The Mama’s Comfort Camp Mommy-festo

This is the “This I Believe” of the Mama’s Comfort Camp: 

About Motherhood

Motherhood is the hardest.
Even if you climbed Mt. Everest, motherhood will challenge you more than the tallest peaks.
The gap between expectations and reality is huge, and painful.
Miraculously, unbelievably, (thankfully!) this is somehow all worth it.
But why, oh why does mothering have to be so hard?

Motherhood becomes easier when we share honestly.
A judgment-free refueling station is what we all need to make sense of this journey.
The mommy olympics just make everyone exhausted.
We are all in this together. If we engage in mommy wars nobody wins.
It gets easier when we help each other out with love and support;
when we listen without “should”ing  each other or dishing unsolicited advice.

Also:

My kids are the best kids ever, and so are yours, of course.
The fact that they can drive us crazy is beside the point.

About Getting Angry:

Kids, especially toddlers, are physicists and social scientists.
They test the limits of gravity, safety, and patience.
They yank our chains for a living.
This ain’t easy on the mom.

Yelling at children is unavoidable.
Striving to yell less is important, learning grump-management is helpful, but let’s not kid ourselves, raising our voices at our loved ones is not about to go extinct.
Giving ourselves permission to yell when we are at the end of our rope just might keep yelling from turning into screaming.

Hugs are more important than food.
If we hug our kids more often than we yell at them, all of us will turn out alright.

You are not lazy.
You are exhausted.
So is your partner.

Until you get enough sleep, try to respect your capacity, or lack thereof.
Accepting that being grumpy is unavoidable helps.
It is possible to be grumpy without being mean.
Yes, this is hard.

(Go slow and you’ll get there faster. Baby steps will take you farthest.)

 

If you are dealing with depression or anxiety:

Please don’t believe everything you think.
Your mind was hijacked, so don’t even be fooled by how you feel.
Just because you feel horrible doesn’t mean you are damaged, weak, or useless.
Just because you feel like a bad mother, doesn’t mean you are not the best mother your children can ever have.
Just because you feel unlovable, doesn’t mean you are not wholeheartedly loved.

You are not broken.
You are not damaged.
You are struggling.
Every struggle is an opportunity for growth.

You don’t have to like this to survive this.
You don’t have to like this to learn and grow from this.
This sucks, so of course you don’t like this.
You have a right to be angry. How could you not be?
You have a right to be scared.

When you allow your anger and fear to be heard, they cannot rule you.
Interacting with them gives you power in situations you don’t have power over.
Running away from your emotions means that you can never rest.

If you fight your anger tooth and nail, it will turn into rage and guilt.
If you fear your fear, it will turn into anxiety and panic.
Fighting your emotions only feeds your demons.

Healing is harder in a war zone.
Permission-Based Healing is far more effective.

(Baby steps will take you farthest.)

 

About Love

Love is a renewable resource, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The more you love, the more you love.

This can be hard to feel, and even harder to believe.
Love is magic.
It works regardless of whether you can feel it,
Regardless of whether you believe in it or not.

Being kind is underrated.
Being right is overrated.
When in doubt, choose kindness.
Especially to yourself.

(Baby steps will take you farthest.)

On Self-Care

Why is it easier to move mountains for those we love, than to take 5 minutes to ourselves?
In a culture that primes mothers to martyrdom, self-care is HARD!
It’s hard to say when we feel more guilty: when we take time for ourselves or when we don’t.
We all deserve a Self-Kindness pause, which is about more than going to the gym and eating healthy.
It can be as simple as giving ourselves permission to sit down for a few minutes to give our back a rest (when was the last time you did that?), and take a moment to listen to ourselves, and speak kindly to the heart inside.
Doing this in community makes it more likely to happen.

