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Becoming Mama: An Experiential Event for Pregnancy + Postpartum

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Motherly's Becoming Mama event is an experiential and informative full-day event for new moms and moms-to-be, exploring all three trimesters of pregnancy—plus postpartum!

The event will include engaging panels with industry leaders, interactive workshops with experts, intimate, honest stories from influential moms, and a chance to meet your new mom village IRL. We'll also offer some pampering, shopping and a curated baby registry experience.

Sat, October 26, 2019
10am- 3:30pm
WeWork Now
902 Broadway
New York, NY 10010

REGISTER NOW


Event Lineup:

10am: Registration + Breakfast presented by Daily Harvest

10:50am: Motherly Co-Founder Welcome + Surprise Reveal!

11am: Intention Setting Ceremony

featuring Erica Livingston @birdsongbrooklyn

11:20am: Navigating the 4th Trimester sponsored by One Medical

featuring Radha Agrawal @love.radha; Samantha Huggins @carriagehousebirth; Margaret "Peggy" Chapman @onemedical; Deena Campbell @mother.ly

11:50am: Lunch + Wellness Break

12:50pm: Baby Steps to a Cleaner Lifestyle sponsored by Pipette

featuring Erin Boyle @readtealeaves; Meaghan Murphy @goodhousekeeping; Caroline Hadfield @pipettebaby; Conz Preti @mother.ly

1:20pm: It Takes a Village: Self-Care for Mom sponsored by Pampers

featuring Diana Spalding @mother.ly; Elyse Fox @elyse.fox; Rebekah Borucki @bexlife; Alexis Barad Cutler @notsafeformomgroup

1:50pm: Snack Break presented by Stylish Spoon

2:50pm: The Motherhood Advantage in the Workplace

featuring LaTonya Yvette @latonyayvette; Samantha Wasser @eatbychloe; Grace Bastidas @parentslatina; Jill Koziol @mother.ly

PLUS:

Motherly's Gear Lab featuring the best gear for 2019 sponsored by Bugaboo

Bump + Baby Photos and DIY Nursery Decor sponsored by Crate+Kids

Pregnancy + Postpartum Style Station sponsored by Motherhood Maternity

Pampering for Mama in our Wellness Lounge sponsored by Baby Dove

Plus
  • Enjoy a Light Breakfast & Healthy Lunch.
  • Bring home awesome gift bags filled with baby & mama goodies.
  • Meet a whole new mama community to help you on your journey!
REGISTER NOW
*While many of Motherly's events are family focused, there will not be specific activities or play spaces for babies or kids. this event is more mom-focused. Babies under 1 are welcome at this event, but a baby carrier is suggested as there's no room for strollers. Please use your discretion.

Speakers

Radha Agrawal is the co-Founder, CEO and Chief Community Architect of Daybreaker, the early morning dance and wellness move-ment that currently holds events in 25 cities and over a dozen college campuses around the world with a community of almost half a million people. She is a successful entrepreneur (Co-Founder THINX, LiveItUp), author, speaker, DJ, inventor, and investor. Her new book BELONG answers the questions, "how the heck do I find my people?" and "How do I create large and meaningful communities in the real world?". She was named by MTV as "one of 8 women who will change the world." Radha lives in Brooklyn NY with her love Eli and her twin sister Miki – and lots of family and friends within a few blocks. You can most often find her tinkering with community and experience design projects, or on the dance floor at Daybreaker in New York City (if she's not dancing at sunrise in another part of the world.)

LaTonya Yvette is an author, stylist, and lifestyle blogger. Her eponymous blog covers motherhood, style, and beauty. Her debut book, WOMAN OF COLOR, recently published in April 2019. She lives in Brooklyn with her two children, River and Oak.

Rebekah "Bex" Borucki is a mother of five, TV host, meditation and yoga guide, birth doula, and author of You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life: Simple 4-Minute Meditations for Inspiration, Transformation, and True Bliss (Hay House 2017) and her brand new book, Managing the Motherload: A Guide to Creating More Ease, Space, and Grace in Motherhood (Hay House 2019). Her mission is to make mental health support and stress management tools accessible to all, especially BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color), LGBTQ+ folks, and other marginalized communities. Rebekah lives with her family and a barn-full of rescued farm animals on their 8-acre homestead in rural New Jersey. For more information, visit www.MotherloadBook.com.

Samantha Wasser is the Founder, Senior Vice President and Creative Director of popular plant-based, fast-casual brand by CHLOE. Samantha provides creative vision for the brand, overseeing brand identity, growth, menu development, and social media presence, all of which have been major credits to the brand's rapid expansion and evolution. Samantha Wasser has proven to be not only a veteran in the culinary space but an innovator and thought leader in today's restaurant industry. She was recognized in both Zagat's and Inc. Magazine's honorable "30 Under 30" for her work in restaurant development in 2014 and 2016. Samantha also serves an Advisor for WeWorks Food Labs. In December 2018, Samantha and her husband Mitch welcomed their son James Wyatt into the world. Following, in May 2019, Samantha led a women-run collaboration called Beyond Mother's Day with partners Kindbody and Robyn, that included a series of events held by by CHLOE with the goal to advance the narrative of improving support for all paths to parenthood. During Beyond Mother's Day, by CHLOE gave 50% of proceeds from their Beyond Mother's Day Cupcake sold throughout May to Baby Quest Foundation, a non-profit providing financial assistance to couples who struggle to afford fertility treatments.

Elyse Fox is a mother, director, activist and tastemaker living in New York City. You may have read her name in bylines by Vogue Magazine, Forbes and Broadly to name a few. Through her efforts to destigmatize mental health Elyse has collaborated with Olay Beauty, Harvard University, Instagram, the U.S. Intelligence Community and Nike. Her mission is to connect communities and spread awareness through vulnerability and story telling. In January, 2017 Elyse created Sad Girls Club; a stigma-free online and IRL community created for millennials and Gen. Z to discuss mental health openly.

Samantha Huggins is a co-founder of Carriage House Birth and an empathic full spectrum doula, doula trainer, childbirth educator, curriculum builder and parent. As a founding member of Carriage House Birth, Samantha works vigilantly to redefine doula work and contemporary parenting. She oversees CHB Education focusing on childbirth education, doula trainings, elevating the early parenthood experience and doula professionalism. Samantha is deeply committed to this work and creating a model of care that is sustainable and works for all family systems.

Erin Boyle is the writer and photographer behind the lifestyle blog, Reading My Tea Leaves, where she writes about all things slow, simple, and sustainable. Erin's first book, Simple Matters, came out in January, 2016. It's a nod to the growing consensus that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable not only for the environment, but for our own happiness and well-being, too. Erin embraces the notion that "living small" is beneficial and accessible to us all—whether we're renting a tiny apartment or purchasing a three-story house. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two young children.

Grace Bastidas is the founding editor of Parents Latina and also has editorial oversight of the Spanish-language brand, Ser Padres. Prior to joining Meredith, she served as deputy editor of Latina magazine. She's also held senior editor positions at New York Weddings and The Village Voice, and has written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. In her free time, Grace is an ambassador for the Good+ Foundation, a nonprofit working to break the cycle of family poverty. A native New Yorker, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young daughters.

Meaghan Murphy is Good Housekeeping's executive editor. Known for her high-energy, upbeat personality and YAY lifestyle, Meaghan B Murphy is a multi-platform media junkie. In addition to her role as the Executive Editor of Good Housekeeping, reaching 30 million total audience, Meaghan regularly appears on shows like Live with Kelly & Ryan, Dr. Oz, the Today Show and shoots a series for NBC News titled "A Better Way," in which she shares MacGyver-style hacks. She also joined the fourth season of "Small Business Revolution" (Hulu) as its expert in building community spirit — something she effectively did as Chief Spirit Officer of her own suburban town and as the ambassador for the community-based app NextDoor. A New Jersey native, Meaghan married her younger brother's best friend, Patrick, and together they live in Westfield (aka @bestfieldnj) with their "Irish triplets," Charley (9), James (7) and Brooks (6), and labradoodle Dempsey. When she's not at the gym for 5AM workouts with her #goodvibetribe, Meaghan is busy penning her debut novel The Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Guide to Having Endless Energy and Finding the Yay in Every Day for Penguin-Random House.

Alexis Barad-Cutler is a group facilitator, professional speaker, writer, and published author. She founded Not Safe For Mom Group (nsfmg) in 2018, after a well-known parenting website took down an essay she had written for them because it was "too controversial." She wanted to create a stigma-free platform and community where women could express the thoughts, feelings, and questions they don't talk about everywhere else. These days, (nsfmg) has an active on, and offline community that flies in the face of the sanitized version of motherhood typically seen on social media. (nsfmg) members engage in honest, deep diving conversations about everything from post-baby sex, to rage, to infertility, to gender disappointment, to postpartum depression and anxiety. The result is a community of support (and window into contemporary motherhood) you won't find anywhere else.

Deena Campbell is the Experts and Lifestyle Editor at Motherly. Her work has been published in Allure, The New York Times, PopSugar, Essence and a host of others. She currently resides in New Jersey where lives with her husband and two young children.

Margaret "Peggy" Chapman, MD, MS, FA is a pediatrician at One Medical, where she focuses on establishing a trusting and respectful relationship with parents and children to forge a therapeutic alliance. She believes preventive care and parent education are key to raising happy, healthy children-and she feels privileged to be part of the process. She enjoys working with children of all ages, from newborns through adolescents, and is especially interested in child behavior, child development, parenting, and ADHD. In her time off, Peggy enjoys walking, gardening, skiing, hiking, baking, and reading. She graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and did a chief residency in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She's board certified in pediatrics.



Caroline Hadfield is President of Amyris' Pipette, a clean, safe and nontoxic personal care brand for babies and moms launching September 2019. Caroline a powerful force in the personal care and beauty markets, having previously launched the successful brands Sephora and Amyris' Biossance. Throughout her career, Hadfield has demonstrated her ability to identify opportunities in the market and deliver the highest quality results based on consumer demand. As a leader in the clean personal care movement, Hadfield recognized a need for a brand that caters to the sensitivity of newborn skin without compromising on safety or efficacy. She was instrumental in Amyris' decision to ban more than 2,000 potentially harmful ingredients from its labs. Hadfield's commitment to transparency is a driving force in her decision making as she continues to be an advocate and innovator in the emerging clean personal care market. Hadfield received her degree in Textiles and Management from Leeds University, and participated in Stanford University's Senior Executive Program. She resides in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two daughters.

Erica Livingston is the co-founder of Birdsong Brooklyn and a full spectrum doula supporting families through conception, pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. Her birth work began in the postpartum sphere and she still is most passionate about bringing that time period into the light. Erica is also an herbalist, breathwork practitioner and hosts birth and threshold blessings for her community and clients as well. A trained comedienne and performer, Erica brings heart centered humor to all the spaces she creates. Erica and her business partner and best friend, Laura Interlandi, built Birdsong Brooklyn, their doula and parenting business together in 2013 when they saw the extreme lack of support for the postpartum period reflected in their own journeys and the journey of almost every other new parent they came across. Working outside of hierarchy and patriarchy took an acknowledgement and a new container which they've been building ever since including a 13 week mentorship program for doulas of all walks and their online learning lodge for parents, doulas and people. Their business mantra is "All boats rise when we tether together and the sun shines for everyone!"

Jill Koziol is the co-founder and CEO of Motherly a modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood with it's 30M+ monthly audience. She is also the co-author This Is Motherhood and The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, launching April 2020. Jill is passionate about serving and empowering women and mothers because when mamas are successful, everyone wins. She is an advocate for families, female founders, and how to thrive with multiple sclerosis. Jill lives in Menlo Park with her husband and two daughters.

Liz Tenety is co-founder and Chief Digital Officer of Motherly. A former Washington Post editor, she's also a mom of 4.

Conz Preti is the Stories editor at Motherly. Originally from Argentina, she now lives in NYC with her husband, son and two rescue dogs. Always looking for the next adventure and for another tattoo to add to her collection.


Diana Spalding is a certified nurse midwife, pediatric nurse, and mother of three. She has BA in anthropology from Emory University and both a BS in nursing and a master's degree in midwifery from New York University. In addition to caring for thousands of pregnant women, Diana has worked in pediatric oncology, and has served in several professorial and advisory roles in higher education settings. Diana is the Digital Education Editor at Motherly and the founder of Gathered Birth, a motherhood wellness center in Media, PA. She is soon-to-be TEDx speaker, and wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey, releasing April 2020.

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As a mid-Spring holiday, we never knew exactly what to expect from the weather on Easter when I was growing up in Michigan: Would we get to wear our new Sunday dresses without coats? Or would we be hunting for eggs while wearing snowsuits?

Although what the temperature had in store was really anyone's guess, there were a few special traditions my sister and I could always depend on—and it won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that my favorite memories revolved around food. After all, experts say memories are strongest when they tie senses together, which certainly seems to be true when it comes to holiday meals that involve the sounds of laughter and the taste of amazing food.

Now that I'm a parent, I'm experiencing Easter anew as my children discover the small delights of chocolate, pre-church brunch and a multi-generational dinner. While I still look forward to the treats and feasting, I'm realizing now that the sweetest thing of all is how these traditions bring our family together around one table.

For us, the build-up to Easter eats is an extended event. Last year's prep work began weeks in advance when my 3-year-old and I sat down to plan the brunch menu, which involved the interesting suggestion of "green eggs and ham." When the big morning rolled around, his eyes grew to the size of Easter eggs out of pure joy when the dish was placed on the table.

This year, rather than letting the day come and go in a flash, we are creating traditions that span weeks and allow even the littlest members of the family to feel involved.

Still, as much as I love enlisting my children's help, I also relish the opportunity to create some magic of my own with their Easter baskets—even if the Easter Bunny gets the credit. This year, I'm excited to really personalize the baskets by getting an "adoptable" plush unicorn for my daughter and the Kinder Chocolate Mini Eggs that my son hasn't stopped talking about since seeing at the store. (You can bet this mama is stocking up on some for herself, too.)

At the same time, Easter as a parent has opened my eyes to how much effort can be required...

There is the selection of the right Easter outfits for picture-perfect moments.

There is the styling of custom Easter baskets.

There is the filling of plastic eggs and strategic placement of them throughout the yard.

But when the cameras are put away and we all join together around the table for the family dinner at the end of the day, I can finally take a deep breath and really enjoy—especially with the knowledge that doing the dishes is my husband's job.

This article was sponsored by Kinder. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


Our Partners

This week isn't going to be an easy one for most of us. There are hard things happening in the world right now as the coronavirus pandemic continues. We're not going to pretend like this is an easy time to be a parent, because it is not. It's okay to say you're not okay today. But it's also okay to allow yourself to enjoy the lighter moments of life because these moments are still happening inside our homes during the pandemic.

This is a hard week, but there are still so many things making us smile.

Here are a few of the good news headlines we're loving right now:

This baby's quarantine style birthday party is going viral 

So many events have been canceled because of the pandemic, and many first birthday parties are among them. For parents who were looking forward to celebrating their little one's first birthday with friends and family having to cancel the guest list is hard.

Mama Kylie Najjar was one of the many parents having to make the hard choice to cancel her baby's birthday party, but she decided to make it special by doubling down on the theme of social distancing.

Her baby's big day has now gone viral because even in a difficult time like this pandemic, small moments still matter and can still make us smile.

This viral illustration highlights how the pandemic is impacting newly postpartum mamas 

The artist Spirit Y Sol touched so many mamas this week, letting art speak for the women who have had their postpartum experience changed so drastically by the pandemic. Through an essay and accompanying illustration Sol describes what was stolen from those currently in the fourth trimester.

"This is not what you had planned. This is not what you'd envisioned. There are no visits from friends, no loving doula bringing you soup, no "mommy and me" yoga classes, no coffee dates, no stroller walks through the park." Sol writes.

"But mama, know this—We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Sol is right. We are in this together, mama. And we are here for you.

Some Good News with John Krasinski has a surprise for Hamilton fans 

Last week we told you about John Krasinski's new coronavirus YouTube series, Some Good News, and this week he's going viral again with his second episode.

He gets his wife Emily Blunt to make an appearance and organized a treat for Hamilton fans, having Lin Manuel Miranda and the rest of the cast put on a performance (through Zoom, of course).

We love how Krasinski is using his creativity and connections to make people smile during this tough time.

This mom just welcomed baby no. 22, 30 years after her first child's birth! 

Back in February we told you the mom of Britain's biggest family was going viral after announcing she was expecting her 22nd child.

Now, Sue Radford's 22nd baby is here. She's a girl and her name has not yet been announced by the Radfords, Sue and her husband Noel.

Sue was 14 years old when the couple's oldest child, Chris, came into the world in 1989 (Noel was 18). Both Sue and Noel were adopted at birth and when they found out they were expecting as teens they decided together to make the choice to parent.

Four years after Chris was born they got married, and a few decades (and many kids) later they became reality TV legends in the UK, starting with a show called 15 Kids and Counting. They now have more kids than their American counterparts from 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggars. Besides TV appearances, the Radfords also own a pie shop.

In total, Sue has given birth to 12 girls and 10 boys so far (one son, Alfie, was stillborn), but giving birth during the coronavirus pandemic was a bit different. "I was so worried that Noel wouldn't be allowed to stay with me," she told The Sun.

Radford continued: "We have all been isolating and it seemed wrong to leave our safe bubble to go to a hospital, but when I got there I felt safe straight away."

Kristen Bell's Hello Bello launched a new 'camp' you'll want to check out 

Everyone is looking for extra ways to keep kids entertained these days and that's why Kristen Bell + Dax Shepard have launched Camp HelloBello on Instagram Live and IGTV!

Each week there's a new schedule for activities like singing, dancings and crafting (and Hello Bello is paying people creators to participate, you can apply to be a "camp counselor" at CampHelloBello.com).

According to a press release, "Schedules will be released on a weekly basis with lots of special guests (like Kristen + Dax and their friends) and members of our community to add some extra creativity to kids' days (and fill up some time for the parents too!)."

Sounds super cool!

This viral post highlights how our kids are 'little heroes' during this crisis 

There is a viral post floating around the internet that gives some credit where it is due: To our children.

Our kids have been champs during this crisis, as the post notes, "their little lives have been turned upside down...[but] every day they get up and carry on despite everything that is going on! Painting pictures, drawings to show their support to the heroes out there and to make other children walking past feel better!"

We see you, little heroes.

You're doing great and we are so proud of your resiliency!

Viral video shows even social distancing can't stop toddlers from 'socializing' 

Twitter user Toby Marriott went viral this week thanks to an 8 second clip of his nephew, "the friendliest toddler you'd ever meet." According to his uncle, this 3-year-old always says hello to anyone he meets on the street, but he's not running into any people on his daily walks these days...so he has to pretend.

"Hope this brightens up your day!" Marriott captioned a video of his nephew saying hello to an invisible friend. It's super cute and if we hang in there, one day this little guy will be able to say hello to his neighbors again.

News

There's so much happening on a daily basis I think I control that I do not. All of us have been affected by the spread of the coronavirus in the last few weeks—some more than others, of course—but all of us in ways big and small.

We all want life to return to normal. But if protecting others means we need to stay at home for a few weeks, we can do that. We can do our part to protect our communities and love those around us a little better. Our family has decided to take the guidelines and advice of those with more knowledge than us on this so we're being diligent about staying in and staying home as much as possible.

FEATURED VIDEO

Which means spending a lot of time together as a family right now. We have had many slow days, filled with great conversation, meaningful prayer time, games, delicious food we've cooked together and lots of time outdoors.

It has been opening my eyes to just how much we were on the go on a regular basis, pre-coronavirus, preoccupied with this, that or the other thing. It has given me pause to be able to appreciate the people in my home even more than I did before by connecting more than we usually do. That part of all this strange uncertainty has felt gratifying.

Our normal weekly schedule typically consists of running around non-stop to work, sports practice, church functions and music lessons. Our quarantine time has forced us to connect with each other on a daily basis—time that we usually don't even get in one month! We now have time to play games together, do puzzles, organize our home, watch movies and have full conversations we don't have to rush through.

This is what we need as a family unit. With all the busyness of our society, it's been a blessing to give ourselves permission to simply slow down and just be with each other.

I think oftentimes we under-appreciate things until they are taken away. I am really grateful for the freedom I experience on a daily basis, like going out to dinner with friends or even if I'm just going to Target or running errands. Because freedom is limited at this time, I don't think I'll ever take it for granted again. I hope I don't.

But right now, where I'm finding freedom is within my faith. My relationship with God has given me the freedom to surrender control and trust this path.

Stepping back to realize for me, that God is truly in control and I can trust Him even in the hard times (or maybe especially in the hard times) has been both challenging and rewarding. It's easy for me to say, "I trust in God..." or sing along at church and say "Amen" in prayer when everything feels perfect. But when things feel difficult, that is when my faith is tested and I must step up in order to practice what I preach.

This time in our lives has caused me to lean into my faith in God like never before. I I have had to put every tool I've learned over the years into practice lately.

I've been challenged to lean on God for my own sanity—when my fears and anxieties threaten to overtake me. To see the joy around me and not just the difficulties. To acknowledge my gratitude. For the first time in my life, my relationship with God is all that is keeping me together. I am desperate to see things through His eyes—the good and the bad.

I have often felt as though I have no time for mindfulness and connection with God with all I had going on. Now there is plenty of time, and I need it more than ever. When I look to Him and have time with Him daily, my perspective changes from stress to thankfulness. Without it, I'd never be able to see the lessons I'm learning all around me—I wouldn't be able to recognize that I'm living life with clearer eyes now.

That clarity is soul-filling. Because what's coming out of that clarity is love. The most important thing. I can love my people whether things are perfect or challenging as if tomorrow is not promised. Because these times remind us that it isn't. Whether sitting in our home or busy with our "normal" schedules, the shortness of life has been a good thing to keep in my mind.

Because I'm living more intentionally, and hope I now always will.

Life

A trip to your local coffee shop is a thing of the past, but turning to social media to find ways to get your caffeine fix at home is the new normal. Now mamas are becoming their own own baristas while social distancing and creating mini Starbucks in their kitchen.

It all began with a simple coffee TikTok video posted on March 14, that has since garnered more than 10 million views. Since then everyone has begun making a foamy beverage named, "whipped coffee."

Boston Food & Travel | Emily’s Instagram photo: “Friday mornings with my Dalgona coffee ☕️💕 — Recipe (vid in highlights) 3 tbsp instant coffee 3 tbsp white sugar 3 tbsp hot water Milk (I…”

FEATURED VIDEO


What is whipped coffee?

Before you get excited and think that TikTok created this trend, think again. The drink originated in South Korea and is better known as Dalgona coffee, a frothy sugar-coated Korean drink that's topped with cocoa, crumbled biscuits or honey.

The cool thing about Dalgona coffee, AKA whipped coffee, is that it only has four ingredients—instant coffee, sugar, hot water and milk—and can be made in 5 minutes. You basically mix the ingredients with an electric mixer and it's it!

If you're into sugary-drinks this is perfect for weathering the quarantine, but if you're not, no worries. Try coconut sugar or a sugar substitute like stevia.

Here's how to make a yummy whipped coffee:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • Milk of your choice
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Add the hot water, sugar, and instant coffee to a bowl.
  2. Either hand whisk or use an electric mixer until the mixture is fluffy and light.
  3. To serve, spoon a dollop over a cup of milk with ice in it and stir.

Recipe from Tasty.

Note: If you don't want the consistency of a light mousse and you're just here for the caffeine, you can easily make this drink hot or iced. Just don't use a mixer to build the foam. Enjoy, mama!

Lifestyle

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

FEATURED VIDEO

But I've never experienced a fourth trimester amid the chaos and heaviness of a global crisis. A scary pandemic keeping people away, keeping new mothers home—increasing the isolation, increasing feelings of being trapped.

I haven't quite experienced that. And my heart goes out to the postpartum moms who are crying on their couch right now wondering why exactly, this is the maternity leave or introduction into motherhood they're getting—and not the one they envisioned.

She wrote:

"This is not what you had planned. This is not what you'd envisioned. There are no visits from friends, no loving doula bringing you soup, no 'mommy and me' yoga classes, no coffee dates, no stroller walks through the park. There is empty space where you had planned comfort and company. There are long days with no one but your little one to talk to and this big transition to navigate all alone.

"I know it's lonely, mama. I know the walls of your house feel tight and the days feel so long, and you crave a warm hand on your knee and the soft embrace of a friend. You wish for someone by your side to marvel at this beautiful baby of yours and to wrap an arm around you when the feelings get too big and scary.

"We were never meant to do this alone. Motherhood has never been a solitary sport. And yet here we are, in this odd chapter of isolation and distance, with no choice but to do it by ourselves.

"But mama, know this—We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing.

"This too shall pass. And when it does, hugs and coffee dates and visits from friends will taste so much sweeter. Soft kisses on your cheek and arms around your waist and gentle laughter in your ear will be the joyful medicine after this trying time.

"Until then, hunker down mama. Find the coziest, warmest spot on your couch, sink into the pile of unfolded laundry, and sleep the Spring away, with that sweet babe warm on your chest."

I cry for the new mom who has to introduce her new baby to their grandparents over FaceTime instead of an in-person visit.

I hold onto hope, knowing the day you can finally parade your baby around out in the world—showing them off to everyone you love—will be one of the proudest moments of your life.

I cry for the new mom desperate to go to a mother's group to commiserate and celebrate together with other mamas who are in this.

I hold onto hope, knowing that there are opportunities for virtual connection that are helpful and soul-filling, too.

I cry for the new mom wishing she had an extra set of hands around to hold her baby while she showers or naps.

I hold onto hope, imagining this time is a really special (albeit, intense) period of bonding and connection for your brand new family.

I cry for the new mom needing to break free from the walls of her home, the surroundings she looks at all day long.

I hold onto hope for you, praying you're able to get out for a walk or even a quick drive by yourself—with the music turned up on full blast.

We cry for you—with you—mama. But we're wildly inspired by you, too. You're the mothers birthing and raising new babies during a global pandemic. You are strong. You are resilient. And you are certainly not alone.

We are with you in spirit and solidarity. The fourth trimester you're getting might not be the one you hoped for, but that doesn't make it any less real, or any less significant.

It's powerful and it's yours.

Life
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