Category :Mamahood Exposed

Mamahood Exposed: She Saved My Life

You fall in love, get married and have babies, and everything is perfectly arranged like that right?  Wrong, things don’t ever go as we planned, but that doesn’t mean things can’t be amazing…

Hi, I’m Liz. I blog over at, The Blue Eyed Owl, about all things vintage, handmade and my life as mom, wife and indie business owner. Since my blog is more business centered I have yet to tell the story of my journey to motherhood with any of my readers. It was very therapeutic to write about this and I have a feeling I’ll be sharing more of my life on my blog as a result. Here is my story…

My daughter saved my life.
I was quiet in high school, introverted. I had extremely low self-esteem. I had popular friends and was with that crowd, but never really in it. I tested my limits. I did everything I could to escape. I had a supportive, loving family, but I pushed them away. My parents did their best with me, but it was clear I needed to figure life out on my own. 

I was smart, in AP and honors classes, but I far from reached my potential. I “Cliff Notes’d” my way through those classes and was the Queen of BS essays. By some miracle, I managed to graduate with honors and a scholastic diploma and was accepted to every university I applied to. I chose Arizona State. It was close to home. I wanted a new beginning, but was terrified to leave my comfort zone.
I thought graduation was a fresh start. I was going to take control of my life and do something great, the new me. Enter…the boy.

The summer before I started at ASU, I was introduced to a boy who would end up being the best and worst thing that ever happened to me. He had a cool car, cool friends and was a master manipulator. I was hooked. He had never had a girlfriend before. I thought I was special. It turns out I was just the only girl who had ever fallen for his act. I was putty in his hands. 

To this day I don’t understand how I stayed with someone so emotionally abusive, controlling, jealous, and terrifying. My friends tried to talk sense into me. They went to my parents and asked them to forbid me from seeing him. My parents knew better. I was 18 and I was rebelling and had blinders on when it came to this boy. They needed to stay close, so they could protect me. I cried more tears my freshman year of college than I had my whole life prior. I drowned my sorrows and escaped with alcohol and partying. I was on a fast track to nowhere. I should have been in jail or even dead. It was the darkest time in my life and there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
In the fall of my sophomore year, I found out I was pregnant. The boy accused me of cheating and said it wasn’t his. He left and went out with his friends and didn’t come back for days. I was on my own.
I made a decision right there and then that I was better than this. This baby, no bigger than an apple seed, saved me. I stopped drinking and smoking and lived a healthy lifestyle. I chose a major, elementary education. I reconnected with my family and eventually moved back home. I worked full time waiting tables, went to school full time and was pregnant. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
The boy went to jail. He had been hiding several arrests from me and was gone. 

On July 15, 2004 my Bailey was born. She almost died. God still wasn’t sure if I deserved her. Her heart stopped, and she was ripped from me via emergency c-section. The prayers that came from that OR and that waiting room convinced Him. This child was needed more on Earth than in Heaven. 

She was healthy and happy. I was even more determined to be good for her. After a rocky year of trying to involve the boy in her life and have a “real” family, I gave up. We had my family and his family, but he would never change. 

Bailey was raised by a village. I went back to school a month after my c-section with a handicapped parking pass and a breast pump. Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and friends gave Bailey more love than any traditional family could have. It turned out she didn’t only save me, but my whole family.

For 18 months I didn’t even consider another relationship. It wasn’t until I was okay with myself that I could even fathom it. One day I realized, I was a great person. I was proud of myself for the first time of my life. This child made me see that I deserved to be happy.

Enter…the man. I met Matt when Bailey was two. I’ll spare you the details but trust me when I say he is OUR soul mate. I was so worried that Bailey would never have a “real” family. She has so much more. 
 I continue to live every day for her and my future children, but more importantly, for myself.
 My daughter saved my life.

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

Mamahood Exposed: Regrets

Hey guys, my Mamahood Exposed series – the good, the bad, the hilarious – continues today with a fabulous post from Michelle of The Momma Bird.  She’s absolutely wonderful, and I especially like how open she is about her regrets and choices.  Enjoy!

