In case you’ve been living in a bubble since Jan. 1, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Get ready for the dud gifts or the smashed-up chocolates or the gift you didn’t want to end up in your lap. Get ready for the guys and dads standing in line last minute at the drugstore buying cards and chocolate. How terrible, right? I mean, couldn’t they have made some effort? Last minute really shows poor attitude, right? It IS Valentine’s Day, after all! The day of love . . . the day of . . .
Wait a minute!
Let’s think about this logically, moms.
Do you think your marriage or partnership truly weighs heavily on the actions of one day? I mean, it’s true — someone could do something terrible to devastate a relationship in one day, but chances are, buying a card at the drugstore on Valentine’s Day and shoving a box of cheap chocolates in your hands is not the worst thing that will happen to your relationship or marriage. Chances are, your hubby or main squeeze loves you to pieces. That last-minute stop? It felt like effort to him. It felt like effort among all the pressures and stresses of life that a dad feels just like you feel, as a mother.
Appreciate the Small Things,
A month or two ago, a woman who I knew as an acquaintance at my gym had her first baby.
“How’s it going?” I asked, congratulating her and asking how she was feeling, something I noticed most people don’t do.
It’s all about the baby, after all.
“It’s OK, you know, she’s not sleeping very well and she cries a lot. I mean a lot, a lot!”
I heard it in her speech: infancy was not her cup of tea right now.
“I’m so sorry. You know, it’s OK if you hate this right now. My daughter slept very well, but I’ve had friends and family who dealt with colic.”
Looking at me with a face of relief: “Thank you — you’re the first person I’ve been able to be honest with. The first person who asked how I was. Honestly, I’m struggling and totally hating it. I feel so guilty.”
Read More: Why We Shouldn’t Shame Moms Who Hate Infancy
Support All Moms,
We all know that it’s annoying when someone constantly bosses us around. We also all know that sometimes girls can be bossy. This is discussed, hashed out and paraded around like all the other stereotypes about girls and hey, it’s a pretty true stereotype.
But it’s also an unfair stereotype.
We love to drag girls through the mud for being bossy and b*tchy at a young age, but we find it heroic, amazing, sexy, and “part of the job” when a man or boy is bossy.
He’s being a leader.
Our girls are being bossy little tyrants.
As a grown woman with a bit of bossiness to her, I am the mom of a girl who is also bossy. Sometimes, it’s absolutely annoying. Through action, example, and discussion, my daughter and I go over the importance of leading and taking turns. Giving other people a chance to take charge and why we should try playing other people’s games, etc. She sees my happy and strong friendships and I try to model by example as best I can.
Read More: Why Having a Bossy Girl is a Good Thing
Praise our Strong Girls,
The divorce process can drag on forever. At this rate, I’m wondering if my divorce will be final before my daughter goes to college (she’s 4 years old). During the process, it’s completely normal to have highs — days in which you feel happy about the divorce — and lows — days in which you feel burdened with grief and pain over the decision.
It’s also just as common to have highs and lows with your former spouse, especially as the two of you attempt to get into a rhythm as coparents. Distance helps any drama the two of you may have, but being diligent coparents requires that sometimes you’ll have to deal with each other. If you’re ready to blow a gasket because your divorce is becoming ugly or stressful, these are six things you can do to calm your head.
1. Review, Review, Review
Before you hit send on that text or email message to your ex, back away from your words for at least 20 minutes if the two of you have been fighting. Sometimes we say things out of anger but things said out of anger can be used against you in divorce.
When you’re ready to pull out your hair (or your ex’s) it’s time to move — physically. Getting exercise will help release anxious and stressful energy and allow you to have a space to release toxic feelings. Not only will exercise give you that ability to let go of bad emotions, but it will also flood your brain with feel-good emotions. To this day, running has been the best therapy since my divorce. And even better? It’s free!
Read More: 6 Things to Do When Divorce Gets Ugly
You’ve Got This,
Divorce impacts everyone it touches, but depending on your age and life situation when you divorce, it will strike you in different ways. As a newly divorced woman in her 20s, what are the next steps and goals you should set to move forward from your divorce? Well, every individual is different, but these goals should help you start to see the sunny side of the street in no time, and that big old word called “divorce” will start to seem smaller every day in 2016!
1- You Are NOT Damaged
Being in your 20s and divorced is rarer than being in your 30s and 40s and divorced. This may make you feel alone and a bit damaged as compared to your single or married friends, but you need to kick those feelings to the curb in 2016 because they’re NOT true!
First, acknowledge your feelings of shame and regret by writing them down. When you’re all “Dear Diary”-ed out, read them and then tear the paper up, hit delete, or set the list to fire! (Just be careful if you choose the last option.) You are not damaged. You took a chance on love early on. Perhaps you are very mature for your age. Perhaps you’re a romantic. Perhaps — many reasons. There is nothing wrong with failing at love at any age! And just think — now you have many years to find the right one.
As a first time parent there are always things you do because you’re a nervous newbie who’s learning on the go. Or in other words, new parenting is basically trial-by-fire and sometimes it can be explosive, especially those breastfed baby poops.
Here are a few things I wouldn’t do as a new parent if I had the chance to start all over again.
- Throwing big birthday parties
Since my former husband and I started celebrating our daughter’s birthday with a big celebration, it means the expectations are set high. To pull back and say, “Oh, let’s just havefamily over for cake” right now would be an epic fail because expectations have fallen into place. This does NOT mean that I can’t say, “Hey daughter, parties are expensive. Let’s scale down this year,” but it does make it harder.
Truthfully, I have one child and I don’t mind celebrating her birthday in style, especially for the first birthday (which is really a party for the parents, but maybe I would’ve gone more low-key after that until kindergarten). Once you set the bar high with anything in life, it’s hard to lower it; it’s key in all aspects of parenthood to set realistic expectations for our children.
Live and Learn,
My mom came in with a plant.
“What is this?” I asked, certain that unless it barked or meowed, it was dead on sight in my care.
“A Cyclamen plant. I thought you could take care of it.”
“Okay,” I said and there you have it — I was a plant owner.
A few days before, I had a D&C for a miscarriage. At ten weeks along, the OBGYN and ultrasound tech discovered my first pregnancy was no more. So as I wore some mega-big maxi-pad, I found a place for my plant, and then went back to lying down on the couch with my crampy uterus to watch some seriously nostalgic television.Little House on the Prairie was one of the shows I watched on repeat, enduring the tragic pregnancies the show had one by one, in tears. I was in a funk. The kind of funk that has you eating privately, ignoring your friend’s phone calls, and not returning to work.
The flowers on the plant bloomed white shortly thereafter and my friend, an absolute genius when it comes to anything that’s green or crawls on four legs or a million who I have known since childhood, Jason, told me how to care for the plant.
Read More: The Gift I Received For My Miscarriage
I Am in Bloom,
I’m divorced now so I won’t say “wish I didn’t get married” on this list, because I gained a beautiful girl, as well as a lot of experience and life lessons from my marriage. But there are things I wish I did before I said “I do” and “I don’t.”
With perspective, I’d like to pass this on to those of you who are still single and considering getting hitched. Before you put a “ring on it,” read up!
- Had a more serious relationship experience
Before I said “I do” to my ex, my longest relationship was three months. Before you become a Mr. or a Mrs., have enough relationship experience under your belt to truly know what it takes to make a relationship like marriage work, and know what a good long-term partner truly looks and acts like.
If you’ve met a lady who says she’s the youngest sibling, you better win her heart now or you’ll end up with a serious case of regret. Everyone knows (besides perhaps the older and middle siblings) that the youngest sibling makes for an amazing better half and woman. Listen up and choose your next woman wisely and make sure she’s known as the “last in the family.”
1. She Appreciates When You Remember the Little Things
The youngest kid? Our mothers didn’t fill out our baby books — in fact, she probably didn’t even buy one or if she did, one of our older and supposedly “wiser” siblings ruined it by scribbling all over it with crayon that it never got filled out. No one remembers our first steps. Actually, neither of my parents is completely sure what my Hebrew name is because I’m number four out of four girls! (OY VEY!) as long as I was breathing, all was OK with the world.
Your youngest sibling girlfriend will go gaga if you remember her full name (that’s first, middle, and last) simply because she was most likely called by her siblings’ names for her whole life.
If you can tell her anything about her childhood — like her favorite boy band or cartoon growing up — she might make you dinner for a month! This is a good thing unless like myself, her older siblings cooked for her and now her domestic skills are less than subpar.