All Articles Tagged "motherhood"
Ring? Check. Career? Check. Baby? Not so fast. Having a baby is a huge commitment, and definitely not one to be taken lightly. It is important that you and your significant other are on the same page when it comes to parenting styles and that you as a woman are ready to shift into motherhood mode.
Before the baby bump, now is the time to go on that exotic vacation, drive that sports car and drink as much wine as possible.
Make sure that bucket list gets a few more checks before your life becomes all about that little bundle of joy, and enjoy your partner as much as possible while it’s still just the two of you. Check out our checklist of 20 things to do before having a baby.
Read more life before motherhood at StyleBlazer.com
People always question whether or not it’s possible to love unconditionally, but actress Tia Mowry says that’s exactly what becoming a mother taught her how to do.
“I really learned what unconditional love is and really was,” Tia told The Jasmine Brand. “If my husband was cooking and he had a raw egg in his hand and it fell on the floor, I would be like ‘What the hell?!’ but if my son did that, I would be like, ‘Aww baby that’s okay, that’s alright honey we’ll pick it up’. So you learn how to love unconditionally and I’ve been applying that to my everyday life so that’s what I’ve learned.”
Speaking of love, the former “Game” actress also said that losing love is one of her biggest fears.
“One of my biggest fears would have to be to not be loved,” Tia revealed. “I think love, when you’re in love, when you are loved, it’s definitely a piece of heaven and when that’s taken away from you it’s really not a good thing.
So, I fear that the world would lose love, stop learning how to love unconditionally, stop learning how to love all races, all socio-economical statuses, all sexual preferences, that’s my fear—that this world will turn into a world full of hate because love is amazing and it’s beautiful.”
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise
In 2011, The United States Breastfeeding Committee (yes, this is a real group) made August National Breastfeeding Month. As a mom who has breastfed two children, I am excited about the month-long celebration of breastfeeding. And though online activism is one of the best ways to share information and be an active advocate, when I explore some social media sites and online forums, I notice that there are breastfeeding moms who shame formula feeding moms and call them “selfish” and “ignorant.” This unfortunate name-calling undermines the importance of promoting breastfeeding. Advocating for the benefits of breast milk can and should be done without bashing other mothers in the process.
It is not okay to attack formula feeding moms because some women have no choice but to use formula for various reasons. Some women use formula to some degree due to serious illness, medications, or unsolvable lactation issues. Other moms cut nursing short or supplement with formula because they are returning to a work environment that is not conducive to pumping milk. Assuming that everyone who uses formula is lazy and a failure makes advocates look uninformed. Breastfeeding supporters should spend time exploring reasons some moms can’t breastfeed. Becoming educated about barriers to breastfeeding can help advocates share information in a tactful way. Once an advocate is cognizant of other women’s struggles, blanket statements about formula usage should be replaced with compassionate language towards other mom’s struggles. Showing compassion to moms who were unable to fulfill their desire to breastfeed is an extension of the unconditional love and support that motherhood represents.
Conversely, there are women who do have a choice, but don’t know which choice to make. Many misinformed and undecided moms-to-be may need advice from mothers with breastfeeding experience. Or, an inexperienced nursing mom may need seasoned veterans to help with cluster-feeding issues and milk supply woes. When mommy experts waste time engaging in battles with “anti-breastfeeding” Internet trolls and lambaste women who are even considering formula, they can’t offer the help other women desperately need. Incessant online wars and nasty attitudes don’t belong in a space intended for camaraderie. If advocates want to draft new moms onto “Team Mommy’s Milk,” then they have to dedicate time toward reaching out to women with solid information.