Before my 1st was born I made sure I read ALL the books. BabyWise, What To Expect During the First Year, Baby Whisperer…and the list goes on. I had been around kids my entire life but I didn’t have a clue about schedules, growth spurts, eating habits, nursing problems, baby blues. I was excited and nervous about having this baby.


When little C was born nothing went how I thought it would. While in the hospital I made sure to let him sleep in the nursery at night in-between feedings. When we got home I made sure to follow those books to a ‘T’. I didn’t hold him all the time. I kept him on a strict schedule. I documented all of his pees & poos. I timed his feedings. I timed the time in-between his feedings. I didn’t nap with him. I made sure he had lots of tummy time. I put him to sleep without rocking. I swaddled him up. I didn’t give him a paci. I was doing what I thought was best for him…..


Week 2 of little C’s life was hard for him & me. I had some slight baby blues, he HATED being swaddled, nursing was really hard for both of us (he would only nurse with a shield) and he was already in his own room. (we slept on the floor of his room during this wk bc family was in town and had our room) I remember one day during a late night feeding just crying, silently as to not wake my sleeping husband next to us, because it felt like the whole world was my responsibility now. After a few days that weight was lifted a little bit, but those first few months were hard.

I was able to be home with little C until he was 4.5 months old. I kept with my rules. No napping together unless sick. No holding all the time. Practice independent play. I did break on some of them – he hated to be swaddled and wanted rocked & nursed to sleep. I figured it was okay to do since it was the only way he’d sleep. I did break this habit at 6 months and he would only get rocked to sleep on rare occasions after that.

I regret so much of my parenting during that time with C. I look back and feel like I was so distant. Not that I didn’t cuddle & snuggle with him – or love him to pieces – I absolutely did! I just wish I would have taken naps with him. I wish I would have held him close as much as I possible. I wish I would have snuck him into bed with us on random nights to hold him close and smell his sweet baby-ness. I wish I could have stayed home with him & not gone back to work. I wish I knew how fast they grow up and that every moment is so special.

So now when C wants to ‘lay with me mommy” before he falls asleep, I gladly climb in next to him. When C wants to “sit with me mommy” while watching his favorite cartoons, I smile and plop him in my lap. I steal cuddles every chance I get, I swap eskimo & butterfly kisses when he lets me, and I praise God that I still get these little moments with him before he gets old enough to not want them anymore.

What is your biggest regret in parenting? 

Are you an Mama with  a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to joanna.haughton{at}hotmail{dot}com. 

Mamahood Exposed: Good, Bad, Ugly, And Funny

Here’s an uplifting post in the continuing series about Mamahood.

Good Day Moda Mama Readers!!!! 

I’m Hanna from {bouffe e bambini}. I am honored to be here today guest posting about MOTHERHOOD!!!!!!


Because it has changed my life in every way I can possibly imagine!!!!

I have two children. Milton is 2 and Ginger is 11 months. They are 13 months apart. I was literally pregnant for 2 years straight. That is a post all unto itself. 

Lets start with 


I have realized that I have COMPLETELY changed and I mean completely. The moment I laid eyes on my sweet baby boy my whole universe changed, everything inside me changed. Suddenly there was no way I could ever find anything to complain about or be grumpy about. I was over filled with JOY and GRATITUDE. It was amazing. It literally happened in a single instant. The way I acted my entire 30 years of life completely changed in a split second. Now, I find myself updating my facebook status everyday about how grateful I am and ordering T-shirts that say things like “YES!!” and “LOVE IS FREE”. I’m just happy, truly happy! I think I drive my husband crazy half the time with my ridiculously happy outlook on everything!!! HA!!!


Having children was a revelation for me. Immediately I thought to myself, “What was I doing with my life before I had kids?” For me having children has been the single most important, amazing, life altering experience I’ve ever had. Suddenly I knew my purpose. I knew what I was always meant to do. I was full. All those unanswered questions  about what I should really be doing with my life were answered in an instant. I WAS MEANT TO BE A MOTHER. period.

