enlightened mama

Finding your village of women: a mother’s guide to survival

May 31, 2015

If you’ve had the joy of becoming a mother, you know this to be true: it takes a village. Or else you die doing this. If my daughter is ever a mother, I want her to know about the village. I’m sure she will, given I’m raising her with one. And in this dress, made by my friend Sarah for her company, Sassy Knitwear? To die for. I’m hoping I can partner with her to bring some to you. But I digress. Someone asked me the other day how I seemed to positive in the abysmal cliff of parenting young children. I didn’t have a really strong answer. I thought about how long the days are with small kids. I thought about what I shared over at Blessed is She about how we can justify anything through our emotional lens, and how it’s a struggle to be kind and keep our temper with those who are closest to us. I thought about my interview on Michelle & Amy’s podcast called Little House Mothering about weaving children into the fabric of our daily lives to stay sane. I thought about my many dirty toilets. I gave her query more thought and realized, really, it’s all about the village. If you have a village of women supporting you while you’re going through the body-breaking and heart-breaking and mind-bending moments of motherhood, you will be okay. You will survive. You will even thrive. But in the modern day norm of moving away from our…

Read More

Quick Tips for Best Outcome for Breastfeeding

April 29, 2015

My friend Liz is one of those women who must be too good to be true. She’s hugging my third baby here. And this woman! Whew! Four amazing kids. Adoring husband. Chickens. Sweet tattoos. Runs her own childbirth education center, Enlightened Mama in Saint Paul services the Twin Cities. IBCLC (that’s the highest level of lactation expert). Doula. And she always has time for me. Even if it’s just for me to run over one evening and talk birthy talk with a glass of wine. Actually I’ve done this a lot. This time, though, we kicked it off with her advice on my going insane with three kids and how can I get my brain back. She solved my problem, by the way. After she counseled me on that, she let me do a little series of interviews with her for expecting parents. She answers the most common questions I hear over and over again from friends who are waiting for their first to come along. Tips from Liz on preparing for the best outcome for nursing. Watch this short interview with her and look for our next one next week!

Read More

we’ve had three kids and doulas with each–why we’d do it again that way

October 30, 2014

Doula doula whata? That was me, five months pregnant with SuperBoy. My childhood girlfriend (Hi, Andrea!) happened to hang out with me and catch up after a few years apart and mentioned a mutual childhood friend (Hi, Emily!) was a doula. Oh. That’s nice. A what? Her description sealed the deal for me: “a woman who helps you through labor.” Sealed as in, no thanks. I got this. My husband is smart and very sweet. He’s got this. We will just roll on into the hospital and have this baby, just like in the movies. Why would I want an old friend there? That’s just weird. It wasn’t until a little later in pregnancy that we chatted with other friends who had . . . wait for it . . . done Bradley Method classes and wait again . . . a midwife! I was again, so surprised and confident that we didn’t need methods or classes. We were signed up for the hospital classes. They’d tell us everything, right? Wrong again. Fast forward. Doulas at every birth. Bradley Method self-taught. Huge pushers of the Bradley Book and the Big Book of Birth. We’re like evangelizers for natural childbirth. Natural as in, no interventions or only as needed. Woe to those pregnant friends who were lured to our house for dinner. They always leave with a few books, a few enthusiastic chats about vaginas and cervixes and doulas. Poor friends. I wrote about our changing perspective and conversion on this…

Read More