The 29 Minute Mom
I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Ford Berry, Life's Expert Organizer and bestselling author, at The 29 Minute Mom Podcast. I share some of my favorite tips from Happy With Baby: Essential Relationship Advice When Partners Become Parents on communication and staying connected with littles.
We talked about it being difficult to find time to make for your partner, and I shared how we make sure that we can do so in my family.
Give it a listen and comment below on how you make time…
Parenting is never easy. There is a never-ending list of things to do, which is so overwhelming.
Do you find yourself struggling to share your needs with your partner? Listen to my conversation with Emily @Mothergood Podcast. I share tips on effective communication to work together as a team. Making sure your needs as an individual, as a couple, and as a family is met.
Check out Self Care & Improving Communication With Spouse After Baby and share with us how you find time for your self-care…
Balancing New Baby In Family Life
Parenting is never easy. There is a never-ending list of things to do, which can be overwhelming.
Do you find yourself struggling to share your needs with your partner? Listen to my conversation with Emily @Mothergood Podcast. I share tips on effective communication to work together as a team. Making sure your needs as an individual, as a couple, and as a family is met.
Check out Self Care & Improving Communication With Spouse After Baby and share with us how you find time for your self-car…
The Best 6 Ways to Find Your Purpose After Becoming A First-Time Mother
I hear from mothers all the time about succumbing to the pressure of becoming a supermom to the point that they end up losing their identity in the process. We are busy giving our children the utmost care, we worry whether we are doing a good job, doubt ourselves and the choices we make and all of our focus ends up revolving around what we're doing instead of how we’re feeling and the relationships we’re building.
Remember, your baby isn’t the absolute center of your world, but rather a part of…
Self-Care vs. Caring for Yourself
I am tired of self-care being shoved at women as one more thing to find the time and manage to do for themselves.
I want to reframe self-care as a compassionate kindness and necessity.
Self-care, as it is sold to us, is not sustainable. When something is not sustainable an inevitable struggle to maintain consistency occurs.
I struggle with making the time, space and room for self-care. I understand when people say that they don’t have any time because I put myself on the end of the list, t…
Pandemic Silver Lining: How Social Distancing Re-invented Community
Are pandemic silver linings a thing?
There has been very little about this last year that has been easy.
If I look for the silver linings I would have to say how it has simplified things in my life.
When you rarely leave the house, your world, and what you do in it, becomes artificially small. I haven’t taken my kids to school and all of their extracurricular activities have decreased or have even straight up disappeared.
Given how my world, our worlds, have shrunk, I think the most diffic…
What I have Learned About Integrating Rest, Movement and Quiet For Ultimate Well-being
For me, being a mom can sometimes feel like never having time to recover before the next thing happens. Situations arise, my children need me, meals have to be made, laundry folded, a lost toy located. It can feel like a lot all of the time.
But what I’ve also noticed is helpful, is to be able to slow down in those moments, take deep breaths, not let the chaos envelope me. Instead making way to embrace the calm.
I also know that those tools are easier to access when I ensure I have opportuniti…
How Mastering Your Thoughts Can Open Up Your Pathway to Peace
If you haven’t noticed, I am on a big self-care kick.
I am not talking about mani/pedis, massages or deep dive in your tub with the newest CBD bath balm. Those things are great! And, truthfully, they are only treating the symptom of something much larger.
In last week’s blog, I filled you in, a tiny bit, about the science behind small shifts for big changes, the limbic part of your beautiful brain and integrating limbic calming techniques to create new pathways for calm.
There are quite a n…
Finding Your Calm: The Science Behind Small Shifts
I have been seeing “Small changes for big movement”, “Little steps for great strides” and similar quotes, flood my social media these days.
I gotta tell you, I am loving it!
I have carried this daily mantra for years. I initially picked up the phrase, “small things often” from the Gottmans in regards to relationships and it has changed the way I approach my life.
I imagine the next big thing you will start seeing is talk about our limbic brain and the powerful presence it plays in our li…
Healthy Post-natal Body Podcast Appearance
I had a great opportunity to speak with Peter Lap, Post-natal Expert at the Healthy Post-natal Body Podcast and we discussed how staying happy after having a baby, is much easier said, than done.
We talked about the difference between expectations and reality, feelings of "grief" for your old life, how each parent has their own learning curve and negotiating your new roles as parents while simultaneously honoring the importance of your relationship.
While Peter and much of his audience is bas…
Why I am Obsessed With Body Communication and Why You Should Be Too.
The other day, I had a meltdown about not getting to leave the house.