Having an arsenal of great information is a powerful tool to help other moms. But, if a nursing activist has quality facts to share with another mommy, it won’t be well-received if the information is mixed in with callous statements about formula feeding moms. Think about how most people perceive PETA and their wayward campaigning. Although PETA often provides valuable information, they are more known for their inflammatory statements than their facts. Likewise, if a breastfeeding aficionado pushes an anti-formula agenda, then focus ends up being taken off of the pro-breastfeeding agenda and, the ultimate message (“Breastfeeding is awesome”) is lost. Pro-breastfeeding ladies should also avoid taking the “I nursed my kids, so I am a better mom than you” approach. Throwing in pretentious statements among information is not the way to encourage others to forgo formula. Instead, an advocate should stick to promoting the benefits of breast milk for both mommy and baby.
As August flies by and National Breastfeeding Month is recognized across the country, people who support the breast milk movement should focus on the many Twitter “hashtag” activities, chats, and events taking place. There will be detractors and skeptics, but this month is not about their agenda. It is about the pro-breastfeeding agenda! Providing advice, offering encouragement, answering questions with tact, and focusing on the beauty of nursing an infant are the best ways to champion for a wonderful cause without hurting others.
While some women choose not to breastfeed or even be unable to, these celebrity moms who breastfeed are proponents of nursing the good old fashion way and in honor of National Breastfeeding month this August, we’re shouting them out.
After NFL player Phillip Wheeler’s girlfriend was criticized for posting a pic of her breastfeeding online, actress Yaya DaCosta was outraged and posted a copy cat pic in solidarity to #NormalizeNursing. Yaya gave birth to her first child, son Sakara, with husband Josh Alafia September 12.
Whatever you think you know about life and the world is challenged the moment you introduce a new variable. For most parents, it’s the birth of your first child that let’s you know that the way you viewed the world might not have been as clear as you thought it was. Things you know about life, your parents, society and yourself will begin to become clear.
So to all of you parent readers, potential parents, and others who are slightly curious, here are 14 (kind of harsh) revelations that come the moment the doctor hands you your bundle.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my pregnancy experience it’s that everyone has their own journey. It’s great to get pointers from other mothers on what to expect and how things will go, but in the end your body is going to do what your body will do. It’s been five months since I had my first child, a son, and, thankfully, I was able to remain active on the exercise front throughout the entire pregnancy, and give birth without meds after being in the hospital for seven hours.
The pregnancy and birthing experience was similar to what some of my girlfriends told me I could expect, but one area that didn’t pan out quite how I thought was my desire for sex. Now let me preface this by saying I don’t have the sex drive and sadly – for my husband at least — did not experience the increased libido I’ve heard other pregnant ladies brag about. My husband and I had sex throughout the entire pregnancy but we weren’t hanging from chandeliers or anything — not that I could. What’s funny is how many sexual dreams I began to have after my pregnancy that made me feel like a teenager. “Why on Earth was I thinking about bumpin’ and grindin’ when I have a child?” I thought. “I just gave birth!”
Even though I was back in the gym within a few weeks of giving birth, I made the decision to wait the full six to eight weeks before I could open up my stairway to heaven below. Regardless of your pregnancy experience, if you delivered vaginally then you know how sore your lady part gets – and how long it feels sore. God bless my husband for being patient (what else could he do), but I surely did play double dutch with my emotions. One day I was ready to give sex a try only to take it back out of fear.
I’m not gonna lie, the first time after giving birth felt like the first time ever. I was awkward and very fearful that I was going to rip something – even though my stitches had already dissolved. After the second time I felt a bit silly. “What am I doing?” I said to myself. “No man part is going to break my sweet Nancy.” And then it dawned on me, I just gave birth, got my snatch back within three weeks and proudly joined the mother’s club. What do I have to be fearful of? If men think there’s something sexy about a pregnant woman then us ladies need to think there’s something even hotter about a mother who gave birth. Our bodies change, we get more curves, and we are now in charge of this little blessing of life.
