I Have A Daughter

I have a daughter.

She’s f-cking amazing. She’s not even six months old but she’s f-cking amazing.

I am terrified that she will not have rights to health care that will make her feel like a safe woman. I am terrified that she is coming up in our country with a major group of people trying to rob those basic, human, legal rights from her. I am worried that because of this men who are bullies will feel empowered by our government. I am worried that because of this people will stop caring about our girls. I am worried about the power of the Republican Party for this reason. (I am sorry Republican friends I still love and accept you but your party as a whole is very extreme on this issue now and so I will not stop worrying unless you start changing).

I am worried but more so…

Society currently scares me. I have a girl.

Society is obsessed with being thin. Being “hot” having big boobs, having perfect skin, having a perfect ass…a flat stomach, being super-fit, being “perfect”? WHAT IS PERFECT? Last I checked that was pretty subjective. It doesn’t matter though because my daughter is growing up around superficial obsession. It scares me. And it should scare you too. (In my opinion)…

WE NEED TO BE THE CHANGE: Everything you say and do- she hears and takes to heart. So change it! Start the change in her house…one by one we can make things better, girl by girl…

-Do not talk negatively about your body around your daughter. STOP IT!

-Do not diet or talk about dieting in front of your daughter (just show her moderation, healthy eating and exercising habits).

-Practice positive reinforcement about her body “look how strong you are” “look how good you are at doing that” etc. Also you and your partner should talk about each other in that way in front of her.

-Tell your daughter she is beautiful. DO NOT OVER CORRECT ON THIS ISSUE- SHE NEEDS TO BE TOLD SHE’S BEAUTIFUL, SPECIAL, SMART, CREATIVE, THOUGHTFUL, INSIGHTFUL, COURAGEOUS, FUNNY, COMPASSIONATE…from you. It’s never too early to start this. I do it now. It’s been part of the song I made up to put her to sleep. It calms her and she totally listens. “I love you Aviva, yes I do, I love you Aviva..yes, it’s true…I love your nose, I love your toes…I love your eyes, I love your smile. I love your laugh, I love your heart, I love your thoughts, I love your soul. I love your insides, I love your outsides, I love your everything…yes I do… ”

So while we work on all of the above we need to try to also combat the issues with in us that make us feel shitty and keep us from being an awesome mom-woman-example to our daughters.

Some thoughts on this from a new mom who’s postpartum and still wants to party life up, but has had a LOT goin’ on…

HERE’S THE POSTPARTUM SUCKS PARTY…

  1. THESE ARE NOT MY BOOBS!!!! (Yeah dude…these are your boobs. check yourself before you reck yourself…these…your post nursing boobs…are YOUR NEW BOOBS! (Hello 32D good-bye 34G) and then it’ll hit you how MUCH MORE AWESOME THESE NEW BOOBS ARE! You don’t have to put them in 3 bras…and a work out bra. Nope! They’re cool on their own. Remember that from, before you were pregnant? I know it seems like forever but yeah…So much easier and way more fun!
  2. MOM NEEDS LOVE TOO! Okay so you’ve had your baby and you’ve been living for, breathing for, dealing for this person 100% since they arrived. It’s the best thing ever ever ever but it also zaps you of “you” so let your partner step up and give you some love…go get a Mani Pedi, blow out, massage, go out with a friend…let the person who doesn’t take care of this baby full time step up for a couple hours and give you some “you time.” P.S. This is not gender specific…if you’re a stay at home dad this pertains to you…. if you’re in a same sex relationship-this pertains to you! This means the full time person needs/gets to have a break. The whole fam will be better for it, trust. 😉
  3. USE YOUR TIME WISELY… so the baby is taking a nap? Here’s what that looks like (and this grants you freedom post bed-time to: have dinner/take a shower or bath/ take a breathe/ have a cocktail/ really shave and put lotion on/lay down/sleeeeeeep, HAVE SEX!!!!)