I feel like my life just only truly began with the birth of my kids.  I love it. I love my life. I love that God gave me these beautiful little beings who changed me forever in the best way I can imagine. They gave me the true meaning of my life. They let me experience the true meaning of real joy.


Honestly there isn’t that much. For me the bad is having to work full time and that time I have to spend away from children. It literally breaks my heart every single night when I walk out that door for work. If I could, I would be a stay at home mother in an instant. Unfortunately, financially right now it’s not possible for us. I am very thankful that my husband stays home with them while they are still young and we do not send them to daycare. VERY GRATEFUL!

When they are sick it’s bad. It kills me to see them suffer. I would give both arms and legs to heal my babies pain. 


  I was a big advocate for natural childbirth for myself and thankfully I was able to have them both 100% drug free. That being said, boy was I in for the shock of my life when I went into full fledged labor. There is no way to possibly explain the intensity of the pain to anyone unless they have gone through it themselves. I was in labor with my son for 17 hours and by the time he was crowning I was SURE I was dying. I was begging the docs to cut  me. I laugh about it now but holy moly….all I can say it that is one hell of an experience. 

So with my daughter, I started getting really bad anxiety at about 6 months pregnant because of the pain. I knew how bad it was going to hurt but luckily she came out 2 hours and 16 minuets after my first contraction so it was more manageable but still hurt just as bad. 

So, the natural birthing process for me was amazing but not as touchy, feely and wonderful as I thought it would be. When my son came out I was so exhausted and in so much pain I could hardly even look at him. 

I think because I am a nurse I am used to dealing with much more disgusting things than my kids could ever bring on:)  A few weeks ago they both had the stomach flu at the same time and I have never been so exhausted in all my life. I was literally running to wash all the crib sheets in the  house as fast as possible because they both still sleep in a crib and they were projectile vomiting everywhere. ALL OVER ME, THE CARPET, THE CRIBS…EVERYWHERE. 

It was definitely ugly!!!! 


For me this is mainly the state in which my house and my mind are left on a daily basis. My house literally looks like a bomb went off in it 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 

DO I clean? 

Of course. In fact CONSTANTLY!!! It is never ending. I am loading dirty dishes in and they are talking them out as I’m doing it. There is no hope in this department so I just have to laugh and I warn every guests that ever comes here about the MESS that children bring. 

I laugh when I find a dirty diaper rolled up in my jacket pocket and 4 smashed crackers. I felt like with the first baby I really had it together. I was organized; on top of it and now it’s just survival!!!! So there are many comical moments.

Thank you so much for having me today!!!! It is such an honor to share my family with you!!! Honestly these children have made me the person I have always wanted to be; strived to be. 

They are my everything; hands down the most important thing I have ever done and will ever do!!!! 

Please feel free to come visit me anytime. I love new friends!!

Are you a Mama with  a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to joanna.haughton{at}hotmail{dot}com. 

Mamahood Exposed: One And Done

Hey guys, Mamahood Expose continues with Katie from Hems For Her writing about her choice to have one child.  When I read this piece I was very moved, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.  Katie’s vulnerability and honesty is beautiful, and I appreciate her sharing this so much!
I slept through the most important text
and phone call of my best friend’s life. When I awoke from the midday nap, I
had a missed call, a voicemail, and a text message. The message was attached to
a cell phone snapshot of a positive pregnancy test, and before I could be happy
for her, I was relieved that it wasn’t me.
My entire life I planned to have two
kids, separated by just a couple of years, just like me and my sister. It was going
to be the perfect little nuclear family. When I started dating my high school
boyfriend (and now husband of eight years), he, very early in the relationship,
told me he had his first-born son’s name already selected. Sean Logan. It rolled nicely off the tongue. “Why Sean Logan?” I
asked already imagining what our child would look like. He was incredulous,
“Ummm, Sean after the best James Bond, Sean Connery, and Logan because that’s
Wolverine’s real name.” Ah, the mind of a 17-year-old male virgin.
Fast-forward ten years, and we begin to
plan in earnest for our family. I started tracking my cycle and taking my folic
acid, and then, on the very first try, it happened- I got pregnant! It wasn’t a
great pregnancy. I didn’t glow; I broke out (everywhere). I was nauseated all
the time. I had terribly heartburn and worse hemorrhoids. I once bought myself
a whole ice cream cake as a reward for finally being able to insert a hemorrhoidal
suppository where the sun don’t shine. I was riddled with anxiety- the kind that
affects both your sleep and your bowels. But I was happy. I was having a baby!
One down, one to go.

