original photographer is prohibited. 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia and The Novice Mommy.

The Ebbs and Flows of Parenting- I’m Still Here!

Just keep swimming.
Just keep swimming.

Hello everyone!

Just a quick note to say THANK YOU to everyone who commented and questioned, “where are your posts!?” You may have noticed an absence in my blog posts for the last month and I apologize. But, it does feel good to know that I am missed. Things have been a little crazy getting us into the swing of things at a new school, with a new routine and trying out new activities, and simply just finding our rhythm.

As many of you know already there are ebbs and flows to parenting. Sometimes we find ourselves riding the wave of having everything all put together and giving ourselves a pat on the back. Then there are times we get knocked over by that wave and feel like we are barely keeping our heads above water. And, that is OK! It is OK to not have it together sometimes!! There may be entire weeks (or months) where we see other parents all put together and we’re thinking, “man I just can’t compare.” Guess what?! It’s not our job to keep up with them! It’s our job to keep up with our kids. That is a completely full time job all by itself!

If you are one of the parents out there who, like me, gets lost in your parenting flow just know you are still doing great! If at the end of the day your children go to bed secure in the knowledge that you love them and they are happy and healthy, then dear parents, you have done your job! That in my book is a parenting win every single day you can make that happen! It doesn’t matter how perfect their birthday party is, or how clean your house is or that you have every piece of school paperwork signed and turned in ahead of schedule. What your kids will remember is how loved they felt as a child.

If you are one of the put together parents please share this message with someone who needs it. And, feel free to lend a helping hand, or offer a word of encouragement to a mom like me who is waiting to catch that next wave!!

 

I have a really great project coming up that I cannot wait to share with you! Be sure you are subscribing to my blog and receiving emails from me, or following me on Facebook, Twitter or Bloglovin.

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy