Recently I spoke to a group of women on the subject of helping other women, being confidence, and being a good person. Things I pride myself on being…helpful, confident, and a good person. But, I wasn’t always this way.
There was a point in my young adult life where I was negative, hateful, and jealous. Jealous that other people had better opportunities, hateful because my life wasn’t a certain way, and negative because I thought the world was ALWAYS against me. I ruined potential friendships and relationships because of this bad attitude I had let myself adapt and it was a vicious cycle I couldn’t break out of.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had moments we’re not proud of. We’ve all been mean and hurtful at some point, but when does it end? When do you look in the mirror and tell yourself that this is NOT who you want to be. That this behavior DOES NOT make you happy…when does it end?
It ends with YOU, just like how it started with you.
Only you can hurt or help yourself. Once I came to that realization, my life completely changed! Relationships blossomed, life became enjoyable, and I was happy. What I did was shift my mindset and my perspective and everyone around me noticed this change. They were receptive to this positive change because they preferred this version of me. I preferred this version of me! Why? Because no one likes a negative nancy and it takes more energy to be negative then to be positive.
It’s so exhausting being negative all the time.
Once I decided things needed to change that’s when the real work began. I started to work on myself, my image, my speech, my everything!!!! I learned not to be so temperamental and to think before I spoke, because my words were powerful and if I responded with my temper I could really hurt someone. I picked up on positive habits like dealing with negative situations with a grain of salt. I would deal with it and move on. I also started to educate myself on a more personal level. I read books on how to be more positive, I listened to motivational documentaries that spoke to me, and I started to implement productive habits into my daily routine.
But all this effort into improving yourself is useless if the people you associate with hold you back. If you have negative friends who drain your energy, if you have people who don’t want to grow personally, and if you have people who are constantly giving you a negative vibe. You need to get rid of these people, cut them off like you would a cheating boyfriend. Girl, bye!
Your tribe is your vibe.
The most powerful thing I started to notice once I changed my mindset and cut ties with people who held me back was that new people continually flowed into my life. But not just any people. Like-minded, strong, confident, and empowered women! Women I clicked with instantly, women who understood my passions, and women who helped me achieve so much more than I could have ever imagined.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. Every up and every down has a purpose. You can’t appreciate success without having gone through the trials and tribulations, the obstacles, and the hardships.
If everything was handed to you it would have no value!
I’m a super creative and innately motivational person, I always have been. I am also very strong, independent, and confident in who I am. I am educated, I can think for myself, and I am a really good person. I treat people how I want to be treated. I have common sense, respect, and I know when to lead and when to step back. I have acquired all these skills with years of self work and believing in myself!
Women are often undermined in the workplace, at home, and in life. Do you know why? Because we let it happen!
If you speak up for yourself then you will be heard. If you love yourself, you will be loved. If you respect yourself, YOU WILL BE RESPECTED! It all begins and ends with YOU. You are the common denominator in every situation because you have all this control! How powerful is that? Once you come to terms with all this power you have you’ll start to use to towards being the best version of you in life and in business!
Here are some resources that have helped me and I hope they’ll help you:
Quotes I love:
I hope this blog post motivates you in some way to better yourself and be the version of you you’ll always be proud of.
Most of you know that I have been breastfeeding my son since the day he was born and it hasn’t been all fun and games. It has been hard, time consuming, stressful, painful, and it really takes a toll on your body. BUT, you do what is best for your child albeit the fact that it is HARD. It is my pet peeve when people say they didn’t breastfeed because it was difficult or they just “couldn’t”.
Fun fact: Every single human can breastfeed. What did children eat hundreds of years ago when formula didn’t exist? No ones milk supply comes immediately after birth and it takes some work for your body to start producing and supplying you with milk. Breastfeeding is a supply and demand kind of business. The more you breastfeed (or pump) the more your body works to supply your demand!
Believe me I get it, it is a full-time job and you need commitment and resilience to be able to keep up, unless you are one of the lucky few who has been blessed with an oversupply of milk. In that case, count your blessings. I know it isn’t for everyone and that’s okay but I just think that the benefits of liquid gold outweigh the struggles.
Why I decided to breastfeed…
I am a firm believer in science and research, which probably stems from studying Psychology as an undergrad. Whatever the reason, research is the first thing I do when I want information on something – and I don’t mean Google. I mean published research that you can find on different websites that include an abstract and everything. You know research research.
Disclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I am not against formula feeding. I’m just providing you with facts about breastfeeding based on countless studies.
Here are the facts presented in one particular article that just blew my mind:
“The risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections in the first year is reduced 72% if infants breastfed exclusively for more than 4 months”
“The severity (duration of hospitalization and oxygen requirements) of respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis is reduced by 74% in infants who breastfed exclusively for 4 months compared with infants who never or only partially breastfed”
“It has been calculated that more than 900 infant lives per year may be saved in the United States if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfed for 6 months.”
