Mom 2.0 Again…Dana Point, California

Greetings from MOM 2.0!

A great place to be right now listening to the surf and watching the ebb and flow of the tide!

The sea is so relaxing and it has always been my happy place!

Mom 2.0 The Ritz Carlton, Dana Point CaliforniaI am one lucky grandmother to be here at Mom 2.0! This year it is here at the Ritz Carlton, Dana Point, California. The venue is spectacular and only adds to the excitement of being at this fabulous conference.

It was somewhat touch and go getting to Laguna from Chicago yesterday due to family responsibilities but it was wonderful to finally finally lay my head on on my pillow here at the hotel after a marathon day which began at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in Chicago and ended at 11:30 p.m. here near Laguna Beach.

For the next couple of days I will be surrounded by some very interesting mothers grandmothers, dads and so many other wonderful people who will continue to inspire me.

Join me for Mom 2.0 here in California!

 

Postpartum 8 Weeks

Postpartum 8 Weeks and Baby at 8 Weeks

postpartum

It hardly seems possible that my new little grandson is almost 8 weeks old…I am sure his mom and dad can believe it since parenthood definitely takes its toll in the early weeks of adjustment especially with respect to sleep deprivation.

Fortunately their little guy has become quite the good sleeper. Surprisingly, he did his major long sleep during the night at about 6 weeks old. I remember the first time my own child slept through the night I jumped out of bed early in the morning to see if she was okay and breathed a sigh of relief to see her just arousing from a full night’s sleep. It was a milestone to celebrate!

A baby at 8 weeks is just coming into his own and starting to have longer periods of wakefulness. It is wonderful to play music and have soft conversations with him while he is feeding, having his diaper changed, getting a bath or just hanging out in mom or dad’s arms. Sooner than later he will give you a great big toothless smile that will just melt your heart.

IMG_7158

Postpartum is not without its long days and sometimes even longer nights for both parents. Times can get tough when parents have not had time for themselves or each other since delivery. Visitors are great but even that can get nerve wracking when home now takes on the look of scene from a Mr. Mom movie.

Moms can get overwhelmed and what is commonly known as the “baby blues” can turn into postpartum depression for some moms after a few weeks at home with a newborn. There are many reasons this happens at a time when a woman feels that she should in fact be happy that she has a normal healthy baby.

It can be a really scary time for mom when she feels overwhelmed and sad. Many times a mom won’t want to admit that she is not enjoying her baby. The guilt can be paralyzing and embarrassing .

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of PPD

Postpartum depression can begin any time during the first two months after you give birth. Symptoms may include:

 

  • Irritability or hypersensitivity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Crying or tearfulness
  • Anger
  • Negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
  • Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Difficulty sleeping (especially returning to sleep)
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Changes in appetite or eating habits
  • Headaches, stomachaches, muscle or backaches
  • Some women with PPD believe they can’t adequately care for their baby or may harm their baby.

Access Hollywood recently aired a segment about postpartum depression. Brooke Shields, Gwyneth Paltrow both suffered PPD and just a few days ago Hayden Panettiere  announced she was taking a medical leave for PPD treatment.

When Brooke Shields spoke about her PPD it was a diagnosis that many women never spoke about. They suffered in silence and were many times embarrassed by a mental health diagnosis. After all they just had a baby.

The operating word here is JUST. Having a baby, although normal is a huge undertaking both physically and emotionally. It is by no means JUST having a baby.

I am amazed and encouraged seeing mom’s mental health discussed so openly in the media and online. It is a different world than it was when I had my own children over 30+ years ago. There is no room for shame. Shame destroys lives

Postpartum Progress is another place where moms can find an enormous amount of information and support following childbirth. Katherine Stone founded her blog and has helped so many women share their experiences and in turn help themselves and other women.

This blog is a program of the national nonprofit Postpartum Progress®. We raise awareness, fight stigma and provide peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness. To learn more about our nonprofit’s mission and all the ways we help moms and would love to help you, click here and here.

Yes having a baby is a wonderful life changing milestone. As always moms need to take care of themselves before they can take care of others including their children.

Remember to put on your oxygen mask first and then put on your child’s…you are no good to anyone without your own oxygen.

Suggested reading:Postpartum Medication Saved my Life

Moms…how to find joy in the chaos of life!

anchor

Do you know the secret to being a “successful” or a “good” mother?

Certainly such a question is one that all moms ask themselves now and then, perhaps in different ways.

Is it really all that difficult to be mom?

It seems the world is on overload but in the recent past we have experienced events that have truly given us pause to think about what is most important about being a mom to children of any age.

In my eyes, moms are anchors and when something threatens that anchor we feel adrift in a uncertain sometimes dark sea.

How do we stay anchored for our kids?

for me it is doing the little things…

making lunch for my granddaughter,

blowing bubbles with her rather than continuing to write a grocery list or blog post….

making the beds…

planning and preparing dinner so that we can share a few moments eating and enjoying each other’s company…

reading books…playing games…drawing pictures…even if I am a pathetic artist…grandchildren don’t see our mistakes.

and when I need some “me’ time…I take it…maybe it is a Chai from Starbucks

maybe it is a conversation with a friend…

Yesterday, at the Boston Marathon, we saw how life can change in a split second as two bombs exploded at the finish line.