From then on I started to think about myself in a new light – one with self-confidence and awareness. Damnit I looked good for being someone’s mother and didn’t need to wear a MILF t-shirt to show it. It was this confidence that made love making with my husband all the more special. I switched up my intimate apparel, made sure to stay fresh and ready by way of Vagisil’s Moisturizing Wash, and became this new woman around my husband. He was shocked when I would prance around him and give him a peep show once our son was sleep. Granted I didn’t do it all the time because we were both tired from waking up at night, but there was this vixen I felt needed to get out.
We had midday meetings where we didn’t make it to the bedroom and took each other in the hallway. If I heard a sensual song I would save it on my phone and add it to my “lovemaking soundtrack.” Child I even invented characters like Keisha from the South (random I know) who would twerk and ride if you know what I mean.
I reclaimed my sexual empowerment not because my husband was a good man and stuck it out, but because I deserved loving too. Our love life since the birth of our son has been wilder, more random and freakier than before. I see why Beyoncé made a grown woman’s album!
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By Nicole Weaver and Michelle Toglia
There are so many arguments for and against breastfeeding. And the controversy surrounding it (and doing it in public) is constantly in the news, whether it’s Facebook figuring out its stance on the topic or a celebrity mom posting a special, proud moment with her child on Instagram.
There are also a lot of myths out there circling the act. There’s no doubt a great bonding experience that you can share with your baby but what about the bizarre stuff that no one ever tells you?
Well luckily, we gathered some of the stranger facts about breastfeeding that will definitely amaze you.
1. The Taste Of Breast Milk Is Never Boring
You would imagine that someone would get tired of having the same thing to drink morning, noon, and night but according to Women’s Health, your breast milk can taste different according to what you eat. This is a great way for nature to help prepare your baby to get used to the taste of solid foods.
2. Your Breasts Provide “Liquid Gold” For The First Few Days.
After giving birth, your breasts provide yellowish liquid also known as colostrum, or liquid gold. According to Women’s Health, it’s packed with so many nutrients like calcium, potassium, proteins, minerals and antibodies. It’s also filling.
3. Breast Milk Has Healing Power.
You might have heard this before but were skeptical about the truthfulness of this statement, but it’s the real deal. According to Pregnancy Info, breast milk can heal minor injuries like conjunctivitis or “Pink eye,” ear infections, scratches, cuts and sore nipples. Who knew?That will save you a visit to the first aid aisle for quite some time.
Read more on YourTango.com.
Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.
How many of you dislike fake folk who talk up experiences in ways that seem unrealistic? What about the celebrities you admire talking how motherhood is amazing and perfect? Then you realize they are eating baby food to stay slim and have an around-the-clock nanny because they can’t deal.
I love Jill Scott because she is absolutely raw and naked — unafraid to talk life challenges, regardless of the forum and outcome. Motherhood is not about comparing yourself to the next mother. It’s about realizing that life happens so you deal with it the best way you know how by pressing reset every once in a while.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Jill Scott for my book The Brand New Mommy: From Babies To Branding To Bliss about her take on motherhood and why it’s necessary that women portray the real deal, raw, and unfiltered as it relates to birthing ‘dem babies from branding to bliss.
Here’s an excerpt of our conversation from the below:
How was your experience when you were pregnant with Jett?
Jill Scott: When I was pregnant, I heard only beautiful stories about being a mother; the tender moments, little sweet fingers, softness. I so wanted a child and this little person inside me, was my very own miracle. I was excited, happily fat and full of dreams. I imagined nursing my baby while wind chimes clinked outside. I would glow and feel beautiful. My mother would help me. My grandmother would school me, friends would be on deck to support me and my child’s father/my husband would bring me tea and love us both. This would not be my reality.
Why do you think motherhood was initially challenging for you?
JS: In actuality, my mother was across the country caring for my sweet grandma Blue. My friends were busy with full, demanding lives and my son’s father, well… we could hardly bare breathing in the same room. After 36 hours of labor and a vaginal birth, I was sore, exhausted, hormonally unbalanced, emotionally taxed and deeply afraid to be alone. I never felt more alone in my life.
What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions about motherhood?
