Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mama Said, V.10

This week's mamas are offering up some amazing advice, and I feel like I took a LOT out of today's installment. I admire both of these mothers and I appreciate their raw honesty in approaching this feature, and I know you will too. I keep thinking about how helpful this would have been even before I become a mom and I thank you so much ladies for being a part of Mama Said- your advice is priceless. And readers, be sure to stop by both of their blogs- they're awesome!

Hi! Im Bekah from my little loves. and I am feeling elated about sharing some thoughts and lessons I have learned. I am married to the most handsome guy I know and have been a mother for 2 years now.
Our daughter, Oceana Mercy, is brillant! She is vibrant, alert, smart and sassy. Very sassy. My lover is a full-time student at Auburn University, majoring in Philosophy of Religion. A new little addition, Luna Celeste, is being added in August :) We are all so excited! We love traveling, cooking yummy meals, going on long walks, being outside and lazy Sundays.

So here are my little trinkets from past lessons learned:

1. Being a mom does not define you, you define what it means to be a mom.

A sweet, sweet friend of mine shared this wisdom one day and it struck me like a lightning bolt.
I have been very unconventional in everything I have done from the beginning(at least in the south); became a mother at 18, co-sleep, advocate for home/water birth, baby wearing, breastfeeding, wooden toys only, organic homemade baby food, not making Ocean to cry-it-out, nose ring, not religious and definitely not looking like a traditional mom in the least. I get dirty looks all the time. Despite being so against the mainstream ideas, I became aware of this notion that when you became a Mom you started to live vicariously through your children. You stopped taking care of yourself, you lot the individual you had been, you didn't work, you certainly did not go to bars and drink. No, your life is now consumed by your child...and if its not, you certainly must be a bad mom. I had to challenge that. I went to bars to see my friends bands, I danced, I thought about where my next piercing would be. I admire tattoos and dreads and wonder if they are in my future...There is nothing about me that screams mom, but thats okay, because I am redefining what it means to be a mom and I encourage you to do the same. :)

2. Rethink Discipline

So much of our culture is a culture of unconsciousness, we all pretty much do the same thing but we don't think about why or whether its actually good. One of these areas is discipline. It's taken me awhile to approach discipline from where I do now, it really does take a lot of rethinking to evaluate whether what you are doing is truly commendable. I knew from the beginning that spanking was out but I didn't realize how much deeper than that it goes. We have a culture in which a "good"child is not one who is morally conscious, kind and considerate, it is a child who is quiet, sits still and doesn't bother adults. Who doesn't get angry, cry and speak their mind. Is that really a "good" child or one who has been repressed? I learned to think about discipline in the positive, not so much a consequence but a teaching moment. When Ocean gets mad and throws a fit I don't yell and scream, but instead teach her ways to express her anger positively. When Mama is yelling and screaming, baby is learning to do the same. I wish I had adopting this way of thinking earlier instead of having what I thought was a power struggle...I know recognize my child is just expressing the same anger, hurt or disappointment I would except that she hasn't learned a better way of doing so. Our relationship has improved since I have taken steps to change the way I think and deal with each "teaching moment" as it comes up. I recommend Alfie Kohn or Dr. Sears Discipline Book for further reading.

3. Find out your mothering style.

For the first couple of months of motherhood I really struggled with the fact that I wasn't as happy being with my baby 24/7 like I thought I would be. I was very depressed and spent many days crying.
I finally got a part-time job and after a couple of weeks was back to my normal self. I couldn't believe it was as simple as that until I discovered my personality and read my mothering style. I had taken the Myers-Briggs test and found that I am a ESTJ (extraverted, sensing, thinking, judging)
and my mothering style informed me that:

"The ESTJ mother needs opportunities to feel competent separate from the job of mothering. Getting feedback for her ability to manage projects—both paid and volunteer—can provide objective measures of her competence."

Aha! I really wish I had discovered this sooner, it provided so much insight and I stopped feeling like a incompetent mother. Seriously- this puts things into a clear perspective and you start realizing thats its true, every mother, mothers differently, and that is normal and just fine. To find your mothering style first discover your Myers-Briggs type (you can google that test)
and then go here to read about your mothering type!


Starring: Bob, Jenni, Carter {2 years} and Brynn {8 months}
About me: I'm a Philly sports lovin', wine drinkin', hard workin' wife and mama of 2. I started blogging as a way to document my first pregnancy and along the way I've met some amazing people. Now?  Now I use my blog as a way to remember what the hell I did yesterday.

I write this post as I sit in a dark room. I have a sleeping husband and two sleeping babies, all of which I can hear snoring.  And as I sit here, I have with me a very large glass of wine. And The Bachelor.  Yes, I said it... I'm watching The Bachelor and drinking all by my lonesome.  And I love it.  I love the quiet.  I love the "me time"... because it sure is hard to come by these days.  So my first piece of advice is this.... find your "me time." You need it, if only for your sanity as a mother and wife, and your ability to string two coherent sentences together as a person.

I think the next important thing to remember is that we don't know it all. But what we do know is what's best for our children.  What's best for our families. And what's best for ourselves.  As mothers we need to make decisions.  Life changing decisions.  Do I continue my career or stay at home with the baby? Do I breastfeed or formula feed? Do I cloth diaper? Babywear? Co-sleep? Follow an alternative vaccination schedule? Etc. Etc. Etc. And people throw their opinions at you.  Boy do they ever.  But you need to do what's best for you and your family. Whether it worked for your mother, your best friend, or your cousin's neighbor's dog... it doesn't matter.  You need to do what's best for you. Mother's intuition?  It's real.

Lastly, if you ever want to eat, go to the bathroom, or... ya know, shower {which isn't as much of a priority as it used to be} for the love of God buy a Jumperoo.


  1. Love Bekah's tips/advice/resources!! :)

  2. Seriously one of the best so far! I loved this and I'm not even a mom...or even close to becoming one either. Haha!

  3. Cute post. Danielle, I think you should offer your advice on the last editions of Mama Said!

  4. Definitely my new favorite Mama Said. (Although, I think I say that every week. ;)) Thank you for sharing!

  5. I lololoved this!

    Bekah's advice was very touching! ♥

  6. Bekah is a dollface. I always love her.

  7. I love Jenni's advice about the jumperoo! So funny and true.

  8. Bekah - 2. Rethink Discipline!

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!