Runners were doing something they loved…running…they were moms, dads, brothers, sisters, friends all trying to just cross the finish line…

Today and in the tomorrows, let’s try to stop and “smell the roses” as we go about our lives before we cross our finish line…

What is in a Face?

Lipstick

What legacy are you leaving your daughters and granddaughters when it comes to fashion and skin care?

Perhaps, this is not even an important legacy in your eyes but I find it fun to observe mothers and daughters and even grandmothers and their affects on each other when it comes to fashion and beauty.

My own mother was very devoted to good skin care and she was fortunate to have beautiful skin and coloring.

She was born in 1911, so for most of her life there was no such thing as “sunscreen” or SPF but she knew to stay away from too much sunbathing since she had very fair skin which did not tan…it just burned. Also, she grew up in NYC, so getting to the beach meant a trip to Rockaway or Jones Beach, which was not that easy for her.

As a young girl, I watched my mother carefully as she got ready for work every morning. She washed with soap and water using a wash cloth…she then applied a liquid makeup foundation and dusted her face with loose powder. She then applied some pink lipstick, blotted it and she was done. She used no eye make-up. In her purse, she carried a compact of loose powder and a lipstick. It was a very simple routine!

Every once in awhile I would visit our neighbor, who also worked everyday. I was intrigued by her make-up routine. It was very different from my mom’s morning ritual.

Alline would wash her face and begin with foundation…it was heavier than my mother’s, she then spent quite a bit of time on her eyes, using wax on her eyebrows, eyeliner and mascara. Her eyes were blue and gorgeous.

Alline was black haired with blue eyes…to me, she looked like Elizabeth Taylor, very glamourous. While my own mother was beautiful…I did not think of her as glamourous. As I grew older I wished to see my mother explore her beauty with a touch of glamour.

So, I took her for a make-up session to New York’s Fifth Avenue, Best & Co.  A wonderful make-up artist transformed my beautiful mom into a glamourous one. Mind you, she did not have to do very much. She added a touch of eye make-up, some mascara and some color to her eyebrows and then brought out her blue eyes with the lightest of blue eyeshadow. And just like that my dear mother went from beautiful to glamourous.

My mother was pleased and I was over the moon.

That very day,

I realized something…

a little make-up goes a long way.

My mother had a saying….

“never gild a lily”….

I finally understood what she meant.

Make-up was just that…gilt….

and

My mother was the Lily!

 

My post was inspired by the following:

My Nana was frugal but her face was her luxury item and her spending inelastic on all items of skin care. A veteran traveller, she had her routines. “Unpacking her face” was ritualistic. She would lay out the hotel washcloth upon which she would arrange her creams, brushes, liners, mascara and tweezers.

via Felice Shapiro: High Fashion: A Good Face And A Black Turtleneck.

Do maternal grandparents have it better?

Like I said: Its complicated.

via Do Maternal Grandmothers Really Have It Better? – Grandparents.com.

 

Do maternal grandparents have it better…maybe, is all I have to say.

It truly depends on the relationship that a mom has with her daughter. If the relationship with your daughter is marginal then I believe the relationship with your grandchildren has a greater chance of being marginal. As a grandmother, you will have to make more of an effort at your relationship with your grandchildren as well.

Relationships are work…grandparent-grandchild relationships are no different in many ways than relationships with other relatives or friends.

Grandchildren should not, in my belief, have to “kowtow” to their grandparents. I have said this in other posts.

To me, it is nice to have grandchildren who respect you, but if you want to have them visit, call or talk to you, then you will have to be the engager.

Sorry to say, but I remember being really bored by my paternal grandparents…even though I loved them dearly…they just were not fun and to top it off, most of the time they spoke Italian which I did not understand. I remember thinking this was kind of rude.

Since my parents were divorced, my paternal grandparents were visited only on weekends with my dad. It was kind of an obligation of his and he brought me along for the ride.

Since I lived with my maternal grandmother, I loved her like she was my mother and sometimes, she was my “stand in” mother. She taught me to cook and do things around the house like ironing and making hospital corners on the beds. All girls need to know these things…Right?

Divorce or any rupture in a family does nothing to enhance the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Of course, it does depend upon the age at which the rupture takes place and to how extensive is the animosity between father, mother and family members.

In these situations, grandparents may find it difficult for various reasons to remain in contact with their grandchildren, because of loyalty to their child, conflict with daughter-in-law or son-in-law and the trickle down effect that all of this has on the grandchild.

Even if there is a seemingly amicable situation, there will be unspoken feelings that a child may sense which will interfere with a developing relationship between them and their grandparents. Grandparents will have their work cut out for them in this family scenario. But hopefully the work will be worth it in the end.

Being a grandparent is the best thing that has happened to me. I cannot imagine any thing better. Being a mom was great and yes, I definitely had more energy but not more wisdom or patience…those I have acquired with age and life experience. For me, being the maternal grandmother has been a perk because I had and still have a good relationship with my daughter.

Do I have to walk on egg shells?… sometimes, certainly… will my relationship with my grandchild continue to be as wonderful as it currently is…well that will depend on me now won’t it?

 

 

Related posts: