I’ve Been Living Like A Dude During During Quarantine

There are leaves blowing around inside my house right now. The other day, we went through the drive-through (something we’ve been doing a shit ton of lately) and my son wanted to bring his comforter with him for the car ride.

Now, normally this is something I would frown upon and tell him to leave his bedding on his bed where it will be free from grease and ketchup. But honestly, what else does this kid have to look forward to on any given afternoon right now? Not a whole hell of a lot.

I allowed it, and he did what I thought he was going to do: dragged it through the garage into the car and then back into the house, bringing some debris from outside along with it. You know, a few leaves, a couple sticks, some pine needles.

I literally don’t care. The scene on my floor reminds me of our drive on a sunny day and eating french fries in the parking lot.

The pandemic has changed my lifestyle. Maybe it’s because I’ve realized the importance of living in the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m in a house with my kids nonstop and I’m saving my energy for the battles that matter. I realize I have all the time in the world to do housekeeping or shave my legs, so there’s no rush.

But I think a bigger reason is I was so stressed in the beginning of this shitstorm that I used all my reserves, and the only way to get through this in one piece (for me) is to act more like a dude. 

My laundry is not as up-to-date as it usually is. My house is stocked with frozen pizzas, burritos, cookie-coated drumsticks, all the things to make nachos, and every kind of ramen you can imagine. 

I’ve always bought these things for my three kids on occasion, but reminded them to get some fruits, veggies, try and make a decent dinner every night, knowing it would all round out. But this is quarantine. We’re home all the time and aren’t sure when things will start getting back to normal, so if my son wants to reach for his leftover Dr. Pepper and heat up some chicken nuggets from our fast-food run last night, good for him. He deserves it. I simply cannot keep up with trying to do the right thing all the time. I’m even wondering what the hell the point is. 

My daily uniform has been a sweatshirt and a pair of underpants because it can be. Right now, I’m wearing my son’s sweatshirt because it’s the only clean one in the house. I’ve walked outside in my underwear more times than I can count since the stay-at-home order took effect in our state.

And the other day, I saw something on the news about how we should be replacing our toothbrushes every three weeks and I literally laughed. Our toothbrushes are fine since me and my kids haven’t seen another human in seven weeks and there’s no way I can begin to keep up with it all.

Oh, and when I get emails from my kids’ teachers letting me know they have missing assignments, I simply forward it to them and tell them to take care of it without breaking a sweat.

I almost don’t recognize myself, and my kids sure as fuck don’t recognize me. Gone is the uptight mom who checked up on them all the time and always felt like she had to shed light on everything by making things look shiny and new.

I simply do not have the energy to do anything except drink too much soda, belch when I want, and make more ramen because this is literally all the excitement I have right now. I do not have the bandwidth to try and make anything color-coded for my kids’ school days. I’ll be damned if I’m going to clean out a pantry and keep up with the laundry. Our wardrobe choices just expanded greatly and I’m gonna ride that wave. I’m not changing the toilet paper roll if I don’t feel like it because those things are not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Whoever sits on the pot next and needs to wipe their ass can do it.

It’s liberating as fuck. 

Being a parent through this pandemic certainly doesn’t come with an instruction manual. From one day to the next, all I’m trying to do is survive my mood and do what I want in that moment, and this is what it looks like for me. 

I remind myself of my ex-husband very much, and you know what? I don’t hate it.

Somewhere along the line, society let moms know we were supposed to do it all: bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, then get it on with hubby at night to keep him happy even if we are stripped to the core. Oh, and don’t forget, taking care of the kids falls on our shoulders too.

I fell for that shit big-time, as do many women. We think someone needs to hold it together, and the heavy lifting is automatically assigned to us. Dudes don’t think that way — and, more importantly, they don’t feel the weight of judgment if they don’t come home from work and cook, clean, and get the kids ready for bed.

It’s a trend that keeps us perpetually overextended and stressed out. Bucking that trend has been fantastic even though it took a pandemic for me to see the light.

