There is no doubt about it: Motherhood is hard. For some women, the hardships begin as early as conception. This includes the mere act of trying to get pregnant or possibly the length of time it takes to get pregnant. More than that, some women try for years or worse, experience heartbreaking loss. Then, comes the difficulties of pregnancy. Your newfound body, the constant aches and pains, and the first real introduction to anxiety... is baby okay? Next, comes the challenges of labor and delivery. The pain, the trauma, the recovery, breastfeeding. And subsequently, the newborn stage. Sleepless nights and the loss of independence. Your world is flipped on its head as you scramble to care for this tiny human being. And just when you thought you got the hang of motherhood, your precious baby somehow turns into an opinionated toddler. Where did my baby go? You wonder.
The demands of motherhood are real. On a daily basis, we are faced with challenges, adversity and moments that make us question our livelihood and ourselves. There is no harder job than being a mom, but, in the midst of these hardships, if you were to ask any mother if the juice is worth the squeeze, she would without hesitation answer, yes.
To me, this is the magic of motherhood. If you look up the word magic in a Merriam-Webster dictionary, you would find this definition:
magic (noun): the use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces.
Magic, as it is defined, is the perfect embodiment of how mothers are able to surpass the natural forces, or difficulties of motherhood, which are overpowered by the supernatural love they feel for their children. The minute our children are born, much less conceived, it's almost as if a mother is put under a child's charm, or spell, for life. Nothing can break the spell, and the magic continues to grow as the child grows. And in partnership with aden + anais, featuring their Harry Potter™ Limited Edition Collection, I wanted to capture the magic of motherhood told by real mothers, and also share my own favorite moments that depict the magic of motherhood.
The Magic of Motherhood Told by Real Mothers
Curious what my followers, thought, I took to Instagram to see what my mamas thought captured the magic of motherhood. Below are the 50 moments they cherished most...
My Favorite Moments As a Mother
It's hard to put into words what my favorite moments are and have been, but below are some that came to mind right off the bat...
The moment you see two positive lines on a pregnancy test. Buying the pregnancy test and the anticipation!
The feeling of a pregnant belly, and imaging who your little one will be.
Seeing and holding your baby at birth for the first time. Breastfeeding for the first time. The connection.
Introducing a new baby to siblings. That moment they walk into the hospital room.
Baby's first smile. That gummy grin.
Getting to know a child's personality... from birth and beyond.
Breastfeeding. The first feed in the morning, last feed before bed, and all of the middle of the night feedings are my favorite. Then as he grows, when he locks eyes with you during a feeding.
Teaching them about the world, and watching their eyes and expression when they learn something new.
Studying a child's face. I love getting lost in their profile. That button nose, those long eyelashes, the precious lips and perfect skin.
Watching a child love on their sibling when they don't know you are watching.
Hearing the words, "Mommy, I love you." Especially when it's unexpected and not prompted.
Eye contact. Really seeing your babies and locking eyes with them. Feels like you can see inside of their soul.
Being greeted by an excited smile and a big hug after time apart. Enough said.
Seeing your kids do something for the very first time. And their uncontrollable excitement.
Affirming your child and seeing their face light up.
Seeing a child first thing in the morning; and their excitement to see you.
Reading books before bed. Scratching backs before bed. And recapping the day before bed.
Watching a child sleep. When I watch my older boys sleep, I see them as the babies they are and were.
When a child wants you when they are hurt, sad or sick.
Adventuring with your kids.
One-on-one time. Getting to know your child all over again during these moments.
When a child forgives you.
aden + anais Harry Potter™ Limited Edition Collection
Helping me celebrate the magic of motherhood, I have partnered with aden + anais featuring their Harry Potter™ Limited Edition Collection. Nothing says magic like Harry Potter. And this Halloween season, I love having a reminder that motherhood and childhood alike is full of magic. What are your favorite moments?
Click the button below to buy your own aden + anais, featuring their Harry Potter™ Limited Edition Collection.
Baby weight. Whoa. What a heavy subject, literally and figuratively. Maybe for some of you, you've been able to elegantly and gracefully handle the pregnancy and postpartum weight like a champ. Maybe you have thoughts such as, "I love my body!" or "I just birthed a baby, of course, I have a ways to go." or "My body is rockin'." And maybe for others of you (those who I secretly love to hate - kidding, not kidding), you lose the baby weight within a matter of weeks or even months, so baby weight is a non-issue for you. Go YOU. Seriously. Okay, maybe I'm a little jealous...
When it comes to me, little old perfectionist, overachieving me... the same girl who had weight issues / an eating disorder in high school that took several years to overcome, I will be honest and say that I am not above the pregnancy and postpartum weight. The topic has been a raw source of heartache for me. When I got pregnant for the first time, seeing my body change and the scale go up was hard, and losing the weight? Oh, don't even get my started. Okay, well I'm already started, so here it goes...
My first pregnancy, I gained double the allotted weight requirement. Yes, I gained sixty pounds, and cried about it on a daily basis. Thankfully, I was able to lose the weight within a year without doing much of anything, but it certainly was a journey, folks. Then, my second pregnancy, I was older, wiser, and knew better than to eat for two. I really watched my diet and started exercising regularly over those nine months. I was beyond proud when I had only gained thirty pounds and knew I'd lose the weight in a matter of months because of how little I had gained. Oh, but no. Fate wanted to teach me a lesson, and my body clung to the baby weight for dear life. I couldn't drop an ounce of the 12 pounds I had to lose since I left the hospital. Not just that, I started gaining weight at six months postpartum. I got up to eighteen pounds over my ideal weight and had meltdowns regularly.
Not just that, but I spent thousands of dollars trying to figure out why I wasn't losing weight. What was wrong with my body? Why was I gaining weight postpartum? Even when my diet and exercise routine were still the same, if not even better and cleaner!?
I am the QUEEN of obsessing over post-baby weight loss. For gosh sakes, I started a company surrounding the topic of postpartum weight called the Postpartum Slimdown. If there were a reality show I were to ever be on it would be called “Losing the Baby Weight.” Seriously. I’m obsessed. To say that I've had heartache over pregnancy weight gain would be an understatement. But now that I've gone through this whole gain weight and lose weight thing three times, I have a little bit of perspective that I wanted to pass on from one pregnancy weight gain obsessor to another.
In hindsight, the weight I needed to lose wasn't on my body, but rather was in my mind. So, here are things to keep in mind on your journey....
Tips for Losing the Baby Weight
Okay mamas, only when the time is right and you are ready to hit it hard to lose that baby weight, here are my recommendations. Again, you'll be the most successful after you have stopped breastfeeding and have given yourself at least six months post-baby for your hormones to chill out. The magic time for me is around a year postpartum.
Here we go:
The FitTrack Scale
Some people are anti-scales. I get it. I used to be one of those people. I thought that scales made me obsessive, and in some ways they do. But when your goal is to lose weight, nothing better will hold you accountable than a scale, and not just any scale. What I love about the FitTrack scale is that it utilizes a free app on your phone that syncs to the scale. Among other things, the app tracks 17 indicators including:
..and several other factors. By tracking your data daily, you will be held accountable. You'll be able to see where you've started and how far you've come with the app's history feature. Not just that, but you can add multiple people, so if you wanted to partner up with your spouse for further accountability, y'all can each have a profile.
The great thing about this scale, especially for athletes like myself, is that you'll be able to see how your weight loss regimen is affecting your body in ways other than the scale. Maybe you've gained more muscle, this may mean more weight, but a higher muscle rate.
In sum, the weight you may need to lose after baby may not be on your body. For the first year, you'll need to consider any negative self-talk about your body and throw it out the window. Enjoy this time with your baby and try your best to love your body. It gave you the greatest gift of all and should be celebrated, no matter what the size. And then, when the year is up (or whatever time you determine is adequate) and you're ready to hit it hard and lose the baby weight, check out the Postpartum Slimdown Program and purchase a FitTrack Scale, and you'll be on your way to pre-baby weight in no time. You got this, mamas!
*This content has been sponsored by FitTrack.
Use code "BROOKE20" for 20% off your FitTrack Scale.
As a mama, it's no surprise that a lot of us survive on coffee and wine. Just like the sign says, "Motherhood: Powered by love, fueled by coffee, sustained by wine." Am I right? As beautiful as motherhood is, it is demanding and exhausting, and that little bit of pick-me-up or slow-me-down during the day is our little treat! The problem, in my opinion, with all of the coffee and wine consumption is that it can leave your teeth a nasty color. And as an orthodontist's granddaughter, who spent years with braces to achieve an attractive smile, I'll do what I can to protect it.
While whitening toothpaste can help to brighten teeth, I really rely on at-home whitening teeth kits to help get that bright white shine that I love. My go-to at-home teeth whitening kit is Snow® , also known as America's favorite teeth whitening kit! Snow® is the only formula engineered to react to the LED technology to accelerate whitening
What I love about the Snow® Teeth Whitening Kit....