-Do laundry (or start it at least- you can always finish it after they go to sleep)

-Make or organize dinner

-Do dishes, bottles, etc. organize feedings for when they wake up

-If you’re on formula- pre-make it and make bottles for next 20 hours or so

-Clean house/clean yourself!

You get me- get as much done while they nap as you can so that when they go to bed at night you can try to have a life. Even if that means curled up under a blanket in your PJ’s watching TV. Just do what you can do to set up some chill out time each day. This will make you feel human.

  1. TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED! You and your partner need to communicate. There are so many more new things to be on top of now.  You need to check each other about what needs to be done and when. You have to be each other’s checks and balance system.
  2. LET IT OUT: Find a way that’s healthy to let your emotions, frustration out. If you need to dance intensely (what?) around the living room and then stay up way too late writing, to alleviate stress- do it. (Not that I know from that I’m just saying…as an example)… Play drums? Ride a bike? Surf? Meditate? Whatever it is- do it. Let it out or it’ll come off on your kid, or partner and no one wants that in the world. We need to practice maximizing love export/import.
  3. EMBRACE YOUR POSTPARTUM BODY: If you are a stay at home mom like me chances are you are CONSTANTLY moving: you’re bouncing him/her, burping him/her, dancing, moving and grooving, holding, rocking, multi-tasking all the time…you do not stop. Okay so you probably lost weight this way- but if you didn’t it’s also because you’re still nursing (mine ended 8 weeks post) or for the sheer fact that every single body is different. This includes the body you started out with and the body you now have several months after giving birth. This is mine. I took this in the bathroom mirror at 3am. This is me 5m postpartum. It’s not my best photo. I didn’t try to make it look good (I even have a line from my sweats on my stomach, my hair is up still wet because I didn’t have time to tend to it today, I’ve had a whole day of eating and what not….this is just REAL). This body has had nothing but hard times with nursing, had to stop after 8 weeks, had a c-section, had retained placenta and a D&C to remove it at 7 weeks postpartum. I look at my “new and temporary” body and think:

 

-My breasts don’t fill out my bra the way they used to, but they still look good naked and I’m feeling lucky about them because they fed my baby and gave her my immunity. (Give yourself props for things- it’s okay to say- hey- I LIKE THIS- MY BODY DID GOOD)! Society teaches us to hate ourselves but that’s not okay- this is an activity of love….go take a postpartum selfie and try to like some things you see!!!

-I look at my c-section scar (not featured as it’s too low) and I just feel so grateful to have been able to give birth to my daughter. I’m in awe of her daily and to me, she’s a dream come true and a miracle all in one. I look at my scar and just feel love for her and proud of my body.

So let your postpartum body make you feel good! You gave birth to a human, you did that with your body- YOU ROCK! I am in awe of what my body went through and amazed by how it’s thriving even though I don’t have much time for it these days and with all honesty, have NOT made getting toned back up a priority. My daughter is. All day. That’s just me. Luckily I kind of work out all day while I take care of her because I just do it that way. 😉 I’m getting back to pilates and that’s a gift my husband is giving me in that he’ll be the child care for an hour on the weekend while I go love on my body a bit. This is ALL about me feeling good and not at all about looking a certain way. I feel better when I got to pilates classes- end of story. The focus here is on how I FEEL.

-Get it on. You need to let your postpartum body be sexual no matter what it looks like. You are now a MILF- OWN IT! Feel so sexy because of what that body did! If it feels or looks weird don’t sweat it! It’s so hot to your partner because if you feel empowered about it- they will in turn connect with that and focus on how sexy it is that you’re their baby’s mom. Oh my gosh seriously- it’s the sexiest thing! Don’t knock it till you try it!!! 😉

I have a daughter…..I will do everything in my power to keep her safe, teach her right from wrong and support her to be whomever she feels she is. So that’s #7. Treat your child the way you wish life treated you. This includes trying to protect her rights as a woman- that is part of keeping our daughters safe and treating them how we would want to be treated (with respect and as equal humans to men). This is the best party you can create: An everyday celebration of your child…Show then how you celebrate yourself and they’ll learn to do the same and not hate themselves.