Yes, I want this to be over; yes, I care about my kids’ safety; yes, I want things to go back to normal. Maybe once this is all over, I’ll return to my anxious, uptight self — who knows? But for now, it feels good to not give a fuck about how many vegetables my kids have been eating and not double check everything they do.

I know for a fact that trying to be super productive, learn a new language, oversee all my kids’ school work, and tell my daughter that, no, her ducks cannot come in the house and walk around, will not be serving anybody in my family during this.

Right now, life looks like ice cream for dinner and microwave popcorn for a bedtime snack. It looks like an overflowing laundry basket and questionable wardrobe choices. This is me, being my best self in each moment and enjoying the freedom of not living up to anyone’s expectations but my own … and it’s working just fine.

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Moms Who Have Recovered From COVID-19 Have A ‘Strong Immune Response’ In Their Breastmilk

There’s a reason they call it liquid gold and we cry if we accidentally spill it after a 3 a.m. pumping session. Why we let ourselves become engorged, soak through our shirts at Thanksgiving dinner, and sit on a bench at the zoo on a 98-degree day wrangling a sweaty, hangry baby under our shirt. Breastmilk has got the goods, and even during this COVID-19 crisis when it seems the world has stopped spinning, we continue to learn more and more about its incredible value.

**Disclaimer: This article is in no way meant to shame mothers who do not breastfeed. Every mother should do what is best for her own mental and physical health. For a myriad of reasons that are no one’s business but hers, many mothers opt for formula, which is a perfectly safe means of feeding their baby.**

According to an article on Insider, NYC human milk immunologist (which sounds like the coolest job ever, tbh) Rebecca Powell is collecting and studying breast milk samples from lactating women, including those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

To conduct her study, this mom of three (one of whom is still breastfeeding) puts on her mask and treks across New York City to pick up milk from other lactating women. One day she crossed three boroughs to collect a sample, which shows her level of commitment to this study.

Powell, who is an assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, safely collects her breastmilk samples via contactless delivery in order to research “whether breast milk helps protects babies from the disease, and whether components of the milk can help lead to a coronavirus treatment.”

Most moms already know that breastmilk contains natural antibodies to help infants fight off infection and disease, but how about during a worldwide health crisis like this one? Can we do more and learn more from the power of breastmilk?

“Antibodies are proteins created by the immune system to neutralize invaders like bacteria and viruses. In some cases, they can be used therapeutically, like for certain cancers or even to treat rabies in humans,” Insider explains. “Scientists have been studying those that respond to COVID-19 in blood for both testing and treatment purposes, but less attention has been paid to their power in human milk.”

But knowing how incredibly valuable and chock full of good stuff breastmilk is, why not pay more attention to it, especially right now?

Rebecca Powell and her team agree.

Their lab was already studying the antibody found in breastmilk that helps fight the flu, and were already researching how this antibody might protect infants after moms were vaccinated.

So when the coronavirus struck, it made sense for them to expand their research.

“It seemed obvious to me that everything we don’t know about flu is a million times more unknown and relevant about COVID-19,” Powell said. “I immediately felt the urgency to initiate a study.”

Published on May 8, her team’s preliminary study included 15 breast milk samples from women who’ve recovered from COVID-19 and 10 negative-COVID-19 samples taken from women before December 2019. And they found that 80% of the COVID-19 survivors had an antibody in their breast milk specific to the illness.

Again, liquid gold.

These findings tell Rebecca Powell that there is value in continuing her research on breastmilk and COVID-19 antibodies, especially since “breast milk antibodies are well-known to help protect babies from various diseases like measles while they’re too young to receive a vaccine, and breastfeeding is also associated with a lower risk of conditions including some gastrointestinal conditions, diabetes, asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome,” Insider says.

Furthermore, breastmilk antibodies come in the IgA form, which means they are “designed to not fall apart when it’s in the baby’s mouth or stomach,” Powell says, who adds that the IgA form is “quite durable.” This means that breastmilk antibodies, more so than those that come in other forms, may allow them to hold up well “if used therapeutically, like through an IV.”

Powell’s study also furthers support for continuing to breastfeed, even through the pandemic. There is no evidence that the virus passed through breastmilk, and, in fact, has been proven to be an extra healthy boost for babies. Although the info we know about COVID-19 continues to evolve, the general policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to keep nursing, even through illness.

