Category :Mamahood Exposed

Mamahood Exposed: Hello Crazy

Mamahood Exposed continues with an open and honest post from Lindsay about her experience with PPD. 

When I found out I was pregnant with Oliver, I was thrilled.  Ecstatic. Over the moon.

All I ever wanted was to be a mother. When I was young and the teacher would ask what we wanted to be when we grew up, my answer was always, “A Momma“. I mean why couldn’t I be?
So when the opportunity came to actually become a Momma, I dove in head first.  I read books.
Some serious ones like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”which scared the crap out of me by the way.  Some may disagree but I think that book does more harm than good.  And some silly books like, “The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy” and “Belly Laughs”. Those were more my speed.  They were true, honest and got down to the nitty gritty.  If it wasn’t for those books I wouldn’t of been prepared for the ugly.
I had an amazing pregnancy with Oliver.  I was never sick, I felt wonderful.  I was growing a human being.  I was grateful.  Sure I had my moments of irritability.  And moments of shear crazy.  Just ask Ryan about the ice cream incident.  But for the most part, it was good.  I was good.
Fast forward to February 16, 2010. 4:48pm to be exact.  I was a mom.  He was here, and he was perfect.  And I loved him. I loved him right?  I thought I did, but I wasn’t sure.  It wasn’t an immediate feeling.  If anything, I felt like I was in shock.  Shock from my not so pleasant delivery.  Shock from just having a baby. And shock for becoming a mother.
A Momma. His Momma.

Someone completely responsible for keeping another human being…a very tiny human being alive.  I began to feel very anxious.
What should of been a joyous time for me, wasn’t.   I laid there in the delivery room with so many people around me and I felt so….alone.  While everyone commented on how adorable, and healthy…oh so healthy Oliver was.  No one asked about me.  While I laid there quiet and still, I was screaming inside.
It hit that quickly, the PPD.  The depression that is still such a secret.  A dirty little secret.  I didn’t realize it the time. I just thought it was The Baby Blues.  Ya know, what those pregnancy books just graze over.  It wasn’t serious.  And it sure as Hell wasn’t happening to me.  But it was.
I loved my son. At least I thought I did.  I felt he deserved someone better than me.  Someone who could really love him.  Ya know like they show in TV and movies.  She has a baby and bam immediate love.  He deserved that.  Not this shell of a woman, going through the motions pretending to be a mom.
A mother. His Momma.
I never wanted to hurt my son.  If anything I wanted to protect him.  From everything and everyone.  The anxiety I felt for him, towards him was crippling.  If we left the house I had to drive.  If we had plans, I’d cancel at the last minute.  I couldn’t leave him.  With anyone. At all.  What if something happened to him?
I would sit and watch him sleep.  Fearful for him to stop breathing. Always listening.  I would jolt myself awake the minute I began to doze off.  I needed to stay awake.  I needed to constantly watch him.  Must. Not. Fall. Asleep.
The sleep deprivation does some crazy things to you.  No wonder its used to torture people.  I felt like I was being tortured, by my own self. 
I knew something was wrong.  This feeling wasn’t going away.  It was past 3 weeks wasn’t I suppose to start enjoying this time by now?  When would the horrible thoughts go away.  Thought of me falling down the stairs with Oliver in my arms.  Or someone breaking in.  Or the big tree in the front yard falling into our house.  Or Oliver falling off the counter. Why would he be on the counter?  Or me forgetting to put him back in his pack n play and rolling over him in my sleep.  Or something happening to my husband.  To Ryan, my lifeline.
Hello Crazy.
I knew it was time.  Time to make that call.  Time to admit this was bigger than I was and I needed help.  The doctor had me fill out this depression questioner.  “Circle one in each row” she said,  always, sometimes or never.  As she walked out of the room.  Leaving me with the questioner and my thoughts.  My crazy irrational thoughts.
Final verdict: PPD with mild anxiety.  Yup, I could of told her that.  She wrote me a prescription for Zoloft and sent me on my way.
The pharmacist told me it would take a week or two before I would feel the difference.  I felt it after that first day.  I felt better.  Not quite “me” but I felt closer to being me.  The next day a little better.  After a week, I was up. Getting dressed and leaving the house.
Months went by and the anxiety continued to lessen.  It was there, the thoughts were always there. still are.  But they didn’t stay very long.  And I didn’t dwell on them.  And I didn’t let them control me anymore.  It was working.  Thank God, it was working.
By the time Oliver was 3 months old. I felt like myself.  I felt happiness.  I enjoyed my son and my new life, as a momma.
His Momma.

