For Ravishly: How Depression Improved My Body Image

September 12, 2016 by No Comments

Writing for Ravishly is always a treat- I love waving my feminist flag, reminding myself and others that we have everything we need to be okay. This piece is a bit more confessional than I usually am, but I know there are other women out there who are struggling to feel okay about their weight- particularly in the face of friends and family who seem to have no problem shedding calories. For me, it’s a matter of committing to my mental health, even if it means an extra 20 lbs.

A few years ago, I was one of the skinny girls. Dropping to a weight I hadn’t seen since before my four children were born, people noticed. I received comments and a few sarcastically jealous remarks from my other postpartum friends. And best of all, the boot­ cut jeans from 2006 that have been hanging in my closet unworn, slipped on without producing a muffin top.

My weight was still much higher than the number any of the other women in my family will ever see, but it was a huge accomplishment for me. And it happened fairly easily, all it took was a year-long illness that sent me spiraling into a depression so deep, I wasn’t sure I could be a wife and mother anymore. I wasn’t sure I could be anymore.

To read the rest, CLICK HERE.

For Headspace- Monk tested, kid approved

July 14, 2016 by No Comments

Teaching kids to pay attention to their bodies means we lead by example, we remember that they don’t know how to do this yet, and we fully invest in the scientific fact that what they learn now will have a profound impact on their resilience as adults. Happy to be at Headspace again discussing all of this and more!

After he stopped crying into his sheets, he looked up at me with his shining blue eyes and I remembered; he doesn’t know how to do this. Because of his easy-going nature and mature approach to life, I sometimes forget that he is still so young. Daniel J. Siegel, in his book “The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive” states, “One reason big feelings can be so uncomfortable for small children is that they don’t view those emotions as temporary.”

CLICK HERE to read the rest at Headspace!

For Ravishly- All the kids are in school: What I plan “To Do” with myself

July 14, 2016 by No Comments

So happy to write for “Ravishly- Real feminism for real life” on what my plans are now that ALL my babies will be in school!

A stack of papers, color coded and stapled together are sitting on my kitchen counter. I have two-ish weeks to fill them out and turn them back in, but frankly if it takes me more than 24 hours, I’ll be shocked.

My baby is going to kindergarten.

He’s the youngest of our four boys and, for a while, I was dreading this monumental event.

No more babies at home? Everyone off and running, kind-of-sort-of living their own little lives?

The idea has taken some getting used to, but now that I’m at the filling out paper work stage, I can’t help but begin to imagine all the possibilities.

I’m not the only one who has realized that a new chapter is about to open up for me and our family. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers, “Well, well. What are you going to do with yourself?”

CLICK HERE to read the rest over at Ravishly

For Headspace: Hitting ‘snooze’ on the worry alarm

July 14, 2016 by No Comments

At this point in life, my children are my greatest teachers. Here’s a post I wrote recently about managing anxiety, overactive Fight or Flight reflexes and what it’s like to realize that what you consider to be good and healthy vigilance in parenting is really standing in your way of your main job in life… to send them out into the world with all the tools they need to function as happy, well-adjusted, full-grown people.

Thanks to Headspace for hosting me!

“Flying down the freeway one afternoon, my mind jumping from one task to the next, I glanced over at my 10-year-old son. I was startled by what I saw. His eyes were closed and his hands were open on his knees, palms up. His shoulders were relaxed and a little smile inched up into his cheeks. He quietly and evenly breathed in, and then he quietly and evenly breathed out.”

Click Here to read the rest over at Headspace…

For Mamalode: When Autism Lives Across the Street

April 4, 2016 by No Comments

Hi there Internet friends,

If you’ve been reading here long, you know that I have a precious son who is on the spectrum. April is Autism Awareness/Acceptance month and while I know it’s a controversial month for some in our community, for us, at this point in our journey, it’s important to help to raise awareness and to fight for acceptance. On that note, I’m so happy to be over at Mamalode this month with a piece that matters a lot to me. It’s a piece I’ve been working on for months and it has found a home at the wonderful site Mamalode. I hope you’ll click over and read it, but even more than that, I hope you’ll share it. There are so many kiddos and adults in our world that are waiting to be seen, and there are so many parents who are trying to make a way in this world that just isn’t always friendly to people whose minds work differently. Thanks friends.

I was doing my best to get out the door when the doorbell rang. Already running late, I wasn’t expecting anyone and as I peeked out the kitchen window, I was surprised to see our neighbor from across the street. Her oldest son is a constant playmate to our four boys, but she has rarely appeared on our doorstep. I hurried to open the door, and when I did, she already had a kind and sympathetic smile plastered on her face. My stomach tightened and I returned her smile with a questioning smile of my own.

Haltingly, she laid it on me; there’d been an incident the night before. Actually, by the time she was done explaining to me exactly what had happened between her son and mine as they ran up and down our street at dusk, she’d listed out several little incidents that made me wish I hadn’t opened the door at all. She was kind, she was understanding, she said all the right things, and I was properly embarrassed, humbled, a little defensive, but mostly, just devastated. The hard realities of our son’s struggles often pop up without notice, and my heart can hardly stand it when they do.

This mild confrontation is not the first and won’t be the last one I’ll ever face on behalf of our son, and next time the other parent might not be so compassionate. They might not try so hard to meet me halfway. They might not want – or try – to understand his world at all.