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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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I am burned out. My house is a mess. My hair is dirty. My kids are napping, and I know I need to take a shower, but instead, I'm going to clean the kitchen so that the piled-up dishes stop frowning at me from the sink. I'll feel better starting the afternoon with a clean kitchen and state of mind that actually brings me peace. And this is okay. For me.

I see those beautifully written and curated posts about self-care that are meant to encourage me to set aside other's needs and tend to my own. Sometimes these posts do their job and I make a plan to "do something" to recharge. But I recharge by doing things for others and feeling satisfied in having met their needs as only I can.

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The way we are conditioned to think about self-care affects what we do and how we feel about it. For me, it's not a choice between sacrificing enough to validate myself as a 'good enough' mom, or believing that self-care is integral to my wellbeing. It is a matter of knowing I deserve it—in my way—and that should be okay.

Our culture values and glorifies self-sacrifice. "We promote the employee who works 80-plus hours a week; we idolize the mom who never seems to need a break," according to clinical psychologist, Dr. Jessica Michaelson. "This belief that self-sacrifice is best creates a great deal of shame when we feel like we need something different."

And too often there are barriers that prevent us from practicing self-care. In a recent study published in Midwifery, researchers examined mothers' perceptions regarding the role of self-care, their ways of self-care, and the barriers to doing it. The findings? Whether the mothers thought self-care was essential or not, barriers like time and other limited resources—money, social support, and difficulty accepting help and setting boundaries—prevented them from actually practicing it.

But worrying that needing self-care makes you selfish or weak should not be the barrier that prevents you from obtaining it. "Self-care absolutely is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness is lacking any consideration about others and profiting by this. Self-care is about making sure that we are well and healthy so that we are more available to help others," explained author, therapist and Silicon Valley health coach, Drew Coster.

Self-care can be as simple as a shift in perspective that leads to a better quality of life.

Self-care can mean many different things, but knowing what self-care is *not* might be even more important. Self-care is not something you force yourself to do or something you don't enjoy doing, either. Clinical psychologist, Agnes Wainman, explains that caring for yourself is doing "something that refuels us, rather than takes from us." That means whatever works for you, works for you. Even if that means letting others do something for you.

So if a spa day or binging on Netflix aren't your thing, that's okay, because self-care actually might not be what you add, but what you take away. You can give yourself permission *not* to do something, or eliminate tasks that are draining.

One tiny bit of self-care can make all the difference.

"In a perfect world, most of us would love to get an hour-long massage every day, take a bubble bath every night, and enjoy a relaxing gourmet meal each day. Is that possible for most of us? No," says Jacqueline Getchius, MA, LPCC, licensed professional clinical counselor and owner of Wellspring Women's Counseling based in Minnesota. "Instead, we need to take a good look at what actually is possible. Start small."

Some examples of small acts of self-care that can refuel you just as much as that hour-long massage:

  • Allow yourself to worry about something tomorrow
  • Sit down and put up your feet instead of sorting the socks
  • Let your partner do an extra chore
  • Go for a short walk without the dog
  • Skip a workout for once and have a cup of tea
  • Instead of doing a whole meditation, take five deep breaths
  • Turn your phone off for 30 minutes
  • Throw something out
  • Don't stay up late—let all the things wait
  • Unfollow someone on social media who brings you down
Bottom line: Self-care is as unique as you, mama. However you identify it, the key is that it refuels you in *your* way, however that looks.
Life

I love being a mother...and sometimes it swallows me up whole. There is no "but" in my love of motherhood—it is 100% the most incredible thing I've ever done and my most favorite job in the world. And it is the hardest work in the world, the most suffocating at times and it can break me down like no other.

Motherhood is all and, which can make it all the harder.

So when my youngest was 14 months—and we had officially ended our breastfeeding journey—and I was offered a press trip to Steamboat Springs, CO to go on a snowmobiling trip no less, I jumped at the chance.

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It would be my first trip away from both my girls—my first trip away from my youngest ever. It would also be my first time to Steamboat, my first time snowmobiling (or doing any kind of extreme snow activity. It would be a bonafide adventure.

But when I first read the snowmobiling itinerary, a tiny, niggling voice whispered at the back of my brain: I can't do that. I will be too scared.

