Growing up there were two things I knew I wanted to be and was meant to be: a writer and a mother. As Mother's Day approaches, I've been reflecting on this past year of motherhood, and I'm pretty sure this is the year I get my first grey hair. Jokes aside, I've also been thinking about LinkedIn's attempt to be more inclusive by adding "Stay at Home Mom/Parent" as a job. It's certainly a good step forward, but I think it's still going to take time for people to change their mentality about how society views and thinks of parents, and especially mothers. We've all heard parents say that the most important job they've ever had is being a parent. Here are a few reasons why we need to take that more seriously and stop punishing mothers for doing the hardest job in the world.
Our baby is now a year old...actually it's been nearly two months since his first birthday, I'm just a little behind on this post. So, that means we've cloth diapered over a full year now! Some people thought I'd give up quickly, which by the way, is totally offensive, because that means they don't have much faith in me or know me very well! But here we are, one year later, and I'm so happy we chose this route. So, for anyone who is curious or looking into cloth diapers for their own babies, here's what I've learned after one year.
One way to shop sustainably and save money is when you shop the ugly ducklings. What I mean by "ugly ducklings" are the products that did not pass quality control for aesthetic reasons, but are still totally functional. Some shops will sell their "ugly ducklings" at a reduced price in order to reduce waste, and I love that. These items may not have been cut perfectly, have a stain, was printed upside down, or the seams are crooked. These types of cosmetic defects don't affect function, and on "ugly ducklings"
I've purchased, I've not even been able to spot the defects. So, consider shopping the ugly ducklings! I like to think of them as products with character, and a little extra special.
I'd love to see more brands do this!
My journey into motherhood also sparked my journey into living more sustainably to help preserve Mother Earth for my son and future generations. I've learned so much, and every time I find a new way or product to make our lives more eco-friendly and kinder to our earth, I get excited. So, I thought I'd share a few of the products I've switched out at home, and if you have others, please do share!
Prior to becoming pregnant, I never thought about what postpartum healing entailed. In movies, we may see the mother scream from labor pains, but after that all is joyful, which is not true for everyone. While I was pregnant I had read a few articles that explained what would happen, which for some reason terrified me more than actually giving birth, but I still had no clue what I was in for. I had heard one celebrity say she didn't expect to be as sore as she was, but that still wasn't a clear picture of the pain and discomfort I would endure. Aside from the immediate postpartum healing though, I thought I'd track and share what exactly I went through during my first year postpartum, because I had heard from a few people that they didn't even feel like they got their bodies back or felt like themselves again until a year later. WARNING: Talk of pee, poo, blood below.
This week my baby turns one and boy has it been a year! I've learned so much about babies, obviously, but also myself and life. So, I thought I'd share a few of those things.
I recently started my period after 587 days without thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Leading up to this, and in preparation for it, I started to think about sustainable options. The cloth diaper world introduced me to cloth pads, and I hated pads in general as a tween, so initially avoided them. But then one of my favorite cloth diaper companies, Lil Helper, also makes cloth pads and other useful items, so I thought I'd give they're trial kit a try. I figured, if I hate them, at least they'll come in handy should we have another baby, for postpartum healing. I did a little "unboxing" type of video on Tea with Justine if you'd like to check them out. Simultaneously, I researched menstrual cups, and I thought I'd share my first go at them with you in case any of you are interested in trying more sustainable period products.
I don't think I've ever met anyone who said sleep training wasn't worth it. Most people say that it sucks and you have to suffer the first week, but then it gets better and it is so worth it. Still, for some reason, I tried avoiding it. I just didn't want to let my baby cry at all and feel any kind of abandonment. However, probably due to our co-sleeping situation, we hit a point at 8 months where I was going to lose my sanity, because he seemed to have regressed so badly that he was up every hour, some times less. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry. So, I did a bunch of research, talked to friends, asked other mommies in Facebook groups, and here's what we ended up doing...
As I mentioned in my previous post, I called up a Trump supporter I know, to get his take on what happened at our Capitol on Wednesday. I wanted to hear him say it was wrong and that he can no longer support Trump. Of course, I knew that was a long shot, and that in the least he'd tell me he felt it was wrong, but most likely it wouldn't shift his opinion and support of Trump. And I was right. So, I wanted to reflect on some of the larger takeaways I got from our nearly hour long conversation, which wasn't by far enough time, but the baby wouldn't stop crying (I mean, literally my baby was crying, I'm not name calling here).
A couple weeks ago, I attended a Zoom holiday party, in which we were asked to "go around the room," introduce ourselves, say what we're working on, and let everyone know what we might need help with. I knew exactly what I needed help with, but for some reason I was afraid to ask, and I made the excuse that it wasn't entertainment related and this was an entertainment industry event. Of the 60-80 people in attendance, I think maybe only 1-2 people actually asked for help. So, when I was asked to help with a friend's annual tea party, I planned a few tea trivia questions, and fun conversational questions. As I put together the conversational questions, I knew the perfect question to close out the event--"What do you need help with?" This annual tea party is always a small group of talented entertainment industry women, and who are better at helping other people than women? Not to mention, we as women, need to support each other. The reactions and responses to this question, in this group, were incredible.