I recently had the opportunity to introduce my son to one of my favorite college food staples: Ramen Noodles. I watched him marveling at the length of the noodles, giggling as he dangled ribbons of noodles over his mouth, waiting to catch them and slurp them up in one go, and I couldn’t help but join in his excitement. It wasn’t long before I was sharing noodles with my son, trying to catch individual noodles in my mouth, each of us pulling random noodles from the bowl, trying to see who could get the longest and squiggliest on each attempt. Oh, how we laughed! In that moment, I couldn’t help but be struck by how many ordinary things have become extraordinary when viewed through my son’s eyes. [Read more…]
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August is National Breastfeeding Month, the first week of which marking World Breastfeeding Week. A few years ago, these events would have passed without significance, but after having my son, and experiencing a long and rewarding breastfeeding relationship, I feel compelled to encourage and support other breastfeeding mothers, and breastfeeding mothers-to-be. [Read more…]
Seriously, this question flitted through my mind this morning as I was enjoying my shower. We’re in our third week of potty training, and my two-year-old son showed up at the shower curtain; which is strange only because he had to pry his eyes away from Super Why! to come upstairs – don’t judge, I NEED those seven minutes. My cherished seven minutes of “me” time turned into a poo-tastrophy of epic proportions this morning, and I wondered how the hell germophobes ever survive potty training their children.
So, you’re having a caesarean section. If you were planning for a different type of birth experience, do not despair. I can remember how devastated I was when I found out that I would be unable to have my out-of-hospital natural birth — I cried for a couple of weeks. I had spent almost ten months envisioning a beautiful water birth, the final four months trying everything but moxibustion to get my little guy turned, and the final verdict was that he was not budging (cramped space in the one-half of my bicornuate uterus where he resided was to blame); a caesarean section it would be.
I’m passionate about writing and have lent my voice (and words) to essays, blogs, and articles featured on many sites. If you are interested in hiring me, please visit my business site, laurenbstevens.com, contact me at email@example.com, or reach out to me on Twitter. You can view my updated portfolio at: laurenbstevens.com/portfolio/
Contributor, Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor
Contributor, Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness
Contributor, Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!
The Huffington Post – Contributor
Scary Mommy – Contributor
Kidspot – Parenting is Not About Me
Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
Mamamia – I Have a Good Reason Not to Be Besotted
parentdish – 10 Signs My Baby’s Not Sleeping Through the Night (so don’t ask)
BlogHer – Featured Member posts in Health & Family sections
- 8 Reasons You Need Parental Control Software
- 9 Rules for Summer Internet Usage
- 6 Ways to Find Balance in a World of Tech Addiction
Gift of Sleep Consulting (Ghostwritten)
Is Your Business Struggling to Reach Millennials in Tampa?, tampamarketingideas.com
5 of the Best Marketing Tools for Automotive Dealers, hamptonroadsmarketingnow.com
How Twitter Can Help You Uncover Your Next Best Prospects, advertisinginsider.insideradio.com
Red, White, and Social: Social Media Marketing Ideas for the 4th of July, HoustonMarketingMatters.com
5 Ways to Improve Your July 4th Social Media, valpak.com
Just Hatched – 8 Ways to Build a Children’s Home Library on a Budget
Eco Sprout – 4 Cloth Diapering Stumbling Blocks [No One Warns You About]
PishPosh Baby – Britax B-Agile Stroller Review
Random House Children’s Books – Multicultural Books in the Marketplace
Patch.com – Reuse, Recycle: Growing Express Children’s Consignment Sale
Beyond Your Blog – How to Go From Hobby Blogging to Freelancing Pro
Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness – The Long Road
Laugh Lines – Moms Share Bedtime Stories About Their SNORING HUSBANDS
Honest Mom – Kickoff essay for the Honest Moms Speak Out series
My Mama Adventure – Three is the Magic Number
Cloth Diaper Guru – Don’t Fear the Shear, Embrace Wool!
Homespun Aesthetic – A Preference for Prefolds
A Mama Collective – NFP Awareness Week
Mudpies and Tiaras – When Composting Fails
Hopefully the title caught your attention. No, I’m not referring to a drug addiction, I’m referring to taking anti-anxiety medication and/or antidepressants while pregnant. I recently posed a question about antidepressants & pregnancy on Facebook, and the overwhelming response was in favor of no medication for a healthy pregnancy.
I remember crying when I first saw When a Man Loves a Woman in the theater as a high schooler. I cried in reaction to Meg Ryan’s character’s helplessness [recklessness as a mother], and then her empowerment through sobriety; I cried about the love the film portrayed, and the relationship that was forever altered. I had yet to taste my first drink.
I cringe every time I hear the term Mommy Juice. It’s not cute. It’s not funny (although I am guilty of posting “lol” when people have posted about it on Facebook). Even worse is when children are told that the alcoholic beverage their mother is drinking is Mommy Juice. Think about what’s being taught to children when mom grabs a glass of Mommy Juice. Think about whether that drink is really going to soothe anxieties, or if it’s an appropriate ‘reward’ after a long and harried week.