“Through breastfeeding, the infant will receive the antibodies that the mother is producing to fight the illness. Most infectious diseases are also not a cause for weaning or interruption. Generally, by the time a disease has been diagnosed, the infant has been exposed and will probably benefit more from the protection he gets from his mother’s breast milk than from weaning,” AAP states.

If, however, a breastfeeding mother does test positive for COVID-19 and quarantines away from her baby, the CDC encourages her to continue pumping and have someone else feed the milk to her child.

If the mother is not isolated away from the child, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands before touching your baby
  • Wear a face mask, if possible, while feeding at the breast
  • Wash your hands before touching pump or bottle parts and clean all parts after each use

Unfortunately, despite such promising findings, major funding for breastmilk research continues to be scarce. Powell thinks this is because the topic of breastfeeding is so controversial, and sometimes even taboo. With our country’s abysmal maternity leave policies, so many women don’t breastfeed as they are forced to return to work within a few short weeks. Also, Insider explains, “it can be difficult to study and collect human milk, and there’s no single governing body to oversee those processes.”

But Powell used the best leverage she has—motherhood. As a breastfeeding mom who’s well-connected to other lactating moms in the community, she was able to network through personal relationships and find donors on social media. And, as shown on her Facebook page, she was willing to do the literal legwork and travel all over the city to collect the data she needed.

The word is out though, about how valuable this research can be as the world scrambles to find a treatment for COVID-19. Rebecca has already personally collected about 25 1-ounce samples from new moms who had COVID-19 and recovered. But even more promising is that she has approximately 1,500 people—including 400 who have already been infected—who have signed up to participate.

Even without massive funding, Powell knows she’s doing good, valuable work, as the simple act of “collecting milk samples during this pandemic can yield important epidemiological information in the future, aid researchers developing vaccines, and fill in important gaps in breast milk research.”

Just another kickass scientist mom getting shit done. As moms do.

If you’d like to help Rebecca Powell’s research study, you can contact her at: COVID19HumanMilkStudy@gmail.com.

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I’m A Type-A Mom, And This Is What Quarantine Life Has Taught Me So Far

Welcome to 2020. This year began with so much promise, as new years tend to do. It was the beginning of a new decade. It was a time for new promises to ourselves and our loved ones. We were all going to do better, be better this year. And as with most of these resolutions, by week two or three, most were out the window, either by accident or by lack of discipline.

I had made the promise to myself to eat better, slow down a little, and try to spend more time with my family. I knew it would be challenging, being a busy working mom of three children who were involved in extracurriculars and who had commitments to attending therapy multiple times a week. Weekends quickly became the time to get chores done, and just like that, my resolution to slow down was dissolved by the demands of life. I was stressed, my life was go-go-go, and I found myself taking out my frustrations on those around me. This year was not going the way I had planned.

And then, a few months into our year, I was suddenly forced to stop everything. Schools were closed. Businesses were closed. Parks and museums closed. Work came home indefinitely. Our family went from going our separate ways five days a week to being in one space every hour of every day. Just like that, sports ground to a halt, extracurriculars were no longer required, and therapy happened from the living room couch. Schedules were suddenly erased, as we had nowhere to go. As a planner, this could’ve easily been a nightmare.

I'm A Type-A Mom, And This Is What Quarantine Life Has Taught Me So Far
Courtesy of Robin Davis

I don’t know how you have been feeling about everything that’s been going on. But as for me and my anxiety, this pandemic has triggered fears about trying to keep myself and my family safe while also ensuring we have what we need, making sure that I am keeping my children entertained, and trying to navigate through the treacherous waters of homeschooling.

As with most things, it seems that my friends have it down pat — their children have taken to being at home and getting their schoolwork done around the kitchen table, while I struggle to help my nine-year-old answer a simple reading comprehension problem. I have no idea what the next day holds, no clue as to when things will get back to normal. And while I am still planning a Disney trip for my family for later this summer, I haven’t begun to acknowledge the anxiety that accompanies the unknown for those plans either. If I do, I might explode.