I was accepting it and not fighting it anymore.
Having a baby changes you.  You start out as a woman, you give birth and you break down.  You bleed, and break and shed a lot of tears.  But its the only way to be rebuilt into a mother.
PPD can happen to anyone. You.  Me.  It doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t let go.  But it doesn’t have to control you.  It doesn’t have to control me.  This was just my story on the “secret depression”.  Something one may not even understand unless they have been there.  It goes beyond hormones and being an emotional girl.  It goes beyond “sucking it up” and “tomorrow is another day”.  It’s real and it’s scary.  But it doesn’t have to last forever.
When I was pregnant with Landon I was worried it would happen again.  I spoke with my doctor about about my options but in the end opted out of the prescription he offered to write for me after I delivered Landon.  I felt different.  I felt that immediate love for my child.  And I didn’t for once feel alone.

Are you an honest Mama with a story to tell? 
Email you submission to

Mamahood Exposed: Strength Given

Starting this series has been a wonderful adventure.  I have had the privilege and the honor to read and share some of the best stories from all kinds of Mamas.  Here’s one recent submission from Christina that completely gripped me.

and 9oz. lookin’ up at me
I have all the answers
hope I have the ones you need
never really done this,
I know what scared is
moment she was placed in my arms I knew I had a fighter on my hands.
My entire pregnancy with her had been difficult, emotionally and
physically. Even during her delivery I knew she would be stubborn. It
was hours of painful labor, hours of not knowing if she was safe. She
was so drastically different from her brother. Brandon was such an
easy and quick birth. Even afterwards he slept peacefully.
didn’t. She was constantly alert, constantly investigating and
constantly testing me. Her will was as strong as mine…even as a
baby. I knew I had met my match. At the same time, there was such a
deep innocence, such a deep need. She has always been my rock; it’s
hard to understand that while she has been my constant little thing,
I’ve been her’s as well. She sees not my faults, but my strengths.
She relies on me for everything; for faith, trust and love and to
show her to her path in life. And for someone still stumbling on her
own path, knowing that I am going to be the one giving her the
answers she seeks…is frightening beyond comprehension.

I’ll protect you from everything that’s wrong
times I’ll let you just find out on your own
that’s when you’ll be growin’,
the whole time I’ll be knowin
gonna fly with every dream you chase
gonna cry, but know that that’s okay
life’s not fair, but if you hang in there
gonna see that sometimes bad is good
just have to believe things work out like they should
has no guarantees, but always loved by me
gonna be
never truly realized how much of a gamble motherhood can be. And I
never realized the chances my mother took with me. How did she know
when to let me make my own mistakes and when to save me from myself?
Did she do right? Did she do wrong? The only one that can answer that
is myself. How I chose to learn from those mistakes and how I grew
from them is the only way to answer her sacrifices and her decisions.
Knowing the lessons I had to learn through pain and self destruction,
did she save me from something worse? What will I save Sami from?
When do I let her fly, and when do I let her fall? I hope she can
learn from my sins and my mistakes. I hope she never has to
experience the pain I experienced. Yet I hope she does have some
pain, because in that trial of fire she will be reborn within
herself. Her soul will be tempered and herself worth will be proven.
But letting go, knowing that I will have to let her heart be broken,
I will have to let her feel that she is the only one to make
decisions…is one of the most painful steps I will ever take as a
has a game she loves to play. I will be sitting here in the desk
chair doing various things, and she will be sitting quietly on my bed
coloring or playing with her dolls. All of a sudden, without much of
a warning aside from that mischievous grin that plays across her face
and that excited glint in her eyes, she will throw herself through
the air towards me. And in her heart, in her mind she knows my arms
will always be there to catch her, to save her from a fall and from
pain, to pull her to my heart where she will wrap her arms around me,
press her cheek against my heart sigh and say “I love you Mommy”.
It is trust as it’s most basic. It is love and blind faith in my
ability to foresee her needs and to be strong enough to catch her in
her free fall. In ten years, will I still be there to capture her?
Will she one day have to miss my arms to learn to fly with her own

afraid you’ll have to suffer through
of my mistakes
knows I’ll be trying to give you what it takes
it takes to know the difference
getting by and livin’
anything worth doing is worth doing all the way
know you’ll have to live with all
choices that you make
make sure you’re always givin’ way
than you’re takin’
rarely think at the age of sixteen or even twenty, how our actions
will affect others. Let alone how it will affect the future and our
unborn children.  I never realized that my decision to place
Matthew for adoption would affect me as greatly as it has and those
around me. What will I say when Sami asks why I gave up her brother? 
How can I admit to my own child that at the time, I was not capable
of being the mother he deserved? Will she question if I was ready
when she came along? Throughout all of the tumult of her life, will
she ask me why I didn’t give her a better chance?
pray so much that my past, my lessons and my mistakes will be
learning blocks for her.  When she is 16 and swept up in the
excitement of first love, will she be able to see the pain I went
through at that age because of my decisions? My own mother was a
mother in her teens; I always thought I would be better than that. I
didn’t realize that it’s not better or worse. It’s how I handle
the situation. I took a different path than my mother.  And for
me, I think it was the best path.
now life has shifted, I’m a mother with a daughter of my own. What
kind of advice would I give her? Would I tell her of the pain I
experienced? The pain and trauma I dealt with as I held my child for
the first and last time? Or will I just have to let her fly? Let her
test her wings and fly or fall…
I struggled with for years was truly experiencing life. I always felt
the only thing you could do was just get though life. It is still
something I struggle with daily. Something my therapist has tried to
drill into my thick skull, is that I’ve got to step back and enjoy
life. I try too much to juggle everything myself. Personal issues,
personal pain and personal decisions were the balls I was desperate
to keep in the air by myself. I need to learn to step back and savor
everything. What I have accomplished, what gifts I have in life. I
need to relish in the good… I need to, after 28 years…live life. 
I hate that I don’t do that as much as I really should. And I worry
what sort of message it sends to Sami. Life is too short to be
stressed out all the time.
she was barely a year old, I had to make one of the biggest decisions
of her young life. Do I stay in a situation where I was unhappy and
unsafe but where she was in a situation that was comfortable and normal
for her or do I shake up her entire life, change every aspect of it, for
my own sanity? Her second year of life was in upheaval. I moved us to a
new state. I left the man that gave her her last name. I would question
my choices every day. As I walked 4 miles from work  in the Texas
summer heat,  because I couldn’t afford a car, I would this
what she deserves? Is this really the best thing for her? When I would
sit down after payday and look at the paltry amount of money I had to
feed and clothe her, I worried if I would be able to afford to get ahead
in life. 
I did. Slowly, but surely I worked hard to give her everything she
needed. And I realized that I was giving her the best gift ever. A role
model. A woman that loved herself and believed in herself enough to know
when to stand up for herself and when to fight. I chose safety and
happiness over false security. I chose to save my life in order to save
her future. 
push to survive was taking its toll, mentally, physically and
emotionally. I needed to be able to enjoy Sami’s youth.I needed to
relax, but learning to relax is one of the hardest lessons you will
learn in life She is the
gift I’ve struggled with accepting. It is Life’s way of telling me
to slow down and to enjoy what I have.
mother struggled so much during my formative years. To provide for me
and my brothers, to deal with her personal demons and to try to
create a family with so much dysfunction we were falling apart at the
seams. For so many years I blamed her. For my pain and my anger…and
while she was not innocent of all crimes…A lot of the stress, was
because I was already struggling so much with enjoying life. I was
struggling with accepting someone’s love. Looking back I realize
that she truly did love me in her own way. I was just too stubborn
and too confused to understand and accept it and she was too lost to
show it in the healthiest way. Sami deserves better than that, I have to remember to give her that.
am I giving Sami? Can I be that loving, easy-going, laid back mother
I always wanted growing up? Or will I let my frustration, anger and
stress and feelings of inadequacies win over?

gonna Be.
gonna see
what you are to me
gonna fly with every dream you chase
just have to believe things work out like they should
has no guarantees, but always loved by me
gonna be
loved by me
got to show her what she truly is to me. I always struggled with
knowing if my parents loved me or not. Not because they never said
it…not because they were neglectful, but because for some
reason…I could never truly accept that someone could love me.
Because it was so easy to let their anger and pain hit me to the
core.   I want better than that with her. I want her to feel
loved and supported in everything. I want her to be able to chase and
have dreams. And to know that I will always be there for her. 
shows itself in the oddest places.  A friendly neighbor who
watches out for you; a friend that calls out of the blue or a card on
a day where everything seems to be falling apart are all signs we
tend to overlook. She is more than a child to me. She is more than a
point of frustration. She is a sign from Life that I am capable of
giving her everything. She is a gift to show me the true blessings in
life….and she is my greatest test. And for all of that…I will
forever be in debt to her. I just hope I can pay her back for a
portion of the strength she has given to me, and the lessons she has
taught me.

Mamahood Exposed: Being a Mama

Mamahood Exposed continues by asking the question, “What is it to be a Mama?”

Hello Moda Mama readers!  I am really really excited to be guest posting on Joanna’s blog today! I work with Joanna over at RevolutionizeHer and I know in just our short time working together that she is an amazing woman, mother, and role model! I really look up to her and her passions {and fashions!} about motherhood. I feel so honored to be sharing her blog today!

I guess I should introduce myself.  My name is Megan Robinson and I am a wife, mommy, random dance party-er, joker and wannabe yoga master! I blog over at {And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson} and I love it!! I have had my little bloggity-blog for a while but just recently started developing a real passion for it. I like to talk about everything from my family, marriage, my chubby boy and my every day struggles that we can all relate to.

Today, I wanted to share something that I have learned about what it means to be a mother. For a while after my son was born I started really suffering from depression. And my emotions took an even sharper turn south once I started criticizing myself about how I was {or am} as a mother.  I would get even more down when I would listen to how other people seemed to define mothers and their purpose, both with people who don’t have children and other mothers themselves. Obviously we are all in different situations and have different perspectives of what being a mother entails.  But I realized it was important to define what being a mother means to me.

To me, a mother isn’t just someone who has children but someone who cares for, nourishes and appreciates her children’s individually.
To me, a mother doesn’t feel obligated to spend time with and take care of her children. But has an overwhelming desire to nurture her children.
To me, a mother doesn’t just love her children, she enjoys them.
To me, a mother is someone who is there for her children not just physically but psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
To me, a mother doesn’t only teach her children how to learn and grow, but in in the process progresses herself and finds her own fulfillment through her children and learning how to be a mother.
To me, a mother knows who she is aside from being a mother. Being a mother doesn’t limit her but instead stretches her abilities to help her become a stronger and better woman.
Most importantly, a mother isn’t a way to define yourself. It is a way to lead you to something better.

There have been days/weeks/months where it’s really hard for me be the best mom I knew my son deserved.  A lot of times I feel obligated,
I feel emotionally unstable to nurture him,
I feel like I’m just going through the motions to get through the day,
I feel unfulfilled,
I feel limited,
& some days I feel so frustrated that even though I know I love my son, I don’t take the time to fully enjoy his sweet spirit and energetic personality.  Through my process of rediscovery, I have been learning that as I figure out who I am, love myself, and find what helps me feel fulfilled and accomplished, being the mother that I know I want to be and hope to be seems to fall into place.  I have learned what it means to be a true mother and what I need to do to be the mother I want to be for my children. Instead of settling on being the obligated, emotional, limited one.

Thank you again for allowing me to share a personal story with you all! I really hope you all stop by and share some of your stories with me so we can all learn to be the best people we can be together!

Are you a Mama with a story to tell?
Send your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: Lessons In Love

Our children can drive us crazy, but they can also be our saving grace. Here’s Megan from Absolute Mommy with her story.

There is
something to be said for first love.  The
immediate ache in your heart.  When you
know you will never feel this way again. 
With first love you know that no matter  what happens in your life, this moment, this
person, this instant was it for you. 
First love, I thought I knew you. 
I had no idea.

I fell in love
for the first time the day Caitlin was born. 
She isn’t an only child, but it’s that crazy kind of first love. The
kind that makes you stay up all night just to make sure she is still breathing.  Love that makes you do and say the most
ridiculous things.  Things like of course
I’m breastfeeding (I wasn’t); no the night waking doesn’t bother me (smiling
and delusional through exhaustion); and my favorite, of course she sleeps
through the night (with me in the same bed of course).  The kind of love that makes you go to three
different stores in a panic to find the last Buzz Lightyear in stock.  The Buzz Lightyear that is going to make or
break this birthday, which is tomorrow, and you still have 2 dozen cupcakes to
bake.  That crazy first love that makes
you forget you had a life before.   The
kind of love that changes you without your permission.

Four years ago I
became Mom, Mommy, or WAHHHH, I answer to all three.  I was caught between scared out of my mind
and utterly happy.  Labor hadn’t killed
me, so the rest had to be smooth sailing. 
I was ready to tackle this thing called motherhood.  That natural instinct that is in every woman
who becomes a mom.  I had read the books.  I took the childbirth class, and even
properly diapered a doll.  I had bought
the most expensive breast pump on the market, just in case.  I was ready for that little bloody bundle of
joy to be dropped onto my chest… and there she was.  My first love, screaming at the top of her
lungs and mad at the world.  It was just
the beginning.

Caitlin and I
did not enjoy blissful days of early motherhood.  I wanted everything to be perfect.  I tried in vain to breastfeed, over and over
again, until I tearfully gave her a bottle. 
I started pumping because that’s what “good and loving”
mothers do, and hated it and resented it every time.  The less Caitlin slept, the less I slept,
until it was just one continuous day after another.  I think I held her in my arms for 36 hours
straight, because every attempt to lay her down was met with blood curdling
screams.  I was a crazy lady in stained
sweats and dirty hair.  All because I
just wanted to be good.  I just wanted
her to love me back.  I just wanted her
to know that I was in this for the long haul, better or worse, tired or

For months I
struggled to make sense of my failing attempt at motherhood.  I loved her, I was giving my 110%, and still
I felt like I was just subpar.  I drove
myself crazy with trying to be the ‘best’ instead of just focusing on doing my
best.  Through it all, Caitlin could have
given a flying fig newton!  She wanted to
be in my arms.  She just wanted me to
give her a bottle.  She wanted to see my
face as she screamed at 2 am.  She just
wanted me, very much in the same way, I just wanted her.  For better or worse

How odd that I
didn’t recognize unconditional love.  I
know unconditional love.  You don’t grow
up an only child and feel unloved. 
However they were my parents. 
They had the same infatuation and instant love that I now had for
Caitlin.  My husband loves me, and I
believe unconditionally.  My husband
however had a choice.  He chose me.  Caitlin had no choice.  She didn’t get to pick whose uterus seemed
inhabitable.  If so she could have picked
J-Lo or Ann Coulter.  So by the luck of
the draw, she picked me, and somehow she loved me regardless.  

