Edition Number Ten
Hi Everyone,

The Universe certainly operates in unexpected ways and I am marveling at the miracle that produced my child, an actual real live human, as I witness so many families, including my own, struggle to conceive. They say our children choose us and I believe it. I feel so lucky to be Karuna’s chosen one. While I wait and see if another one will choose me, I continue to envision what kind of a community TBD Mama can become - a community that uplifts and connects; provides resources, tools, and opportunities to learn and share together about the oh-so-many aspects of mamahood.

How do I and how do we "mother" ourselves in order to be “good enough” mamas, partners and friends? How do we commit to our authentic selves and life paths while also attempting to have, make and bake and raise a child - or three?

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.” It seems both Mick Jagger and the Universe have delivered the same message lately, and while it’s hard to hear, I am open to listening.  Listening to the idea of mothering myself first and finding deep acceptance for things not always going according to “my” plan. Listening to my body, my family and other families as they too experience their own uniquely up-and-down fertility and parenting journeys.

In this edition (my tenth!) I’ve included an illuminating podcast on hormonal (im)balance; news on Senator Warren’s Universal Child Care plan; and how to introduce financial literacy to kids. In personal care there are GLITTER JARS to try, yes, seriously, and some “hip packs,” AKA fanny packs to consider; new Legos on the block for them; and an emboldening piece on granting yourself permission to get mad. Now that's an idea.

It’s almost Spring everyone. Let’s get ready for what just might bloom yet.

With love,
Do you have the “courage to do nothing?” That’s a mind blowing question for me, and I imagine many mamas. What do you mean do nothing? And yet, oftentimes, that is exactly what we need to do in order to support our bodies, our families, our lives. It’s interesting how little we know and talk about our hormones, beginning with differentiating between sex and stress hormones and the functions and potential dysfunction of each.

Author Dr. Claudia Welch would have preferred the title of her book, "Balance your Hormones, Balance Your Life," be reversed, since a life out-of-balance leads to stress and sex hormones that are imbalanced too. In this conversation with Magamama host, author and birth doula, Kimberly Johnson, she explains how hormones are best viewed through an Ayurvedic and Chinese medical lens. We learn how stress demands and drains precious resources in our bodies and the importance of staying aware and looking inward to intuit rather than overthink what our bodies need in order to function well. 

This is an illuminating conversation from an Eastern medical POV on slowing down and applying the "medicine of subtraction” rather than piling on more and more to-dos. It's also an interesting POV into the personal ethics of aligning with your truth in order for prana, life force, to flow. Health is a deeply spiritual choice; how we live matters; and we don't need to fill up our days (which actually might drain us out) with "extra" stuff our minds tell us we have to do.
Oh, how I wish I had been raised in a time where this was readily taught and valued. But I imagine many of you reading this also weren't raised in homes or schools where the idea of being a financially savvy and empowered individual counted more than an SAT or AP score.

Some data may suggest that a child’s financial habits are set by age seven (and I question this given the lack of citation, something Goop doesn't like to do) but nonetheless the case is strong for instilling financial literacy early and often, particularly for girls. This interview with the founder of Goalsetter broaches some tactical and meaningful ways to engage and encourage kids to save money not just because they “should,” but because it’s going to mean something important to them.
FEMME-INISM: UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE There's been impassioned news and noise about universal health care; paid family leave and free college tuition but oddly nothing on universal child care until now, thanks to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren was the first Democrat, well, the first politician period, to announce a sweeping plan that focuses specifically on universal chid care - the first plan since 1971. That's almost 50 year ago, OMG. Whether you think these are leftist fantasies, marginal issues affecting just a few, or believe that this is an essential human right within a functional democracy I hope we can all agree to this: Quality, affordable child care helps families; children and our collective future tribe. Listen or read below to this incisive conversation on NPR that delves into the critical issue.

Despite being made of non biodegradable plastic (they are working toward a 100% "sustainable" solution by 2030) playing with Legos builds patience and persistence while also inspiring individual and cooperative play. Party buses, fantasy houses and plenty of branded characters including a 6000+ piece Hogwarts castle abound in this years most anticipated sets.
Sometimes we all have to “settle our glitter” and apparently using an actual jar filled with glitter can help us do exactly that: Calm the F down. This popular mindfulness tool to help visualize chaotic emotions settling to the ground is a great way to help out-of-control kids, and grown-ups, pause and focus on something other than their oversized emotions. It’s not an alternative to therapy but it’s definitely cheaper!
The word "fanny" has and always will make me laugh-slash-cringe. But if I consider this compact item a chic, little "hip pack" or "waist belt" then I can kinda get on-board. Being hands-free is so liberating in the city, especially when wrangling a child, stroller and latte.
Not that anyone needed to give us permission to do this, but sometimes we need to grant it ourselves. Female guilt is all too often the go-to reflex instead of anger since there is minimal support culturally to go ahead and let nice ladies get mad. Girls don’t get mad, we cry, we shame. "Good" women don’t get mad at our kids, we get mad at ourselves. That internalized anger often festers into guilt and suddenly we can feel responsible for the very thing that outraged us to begin with.

Anger is excruciating, and time-consuming, and sometimes definitely not the best lane to drive in (especially alone) but anger, particularly a mother’s anger, can build movements and move mountains. It can drive and fuel expression that is critical in helping protect a vulnerable person too tired to ask for help, in igniting and creating real change, and slowly moving the needle in the right direction of justice. This Guardian piece by American podcaster and mother, Katherine Goldstein, cites one of my favorite thought leaders and doctors in the space, Dr. Alexandra Sacks, offering a compelling and comprehensive case for mamas to go ahead and get mad.