When we found out we were having a boy
(still Sean Logan after ten years), we excitedly decorated a nursery and begin
stocking up on dinosaur and sports-themed onesies. My labor, while drawn out
over 12 hours, was a positive experience and I was thrilled when I finally
pushed Sean out into the world we had prepared for him. But then something
strange happened. They had to make me hold him. Here he was perfect and
beautiful and all mine, and I didn’t even want to hold him. I know much has
been written about mother-infant bonding, but this was more than that. This was
terrifying. I had to take two tests to get my driver’s license as a teen, but
they were just going to let me take this tiny creature home. I didn’t even know
how to change a diaper and now I’m in charge of his well-being. Bad idea.

Nights were the worst. I was severely
sleep-deprived, nursing around the clock, and documenting every poop, pee and breastfeed
fastidiously in a notebook I carried around at all times. I was insane. I knew
all about post-partum depression. I was already on Zoloft. But I was not
functioning. If the poop wasn’t the creamy mustard-colored as indicated in What to Expect, I started looking up
what terrible diseases must by lurking within my beautiful infant. I even
packed up a dirty diaper in a Ziploc bag and rushed him to the pediatrician
once. She pulled my mother and husband aside and sweetly suggested they hide my
One night I convinced myself I had a
blood clot in my right leg and death was imminent. I cried the entire trip to
the emergency room convinced I would never return home to my son, but relieved
because he’d probably be better off without me. After hours in the ER, a full
physical and an ultrasound of my leg, my doctor diagnosed me with a leg cramp
and prescribed “sleep.” When I would try to sleep, I had aural hallucinations.
I would hear my baby crying in my dreams. I would bolt out of bed, heart
pounding, to check his breathing. Days when I was alone with him, he stayed in
a diaper and nothing more. I was too scared to pull a onesie over his big melon
head and floppy neck. 
He cried. And cried. And cried. For the
first three months it seemed like he never stopped crying. What was I doing
wrong? Back to the books (I found them hidden behind the television). He was
going to die I just knew it. One day I could do nothing to soothe him. I was
alone and it wasn’t even lunch time. I cried. Finally, desperate and feeling
like I might be losing my mind, I called my husband and told him, “I am putting
in my ear plugs and getting in the shower. Sean will be in his crib. I am
staying in the shower until you come home. I can’t take it anymore.” He rushed
I never wanted to hurt my child. I loved
him more than life itself. I only wanted him to be safe and healthy. I wanted
to stop feeling crazy. I wanted to run away and never come back because I knew
he would be better off without me. I increased my Zoloft. Time passed. He slept
longer at night. I slept longer. I went back to work. He went to daycare. I
begin to be able to enjoy being a mom and having a son. I still wanted to rush
him to the pediatrician anytime he presented with a fever or the sniffles, but
my husband was able to calm me down.

