Life is better together. We build families, create friendships and cultivate bonds all to enhance our connection. Because without connection we are lost little humans. We see it in our kids daily. They don't just want to be with us constantly, they need to be with us.
In the new episode of the MamaShift Podcast, I chatted with Dr. Leah Dukowitz, a Chiropractor with a special interest in women's health and holistic parenting. She discusses the very scary ordeal she had when her eldest son started experiences seizures. They took him to see a pediatric neurologist at the hospital and was left very underwhelmed by their experience, to say the least. This led her and her husband Troy to search for another provider that was going to truly listen to them and work with them.
Isn't this what we all should be doing, finding the right team for our life? This includes and isn't limited to family, friends, health care providers, teachers, preachers and mentors. Leah and I spoke specifically about a health care team, but really we need a life team. A team that will be there no matter what life throws at you. A team that can fill in the pieces where you need a little extra help or knowledge. A team that you can contribute to with your special gifts and talents (because we've all got em!). Too often though, we are left isolated and alone, believing that we are the only one in the world experiencing this particular challenge. You are not alone. If you haven't found your dream team yet, that's ok. Keep searching! Because when you get the right people on the field, then watch how your life transforms.
Peace, Love and Wellness.
Yesterday, I got up and worked out. This isn’t a huge feat for me, I work out regularly by taking a CrossFit class at least 3 times but usually 4 times a week as well as getting outside and walking at least 2 miles per day. What made yesterday different was that I really, really didn’t feel like working out. I was tired after being up with Coen during the night and felt the cumulative effect of sleep deprivation catching up with me. It would of been easy to cozy up on the couch, drink tea and get everyone ready for the day.
I made a different choice. I chose to workout, but in a way that honored my current state. Having caught the CrossFit about 8 years ago, I have relished the push and the suck that comes with giving it your all during a workout. Exercise should be a positive stress on the body, in that by doing so you create a stronger, more resilient self. But, when you exercise at a level that is too intense for your current state it actually becomes a negative stress. It will break down your resiliency and make you weaker than before you started. This isn’t an excuse to get out of pushing yourself to greater fitness. It’s a recognition of honoring self, which as women, we don’t do nearly enough.
There are times to push through and times to pull back. There are times to go balls to the wall and times to reset. There are times to do it all yourself and times to delegate and leave it to someone else. We don’t have to be superwoman all the time. Take the time to listen to your body and your Self. You don’t always have to listen, but sometimes it will serve you to really slow down so then you can speed up. I dialed back my workout yesterday and did less weight and a lower intensity than I usually would have. I left the gym feeling happy that I went and more energized and capable for my day. That wouldn’t of happened if I had chose not to workout at all or I had pushed through with what I could of done.
Where have you seen this phenomenon to slow down to speed up in your own life?
Peace, Love and Wellness
Listen to the Podcast HERE
Time is one of the only resources that is irreplaceable. Once it’s gone there is no getting it back or making changes to it. As a mama, a business owner and spouse I’m constantly thinking about time - how to maximize it, where did it go, when are naps happening, and how to get everything done. Getting all the things I want to do in a day usually doesn’t happen, but just because I’m failing doesn’t mean I’m not succeeding or learning from my mistakes. Without failure we cannot grow, and without growth there is no success. I don’t think I’m the only mama who is struggling with time management. Our kids throw our timelines into chaos every time they don’t nap 'on schedule', or melt down when they should be playing quietly. That is the messiness and beauty of parenthood. Here's a few things I strive to do to maximize my time:
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear any thoughts or tips you have to manage time.
Peace, Love and Wellness
**GSD = Get shit done :)
The massacre in New Zealand has touched me deeply. I felt compelled to share something regarding it, possibly for a cathartic effect, but hopefully it can do more than that. This is what I wrote in the minutes after hearing about it... the first thoughts that came to mind.
As I watch my son goo, gah and giggle while getting changed, I’m reminded that we are not born with hate in our heart.
That to hate is something that we learn as we grow.
And what can be learned can be unlearned.
What can be learned can override past learnings.
To drive out hate we must spread love. It’s the only way. Darkness cannot be overcome with more darkness or more anger, we need to bring light even when it seems there is not even a flicker.
It starts with me. And it starts with you. There is no longer a place on the sidelines. Apathy is complicit to those that have learned to hate so strongly that they explode.
My thoughts are with my brothers and sisters in NZ. I am sending love and light. ❤️
Kia Kaha is a Maori phrase used as an affirmation to Stay Strong.
If you have been following me at all - on this blog or on instagram, you would know that I’ve been dealing with hives. They come and they go and until now I have been completely at a loss for what could be causing them. Last night, I put all the pieces of the puzzle and think I have come up with the answer. Breastfeeding is triggering the hives.
How do I know this? Well, when I am in practice seeing clients my hives completely go away. This initially led me to believe it was an allergen in my house. We then took a trip and were away from the house for 5 days, but I had zero relief from my hives. The second piece of the puzzle was diet. Usually, I’m quite conscientious about what goes in my mouth. On my recent trip to Australia, I wasn’t as picky and pretty much went with the flow in regards to food. It wasn’t my intention to have it continue when I got home, but it did. Dairy was the top of my list because I was completely dairy free for many months after Coen was born. Gluten is always a culprit as I know that I have a sensitivity to it through testing. So I started the whole30. A couple of days in, there was no change to my hives outbreak. The third piece of the puzzle was that when they originally started they would be worse when I woke up in the morning. Then a couple of weeks ago, they started getting better upon waking.
What changed? We moved Coen to his crib and I stopped feeding him at night. Coen doesn’t come to work with me and he takes a bottle while I’m gone, so most days I go 6 hours without feeding him. Then last night after feeding him for the second time since coming home from work, I felt the hives really kick in. After a quick google search, I found that it’s quite common during postpartum breastfeeding. Usually it happens early on in postpartum, but for me I had been under some stress since coming back from Australia and couple that with not eating well and BAM! Hives.
One thing to note here is that breastfeeding is not causing the hives. It is the trigger. That may seem like semantics, but bear with me here. For 10 months I breastfed without one single hive. If breastfeeding was causing the hives, then I would have had them all along. But I didn’t. What I have now is an immune system that is compromised from excess stress, both chemical and emotional. It’s up to me to rebuild my body through sound nutrition and self-care to allow myself the correct response to feeding Coen. I could choose to give up breastfeeding, and the hives may or may not go away. But, if I do that and they do go away, I have lost my feedback for whether I am on the right track nutritionally and emotionally. Your body is always giving you signs and signals. Symptoms are the alarm that something is wrong. Suppressing them or avoiding them doesn’t make the issue less real, just less present.
So, I’m continuing on with the whole30. It’s a great way to reset the body. I’m going to do some reading about what I can focus on in my diet to help my system chill the fuck out, and I’m going to listen to and nurture my body and mind to make sure that I’m in a great place emotionally. Oh, and I’ll continue to get adjusted by my chiropractor once a week (or more) to make sure all my systems are getting the messages they need to function properly.
A head in the sand approach will never get you the outcome that you want, where are you doing this in your life? Know that you’re not alone and can reach out whenever you get stuck or just want someone to vent to.
Update 3/14/19: I wrote the original post on March 6th.
I have now been supplementing with cod liver oil, evening primrose oil, vitamin D and continuing on with the whole30. As of yesterday, I am almost hive free. There was one spot on my leg when I woke up this morning but it was teeny tiny.
Guys, listen to your body, seek out the answers and work diligently to implement. Results won’t be overnight, but consistent action will get you what you want!
Listen to the Podcast Episode HERE
I always pictured myself cosleeping with my child. And we did for about 10 months. There was a lot of good. I didn’t have to get up to nurse and sometimes could even sleep while he was eating. There were oh so many snuggles. But the downsides of not being able to snuggle or have sex with my husband, having him wake whenever I got out of bed or be unable to go to bed on his own were hard. Eventually, I broke. It had been weeks of us struggling to get him to sleep at a reasonable hour, that also allowed us to have some time together at night. He would cry so hard in our arms while we rocked and soothed and walked. He would struggle to get free. How was this any different than the cry it out method? He was just as upset, and to make matters worse, after getting him to sleep he would generally wake up 40 minutes later to be up until we went to bed. This wasn’t good for anybody.