For type-A personalities, this pandemic could have been the worst thing ever to have happened. We have no control over most of the things that we want to be able to have a hand in. Plans are no longer relevant, and we are at the mercy of a highly contagious virus that is having its way with humanity.

But despite the anxiety I have about the unknown, there are a few things of which I am sure. While I can’t control what’s going on out there, I can control how I respond to it. I can control my attitude, which can help shape my children’s attitudes. I can control encouragement and gratitude for the things that we have, the resources we have, and the time we suddenly have. I can control how we spend this newfound time together.

While I can’t control whether or not a child might have a meltdown while trying to complete an “impossible” assignment, I can control how the school day schedule looks, giving my children choices about what they want to do and interjecting fun activities to break up the monotony of worksheets. I can control how much we get outside and explore our neighborhood. I can control how often I work out. I can control how much I show my love for my family during a time when not much else is certain.

I'm A Type-A Mom, And This Is What Quarantine Life Has Taught Me So Far
Courtesy of Robin Davis

Finding peace during this time can be a challenge, but it is also a choice we have to make. It is easy to let anxiety and worry overwhelm us. This is a scary time, and it’s okay to acknowledge that things are difficult right now. But it’s also on us to count our blessings, to realize what this time also brings for our society which is desperately needed right now. We have been forced to close. Earth, for the most part, is closed right now. Most of us have been forced to stop. And in this still, we can gain clarity about what is most important. We can learn to enjoy spending time with ourselves so that we can better appreciate spending time with each other.

We have learned that first responders, medical professionals, military personnel, and those who work in food services are valued and needed members of our society. Our country is literally in their hands right now. We have suddenly been made to understand how to be resourceful and creative with what we have. And we are starting to understand that there is a real difference between what is essential and what we can do without. In appreciating what we have, we can acknowledge that not everyone has what we so often take for granted. It’s time to give back to those less fortunate, to even the playing field so that everyone has a chance to live their best lives. It’s time to come together, to support each other, to love each other.

It’s about time.

I choose to spend this time slowing down, taking in every single day to enjoy for the sake of living in it. Our days are not meant to be counted down or wasted. Our days are not meant to be rushed through or scheduled down to the very last second. We have been given life, not without challenges, to enjoy to the fullest.

In these days of uncertainty, I will be certain to create memories with my family that will help my kids to remember this time, not for the stress it created, but for the adventures they experienced. I hope that this is a time that they will look back and remember the closeness we experienced as a family, playing together, eating together, just being together.

I'm A Type-A Mom, And This Is What Quarantine Life Has Taught Me So Far
Courtesy of Robin Davis

Whether it’s heading in for the beginning of a long shift in the ER; whether it’s checking in for the weekly meeting with your job while trying to keep your preschooler entertained; whether you are out of work and are trying to navigate unemployment for the first time; or whether you still have loads of work deadlines to meet while homeschooling your easily-distracted 3rd grader — my hope is that we all, despite our individual circumstances, can find some peace during this pandemic. That despite all the stress it has the potential to create within us, we can find a way to take our lives back, to remember that within each day is the promise of something amazing simply because we haven’t lived that day before and now we get to live it this day.

Life isn’t easy right now, nor should it be, but we can be in control of how we choose to approach each day. And there is no time like now, when all we have is time. Let’s make it count for something.

2020 isn’t over yet.

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7 Tips For Pursuing Your Dreams Even When You’re Busy AF

Yes, you have time.

As a soon-to-be mom of six, I hear you when you say that you wish you could start a new project or pursue a new goal but you’re just too busy to add one more thing to your plate. None of us have the time. I just finished writing a book, and the first thing most of my friends asked was, “How the f*ck did you do that?”

It’s a reasonable question. As well as being pregnant and taking care of five kids, I run a wedding business. My partner also works full-time as a financial advisor, and, like a pair of masochists, we have our children enrolled in a mind-boggling array of sports and activities.

So how would someone as busy as I am add something as time-consuming as writing a book onto my plate? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I didn’t. It was impossible, so I did something that probably feels unthinkable to many moms out there. I started sliding other things off my plate to make room. My unbelievably understanding partner caught some of those things while others, like my personal appearance, fell to the wayside.