I ignored the voice as I packed my bags, kissed my babies goodbye and made my way west. I reveled in the simplest things—the single carry-on suitcase, with room left around my clothes that would normally be stuffed to the gills with blankets, tiny rolled socks tucked between miniature pairs of pants and extra diapers. I basked in the decadence of a light handbag, packed with only my own things instead of extra snacks and sippy cups and extra diapers (always extra diapers). I delighted in the breezy way I moved through the airport, the only thing disturbing my peace was the thought that I must be forgetting something. I can't possibly be holding enough things right now.

I love motherhood, and it is a constant weight in my life. Sometimes born lightly, tiring me to a deep satisfaction. But sometimes a heavier burden, threatening to pull me under. In either case, there is always so much to hold and carry.

Ironically, I missed my girls already. Found myself sneaking peeks at photos on my phone, wondering when the next time they would call or send me a Marco Polo. After all, I love being a mother.

But there were also near constant reminders of how much I had needed a break. When my flights were boarded and then delayed, I breathed a sigh of relief that they weren't here, imagining my anxiety levels rising at the thought of entertaining a whiny toddler and a super mobile baby for any extra time in this tiny space. I watched two movies (one of which I had wanted to see for over a year). I read one and a half books. (For context, in the last year since my second daughter was born, I had probably read...zero.) Enjoying these things I rarely had time for anymore felt like catching up with old friends, people who knew me way back when.

Later, after settling into my room (with my own bed! And my own bathroom! And no one asking me to wipe their butt in it!), I met my fellow travelers at the house next door for dinner. I ate appetizers without anyone asking me for a bite. I drank a glass of wine and sat in a chair for 20 minutes before I stood up—of my own volition—to sit at the dinner table. No one commented that the food looked "yucky!" or asked how many bites they had to take to get dessert.

Irony alive and well, it was me who kept bringing my girls back to the table, telling stories of the funny things my 4-year-old says. The way my 1-year-old squishes her face and snorts to look "tough."

I love motherhood, and it is the constant thread of my life. It affects everything, tints everything, changes everything—and I wouldn't change that for the world.

The next morning, I woke before the sun for the excursion, drank a cup of coffee (that I finished before it got cold, thank you very much), and boarded a shuttle to the meeting site. I again had to shake that feeling that I was forgetting something, but there was relief in knowing that anything forgotten was mine alone. I could deal with a forgotten hat (my toddler would throw a tantrum). I could shake off a cold wind on my neck (my baby would scream, and we would have to go home).

The other riders and me shivered slightly in our snowsuits while the guides demonstrated the ignition and the kill switch and the proper way to whap whap whap the gas. They told us we would start on trails and then go off the trail if we were comfortable. The old voice resurrected in my brain and whispered again: I can't do that. I will be too scared.

After our (incredibly short, to me) training, the guides broke us into groups of five and started to lead us out of the lot where we had met onto the trail. Just like that—here's how to turn it on and away we go!

I should have felt more nervous, but strangely, motherhood had prepared me for steep learning curves. Just four years ago, hadn't I been wheeled to the doors of the hospital, tiny baby wrapped in my arms, sent home and told to have at it?

I could handle motherhood—I could handle this.

I was pleasantly surprised to find snowmobiling was much easier than I thought. Flying down the trail, I felt myself relaxing into the ride, able to take in the stunning surroundings and hearing only the roar of my motor and the whistle of the wind under my helmet. I felt brave and strong and exciting—things that maybe I had forgotten I could be. That I already was.

At lunch, perched on the edge of an alcove of trees and overlooking a snow covered meadow, our guides told us we could "play around" as soon as we were done eating. They pointed to the wide open stretch below us, off-trail and unmarked by anything. I stared at the expanse of white and mountain and heard the voice say again (though perhaps a bit quieter): I can't do that. I will be too scared.

I lingered by the fire a few minutes after I finished eating, my eyes not leaving that meadow. I couldn't do it. But then...what if I could? I pushed myself up from the drift, grabbed my helmet and hopped on my sled.

"I can just go?" I asked one of the guides.

He grinned at me. "Just go!"

In seconds, I was flying down the hill, the waist-deep powder cascading behind me. I crested a hill and paused for a second. It was so cold, the mountains were so beautiful and I was so alone. More alone than I had felt in years. I took a long, deep breath, realizing for the first time how much I had really needed this.

