During prenatal appointments with my clients, I like to discuss the dreaded Birth Plan. I’ve had more than one client ask why they really need one. After all, the idea that their birth is going to go exactly as they “plan” is unlikely at best. I agree, a Birth Plan in the traditional sense, its a stretch. But this is where I introduce what I lovingly refer to as the “Yoga” Birth Plan.
I spent a great majority of my adolescence engrossed by music. It was my personal escape and constant companion. Whenever I was overwhelmed I could always find reprieve by listening to music. I can’t say I grew up with a thoughtful sense of music (my teenage genre of choice was lovingly referred to as bubble gum pop and mostly driven by my hormones)… but regardless of genre I’ve always been mesmerized by it. Music is such a unique medium. It can change your mood, create/enhance a memory, evoke emotion, it also transcends and defines generations. Like a good book, when you hear a song that moves you, you are compelled to share it with those around you, it becomes a part of you (even if only for a few moments).
Do you ever make a major decision and wonder… Is this the right thing to do? I’m not talking about intuition. I’m talking about logic. I’m a firm believer in following your gut for most things in life. But when it comes to making decisions (specifically in terms of finances), that could impact your future I often struggle between logic and the fear of making the wrong decision.
The epic battle of my birth or pregnancy was worse than yours. When I decided to enter the birthing community as a birth doula, it was my hope that I could somehow help change the conversation. Change the generation bridging conversation that includes experienced women telling expecting women about their “dramatic, horrifying” birth experiences. You’ve all heard the stories… The unbearable pain, the “65 hour birth nightmare, the hemorrhoids, the “ripping from front to back”, stitches, use of forcep/vacuum’s, failed epidurals, and the list goes on. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a realist. I don’t believe in sugar coating. Sometimes a healthy dose of honesty goes a long way. However, during my own pregnancy, I don’t actually remember one women I know recount a positive moment from their births. Heck, I have even caught myself giving a one-sided point of view on my own births occasionally. It’s like we are hard wired to dwell on the hardship instead of the reward. Continue reading
Divorce is a reality more common than most admit to or at a minimum more than they want to acknowledge. In fact, I find it interesting the reaction I often get when I tell people I’m divorced. There is this moment of awkwardness, followed by “I didn’t realize” type comments. I usually counter with some witty quip about how “second husbands are so much better, more trainable” or how “the first was just a test run”. But it never fails to make me feel ashamed, even if it’s only for a moment. It’s like I have a giant failure looming in my life and I’m somehow unfit to be a wife. Does anyone ever actually think they will get divorced? Is there a feeling or moment that indicates… yep, you are headed for the Big “D”.
I feel the need to confess something… I’ve been utterly ecstatic by how well “Business of Self Care – Part II” has been received. I’ve gotten the most views on my blog so far (which isn’t much to tell you the truth, but it’s exceeded my very low expectations) and I have honestly had feedback from people who “get it”. In any case, there has been something bothering me about it. The photos I posted of myself, which if I’m honest, I LOVE. I feel like they capture my personality and have given me the perspective I needed desperately over the last year. But the truth is, those pictures are not a depiction of the “everyday” me. Obviously, my hair and makeup were done fabulously (thank you again Heather @obsidianartistry) and the photo re-touching certainly did me favours in all the right places (forever grateful George @georgedimitrovphotography). However, on a day like today, I’m wearing no make up, leggings and sporting some lovely monthly hormone acne. Something I failed to mention in my post was how important it is to embrace this side of yourself as well. It’s a great thing to be able to put lipstick on and magically have more confidence. But that isn’t the reality that most of us live in day in and day out. Continue reading
This Christmas I decided to do something I never thought (especially with my post-baby body) I would be comfortable doing. I took a risk and randomly messaged a makeup artist I’ve been following on Instagram (@obsidian_artistry) asking if she could help me. She introduced me to George (@georgedimitrovphotography) and a magical thing happened. I met two people who didn’t know me from a hole in the wall but they were both so encouraging of my bravery and completely invested in seeing me through this “photography project”. To be fair, I was paying them… but what they did for me was priceless. I had fun, like REAL FUN for the first time since before I became a mother. It’s funny, during this project, I was reminded of these photo shoots I did with my sister when I was younger. She would do our hair and makeup and we would take these pictures for our mom to put on the wall (mainly to detract from the hideous annual school photos). It’s one of my favorite memories growing up… and it reminded me that I used to love getting my picture taken. When I became a mother (and gained 60+ lbs during both pregnancies) I was miserable having my picture taken. Sound familiar? I think a lot of us are stuck with this imperfect picture of ourselves post-partum. Now I’m not saying that modeling is my calling, but it was fun goofing around and focusing on me without the guilt. The purpose of the photo shoot was to give my husband a bit of a personal gift from me versus the clothes I buy him that never seem to fit. It turned out it was a really a gift to both of us. The night I gave my husband that photobook, he said words that hit me like bricks… “this photographer captured you perfectly, he photographed you exactly as I see you everyday.” *cue swoon* For the first time in almost 5 years I saw myself as beautiful and sexy… not just someones mom. BAM! Worth every penny invested.
What is self care? Why is it important? I can honestly say that prior to having children I never really thought much about it. Admit it… at twenty-something, pre-responsibility, we were all narcissistic jerks who spent all of our time and money on ourselves (or some version of this). Then somewhere along the way adulting happened, we’ve realized that the bills and kids have taken the better part of our focus, and our self image has been left somewhere in between singledom and motherhood.