JS: Breastfeeding and how easy it is. Ha! I tried to breastfeed. A lactation consultant came. I tried. Every 15 minutes he screamed. I was going crazy; my poor little person. I had no choice but to supplement. I felt like sh*t. Nothing was like I thought. Absolutely nothing.
When did you realize you had to press RESET?
JS: I allowed life and everything to get to me. My mom was far, my grandmother (and best friend) was dying, and the friendship with my son’s dad had disintegrated and I wasn’t prepared for the sad me. I’ve always been moderately positive and always counted the good/bad and prayed for the good things to come. Who was this insanely emotional replica? What had motherhood done to me? I tried to rationalize and knew that I had a lot to be thankful for and I needed help.
How did you press RESET?
JS: I looked at my poor little baby and thought, “I’m already failing you.” My ego and my spirit were puddles under the floor. I just wanted to be a great mother but I wasn’t doing too well. I wasn’t feeling too good either AND I was wallowing in it. It felt like I was dying. I know it sounds extreme but that is truly how I felt.
I had to choose my child. I got up, put that baby in the little lamb singing chair thingy and asked myself what was really really wrong. OK so he didn’t breast feed, I thought, but he’s alive ain’t he? And maybe his father and I didn’t make it to forever, but we made a beautiful, healthy boy and he’s alive ain’t he? Shoooot maybe my friends couldn’t drop their lives. Who the hell was I to ask them to anyway? I was being a punk. I took a long look in the mirror at the new mother I saw and quietly screamed, “Stop bitching and focus.”
While my baby slept, I cried one more “good” cry. I felt better. I needed rest. I asked friends who loved us to come anytime they could, for an hour, so I could sleep. They did. I felt better. I hired a loving, mature, woman with three adult children, a southern background and the skin the color of rich fertile soil to be OUR nanny. She gave me breaks and a chance to heal. The crying nights became easier. My patience blossomed. I discovered my Jett was lactose intolerant. OH I changed his formula. We felt better. I befriended a trainer (Scott P). I kick boxed through massive depression and aggression. My ex-fiancé and I communicated (kinda). I went back into the studio. It was cathartic. I could see myself finding a rhythm. I was nurturing to my child, patient with us both. Life got better.
Jill Scott’s RESET (in her words):
I’ve learned that
Motherhood is the most demanding job created.
Motherhood is not a dream or a fable etched in the mind.
Nothing is simple when you love someone this much. Nothing is neat when you’re this needed
Life doesn’t stop because you’ve given birth.
A new life begins and you own it and make it yours.
Karen Taylor Bass loves to share interesting and motivational stories about women pressing reset on their terms. Follow Karen @thebrandnewmom
If it always seems like pregnancies among your social circles come back to back or in multiples, a new study suggests that it’s not all in your head. According to the study, young women whose high school friends have bore children are more likely to join the mommy club shortly after. Researchers note that they noticed the trend in young women in the United States who planned their pregnancies. However, the baby-making decisions of friends showed no direct impact on unplanned pregnancies.
“In our study we focus on high school friends because the later a friendship is formed, the more likely it is that the individual chooses the friends on common future family plans or common family orientations,” Nicoletta Balbo, a researcher at the Carlo F. Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi University in Italy told Reuters Health.
The study followed 1,170 of women beginning in the 1990s when they were adolescents. The participants were interviewed several times over the years. Out of the 1,170 participants, 820 became pregnant during the study. According to what the women revealed during interviews, approximately half of the pregnancies were planned, while the other half were not. The study revealed that after one friend in each pair had a baby, the likelihood of that other friend having a baby went up for nearly two years, the declined.
According to Balbo, who coauthored the study with Nicola Barban, a sociologist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, there are three ways in which a friend may influence another friend’s decision to have a child.
“The first mechanism that might be at play is the so-called social influence,” she said. “We all compare ourselves to our friends and being surrounded by friends who are parents makes us feel pressure to conform to parental status as well.”