At home, I took a couple of months off from inviting people over in lieu of cleaning. I worked out less frequently, wore increasingly eccentric outfits as the laundry piled up and dinner mutated from Cordon Bleu to Cordon Bleurgh as I resorted to tossing a random selection of frozen goods into the oven at 6pm. Instead of making sensory boxes and practicing reading with my five year olds, I took them to indoor play centers with ball pits to catch E. coli while I ignored them and stared at my laptop.

It felt… awful. I was a bad mom, a bad partner, an absent friend, and my house was a health hazard. But after two months, I was suddenly an author. My book was being edited and I was able to start picking up where I had left off. My kids got their mom back, my hair got highlighted, and the house got decontaminated. The best part was that no one seemed to notice that it hadn’t always been that way.

The “How the f*ck did you do that?” questions seemed nothing short of bizarre at first, as it seemed so obvious to me. Had no one noticed me looking like a bag lady? My kids looking pale and plump from a lack of home-cooked meals? Apparently not, and you know why? Because no one else is judging you as hard as you’re judging yourself. The first time my kids noticed my sabbatical from parenting was when it ended and they were suddenly asked to eat vegetable stir fries and homemade shepherd’s pies again instead of chicken nuggets and carrot sticks. And let me tell you, they weren’t actually pleased.

In summary, moms of the world, I am here to tell you that you have time to do absolutely anything — you just don’t have time to do everything. More importantly, it isn’t selfish to take some time away from one area to apply it to your career or a goal that is important to you. Your kids will benefit from seeing you do this, even if you fail. Perhaps especially if you fail. They will also celebrate with you when you win.

Remind yourself that your children may well choose to model themselves on the choices that you make today. Do you want them to feel free to pursue their dreams when they grow up? Or do you want them to think they should squash themselves down inside in exchange for a Pinterest-perfect house?

So, let them see you soar, let them see you roar, and let them see you prioritize passion over a clean floor.

If you have a dream — and I hope you do — then here are my top 7 tips for finding time to chase it.

1. Schedule!

Look at your calendar and block off portions of time that you will spend working on your project. Commit to making those non-negotiable.

2. Use all the scraps.

Keep your laptop close and make use of all of the snippets of time that crop up during the day: waiting at the doctor’s office, the auto shop, or ballet class.

3. Read while driving.

Audiobooks, silly! Or podcasts. I studied the content of my book in the car as well as listening to motivational podcasts on book writing and marketing.

4. Make deadlines.

Have an accountability buddy and commit to sending them evidence of completed tasks within certain timeframes. I splurged on a coach, but this can be your bestie or your mom.

5. Let it go!

Keep Elsa in your head. Drop perfectionism, guilt, and self -doubt. You truly have no time for those. Also drop cleaning, cooking, and laundry for a while if needed. Everyone will survive.

6. Reward yourself.

We all need recognition for our hard work, but that isn’t easy to find in the early stages of a new project. Choose some milestones in advance, and pick a treat to enjoy when you reach each one. A pedicure, a box of chocolates, or some wine perhaps. You did a great job and you shouldn’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back.

7. Remember, it’s temporary.

When you’ve reached your goal, you will have more time again, whether that’s because you have freed yourself up or freed up cash to pay someone else to wash the floors. You won’t have a messy house forever, and you can go back to being super mom again when the time is right.

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An Open Letter To My Friends With Children

Whenever our group text pings with “___ sent an image,” I wait with anticipation for the rectangular box to fill with a black and white fuzzy image of a future person. A soon-to-be member of our ever-increasing friend family. I am flooded with emotions.

First, love. My chosen sisters, extensions of myself, friends that have grown with me for over half of my life, are expanding to love in new ways. Before the little ones are named or even have fingers and toes, I know that I will love them like members of my own family, protect them fiercely, fill with pride as they grow and learn, and spoil them as best I can.

