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goings on in the world of pregnancy and the time thereafter

BellyButtonBoutique – Maternity and Postpartum Store: April Give-a-way – Elastin 3 Advanced Stretch Mark Therapy ($69.95 value) is giving away a free tube of Elastin 3.  Click here to enter:

March 30, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique | , | Leave a comment

10 Questions with Sarah C Lolley, Fashion & Travel Journalist (& Mom)

I stumbled across an article written by Sarah C Lolley, Fashion and Travel Journalist, contributor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  The article was about New York Fashion Week 2010, but what I loved was the story woven into the article – her experience as a pregnant journalist at New York Fashion Week 2010.  I love love loved it.  Though her life is far more glamorous than mine, I could totally relate to her thoughts and feelings.  I sent her an email to give her a digital high-five and she wrote back!  I am a total fan of hers now.  Down to earth, worldly and overall amazing, Sarah C. Lolley.

Riegersburg Castle, Austria

1.  Wow, you were at fashion week this year in NYC.  As a pregnant woman, what was that like?

It was like high school and I was the dowdy nun waddling around the playground.

Truthfully, it was an adventure. Every day I was unsure what I was going to encounter. I was having contractions every time someone brushed up against my belly. Sometimes people got so rude I wanted to pass gas to part the throngs of people waving tickets at the security. This was the same security that held me aside to debate whether or not I was really pregnant or just trying to get a seat. However, most often there were always seats that no one claimed that were offered to me.

Since this is a website dedicated to mommies I will be honest with you… I was in a lot of pain. I had a fissure in my butt, which is far more painful than a hemorrhoid. The week before I had gone to Miami, which was like being a chaperone during Spring Break, and it was about the same time the little boy in my belly really started to play kick ball with my innards. You might say he already broke something.

I was very thankful we booked a hotel a block from Bryant Park. I needed a break between shows to cry.

2.  Are you under pressure to constantly dress fashion forward?

Most of the time I dress fashion backwards. I use to cover music and nightlife before I became pregnant in 2007 with my little girl Lyra. The hipster community migrates toward vintage and edgier get-ups. Therefore, my closet looks like a costume department. I still have my junior prom dress, which Marc Jacobs would have loved last year when the 80s came back to haunt us.

The answer is yes and no. I end up buying a lot of the pieces I write about, but I never wear them because my daughter will ruin them when she snuggles into me – or I realize that the look is uncomfortable. I will say that the leggings and over-sized top trend is perfect for this mom.  Now if they only offered more variety in pregnancy leggings.

3.  What are your favorite maternity pieces?

I never, ever, ever wore sweatpants unless I was sick in bed. Never even to the grocery store. However, when I first became pregnant I discovered black yoga pants. Majamas are my favorite and I have bought them for every friend that has gotten pregnant over the years (I receive no endorsements).  To pair with them I go for cotton empire waist dresses that are short enough to look good with leggings or my Majamas.

However, that look was very last pregnancy circa 2008. In the upcoming seasons shirt dresses are the casual go-to look. And since the empire waist is really out (Note: you can find them on the clearance rack at stores purging their inventory), I have gravitated toward silk blend peasant shirt styles that are more comfortable than the stiffer cotton versions. I invested in a few soft wrap-around Obi belts from Taxi CDC ( that I tie just below where my bra hits. It’s the only place left that resembles my waist anyway.

4.  As you know, Project Runway winner Christian Siriano designs a line for Moody Mamas maternity brand.  Others are following suit.  What trends did you see at fashion week do you think will translate into maternity?

I love Christian. He made sure I had a chair with my name on it at his show. I held onto it for dear life while the pretty people talked amongst themselves.

Designers are going back to thinking about the practical need for new clothes, and it makes sense that children and pregnant women NEED new clothes. I have never spent so much money at one time as I did when I first busted out of my skirts at four months pregnant. Another trend affecting the racks is that many working women have a need for clothes that don’t look like pajamas.

The nice thing about the spring and fall season is that the trends are in the sleeves and silhouettes. I am not down with the one-sleeved frocks out there, mainly because I got two fat arms, not one. However, the butterfly ruffles and flounces are feminine details that appear in tunics that can easily translate to mama’s new form. Tye-dye is also in again and Green Dragon has made a maternity line for Pea in a Pod that I discovered during research for a story.

The waistlines have either gone back to the 1940s or have dropped back to the hips with a draping torso like the 1920s. Most of the garments I tried on left me looking like a cave woman because tribal and distressed abstract patterns are also in for spring.

Khaki is also hot this spring and fall, so if you are like me and need a color that goes well with a food stain here and there this is the season for you. Also get yourself a pair of lace-up oxford style shoes. I need some height to my shoes, but I will endanger people around me if I get into a pair like the ones that were at every show I saw in NYC. Anthropologie has a few sculpted pairs that fit the need for balance.

5.  How do you balance your jetsetting worklife with home?

This question would assume that I am actually balancing it.

My husband Patrick is from another planet so I have him fooled. Well, up until the point he hired a nanny from his native country Romania to help me.

The answer is “with help.” My father, who is a retired heart surgeon, was my ‘manny’ until recently, but when I would ask him to take Lyra out so I can get some work done he would end up at Popeye’s stuffing trans-fat fried chicken in her. The rest of my family is in Kentucky – eating KFC no doubt.

The other answer is “have a sense of humor, a really big sense of humor.” I travel with Lyra more than most sane people would ever force upon themselves. Patrick and I are haphazard travelers; however, we are learning to be less spontaneous and more prepared. My purse is HUGE and Patrick looks like he was forced into slavery with backpacks strapped to the front and back of his body while pulling two huge suitcases. I am so glad he loves me and hasn’t broken his back yet.

6.  Has having children changed the way that you execute your job?

I work from home instead of going into an office. These are my baby years so my phone is my office.

As far as actual work, I can no longer wait until the last minute to do anything. I have intervals of time that I plan to work and if I putz around shopping sample sales online I will lose that window when Lyra wakes up or the nanny goes home. Pre-nanny I use to take Lyra into the office all the time. She is 22-months of curiosity now and is still fascinated with electrical sockets so that doesn’t work any more.

Since I live in a pretty friendly city I take Lyra boutique browsing to check out what the stores will be carrying and I often invite sources I use for story leads over to chat since I live in the city.  This means I had to learn to cook – which may also be why my husband got a nanny.

7.  You also write for a website.  Tell me about it.

In my recent youth I had a blog called the “Toilet Diaries,” which I began before the word blog was in the dictionary. That morphed into a travel site dedicated to the men I met while traveling called the “Misadventures of Sarah do Lolley.” Obviously, I am a grown-up now, but I still needed an outlet for my less formulaic writing pieces.

This past summer the newspaper asked me to film a few broadcast pieces to accompany my travel stories. Most of the material ended up to be a comedy of errors since I have the worst pronunciation of foreign languages. After a summer of trips in Europe and Canada, where I try to speak Canadian, what we ended up with was a series of stories called “American Mom.” I am launching the site before the little boy in my belly arrives in May.

8.  What are three travel tips that you can offer to moms?

1)      Bring a strong able bodied person with you or learn to pack lighter than me.

2)      Always exercise your right to board the plane first. You will need the extra time to sanitize the surrounding seats and window with disinfectant wipes, fold up your stroller, and claim your overhead space.

3)      Book a hotel room with lots of space and at least a fridge. While in Miami we decided to stay at a hotel that offered more space and a kitchen for the same price as the “kid friendly” Loews resort. The fridge helps with early rising kids that need breakfast before mama can shower and demand afternoon snacks after nap.

9.  When you were a child, is this the life that you thought you would have?

I wanted to be an actress since I was a child. In college I grew away from the acting profession because I had a hard time faking it. The whole idea of faking emotions turned my head to a profession that was dedicated to finding truth in reality.

I never thought I would have kids because I was afraid of corrupting them. I always blamed my parents for my dysfunctional bits. As an adult I forgave my parents, but every man I dated never saw me as the marrying type. Of course, I am so glad none of them worked out. I wouldn’t have met my husband if they had.

I have colleagues and friends that have the career I thought that I would, but I have a home which is much more than I ever imagined it would be.

10.  What is next for you?

Birth. For some reason being responsible for a boy makes me nervous. I mean I could barely date them and now I have to raise one! What if he is crazy! It’s my mama’s curse!

To ease my mind I am working on a Diaper Derby Party (a cross between a baby shower and a Derby party) since I am missing it again this year. I love hats and Derby is the season to wear them so it will be hat themed. Then in the late summer I will head out again – maybe to Europe or Canada or plain ole Kentucky.

You can find my ramblings at or my paper published stories at

Isn’t she lovely!  Make sure that you check out Sarah’s blog and column.  Hopefully she will one day write a book!

March 29, 2010 Posted by | parenthood, pregnancy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Questions About Bed Rest

One in four pregnant women are placed on bed rest annually.  That is approximately 700,000 women.  Its a measure that doctors prescribe when they feel that the baby and/or mother is at risk for complications during the pregnancy.  It can be a sudden and sometimes devastating turn of events in an otherwise healthy pregnancy term.  For BellyButtonBoutique owner Karla Trotman, bed rest meant 2 weeks in the hospital on 24-hour monitoring where should could only leave the bed to use the restroom and to shower.  Some women must spend their entire pregnancy in bed.  Darline Turner-Lee is the founder of Moms On Bedrest & Beyond.  She took the time out of her busy schedule to give us an in depth look at the emotional and physical side of a pregnancy prescribed to bed rest.

1.  Why would a pregnant woman have to be on bed rest?

Pregnant women are prescribed Bedrest when they are at risk for going into preterm labor (defined as labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Common causes of preterm labor that would require a woman to be placed on bed rest include incompetent cervix (cervix dilating and shrinking in preparation for delivery before it’s time for delivery), placenta previa (placenta presenting first at the opening of the birth canal) Uncontrolled Gestational Diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension/pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia, poor fetal growth, A multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc..), vaginal bleeding, premature rupture of membranes (early water breaking) history of pregnancy loss.

2.  Are there different types of bed rest?

The bed rest prescription varies depending on the situation. Sometimes a woman will be asked to stay close to home, not drive and not do any heavy lifting or strenuous activities, yet she can work on a computer and putter around her home. Some women will be on “house arrest” where they have to stay at home, either in bed or on the sofa, keeping their feet up and not doing any vigorous activity, getting up only to go to the bathroom and are only allowed to shower once daily. Then there is strict bed rest when a woman has to remain in bed and get up only to go to the bathroom (No Showering!), and very strict bed rest where she has to remain in bed on her left side and use a bedside commode.

3.  What are the emotional effects of bed rest on a woman?

Bed rest is very emotionally draining. Remember, a woman is placed on bed rest to protect both her health and the health of her baby. So many people chide a woman on bed rest with, “Girl, I wish I could lie around all day! Relax and enjoy it! Take advantage!”

Bed Rest View

But it’s pretty hard to relax when you know that you may be losing your baby. So many women on bed rest have had a difficult time getting pregnant and have often lost other pregnancies. In another example, a woman with very high blood pressure that is being refractory to treatment is often very worried that she may have a stroke or other life threatening complication where she could die or be very much impaired. There is a lot of anxiety and guilt because women often feel it’s their fault that the complications are happening. Often it’s no one’s fault, just something that happens. This is often not a fun time but one that is very stressful-the opposite of what is desired.

4.  What are some things that women on bed rest can do enhance their mood?

I always advise women on bed rest to stay cheerful. Listen to music, read good books, watch favorite movies. This is a great time to journal or to start a scrapbook for your little one. Gather lots of family info and photos and put it together for the baby.

Mostly, get as much interaction as possible. There are lots of great online forums women can join and chat with other women on bed rest. This seems to be one of the best ways women pass time, share hopes and fears and support one another.

5.  On your website you mention how exercise is very important while one is on bed rest.  Can you elaborate?

Pregnancy is a state of volume overload, meaning that there is more blood in a woman’s circulation and more fluid in her body. The added strain on the circulatory system puts pregnant women at risk for developing blood clots, mostly in the legs as they are the furthest from the heart. These clots can cause inflammation in the blood vessels where they develop and infection. If these blood clots dislodge (embolize) they can travel to the heart, lungs or brain and be fatal. These dangers are compounded in women on bed rest because not only do they have the additional fluid volume of pregnancy, they are immobile. (Ever notice that your feet swell on a long ride?? Same thing! Women on bed rest are at increased risk of developing blood clots in their legs and at increased risk of embolism that could result in a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke.

While it seems crazy, women on bed rest must exercise. Since they cannot walk around, they have to move their limbs and contract their muscles to keep the blood circulating to avoid the aforementioned complications. Also, keeping their muscles active and toned will enable them to regain their physical function once they are able to be up and about.

6.  How can family members support loved ones on bed rest?

Take care of the household duties so that she is not worrying about them; help with children, pets, community obligations. Stop by and clean her house or bring a meal. Offer to run errands or to take her children out for a day of fun (remember, they have lost the mommy that they know as well!) Mostly, visit. Being at home alone on bed rest can be very isolating. We have all experienced times when left to our own devices we think up all kinds of crazy scenarios. Unfortunately, some of the scenarios a woman on bed rest may be imagining may not be too far fetched. Visit her, sit with her, listen to her, and don’t dismiss her worries and fears. If you don’t know what to say, just listen and acknowledge her feelings. Throw her a party or a shower. Anything that will lift her spirits and keep her calm is good.

7.  What are the top 3 items a woman should have by her side during this time?

I actually came up with 4 things:

  1. A telephone
  2. The TV Remote
  3. A laptop computer
  4. A cooler or small fridge with snacks and drinks.

8.  On your website you offer services to help moms on bed rest in the Austin, Texas area.  Have you thought about partnering or franchising in other cities?

I would love to have a Mama on Bedrest & Beyond in every major city in the country! We really don’t do enough to support women and families and when a woman is not able to fulfill her regular obligations, it really impacts the family. The mission of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond is to support high risk pregnant women and their families during a very difficult time by maintaining as much “normalcy” as possible.

9.  Why did you start your business?

I had 2 high risk pregnancies and had no local support. I am originally from the Northeast and my husband is from the east as well. We are the only ones here in Texas. When I had problems with my pregnancies, both my mom and mother in law were trying to figure out how they could come and support me. With my first pregnancy, they were both still working and could not spare what could have been weeks away to care for me. Home health Agencies in the area cater only to the elderly or those with injuries or severe debilitation. When I called, I was told that pregnancy, even a high risk pregnancy, would not be covered. Luckily for me I did not end up on bed rest (my daughter was born early and I worked with my OB to avoid bed rest with my son because I had no local support), but I knew that I could not be the only person who lived far from family and had high risk pregnancies. So I decided to fill the gap.

10.  What is the one thing that readers should take away regarding bed rest?

Bed rest is anything but restful and is often very stressful. When a woman is placed on bed rest, she worries about her own health, the health of the baby and how she will meet her obligations. Anything that friends and family members can do to minimize her stress, to keep her spirits up and to keep her life on an even keel will be greatly appreciated.

Darline Turner-Lee is the founder of Mamas On Bedrest & Beyond, a subsidiary of Next Step Fitness, Inc*. She brings nearly 17 years of experience as a physician assistant, ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist and perinatal fitness instructor to the business along with extensive personal experience. Turner-Lee was pregnant every year between 2001 and 2006 with the exception of 2003. She has has 4 conceptions, 2 miscarriages, 2 high risk pregnancies and 2cesarean births.She has the unique perspective as a clinician and as a high risk and older mom (who gave birth at 37 and 40 respectively) which enables her to meet the unique needs-both physical and emotional-of high risk pregnant women. Turner-Lee’s vision for Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond is to change the way that clinicians, friends and loved ones care for high risk pregnant women.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique, complications, karla trotman, parenthood, pregnancy, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nanny Caddy – Your Diaper Bag With Wings

Yesterday, I spent 3 grueling hours at the Please Touch Museum with my husband and two boys.  That place can  give even Ghandi an anxiety attack.  There are children running everywhere.  Its an amazing space with tons of interaction for children, but what it lacks in security oftentimes leaves me panicking whenever my children dart away from me.  In the transportation area, my eldest runs around a ramp towards the bathroom with me sprinting behind.  When I catch up to him I notice a vending machine that looks, well attractive to the eye.

At first I thought it was ice cream, but when I got closer, I noticed that it was a machine filled with all of the things that I had shoved in my purse.  There were diapers, wipes, snacks, wet ones, anti-bacterial gel, all readily available for purchase.  In addition, I saw nursing covers, pacifiers and sippy cups.  This amazing machine was called the Nanny Caddy®.  Mom invented and strategically placed at hectic places, such as the Please Touch Museum, when leaving a diaper in the car could cause a major meltdown for both mom and child.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique, karla trotman, parenthood | | 1 Comment

Happy & Healthy Mom Fair Philadelphia

Please go to for details regarding this event.

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Questions with Mary Oscategui – The Baby Planner

BellyButtonBoutique owner, Karla Trotman was very inspired by mompreneur Mary Oscategui.  Not only is she a fitness expert and a mother, but she has established an international organization that sets the standard for how to plan for baby’s arrival.  Mary dismisses the notion that baby planners are only for the rich.  Instead, she offers insight on the business and how new and expectant moms are using baby planners to support and transition into motherhood.

1.  What is a Baby Planner?

A baby planner is an objective and supportive educator, who determines the types of services and products that are essential throughout their client’s journey toward parenthood.  A baby planner customizes their services to suit their client’s specific needs, and is committed to empowering their client’s by showing them all their many options during pre-conception, pregnancy and beyond.  This includes the various options for birthing, co-sleeping, health, fitness, nutrition, going-green, safety, budgeting, product navigation, baby shower preparation, baby registries, and much more.

2.   Is this a new concept? How did it start?

Although the origins of baby planning can be traced to a few different sources, “Baby Planner” as a profession was first formally established and recognized in the media in September 2006, when a woman by the name of Keely Paice launched her business in the United Kingdom.  They advise on all aspects of pregnancy.

3.  How did you get into area of expertise?

It was during my pregnancy with my daughter ‘Bella Luna’ that I first discovered the importance of having a strong support system.  I had always been very independent, yet when I suddenly found myself pregnant and living on the West Coast far away from my family, I suddenly realized that I was going to need to find a network of support as soon possible.  There were so many services, products, and decisions to ponder.  I was exhausted by the amount of energy and time spent researching all the information on pregnancy.  I knew that I needed to reach out for additional support to navigate me through the process.  I was blessed to come across an amazing mid-wife named Mary Jackson, who helped me find the support and guidance I needed.  Through her close network of friends and practitioners I had full-time support and guidance throughout my beautiful and challenging journey into motherhood.

The entire experience stirred up in me a passion to help and support expecting moms throughout their pregnancy. I realized I had found my calling.  A few months after Bella was born, I committed myself to becoming a “baby planner” extraordinaire. Prior to this I had been in the health and fitness industry for more than fifteen years as a Fitness and Group Exercise Manager.  In addition I hold extensive certifications as a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Wellness Coach, Yoga, and Pilates Instructor. Since I already had extensive training in consulting, business, management, and as a health practitioner, I saw the perfect way to combine this with my passion for motherhood.

4.   What types of services are available with a Baby Planner?

We offer in-home consults. We educate and coach expecting moms on everything from birthing options and breastfeeding to maternity health to “going green” and postpartum depression. Because of my fitness expertise, I can offer pre-and post-natal personal training and yoga. Other baby planners who have additional areas of expertise can do the same. We can recommend nutritionists, lactation consultants, sleep consultants, baby proofers, child care agencies and clinical psychologists, etc….

“A baby planner does not diagnose, treat, examine or medically advise their clients. Unless a baby planner holds an additional license or certification in a specific area of practice, a baby planner does not prescribe or attempt to perform for a client additional services that require advanced training.” (As stated in the International Academy of Baby  Planner Professionals Standard of Practice).

5.   Do you have to be rich to have a Baby Planner?

Absolutely not. A baby planner can be just as affordable as a personal trainer, life coach, lactation consultant, massage therapist etc….

6.   Why did you start the International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals?

Our philosophy as a baby planner is a great deal different from the philosophy of other baby planners in the mainstream market. The main stream definition of a baby planner is, “a professional consultant who is paid to assist expectant parents with some or all of the overwhelming tasks of preparing for their baby’s (or babies’) arrival such as researching baby products like strollers and cribs, nursery planning, home baby proofing, baby shower/baby registry planning, interviewing nannies and midwives, and even shopping for maternity clothes.”  The cornerstone of these baby planning businesses is baby gear consulting.  I found myself passionate about offering another approach.

The main stream definition lacks highlighting the most important part of pregnancy which is offering services providing education to raise awareness of a woman’s birthing options, co-sleeping choices and so on.  I had a strong desire to provide a different perspective of the role of a baby planner.  This passion led me to form The International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP) in September 2009. The IABPP inspires, supports, and educates baby planners through creative and effective professionalism, business management, strong leadership, sales, and communication in order to provide their clients with exceptional service.  The IABPP provides a baby planner certification program and advanced credentials to baby planner professionals.

7.   What should one look for when they are looking for a Baby Planner?

They should look for someone who is educated, objective, supportive, and experienced.  They should also look for someone who has interned with a baby planner or went through a form of education, like a certification program. Additional skills should include: a great listener, well-organized, excellent customer service, and empathetic.

8.   What is the most unusual request that you have received from a client?


9.   Have you ever had a request that you could not fulfill?

As of yet, no. I work with a team of experts who I refer my clients to, when my client’s needs go beyond my own scope of practice.

10.  How does one get the most use out of a Baby Planner?

By sharing their concerns and needs, no matter how small or large. A baby planner offers support and guidance in the most objective manner.

Mary Oscategui, Founder of The Baby Planner and The International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals, has a determination and love for empowering women “The Baby Planner: A Guide to Becoming a Baby Planner and Starting Your Own Business,” which offers a new perspective on what it means to be a baby planner, and provides those interested in a baby planning career with all the tools and support necessary to get started in the new industry of baby planning.

Mary has advised baby planner start-ups businesses offering a wealth of knowledge and support.  She has also coached and trained  a variety of clients throughout her fifteen year career through the modalities of  yoga, pilates, mom and baby health, holistic nutrition, and weight management.

She is a very passionate baby planner, single mom, mom-preneur,  certified Yoga and Pilates Instructor,certified Personal Trainer, a Health and Fitness Specialist, Living Foods expert, a Home Birth Mama, and a Going-Green expert. She’s inspirational, motivating, and enjoys matching her clients with the best of everything.  She is fluent in
Spanish and has a two year old daughter named Bella Luna.

Mary Oscategui, The Baby Planner

The International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique, parenthood, pregnancy | , , , | 1 Comment

The 9 Deadliest Mommy Sins

Inspired by Rich Santos from Marie Claire’s article (, I decided to create a list of The 9 Deadliest Mommy Sins (because a 10th one was too hard to think of)…

Image: Maggie Smith /

1. Friend Abandonment – You get married and have had a child or two and realize, I haven’t talked to my girlfriends in 3 years.  Most friends that have traveled down the same road of love/marriage/baby carriage will understand.  The ones that are single will not.  In their minds you have moved off to Pleasantville, USA, never to be heard of again.  To them you are only as good as the last happy hour you attended.  So before you send that Snapfish link of 175 bathtub shots of your kids, you might want to start with a simple phone call.

