I feel like in the last couple of weeks, I have been subject to a near-perfect storm of fuckery that has conspired to make me as hot and miserable (in all senses of the word) as possible. When you’re this frigging pregnant (and in the middle of a summer heat wave), even the most saintly among us will have a hard time keeping their cool. To complicate matters, it’s not as if you can go out for a drink with friends to take the edge off or indulge in whatever your substance of choice might be. And if one more person tells you that “stress is bad for the baby,” you’ll have to add hiding the body to your third trimester to-do list. I wanted to share a quick list of my favorite, non-controlled-substance, mostly summer-friendly ways to relax when you’re very, very pregnant and maybe very, very mad.
Going for a walk
Reading something that makes you feel understood. For me, that’s Tiffany Dufu’s Drop the Ball.
Indulging in something yummy (my favorites right now are mochi ice-cream and poke bowls)
Cleaning (this is a psychological tactic called sublimation, and it’s a great way to get some stress out AND satisfy the nesting urge. Particularly if it involves beating rugs).
Swimming, or, for the lazy, float tank therapy
Blogging/writing in a journal
Sex (if you feel up to it and don’t want to kill your partner. And if you do, go solo 😉 )
Quiet time (particularly if you have a small child already)
Get something crossed off your to-do list
Try a class or something you won’t have time to do after baby gets here
Watch something on TV
Take a walk on the beach
What works for you when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed?
With just eight weeks left to go, I find myself thinking a lot about the last stage of pregnancy–birth. It’s the last hurdle to jump before we get to meet our new little one, and while I’m over-the-moon-excited, I’m also beginning to get really nervous all over again. Fortunately, we have the most compassionate and loving prenatal care that we could possibly wish for in our midwives, and with their support I’m eagerly anticipating our upcoming home birth.Continue reading →
It’s very, very early in the morning. My husband and I are sitting in our living room, quietly scrolling through our phones. Despite our best efforts to stay positive, cheerful and productive, we have had extraordinarily trying days. We are emotionally and physically wiped.
Part of the stress, I realize, comes from having to pretend that everything is A-okay all freaking day. It’s absolutely not. We’re dealing with work and school and family and finances and self-doubt and clutter and all kinds of other stuff too. I realized today what I needed to do was just sit with the negative feelings, because I was wasting a lot of emotional energy trying to avoid what most people I knew would inevitably say. Continue reading →
I don’t know if it’s that I’m weeks away from my thirtieth birthday, or that I’m heavily pregnant with my second child, but I feel my adulthood keenly. When I was 25 years old and expecting my daughter, I felt like I was stepping into this new and exciting phase of my life. This time around, I feel settled, tired, and a bit sore. Or, to quote Bilbo Baggins: “thin, sort of stretched—like butter scraped over too much bread.”Continue reading →
Something about hitting this particular milestone feels super-significant to me. It isn’t just that, by most reckonings, 28 weeks is the start of the third trimester (although that is certainly in the back of my mind too). It just suddenly feels like such a small amount of time. Continue reading →
My Mother’s Day started off in the most achingly beautiful way with a text message from my oldest step-daughter, Kayla. She sent me “Happy mother’s day. I love and appreciate you for everything I hope your sunday is awesome!!”
As I read the message over and over, I was transported back to what it felt like to hold her as she dozed off, still only three or four years old. I actually don’t remember how old my girls were when we first met. I just remember being so impressed with, and terrified of, these little tiny people. Continue reading →
Every parent in every generation has a different set of tools that they rely upon, and well, technology hasn’t always been kind parents in the 21st-century. Because of the prevalence that screens and other advances have in our lives, we’ve become arguably more disconnected from each other than ever before. However, I can’t pretend that it also hasn’t made my life easier in a lot of really small ways. I catch myself using the same little hacks over and over again to make life a bit more manageable, and they’ve become nearly indispensable in the way I raise my kids. So I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to my top five tech-hacks that make parenting a tiny bit easier.
Anyone who knows me knows that I do not cook. I just don’t. It’s ironic, really, because for a really really really long time I wanted to open a restaurant. I love and appreciate food, I really do. I’m just…lazy. Plus, I married someone who cooks really well, and if I look pathetic enough, he’ll mostly give in and feed me. Continue reading →
Mommy. Mommy. My head hurts. My knee hurts. My elbow. Mommy. I’m so sorry, Mommy. I don’t feel good. Mommy, it hurrrtttts! No, Mommy, I don’t want it! No, ohhh, my diaper…Mommy.
This has been our soundtrack. For weeks. Not days, weeks. Our little Phoenix came down with the flu a week after the New Year. Fine, we said. She’ll get sick. That’s what happens in school. You know little kids and their germs, right? I even blamed myself, because I had been unsure about whether to get her the flu shot due to all the controversy and some rather vehement opinions from the grandparents.
After two weeks at home, she was excited to go back to school, see her teachers and friends, and get back into her routine. For six days. By the end of the sixth day, she was running a temperature, and the next morning, we were back at the pediatrician. This time, the likely diagnosis is strep. Continue reading →
I’m a mom now, so I could start this letter by saying how I have three little girls and how it’s so important for girls to see powerful female characters and all that. But even though that’s important, that’s not what I want to say. This letter is from me.
Growing up I knew about Wonder Woman. I just didn’t really care about Wonder Woman. She was beautiful and awesome, but constantly overshadowed by characters like Batman and Superman. She didn’t really seem to have her own thing going on–if I ever saw her, it was as a member of the Justice League, a pretty chauffeur in an invisible jet. She never saved the day. She wasn’t a crunch player. She wasn’t an MVP. She was a token female and I figured she had to be dating someone or they wouldn’t have let her in. The original live action Wonder Woman from the 1974 film, Lynda Carter, was pretty awesome, but she still didn’t inspire me. She was so dainty. Lynda Carter was unbelievably refined and beautiful, and I had skinned knees and oversized Pokémon t-shirts. Unfortunately, she just seemed like another standard of femaleness that I wouldn’t hit. Continue reading →