I remember the first time I pressed a hand to a friend’s pregnant belly, tight with new life, amazed at its firmness and the promise it held. I remember thinking “I already love you, little one,” because how could I not? Their mother is a part of my heart. We were forged together wearing plaid skirts and knee socks, telling tales of first kisses and heartbreaks, painting our nails on bedroom floors, sharing illicit first sips of vodka and stale cigarettes behind small-town malls, standing at kitchen counters laughing our heads off until 3 am, and stuffing our faces with all manner of cheeses.

But I’m afraid, too. Every time a friend gets pregnant, I can feel her stepping back from me. The circle of friends with kids gets tighter. You ask each other for advice and bond over the milestones you’ve experienced together, things only moms can understand. I understand why this happens, and of course it should! I’m not in the mom club yet, and I may never be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a part of your new experience.

Friends posing for photo
Courtesy of Katlyn Bennett

I’ll admit it — I started following mommy blogs when my friends started having kids. It’s something that I feel like I have to research to stay relevant, to have some kind of conversational “in” when the topics turn to baby-wearing, breastfeeding, and screen time. I feel like a fraud or a spy, peeking in on a world in which I don’t belong.

Living this childless life offers me some privileges that I know must be annoying to you. I don’t need a sitter to go out, I can wear regular bras, and don’t have to count the number of drinks I’ve had for any reason other than my own sobriety or lack thereof. Sometimes I feel ashamed about how easy my life must seem to you now. When you ask me how I’m doing, anything except “Fine!” must sound like I’m either bragging or ungrateful. I know that your lives are more complex and stressful than mine now that you have mini versions of you to care for in addition to your own worries and problems, and I can’t understand all of the emotional weight you carry. I know it’s impossible to understand until you have children of your own, but tell me about it anyway. I’ll always listen to your frustrations and joys, even if I don’t understand them.

True, I might get a little overwhelmed when the topic turns to effacement, vaginal tearing, or labor… but that’s only because these things terrify me. I don’t know if I’ll ever experience them, but if I do, I’d almost rather not know until they’re actually happening to me. But I know that your body is a mystery that you’re trying to solve, and I understand the need to puzzle through all the things happening inside you. Please never feel like you can’t talk to me about your pregnancy or your kids. I’ll never open a Snapchat or Instagram of one of your children and not squeal with delight. I look forward to scrolling through social media and seeing their adorable wisps of blonde, their chubby thighs, and hearing their exuberant giggles… it makes my heart explode every time.

When your babies grow older, I’ll be way cooler. I know how to talk to bigger kids; I’ll read them books, go with you to the zoo, hold their hands on long walks, and sing all the Disney songs that you’re probably tired of by now. I don’t want to wait until then to know them, though. At our get-togethers, be patient with me. If I’m hesitant to hold your baby, it’s because I don’t feel like I’m good at it. I see the ease with which you sling your little love up on your hip or over your shoulder, and I feel like a football player walking a tightrope. I want to be better, so coach me. I won’t be offended if you tell me to shift positions, or not to hold them in one way or another… because even if I look a little awkward holding your infant, I still want to be there for you and for them. I might not be a new mom myself, but I’m learning too, how to be helpful and not distancing, how to show you (and them) in new ways how important you are to me.

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To My Mom Friends: Tell Me How It Really Is

Give me the truth, the authenticity. I don’t care if the blood of it stains me. Tell me how it really is.

I want to hear it. I want to hear that you cry fresh tears after your three-year-old child throws a block at your head, leaving behind a small bruise that you hide with ancient gobs of makeup. You try not to take it personal, but you do. I want to hear it was beyond difficult setting up a birthday party for your one-year-old amidst the pressures of this Instagram perfect society in which the sun shines brightly, the guests laugh lightly, and your child eats the layered smash cake in ideal stickiness stuck to perfectly pudgy fingers. I want to hear that the hour-long tantrums send you to eat the stale Halloween candy from eight months ago that still hides inside your cupboards. I want to hear that you struggle with America’s view of a mother’s worth: only six weeks of paid maternity leave. I want to hear that the despair you feel signals something beyond the baby blues, that these feelings of utter sadness have reared again inside your heart now that the same child is a teenager.