A friend had given us a sleep book, and we decided to go for it. I was super skeptical. The first night he cried for 40 minutes with my husband sitting right next to him, and then he woke up a couple of times during the night, one of which he cried for another 40 minutes. By night 3 he was asleep within 5 minutes, after a couple of whimpers. And he stayed asleep for 3+ hours. Wait, what? Is this actually possible? It hasn’t been smooth sailing. We’ve had a disastrous night of him awake every hour. Although my husband was up with him, and I slept pretty much through it all :) But overall, I feel this setup is much better for our family.
The ability to be flexible and not dogmatic about how it’s supposed to be is so important for life, not only parenthood. Being able to continuously evaluate what’s working and what’s not allows you to make adjustments and find better ways of doing things. This will only work if you’re willing to look at your surroundings with open eyes. Focus on the facts of things and try and keep your feelings out of it. If I had continued to stick with my feelings of wanting to cosleep, we’d still be fighting with Coen for an hour, so he could sleep for 40 minutes and be up again. The facts were, the bedtime arrangement wasn’t working anymore and it was time to change.
Insanity is doing the same fucking shit over and over again and expecting a change. And we do this all the time. With our health, our relationships, our career. You want change, take a good hard look at your habits and find where you can do something different. Only then will you get a different result...
Update: I wrote this original post on February 24th. Since then we have regressed. We took a trip and weren't able to keep up with the program we were on and it's been hard to get back on a schedule. I've now realized that it doesn't have to look a certain way. Just because the book says he should be able to go all night without eating and sleep for 12 hours, doesn't mean that it's going to happen. Finding our groove and what's working best for us is the most important thing.
For example. Last night, Coen went down on his own and slept for just over 4 hours. I was able to soothe him back to sleep in his crib, where he slept soundly until 4am. It was then that we ha a choice. Try to get him back to sleep, or feed him and bring him into bed. We chose the latter. We all slept again until just before 7am.
That to me is success. No, it doesn't look identical to the plan. But it allowed us to pivot into something better. Allow yourself the option to pivot towards a different outcome. Getting hung up on how it should be, rather than how it is will only lead to frustration. This relates to all things in your life. Where can you pivot towards a better option rather than the what you expected? Let me know!
I’m nearly 11 months into being a mother. Some would say, as soon as I got pregnant, I became a mother, but math isn’t my strong suit so let’s just say nearly 11 months. Reflecting back on what the almost last year has been like, I realized there are a couple of things that really stand out as surprising over this journey. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I wanted to share mine and hopefully you’ll feel motivated to share yours and we can come up with a whole laundry list of surprising and unexpected things about motherhood to share with the next generation. So here are my top three things that surprised me about motherhood.
It goes without saying that I love my child. The words above are not to degrade this life changing event, but to bring enlightenment to it. To recognize that it’s ok to miss what was. To know it’s ok that giving love isn’t just one dimensional, and to understand that my own growth is just as important as my son’s. I know that each day, week, month and year is going to bring new surprises and lessons. It’s up to me to embrace the suck, the joy, the learning, the growth and the whole messiness of raising a family, because there is no other way to go through it.
Love to hear your thoughts about this one! Drop em’ in the comments below.
I’m currently doing a vitamin C flush because I have hives. Not just a patch of hives, but red welts all over my body. They have been hanging around for about a week now. They peaked yesterday, when I woke up to a swollen upper lip. It looked like I had a botched collagen injection and I was swollen in my hands and feet, so much so that I had to take off my rings to avoid losing circulation to the ends of my fingers. It’s crazy what the body does when it’s under stress!
I’ve had quite a bit of stress in my life since coming back from Australia. It’s been 4 weeks of more tears than I’ve cried in a really long time. So many tears and y’all I’m not generally a crier. I thought I’d finally turned a corner, and boom out come the hives. Our body will always search for health. It will always default to healing. So this is what I’m left with after all that stress, a bad case of hives.