The hardest year
of my life also turned out to be the best year of my life.  It was the journey and the lesson.  Caitlin was a lesson in love.  Her love validated me as a mother.  I had spent a year hating everything I did, focusing
on every failure, but Caitlin’s love was constant.  Caitlin still loved me even though I could
not breastfeed.  She loved me when I
couldn’t take the cry it out sleep method. 
She loved me even when I no longer believed in or loved myself.  It didn’t matter to her whether I was wearing
make-up or had taken a shower.  I was her
mother, and as long as I held her and fed her, and smiled at her, she loved me.  I had read an article once that said
consistency was the key to great parenting. 
For Caitlin and I our only constant that first year was love.

Caitlin’s love
changed me.  It made me realize that no
matter my faults, I’m still deserving of love. 
I still deserved to be happy and enjoy motherhood.  Caitlin became my reason to smile, to try
harder, to love better.  No longer the
self centered only child, I was now her mother. 
I’m sure I will always be her selfless to a fault, over reactive, still
sometimes negative mother.  She started
to sleep longer and more peacefully.  I
put the breast pump in the back of the closet. 
I’ve decided that being perfect isn’t as important as being happy.  So what?   I’m not perfect, she doesn’t expect me to
be.  Her love is, as it was from the
beginning, constant and unwavering.  It’s
through her love that I rediscovered myself, and the mother I’m supposed to
be.  A mother that can relax if we are
eating cereal for dinner.  A mom that can
ignore the Oreo cookie stains.  A mommy
who giggles when she’s covered in popsicles kisses.

lessons in love continue.  Now it’s a
juggle of the “Mommy would you play with me”, and the dishes piled in
the sink.  It’s convincing a four year
old that no matter how quickly Mommy loses her temper, it’s really not her
fault.  It’s the tears in my eyes when
she tells me “Mommy I’m sorry you yelled at me, I love you”.  Yes, she does apologize to me when I lose it
from time to time.  It’s just another
lesson in love, and I’m humbled to be her student.

Are you a Mama with a story to tell?
Email your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: My Two Cents

So far you’ve heard from a lot of fabulous Mamas, and there are more on the way.  Thank you so very much for your honesty!  This series started with a post swap with Mama Marchand’s Musings.  In case you didn’t get around to reading it over there, here it is for you.

You’re pregnant.  You have the nursery all set.  The cute little onesies in a drawer ready to go.  The images of nuzzling your baby in your arms, and craddling your toddler while singing lullabys in a dreamy, misty glamour glow haze fill your head.

“Noooooooo!  Stop pulling the dog’s tail again.”  You rush in to save the poor 10lb furry creature looking at you in desperation from the clutches of peanut butter covered little fingers.  You twist, pin, flip, and otherwise wrestle a wriggling 17 month old into a clean diaper only to realize that she somehow got poop on her sock in the process.  After getting the pants on, the dirty diaper put safely away in the compost, and a fresh pair of socks on her, then you realize you’re still in your PJs – not by choice, just lack of time – and that this only clean pair now also sports a fresh poop stain.  Oh, and did I mention you haven’t eaten, had only two sips of your coffee, and visited the bathroom with an audience because it’s easier than the alternative (a screaming one year old)?

Welcome to Motherhood.

I knew it would be hard.  There’s a reason they say it’s the hardest job on the planet.  But I didn’t expect how much of myself I would have to put aside.  I had to put away my desires and wants from moment to moment and instead become accommodating to the needs of another human being.  If I wanted to read, watch tv, sleep, or shower it didn’t matter.  What mattered was that she needed to be played with, held, burped, changed, fed, etc. etc.  And it’s not like she asks for it, she demands it.  It’s an expectation, a fact, without thanks.  She doesn’t turn to me and say, “Thank you Mama for putting aside showering and desperately needed sleep to get me dressed, changed and fed.”  She just goes about her day like it’s expected.  And that was not what I expected.

There were moments, especially in those early months, where even though I loved her totally and wholly, I resented her.  I resented her for the demands she made on me, the sleep deprivation,  and the difficulty of taking care of her.  It’s normal.  You’re whole life changes, and the life you had up until then is gone.  I think there’s a natural grieving process, and acceptance and understanding of yourself in this new role.  At least that’s the way it was for me.

I also didn’t expect the amazement of watching her grow and learn and discover.  I didn’t expect how satisfied I would be sitting on the couch and cradling her while I stroke her hair.  I didn’t expect the joy I would feel at her pleasure.  I didn’t expect the patience of watching endless episodes of Sesame Street.  I certainly didn’t expect how entertaining and magical it would be to just look at her every single day.

Motherhood, it’s not at all what I expected.

