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How Not to Lose Your Sh*t as a Mom

We’ve all had those days as a mom, when you’re teetering on the edge of sanity. Your kid won’t get dressed, you’ve just run out of milk, the baby is crying and you know you’re going to be late for that very important meeting/yoga class/girlfriend meetup/whatever you had planned for YOU today...and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. You’re. Going. To. Lose. Your. Shit.

Trying to take care of yourself in the midst of motherhood is hard work! Nobody knows that more than Randi Zinn, author of Going Beyond Mom: How to Activate your Mind, Body & Business After Baby. Her book is filled with advice, guidance and inspiration for any mom who’s looking to redefine herself after baby...or maybe just define herself for the first time. Which is no small feat when you’ve got a million balls to juggle and you’re on the verge of, um, losing your shit on a daily basis.

Below, Randi talks about how to prevent what she calls an “emotional tsunami” and how to get yourself back on track of taking care of YOU in the midst of taking care of everything else.

What's a "Beyond Mom" and why do you feel it's so important to you as a mother?

A Beyond Mom is a mom who is cultivating SELF in the midst of being a Mom. In other words, the woman who wants to have a voice, a purpose, and a passion is not forgotten! This is incredibly important because you will be, ultimately, a much happier individual when all parts of you are part of your daily life and not put aside in a little box on the shelf. Motherhood can be so much more dynamic when you are present with who you really are...and your kids benefit from a very present, aware mama too.

Tell us a little about the concept of an emotional tsunami. How is it especially relevant during motherhood?

Emotions are high in early motherhood. Life looks different from how it did before baby came along: you’re functioning with way less sleep, little free time, and way more hormones. It’s very easy to lose your shit. We also come to depend on our support system and our schedule for the simplest of things- if that is shaken, we can experience an “emotional tsunami” or the feeling like our emotions are taking us over. But does it have to be that way? If we’re practicing tools of mindfulness (which is essentially the ability to be aware in the moment that you’re losing it), you can choose another path. The end result can be more peaceful and probably more productive.

Give us an example of an emotional tsunami you experienced recently.

I found that I lost my shit a lot more with my first child over moments like when my husband was traveling over a holiday weekend and leaving me solo, or when I felt like my husband wasn’t “doing it right,” and he fought for his rightful place to take care of our kid and make mistakes (he was right!). But recently, I’ve lost my shit more with my older child when HE is having an emotional tsunami and I’m too pooped (and occupied with my younger child and my work) to deal with him.

There’s been some screaming, some crying, and some rapid heartbeats. It’s not a side of me that I like. I’m learning though, over time, to use my own tips and take a pause, go in the other room, take some deep breaths, remind myself that this too shall pass. These tiny practices allow me to step in with so much more clarity and compassion (for my kid and for myself) and somehow the emotions don’t take more over. And like anything else, with practice, it gets easier.

Why is it so important to learn how to cope with en emotional tsunami once you become a mom?

Motherhood is intense. Add on any other commitments like starting a business or running a project and it can feel like more than any woman can take. And yet, we are a more whole individual when we have that which is ours alone. So how do we do it? We take baby steps to stay grounded and clear, even in the face of losing it.

Here’s what I do:

1. When I feel the emotions rising, I take a pause. So if that means putting my son in his room in “time out” or putting myself in my closet to breathe for a few moments, I do that.

2. I take a few deep breaths and literally imagine my mind clearing (visualizations help).

3. I speak from my belly. Let me explain. When i’m upset, I notice i speak from my throat (which feels more constricted and emotional). When I speak from my belly it seems to be more grounded and truthful….and i make more progress.

4. If I need more time, I take it. Especially when it comes to conversations with my partner. If I feel like a conversation isn’t complete but my emotions aren’t in a grounded place, I wait until I feel more grounded to continue. It sounds so obvious, but most of us don’t take that time and that’s when the emotional tsunami wave pounds.

Buy Randi's book on Amazon here.

Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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