Edition Number Three
Hi Everyone,

If you're new to TBD Mama, welcome, and if you're returning, thank you, for staying with me! Lately, I've been thinking about empowerment; and what it means as a practice rather than a platitude. How do I empower myself - in body, mind and spirit? How does this allow me to empower others and my family? How do I have the courage to change behaviors that flatly disempower me? On this slightly lofty note, this edition touches on ways to become empowered including negotiating;( i.e. advocating for yourself;) how to check yourself when you automatically say "sorry;" tips to self-regulate before screaming; and an informative piece on the cruel and systemic nature of most insurers to deny women access to healthy fertility. Since it's still October, I'm obvs still thinking about Halloween (I finally have a costume!) as well as what to read in bed to help me stay entertained -- and warm! Ignore that "warm" part for all my Cali mamas.:)

I hope the above topics may peak your interest too and if someone else wants to know more about why things like IVF are inadequately covered by insurance, I'd be very grateful if you shared this newsletter with them and follow me @tbdmama on Instagram.

Thanks so much for your time and attention. I know both are precious!

Disclaimer: Mute the ads! Because listening to this IS worth it.

Sometimes, simply asking my husband to help with dinner is challenging for me. And he's a willing and excellent chef! My resistance to ask for help warrants an entirely separate post and is rooted in all kinds of control and ego and self-esteem issues that I've mostly worked through, thankfully, in years of therapy. Asking for what I want takes genuine courage, self-love and self-esteem. In order to cultivate self-esteem I must do esteem-able things, daily, and believe I am worth it. It's no surprise, however, despite achievements in real life and on paper, that many of us find it very difficult or uncomfortable to ask for what we want. Often we even negotiate against ourselves or think that we need to "act like men," whatever that means, in order to ask for and receive what we deserve. This podcast, courtesy again of The Broad Experience , demystifies and provides actual, tactical suggestions on how to negotiate for yourself at work, at home and beyond --- without compromising who you are in order to get what you need and deserve.
I think this is something most mamas say or want to say. When my son has pushed me to the brink it's more like, "go to your room and stay there...FOREVER." #Scarymommy. This article, published in The Atlantic , reflects and reveals why using alternative words will get a better result for you, and for the kids.
It takes work to become aware of saying sorry for minor mistakes or things we’re not actually responsible for.  The same goes for extending an, “I’m so sorry,” in response to something terrible happening. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said this on autopilot then I’d be some kind of super-rich indeed.  We need better words to convey the myriad of emotions that “sorry” is too often a stand-in for. The good news is that the English language provides many to choose from! This great article has some tactical ideas and reminds us to stop, pause and think before blurting out the “s” word.
Halloween can be a tricky concept to introduce to a young child: These books help keep the holiday fun. If your Little is not so little then there are also great options for slightly older kids. If your Little is all grown-up, then these books will make for great suggestions or gifts for the mamas in your life still living in the Pre-K-land-of-the-dead.

OK, so these are not exactly easy to make but they’ll please a crowd of kids for sure. If your Little is just big enough to help, or is on the other side of the spectrum and actually still likes hangjng out with you, you can make something crafty and delicious together.
I love this diverse round-up of female-written books to add to my bedside pile! On average, I have about, oh, six books by my bed in a various state of actually being read. Why not buy some more? I’m very psyched for Rebecca Traister’s lauded and timely book, Good and Mad , that unpacks the revolutionary power of women's collective anger.  Busy Philipps' memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little , is on my must-read list too (I do love her Insta feed). Barbara Kingsolver is legend and has what undoubtedly will be on every book club list to come while the prolific and inimitable, Tana French, makes for perfect spooky reading to get you in the Halloween mood.
Why don’t most insurance companies cover IVF - at all? Infertility is a condition as common as diabetes so wouldn’t the treatment be treated with the same dignity, attention, care and coverage? The western medical complex is deeply rooted in misogyny (hi - multiple ads for Cialis but almost none for birth control?) and is averse to covering treatments that prevent illness, or, goddess forbid, improve quality of life and wellbeing . Pregnancy, healthy pregnancy, may indeed be a privilege insofar as it is a rare blessing but women shouldn’t be penalized because they can’t get or stay pregnant. Hopefully, this gen of TBD Mamas and the next will fight for this fundamental right.

  • "When we stop thinking of IVF as a lifestyle option and start thinking of it as a cure for a medical condition that effects women from all socioeconomic backgrounds, IVF doesn't seem particularly expensive at all." - Elissa Strauss, CNN