Once you are a mother, you are a mother forever. It's as sure as your bones—and as wholly part of you. You can't lose the part of you that is a mother. But you can lose the rest.

I had thrown myself into motherhood willingly, like so many other endeavors in my life, wanting—needing—to give my children my very best. My all. But somewhere along the way, I had forgotten to reserve a little bit for myself. This trip was a reminder: It was okay to prioritize myself now and then. It was necessary.

I missed my babies, but I felt now how much I missed this part of myself.

When you choose to make your first post-baby vacation an adventure, you pay homage to the woman you were before. The one who did things for the first time, who had a world of opportunity before her. But you honor something else too, something perhaps even better: the woman you are now.

Because, truthfully, I never want to go back to who I was before. It would be disingenuous, and it would devalue all the work I had put in since then. The woman I am now is so much more empathetic, so much stronger, so much more confident—she's the woman the old me would go to for advice and counsel and to be built up when she needed it.

By choosing an adventure, it was a permanent reminder to me—and to that tiny, doubting voice—that I have no idea what I can't do. But I knew now that I can do so much more than I ever thought.

As I started to turn back from the meadow to head toward the group, I took a turn too sharply and tipped my sled, wedging it firmly in a deep bank. I was totally fine—the snow was so deep, it was exactly like landing in a fluffy pillow—but I couldn't right the sled myself. I radioed the guides for help, and one of them came speeding up within minutes. In a second, he had the sled dislodged and I climbed back aboard.

"You good?" he asked. And I grinned.

"Never been better."

Life

Like so many women of my generation, I didn't have a built-in village when I became a mom. My folks were 3,000 miles away on the opposite coast. My friends were out of sync with me, either parenting much older kids or child-free. And my husband was at work 10 hours a day, leaving me home alone with a helpless newborn who came with no instruction manual.

When are her real parents coming back to get her? I remember thinking. How could I possibly be solely responsible for the health and well-being of this adorable but terrifying little person?

I had many new-mom questions and precious few answers.

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Was it strange that my baby seemed to get hungry every 45 minutes?

Why couldn't my baby fall asleep unless she was on top of me?

Would I ever feel normal again?

Between baby blues, sleep deprivation and loneliness, normal felt very far away.

Then one day, I bumped into a neighbor—let's call her "Neighbor Mom"—pushing a stroller. She was new to our building, but not new to parenting, ably balancing an 18-month-old toddler and an 8-year-old school kid. She must have sensed my neediness, because she invited me, a fragile stranger, into her apartment. It was cozy and inviting, strewn with kid stuff and safely baby-proofed. I lay my little one on a blanket on the floor and took a deep breath in, relaxing for the first time in ages.

Neighbor Mom and I developed an easy friendship, casual and convenient. We kept our doors open and could drop by any time the other was home. I tagged along on walks to her older daughter's elementary school, just to have someplace to go and someone to talk to. We introduced our husbands and made simple family dinners together, arriving not with wine and flowers but with a highchair wheeled from next door.

As I got more comfortable with my new friend, I confided in her about my mom worries. At the top of my list: my baby wouldn't sleep without being in my arms. If I tried to put her in the crib, she woke hourly, screaming. I was a walking zombie. Everyone from the pediatrician to my college roommate was imploring me to sleep train. I knew they meant well, but I felt pushed around, and I resisted.

Unlike, say, my own mother, this kind, gentle mama next door never criticized me or made me feel like I was doing it wrong. Instead, she talked about what worked for her. She shared her dog-eared copy of Dr. Sears' Attachment Parenting book. I didn't become an attachment parenting convert, but I took up baby-wearing and it helped so much.

I also learned a ton just by watching Neighbor Mom in action. She was masterful at setting limits without flying off the handle. If her toddler misbehaved, she crouched down, made eye contact and offered a firm "no" before redirecting to safer activities. It's one thing to read about these techniques in books. Seeing them in action was much more helpful. I swear, my kids owe the fact that I'm not a screamer to Neighbor Mom.

