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The Journey to My Better Way Body

The Journey to My Better Way Body

By now, many have you have gotten to know me here at Better Way Moms. To all of you new readers, I’m Michelle, the Chief Technology Mom, and I’m here to start a personal journey to my better way body. This isn’t a contest, nor is it something I’m doing for good PR. In fact, much of my life has been spent dealing with the scale. I’m sure many of you can relate. You step up on the scale and once that number shows up, you’re either convinced you’re living on another planet with entirely different gravity or that your scale is broken. Once the reality sets in that the number is, in fact, true, you may feel inspired to change or you may just go about your day in a complete state of denial. I’m in the former category. The thing is, I’ve never been skinny. Sure, I’ve been at a healthy weight many times, but the fact of the matter is, I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing my stomach flat. Perhaps I can chalk it up to bad genetics, or that a life of consistently being up and down on the scale has done such a number on my body physically that I never once felt what it was like to have a flat stomach. I don’t mean the rock hard abs kind, either. I just mean one that wasn’t sloped in some way. I was an active kid, and I never really knew that I was “different” until about middle school when I had a friend over to swim in my pool. You see, she wore a two piece suit that showed off her flat stomach, and there I was, in a two piece, and I noticed that my stomach curved. My thighs were thicker. Everything about me was a bit more plump. It was that very moment that I become self-conscious about my body, and thus started a many years long battle of feeling completely uncomfortable in my own skin. Around high school, I took matters into my own hands and joined Weight Watchers with my mom and, after months of following the plan to the letter, I got down to a healthy weight and felt amazing. While my stomach still wasn’t “flat,” clothes fit better. I was somewhat confident, and I was happily wearing smaller, skinnier jeans and dresses that fit in all...

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Struggles of a Connected WAHM: Part II

Struggles of a Connected WAHM: Part II

So, I didn’t deal with being alone with two kids post c-section so well, and I suppose I should cut myself some slack in that department. It was about 4 weeks into recovery for me, and I was still dealing with the hormone change in addition to not feeling 100%. This time around, the healing felt like it was going a lot slower than my first c-section, and I’m sure that had a lot to do with the fact that I had a toddler to chase around in addition to a newborn to nurse, feed, and care for, not to mention two butts to clean instead of one. When people told me it was going to be hard with two under two, they weren’t kidding. It was around this time I started using my phone a little bit more than usual. I found myself browsing the Internet and social media because I felt so very alone in my house with my two kids. Facebook was a way to see my friends, send a message, share pictures of the kids, talk to family. Sometimes, I spent a lot of time texting other friends, just to let them know how I was. Very few knew that I was emotionally in bad shape. I had neighbors that checked on me, and of course my husband was home in the evenings and my mom would come after work when she could, but the daytime hours were hours I actually stopped looking forward to. With just one child, and one that was on a schedule, life was easy. Playdates met, naps napped, meals cooked and eaten – I had gotten the hang of one. But now I had this tiny human all over again, and while my son took to his sister so well, her cries sent him into tantrum and fits of fear that I, myself, would start to cry along with the two of them. I often went to bed in fear of how our morning was going to go. If I was lucky enough to get them to sleep simultaneously, I would spend some time trying to get some work done. As an independent contractor, there is no maternity leave. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid, so there was this additional stress to get back to the grind all too fast because our family financials depended on it. I...

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Struggles of a Connected WAHM: Part I

Struggles of a Connected WAHM: Part I

It seems as if my entire life is on the Internet. I work at home as a freelance writer in addition to being a mom to two tiny humans and two furry cats. Because my work requires communicating with offices that are, naturally, not located within my home, I’m at the keyboard a lot. My day starts out with checking my emails on my smartphone, seeing what is in the pipeline for the day and then trying to come up with some semblance of a schedule to get it all done. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had it down to a science. I’d wake up, have some breakfast, write the morning’s assignments, take a nap, do some afternoon work, tidy up the house, make lunch, run errands, do some afternoon work, and in between it was a lot of little things, but because I was pregnant, it was a lot of lying down with my laptop near by. Once my son arrived, things got a little nuttier. I had no idea how I was going to write in the mornings after pulling an all-nighter with a newborn. I tried the “sleep when baby sleeps” routine but I found that I just lost too much time. I had a difficult time adjusting to motherhood, first because my labor was long and ended up in an emergency c-section, and second because me and breastfeeding didn’t work out. There was a lot of stuff I just didn’t know about when I entered motherhood, and I found myself quickly feeling overwhelmed, depressed and anxious. So naturally, I spent a lot of time on the Internet reaching out. Sometimes it was to complete strangers on various forums and sometimes it was other moms I knew on Facebook. The Internet that was once a tool to do my job was now a lifeline to the world outside; a place I didn’t get to see much being a first time mom with a very new human and being absolutely petrified. Frankly, I can’t say what went on in between, perhaps I blocked it out, but I do know that my son got older and I got the hang of the whole mom thing. At some point, doing my job became a little easier. I worked during naps or at bedtime, or sometimes when my son would be content enough to sit on...

