Mama

Making 'Work' Work - Tips from a working mama of three

Mama, you’re heading back to work soon.  You’re probably feeling all the feels.  I have been there, I understand!  I have experienced the transition back to work three times and learned a few things along the way.  We know that every mama, babe, and family is different but learning to adjust to life with a new baby while going back to work is tough!  Below are some of tips that we hope can help you find your groove in the transition. 

Maintain Realistic Expectations.  Be gentle on yourself and your family.  This is a transition for everyone and a new “normal” is being established.  To avoid disappointment and resentment, take time with your partner to communicate what your priorities are and what their priorities are.   Practice the art of “letting go” the things you decide aren’t important.

Time Savers. Surrender to the dry shampoo, body showers, and unshaven legs.  Simplify your morning grooming routine.  Buy enough underwear, nursing tanks, and clothes to make it through the work week without doing laundry (stock up your partner and the other kids too!). Pack your bags the night before so the mornings can be as stress-free as possible.

Boundaries.  When you are home, be home.  When you are at work, try to be present at work.  Once you are home, turn work email alerts off your phone or better yet, move your phone out of site. Be present with your family after you leave the office.  When you are at work, focus on the tasks in front of you so that you can leave work feeling good about what you’ve completed.

Food + Water.  Mama needs to be hydrated and fed.  Find a cute water bottle and commit to keeping it close.  Keep your meals simple—there are times in life for gourmet meals… this is not one of them.  Meal plan (again, keep it simple) and grocery shop before the workweek starts.  Have healthy, quick and packable options on hand.  And, remember to eat them!

Sleep + Exercise.  Your mental and physical health is important. Every woman has different sleep and exercise needs.  Figure out yours, and be intentional about making it happen.  Start small and take advantage of tiny time increments.  Add that Saturday afternoon nap on your family calendar, take turns with your partner “sleeping in” on the weekends, or master the art of a power nap.  As important as rest is, so is exercise. Only have time for a 7 minute YouTube workout while your little one is doing tummy time?  Make it happen!

Delivery Service.  During this transition, extra time is non-existent.  Embrace the age of Amazon Prime, Instacart, and In-Store Pick-Ups.  Consolidate your trips and orders to save time and spend those hours with your loved ones instead of running errands.

Embrace the Silver Linings. There are a lot of hard things about finding and trusting a childcare provider.  There are also a lot of great things about it! Embrace the benefits childcare can provide, like your baby adapting to a routine, the wisdom of a seasoned childcare provider to provide insight to your child, and the freedom to go to the bathroom alone (kidding on this one, but not really).

Dates + Talk Time.  Protect time with your partner.  Set aside 30 minutes a week to take care of family business.  Affirm one another, discuss the family calendar, check in on finances, share the struggles and joys of your week. Prepare ahead of time so you both can listen well and can both feel heard.  Be intentional with this time and remember that you are on the same team, working toward the same goals.  Protect a date night too!  Regularly do something fun that unites you and your partner and builds habits that will bear fruit for the entirety of your marriage.  

Support System.  Know who you can reach out to for encouragement.  Motherhood is hard. Being a working mom presents a unique set of challenges.  Learn to ask for help and accept it.  Find people that lift you up and encourage your decision to be a working mom, someone who will listen when life gets hard.  Invest in the life-giving relationships that build you up!

One Step at a Time.  It is easy to get overwhelmed after a bad day and doubt your decision to work outside the home.  Set a time increment with your partner as an intentional “evaluation time” to discuss if things are going well or not.  It is okay to reassess a few months after baby and make new decisions for you and your family. Babies change so quickly and so will your struggles and triumphs.  Setting a “milestone” 8 weeks out will give you a goal, allowing you to conquer some tough days and be objective about the decisions you are making. 

Remember mamas, there will be good days and bad.  Give yourself the freedom to try things out and change your mind!  Be quick to forgive yourself if you don’t do things perfectly or lose your cool at some point.  Learn from other mamas, take care of yourself, lean into your support system, and follow that intuition, mama. Don’t forget that you are a GREAT mama and your little one loves you unconditionally.  You got this!

Written by Lauren Herbeck

Director of Operations at Blooma

Wife and Mother of Three, Friend to Us All

From a Non-Mom to All Blooma Mamas - Thank You

I am constantly surrounded by strong, amazing, independent women - most of them mothers or moms-to-be. And, although I spend much of my day within the walls of Blooma, surrounded by mamas and their babes, I am a woman in the Blooma community without a babe. My partner and I frequently talk about marriage and the children we hope to have, but at the moment, I get so much joy from watching, interacting with, and holding (if I’m really lucky) your little ones. I have learned so much from each of you during my time at Blooma, so I thought it would be only right to send you a thank you note:

Blooma Mamas and Moms to Be:

I am amazed by your patience (it is hard to convince a tot to leave Blooma), inspired by your kindness, and grateful for the moments of motherhood you allow me to witness.

I see so many moments of motherhood at Blooma, and I learn from each one of them. Thank you to every mom in our lobby, inside our classrooms, and outside our doors. I hear you using small moments to teach your child (holding the door for others, sharing a toy in tots class). I hear the affection and love in your words. I watch you hold your little ones so close to your heart. SO MUCH LOVE.

I learn from your “new to motherhood” experiences. Watching you change an exploded diaper, or seeking advice on sleep or breastfeeding from a more experienced mama. There are even times that I see you in tears, dealing with the first few months with your new baby, or talking about the effects of motherhood on different relationships. This teaches me so much. It shows me that becoming a mom doesn’t mean you need to be perfect. And, being a parent doesn’t come with an instruction manual. There is no one way to be a mom, everyone is doing the best they can. And – with the right support - a friend to offer their guidance, or a new mama group, you can find the help and resources you need.

I have always wanted children, and always pictured myself being a mother. When the time comes – I know I will think back to each of these moments, apply them to my own motherhood, and strive to be the best mama I can be.

A great big thank you to all your mamas,

Laura, Marketing Director at Blooma

Top Photo - Me and my Partner with our fur baby

Moments of Motherhood: Homemade dresses, hanging boobs, and braided rugs.

An Intro From Laura (Marketing Director)

Motherhood is made up of moments. Happy and joyful moments. Exciting and funny moments. Frustrating and unsure moments. Here are some other moments in motherhood – from the comical, to the inspiring. We want you to reflect on your own memories, or think about the ones you may create for your little one. We are so happy to celebrate all mamas, all month long.

Sarah Longacre (Owner and Founder):

Music was and still is a huge part of my family. We were raised on Barbra Streisand. My mother thought she was Barbra Streisand. My mother made up songs and would sing to us all the time. My personal favorite was, “Do your boobs hang low do they wobble to and fro…”. Growing up with Cheryl Hauser as your mother you are guaranteed to be “entertained” with songs of love and light!

 

Lauren (Director of Operations):

I am blessed with an amazing mother who loves me unconditionally.  It wasn't until I became a mother myself that I truly realized the depth of her love.  My mom has put up with a lot from me: my colic as a newborn, my "strong will" as a child, my sassy teenage hormones, and most recently my own navigation through motherhood.  And not for a single moment of my life have I ever doubted her love for me.

My mom has taught me how to enjoy life, how to be present to and care for those you love, to be open to learning new things, how to forgive, and the lasting impact that sacrificial love can have.  My mother is not perfect, but she is darn close.  She loves well and puts her family first.  I am deeply grateful for the love she pours out and the witness she is to my own daughter.  Grandma Liz, you are cherished.

 

Greta (Teacher Liaison, Teacher):

My mom is the friendliest person ever.  She is also the busiest woman that I know and somehow you wouldn't even always know that. She is graceful and will always shift things in her world to be by my side when I need it most.  I like to think that I have always known she was so amazing but I probably rolled my eyes a few times when friends in high school referred to her as "Greta's cool mom."  I definitely resisted her coolness and then Instagram was invented and I realized that pretty much anyone who Instagrams their homemade kombucha or napkins or braided rug is actually just my mom 30 years ago. She is the original cool.  And now look at me following in her footsteps as a Prenatal Barre teacher (her version was Prenatal step aerobics).  (Here she is pregnant with me in the pic on the left.)

Over two years into my motherhood and we have had so many fun memories (and crazy not so fun ones) but my favorite moment as a mom will always be giving birth and saying "it's Anderson!" as I snuggled him to my chest for the first time.  I loved those first two weeks in bed just staring at him.

 

 

 

Sarah Auna (Childbirth Educator, Community Outreach, Teacher):

One of my most memorable Mother's Day moments was at Blooma - when I was PREGNANT with my first.  It hadn't occurred to me that I should celebrate MYSELF on Mother's Day ...not yet at least! I wasn't a mother - yet  -- was I? I can’t remember who was teaching yoga that day, but the message was clear. You are already mothering this child. Amending you life to make room for the baby and her needs. You are already giving of your heart, your head and your body for this child. You are already connected to the millions of mothers who have come before you - and the millions of mothers that will come after you.  It made me feel less in a place of in-between and really integrate with myself as "mother" and the baby as my "child".

Marina (St. Paul Studio Manager, Teacher):

Check out these sweet matching sunflower dresses! I will never forget all the horrible matching clothing of my youth, and as the oldest, feeling that I was way too cool to be matching with my baby sisters.  My mom was, and still is, a very crafty woman. She sewed these dresses- along with many others throughout my childhood.  She is never scared to take on a new project.  Along the way, I learned how to sew, and gained a deep appreciation for DIY projects.  I have my mom to credit for my creative energy, and willingness to try new things, and I am so grateful for her! Looking at this picture, it is still pretty embarrassing to think that we left the house like this, but at least it's good for a laugh!