People began asking, “When are you going
to have the next one?”; “Don’t you want to give Sean a baby sister?”; “It’s
about time for another one, don’t you think?” I tried to brush the question off
with vague answers and knowing smiles, but deep down I already knew I was ever
going to have another child.  I had no
desire to have another child. One and I was done. I never ever ever wanted to
go through the hell that was a newborn baby again.
They said, “Oh, you’ll forget the pain.
You’ll forget the sleepless nights. Just wait till you hold someone else’s
baby, then those ovaries will start aching.” I don’t want to hold other
people’s babies. And I can promise you I will never forget the sleepless nights
and the insanity that consumed my life.
Within a year of Sean’s birth I wanted
my husband to have a vasectomy, but he gently refused- not so much out of penis
fear, but because he hoped I would change my mind. I waited and smiled
obligingly at infants that didn’t belong to me. I congratulated people with
they announced the “good news”. I tried to avoid telling them about my personal
experience since it was a little too real. Expectant mothers don’t want to hear
about how I pretty much lost my mind and have spent years begging my husband to
sever his vas deferens. They want to hear about how wonderful having a baby,
not about night terrors and crying in the shower. They want rainbows and
butterflies and I can’t give them that. So I choose to stay quiet and nod when
appropriate and smile when necessary.
Over the summer, I chose to have a
Mirena IUD inserted. This means I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant
until 2016. I will be 35 years old. Sean will be 9 years old. As I lay on the
table, my legs in stirrups, I thought to myself, “This is it. I will never have
another baby. I will never feel that flutter of life within my womb. I will
never labor for hours. Sean will never have a little brother of sister.” And I
felt just fine about it. I can always change my mind. The IUD could be taken
out in five minutes. I could start tracking my ovulation again. But I don’t
want to. Why is there something wrong with that?

I have been told I am selfish for not
wanting to have another child. I have been told it’s unfair to deny Sean a
sibling. I have been told only children are awful children. I have been told
the second one is easier than the first. I am still pestered all the time,
“Isn’t it about time you had another baby, Katie?”
Before I was scared to tell them the
truth. That having a child made me crazy (or crazier than I was before). That
the idea of a newborn in the house fills me with such dread I physically feel
sick. That I couldn’t emotionally handle another child. I didn’t want to tell
them these things because they judge and cluck their tongues at me like
something is wrong with me. For a long time, this made me feel like a terrible
mom or less of a woman.
Now I just tell them, “Nope! One and

Are you a Mama with  a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to joanna.haughton{at}hotmail{dot}com. 

Mamahood Exposed: Not Baby People

Honesty about Mamahood begins today with Tricia of Mama Marchand Musings.  She’s awesome, so enjoy! Check out my post on the subject here on Mama Marchand’s Musings!

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You may have read the books {like me}, taken the childbirth classes {like me}, and thought you knew everything there was to know about nursing, sleep, schedules, and bodily functions. However, from that first moment when the doctor hands you your firstborn, your preconceptions of motherhood are blown to bits.
Honesty is hard to come by once you become a mama … at least, that’s what I’ve discovered. Why are we so set on keeping appearances? Who does it benefit? NOT the mama who is trying to hold back her tears while keeping a happy face and saying “I love every second of being a mom.” NOT the mama she’s actually talking to who is probably trying to hold back her tears (and probably a snarky comment) while thinking “she’s either lying or on medication.” NOT the mama eavesdropping on the conversation trying to hold back HER tears while thinking “am I THE ONLY MOM ALIVE who thinks this is hard?”

Being a mama is hard.
Someone told me early on that the first is the hardest because that firstborn makes you a mama. That firstborn interrupts your fancy-free married life and gives you less sleep, less money, and less time to yourself. That firstborn causes you to plan like you’ve never planned before {or live in utter chaos, if not}. That firstborn causes you more stress, more anxiety, and {sometimes} more tears than any other person in your life. 
It’s totally true. Adding the second just grows your family. The first takes your life and shakes it like a snow globe. My life was shaken when we had our daughter but I would NEVER go back and change our decision to start a family. She brings me so much joy and I never realized I had the capacity to love someone like I love my girl. 

Truthfully, we’re not BABY people but we are, most definitely, TODDLER people. Once our daughter hit the toddler stage, we were good to go. I LOVE that she can communicate with me now and my heart oozes into a puddle on the floor when she hugs me and tell me she loves me.

If you’re ready for some more honesty from this mama, stop by my blog, Mama Marchand’s Musings. It’s filled with musings about mamahood, marriage, faith, life, health, and fashion. Thanks for reading!

Are you a Mama with  a story to tell?  
Send in your submission to joanna.haughton{at}hotmail{dot}com. 

Mamahood Exposed: Introduction

My journey as a Mama has been an eventful one.  Sometimes it’s been really hard and I wanted anything to take it all back, and sometimes it’s been really wonderful and I couldn’t get enough.  There are good days and bad days, and all sorts of days in between.  And tomorrow I’m starting a series where every few days Mamas of all walks of life will share their thoughts, experiences, and journey….their stories.  It’s called Mamahood Exposed.

I was tired of reading all the Mama bloggers out there who always have such wonderful things to say.  They seem to have the perfect lives: they have angelic children, make gourmet cupcakes, run a business, have the perfect marriage, fly, leap tall buildings in a single bound and do it all without a hair out of place.  It made me wonder what was I doing wrong?  How could I suck this much at it?  I love my baby but what the heck is this secret that these women have?  Then I realized it’s not a secret, it’s editing.

They just don’t mention the crappy parts like the time you’re crying in the shower because you’re just overwhelmed by it all, or the time you wonder how long it’s legal to ignore your crying baby in a crib ’cause you just want some more sleep this time, or the stresses in any relationship caused by the massive responsibility of parenting.  No one talks about that.  They just blog about the delicious roast chicken that night, not the fact that the roast chicken ended up being thrown on the floor by a frustrated mama or frustrated toddler – take your pick.

So here’s a  a series from open, honest and vulnerable women.  Women who are amazing mothers, and amazing people, and who sometimes suck at it too.  Because the truth is no one gets it right all the time, and the sooner we say it’s okay to have days that suck, and it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to get it wrong, the better we’ll all be.

Some of the stories are light and some are heavy, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, but all are honest, all give you a glimpse into the woman, and all are unique. I hope you enjoy it.

To the women who have contributed, and who continue to contribute, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with your story.

You amaze me.

Happy New Year!

Top – hand me down; Dress – Ruche; Tights – Hue; Shoes – Payless.

Hope you all had a great night!  Husband and I stayed in yesterday and had a totally lazy day.  It was wonderful!  We spent New Years Eve drinking red wine, eating chocolate and I even did some sewing played Zelda on the Wii.  I know, we’re absolutely wild!  Wild, I tell you!

It’s a New Year and it’s a fresh start.  I’ve definitely got some goals this year, and I’m hoping I’ll achieve them, but as they say, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”  So we’ll see where I’ll be this time next year.  But one thing that I’m committed to this year in this blog is fun!  Hope you’ll join me!  I’m excited to introduce a new regular post to you on Saturdays, stay tuned for that.

About mid-January I’m running a new series about Mamahood.  I’ve got some great Mama bloggers lined up to share with you their journey in Mamahood – the truth and nothing but the truth.  You’ll hear about the good things and the bad things – all cards on the table.  Hopefully, you’ll see yourself in this and realize that you’re not alone.  I certainly find it reassuring that other women have the same thoughts that I do.  It’s often dis-heartening to me to read about Mama bloggers who love every minute and never have a bad thought or experience. It makes me wonder, “What’s wrong with me?  Why don’t I love every single second? Am I a bad mother/woman?”  But hearing some of these women’s stories makes me realize that I’m not alone.  It’s not all cupcakes and butterfly kisses.  It’s also temper tantrums, sleeplessness and wanting to pull your hair out.  So I look forward to reading and sharing these women’s true stories of Mamahood. Keep an eye out for that mid-January.

And I’m so glad I got a sewing machine. Yes, Andrew  *it’s time he got a name since he’s always bugging me to be in the blog I no longer have to protect his privacy* bought me one for my birthday and I’ll show you that beauty soon.  I’m glad not just because I’m excited to get better at making my own stuff, but also because this dress above is starting to fray.  I’ve worn and abused it so much that it’s starting to show the results of my loving wear.  So, I guess I’ll be fixing that up real soon!

Quote of Today:
“You won’t give her another cookie, but you’ll give her alcohol?”

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