Category: Mommy Wars

Kids Get Sick – Get Over It

The Whatever Mom (7)

 

I am on day 10 of this crappy sickness with my kids. Is it a cold virus? Is it strep throat? There’s no fever or vomiting. They have tons of energy. But, I keep them home for their comfort. Thankfully, I work from home and can afford to keep my kids home as long as they need. By afford I mean not paying a baby sitter; I didn’t mention the cost to my sanity.

When my kids get sick I am wary about sharing on social media for fear of judgement. There is always a parent out there that has an opinion on what kind of cold medicine you give your kids- is it organic, dye free and homeopathic? “You do know you shouldn’t give kids too many antibiotics.” “There are alternatives to eye drops for treating pink eye.”  Then, there are the teachers who blame the parents for letting their kids get them sick. “Keep your kids home if they are sick.” No one intentionally sets out to spread germs. Germs are everywhere and during every season. If I post what we are sick with and show up to a party 3 days later I’ve just branded us as the source of everyone else’s illness.

So what is a mom to do?

  1. Don’t post every illness to social media. I have been guilty of posting about our second round of pink eye. I administer the drops and release my kids back to school three days later (per doctor’s permission) and suddenly another kid in the class gets pink eye. Now my kids are the target of blame. Really does it matter where the pink eye came from? A kid can get pink eye from a shopping cart, play spaces or a doctor’s office. If your kid gets pink eye identifying the source isn’t going to cure it. Following the doctor’s orders will.
  2. Use the medicine that works best for your child. If you are not one to follow homeopathic methods because you don’t feel they work for your child, then don’t waste the time or money paying into the guilt of “over medicating” your kid. It is completely OK to seek out the advice of a pharmacist or doctor on which over the counter medications you can safely use to comfort your child through illness.
  3. You don’t have to rush your child to the doctor for every sniffle. It is OK to use the wait and see approach. Most often that is the response a doctor will give you anyway. You are not neglecting your child if you wait a few more days to see how they are feeling before taking them to the doc’s office. Not only are you saving co-pays, or an extra bill but you are saving your child exposure of additional germs.
  4. It’s OK to send your kid to school with a runny nose. Every school has a different sick policy. Learn what your school’s policy is and follow it. Typically, it is the rule to be free of a fever and vomit for 24 hours before returning to school. If you have followed the rule and your child is fever and vomit free, but still has a runny nose and a cough with no other symptoms; it’s OK to give them cold medicine and send them to school. If they have the energy to make it through the day and their doc doesn’t see a reason for them to miss any more school. Always have a doctor’s note for their return to school. It won’t save you from judgement, but it will save you from some guilt.
  5. Disclose your kid’s sickness when necessary. It’s OK to cancel plans or disappoint your kids because they are too sick to attend an event. It might be tempting to send them to school or a party at friends while not recovered 100% to see if they can make it through. This runs the risk of exposing other kids to germs and setting them back a bit in their healing. I promise kids will get over the sadness of missing a birthday party, or a fun play date.

Most importantly, don’t judge another parent’s methods for dealing with their kid’s sickness. Unless you can see definitive proof of neglect there is no reason to suspect a parent isn’t doing everything they need to, to ensure their child’s health.

Instead of lashing out on Facebook about the types of meds a parent administers, or judging a parent for not keeping their kid home long enough; why not offer to help? Would you be willing to bring a meal, some cold supplies like tissues and cough drops? Can you send a get well card, or drop a note saying you are thinking of them? Taking care of a sick kid and balancing the rest of our life is stressful enough; we don’t need to hear someone else spouting their own opinions and standards.

I have the fortune of staying home with my kids on sick days. I understand not every parent has that luxury. When I drop my kid off at school and hear another kid coughing, I don’t think “man, couldn’t their mom keep them home longer?” I think, “Poor kiddo he/she must not feel well.”  Then I ask the teacher if she needs any additional supplies for the classroom and I make sure my kids wash their hands. The best way to safeguard my kids during cold season is to worry about what we are doing in our own home to stay healthy. I don’t have the time or the energy to get caught up in how everyone else is living.

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 more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Recently a group of my mom friends and I gathered for a game night event that can only be described as adventurous. Nothing about it was hazardous. We didn’t even leave the living room. We simply gathered to play just one game: Cards against Humanity.

Let me start by sharing that this game is NOT for anyone who is uptight, or timid about hearing and using colorful language that includes descriptive sex acts, body parts, bodily functions and worse. The list of offenses can go on. But, now that the disclaimer is out there let me share why this game was so much fun!

As moms we spend our entire day being appropriate. We model for our kids the appropriate topics to discuss at the dinner table. We teach them to use manners and respectful language. We even refrain, with intervention from a force deep inside, from dropping the ole F-bomb on a daily basis. I KNOW I’m not the only one who has stepped on a Lego piece and held back a generous amount of curse words.

Cards against Humanity

Our night wasn’t about getting together to use bad words and yuck it up over innuendos. It was about getting to share some laughs. Plus, it was nice to be in a kid free space eating snacks we didn’t have to share, and drinking our own beverages. We didn’t have to worry about whispering or spelling out words our kids can’t spell yet.  We could really relax and know no one will judge us for the non-politically correct things leaving our mouths because we could blame it on the cards. No one panicked about “how am I going to explain this to my kid later.” The freedom to let loose and go uncensored was darned exhilarating.

Moms playing Cards against Humanity

After the game was over and the cards put away a group of us lingered to talk. We were up well passed our routine bed times. The last time I was up until 1:00 a.m. it included a puke bucket and a thermometer. So, it was a thrill to be up that late catching up with moms I only get to toss out a quick hello to in passing.

I highly recommend starting your own game night with friends! You don’t have to play this game, any game will do. Just find a kid free space to let down your mommy-guard for a short time and relax. I know I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my mom duties the next day.

Tips for hosting an Epic Game Night:

Make sure you have a place for the kiddos to go. Whether it is off to grandma’s house, or upstairs with daddy, you will want a distraction free environment. Make it a place you can truly relax.

Ask everyone to bring their favorite snack to share! It can be as simple as chips and dip, or as fancy as a decadent dessert. Can’t go wrong with store bought!

Decide in advance on beverages. If you want an alcohol free space, or if you would like to include a little wine, make sure your guests know what to expect in your home.

Don’t worry about cleaning the house to white glove standards. You’re inviting moms! They get it! Just make sure there are plenty of comfy places to sit and maybe clean up some of the sticky parts.

Have the group decide on a game and let the fun begin! The mission of game night is to just laugh and connect with friends. Keep the game simple and energetic and the crowd will do the rest!

Got a game night suggestion? Leave it in the comments below!

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 more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Friday Favorites – Alyssa Milano

Good morning!! I hope you will watch this clip of a very honest discussion about breast feeding. I like that it shows opposing views and each party is respectful in their exchange.

 

Breast feeding is one of the most divisive and controversial topics in parenting today. Growing up I don’t remember it being such an issue. I remember being curious about it as a kid and my mother explaining to me that’s how some moms feed their babies. Notice she didn’t say all moms. She left room for other moms, like herself, who formula fed. She was a working mom and if she had wanted to breast feed she would have. But, no one questioned her or shamed her for her choice.

I have steered clear of this topic until now because it can be so alienating to some moms. Myself included. I wasn’t able to breast feed my babies and most people think it is because I have twins. I know several twin moms who breast feed successfully and for over a year! Unfortunately, I couldn’t feed my babies because my milk supply never came in. I was ready and prepared to breast feed them. I felt a truly deep despair when it couldn’t happen. I felt like a failure before I even left the hospital five days after giving birth. So, for the first year I had to feed my babies formula.

It took me nearly three years to get over that feeling of guilt. I felt like it was my biggest failure as a mom. Not only was that because of the pressure I put on myself, but also because of the pressure of “breast is best.” Since I couldn’t give my kids the “best” I had failed. I stood quietly in the middle of the mommy war hearing judgments from both camps. I’ve met the finger wagers who spout statistics about health benefits of breast milk. I’ve met the moms who are too ashamed to feed their babies in public so they let them cry out, or hide themselves away. I’ve met the moms who participate in breast feed-ins and feed their babies openly in defiance. I’ve also met moms who have said breast feeding is not for me and boldly choose formula.

