Motherhood is: Constant reminders from one another that we're not alone

When we see a fellow mama in that place, we need to remember to step up, step in, step out of our comfort zone… and be that mom.

Motherhood is: Constant reminders from one another that we're not alone

There's nothing like motherhood to make you feel incredibly empowered one day, and then so very vulnerable and fragile the next.

Most days, we are Superwoman-Mama-Awesome and feel like we can do it all. We're all puffed up with confidence and calm. Bring it on.

And other days, it's just so, so much—too much—and all we want to do is turtle, stay home, avoid any one. more. thing. that might reinforce that we aren't doing it right. That we aren't doing enough. That we aren't enough.

The point is, we have all been on both sides of the front door. We know how it feels. And we know when we see a mama struggling.

We see it in her eyes… a furtive glance in attempt to break in, or lock out.

We see it in her face… a grimace instead of a quick smile, a furrowed brow instead of anticipation.

We see it in her posture… a little bent, a little rounded, hunching in attempt to protect a raw heart.

Sometimes, we even see it in her hair. (You know what I mean.)

So when we see a fellow mama in that place, we need to remember to step up, step in, step out of our comfort zone… and be that mom.

For the mom who is feeling like she's not enough…

Be that mom who offers an encouraging word, letting her know you see her and she is doing just fine.

For the mom who is needing comfort from a hard day or difficult parenting situation…

Be that mom who stands up for another mom, extends a hand, a gentle word, a knowing smile, assuring her she is not alone.

For the mom who is new, shy or lonely and seeking friends…

Be that mom who makes the phone call, walks across the room or parking lot and extends a smile and a welcome, expanding her friend group to make room for one more.

For the mom who is struggling to figure it all out…

Be that mom who drops off a meal with a new recipe, a new tip, a new resource to check out, giving her hope and a break.

When being a mom takes most of what we've got, some days it is just harder to dig deeper and find that resolve to embrace the unexpected or unfamiliar.

Anything can throw us off balance and into that murky swamp of stress, anxiety and uncertainty—a new home, a new hood, a new school, a new situation.

Sometimes, it's just because we're new. Everyone else has their mom-group already. We're faced with breaking into what is already established, already comfortable. It's daunting. They are laughing all together and sharing the warmth that comes with familiarity. They are there for each other. We aren't "in," and that feels awkward. And lonely.

Other times, it's just because we are so, so tired. We've been up too many nights in a row at the mercy of a virus that has set upon each family member, one by one, saving the final knock out punch for us. And we're left on the ropes and trying our best to get back in the ring. Or, self-care has taken a back seat in the mom-van of life for far too long, and our gas tank is empty.

All of us have had our share of both kinds of days—we know the satisfaction and empowerment of feeling like we are in our lane, and on the days that don't feel so good, we all know what it feels like to have to carry on. We're in need of support, we need to be noticed, we need someone to throw us a line.

We've all been there. So, be that mom.

Be a role model, not only for your kids, but for the other moms in the parking lot as well. Be that mom who takes the time, makes the effort and has the courage to do the right thing, even when it is hard. What we give is sure to return to us tenfold.

Be easy on each other, and make it easy for each other. Because it's rarely easy, what we are doing.

We all watch each other, so let's all help each other too.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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