These 4 Signs Might Mean You Have Postpartum Depression

(PPD) is more common than you’d think. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 to 20 percent of women who give birth have symptoms of it. What’s more, you can begin experiencing PPD up to a year after having a baby, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

But how do you know you have it? While each woman is different, there are consistent themes when it comes to symptoms, say Mary L. Rosser, M.D., Ph.D., director, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Montefiore Health System, and Allison Kurzman, M.D., psychiatrist and clinical instructor of psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

You may experience one, a combination of a few, or all of the symptoms, although it varies by individual, according to Rosser and Kurzman. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, those who have experienced depression or bipolar disorder before, have a family history of mental illness, had medical complications during childbirth, or lacked emotional support from a partner, family, or friends during pregnancy could all be at an increased risk.

Read More: These 4 Signs Might Mean You Have Postpartum Depression

Are You Depressed?

Laura

10 Myths, Pros and Cons of Being a Breadwinning Mom

Did you know that breadwinning moms make up some 40 percent of all U.S. households’ major (or equal with partner) earners? That’s according to a 2013 Pew study, and we hear that the number has risen since then. Yep—that’s a lot of us working moms!

Even so, there are myths and stereotypes that still surround breadwinning moms, like these:
She emasculates her husband with her success.
She’s too concerned with her career.
She’s bound for divorce with her success.

But beyond these less-than-flattering and less-than-truthful attributions are the positives that we know, like the fact that commanding a good salary and supporting your family is a wonderful and empowering scenario. The reality is that today there are many pluses to being a breadwinning mom that go beyond making the sole or larger paycheck—in or a marriage or not.

Here, a family and relationship expert—and real-life breadwinning mom—helps us dismantle the falsehoods and promote the truths of this way of life.

1. Myth: A breadwinning mom’s success wrecks her marriage or relationship.

The idea that heterosexual breadwinning moms are ruining their relationships with their career/financial status is a modern-day myth, asserts Stephanie Coontz, author of the award-winning A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960sand director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families. “It used to be true that couples where a women earned more than her husband faced a higher risk of divorce. But for marriages formed in the 1990s and later, that is no longer true.” Take that, myth! But …

Read More: 10 Myths, Pros and Cons of Being a Breadwinning Mom

Times Are a Changin’

Laura

7 Things I Want to Say to Strangers During My Child’s Public Meltdown

Kids will meltdown and it will always happens at the worst moment, like when they’re meeting someone very important to you, or in public among a large crowd. I’m pretty certain that children time these tantrums appropriately to humiliate us to the largest possible degree.

And truthfully, it’s not your family or friends that care about their behavior so much—it’s total strangers who love to judge you for for every imperfect moment your child has to prove you’re a big fat failure as a mother.

Here are some things I would love to say to strangers as they burn holes into my soul, wishing me into dirt, for all of the bad things my kid has done in public:

1. “She’s just like her [insert other family member name here]”

When my daughter is having a “moment,” I would love to blame it on another family member, simply to relieve myself of those nasty beady stranger eyes, and also to jolt some nonsense into that nosy stranger!

Like, “Oh yeah lady, well she gets this awful habit from her INSERT FAMILY MEMBER NAME HERE—but definitely not me,” and then go on to pick my nose right in front of her.

Charming, right?

2. “If you think you can do a better job, here, she’s yours.”

When strangers be looking at you and your kid like you’re both spawns of Satan, I would love to tell them to try to beat my parenting game.

Read More:7 Things I Want to Say to Strangers During My Child’s Public Meltdown

Everyone is an Expert,

Laura

10 Signs Your RELATIONSHIP Is The Reason You’re Miserable

When someone is in a good relationship, it shows. Their life thrives even under duress, and the relationship is never “in question.” A person in a happy and fulfilling relationship shines in almost every corner of his or her life.

On the other hand, a person in a toxic or unfulfilling relationship has the exact opposite situation. He or she doesn’t thrive. He or she is anxious or often subdued and maybe even depressed. It may seem like “just another relationship,” but the person you spend such an intimate amount of time with will seep into everything you do, think or say.

Here are 10 spot-on signs that your relationship is holding you back from the life you deserve.

1. All the fighting affects your sleep and appetite.

If you and your partner fight so much that you’re constantly having sleep, or if you have appetite issues, your relationship is dragging you into the mud. If there are nights you’re not sleeping and days in which food seems like an option because the two of you are at a crux, it’s not good.

Read More: 10 Signs Your RELATIONSHIP Is The Reason You’re Miserable

End It,

Laura

7 Ways to Handle the Know-It-All Mom of the Group

You think you have something to offer during a conversation among moms with your own parenting experience, when BAM!, the “Mom Who Knows It All” (hereby known as the MWKA) strikes. She’s got the answer to every problem or her two cents to add in about everything, which she clearly feels is more valuable than what you have to say as she either discredits your input or talks right over you in the process.

It’s easy to get angry at MWKA, but there’s one important thing to remember before you get red in the face.

The MWKA is insecure. She has to say what she does is the “best way” because deep down inside she’s either afraid she’s completely messing up or because she wants people to value her and like her. By adding her opinion in — even if she discredits yours — she thinks this will make her seem valuable and well-liked. She’s not trying (well, in many cases) to be rude to you even if she is; instead, she’s trying to become or seem important.

Keeping this information in mind, here are seven tips for dealing with the MWKA.

Read More: 7 Ways to Handle the Know-It-All Mom of the Group

Let it Fly,

Laura

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Motherhood Before You Became a Mom

You read the baby books. You attended birthing class. You interviewed pediatricians. You were ready. Prepared. Set to be a mom! Until you became a mom and realized, you didn’t know jack sh*t about being a mother, now did you?