So now I’m doing a vitamin C flush. Because it can’t hurt to get all the toxins out of my body, and after being on their website, it’s actually recommended to do after giving birth. Well 10 months postpartum and here I go. I’ll keep you posted!
So I’m back to writing about 36 hours after the flush, and let me tell you it was not what I expected. I followed the directions on the Revitalize Wellness website, starting with about 5g every 15 minutes. After 3 cycles of that, I had some grumbling of the tummy so slowed it down to 3g every 15 minutes. 4 cycles in and no flush but some serious discomfort. I aborted the mission, thinking any minute now I’m going to poop my brains out. Nothing. But, I was feeling gross and thought I was going to puke, so there’s that. No flush came that night while I was making dinner. I ate dinner and nothing. I was peeing a lot from all the water I had drank, but no poop. Finally, I got into bed and as I was settling down, I felt the need to pass gas. So I farted, except I didn’t.
I sharted. IN. THE. BED. Lucky, it wasn’t a whole torrent of poop out of my butt. I called my husband, because of course I was settling down with Coen in my arms. He took Coen and I made a beeline for the toilet, when the flush came out full force. After stripping the sheets and remaking the bed, I settled in for the night very, very worried that I was going to shit the bed again. It did not make for a restful night, but I did make it through without having to bolt for the bathroom or another shit in the bed episode. Oh the joys of the human body. And I still have hives. But, they are reduced and I haven’t had any swelling so I’m calling the flush a win. I’m going to continue dosing with Vitamin C and give the body what it needs as best as I can.
Stress in our lives leads to many things. Some we can see and some we can’t. It’s up to us to be our own advocate. Take the time when we need a break, nurture our soul with the things that bring us joy, and feed ourselves (literally and figuratively) with positive and healthy nourishment.
Yesterday I was triggered. I had a client who gave me ‘advice’ about my son. We were making conversation about him and I mentioned that the night before he had been tossing and turning, not really asleep or awake, but definitely keeping me up. She proceeded to tell me to ‘be careful about letting him sleep in the bed, those habits will be hard to break…’ To say I was pissed was an understatement. It wasn’t the time or the place to get into it, so I just left it with ‘every family does what’s best for them’ and changed the conversation. But inside I was fuming. How dare she?!?
This is not a conversation about why sharing a bed with your child is good or bad. You do you, mama. I’m not here to lay judgement on you for the way you raise your kiddos. And looking back on the conversation that I had with this lady, she wasn’t either. But her comment was misguided. Giving out unsolicited parenting advice is similar to a stranger stopping you mid workout to tell you that you’re exhaling your fat cells (true story, it just happened to a friend of mine!). There really is no good time for any unsolicited advice on anything.
But let’s get back to the trigger. A comment like that would only make me mad for one reason. I wasn’t completely confident in our decision. It’s easy to blame the other person for making you mad, or upset. But, nobody can make you feel a certain way. You allow yourself to feel that way. Whether it be loved, angry, happy, sad, or anywhere in between, you are in charge of each one of those feelings. It may not seem like it at the time, but you are. So, instead of continuing to be mad about a comment that somebody made, I’m choosing to look at why I was triggered. What does it say about me? How can I look at the situation differently and learn something from it?
First, I can look at why I’m feeling insecure about our parenting decisions. I know that not everyone is going to agree with us, but what others think is none of my business. Second, how can I handle a similar situation differently. Instead of feeling defensive, can I approach the conversation with more grace and impart my reasons why to possibly help that other person learn something new? Possibly, but helping them learn is something that you might not be able to do. But, again what others think is none of your business.
In the end, when you feel triggered by someone or something, the best thing that you can do is take a moment and look back on the situation to learn and grow from it. Attaching blame, getting upset or letting it fester within isn’t productive. Seek to learn from the encounter, and grow from it so when it happens next time (because it’s definitely happening again!) you can walk away from the situation feeling confident in how you’re living your life!