The second mechanism is social learning, says Balbo.
“Friends are an important learning source,” she explained. “Becoming a parent is a radical change in an individual’s or a couple’s life, and by observing our friends, we can learn how to fulfill this new role and therefore be more willing to become parents.”
Lastly, Balbo says having children at the same time as a friend can prove to be less stressful and more cost-effective.
“For example, we can share the childbearing experience and thus reduce the stresses and costs associated with pregnancy and child rearing,” she said. “In contrast, being the only childless couple within a group of friends who have children can lead to isolation.”
Researchers note that the association between friends and childbearing was only studied in first-borns and not subsequent births.
So after turning forty last spring and considering, I am single, childless and still searching for the American Dream, I embraced my newly minted status without having a major breakdown. That came much later.
When my day arrived, I did a mental tally of the positive things that made my life worth celebrating; Despite my lack of a trust fund or socialite status, I had managed to last 16 years in NYC, my recent physical exam had revealed that I was in excellent health, and I was still being told that I looked much younger than my age. I figured those three main highlights were reason enough to pop the cork and paint the town red with the a little help from my friends.
But my family and some of my close friends were quite concerned that I was perhaps pretending to be happy and content because in their eyes, turning forty for me was almost like a nail in the coffin. There were expectations that needed to be met and I had failed to meet them so how could I accept my fate so complacently?
The major category of interest is the marriage and family section, which has always been a tricky territory for me. Coming from a Nigerian background, after the age of 30, you are seen as some kind of a curse to your parents if you are an unmarried female. It’s even worse when you are the firstborn child and only daughter because all your mother’s hopes for grandchildren are dependant on you. You are her only access to experiencing the complete joy of being a grandmother without much interference.
My younger brother thankfully tied the knot a couple of years ago and diligently produced the first grandchild but despite this welcomed blessing, my mother still took every opportunity to remind me that I wasn’t off the hook. My brother’s daughter brought them a lot of joy but they would never be truly fulfilled until I had my firstborn.
When I was in my early thirties, my parents started to panic, it was almost as if they sensed the danger ahead, so they worked overtime to try to pair me with men who were based in Nigeria from good stock. Just like the British, who colonized us, we were reared in a classist society and so I wasn’t going to just end up with any man on my parents watch. I appreciated the efforts being invested on my behalf but it was pretty challenging trying to date guys who were literally on the other side of the equator. Coincidently enough I wasn’t having much luck at home either, with the emergence of online dating and speed dating, I sort of got lost in a whirlwind of options and unavailable men.
But don’t get me wrong, I am a hopeless romantic and always envisioned myself finding my mate and settling down with a couple of kids and a golden retriever. My name means “Good Mother” in the Igbo language so basically my destiny was sealed at birth. I had the best mother any girl could ask for and I have always hoped for the opportunity to pass on the torch to my own children. And most importantly, I can’t imagine anything more inspiring than watching your parents suffocate your kids with love and adoration. It’s definitely a right of passage and signals a comfortable continuance that every family strives for.
I am consistently tormented by the idea that I may never be a mother and as my parents’ age, and the gravity of my situation sinks in because I realize that time is no longer my side.
But I haven’t completely given up hope, neither am I paralyzed by the idea of being motherless. I still believe that I can possibly give birth to my love child in the next two years. But some of my friends and a handful of acquaintances are ready to throw in the towel on my behalf. Lately, whenever the subject of marriage and kids come up, I have been consoled with a standard declaration – “You probably won’t have any kids. But that’s okay.” It’s somewhat alarming and invasive to have someone decide your fate with such finality as if they are the masters of your universe.
How do they know that I am okay with the notion that I probably won’t have any kids and why do they feel the need to convey such a loaded sentiment with such ease as if I am devoid of any level of sensitivity?
I have perfected my immediate response – ‘Thanks for sharing, but I will most likely have a child. And that’s a fact!”