Reflection: 39 Weeks

As I am writing this I am one week and one day away from my due date. Our nursery is all set up, the hospital bag is packed, most of our family is in town from Phoenix, and my husband has officially moved his office home in preparation of our baby’s arrival. Now we just wait.

As difficult as the final months of pregnancy can be: the discomfort, the anticipation, the sweat (oh my gosh, the sweat!), the ability to find anything in your closet that fits, I can say I am so grateful to have had such a healthy and smooth pregnancy. It took us almost a year to get pregnant, which I understand is normal, but that year was full of many months where we would build excitement, and then be let down, over and over again. When the home pregnancy test finally read positive we were happy beyond belief.

As most things do, it came at the perfect time. Getting pregnant at the time I did allowed my husband to land his dream job in New York, and for us to be able to pursue both his career and starting a family at the same time. I have learned so much through my pregnancy about myself, my marriage, and what I can anticipate as motherhood approaches.

That being said, I am aware I truly have no clue what is coming my way. Many mothers have said to me through this process that you think you are prepared for the love you will feel, but that nothing can prepare you. So prepared or unprepared, I am ready. I cannot wait to meet our baby.

Photography by Amy Hanen.

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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