“There is a protective effect of exclusive breastfeeding for 3 to 4 months in reducing the incidence of clinical asthma, atopic dermatitis, and eczema by 27% in a low-risk population and up to 42% in infants with positive family history”
“There is a reduction of 52% in the risk of developing celiac disease in infants who were breastfed at the time of gluten exposure.”
” there is a 15% to 30% reduction in adolescent and adult obesity rates if any breastfeeding occurred in infancy compared with no breastfeeding”
“Up to a 30% reduction in the incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus is reported for infants who exclusively breastfed for at least 3 months”
“There is a reduction in leukemia that is correlated with the duration of breastfeeding. A reduction of 20% in the risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia and 15% in the risk of acute myeloid leukemia in infants breastfed for 6 months or longer.”
I mean these are the findings of just ONE article. Can you imagine that you, as a mother, have the power to REDUCE the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes. That’s mind-blowing!
Keeping all these facts, plus more, in mind I knew that I wanted to breastfeed from day 1. The first thing I told the nurses at the hospital was that there would absolutely be no formula and that he would be exclusively breastfed. I didn’t even make it an option, which I feel like was the main driving point for me to work harder to kick-start my supply. When you set your mind to something, whether it’s to formula feed from birth or to breastfeed, you’re already mentally prepared to do so.
My breastfeeding journey…
I breastfeed Levon, my son, for about 3 weeks until I realized it just wasn’t working out for us. I literally didn’t and couldn’t leave my bed because he would eat 15 min, sleep 30 min, eat 15, sleep 15, eat 20, sleep 10. It was just an extremely exhausting and depressive cycle. He was getting frustrated with me because he was still hungry and I was getting frustrated because I was bed bound. After weeks of trying to make it work I decided to pump and bottle feed. I figured, at least he’s getting breastmilk!
I was really upset about it at first because obviously breast feeding was way better than bottle feeding for many reasons. The most important being that the babies saliva tells your body which immune factors to produce in order to protect the baby from certain infections (more here). However, I grew fond of the idea because now he was full and could sleep in peace and he wouldn’t get used to being in my arms all day.
When it came to my supply it was like a roller coaster ride and very restrictive. In the beginning it was barely there because my body was just getting used to a new vacuum – pumping. Then once I got the hang of it and could actually leave the house for 2 hours (max) it was like heaven lol. It was not ideal, but it was good enough for me.
My pump was attached to my hip at all times, so much so that I had this intense fear of leaving the house without it. You know when you’re about to dash out the door and you do a little mental rundown to make sure you have everything. Well, the first thing on my list was “did you pack your pump and all the other sh*t that goes with it?” I would be the mom next to you in the dressing room pumping because it’s almost time for a feeding and I don’t want to get screamed at in the middle of the mall. I was also the mom that went to parties with her pump. At my cousin-in-laws wedding I would go to the brides private room, take off my dress, pump, secure the milk in a bottle, wrap the bottle in something, tape it down, then Uber it to my house so my mom could feed him. Oh, and the pumping happened every 30 minutes because I had a low supply. It’s safe to say I was pretty much not present at that wedding, that’s what I mean by very restrictive. But like I said earlier, it’s a sacrifice you make and it’s challenging but it’s worth it!
I did however have times, well one time, where I was producing a good amount and could actually go on vacation…YAY! I think it took me like a month to save up for a 3 day vacation lol, but I had no complaints because that was better than no vacation.
Basically, my son was exclusively fed breastmilk for 4.5 months until I got a really bad infection and it effected my milk supply immensely. Anytime I got sick or my body was trying to overcome something my supply dropped tremendously. I would pump every single hour to get a few ounces of milk so I could feed him. It was torture! This infection was a little bit different though, it had gotten really dangerous and a lot worse in a matter of days so I needed to start on antibiotics ASAP. Since I was on antibiotics I decided to give him formula because my doctor and I decided that we didn’t want to expose him to that if we didn’t have to. I also kind of had no choice because I was producing close to nothing.
I had gone through a crazy depression period because of my supply for about a month leading up to my infection. It was as if postpartum depression had hit me 3 months after having the baby. I didn’t want to eat, leave the house, talk to anyone, nothing. I just wanted to stay in bed and hang out with the baby. I wasn’t making that much milk and it was a constant mental and physical struggle to get through the day. I hid it pretty well from my family and friends but it was pretty much the low point of my postpartum days. Your mood and your mental strength has everything to do with your body producing milk and since I wasn’t able to get myself out of that funk, my supply was suffering. It’s safe to say a cup of hormones with a dash of depression and a sprinkle of an infection led me to stop breastfeeding.
