Dear New Moms,

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I don’t know about you, but this has been the most daunting job of my life.

Please take comfort in the fact that no one knows what they are doing – even though it may appear otherwise.

I spent the first year and change of motherhood convinced everyone else had it sorted out, while I struggled to do anything right. I doubted nearly all the choices I made, and thought everyone was doing a better job than I. Like it was a contest.

And now, just a mere three years in I still catch myself in that same pattern. I look to others for the answer : on sleep schedules, feeding options, toy / book recommendations, potty training tactics, on and on it can go. And it is valuable to gather ideas + suggestions – but deep down all I need is within.

In this incredible task of nurturing and nourishing life outside of us, we must remember to do the same for the life within us, so we can hear our deep wisdom within. This has been a huge learning curve for me, but when I’m connected to myself I trust myself more. So I do my best to claim and honor little pockets of time for me.

In those moments I realize I’m doing the best job I could possibly do, as I know that’s just how you are doing too.

Love,

Leah

 

P.S.  If you are in the Lancaster, PA area I’d love to have you for this 4 week yoga series I am hosting. It will be a container to connect : to yourself, your babe, and a community of honest women going through it all alongside you.

There are a few more spots available, message me : Leahannefox@gmail.com if you’d like to gather with us. 

 

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Mama Moments

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I have many ideas.

Most of them stay within the confounds of my journals. Luckily, one was brought to life by my wildly creative + talented friend, Esta Tonkin. This idea that existed only as thought, I can now hold in my hands – and I want every mother (especially a mother of young kids) to have one.

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A Mama Moment

A BEAUTIFULLY handmade purse, filled with a mini notebook, pen, and affirmation cards to act as a touchstone for you as you go about mothering. It’s a place where you can gather and collect things that make you feel good, and return to them as often as you wish. So that you can feel like you.

It’s a place to go to when you have an unexpected break, when there is peace, before bed, first thing in the morning. Put a poem you love, a few chocolates, a crystal or two, and make sure to always have it on hand : in the diaper bag, in the car, in the kitchen, let it travel with you, and grow alongside you.

A perfect gift for any mother. Because you know, sometimes we need to be relentlessly coaxed to take a break, to have a moment to ourselves. Now we will have a visual reminder to draw us back to ourselves, all while fueling, feeding, and growing alongside our family.

Thank you Esta, for using your magic to bring this to life. I’m thrilled for any mother who will get to have one of these in their hands.

 

 

 

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The Passage Of Time

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I feel as a veil has lifted.

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After months of struggling with post partum depression, and openly sharing about it the other week – I feel a bit lighter, more myself. Writing about it as been freeing. Thank you for your responses. Receiving your words made me feel like I’m not the only one. Something I needed to be reminded of.

Being seen is healing, even though it seems easier to hide.

I have gathered a lot of help and support, and I wonder why I believed for so long that I had to do it all on my own, overwhelmed and alone.

Now I feel again like me, and not alone. Maybe this feeling will stick, or perhaps I will dissolve again into the depths of motherhood. Perhaps it will be a bit of both. I know this pattern well. Feeling stitched back together, only to unravel again.

Maybe it is a pattern of growth.  Maybe I won’t unravel completely every time.  Maybe I will make it a point to stay closer to my heart, and be so kind and compassionate to myself, even when I fall short of my continuously high expectations.

I’ll be here finding myself, and what makes my heart sing, again and again. With two little ones by my feet demanding my attention, as I continue to demand my own.

 

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Sitting with Postpartum Depression

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It’s hard to admit that I am struggling with postpartum depression, because it seems like a failure in many regards, even though logically I know it’s not.

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It feels terrible that I am saddest when I am alone with my kids, but it’s the truth most of the time.

Often I don’t feel like myself, I just feel heavy.

Thankfully, I’m not in that space the entirety of the day. When I am making, expressing, connecting, moving, teaching, writing – things are exponentially better. But the pain comes in when I feel like I have no time to tend to my heart and everyone’s needs must be met before my own.

It took a while to come to terms that I was depressed. I just figured things were hard, and that’s how they are with two small children. I remained in the doing and overcoming. I would get really low, and eventually climb back up to myself. Once I felt OK, I was certain the hard stuff was behind me… until I went through that same exhausting cycle a week or two later.

Then I got shingles, and I slowly realized the amount of stress I was under for my body to surrender and say : something has to change.

Our pediatrician suggested I talk to a therapist, I reluctantly listened. Once I found out I was depressed I immediately tried to overcome it. I wanted to put it behind me and feel whole again, complete, put back together.

Now, I’ve softened enough to just sit with it, even though I feel like pieces of me are scattered upon the kitchen floor and I can’t for the life of me find the time or the energy to place them back together. It’s hard.

I continuously have to recall : It’s not my fault.

And I’m trusting it is a door into something deeper, a crying out for deep compassion + forgiveness.

I am constantly lighting candles as I ask for help + guidance from beyond. I’m writing in the name of healing. I’m fiercely creating to calm my heart. I’ve asked for more support, and have graciously received it. When I’m focused on the light I can feel + notice my prayers being answered. \

The trick for me, right now, is returning to the light.

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Cherish

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Not everything has to happen : today, or this week, or this month, or even this year.

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I can capture the questions + ideas and sit with them. Letting them wash over me, while I dare to be OK with the uncertainty.

Patiently trust. Making time just be – no agenda present – how hard that can be.

Because there will be a day, I’m sure where I will wish so desperately for today. I will cherish the ridiculous imperfection that reminds me : there is no other place I’d rather be, none at all.

 

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Take The Pressure Off

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Drop the labels of what is good and bad.

Cover yourself with infinite acceptance, for who you are and where you are.

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Let it be imperfect. It should be imperfect. Perfection is paralyzing, elusive, and one can become a slave to it. And then we miss the beauty in right now because it is clouded with judgment. Of what is not right, of wanting to be somewhere other than here. Someone other than you.

Bow to your heart.

Drop the impossible expectations you may hold high above you, so you can lift up and float above.

Be so radical that you take the pressure off. And love yourself for where you are right now.

I’ll be here, working alongside you.

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