It doesn’t have to be all sorrow. Tell me your joys, too. I just ask for the real ones, please. The time you cried when your son’s first tooth came out so tiny and white and you cradled it in the palm of your hand. The moment you first held your child after hours and hours of labor and how you wondered if you were honestly going to make it. The secret hugs you get from a growing tween, bony shoulders through thinning shirts. The moment your daughter leaves for college and doesn’t look back. Life isn’t all black and white. Give me your grays. The confusing moments, the times when you’re uncertain, the points of your life when you feel every single emotion all at once.

At one time in our history, long before the father, mothers united humanity. They were connected to the earth through natural cycles that brought both birth and death. They were celebrated and held important roles in society, even in older age. They created, they healed, they imparted wisdom, they cemented the community together. They rose rooted like trees from the earth.

There are many names for these mother goddesses. But we have forgotten their names, just as we have forgotten our own desolate selves. We lay trash on our shores, we expect the impossible, we continue to industrialize, we are lost. We have forgotten to honor the mother.

We have forgotten their stories.

Now, we oftentimes hide the fact that we are mothers. It doesn’t matter if we stay at home or if we work. Motherhood interferes. We are weak if we need help from a village. We are looked at differently if we take a day off work to care for a sick child. We toil ourselves to the bone in order to fulfill a tacit agreement that American society wrote for us and that says we must do everything perfectly. We do most of this alone. It just adds to the maternal mental health crisis that mothers face. Eight check-up appointments for our newborn and countless others while pregnant and only one postpartum check-up for the mother. With this, we assume our worth.

In reality, our worth transcends beyond what is expected of us. We do it all, this screaming list of unspoken duties that continues to add titles behind our name, titles that reach beyond just “mother.” We become housekeepers, chefs, professional organizers, chauffeurs, gardeners, wardrobe shoppers, seamstresses, and so much more. Yet we tell everyone we are okay.

To say we are burned out is an understatement.

It isn’t the floppy hats, the perfectly layered lipstick, the false eyelashes pressed tightly to thinning lids that shows strength. It isn’t the put-together look. Show me the nakedness, the rawness, the C-section scars, the mascara that runs down your cheeks, the bags under your eyes. Realness is the strength I seek. Vulnerability. Unleashing what’s on your heart, pink layer by pink layer, until all that’s left is the core.

Tell me how utterly complicated it really is to be a mother. I want to be connected. So that when my own postpartum depression comes, when the loneliness settles in my veins, when the four walls of a house close in, I’ll know that it isn’t just me. I’ll know that I’m not alone.

Tell me your true stories. Because it’s the stories that make you human.

It’s the stories that make us mothers.

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Who Will You Stay Home For?

Social distancing can help save lives from the Coronavirus. If we all do our part, we can slow the spread and support the ones we love. Subscribe to Scary Mommy: https://bit.ly/3bBD9VI

Our grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends are all depending on each of us to do what’s right. Health providers need us to make their jobs safer and easier. Who will you stay home for?

As the coronavirus cases continue to climb, we can make a difference to flatten the curve. Staying at home and only going out for essential items is the best way to fight this together. Your actions can affect someone else’s health. Remember to check the CDC’s website often for resources and recommendations. And as the situation continues to change, check your town’s guidelines. If you do have to go out for essential items, remember to keep 6 feet apart from the nearest person and frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. We will get through this by showing each other how much we care, so stay home for the ones you care about. Who will you stay home for? Tell us by posting to your social media accounts with the hashtag #whowillyoustayhomefor to share your love and support.

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Watch This Baby Covers Mom With Kisses and You Will Instantly Feel Better

With so much going on in the world, it’s important to take time to appreciate the good things in life. Check out this viral video from one of our Scary Mommy readers. Subscribe to Scary Mommy here: https://bit.ly/3bBD9VI

Need a break from all the news and the kids? This adorable video captures a precious moment between a mom and her 9-month old baby.  As you can see, mom was pleasantly surprised to be covered with kisses by her tiny tot. Who doesn’t love to be smothered with affection, followed by a good belly laugh? It’s the perfect time to enjoy such a moment and we are lucky enough to be able to share it with you. A little kiss goes a long way and we’ve never needed it more. Now seems like the perfect time to share any sweet, funny or memorable videos with the world.  If you have a video you’d like to share, we’d love to see it. Please email Scary Mommy at ScaryMommyVideo@gmail.com and you could appear on our social media channels. Wouldn’t your family love that?