This was the toughest transition for me. I would cry every time I gave Levon a bottle of formula (hormones are NO JOKE) because I felt like I had failed him. It was hard for me to see it any other way because of all the knowledge I had about breastmilk. But eventually I realized that I had no choice, I couldn’t starve him with my nonexistent milk supply so this was what I was forced to do. To be honest, because I was forced to give formula (no supply and being on antibiotics) I didn’t feel as bad about it. It was the perfect “excuse” to make me feel better. Now he is a few days shy of being 7 months old and he drinks formula.
Is life easier this way? YES, obviously. Can I go on vacation anytime I please? YES. Can I finally leave the house without my heavy pump? YES. Can I finally enjoy some wine? YES. Would I do it all over again in order to breastfeed? YESSSS!
Which formula I use..
I’ve only given him Holle formula which is an imported product from Europe.
Why? Because it is:
Highest European Organic standards (99% organic – small local farms production)
Unmatched quality of ingredients compared to other leading brands
ContainsNO: Brown rice syrup/DHA – ARA/harmful GMO or fluoride!
Moms, read your ingredient labels when it comes to formula! If the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup then remember that that is THE MOST potent ingredient in that formula. Also, just because your doctor suggests a certain formula brand that does not mean you have to give your baby that formula! Most pediatricians are paid by those brand reps to advertise ONLY their formulas. Just like pharmaceutical companies pay most doctors to push out ONLY their meds. Just do your own thorough research.
That’s pretty much the whole story on my breastfeeding experience and why I stopped.
I hope this was helpful to some of you and if you are going through the same struggles just remember that you have to stay mentally strong in order for your body to produce milk. I know, easier said than done. But you got this, don’t give up!
If you have any questions feel free to comment below.
As most of you have noticed, especially if you’ve been following me for a while, I’ve started to share a lot more about my life. Becoming a mom has made me really vulnerable, in the sense that I crave connection. I want to connect with people. My followers, other moms, business owners, bloggers…just people. Sounds kind of weird but it’s the best way I can describe it.
I’M HAVING A TOTAL CARRIE BRADSHAW MOMENT TODAY WRITING THIS. JUST LET ME HAVE IT. LOL.
Pre-baby, I liked to keep everything private and give a glimpse of my personal life here and there. I mean don’t get me wrong, I still give just a glimpse because at the end of the day I don’t really want to share ALL of my struggles and that’s just the truth.
When I first started blogging it was a way for me to inform people on certain things or teach them my personal tips and tricks. Now, I have this constant light bulb going off in my head forcing me to dig a little deeper.
Today, my son was a little congested and sneezing a little more than usual. I suspect its allergies, but I’m not sure yet. I had a million things I wanted to get done today and got to zero of them. WHY? Because I was spending time with him, making him feel better with lots of cuddles, love, and kisses. That’s obviously more important to me than cleaning his room that’s been looking like a meteor hit for the past few days, doing some backend work on the blog, washing the dishes, opening PR packages, organizing the mess on my vanity…and the list goes on.
He fell asleep on my chest today for the first time in months. I used to have him sleep on my chest often as a newborn and it was the most amazing feeling in the world. It gave me a total high. I was just enjoying every second of it. His sweaty little head, his adorable pouty lips, his hand on my chest, and his perfect breathing. I felt this incredible rush of energy and emotion run through my body and it made another light bulb go off.
I’ve been laying in bed for 2 hours with my son on my chest when instead I could have gotten two hours worth of blog work done. Two hours worth of organizing and cleaning. A load of laundry…AND maybe even made dinner.
Then it hit me…
I just can’t seem to do it all. NONE OF IT.
I’ve often wondered to myself, how do women have a full-time job and still manage to take care of the kids, make dinner, and keep the household clean?
I’m the type of person that puts 100% effort into anything that I do. BUT how can I be a 100% mom and still check off my list 100% of the time?
Either I have to be a half-ass mom by doing the bare minimum and get all my other stuff done. OR I have to leave everything and be a mom whenever Levon is awake then get to my list once he sleeps…another impossible task because I don’t get to finish anything in time.
+ maybe I just need to make better lists…something more realistic? Idk.
I’m not sure, but I’m totally stuck at this moment. I find myself “stuck” all the time these days. I want to focus on working again but can’t seem to do it because this is a one-man show. I don’t have a team behind this blog, just little old me. Pre-baby I could somehow manage to do it all. But now? I’m not so sure. I just can’t seem to figure it out.
Talk to me guys. What do you think? Can you really do it all? Can you really put 100% of your efforts into EVERYTHING you do in the day?
Whats the secret sauce? TELL TELL.
This was a total spur of the moment blog post. The kind where it popped into my head and I put my son in his bassinet and started typing away. I’m just being really raw and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Mayeb some tips?