Nope. You were one clueless SOB.

And now you’re learning on the job. Enjoy those learning curves, ladies. They’re unflattering sometimes, aren’t they?

1. You will hate small toys.

You will step on small toys, like Legos. Legos are supposed to be fun. The reality is when you step on one, you cry like a little b*tch. No one told you Legos were a weapon of war.

Oh yes indeedy, they are!

Let’s not forget the burden of tiny, tiny, tiny toys. Like Shopkins. And all the utensils in the Barbie Dreamhouse.

The utensils in the Barbie Dreamhouse are worse than Barbie’s shoes.

Read More: 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Motherhood Before You Became a Mom

You Knew Jack S&*T,

Laura

 

How To Tell Your Friends & Family You’re Getting a Divorce

You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have decided to get a divorce and at first, the two of you were not ready to tell anyone. However now, it’s time to separate and really step out into the world as two separated distinct beings. How do you go about telling your friends and family? Is there a method or a way to go about it to try and break the news in a way that allows you to both keep your sanities and privacy?

There is no definite rulebook as to how to tell everyone, but there are some smart ways to go about the matter that will incur you and your former spouse, les stress.

Who NEEDS to Know

Before you start breaking the news, decide who really needs to know. In the early stages of separation, you are most likely going to feel vulnerable, scared and unsure. You and your former spouse can have a conversation over whom you both feel “needs” to know about the divorce, but understand that your partner’s view and comfort level may be different than yours. So when deciding to tell people, choose people in the beginning that you feel comfortable seeing you at your potential worst. The early stages are often the hardest.

 

Read More: How to Tell Your Friends & Family You’re Getting a Divorce

It’s Going to Be O.k.,

Laura

8 Things Every Sleep-Deprived New Mom Needs to Keep in Mind Through the Chaos

When the baby is crying (again), your nipples are cracked and bleeding, and you want to hide in a corner and cry, you can’t seem to think past the baby phase and into the future. Right now, you’re in the thick of the lovely, yet stressful newborn chaos, and in most cases, you probably don’t feel it to be lovely at all — you can’t see beyond your fatigue.

Your heavy-lidded eyes are too stuck in the throes of sleep exhaustion to remind yourself that this too shall pass and will be over in a blink of an eye. When it’s your first baby, you don’t have the past experience to remind you of that.

So when you’re utterly exhausted and wishing your baby could just sleep through the night, here are eight things to remember in the middle of this newborn blur — straight from a mom who is done having babies.

1. You Must Know That This Too Shall Pass — All Too Quickly.

Right now, it seems like your baby will never sleep through the night and that you will never get the hang of it, but that’s not true. In a blink of an eye, your “up all night, sleep all day” baby will begetting on the bus to kindergarten.

Read More: 8 Things Every Sleep-Deprived New Mom Needs to Keep in Mind Through the Chaos

Babies Don’t Keep,

Laura

8 Reasons Positive Discipline Is Still Discipline

Positive discipline is essentially when you focus on your child’s behaviors and choices as good or bad and reward the good behaviors. There is no such thing as a “bad” kid when it comes to positive discipline, and a lot of schools and parents are taking on this way of rearing, raising, and helping kids grow.

But still, there are the naysayers — especially parents of the previous generation — who say that perhaps we are all “too soft” on our kids with this positive parenting nonsense. To the older generation, this is us going too easy on our kids.

“Back in my day, kids behaved the right way!”
“A good spanking got you and your siblings to behave!”

Although each generation of parents tends to have its own unique method of parenting, for some reason the previous generations seem to believe that children can’t learn to behave unless they are frightened to death or scared. And perhaps for some kids, the scare tactic approach works. For me it didn’t, and for many other kids it doesn’t work (in my opinion). I truly think that for positive parenting skeptics, they ought to open their minds to the idea that perhaps children can learn to make great choices without being afraid. That rewarding good choices and focusing on the positives of each individual child can result in a healthy, strong adult.

Need more evidence? Read through for eight reasons positive disciplining is still disciplining.

1. Focusing on the Bad Brings on the Bad; Doing the Opposite Brings on the Good!

Think about it logically. When you focus on something bad that happens to you, the rest of the day seems worse. Do you really think it’s any different in regard to behavior? If you focus on all of the bad things your kid does, I can guarantee you your child will do more bad things. Why? Well, he or she will grow to assume that he or she is only capable of doing bad things and therefore is not a worthy person.

Read More: 8 Reasons Positive Discipline Is Still Discipline

Fear Does Not Equal Respect,

Laura

6 Reasons to Not Feel Guilty That Your Kid Is Playing Alone

As the parent of an only child, there are plenty of times when I feel bad leaving my girl to play alone. But truthfully, it doesn’t matter if you have one child or four, because many mothers feel that “am I leaving my kid alone too much?” pang. That, or they feel guilty at times when they can’t join in and play with their children.

As mommies, we should of course make time to play with our kids as that’s how we bond and connect with them, but that should be balanced with making time to have some fun ourselves. Teaching our kids how to be OK with being alone from time to time is a great life skill, but there’s is a difference between neglecting your kid and giving your child time to learn to be independent while you do 50 million other things as a mom.

Read through for six reasons you should feel glad your child is learning to simply be alone.

1. They’ll learn how to manage time.

When you are alone as an independent worker — which many of us are as adults for at least a portion of our day — you need to learn how to manage your time on your own without someone hovering over you to remind you what to do next. Although a child could never be that independent all day long, playing alone can teach a child how to work within a time frame to accomplish whatever he or she wants — build a castle or read a book, etc.

Read More: 6 Reasons to Not Feel Guilty That Your Kid Is Playing Alone

Independent Thinkers,

Laura