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The Motherboard: Parenting in a Digital Landscape

The Motherboard: Parenting in a Digital Landscape

Monday morning arrives. It’s the start of a new week. The kids call for me; my son yelling “maaaa-meeee” while my daughter lets out a series of wails because she’s six months old, and really, can’t do it any other way yet. I go to fetch each one, bring them downstairs, get them changed, fed, entertained and distracted. My phone starts buzzing. There are fifteen new emails, five of which are assignments for my freelance client, the rest just junk or unimportant. I immediately start planning how the next two hours are going to go in my head. Will the kids give me a few moments to respond to work emails that are time sensitive? Will someone start crying? Will they both have dirty diapers at the same time, thus preventing me from clearing my morning work so we can get out and play? This is part of my life in the digital landscape. To say we are a connected society is an understatement. I chose the work-at-home-mom (WAHM) lifestyle because it is what suited my family best. With that came an insane amount of connectivity – hyper-connectivity, even – that often leaves me broadcasting to what seems like the entire world while my children are living their little lives in a Sesame Street and apple slices kind of existence. I write about technology for a living, so the irony is not lost on me that I spend a good portion of my day trying to find a balance of being disconnected versus connected. Being a WAHM has afforded me great flexibility in my own space, but more often than not I am married to my smartphone because a deadline can come through at any given moment and I will need to respond. What makes my situation even more peculiar is I will often spend my time writing about studies that have been conducted on how overly connected we are as a society, that while the world has become smaller thanks to the Internet, family and friends have become more distant from each other. Technology has started to occupy our time, to the point that we seem to miss out on our own lives because we live in fear that we’re missing out on others’ on Facebook. I can tell my son sees my smartphone as this tiny object that takes my attention away from him, so he puts...

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I Judge, Therefore…

I Judge, Therefore…

Last summer, the mommy listservs were abuzz with furor over Gisele Bundchen’s idiotic comment about how women should be required to breastfeed for the first six months of their baby’s life. A woman on my local parent listserv started a thread about this article, an opinion piece from the Boston Globe. Condemning Bundchen’s comment as ludicrous, judgmental, and narrow-minded, the author concludes, as she should, that everyone has to make their own choices for their own reasons, and we have no business judging other people for the choices they make. Sure, I completely agree. Well, except we do judge each other, don’t we? Remember that Sex and the City episode when Carrie walks in on Samantha engaging in a certain act with the World Wide Express Guy? When she walks out, shocked, Samantha accuses Carrie of judging her. Carrie finally admits that yes, “I did judge you — but just a little,” after Samantha proudly declares that she will fellate whomever she wants whenever she wants as long as she can breathe and kneel. Of course, Samantha eventually admits, “Oh, honey, I judge me, too…” So, yes; we judge ourselves all the time. The first couple years of your child’s life can be really hard, and for me, having two small kids has been brutal at times. When I read this article, something clicked in my head: I think the past year has been so tough because parenting two very small children is often a thankless job. There’s a lot of hard work, a lot of exhaustion, and a lot of energy expended, but not a ton in return. Don’t get me wrong, there is an immense amount of joy in watching your baby smile, grin, giggle, clap her hands, dance in her chair, and say, “mama.” There is a ton of joy in watching your little boy sing along with your favorite songs, ask to cuddle and read a book with you, ask questions about how rain makes flowers grow, and say, “you’re my friend, mama.” Lots of joy. No question about that. But there are so many other things that are really challenging, gross, boring, and exhausting. You know what I’m talking about: lots of contact with smelly poop, nipples chewed up by a shark baby, the endless tightrope walk of dinnertime after a long day. Babies and very young kids aren’t going to say: “Thanks for changing...

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Top 10 Things That Are Wrong With This Picture

Top 10 Things That Are Wrong With This Picture

1. The parents look very well rested. 2. It looks they just woke up and the picture deceitfully has that mid-morning, 11am glow to it. 3. he father is still in the picture. 4. Looking at the mother’s stomach, the newborn triplets are obviously adopted. 5. The picture would make a great Clorox ad. 6. The mother’s boobs are not two gigantic balloons, covered in milk stains and weird round mini-pads and/or cabbage leaves. 7. The parents do not appear to be yelling at each other. 8. The mother has perfectly swept up bangs and overall clean hair. 9. It looks like they might of had sex in the last two months, judging by the glow. 10. No one in the photograph is crying, including the kids. Author: Ilona...

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