Meghan Foley (Minneapolis & Plymouth Studio Manager, Teacher):

My mom is my best friend and twin and all of our inside jokes are from Sleepless in Seattle and While You Were Sleeping. We have both movies memorized and I have many memories of shouting out the lines together while laughing, crying and stuffing our faces with popcorn. She is my biggest source of laughter and support and I am so grateful for our friendship. 

 

We want to share all your moments of Motherhood! We are celebrating you all month (and all year) long at Blooma! Thank you mamas for all that you do, and for all the memories you make.

Learn about all of the special things we have created for YOU this month.

Written by the Blooma Leadership Team.

Chiropractic Care in the 4th Trimester (Postpartum)

Sometime in the 4th trimester, after all the happy hormones of birth start to fade, the reality of pain can be a shocker for some mamas, and not always where they expect it.  While bellies and bottoms are healing, mamas are often surprised at the physical workout that comes from holding, changing, nursing, and carrying a little one outside the womb! Low back pain gets a lot of attention as the spine is recovering from pregnancy, however chiropractic care is also an excellent way to address neck pain, upper back strain, muscle tension, headaches, wrist, and shoulder pain that are so common in the early postpartum weeks.  Often, these are the result of the awkward postural demands of early baby care (bouncing, carrying, feeding, sleeping).

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     I want to remind everyone about the power getting an adjustment can have in the 4th trimester.

 

 

Even with all the great gadgets, wraps, and pillows, despite our best intentions, we are often inclined to accommodate baby - no matter how uncomfortable it is.  When mamas are a few weeks postpartum and experience  headaches, tension in the shoulders/neck, constantly stretch out their wrists, or arch their upper backs, it is time to visit the chiropractor and get re-aligned (yes even those little wrist bones and elbows can get out of place). Your body will feel amazing and will thank you for the attention! The first adjustment after birth is often one of moms’ favorites.

Come in and visit me at Blooma and get your adjustment pre or post baby. At Blooma, there is so much more to experience than yoga and barre. Take time for you and give your body the attention that it needs for happy and healthy motherhood!

Written by Dr. Jessica D.C (Chiropractor and Mama at Blooma)

Jessica-Peterson

*Dr. Jessica was recently interviewed for MN Parent Magazine as a contributing Chiropractor on this same topic. Thank you to Rachel Guyah for highlighting this in April’s MN Parent magazine, and for consistently supporting Blooma as a superstar resource for our community! You can read the full article HERE.

New Year's REVOLUTION-Changing the Conversation in the New Year

At Blooma, we are taking an ANTI resolution stance for 2017. Instead, we want to focus on a revolution - of our bodies & our minds. We want to stop looking at the scale and focus on the love we share in the Blooma community. Thank you to Blooma mama and teacher Jessie for sharing her outlook for the New Year! Bring on 2017!!

 

It's that time of year again, we start discussing the things that we need “to get rid of", "get over", "lose", or "kick". Our resolutions usually start with something we feel bad about-weight, money, habits, time. But as women, mamas, sisters, friends, and partners, we do amazing things every damn day, all year long. Why do we feel the need start our New Year by punishing ourselves with restrictions and limits? I was just having a conversation this morning with two women I love dearly. I look up to them both, especially when it comes to life management and health. Here we were berating ourselves over our sugar "addiction", however, within minutes we were able to change the way we spoke about our plans by saying "I want to add more vegetables in our daily meals". Yes!

Let’s change the conversation. Let’s not make our New Year’s plans about restrictions, let’s make it more about expansion. Forget about getting rid of the pieces of our lives, let’s just focus on adding something into it. So, instead of dieting-let’s add a veggie to every meal. Instead of giving up sweets- let’s add in a Yoga class. Instead of giving up something to make more time for our children-let’s add in an activity that we can all do together.

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Don’t get me wrong, it is great to make guidelines for ourselves to become better in the New Year, but I was forgetting about all the good things I had done the year before. I was a good mother to my kids. A good partner to my husband. A good friend and daughter. So, for this year I’ve started planning all the of the things I will “add-in”. And, I remind myself that I take care of my mind and body because I am worth it. Because taking the time to focus on me allows me to be a better version of myself for the other people in my life.

Change the conversation. Add things in. Enjoy the New Year.

 

Contributed by Jessie Seehof Carlson

Just another human trying to be kinder to myself

My Blooma Journey: Motherhood, Yoga, Community and Beyond.

On the journey of parenthood, there are many things that divide us; but I like to believe that there are many more things that unite us. When it comes to parenting, we all long for community, desire acceptance, and need a safe, sacred space where we - and our choices and experiences - are heard and understood. 

