How to be a Bad Ass Mom

ABadAssMom

So you're scrolling through your phone and you think that other mamas have their life together so much more than you, right? You see their Instagram square of a perfect image that captures a crisp, clean home and you wonder why your little heathens can't allow yours to look like that. Then there's the mom who cooks amazing meals all from scratch, the mom who swears she never yells at her children and then the mom who has the six week old who "supposedly" sleeps through the night. 

I'm here to tell you that it's all crap and as it turns out, you're probably not too shabby. Sure you may feel like you've lost all sanity and well there may be times that there are NO clean towels in your home, but I guarantee you that you're doing a fine job just like those mamas whose feeds you stare at. 

So do you want to do know how to be a bad ass mom? 

For starters, stop comparing yourself and stop believing people's feeds are "real." All of those moms that you follow and admire are probably losing their shit just as much as you are. They crop out the messes on their pictures and they filter the heck out of their photos to make everything seem sunny and pristine. Social media can be so amazing for the purpose of support, advice and inspiration; but it can also be so damaging to a mother because it allows us to compare ourselves to so many. 

Next, you should do YOUR thing and to heck with the unsolicited advice. Being a bad ass mom means that you have your own mama instincts that you'll live by and to heck with those that tell you you're doing it wrong. If you want to co-sleep then go girl. If you want to breastfeed until your baby is four then kudos to you. And finally, if you want to occasionally give your kid a sugary pop tart for breakfast with a tall glass of chocolate milk, then girl rock on. You have to follow your own instincts when it comes to things like sleeping training, co sleeping, breastfeeding, supplementing, CIO, etc... You can't just do what others tell you to do, because then often times it may make you feel like you chose the wrong route. Follow your heart!

Don't be afraid to ask for help. This goes great with the above comment. I'm not a fan of unsolicited advice or comments that make you feel like your way is the wrong way - but know when you may need to ask for help. Whether it's asking your mom, grandma, Facebook or Google, there is nothing wrong with admitting you need advice on raising your littles. 

Don't sweat the small stuff. I do believe there are tiny, pointless battles that just aren't worth it. Children need to learn how to communicate and express what they're feeling, don't feel like your child has to be an angel 100% off the time. We all have children that act a little crazy sometimes (or a lot) so don't sweat that your child may not be as well behaved as others. No child can be perfect and there's so much going on in those brains that we will never understand. 

Don't be a proud "shitty" mom. I know that seems weird, but I swear I occasionally see people who are loud and proud because their child eats a crappy diet or because their child is uncontrollable so they just "give up." Well sure you shouldn't sweat every little thing and very few children have a perfect diet, but give yourself some credit. Sometimes I think people boast about certain things because they don't know how to change it -- like a kid's diet. No one said your child has to have an organic, sugar free diet -- but strive to teach them balance. In everything. Don't give up, Mama. 

Strive to be more. This may seem contradictory to what I've been saying, but I believe a bad ass mom is a mother who knows that perfection is impossible, but yet they always strive to be more or to do better. This can come in many forms -- whether it is to have more patience, yell less, spend less time on your phone or ensure that your children do get their fruits and veggies in at least one meal, then you're being a bad ass mom because you're realizing where you may need improvement. I believe ALL moms have things they can improve on; just as our children grow, so do we. 

Stop complaining. I probably need to work on this sometimes - although truthfully I'll usually just whine to my husband. But I do see many who constantly complain on social media and I do feel like the more you complain, the unhappier you'll be. Again, I even need to work on this and I do think it's totally okay to once in a while throw a rant out about your sleepless night, but don't "FML" your life away every day. Many would beg to be in your shoes. 

Know that you're totally normal and probably fine. I say this as I see SO many mamas post and ask in desperation about wondering if they need medication or help because of many different things (a bonus of support on social media). Now, I won't get on a medication post but what I will say is that I often think we forget that mothers are supposed to have some anxiety. We are supposed to worry about our children day in and day out because we are their caregivers and we love them more than life itself. It's totally okay to have a day where you cry too much and even a day where you think your life is falling apart and you can't handle this. It happens to us all - ask me about last Tuesday. I do believe there are definitely situations that you should speak to your provider about, but just remember that even the best of moms have the worst of moments too. 