Another important habit Neighbor Mom modeled for me was self-care. Here was a totally hands-on, devoted and present stay-at-home mom, yet I'd see her jogging out the door every morning before her husband left for work, getting her cardio while she could. She did yoga on a mat next to her toddler. She took a night class at the college. I saw that it was not just possible but smart to take care of yourself so that you'll have the energy and enthusiasm needed for your children.

About a year after moving into my building, Neighbor Mom and her family relocated up north. I keep tabs on them through social media and loved seeing their family expand to include a third child. Although I was sad when they moved, I keep Neighbor Mom in my heart. Her example has helped me remember to be patient with the baby mamas I meet—to listen to them, support them and not judge them. New moms have enough busybodies telling them their baby ought to be wearing socks. I try instead to be the cheerleader who says, "All your baby needs is love and you're doing a great job."

Some time after Neighbor Mom left, a very pregnant woman walked past my building and paused so her dog could watch the squirrels. We got to talking and I learned she was expecting her first, and she had lots of questions. It felt good to be the one who had answers, or at least experience, to share. I wound up telling her about the wonderful preschool I'd found for my daughter, and a few years later I bumped into there. We're still friends today.

I can never thank Neighbor Mom enough for all she gave me, but I can pay it forward—every chance I get.

[This was originally published on Apparently]

Love + Village

"Spring forward, lose sleep." That's how parents tend to think about the start of Daylight Saving Time, when the clocks spring forward one hour at midnight, and we all lose an hour of sleep. (Sadly, there are no exemptions for the already-sleep-deprived.)

With the start of this year's Daylight Saving Time around the corner on Sunday, March 8, 2020, most of us are preparing to set our clocks one hour ahead as we “spring forward." Thankfully, this means the days will start to feel longer with more sunlight, but it also means another shift in your child's sleep schedule.

The good news is, there are ways to minimize the effects of the time shift and help make the forward leap into spring a smooth transition for the entire family.

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Try these 5 "spring forward" tips to help kids adjust to Daylight Saving Time without losing sleep.

1. Prepare by going to bed earlier the night before

Truthfully, the concept of shifting bedtimes can feel a bit like rocket science. So, to keep it simple I recommend going to sleep earlier the night before—that way the household still wakes up feeling rested.

Some people recommend doing this for several nights before, moving bedtime earlier and earlier, but honestly I have seen this cause more confusion than good. If you focus on the night before, they still get the same amount of sleep as they normally would on the night the time change happens since our bodies naturally will wake at our normal time.

Much like traveling to a different time zone, it is going to take some time for your internal sleep clocks to adjust regardless of how prepared you are. Going to bed earlier to avoid overtired little ones is a good idea in general.

2. Encourage light during the day and darkness for sleep

Our body's internal sleep cycles (also called our circadian rhythms) are regulated by lightness and darkness, and heavily influenced by our environment. This is why many of us wake up when the sun rises and start to feel sleepy shortly after the sun sets (although many of us go to bed way past sunset).

You can help your child's 24-hour sleep cycle by exposing her to light first thing in the morning and making sure that her room is dark during naps and for bedtime. If your child's bedtime is on the earlier side, it may get harder to put her down as the days get longer, so blackout shades might be a good option in this case.

3. Keep routines consistent

As we enter a new season, schedules and activities can tend to feel a bit chaotic, and your children often experience the impacts of this the most. Even with the time shift, it is still important to stick closely to your current routine, only making minor changes if possible.

4. Try to be patient with your kids

As we all know, the effects of sleep deprivation impact the entire family. Children are just as confused about the time change as we are, and although our bodies will eventually adjust naturally, some have a harder time than others. If you notice meltdowns become a bit more frequent after the time change, try to remember that lack of sleep could be the culprit. I encourage you to set aside more quiet time and maybe even an extra nap while you all try to adjust to this new season.

5. Invest in an Ok-to-Wake! clock or another device that can help keep sleep on track

This is a great option for eager toddlers who are used to getting up and running into your room in the morning. Having a child-friendly alarm clock that turns green to indicate it is time to get up can make a big difference to a child trying to adjust.

The great thing is, if you already have an early morning riser, the time change will actually help to shift those early morning wakings to a more manageable time!

Your children are more resilient than you might think so try not to worry too much about the impact daylight saving time will have. Our bodies know what to do, and sometimes the best thing is to just go with it and hope for the best! You've got this.

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