Years ago, I was new to the Twin Cities area and was also newly pregnant with my second child. I had worked in the health care sector for years and could help support my family financially. But, I wasn't in love with what I did and I struggled to find the balance I knew I needed. 

One of the biggest problems in finding balance was that I wasn’t great at carving out time for myself, and certainly, not in a way that encouraged me to “connect” with my baby. It wasn’t uncommon for days to pass without a single thought of my pregnancy, the baby, or what I needed for myself. This only left me feeling more drained with each passing day. I knew this wasn’t sustainable for myself, my family, and my new baby. I needed a change. 

It was around this time that I hesitantly walked through Blooma’s doors. To clarify, I was no yogi. In fact, I was fairly convinced that yoga was not for me. Frankly, yoga seemed like a waste of time. Even so, I left the treadmill at the gym and stepped into the Blooma studio. I moved. I flowed. I breathed. I listened to my heart. I listened to my baby. I found intention. I found community. I discovered how to simply BE. I was hooked. 

From that point on, my yoga mat became a near permanent structure beneath my feet. I clung to every word relating to birth, empowerment, fear, love, and everything in between. I valued the brief interactions post-practice with instructors and fellow mamas alike. I raced out of my corporate office at the end of the day to be greeted by the calming energy that the yoga studio brought to my day and my heart. Blooma was my breath of fresh air amidst an ocean of uncertainty, fear and letting go…

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Months went by. The Prenatal Yoga Classes, that I attended so regularly, prepared me for one of the biggest moments of my life. After much anticipation, I birthed my baby on a pale Christmas Eve morning in runner’s lunge, a pose I had practiced so frequently that my body recognized it as familiar. The woman - my doula - who held my hand, hair and heart throughout my birth experience was the same woman who had guided me through countless yoga practices. Her voice brought me comfort and confidence. She was exactly what I needed during my birth - and Blooma had brought us together.

I had given birth, but I continued to crave Blooma’s energy. In my postpartum days, I religiously attended New Mama Group and BYOB, all creating community and new friendships with fellow mamas who were in the trenches right along with me. Blooma was the one place I could openly breastfeed my baby (because openly was the only way I knew how) and that was enough reason for me to show up, day in and day out.

baby-and-me

 

Before I knew it, my baby was crawling and we were attending Little Movers and Crawlers Classes together, and then Tots Classes. My oldest son enjoyed Little Kids Yoga and I hit up Vinyasa Classes when I could, in an effort to fill my own cup and focus on myself.As time continued to pass, I felt that my coveted community, my place of prenatal and postpartum solace, was slipping through my fingers. I still had Flow and Barre Classes, but my prenatal and postpartum connection was swiftly ending. My baby was growing. I had spent nearly every day at Blooma. I didn’t want LESS of my Blooma community, I wanted MORE. I grieved at the thought of slowly removing myself from Blooma’s walls. 

I began to seriously reflect on how much I wanted to give back to the community of other new parents, birth workers, and instructors that had selflessly given to me when I needed it most. I wanted to be a part of providing a loving, open, sacred space for prenatal/postpartum mamas to show up, find themselves and connect with their babies, just like I had done in the years before.

Of course, I continued to work the 9-5 job I always had, but I took risks. I didn’t have much of a plan and had no idea where I would end up, but for the first time in my life, it didn’t matter because I knew I had a hell of a lot of passion behind the momentum that was driving my decisions. I dove head first into the numerous training's Blooma had to offer including the BYOB Yoga Teacher Training, DONA Birth Doula Training, DONA Postpartum Doula Training, and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. I also pursued, with encouragement from my Blooma tribe, the training needed to become a LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator.

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I originally pursued the training's to give back, but I've discovered that I've received so much more. In the end, I left my job in health care and dedicated my time to serving women as a Birth and Postpartum Doula, a Yoga Instructor, a New Mama Group Facilitator, and a Childbirth Educator within the Blooma community and beyond. Originally, I stepped through Blooma’s doors to say “I gave yoga a try” and instead I found what I had unknowingly been seeking for far too long: deep-seeded desires around acceptance, community and sacred space. 

buddy-yoga

 

I’m grateful to say that Blooma has showed up for me in ways that I least expected. It is a yoga studio but it is much more than that. Because of Blooma and all that it is, I have discovered the foundation to help confidently build my family, my community and my inner self.

 

In love, light and gratitude, Sarah Bach-Bergs

Blooma Yoga Instructor, LAMAZE-Certified Childbirth Educator, DONA-Trained Birth and Postpartum Doula, Mama of two crazy boys, wife, friend, and wilderness lover.

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Photo Credit:

First image and Black and White Photo: Meghan Pate

New Mama Group Image: Danica Donnelly