Celebrating the Honest Postpartum Body

Remember the ditty ‘Do Your Ears Hang Low?’ Well, I’ve tweaked the lyrics a bit to apply to my current situation. Here goes:

Do your boobs sag down, do they jiggle to and fro? Do they swing to the right and then reach down to the floor?

Mine do.

At least I think they’re mine.

The postpartum boob transformation occurred quicker than the flick of a baby finger. “My” breasts were small, perky and fluid-free. These new things attached to my chest are droopy bags — albeit fabulous droopy bags. They fill with and distribute milk — fabulous — but they’re just so different and devoid of perkiness.

And “my” stomach, where did that come from? It’s flattish, wide and different. It’s so different from the stomach I came to know so well.

Come to think of it, the only parts of my naked postpartum body I recognize are my knee caps. They’re not saggy. Yet.

Read more on the Huffington Post!

31 Strange Addictions Only Moms Understand

I’ve developed a proclivity for habits my (naïve) pre-baby self would have deemed nonsensical. I’ve tried many forms of therapy — self-hypnosis, journaling, and chocolate (hoping to replace one habit with another), but nothing seems to kick my motherly addiction to the following …

1. Talking about baby’s bodily fluids, to everyone, even the nice teenage grocery store clerk who asks me how my day has been.

Read More at Scary Mommy!

Quieting the Voice of Worry

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It seems our minds have developed an unfortunate dependency on worry. In the blips of time when “everything is under control,” the mind kicks into overdrive, determined to find a problem to latch onto, a problem to worry about.

Then, the pellets of doubt begin to drop and we are eventually drowned in an all-consuming flood of ‘what-ifs?’

It’s frightening how easy it is for me to put a negative spin on the positive. My brain has a lifetime of wiring supporting the perpetuation of worry.

What gives? Why the ceaseless pounding of doubt and fear?

As a Hypnotherapist, and chronic worrier, I’ve discovered a common root to this conundrum- the inner critic, the voice of incessant chatter that feeds off of problems, real or perceived.

I call my voice Sheila, and she is quite unpleasant.

After years of allowing her volume to grow to a nauseating magnitude, and witnessing the same phenomenon in clients, I decided that something had to give. There were voices that needed to be silenced, or at least significantly minimized.

The following release work has supported myself, and many others, in turning the voices of our motley inner crew down from 10 to ‘Shh…’

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  1. Mindful Breathing– The rhythmic patter of steady breath offers a productive replacement to the, “No you can’t, not good enough, what if, I think you’re wrong, just give up.”

It’s difficult to live in a state of chaos when our body is checking into its healing room, via breath work.

Try it- take five deep breaths, inhaling to a slow count of 5, holding for 3, and exhaling to a slow count of 5.

Allow the body to sink deeper into the inner healing room with each breath.

  1. Tapping- We have an electrical system running through our body via channels called meridians. When we have a negative thought our electrical system is disrupted.

Each of the meridians has an end point, and we can release the negative energy by tapping on these points. While tapping, we verbally state the negative followed by our positive preference.

For example, “Even though I am sad my boyfriend broke up with me, I know I am wonderful and worthy of love.”

While repeating the statement, tap 5-7 times in the following locations:

  1. In between the eyebrows.
  2. On the temples.
  3. Underneath the eyes.
  4. On the upper lip.
  5. Below the lower lip.
  6. On the collarbone.

Repeat this round three times.

  1. Write out the worry and rip it up- It is profoundly cathartic to physically destroy a piece of negativity.

Write down your worry, regret, fear, anger, or other variety of negativity on a scrap of paper and rip it up into minuscule shreds, or burn it- I prefer the later.

  1. Self Hypnosis– There are vibrant worlds of possibility waiting to be sparked in the mind, and manifested in our reality. When this occurs, there’s no space left for that jerky inner critic.

Honor time by taking a few moments of focused stillness to tap into these flames of positive manifestation and allow them to thrive.

Let’s take the first step into this voyage. After taking your five breathes, allow the vibrations of relaxation to flow through you, flushing out the muck of worry that has latched on to your being.

Begin to envision your thoughts as clouds passing through the sky of your mind. You can view these clouds with a clear perspective, but are not intertwined in them- you’re just observing them with curiosity.

You don’t feel, absorb, or analyze the clouds- you just allow them to float by.

The dark clouds do not stay to rain down worry, they pass just as quickly as the others- they don’t touch you.

When you’ve separated from these clouds, feel yourself drifting deeper within, to your inner sanctuary.

  1. Do a song and dance routine- Sometimes we need to stop taking our problems, other people’s opinions, and ourselves so seriously. The best way to do this is act like a fool in love with life.

After you’ve moved through the fore mentioned release techniques stick that cherry on top by playing your jam and dancing like a fiend.

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We’re able to invest as much, or as little, time as we like to this release work, the time does not matter, it’s the intention that holds the power.

When we first begin our practice the voice may follow us for a bit, questioning the state of comfort that we’re floating in. But, the voice will eventually lose its luster, relinquishing its dominance to our true essence, residing in our core- the true essence that is composed of all that is good in the world, and all the wonder that is waiting to bloom into existence.

A Mom’s Guide to Peeing On the Go

Disclaimer: Be prepared to read some tongue-in-cheekiness.

(Photos not included. You’re welcome.)

My 86 year-old Grandmother, who raised three children in the badlands of West Texas, recently mentioned that there needs to be a pee-on-the-go guide for well-hydrated mothers- so we made one.

As mothers, we live with a wide array of discomforts- kicked shins, Legos, brushing the teeth toddlers, bathing Tasmanian Devils, hunching over all.the.time, and eating soggy leftover crumbs, to name a few- we should not stand for a full bladder, we should not.

Sometimes a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

This starter guide is meant to spark your imagination when fantasies of unoccupied toilets are swirling in your mind, and a child is pounding on your bladder- internally, or externally.

I’ve collected the following examples from my own piddle parties, those of fellow full-bladder-ed mamas, and my Grandmother.

You can pee…

  1. In a diaper during bumper-to-bumper traffic.

If I don’t go now, my bladder might explode, rendering me incapable of driving, thus causing more traffic. It’s my civic duty to pee in that diaper.

  1. In the shower.

I just soaped up, slathered on the shaving cream, and the Mount Vesuvius of urine erupted into my bladder. The baby is screaming and I had to leave for my appointment ten minutes ago- there is no time for rinsing and repeating. Pee here now.

  1. In a hole, at the beach, while the partner holds a towel up.

But then, the wind picks up, giving the rowdy group of teenage boys a full moon view. Oh, I forgot to mention that the water is frigid and I “forgot” my bathing suit.

  1. On the side of the road.

I’m on a road trip, there’s no sign of a sign for a rest stop, and all my attention needs to be utilized to calm the screaming small one.

  1. Two feet away from the tent that’s 15 yards away from the “proper bathroom.”

The sleeping child’s mom radar will go off if I venture outside of the ten-foot force field.

  1. In the potty training toilet.

Because my male counterpart has been in the bathroom forever, we only have one bathroom, it’s cold outside, and my three cups of coffee just had a let down.

  1. In the pool.

No one will admit to this one but if we’re at the pool with our children, they’re all in the pool, and we have no adult support… Remember, we gotta do what we gotta do.

  1. The Men’s Bathroom.

No line- enough said.

  1. The secret employee bathroom in the grocery store.

Just do it.

  1. In the pants.

On opposite day, this side effect of childbirth would be seen as a perk. After pushing a human out of my Ms. Twitchet (as my Grandmother used to call it) the act of jumping, laughing, or standing up too quickly might just cause a light sprinkle in my knickers. Yay.

The few times I didn’t let the good times flow I ended up with an urinary tract infection- no one has time for that.

I empower you to brush aside modesty, your stoic nature, and your pants when the urge for a piddle purge strikes.