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About Scary Mommy Time Out: Check out our collection of user generated videos that are curated especially for moms like you. https://facebook.com/ScaryMommyTimeOut

About Scary Mommy: Scary Mommy is the #1 media brand creating fun, honest and unfiltered content for moms. We tell engaging stories that connect with millions of women united by motherhood.

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Michelle Obama Described Barack’s Ugly Cry and We Died.

Global media leader Oprah Winfrey took the stage for the fifth stop of her national arena tour, Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus. Presented by WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined), Oprah is bringing a full day wellness event to nine U.S. cities through March 7. Joined by high profile guests including a marquee interview with Michelle Obama, Oprah will help motivate audiences to make 2020 the year of renewal and celebrate all we are meant to be. Over $1 million from tour proceeds will benefit WW Good, the philanthropic arm of WW that helps bring fresh, healthy food to underserved communities nationwide.

WATCH: Obama’s Interview with Michelle Obama Here:

Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. As a transformative First Lady, Mrs. Obama launched and led four key initiatives: Let’s Move!, to address the challenge of childhood obesity; Joining Forces, to support veterans, service members and their families; Reach Higher, to inspire young people to seek higher education; and Let Girls Learn, to help adolescent girls around the world go to school. Before becoming First Lady, Michelle Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm, Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, the University of Chicago, and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service. In 2018, Michelle Obama published her memoir, Becoming, which sold more copies than any other book published in the United States in 2018, achieving that status in just 15 days and instantly rising to the #1 slot on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Mrs. Obama was born on January 17, 1964. She married Barack Obama in 1992. They currently live in Washington, DC and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Oprah’s full interview with Michelle Obama will air on Wednesday, February 12 (8 PM ET/ 7 PM CT) as part of WW’s Wellness Wednesday Series on Oprah’s Facebook Channel, and the WW Now Facebook Channel, with highlights on Instagram, @ww.now.

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Making Mom Friends: It’s Like Dating But Harder.

Making mom friends is TOUGH. Where do you meet mom friends? And how do you know which mom friend is for you? Subscribe to Scary Mommy: https://www.youtube.com/ScaryMommyTV

Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned mom, meeting and making friends doesn’t always come easy. Sure, you can meet people at the park, playground or school but asking them on a “date?” Awkward! And how do you even know if you want to ask them out? We’ve come up with a quick ‘mom friend guide’ that will help you on your quest for mom friends.

The Moms’ Mom. This is the mom at the park that gives out the baby wipes. She always has snacks on hand and will watch your kid in a pinch. Just follow the path of goldfish. She will be at the other end of it, watching her friend’s toddler. She’s a winner. If you can find her, ask her if she wants to go for coffee – ASAP.

The Hot Mess. This one is easy to identify and probably already best friends with The Moms Mom. She is always running late, needs someone to take her kid and never has the snacks. But she is loyal and sweet and loves to give out compliments. You’ll often hear her say “you’re such a good mom.” She’s a keeper but make sure you come prepared.

The Planner. She loves to plan events, playdates and even afternoon hikes. She’s very active and loves to volunteer. If you’re looking for something to do, she’s your lady. How do you find her? You don’t. She’ll find you.

These are the three main moms you will meet but there are many other people that will cross your path. They’re all great in their own way, so give them a chance. You might make a mom connection. Good Luck!

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More about The Dilemma:
The Dilemma is just that — a dilemma that begs to be solved. In this series, our pairs take on topics like: pooping in public, kids and social media, and text etiquette. Whether it’s a kid versus a grandma or a single guy versus a seasoned mom, this diverse real cast goes at it and leaves us all laughing.

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About Scary Mommy: Scary Mommy is the #1 media brand creating fun, honest and unfiltered content for moms. We tell engaging stories that connect with millions of women united by motherhood.

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