 

About Sex Post Having Kids*

It’s complicated. Very. Dammit!
Sex is so different from what it’s been before, you want to cry just thinking about it.
Mothers are over-touched and over-stretched and over-tired and under-nourished.
It’s no wonder libido takes a hike and guilt and tension replace it.
It doesn’t mean that we don’t love our partners.
We do, very much. So we sometimes “take one for the team”.
Which can totally backfire.
It’s another one of the cruel, cruel jokes that mother nature plays on almost all of us.
Yes, we are sad about that very much.
But there is hope (there is always hope!).
With love and care, this too shall pass.
Partners, know this:
There is nothing sexier than a partner who is involved with the kids and the household.
Once again: “the more you love — the more you love” is true.
We need more ways of loving and connecting, and more opportunities for connection.
Rubbing our feet or stroking our hair is more likely to get you into our pants than anything else,
but only if you don’t expect the payoff to follow immediately.
Yes, we know this is hard for you, but it’s your best hope.

(Baby steps will take you farthest.)

 

About the Role of Community in Motherhood

Every mother thinks she is not good enough.
But heck, every single person has skeletons in their closet.

Well, these things only look like skeletons, because it’s so dark in there.
When we dare to bring them out into the light, we discover that the skeletons are simply our very human, very scared selves.
Inviting our scared selves out to play can be petrifying.
Sharing our scary stories with others creates community while connecting all of us on the deepest level.
We all relax a bit as we get proof that we are not the only freak in town.
In my experience such trust is rewarded handsomely.

When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and human, we allow others to do the same. And we all get stronger together.
That is exactly what the Mama’s Comfort Camp is here to do.
In an internet full of mommy wars where women try to out-do each other, Mama’s Comfort Camp has a uniquely judgment free group culture, one that enables trust and comfort.

Trust turns caves into tunnels.
You cannot force trust nor rush it.
But you can wish for it, yes, that’s a very good start.
It takes baby steps in order to be able to make leaps of faith in yourself and in others.

Words build community.
When fighting doesn’t bring peace, writing does.
You don’t have to write novels or even have a blog in order to write for healing.
You can join us on facebook, and write short healing connection opportunities, one status update at a time.
Not ready to write yet?
Read. Speak. Cry. Sing…

(Baby steps will take you farthest.)

– – –

*
This section of the mommy-festo reflects my opinions, and it is also informed by a discussion about the subject of sex post -kids we are having inside the safe haven of the Comfort Camp FB group. I asked the mothers who participated in the thread for permission to share their words anonymously, you can read it here. 

I am grateful for the magic of the internet for letting us (you, me, and countless others) be here for each other, lucky we. If you live in the Ithaca, NY, area, I hope to see you soon.

With all the love in the world,
~Yael

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25 Responses to The Mama’s Comfort Camp Mommy-festo

  1. This is lovely. One thing that continues to startle me is how much I feel isolated as a mother, and yet how the solution seems to be more time alone. Ahh, the paradox of parenthood.

    • Oh sweetie. I’m glad this kissed the spot.
      Do you know this one?
      “there is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in”
      Leonard Cohen: Anthem.

      love your way.

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  3. Got invited by a friend on fb today and the timing could not have been more right. Reading this made me so sad and happy at the same time. Everyone says it will get better when she turns 4 but that doesn’t help much today.

    • Thank you for saying “all mothers of kids any age.” I wish mama’s comfort camp was around way back when my beautiful kids were babies and I was such a rag trying to make their little worlds wonderful while keeping up with my small design business, while trying to get dinner on the table, and not even being able to look at my husband who got to escape the chaos at home each day to go to work. I’m still a mother. I still want to make my children’s world beautiful. That doesn’t stop even when they’ve grown, or died. But it’s important to give myself a break. And that is so much easier when one is in good company, where one knows she isn’t going to be called a slouch because she fetched take-outs for dinner 3 days in a row.
      Thanks also Yael for this cozy online place. I’m learning a lot just seeing your site. Cheers!

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  5. Hello admin,
    Got welcomed by a companion on fb today and the planning couldn’t have been all the more right. Perusing this made me so tragic and glad in the meantime. Everybody says it will show signs of improvement when she turns 4 however that doesn’t help much today. by the way i am searching for some pregnancy blogs to get to know about the 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant
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