2.  Email Forwards – Sending someone an email forward is not keeping in contact.  Even if its “National Girlfriend’s Day” or a long poem about how “Good Friends Like You are Hard To Find”.  Nothing is more annoying than receiving a flurry of email forwards (blind copied at that) about how special you are and never receiving one piece of personalized correspondence.  Send a text, a note card with 9 words on it or even a 30 second phone call that says, “I’m at the park with the kids and I don’t have much time, but wanted to let you know that I miss you and we should put a date on the calendar”.

3.  Bragging – OK, so your baby is pulling up 5 weeks ahead of schedule.  Perhaps he can now eat with a fork and knife.  Save those Einsteinian stories for family members who ask.  Everyone doesn’t need to know that Junior potty-trained himself.  Especially if no one ever asked.

4.  Pretending – Motherhood is hard.  You don’t have to pretend to be a perfect Stepford wife.  Admit your struggles and pains.  It not only makes you more endearing, but you are more likely to find someone to either commiserate or help you find a solution to some of your issues.

5.  Keeping Up With the Joneses – Daycare costs thousands.  Those Gymboree classes cost more than my monthly membership at LA Fitness.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I can’t afford to buy much for myself these days.  But those who pretend to live a flamboyant lifestyle, but are secretively stressed finacially are only fooling themselves.  DON’T lease a Lexus SUV for 3 years if can’t afford it.  Your kids will destroy the car and you will have to pay more money when you turn it back in.  You don’t need Tom Ford sunglasses when your kids are going to bend the arms back on them and eventually break them.  Little Emma does not need a Burberry coat for preschool.  She needs a 529 savings account.  You are only rich when you live BELOW your means.

6.  Raising Wild Animals – If you are unable to control and properly discipline your children you are at risk for raising a wild animal.  These wild animals wind up going to school with my children.  My children try to mimic the same behavior at home and then I have to deal with it.  Teach your children, while they are young, to be respectful and kind.  Your job as a parent is to guide them and nurture them.  We are raising human beings, not jackals.

7.  Be The Overwhelmed Mom – Mommy needs a cocktail every once and a while…well, this mommy does.  So when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed, I ask for help.  I’m blessed in the fact that my husband can handle both of our children all day, if need be.  Some people are not in that position, but perhaps a mother’s helper can assist.  A mother’s helper is a 12 or 13-year old neighborhood child that can play with your kids (while you are still in the house) and help you out when you need a hand.  Every mom needs to have personal time.  Even if its just a moment in the bathroom without someone busting in asking, “Mommy, what are you doing?’.

8.  Avoid Having A Date Night – Do you still like your mate?  If you want to continue (or start) liking one another, you should really take time for just the two of you…and no, 10 minutes before you both pass out in bed doesn’t count.  Yes, we are in a recession, but there are tons of really inexpensive things that you can do together.  All relationships need to be nurtured.

9.  Lack A Spiritual Center – I’m sure this is controversial, but I will speak from personal experience.  If it had not been for God, I’m sure I would choked all of the people who annoyed me in life.  I have been a Christian since birth.  Went through the whole cycle of disbelief and doing things my own way and saw how it wreaked havoc on my life.  When I got up off of my face and had my encounter with God, there was only one way for me to live my life, which is how I and my entire family operate.  I don’t know what your beliefs are, if any, but I do know that without a spiritual compass of some sort you are directionless.

* Disclaimer, I am not an expert, just a mom with an opinion.  I’d love to hear yours – good, bad or indifferent.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Bellybuttonboutique, karla trotman, parenthood, Uncategorized | Leave a comment