Here’s the thing… moms just want to feed their kids. Why is this deserving of media coverage, argument and a division? Why are we (moms included) relegating motherhood to the peripheral? Not only are breast feeding moms expected to remove themselves from view, but so are moms who have kids melting down in public, or moms who have “too many kids.” Why is motherhood so marginalized and minimized? Doesn’t it take a village to raise a child? So, why is my village sending me away and shaming me for my choices? Every family is different so why are we trying to put each other into a box that makes other people’s parenting a more acceptable and palatable experience for ourselves?

Here’s to the moms who choose to put their baby’s nutritional needs first- whether you choose formula, or breast milk you are making the right choice for your child. No one can ask for more than that! 😉

 

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 more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Sit Down! Shut Up! I’M In Control Here!

This week has been full of so many great things: great friends, great food and great conversations. What surprises me most is the number of moms I talk with (friends and strangers) who absolutely agree with me that parenting is the hardest job. (I thought for sure I’d find someone who thinks this is all just breezy). It’s not just the monotony of the daily routine that’s hard, although that can wear on a mom too, it’s the emotional ups and downs our kids have that have us reacting like someone just scratched their nails along a chalk board. (Or insert any other spine tingling, nerve attacking sensation).

I find it reassuring when I meet other moms who have “difficult” “spirited” or “challenging” children. It makes me feel like; OK I’m not the only parent who questions their abilities on a near daily basis. I’m not the only mom losing her mind trying to understand why … just WHY can’t my kids wipe their own butts? Why do they fight so much? Why can’t they drink from a cup without spilling it all over themselves? (Seriously kids, it’s not rocket science it’s a cup!). Why do they need a band aid for an imaginary cat? Why does their teddy bear need a band aid too? And for the love, why does the world screech to a halt when someone’s sister sits THISCLOSE?!

Some days with two talking Tina’s duct tape is tempting.

Kids. I love them, but they drive me crazy! Mine can certainly test my limits. But, isn’t that what childhood is for? Testing limits and learning just what makes this crazy world tick? I have to keep reminding myself that my kids are learning something about life and the world around them whenever they freak out when someone bumps ahead of them, or they cry because the shopping cart they want is gone. It can seem like such an annoyance, and yes some days it is when I’m in a hurry. But, (grrrr) it’s my stinking job to teach them how to get through these moments. I have to use my “nice” voice to model for them how to correctly and appropriately respond. I can’t say things like, “shut up and sit down! I’M in charge here!!” no matter how much I REALLY want to!

OK, don’t shut up entirely, but sitting still for a full minute might be nice!

I think some days the hardest part about parenting is digging deep to find that self-restraint, that self-control that is going to teach my kids the right way to handle a situation. Guess what? I fail. A lot. Like, really fail. I may or may not have ripped the handle off of my husband’s driver’s side car door in response to a screaming child who just bit her sister. In my defense, I did a spectacular job ignoring her glass shattering screams for the first two hours of our two and a half hour road trip. It was that last half hour that did me in. I also confess I had no idea what I was going to do once I got that door open. All I know is I pulled over and wanted to get out of that car FAST. I am happy to report we all made it home in one piece (of which I reminded my husband as I hung my head in shame and handed over the door handle to his car). 

(Full disclosure: I don’t have 4 kids, but I do have twins. That’s like drowning and someone throws you a bagel).

My point in all of this is, well we’ve all been there. It’s really true. At some point every single parent will feel like they have zero control over their child’s behavior. I think those of us who take this “raising productive humans” thing so deeply serious are the ones who are freaking out the most. We are feeling the pressure of doing everything right the first time. Truth is, no one gets it right the first time. That’s why most people get a practice kid (sorry first born). You get a chance to see that all that freaking out isn’t going to change a darn thing and it is certainly not going to motivate your kids into getting their shit together either. 

So to my mom friends who keep me real and help me see parenting from a broader perspective, I thank you. If it wasn’t for all of you screwing up your own kids first, I’d never feel this good about doing whatever I’m doing just to survive my day! (Don’t worry I’m messing up my kids too *wink*). 

Do you ever feel like you’re alone in your parenting struggles?

 

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 more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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2015 in review

We are just days away from a new year. I can’t help but look back on 2015 with much appreciation for all of you! I am blown away by how many people follow and comment on my blog each week!

WordPress put together this annual report for The Whatever Mom, complete with site stats and most popular posts. Feel free to read through. 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,600 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I am also excited to share that I was recently interviewed for I Am a Hudson Valley Parent. I have been lucky enough to blog for Hudson Valley Parent for the last two years. I am honored to be a featured parent in 2016.

One of the questions I was asked about my blogging revealed an answer that surprised me. I shared that the toughest thing for me about writing my blog is revealing the darker parts of parenting, the less glamorous and talked about struggles.

This has me thinking, what parenting topics would you all like to see discussed in 2016? Please feel free to comment below with your suggestions or email them to Whatevemom@gmail.com

I look forward to continuing to grow my blog with desirable content, building my Whatever Army and connecting with new friends! Thank you all so much for a great year! See you all in 2016!!

The Whatever Mom is a full time mom and part time crazy lady living off the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry, sandwich making and writing her blog. It is her dream parents every where will join her Whatever Army and accept that we are all in this together!

 

 

 

 

 

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Wanting Perfection: The Struggle Is Real

Perfection, the struggle is real.

All of my perfectly scheduled plans were derailed this week with a late night trip to the Emergency room. That of course was NOT part of my plan! But, there I was taking my very first ride in an ambulance to the ER. All I could think of was how this is going to set me back in everything I have to do this week. I was in a lot of pain, but I still kept thinking about my to-do list. Even after the ER staff settled me into a room and made me comfortable, I found myself reaching for my phone. I thought, “Let me just check in on my social media while I’m waiting.” Then the voice of reason shouted over that thought with, “what are you crazy? You are EXHAUSTED! You are in PAIN!! Just sit still and RELAX!!!” I couldn’t really relax, but I did put the phone away. I closed my eyes and thought about Christmas.

The "carnage" from my ER visit.
The “carnage” from my ER visit.

I am not sharing this to elicit any kind of sympathy in fact I’m going to be OK. It is nothing life threatening! But, this is a very familiar place for me. I talk all the time about letting go of perfection and yet I STILL struggle with this ALL. THE. TIME. Apparently, even while I’m in an ambulance all I can think of is how much time I’m wasting being there, when in fact there is exactly where I needed to be! Agh! Ironically, it was an ER visit nearly three years ago that led me to my “Whatever philosophy” of letting go of perfection in the first place! Double Agh! As you can see letting go of perfection really takes some work for me.

I returned home at 4 a.m. My babies were still sound asleep and I went in to kiss each of them good night. I am so lucky I made it home safe (and still healthy despite a visit to the ER). I realize this is as close to perfection as I can get in my parenting: two healthy kids who have zero interest in my to-do list. When they wake tomorrow all they will want from me is to play, hugs, kisses and of course demand which color cup they want. It won’t be all smiles and sweetness. There will be some crying and some yelling and I won’t get a single thing on my to-do list completed. But, that’s OK.

“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands-” ― Milton Berleading

After a couple hours of sleep I woke up exhausted. I wasn’t ready to face the day alone at home wrangling the twins while I recuperated. It felt daunting at best. But, an angel really came through for me. She helped me get my kids to school and kept them a little longer until their dad could pick them up for me. This was such a gift, the gift of time to heal! It wasn’t our usual routine but my kids just went with it (unusual). The plan I had outlined for the day wasn’t happening with perfect execution, but it was perfect for today!

Christmas is only 9 days away and if everything on my to-do list gets finished, GREAT! If not, I’m going to be OK with that too. I don’t need the gifts wrapped on a schedule, or the crafts finished by a deadline to make this Christmas perfect. I just need to be with my family at home.

As always thank you all for reading each week! I hope you all find joy today, no matter what today brings!

 

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 more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

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On the Tenth Day of Service Give the Gift of Your Best Self

10

Our nine days of service have included some great experiences to share with the kids. I hope you enjoy the simplicity and are inspired to find creative ways to include your kids in service to others. Now, I am going to suggest you give back in a way only YOU can. Give a friend, a neighbor, or a stranger your best self.

How can you help?

  1. See another mom at school drop off who looks overwhelmed? Ask her out for coffee. As moms we don’t take the time for ourselves, we so easily give it way. But, if we schedule time with someone else we are more apt to follow through. Connecting over coffee will give both of you time to recharge.
  2. See a neighbor who lives alone? Don’t just drop off a note, knock on the door. Invite them over for tea and chat for a while. If they aren’t able to make it out of the house take them a meal and stay a while to talk. Giving someone your full attention even for fifteen minutes of small talk could mean the world to them.
  3. See someone who needs a shopping cart? Offer them yours. Give them a big smile and wish them a great day. The thoughtfulness of strangers can be very uplifting.
  4. Is there someone you miss talking to? Put away the to-do list and pick up the phone. Give them a call and check in. Ask how they are doing and find out what’s new. You’ll be glad you took the time to catch up.
  5. Look at people’s faces while standing in line at the grocery store. Talk to them about the weather. Notice something about them you like: a scarf, a pin, their shoes and give them a compliment. Talk to the cashier about how busy the store looks today and thank them for their service. It can be rare that someone tells us something nice about ourselves that even the smallest compliment can give us a boost.

I know all of my service posts have featured small acts with big impact. I’ve showed you how to package up gifts and cards and send them out to people in need. But, not all of us need material things. Some of us just need to be recognized. Some of us just need a little kindness in our day. Like a pebble dropped into the water the ripples travel outward until they join the current and create a big wave. Together we can start a tidal wave just by being our best selves this holiday.

 

Related posts:

On The First Day Of Service Host A Food Drive

On The Second Day of Service Host A Coat Drive

On The Third Day of Service Make A Special Delivery

On The Fourth Day of Service Send Some Cheer

On The Fifth Day of Service Give Some Swag

On The Sixth Day of Service Rise Together

On The Seventh Day of Service Make A Furry Friend

On The Eighth Day of Service Express Your Gratitude

On The Ninth Day of Service Share Your Spirit

 

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 more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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Let Go Of The Perfect Holiday

Don't Expect The Perfect Holiday

Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK?! I haven’t even carved the turkey yet and I’m already stressed! How will I get it all done? When will I have time to shop? I’m already worried how I will make this the best Christmas ever! There are so many things for us to do and see it just gets so overwhelming!

I decided this week I need to put on the breaks. I’ve had a crazy week with two sick kids, one dental procedure and zero time to prep. In all this madness I’m still obsessing about perfection when I’m living in total chaos! I need to put aside all the to-do lists, sit away from the kids and listen to my own needs. (Yes, I know how hard that is!). I have to ask myself what is the most simplistic need for my family to enjoy the holiday season? Do we need perfect cookies? Perfect gifts? Do we need perfect cards and attend every party? Do we even need to eat a turkey?

When I really think about it, I don’t need to over work myself to make anything perfect. My kids won’t remember perfection. They won’t even know how many hours a night I spend crafting the perfect family cards, pouring over turkey day recipes, or wrapping the gifts with crisp efficiency.  What they will remember is the warmth. The warmth I wrap around each of them when I open my heart and give my love generously. The love I am teaching them to give to the world around us.

So, what am I going to let go of this year? The pressure I put on myself to make the holiday perfect. My husband and I have carefully selected the number of activities we want to participate in. We are letting go of rushing to several events in one day and choosing to spend more time at home cozied up in front of the TV.  Santa is a cool dude, but we don’t need to see him fourteen different places to know it’s Christmas. So, we will do our traditional one photo with Santa. I plan to spend time baking and connecting in the kitchen; and snuggling up every night with a new Christmas book. My kids are getting one dream gift each and the rest will be things they need.

This year I am scaling back from the over-doing and letting my kids excitement lead me into the holiday season. I only have a short time in their childhood to form the memories they will carry through the rest of their lives. The last thing I want for them to remember is my stress for perfection. I want them to remember mommy made things feel like magic because she was right there enjoying the moment.

The season of giving and of gifts is short lived. But, it is the perfect time to let go of the pressure to make every detail perfect. Not every moment has to be perfect for it to be memorable. It’s OK to say NO to material things, it’s OK to say NO to rushing around and it is perfectly OK to say YES to letting go of big expectations for how we celebrate our holidays.

 

 

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

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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