Yes, meltdown, full on crying, face wet, red eyes, dripping tears. In the midst of it all I realized my body was communicating on high and had been for a while.
The only problem is I had not been listening.
I had been too busy with daily chores, getting my kiddos through distance learning, tending to my marriage and nurturing my growing business.
It seems as though there aren’t any breaks in my life at the moment.…
Confessions of a Wannabe Supermom Podcast Appearance
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kristen Wheeler at The Supermom Wannabe Podcast about all the things no one told us before entering new motherhood.
The conversation started with why I gave up trying to be a Supermom and opted to be Batmom (check out the Chapter 7 in my book for the full explanation).
Kristen was so easy to talk to and I love the way she normalizes how difficult it is to be a parent. Like me, she loves finding the humor in life, black coffee and dry shampoo.
24 Do's and Don'ts When it Comes to Communication
I have to admit, the desire to communicate doesn’t always come easy, especially when feelings and emotions get mixed in.
One thing I am certain of though…
“communication is key”.
This phrase is on repeat in my personal life, in my professional life and in my work with my clients.
It is so easy to say, it rolls right off my tongue, and yet it isn’t always easy to live by.
When I sit down with individuals or couples in my office, these are some of the common tips I recommend as we work tow…
You Have to Stop Withholding if You Want Your Partner to Meet Your Expectations
I’ll be honest.
I used to hold my breath and wait for the perfect present.
You know the one – the one that you can’t even fully articulate, but if your partner bought it for you, it would make your life complete.
That happened one Valentine’s Day, our first.
My husband (my then boyfriend) nailed it and I was beyond pleasantly surprised.
And then there I was, speechless and expectant every subsequent year, waiting for him to do the one thing I hadn’t asked for.
And then, being disappointed …
What Covid Has Taught Me About Having Hard Adult Conversations
In our relationships, there’s a lot of things we tend to not ask, just so we don’t stir the pot.
But covid has taught us that it’s imperative to ask awkward questions:
“Do you mind wearing a mask?” “Could you stay 6 feet away please?” “Who are you exposed to on a regular basis?” “What is our plan for if one of us tests positive?” “When was the last time you were tested?”
Regardless of our belief in science or not, regardless of whether we’ve tested positive or not, regardless of our level o…
Questions to Ask Yourself and How The Answers Will Lead to Self-Nourishment
Sometimes I pick a word of the year.
The word I pick is a word that I will call on to keep me grounded and focused.
This year my word is NOURISH.
I’ve needed this word a lot these first couple of weeks of 2021.
The reality is, I know deep down that this year isn't the time for a major overhaul.
But what I know I need to do is to gradually make small changes to foreground the things that are important to me.
So here is how I will use NOURISH:
I want to make sure I am NOURISHING m…
Simple Decorating for Busy Parents with Elizabeth Hall, Interior Design
I had the opportunity to work with Elizabeth Hall with Elizabeth Hall Designs, in my home (virtually) and I new immediately I wanted to share her expertise with our Happy With Baby Community Facebook Group. She share some simple decorating ideas for busy parents without all the fuss!
Creativity and art have always been a part of Eilzabeth’s life, which led her to pursue a degree in Interior Design. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design from Colorado State University in …
Politics: Why They Matter and How to Talk to Kids About Them
Nothing could have been more boring to me when I was younger.
I find it fascinating to watch my children grow and find things they are interested in, for example, politics. What I once found boring and had no interest in when I was younger, they are very engaged in.
They are excited about the debates, different perspectives and current events. They ask questions about things they hear from friends at school (or on Zoom), on the radio or from conversations between Rick and me.
Completing a DIY Project with Your Partner is Easier Than You Think
We are going on ten months, friends. Ten months of this pandemic affecting our daily lives.
I know we all want this to end. I know that time feels fast and slow, all at once. I also know that we are resilient, full of ingenuity and determination. If we weren’t, our species may have very well gone extinct some time ago.
I think masks are going to be a part of our lives for quite some time. I am dreaming of a time when heading out for a Friday night drink with my love, meetups with our friends,…
Small Changes for Big Shifts
Happy New Year!
I cannot believe it’s 2021.
I always think of the new year with such newness. There is always a push to make changes and to be a new you!
Every year, I set out with what goals I want to accomplish and last year was no different. I had high hopes, and to say I experienced disappointment is an understatement. Regardless of the challenges, I also received unexpected benefits. I gained perspective. I had an abundance of time with my family. All of this came with an opportunity to…
Q&A with the authors of Happy With Baby: Catherine O'Brien and her husband/co-author Rick Heyer
Catherine and Rick have been teaming up for over 10 years to guide, encourage and support new and expecting parents in their popular workshop, Mine Yours, Our: Relationship Survival Guide to Baby’s 1st Year and recently co-authored their book, Happy With Baby: Essential Relationship Advice when Partners Become Parents.
They sat down for a conversation in our Happy With Baby Community Facebook Group and talked about how boot camp compares to bringing a baby home, postpartum, parenthood, partners…
What if there is no “Back to Normal” after this? Reflections for Moving Forward
What do airports and viruses have to do with becoming a parent?
Remember how exciting it used to be to go pick up a friend or loved one at the airport?
You used to be able to walk right up to their gate, watch their plane land through the window, and surprise them with a great big hug the moment they emerged from the jetway.
Remember how easy it used to be to fly somewhere?
You used to be able to pack whatever toiletries you wanted into your carry-on, without thinking abou…
Conversation about Sexual Health Education: Catherine Interviews Expert Kara Haug
There are no “easy” stages of parenting. There is always something to learn and determine what works best for your child and your family. Finding support and resources to help guide us to the answers are key.
I had a thoughtful conversation in our Happy With Baby Community Facebook Group with Kara Haug, Sexual Health Educator at Reframing Our Stories. Kara has a gift for teaching comprehensive sexual health without the shame or guilt, but with excitement, engagement, compassion, and the invitat…
How Can We Celebrate When We Can't Have It the Way We Want?
Here’s something funny that both new motherhood and a pandemic have in common: It’s easy to lose track of what day it is.
For most of us, we don’t have those usual time markers. No Friday evening happy hours after work. No school buses making their usual stops on our street. Nowhere to rush to. Weekly grocery shopping trips are now done with the click of a button at home instead of a pleasant Sunday outing.
In spite of all the changes, there’s still plenty to do. Dishes and laundry m…
Conversation about your Pelvic Floor Health: Catherine Interviews Expert Dr. Samantha Steele
They say having a baby changes everything… bodies included, especially for us mommas. I’ve had women share with me that they avoid running and jumping and dread having to cough or sneeze, due to potential leaking. There are even concerns about sex not being the same after the baby is born. Plus many other changes.
We can have so many questions and sometimes are not sure where to go for answers.
I had an amazing conversation in our Happy With Baby Community Facebook Group with Dr. Samantha Ste…
Creating in the Midst of Chaos: My Book Baby has a Due Date
Times have been so heavy and hard and there are days I feel like I can’t do any of it. There are days when I don’t want to do any of it. And if I’m being honest, I have imagined hiding and crying under my blanket, with the hope that my kids won’t find me.
My initial instinct is to wallow in the depths of the heaviness. But, when I give into that impulse, I become stuck. I end up wasting time worrying about feeling bad, sad or angry.
What really feels supportive for me is allowing myself the …
When Holding On Holds Us Back: A Little Tale of Letting Go
Earlier this summer, I had to make a really hard decision. I decided to let go of my Happy With Baby office space.
I stewed over this idea for so long. It consumed my thoughts for a long time. It might seem silly, but for me, it was really emotional. I loved my office. It was a result of a lot of hard work in building my business first. I wasn’t always in this office space. I had a few different office spaces before this one and upgraded gradually over time. You know, if you do it right, you st…
Don't Rinse & Repeat: What to do when every day leaves you feeling tired, bored, lonely, angry
Sheltering in place during a pandemic weirdly has a lot in common with having a new baby at home.
OK, generally, I don’t encourage comparing one person’s struggle to another, but I have to admit that there are a lot of common themes that seem to be coming up for people lately.
The new moms I’ve worked with over the course of my career often say that they’re tired all the time, that new motherhood is lonely and isolating, that they’re ashamed to admit they’re bored at times, that all the day…
Why You Should Steal a Restorative 5 Minutes For Yourself, Even When it Feels Impossible
Right now, the present moment is so challenging for so many of us.
Some of us are adjusting to new parenthood during a pandemic without the support people we were banking on to help. As if new parenthood wasn’t isolating and difficult enough. It is exhausting and bittersweet (if not straight up heartbreaking) work.
Some of us feel like this pandemic has put our relationships with our partners in a pressure cooker. As if our culture doesn’t already encourage us to expect our partners to be ev…
You’ve Found A Therapist You Love. Now How Will You Afford to See Her?
Insurance Deductibles and Superbills and Self-Pay, Oh my!
Often, when new clients come to me, they already know what they need. They’re ready to do the work that therapy will inevitably ask of them. They often can tell if they want to work with me or not. Typically, they’re ready to book that first appointment. The only question left is: How will the sessions be paid for?