I’ve been bothered by this term for a while, but recent news reports, such as the Today show’s story with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, have pushed me to open up about this topic. What bothers me about this term is that it is so often used in response to ‘relief’ from the stress and demands of parenting, work, and running a household; that a term so benign could be used for something that has the potential to become a serious problem. I won’t even begin to address my thoughts about drinking and playdates [and then driving home with the kids]. Why such a visceral reaction from me? Because 3 1/2 years ago I found myself unable to cope with the stresses of my life (without children at that time), and drinking wine almost nightly in an effort to de-stress.
Sure, I had tried the gym, but workouts didn’t kick in as quickly (or effectively) as a glass [or three] of wine, and my genetic predisposition placed me in the perfect position to develop a full-blown addiction to alcohol. Like Elizabeth Vargas’ story, I was lucky enough to realize that I had a problem before it became a big problem (which is a joke because alcoholism is a big problem, regardless of the depth of the addiction), before I began losing those things that I held dear [or hurting someone else]. I too, began drinking to quell the anxiety and stress I felt with a long commute and a job that I was unhappy with, a job that didn’t challenge me in the ways that I needed. Pouring wine over the issues that plagued me was like pouring gasoline on a fire; my anxieties and stress compounded and the of glasses of wine increased in number. I am incredibly thankful to have had that moment of awakening, that moment when I realized that I had a problem and needed to do something about it. I am, most gratefully, 3 1/2 years sober.
Why share this? I’m sharing my reality to illustrate how alcoholism manifests itself in many faces, that moms are just as easily susceptible as the men portrayed in the show Mad Men. The tradition of the five o’clock cocktail helped feed the line of alcoholism that runs in my family, and even my awareness of it wasn’t enough to prevent me from developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Let my story be a lesson. Think twice about your relationship with that glass of wine. Or Cosmo. Or whatever your drink of choice may be.
As a mom, I still have stress and anxiety [of a different nature], and my life gets overwhelming at times, I just don’t drink to try to calm myself. I am incredibly fortunate to have been so defeated by my drinking that I put the [wine] bottle down and never looked back (it wasn’t that simple, but you get the idea). I’m not perfect at finding ways to combat the stresses life throws at me, but I do know that a hike in the sun is one of the most effective remedies for me. Going to AA meetings and talking to other alcoholics helps too. Finding a good therapist isn’t a bad idea either.
So, yes, the term Mommy Juice scares the hell out of me for mom’s out there with the right [genetic] recipe for addiction. And it infuriates me that liquor companies continue this charade by marketing wines and liquors that make light of, and cater to, moms drinking for release (I won’t mention the names here because I don’t want to help market them).
Let me be completely clear — I don’t think that drinking is a bad thing, it’s simply a bad idea for me. I think that problem drinking, or drinking in response to things that happen in life is unhealthy. If you think you might have an unhealthy relationship with drinking alcohol, please reach out and tell someone. Reaching out to my, then, fiancé proved to be the lifeline that I needed, and kickstarted my road to recovery.
What are your thoughts about the term Mommy Juice? Do you think the media is inflating this issue? Is alcohol a staple in the playdates you attend? I’d love to hear from you!
- Like an automaton, you proffer your breast when you hear the words milk, milkies, boob, boobie, etc. [or any utterance that sounds remotely similar].
- You gaze longingly at your regular bras, tucked into the far reaches of your lingerie drawer, and haven’t the slightest recollection of the last time you wore one.
- Why buy the milk when you get mama’s milk for free is no longer a humorous saying. In fact, you’re thinking about charging at this point.
- You’re ready to disassociate yourself from the Got Milk? campaign.
- You’re seriously questioning having another baby any time in the near future [because the thought of another nursling makes you cringe].
- You no longer think the I’m a Boob Man onesie is cute. At all.
- You’re ready to wear something other than tank tops and cardigans [because, you know, you stopped wearing nursing clothing LONG ago].
- Nursing in public? Pfft! No biggie [almost everyone’s glimpsed my breasts at this point].
- Your little one can now ask to nurse…using a complete sentence.
- Even your grungiest regular bra looks appealing.
Welcome! I’m Lauren, a 30-something former publishing rep-turned-work-at-home-mom to a little boy. I’m a bonafide toddler-wrangler with a penchant for natural living. Wife and mother are just two of the many hats I wear on a daily basis, but I thrive with a busy schedule! I’ve had the [mis]fortune of developing a platform to discuss miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss, and feel it’s important to talk about such a ‘silent’ topic. I’m anything but the ‘perfect’ parent, and often share my mishaps and foibles, in addition to parenting concepts and philosophies I embrace; all of this is done without judgement, as I am not a purveyor of the mommy wars.
I earn a living as a freelance writer and consultant, and often have my personal work featured in The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and BlogHer. My blog is a sacred space; which means the only brands you’ll see me discuss (such as cloth diapers) are ones that I use or truly believe in. I encourage you to join in the discussions on my active Facebook page, and more importantly, share the pieces you come across that resonate with you (sharing is caring!).
Thank you for stopping by ~