This is all a huge gift…mommy. Enjoy it. Party on!

XO- The f-cking proudest mom ever baby….

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This blog is dedicated to all my “skinny jeans”…

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I have to assume it’s common at 9+ months pregnant to have dreams about wearing clothes you haven’t been able to wear in months right? (Let’s just say it is and that my latest fantasy wouldn’t be considered “weird” at all)… This isn’t like a sex fantasy it’s like, a fashion fantasy. It’s been a reoccurring dream I’ve been having lately where I get to open up my drawer of skinny jeans, pick any pair I want, put them on, zip them up with ease, button the button around my waist and then in an effortless and carefree way, toss on a heal, pick a fabulous top that doesn’t require a bra with the letter G or F on the tag, grab my beautiful baby, put her in the stroller (and yes she looks fabulous in this dream too- totally baby-chic in a little onesie someone got us that has “Je t’aime” written on it, a baby denim pant and adorable little booties) and off I go for some kind of cat walk like walk down the street, smiling at her sweet face the entire way). Total fashion fantasy pregnancy dream.

(Note: picture above is of me and one of my dearest friends Alex aka my “gay husband” who’s soon to be a “guncle” (gay uncle) to our little one. He’s also the most stylish man and I happen to be wearing my ultimate favorite skinny jeans (that I also was wearing when I met my husband for the first time so they’re extra special ones). I’m wearing vintage Gucci heals and some top that doesn’t matter- it’s all about those jeans!)

So when will I be back in these favorite jeans? The answer is simple- I have no idea! Also, it doesn’t really matter. The baby weight we gain WILL come off eventually and the jeans will be back in rotation but who knows when or how long it’ll take. So this brings me to the “why” of this blog. Why the hell am I sharing my weird jean fantasy and talking about skinny jeans right now? Simple- because the issue of pregnancy weight gain and post pregnancy weight loss is on all our minds but mostly- it’s in our faces! We preggo ladies can’t get away from reading about or hearing about the latest celebrity or model who just gave birth then walked the Victoria Secret runway 2 months later, or who “bounced back after baby” in what seems like a miraculous amount of time only to look almost better than she did before she got knocked up! What the hell? How do these women do this? More important- holy sh-t that’s a lot of pressure society- thanks a lot! Jeez!

Let me shed some light on at least part of this. I have worked in fashion in my past and have known plenty of models, actresses, and socialites over the years. I know what their lifestyles can be like, some of the secrets they have about pregnancy (I will share in a moment) and also the fact that financially, many of them can afford things that 99% of women on this planet can not (personal chef, personal trainer, nutritionist, tons of help at home, etc).

The bottom line is this: do NOT compare yourself to anyone but yourself! It’s one of the hardest things to do as a woman who lives in our society bombarded by images and stories that are meant to make us feel like poop and teach the men in our society that we should be super-human and that what is beautiful is something that most of us can’t possibly attain with out being unhealthy in some way. Not to get on a soap box here but I think it’s SO important when nearing the end of pregnancy and looking ahead to the next phase, to try to be kind to ourselves and realistic.

During my pregnancy I have been taken back by the number of comments I’ve received about the size of my bump or questions about my weight gain. I’ve spoken with pregnant friends and all of us have had the same experiences. This only reinforces that our pregnancy weight gain or weight loss post baby, should be a personal thing. The truth is that just as every woman’s body is different, so is every woman’s pregnancy. My pregnancy is totally different than my friend’s. Each of them has had their own personal struggles just as I have had mine and none of us share the exact same experience so why would we share the same weight gain or loss?

Health plays a part in all of this too don’t forget. For example I haven’t been able to work out for months now aside from the occasional prenatal yoga class because working out was triggering my pregnancy migraines. So, I had to stop. I went from lot’s of activity to very little and for months, of course that will play a role in how my body looks, feels, what I weigh or perhaps even how I bounce back after child birth. Only time will tell. So, how do I feel reading about pregnant women being super active while I’ve been laid up on the couch more than I’d like to remember these past nine months? A little jealous but then I remind myself- that’s their pregnancy journey and I can’t compare myself to it.

So if you’re pregnant and looking at what society’s images and stories are telling you, I urge you to shut the magazine, turn off the TV, close your Facebook feed and do something that makes YOU feel good about you. Or meditate and feel your beautiful baby growing inside you and focus on what this is all about. It helps and it brings you back to the center of all this- you are creating LIFE. There’s no size or weight range or activity level that has anything to do with this- just your body doing something miracle-like and it’s perfect, just as it is.

Now just because you shouldn’t compare yourself to the latest pregnant celeb doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to know about a couple tricks they use to get their bodies back fast. I will now share two of them with you. And yes, I am planning on doing both of these things so I will also try to report back on how it worked out for my body after baby (at some point).

1. The Belly Bandit– This belly wrap is considered the best out there and they make different versions of it for different needs. I will be using the one designed for mom’s who’ve had c-sections as it will best suit my needs. I would suggest you look through the website and learn about why compression is so wonderful and which one is best for you. The bottom line here is that by wearing a wrap you will help your uterus go back to it’s normal size much faster than it otherwise would. There’s also a ton of support for your back and stomach muscles here and as far as I’m concerned, there is no reason not to try this! I already have mine so I can get in it as soon as possible after birth!

2. ShrinkxHips– Many pregnant women’s hips have shifted and widened in order to allow for space to hold the baby. This is another wrap made to help your hips go back to their normal size. I’m going to try it with the Belly Bandit and see if it works. I’m not sure I’ll wear both but if I can, I will. It also will depend on my c-section recovery. If one of these goes out the door for me it’ll be this one but I plan on trying. I have it ready to go when I’m ready. I also have purchased this company’s C-Panty made for women who are recovering from c-sections, like myself. Looking forward to reporting back on all of these!

The other secrets these women in the media have are the amount of help they have around them and the resources they have to get back in shape like their life depends on it. Remember, for many of these women their career does depend on their body looking a certain way. Chances are, yours does not. So, give yourself a break! Just focus on taking care of your baby with all the love and attention you have to give and also being GOOD to yourself! Eat healthy and balanced, drink lots of water and do what you can with what you have to work with! I know I will be recovering from a c-section and so my jumping back into my work out routines will not be on the same timeline as my friends who are having natural childbirth. That’s okay! It’s all good! I will do what I can and keep my focus on taking care of me so I can take the best care of my little girl.

The skinny jeans in my fashion fantasy may collect some more dust and that’s all right with me. The most important thing is that I am the best for my baby and that means being kind to myself so I can show her from day one what’s important and being “perfect” by what society shows us, is not it. Being HAPPY, is. Happy, is beautiful!!!! (And it’s sexy too)! 😉

Note: If you’re struggling with how to answer questions about your pregnancy weight gain or if you feel someone is out of line, judging, or upsetting you about your body during this time, try these answers on for size:

* That’s personal and what’s important is that my baby is healthy. 

* I don’t discuss my weight with people. I’m sure you don’t either. (Smile)

* Thank you for the concern with my pregnancy. Let’s talk about how excited I am to have this baby!

* You think my bump is (too small/too big)?! That’s so interesting! I think it’s my perfect bump! (Laugh it off and rub your perfect bump!)

*No I’m not worried about loosing my pregnancy weight. All I care about is that my baby is healthy! 

I urge you to try to change how much focus is on the weight and body issues around pregnancy and postpartum loss by changing the conversation. Re-direct it back to what’s important- the baby’s health and yours. One woman at a time, perhaps we can nudge our way through what society is feeding us so that it’ll be different for our daughters!