Category Archives: self care

Those Girls

I loved the show “Say Yes to the Dress.”  Loved it.  And since that was in our baby birthing years, hubby let me watch it when I was a big pregnant mess.  So most Fridays we would watch an episode or two.  For some reason, I loved how Randy always referred to the brides’ chest as “the girls”.  I just loved that.

Well,  my girls got a workout today.

Not that kind of workout, get your mind out of the gutter.

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Yup, I am telling you I had my first mammogram.

I am a year overdue, but I got it done.  And it was the quickest test I have ever had.  I was in and back out to my car in 25 minutes.  The technician was fantastic.  She explained things, she worked with me to get where I needed to be “on” the machine, and then took the time to talk me through results information and reminding me not to freak if there is a call back for more images.

Ladies, it wasn’t as bad as I expected.  Really.  If you are the age where the doctor or midwife recommends you get a mammogram, don’t put it off for a year like I did.  Get it scheduled, get it done.

Consider it self care.

My Life Painting

I have these three beautiful girls and an amazing hubby.  They truly rule my heart.

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Any wonder why?  Being the wife and mama takes my breathe away.

When I was working outside of the home, I absolutely could not justify additional time away from my family.  I was away from them a lot of hours, I reasoned, that must fulfill my needs for me.

Then I came home to roost.  And my mind didn’t know how to balance me and them and us.  I knew there was this concept, self-care, taking time to invest in the heart and soul through whatever activities or ideas feed your life, out there.  I knew people who espoused it.  I respected those who did.  I just felt lost.

I began to look around…and wonder what self-care was really all about.  And as often happens, my heart was drawn to a fellow mama.

My friend A’Driane does an amazing job of seeking and embracing self care. I watch her carve out the time and I am jealous. Not in the petty, she gets self care and I don’t, but in awe that she values herself enough to do so.

I grew up with women who saw surrendering of themselves to their children as admirable.  One of my strongest role model did just that.  She was so involved in her kid’s life and she made it look so easy, watching her invest herself so heavily seemed like a wonderful model of motherhood.  She was, and is, an amazing mother.  I dreamed of being such a mom. *

I also grew up under Biblical teachings often twisted to prove women should lose themselves in their vocation as wife and mother–or be able to do it ALLLL!!! (Proverbs 31 Woman).  So, I threw myself into doing it all.

But this idea of self-care nagged at me.  Was there something to it?  Should it be part of my life?  Could I still be considered a good mom if I indulged myself in this idea?

Truly, when I heard about self-care for the first time in ‪#‎ppdchat‬,** the idea was so foreign to me that I brushed it aside as something I didn’t need.  I was stronger than that, than those who “needed” time away.

But my beautiful A’Driane challenged my misguided notions just by living intentionally.  I saw her with her beautiful family of three boys and a great hubby.  I saw her making time to eat well, I saw her making time to exercise, I saw her making time to paint and write and love herself.

And I knew how strong she was.  There was no way I could construe her need of self-care as indulgence or a sign of weakness.  The woman chases after three boys, keeping up with demanding schedules with honesty and grace.

I began to wonder if the truth wasn’t that I loved my girls too much to take the time for self-care, but rather I didn’t love me enough to invest in who I am, in who I want to become.  I realized I haven’t arrived at at the final destination of who I am just because I love being a wife and mother.  I haven’t completed my journey of growth, I am still a changing, emerging, me.

Sometimes being me means I am all mom, or all wife, all family, sometimes maybe it means something more.  Maybe it means embracing where I’ve been, where I am and where I want to be.

It’s time to blend it all, to create my own life painting.

Today, I’m here to invest in myself. I’m here to take baby steps.

I’m here to re-embrace my lifelong love of reading. I’m here to let the authors words wash my soul, feed my soul, rebirth my soul.

I’m here to embrace me and all that it means.


*That amazing role model in my life?  I have watched her grow and rebirth as her motherhood journey has continued and she IS an amazing mother, friend, woman.  She has strength and drive to spare for all of those around her.

**Please, if you are working through a postpartum mood disorder, check out the hashtag #ppdchat on twitter to get an army of women who are right there in the journey with love and strength for you.  You will find resources and help, love and compassion that you never dreamed possible.

My Newest Endeavor

See that widget over there—–>

Scroll down a bit——>

Yes that one—->

It is my latest project.

Because I need more stuff going on, right?

Well, remember that  phrase “if you want something done, ask a busy person”?  Maybe it’s my goal to be “that” person.  Except it’s not.  I just need to get the word out about things that matter to me.

I am, what they call over at Postpartum Progress, a warrior mom. I fought a long arduous battle after Patrice’s birth against postpartum depression and anxiety.

It was hard.

It stunk.

But here I am, on the other side…

Thanks in huge part to on-line communities that understood and loved on me.

The first on-line resource I found was Katherine at Postpartum Progress.  Her foundation provides so much information about the various postpartum mood disorders, including but not limited to, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis.  She also provides active support for women looking for hope.

I was that woman.  I found so much on her website that had me nodding my head, saying AHA!, and finding out I wasn’t alone.

Katherine is tireless and amazing in her work, she was even part of  Jeopardy! question, but she can’t do it alone.

From her work and dream, was born Climbing Out of the Darkness.  It is a walk/climb held in cities throughout the world to raise funding and awareness.

This year, I’m not letting it pass me by.  I am leading a team!  Eek.

