Articles & Resources
Stories from moms who have been there, interviews with experts, and the latest research to help you love motherhood even more!
When you are an exhausted parent, you will receive lots of advice such as you should exercise more, eat better, fix your child’s sleep problems, pay a house cleaner, take vitamins or just get by with coffee and wine. The problem with some of these suggestions is that when you’re exhausted anything extra feels like too much. You are also often very critical of yourself and all the things you perceive you are not doing. For this reason, these suggestions can feel like criticisms.
One tip I regularly share with exhausted parents is the importance of self-compassion or as I prefer to call it self-kindness. Self-compassion means giving yourself the same kindness and care you’d give a friend. Leading self-compassion expert, Dr Kristin Neff, developed self-compassion therapy when she noticed the negative impact her self-critical behaviour had on her wellbeing and performance. Dr Neff’s research has demonstrated that being kind to yourself helps you do better in life and achieve your goals.
Of all the things I learned in my training as a clinical psychologist, there is one tip that works best with kids. I learned a lot over the 6 years of training about development and cognitive science but this tip is the one parents need most. This tip helps you change any behaviour better than any other. It can be universally applied to any problem behaviour and better still, this tip is backed by science.
It’s a tip I offer a lot in my clinic and it’s one I use in my home. You can bet that when a problem behavior crops up with one of my children it’s because I haven’t been using this science based tip. Noticing behavior you like starts a positive feedback loop between you and your child and encourages your child to want to work with you.read more
As parents, we would do anything for our kids.
We want them to be happy, carefree, and to love childhood. This is why as parents having a child with anxiety can be so difficult. We want to reason with them, to tell them that their worries are not founded in truths, and that they should just let these worries go. We want to help our children with anxiety know that they are safe and okay.
If you are parenting a child with anxiety, you may find that logically explaining to your child why they don’t need to be worried isn’t helpful. It might feel like everything you are doing isn’t making a difference.
The research behind this says that during times of anxiety, there is a rapid dump of chemicals that goes into your child’s brain for survival. The prefrontal cortex (the logical part) of your child’s brain gets put on hold, while their emotional brain takes over. Basically, this means is that it is VERY HARD for your child to think logically when they are anxious. This is why, when you are trying to reason with them, nothing seems to stick. They aren’t ignoring you!
Instead of reacting to your child’s worries by saying “that won’t happen” or becoming anxious with them, I want to encourage you to try to Our Mama Village’s PAUSE method.
Birthdays have always been one of my favorite things to celebrate, and the year I turned 32 was supposed to be the start to an even more exciting chapter in my life. I was nine weeks pregnant and on my birthday, I was being gifted the experience of seeing my second baby and hearing its heart beat. It was my first sonogram.
For over a month, I had been waiting for it to happen. I was already stressed due to a regiment of different medications, hormones and doctors’ appointments that followed blood tests that were not where they were supposed to be. There I was, laying on the table anxiously “meeting my baby” for the first time, this little blob shown on the screen.
“Aren’t you going to play the heartbeat for me? Did you forget!?” I asked the technician. Instead of responding or printing out any pictures, she told me I would be called to meet with the doctor.
I knew it then; I saw it in her face. My stomach churned while I waited.
To the new mom buying formula at Walmart with her 1 month old baby, I see you.
I see the tears in your eyes when you read ‘breast is best’ on every label. I see you looking around, wondering if other moms are judging you for feeding such a little baby formula. And I see your husband standing there, unsure of how to help you, silently hurting with you.
As you read label after label, I see your confusion wondering if one is better than the other. Thinking about which one will be best for your baby that is currently screaming in your arms.read more
Getting pregnant after an eating disorder can be a scary time for women, both physically and emotionally. It can bring a landmine of challenges for women in navigating their relationships with food and their bodies. Society seems obsessed with critiquing the size and shape of your body during and after pregnancy, and never have you been more on display for public comment. If you have a history of battling an eating disorder, no matter where you are in your recovery journey, these challenges can seem to magnify tenfold.read more
If you are a new mom having scary thoughts about your baby, you are not alone. Many new moms have scary thoughts after having a baby. You are probably feeling terrified of sharing these thoughts, for fear of being judged as a bad mom. The truth is that good moms have scary thoughts. Just because you are thinking these thoughts, does not mean that you will act on them, and does not mean that you are a bad mother.read more
When the hospital bag is packed, the baby clothes are washed and ready, and the crib is assembled, many couples feel they are all set to come home and begin their new lives as parents. What few of us realize is that the relationships we have with our partners will...read more
To the mom who is thinking of pregnancy after miscarriage or loss: I've been in your shoes. I know how scary this can feel. Here is my story, I hope it helps you find joy in your next pregnancy, and know that you are not alone in this journey. “A woman falls in love...read more