There’s no one right way to handle this. It really depends on a person’s situation. Some clients prefer to pay out-of-pocke…
Right Now, We All Have Something to Grieve
I had been planning on writing a blog post on grief for you for many months. Long before the Coronavirus was a word on the tip of everyone’s tongues. It was a post about the grief that comes along with motherhood.
(I asked around and moms were all too eager to share what they missed most, from missing their pre-baby bodies, their friends, their freedom, the simplicity and spontaneity they used to have in their lives, the uninterrupted conversations they used to have with their partners, to tr…
Support to Help You and Your Little Ones While Social Distancing
These are unprecedented times, friends. (So unprecedented that I’m getting sick of the word!) So, if you’re feeling anxious, stressed, unsure, lonely or scared right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic….it’s completely justified.
I want to support you through this, so as a start, I’ve compiled a list of resources and options to help you stay sane and manage it all. This is a long post, so hang in there. I promise it’s very skimmable and most suggestions are free and available to everyone.
My #1 Sex Tip for Busy, Exhausted Couples Seems Really Unsexy ...Until You Try It
Remember the good old days when you and your partner were just dating and your sex life was hot? Back when it just seemed to happen spontaneously without too much effort?
Ah, yes, the days before life got so busy with babies and kids and taking on more responsibility in our careers and taking care of our aging parents.
Back then, it seemed like all the fun parts of a relationship--the butterflies, the romance, the mystery, the bedroom activity--just happened spontaneously or with little ef…
Don't Ditch Your Resolution! Set Slow Goals Using Body Wisdom Instead
I just learned that today, January 17th, is National Ditch Your Resolution Day. Did you know that was even a thing? I sure didn’t.
I mean, we all know that basically, every gym is going to be crowded in January and empty by March. We know that less than half of people who make resolutions don’t accomplish them by the end of the year. In fact, according to U.S. News, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February!
But still. The thought that there is a national holiday…
The Happiest Time of the Year? Holiday Burnout, Loneliness, and What You Can Do About it Right Now.
Everybody knows the holidays aren’t really about all the errands, all the stuff, or all the money spent. And yet, we find ourselves in this spot every year, battling holiday burnout with the connection we really crave.
This time of year can be hard for many of us, particularly those feeling the loss of a loved one, new parents who are too busy or sleep-deprived to have much of a social life (or because their friends have stopped checking in), some might even feel lonely in their own marriage.
Forget Gratitude Jars! 6 Ways to Access More Joy, Presence (And, Yes!) Gratitude without Adding More Tasks to Your List
Have you ever tried to start a gratitude jar with your family or a gratitude journaling habit that just didn’t stick?
It seems like everywhere you look, there’s an article or book all about the benefits of gratitude and how and why you should start up a gratitude practice. Trying to get through the stress of the holidays? Practice gratitude. Want to improve your health? Pr…
I Didn't Realize I Had Anxiety
I’d never taken myself for one to suffer from anxiety. It was only in looking back at events in my life that I can now see what was actually going on.
Turns out, there has been a pretty consistent trend in my life: At every major transitional corner I’ve turned--every stressful point in my life--I’ve always gotten sick. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill cold and flu kind of thing. I’m talking SICK sick.
When I was in high school, I missed weeks of school due to severe illness. …
What Real Moms Wish They Knew Before They Had Kids
Parenthood throws us a lot of curve balls. Particularly in the first year of a baby’s life, but really, the surprises never stop.
Recently, I stumbled upon an article on Romper called “37 Moms Share What They Wish They Had Known Before Having Their First Kid.”
Naturally, it made me think about my own experiences and what I wish I knew before I became a mom.
In case you’re now wondering, my biggest shocker was that it never even occurred to me that having a baby would be hard on my relati…
The Forever Question Review
Have you been thinking about having another baby and are not sure if you should take the leap?
After having our son, I clearly remember being totally unsure if we should “risk” having another. He was pretty easy. He started sleeping through the night at 11 months, he ate his vegetables, he was mild-mannered and super social so he actually helped my husband and I meet new friends and our neighbors. He made us laugh and brought a lot of joy to our lives. And laughing is always good.
You can’t ge…
Celebrate Your Relationship in Small Ways on Valentine’s Day & Every Day
Well, love it or hate it friends, but Valentine’s Day is upon us. For some of us, this is an easy holiday to scoff at or ignore. For others, this day matters quite a lot. Me? I think I fall somewhere in the middle.
On the one hand, I think the expectations and stress of “doing it right” can really set us up to feel hurt, disappointed, or feel as though we’ve failed. I really dislike that piece of the holiday the most.
Not to mention, many say that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. …
Want to Get Help at Home without Nagging? (Yes, please!)
Honest Insights for Expecting Couples
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said “Your partner is not a mind reader”....
I know. It never feels very good to have to make the same request over and over. It feels just as bad or worse to feel unheard, unnoticed or not considered.
The thing is, it’s important to make your feelings heard and state your needs. It’s equally important to get your message across in a way that will be received. Sometimes our delivery, though authentic, can make …
Taking Care of Self + Partner is Taking Care of Baby
Little things all add up to big results.
All month long, I’ve been talking about why it’s important to put yourself first and prioritize your relationship. It sounds counterintuitive or even unnatural when you say it out loud, but doing those two things first makes taking care of a baby so much easier. It’s really worth a try.
Something I hear many moms say is that they worry about whether they’re doing this parenting thing right. Well, in my opinion, if you’re worried about it, that’s a…
The Truth About Choices, Martyrdom & Being Too Busy
When our lives feel overloaded, it can seem like we don’t have much room to be flexible. We can feel like we don’t have much choice.
Sometimes we really don’t have much choice. After all, somebody’s got to feed and change the baby, right? Somebody’s got to bring home the paycheck, pick up the groceries, take the car in for an oil change…. You get the idea.
But, sometimes I think we say “I can’t do that” before we even consider what our choices are. It feels impossible. As if it’s out of ou…
Why You Need to Prioritize Your Partner Even After Baby
It’s almost instinctive for parents--mothers especially--to put their children first.
It’s so ingrained in us that it sounds shocking to say that maybe they shouldn’t always be the first priority. Without a solid explanation for what we mean by it, it sounds selfish, and negligent….it sounds like bad parenting.
But when you dig deeper, you begin to see how taking care of yourself first--like I talked about in last week’s post--makes sense. That’s a cause we can rally behind. All moms nee…
Moms Come First
In last week’s post, I talked about using the motto “small things often” to nurture your relationship with yourself, your partner, and your baby. Today, I’m going deeper into what this really means for moms.
For some of us, something happens after we cross the threshold into motherhood.
It’s almost a bit of an identity crisis. We do for others--baby especially--and start to lose sight of doing for ourselves. I don’t mean that we’re suddenly incapable. I mean we just de-prioritize our…
New & Expecting Parents, Here's My Question to You for 2019!
Ah, there’s something about a new year that always feels like a clean slate. Even if you’re not a resolution-setter.
But, if you think about it, each new day is also a clean slate.
I’m a big fan of keeping things simple.
So, even though today I have a really big question to ask you, when you actually put the question to practice in your day-to-day, the answer is really in the small, simple things you do each day.
The big question is: What are you going to do to take care of or con…
Catherine O'Brien, LMFT featured on PsychCentral & Shares Vital Lessons to Teach Your Kids
Parenting is so hard.
I think one thing that we become acutely aware of once we become parents is that there’s so much we want to show our kids, teach our kids, about the world, about themselves, about fairness, about love….
In a way, it’s sort of like throwing a bowl of spaghetti at the window and seeing what sticks.
There’s so much they’ll take in. Some of it we’re conscious of and some maybe not so much. And we often can’t predict what makes an impression on them. But, we can be re…
Best of the Blog 2018: These are the posts you loved the most!
Well, it’s that time of year again... (And no, I don’t mean it’s time for more holiday advice. Not today!)
It’s time to review the best blog posts of 2018!
You know, I work really hard along with my team to put out the content that I think you most want to read, but sometimes you never know what’s going to resonate the most. So some of these really didn’t surprise me, but there are a few that really did.
This year, readers wer…
How to Combat Holiday Chaos with Little Moments of Connection
Do you ever come back from staying with family for the holidays and think, “Well, the kids had a great time, but that was really hard for us to just sit back and enjoy it all”?
Does it feel like you barely even saw your partner, and when you did, you both were just getting annoyed with each other?
Maybe you're already in the thick of it now. Or, prepping for upcoming travel to get the holidays started.
With the increase of travel, extended family dynamics, and close-quarters accommodatio…
When the Holidays are Hard: How to Create Meaningful Moments When Things Aren't How They're "Supposed to Be"
Want to learn real techniques to bring on more calm this holiday season? Join Calm By Design
Ever feel like this isn’t how it’s supposed to be?
“Supposed to” is one of those words that gets us into trouble.
(Kind of like “should," right? --that’s another trouble-making word that we’ll have to save for another time.)
“Supposed to” tells us that there’s a certain way things are meant to be and that anything outside of that is wrong.
But we all think that way from time to time.
If you’re …