June 21 we will meet at Independence Oaks in Clarkston from 1-3 pm.  There are two of us on my team right now, but we need more.  We need to make some noise.  We need to be part of making a difference.

Won’t you please join us?  You can raise funds or not, that is up to you, but we need awareness raised.  We need to let other mamas know they are NOT ALONE!!!!!!

Climb Out of the Darkness

Please click in the above link or that widget to the right and link arms with mamas around world, mamas here at home!  We need each other.


What Have You Learned this Week?

I am thrilled to have a guest blogger today. Part of my self-care this week was to ask for some help on my blog and I am so excited to share with you the first of those:

I am so honored to be a guest on Charity’s blog today. I have admired her writing. She is so honest as she chronicles the ups and downs of motherhood. Charity has inspired me to start a workout regimen to help me become more physically fit. She very generously shared me her training plan. She is a mom of three little girls, and she is an advocate for breast feeding. We met through #ppdchat on twitter. She has given me wonderful advice on nursing a toddler and transitioning from pumping at work to just nursing when I am with my littlest. Thank you again for having me in your space.

I am reflecting on what motherhood is to me. Charity’s blog title is a great example of how I feel on any given day from moment to moment. My sister-in-law summed motherhood up as this overwhelming love that makes you feel as if your heart will burst in one moment and in the next moment the overwhelming urge to pull your hair out in frustration and rage and hop in your car to drive away. This resonated with me.

Motherhood is a dichotomy for me. It is the most rewarding and the most challenging thing I have ever done. I marvel daily at the unconditional love and forgiveness that my daughters show me. I wonder aloud on a daily basis why bedtime and getting out the door in the morning is an exercise in patience and creativity, causing me to lose my patience and become frustrated. My girls have seen me at my best and my worst, and they love me just as I am. I love them just as they are. Day by day I am figuring out who I am as a mother and what my girls need from me. I am learning something new every day from my girls.

Here is what this week taught me I have learned that dancing in the kitchen and making goofy faces can turn my girls’ moods around. My oldest really is interested in my day. Our bedtime ritual now includes telling each other about our days. This gives us some much needed time together. I have learned that my youngest still needs affection even as she runs away from me to explore everything. I have learned that a cardboard box is more fun to play with than any of our toys. What did your children teach you this week?

Check out her blog at

Self Care and a Mama’s Alarm Clock

Sometimes things pile up on you.  This week has turned into one of those.  So, I sent out a call for guest posts.  My lovely friend, Lauren, from My PostpartumVoice, was gracious enough to send me a wonderful gift; Let me share it with you.

The alarm clock screams out at you (read: your three year old is screaming at the top of their lungs because YOU’RE NOT AWAKE YET AND DEAR LORD GOD I NEED COOKIES RIGHT NOW SO GET OUTTA BED ALREADY, MOMMY!) as you cover your head hopelessly with a pillow in a futile attempt to ignore your human alarm. Snooze button kicks into motion as knees and elbows plow into every hard part of your body, feet too.

“Ok. Ok. I’m up.” Muttering, you stumble to the bathroom, then the kitchen to get cookies because hey, maybe it’ll keep them quiet. There’s nutrition in cookies, right? Right? Turn on the TV and pop on a movie. There. Parenting at its finest, right?

Wait. There’s something wrong with that picture, isn’t there?

What did you do for you? Anything? One could argue giving the kid cookies and putting on a movie was for the sake of your sanity. Perhaps, but do you have food? Drink? Are you watching a movie you like too or just one that the kid likes but is more like listening to Fran Drescher on helium for you?

Self-care does not have to be some huge long-drawn out and expensive process. It can be as simple as your favourite beverage. A movie YOU like to watch too. Sharing the classic flicks with your kids is precious and character building. Sure there are day to day tasks we must complete. Why not make those tasks as pleasant as possible by infusing them with a bit of self-care? Cleaning? Use one of your favourite scents while doing so. Laundry? Pay attention to how the fabric feels. Child care? Use your child’s innate sense of humour to fill up your laughter tanks. Laugh with them.

If, however, you don’t find yourself wanting to do any self-care at all, and instead you’re gloomy, dragging, and struggling to find the light in even the simplest things, it may be time to talk to a professional about your mental health. There’s no shame in reaching out for help. If you or a loved one are feeling suicidal, call 1-800-273-TALK or reach out to @unsuicide on Twitter. There’s always hope.

What I Need

Have you ever wished for anything as a mother?  A maid, a chef, a personal shopper?  Tonight I wished for a videographer.

Caitlyn and daddy had been humming a song today.  Caitlyn remembered it was from the Muppets.  Daddy asked me to search for it on You Tube.  A little vague, but as we looked, he remembered, it was part of the original theme song.

Took a bit of looking, but then we found this fun:

And who could resist checking this out:

That led to clicking on this song:

And that’s when it became a dance fest in our house. (Caitlyn takes after her daddy for those who remember Disco Bob).

We also danced to some Macarena, which mommy does remember how to do, but it got a little difficult when Patrice wanted picked up.

There were several other dance tunes, to which we all had fun, and I wished for another person in my house to be our videographer, because tonight was something I need to see over and over. Tonight was fun we need to have more often. Tonight is what you fight for when all fight seems gone.

Thank you to those who are helping me fight. Thank you for carrying me right now as I search for my own fight.