Are you a Mama with a story to tell?  
Email your submission to

Mamahood Exposed: It’s a Marathon Not A Sprint

Sometimes we forget that Mamahood is for the long haul and that in order to finish at the end we have to figure out ways to take breaks.  Here’s Esther’s story. 

Hi there! I am Esther from Lovingly Thrown Together where I blog about my life with two incredibly handsome dudes, recipes, crafts, and some real-life mama stuff. 

I am so happy to be here for this Motherhood Exposed series.


When Joanna first asked me to contribute to the series, 
I wrote this feel-good post about how angelic my son looks 
when I hold him in the middle of the night if he wakes up scared or sick.  
But in proofreading that post I realized that I was painting a picture that truly did not fit my reality. 
So I highlighted the entire thing and quickly hit delete before I could reconsider.


My journey as a mom started on September 21, 2010. 
My son Jacob was born at 11:04am and turned my world upside down (in a good way).
I have since been a stay-at-home mom and work from home part-time as a freelance writer. 
Jacob is a great kid. He’s slept well since the beginning and has always been good with transitions. He plays well and eats well.
But the truth is sometimes how good he is doesn’t really matter 
and I need alone time. Sometimes I need an afternoon of coffee, computer, tv, and a book.
The problem is that when I signed up to be a mom I had to agree to die to myself in every single way. I read once that being a mom is realizing that you don’t matter anymore. 
Your child’s needs come first… all the time.
Let me tell you, 
that becomes exhausting pretty fast.
Sometimes my son is walking around with freshly washed hair, an impeccable pair of pants, 
and a spankin’ new t-shirt. Me? My uniform includes uggs, jeans, and a forgiving long-sleeve tshirt… when I am lucky enough to have gotten out of my pajamas. 
Most days he eats breakfast, snack, and lunch before I even get a sip of my coffee. 
True story.


His needs are at times overwhelming but they need tending to. Yes I scream sometimes 

(and no joke I apologize to him every single time) 
and I cry a lot 
(I don’t apologize for that because usually I feel so much better after a good sob sesh).
When I need breaks, which is pretty often, I have to remind myself to take them. 
I have another cup of coffee, I sit to watch a show, I get a babysitter so my husband 
and I can go out for date night, or we drop him off at his grandparents.

You see, my son is going to be my son forever and ever. I think I better take some breaks now 
so I can finish the race with my sanity (somewhat) intact.

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Mamahood Exposed: Time Off

We can do it all right? We’re selfless, self-sacrificing saints who are always there and never need a break, right?  
Am I right? 

There’s a certain piece of advice for mothers that I’ve always had a very hard time following. It’s crucial to a properly functioning household and without it, all will go berserk.

As mothers we must take time for ourselves.
Plain & simple, right?

For me, not so much. As of late I’ve been in this funk. Just going through the motions and doing my best to maintain my patience with a toddler who insists more and more on asserting her independence and doing things her way. (Hmmm… I wonder where she gets that stubbornness from?) I became increasingly more and more stressed until I just broke down.


I was picking up toys after I tried (and failed miserably for the 4th day in a row) to put Alea down for her nap and Cory got her down in ten minutes, maybe less. I just started crying and poured my heart out and let all my frustrations out while Cory listened on with wide eyes.

He replied with: “Maybe you should take next weekend off.”

And this is just proof how bad I needed it. I thought twice. I hesitated. It took just a little more convincing, but I agreed.

Even just having some mommy-time-off to look forward to can put a little more pep in your step. I’ve been doing a lot better this week just knowing that some me-time is on the horizon. I just have to make it through a couple more days and I can take a deep breath and regroup.

What will I be doing with this time off you ask? Staying at my mom’s. Sleeping in. Uninterrupted homework and blogging time. Reading. Meeting a friend for coffee and most importantly, enjoying the peace and quiet.

The moral of this (somewhat pathetic) tale is that as mama’s, we need to remember that in order to be there for our families, we need to be there for ourselves as well.

So, take some time away. Get your hair done, wander aimlessly around Target or take yourself out for a cup of coffee.

Take time to reflect on the wonderful mother you are and how much more you can be there for your family by giving yourself time to reboot. You won’t regret it!

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Mamahood Exposed: To Laugh

Sometimes we take our role as Mamas very seriously, and sometimes you just gotta throw your hands in the air and say, “To heck with it!”

Hey there, I’m Beth and I blog at Through the Eyes of the Mrs.  I’m a mother to three ages five, three and two.  You could say I’m a pretty busy person. I try to do it all and usually have a breakdown once a month. You know how it is? We are expected to be super hero’s.  It’s tough to meet every one’s expectations.
So today instead of telling you how I do it all.  I’m going to let you see how imperfect I am and let you know it’s okay.  We are our biggest critics and sometimes we need to give ourselves a break.We can’t always do it all and it’s okay to laugh at ourselves.
 Did someone say Cheerios? Whoops I think she got carried away.  All the while I’m desperately trying to finish the dishes.  What are you going to do?  
Call the dog and grab the vacuum.

Yes he wore two different colored flip flops.  Even though I say I have eyes everywhere we both know that isn’t true.  Let me tell you about another shoe story in the summer.  We had a busy day and last minute decided to go and grab dinner.  We arrived at the restaurant and realized our oldest wasn’t wearing shoes.  
Yes, these are the things that happen to me.

 Brianna with her worm friend.  She held onto him while spending an afternoon outside.  Sadly this is the only picture we have of her with her wormy.  Right after I took this she decided to eat him.  Now what kind of mother allows her daughter to eat a worm?  I will tell you… A speechless one!
Who dressed this poor boy for preschool?  Well his entire class realized he was a size 5/6.
I felt terrible but at least he was wearing underwear.  
Of course he didn’t care, not one bit.  Harmless mistakes happen. 

I’ve decided I should never walk out of a room.  The kids covered our golden in their macaroni and cheese.  The sad part was she was trying desperately to have a bite.  
Needless to say she needed a bath.

I guess I shouldn’t have left the butter on the counter after breakfast. Note to self, a two year old will wash their hair with butter.  It is the worst to try to get out of their hair.  Especially if it hadn’t been brushed yet.  
Guard your butter!
If you spend a lot of time on a cake just spare yourself the trouble.  Give them a piece!
Never say “don’t touch the cake it’s for after dinner.”
Do yourselves a favor and listen to this important message.
Just buy stock in Kleenex already.
I’m sure this is a regular occurrence in every house with toddlers.
Now most of these are cell phone pictures but you get the idea.
We have to laugh and quit being so tough on ourselves.  No one is perfect and mothers have a tough job.  Face it we are all pretty amazing!

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Mamahood Exposed: Hearts Outside Ourselves

This beautiful poetic piece from Melissa of Mama STYLE shows exactly the pain and joy all Mamas feel, all the time.
Mama hood…if there was ever a ‘hood I wanted to be in, it was
that one.  In the mama hood, with my
little bebe in one arm, and his/her daddy in the other.  We tried.  We were successful.  We grew
that baby from pea to pumpkin and when the clock struck 16:16 on December 21st,
2009 my little pea entered the whole and my heart shattered in a million
An emotional explosion occurred, and through my morphine
high, I tried to gather up the pieces of my heart: joy, worry, pain, pride,
hesitation…everything. I tried to stuff it all back in where it was safe…to
where I wouldn’t have to worry; to worry about this life…this sweet little soul
who was now mine forever.  As day grew
into night, and the hospital filled with dim grey light, and no one was around
but our little family, I knew it wasn’t possible. My heart would never, could
never, be the same.  My heart does not
beat for me anymore, it beats for him. 
At times the emotions were choking, I thought I was
prepared…I wasn’t.  I wanted more time,
I was overwhelmed.  Regretful that our
lives were now rushing on and slowing down wasn’t possible.  I wanted time to stand still…I pictured
myself in a room, frozen, with little balls floating around me, the pieces of
my shattered heart. I wanted so badly to capture them and make peace with every
one of them.  I wanted to make sure that
I was going to make this journey in the ‘hood. 
I wanted relief, safety, hope…it didn’t happen. Well, not all at
once.  Physically, I made it through;
while my vision clouded in an emotional fog. 
Slowly, while they didn’t make back into my heart, they exist along with
me, surrounding me, letting me know that things will be okay.  The jagged shock of it all slowly began grounding
down into softness, allowing me to breathe, to live and accept that I can, and
will, do this.  My life would never be
the same I can’t go back. I won’t go back. Our life, our future…now that the
fog has lifted; it’s bright and sunny out there.
Like two tectonic plates, my life was shifted.  It was sudden and I had no idea, zero
preparation for that emotional attack, and I know that I never, ever, want to
be in that state of mind again.  But as
I watch my sweet boy grow, I’m grateful for every tear that I spilled…every
question I had…grateful because without it all, I wouldn’t have him.  It was my path that led to a mountain and
I’m proud to be at the other side.

The quote isn’t the happiest…but it’s one of the
truest I’ve read.  “Through the
blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did –
that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions,
whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in
the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not
designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just
that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” (Debra

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Mamahood Exposed: Seeking Answers

When our children are aching we ache with them, and when they struggle we struggle with them.  Here’s one woman’s struggle.
Hi everyone!  I am so happy that Joanna asked me to be a part of her motherhood series here on ModaMama!  I love her blog, and I look forward to connecting to other mommy bloggers!

First, a quick introduction.My name is Lena and I blog over at Mom2MemphisAndRuby.  I am a mom of two, married to a great guy & living in a small farming community in Quebec, Canada.  Ruby is our spunky 4 year old drama queen, in a nutshell.  She takes ballet
& loves it!  She’s a bit of a diva, but is also very sweet
& quite artsy. And hilarious!  She comes out with the strangest things!  She loves sugar, the color pink and anything that sparkles…She is definitely a free-spirit and keeps us on
our toes!  My son Memphis is 6 years old, very bright, charming, funny… and has very recently been diagnosed with ADHD… this is where my journey through motherhood took a turn I hadn’t expected it to…
You see, Memphis is our first.  To us, he is {and always has been} perfect.  Sure, there were signs that he was a little “different” ever since he was a baby, but we chalked these up to being little “quirks” that were just part of his personality.
He was a very content baby & young child.  He rarely fussed or cried.  He could sit & stare at books for hours.  Very independent & well liked by other children.  He was always happy, gentle & well-mannered.
He has never been good at maintaining eye contact.  When he was younger, he was very “OCD-ish”… everything had it’s place. And although he has sort of outgrown this, routines are still very important to him.  Everything needs to feel like it his idea or done his way.  He’s not spoiled.  It’s hard to explain, but it’s like he can’t move forward until his has thought everything through.  Everything!  And then, only then, can he continue.
These “quirks”  were always “there.”  But he was thriving and functioning well.  We thought he was a very well adjusted little boy.
The winter he turned four is when things started to get a little “crazy” for us.  All of a sudden he was exhibiting aggressive behaviors with other children & staff at the daycare he has attended since he was barely 10 months old.
He was still acting mostly like his normal self at home, so to be honest, my husband and I thought there were factors at the daycare that were influencing his behavior.  We know that there was a little boy he didn’t get along with, part of us felt like he had been bullied (yes, at four!) and decided to put his foot down.  It wasn’t an excuse, we didn’t condone his behavior, but it was a way to explain what was happening.  We worked with the daycare very closely, we maintained very similar routines and discipline tactics and thinks were going better at daycare and we thought the worst was behind us.
Then last May, he snapped.
I can’t explain it any other way.  One day, something {I wish I could tell you what, but I still have no idea} upset him and he flew into a rage.  He was screaming horrible things, crying, throwing things, threatening to hurt us.  Nothing we could do or say would make him stop.  I broke down… he saw me crying and just cringed.  He started crying even more, apologizing, saying he didn’t know why he was feeling that way.  It broke our hearts.  It scared us since we’d never seen him that way before.

At this point, we knew something was wrong.  From that day on, things weren’t the same.  His moods could shift at any moment and go from 0 to 60 in a split second.  We tried identifying triggers, but it seemed impossible.  We noticed he became a lot more restless.  If he wasn’t focusing on something, then he was bouncing off the walls.
My husband & I were at the end of our ropes.  The feeling of not being able to help your kid is something that breaks your heart day after day.  I wasn’t sleeping, and my husband was heading towards a depression… I’m sure of it.  My friends & family were worried for us.  I was too worried about Memphis to think too much about how it was affecting me, and the rest of my family.  Happily, we have an amazing support system… they’ve got our backs.

Just before starting kindergarten this summer, we met with the school to explain what we were going through.  They were happy to have been given an advanced warning…and I’m so glad we had that meeting.
Since then, Memphis has had a lot of difficulties at school.  Academically, he’s thriving.  He really is a bit of a smarty pants.  We’ve called him our little professor and our human database for years!  But socially, he’s having a very hard time.  Again, if things don’t go “his way” he has a hard time functioning.  Noise seems to be a trigger as well… he has a lot of problems during recess and lunch hour in the cafeteria.

The teachers & aides are amazing.  The Principal has gone above & beyond to help him, to help us, and I’ll be forever grateful.  Even prior to his recent diagnosis (read about that here), an extra aide was hired to help him in class and a little room was built especially for him… a place to go & calm down before things get out of hand.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably Googled these symptoms & behaviours.  Aspergers, on the autism spectrum, is what jumps out at us the most…but maybe that’s not it.  We don’t know yet.
We have started Memphis on medication for the ADHD.  We had exhausted every other measure.  Having him home over the holidays has been a blessing.  We are monitoring his prescription and giving him the lowest dose possible that helps him focus, & function well during the day.

The hope is once the ADHD is under control, a complete psych evaluation can be done. {since the hyperactivity has subsided since he’s been on the meds, we’re noticing more extreme version of those little “quirks” he’s already had}  With all his “quirks” we are pretty sure there are underlying issues that need to be addressed.
I wish I could have fit our story into a simpler, shorter post… I thank you if you’ve made it this far.  It is a relief for me to be able to talk openly about our recent struggles with Memphis.  I have made friends with many women who have gone through similar situations with their children, and knowing that we’re not the first family to go through this provides tremendous comfort.

Being a mother is something I always wanted to be.  I never thought it would be this difficult this early on.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way… he is ours, and he is perfect.
We are happy, we are optimistic.  We are in a better place now since his diagnosis.  We look forward to a day when we have “all the answers” but until then we’ll take it one day at a time!
Thanks again, Joanna for inviting me to share my story on ModaMama.

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