Have me time. I believe this goes well with the statement above. Having time for yourself helps SO much. It is like a reset button that makes you a better mother and wife. Heck, it may even make you a more pleasant person. We all need "me" time frequently whether it's a few hours in the tub or a few hours on a solo date. You'll come back feeling super bad ass. 

Get outside and take care of yourself. Again, this is huge to mental and physical health. The outdoors is a refresher for us all and a win for your children's health. Getting a decent diet, decent sleep (ha what the hell is that) and some exercise (okay now I'm pushing it right) is important for us to keep functioning. And let me just say exercise is SO hard for us mamas - I can't go to the gym. But I can strap my kids in a stroller and go for a walk or a jog. Anything to clear my mind and feel better! 

Finally, tell yourself you're amazing. Those moments where your children start singing their ABC's for the first time, or when they say "thank you" because you gave them a snack or when they show empathy to your bo-bo - remember that YOU taught them those things. You're helping mold them into little people with big hearts and you're doing amazing! Relish in those moments and tell yourself that you're doing something right. I guarantee you that you'll find many moments throughout your day that show you just how much you've got this! 

So mamas whether you have one child or four; whether you work or stay at home and whether you freaking choose boob milk or formula, you've got this. You're amazing and you're bad ass. Don't harp on the small things and don't, please just don't, compare yourself to others that make you feel any less. If anything, use them as inspiration. I love finding mamas I can relate to on Instagram and then letting them inspire me to be more in the areas that I know I can improve in. 

Find inspiration and light in every moment. Find joy in the little things and don't sweat the small stuff. Life happens, shit can get real and motherhood can be freaking hard. But you're mama, and you're pretty amazing. 

Share your thoughts below about what you think makes a bad ass mom! 

 

What to Really Expect When You're Expecting

WhattoExpect

Let's just cut to the chase here. Being pregnant is the absolute most amazing thing in the world. No matter how uncomfortable, hard or exhausting it may be, it is still simply amazing. Some women (those rare ones) have those nearly perfect pregnancies. You know what I mean, those chicks who barely gain weight, don't get sick, have amazing skin and are high on life. 

Then there's the rest of us. Some of us may be puking, some of us may be popping zits like we're back in junior high and others may pee on a stick and gain 10lbs immediately. And of course, there's the ones who somewhat sit in the middle between those perfect pregnancies and those hard and crazy pregnancies.

I like to think that's where I am...in the middle. 

But if I'm going to be honest with you, I am going to give you a post filled with the truths behind pregnancy that are real. Not the textbook version from "What to Expect When You're Expecting." This is the "Real Shit" version. Now granted this is my third pregnancy and I am chasing two toddlers day in and day out, so I'm sure that makes a difference. But even if you can't relate to all of these "factoids," I am sure you can relate to some. 

So here's some real, funny and kinda TMI truths to pregnancy...

  • Everything hurts. Like even your butt hurts. 
  • Speaking of, pressure down there is super confusing when you feel pressure in your butt. Like, I didn't think they came out of that hole, so why do I feel pressure there? 
  • Random people may touch you. And then ask if it is okay after. 
  • Your uterus occasionally feels like it will fall to the floor towards the end. 
  • You are pretty sure you can waddle as good as any penguin. 
  • By the end of the day, you try to magically not walk on your feet because they hurt so bad. Don't ask me how to. 
  • You want to drop kick the person who says, "Oh you look like you're about to pop." Even though you have three months left. 
  • And you want to axe murder the person who says you look like you're carrying twins. Really. 
  • Eating for two is a real thing. A really good excuse for extra snacks, cookies and oh yea, pounds. 
  • Eventually you can't see to shave anything down there, so there's that...
  • The bigger you get, the weirder sex gets. But you still make do...thanks hormones. 
  • You'll probably pee yourself. Especially if this isn't your first. Then just accept that you WILL PEE YOURSELF. 
  • You feel like a permanently exhausted zombie pretty frequently. 
  • The idea of eating perfectly healthy doesn't always work for many of us...just give us what we want and no one will get hurt. 
  • Morning sickness is about as fun as having the flu. 
  • You'll debate over every vaccination they "want" you to get and every medicine you may need to take, but you'll eat a pack of toxic Oreos like nobody's business. 
  • Your stomach may itch so much that you'll begin to think you have fleas. 
  • You will likely outgrow your maternity clothes about two months before the baby is due, leaving you looking like a homeless person. And you don't even care. 
  • Your stomach may stretch so much that you'll begin to think your skin is made of something unlike others. 
  • Everything your doctor tells you not to eat or do, is all of a sudden the things you crave. GIVE ME ALL OF THE SANDWICHES. Every damn time. 
  • Food cravings are real. If you thought it was an excuse pregnant women used, I dare you to tell that to a pregnant person. Triple dog dare you. Ohhhh hot dogs...
  • Your boobs may spring a leak and as exciting as that may be, it's also kinda odd. 
  • Your boobs may grow to like triple their size and you'll desperately begin to pray that they go down again (you then realize that you're really grateful you never got that boob job). 
  • Speaking of boobs again, they may not even look like boobs. 
  • Your hair may fall out, change textures or grow like crazy. You may fear for its future. 
  • Pregnancy brain is real - you forget everything. Everything. 
  • Wait, what were we talking about...oh yea...
  • Some days you want to be super productive and nest and other days you want to hibernate. 
  • You frequently consider if there's a "too much chocolate" during pregnancy thing. Is that real?
  • There's a good chance you'll be popping zits just like you're back in junior high.
  • You'll get down on the floor to do something (like oh take care of all your other children) and then get stuck. 
  • Painting your toe nails at 8 months pregnant requires awkward positions and then there's a good chance you'll be out of breath after. From what, I still don't know. 
  • Okay truth is, you'll get out of breath a lot. And still not know what from. 
  • By baby number three you don't even pull out a textbook and you're so over relating baby to a damn fruit or vegetable. You just know he's growing and SO.ARE.YOU.
  • The more pregnancies you have, the more uncomfortable and real all of this shit is. 
  • False labor is a MF. You get excited and pissed all within a few hours. 
  • And of course the big one...labor hurts, contractions suck and you have to pop a watermelon out of a hole that was originally the size of a grape.

But it is the best freaking thing ever! 

Whine all you want, complain all you want and try to sucker your partner into as many foot rubs as possible. You're growing a little human and that's badass. You my friend, are a pregnancy goddess and you're beautiful. And when that little baby is in your arms, NONE of the above grossness, weirdness and uncomfortable crap matters. It's all about that glow that you'll have from here on out...welcome to the world of motherhood. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

Topics for a Natural Minded Birth Plan

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There's a million ways that a birth can go; we all know that. We all know that sometimes things just don't work quite as planned or sometimes we surrender into things that were not on the plan. And that's okay. The beauty of a birth plan is having the awareness to realize that things don't always play out perfectly.

However if you are someone who has a certain vision for their birth or the process immediately following the birth, then perhaps this post can help you think of the different things that YOU want. Not the things that you think you need, what your doctor says you need or what your mother says you should do. This birth is all about you, your baby and even baby's father too. It should be a special moment to have a special day of memories and some of the most breathtaking moments of your life. 

So what are some basics for a good natural minded birth plan? Keep in mind that this blog post is just a recommendation of some wonderful things to consider, but there are many others that you can even consider that are likely not mentioned here. Also, do not feel that to be "natural" you have to do ALL of these. Especially in the afterbirth process, you choose what you're comfortable with. 

For the actual labor 

  • No induction. Unless it is absolutely medically necessary and can be evidence based, don't get pressured into induction. Pitocin  makes labor pains much more intense and very hard to handle naturally, so avoid induction at all costs. Don't buy into the pressure that baby is too big or that you're over your due date. Do some research on these topics if they begin to come up. 
  • Narcotics vs Epidural. If your goal was a drug free labor but unfortunately you're having a hard time handling the pain (hey, it happens!), but you are hesitant to try an epidural - you can ask for narcotics first. Talk to your practitioner about this before the birth to have an idea of their typical protocol. 
  • The ability to move. For all of my labors I request wireless or intermittent monitoring. Some mothers don't want monitoring at all and only for brief checkups throughout the process (this is intermittent) and some moms like myself, enjoy the sound of baby's heartbeat the whole time. The only reason I choose monitoring is because my facility offers wireless monitoring that allows me to move freely, take warm baths and walk the hallways, etc... Typically a laboring mother finds the most comfort when she can move. 
  • No IV. Being trapped down to IV lines can be awful for a laboring mother as these can prevent the mother from moving as well. If you have to be stuck to one (I was with my first) it is actually easy for your coach or partner to wheel around as you walk around. However if you do not need one, ask to NOT have one or to have a saline lock put in place for emergency use. Hospitals will likely require the saline lock but midwives and birth centers are more prone to not use one at all.
  • The right to eat. This is such a controversial subject sometimes. Quite honestly, I don't typically request food other than popsicles or something cool during my labors. However, it is your right to request food. More research lately is showing that food during labor is not as "taboo" as considered before and can really help the laboring mother gain her an extra dose of energy. Bring your own nut snacks, granola bars, fruit, etc... to snack on if you are unsure that your nurses will actually get food for you. 
  • Tubs and water relaxation. Getting into a warm bath is amazing. Unfortunately not all places may be equipped with a tub or blow up tub for a mother, so this may be something that you want to ask about in the beginning of your pregnancy. If they have it, use it; it's your right. Don't let a doctor or nurse stray you away from what can be truly relaxing. However be aware that sometimes a warm bath in the early stage of labor can possibly relax you enough to slow labor down, so you may be told to wait until around 5 cms dilated to get into the tub. Each situation can be so different sometimes when it comes to this. 
  • Use of other amenities. Your birthing room whether you're at a hospital or a birth center, should be equipped with a birthing stool, a birth ball, handles on the bed and even hand massagers. All sorts of goodies! Ask about these items and have your birth coach or partner remember to request them during labor just to try so you can determine what works. 

For the afterbirth 

  • Delayed cord clamp. It has been widely known for some time that delaying the clamp of the umbilical cord does wonders for baby. Luckily this practice has finally been accepted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Straight from their website: "Delayed umbilical cord clamping appears to be beneficial for term and preterm infants. In term infants, delayed umbilical cord clamping increases hemoglobin levels at birth and improves iron stores in the first several months of life, which may have a favorable effect on developmental outcomes." Request that your doctor delays the cord clamp until the cord has stopped pulsating. 
  • Immediate skin to skin/breastfeeding. Request to have baby placed immediately skin to skin with you followed by the right to breastfeed soon whenever you are ready. I ALWAYS breastfeed before visitors come in, before bath, before they move me to my recovery room, etc... Once my baby is placed on my skin, baby doesn't leave. Most things that they "want" to do and check can be done while baby is still on you. 
  • Delayed bath. You may be thinking this is gross, but I promise it really isn't. The longer baby is coated in all of that gooey stuff, the better for their immunity and resistance. Basically that gooey stuff helps fight off germs. But don't worry, you can wipe baby up enough to look clean without actually bathing it off. It's up to you how long you choose to delay the bath. 
  • The right to your placenta. Want to eat your placenta? Or use it in capsules postpartum? Or perhaps have an artist make a placenta impression? Your placenta is yours. 
  • The right to a voice. Say no to things that you may be uncomfortable with such as pitocin for afterbirth, baby's shots, circumcision, baby's eye ointments, etc... Just make sure you have done your research to make these decisions based off of your own beliefs (and not others). Just because you want to be natural doesn't mean you have to say no to things that you may believe in, such as circumcision or the vitamin K shot. 

These topics are the most frequently requested topics in plans but still, not every millennial mama realizes she can have a VOICE on these. So many mamas fall victim to just following their doctors and nurses like zombies, that they don't realize until after that they could have said no. It's not that this is a bad thing, we obviously want to trust our practitioners. However we need to do what is in the best interest of us and our baby, and unfortunately even the best doctors in the world don't always do things in that way. 

Have a voice. 

Have a plan. 

And have acceptance for how your plan may or may not get altered. 

Birth is a natural and beautiful thing, so enjoy every moment of it. 

Here's to hoping you have the birth of your dreams.