Hold Space For Your Feelings

By De Elizabeth

I have most of my “serious” conversations over text these days. As a mom of a 2-year-old, I only have a handful of quiet pockets of time each day, most of which are usually spent catching up on work, answering emails, doing laundry (or at least thinking about doing laundry), and some form of self-care, which typically entails lying on the couch and staring into space for as long as possible. Gone are the days when I could spend an hour (or more) on the phone with my best friends, or G-chat into oblivion during a lazy afternoon.

Getting into it over text isn’t ideal, in part because I overthink everything, particularly when I’m talking about something serious — or revealing something raw. A few months ago, I found myself in one of those ~serious~ group texts with my two best friends from college, trying to form words and sentences to articulate thoughts that had only existed, up until that point, in a foggy loop inside my brain. In typical fashion, I followed up a giant blue brick of text with a few emojis and “Sorry to unleash on you guys LOL.”

As customary for true friends, they responded immediately with “Don’t apologize” / “You have nothing to be sorry for.” And then, one of them added: “We’ll always hold space for your feelings. You can talk to us about anything.”

Continue reading

Giving Up Blessing Sandwiches

Giving Up Blessing Sandwiches

By Kate Kole

Soon after our son was born, I developed a somewhat standard response to check-in questions. “Hard and best.” That’s how I described my transition into motherhood. Because it felt impossible to mention one without the other. The sleep deprivation without the joy, the loneliness without the fulfillment, the loss of one identity without the discovery of another.

Eventually, I graduated to the blessing sandwich.

You know, the “I’m grateful I get to stay home with him. Sure, sometimes it’s isolating. But I feel really fortunate to have this time together.” Or the, “He’s a really happy baby. Still not sleeping through the night. But all the smiles during the day make up for it.”

One good thing. One hard thing. One good thing again. Continue reading

The Price You Pay When You’re Always Trying to Live in the Moment

By De Elizabeth

Every summer when growing up, my family would take trips to Cape Cod. My brother and I would spend the days leading up to our trip rifling through our CD collections, deciding which albums to bring with us for the six-hour drive (Blink-182, SR-71, and, later, Motion City Soundtrack were always among the top of the list). We’d print out a list of every state in the country, awarding various values to each, ready to play the License Plate Game in the car (Alaska and Hawaii always had the highest amount of points). We’d joke that every year, our parents would get into their “annual fight” before we left, delaying our departure by at least 45 minutes, but then eventually we’d be on our way. We’d stop around lunchtime — in Mystic, Connecticut, at a Friendly’s restaurant just off of the highway. Then, several hours later, we’d cross the Sagamore Bridge onto the Cape, and every year, at this very moment, my mom would turn around, look at us, and say: “Savor the moment.” Continue reading

We Are Not Duchess Kate – And That’s OK

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By Catherine Miele

After giving birth to her third child, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, exited the hospital looking flawless.

Bright-eyed, subtly made-up, perfectly coiffed, and wearing high heels for god’s sake, she is the envy of all new moms. Hell, 3 years after giving birth to my first, I wish I looked that put together on date nights!

Except…here’s the thing: it’s Duchess Kate’s job to present herself in a certain way for the public. Continue reading

Take The Damn Nap

Take The Damn Nap

By Kate Kole

My mom says (or if you’d prefer, my mama always said) that as a kid, I’d put to myself to bed when I got tired. Hopped up on Mountain Dew and Dunkaroos, I’d run myself ragged and then climb underneath the covers for an afternoon nap.

Still today, I crave rest when I’m running on empty. But, often times now, I’ll resist the urge. My mind reminds my body of all the things that need doing, and I power my way through the slump. On days when I do opt to lie down, either out of sickness or pure exhaustion, I’m greeted with a familiar, nagging guilt. Do you really have the time for this? Isn’t there something else you could be doing? That you should be doing?   Continue reading

She Let In

She Let In.

By Kate Kole

Inspiration: She Let Go by Safire Rose

She let in.

She let in a quiet acceptance for the body she had always harshly critiqued.

She let in emotion. Joy for the ordinary. Grief for her loss. Excitement for her accomplishments. Disappointment for the unattained things in which she had hoped.

She let in her feelings without the need to analyze, judge, deny, or defend them.

She let in appreciation for her past, contentment for her present, and faith for her future.

She let in the vulnerability to be seen and the strength to know her value. Continue reading

Not This.

Not This.

By Jillian Stacia

Not This.

It rang clear and true while I sat in the workshops, networked in the exhibit hall, chewed my dinner during the Awards Banquet.

Not This, Not This, Not This.

The concept of “Not This” comes from bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert writes, “Most of us, at some point in our lives (unless we have done everything perfectly…which is: nobody) will have to face a terrible moment in which we realize that we have somehow ended up in the wrong place.” She goes on to say, “I call this moment of realization: NOT THIS.”

This was my moment of realization. This was my Not This. Continue reading

7 Things I’ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

7 Things I_ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

By Chelsea O’Neal

In a world where society seems to tell us that we have to be perfect and to do everything with perfection, it’s a breath of fresh air to step back and realize a few things, not only about life, but about ourselves and those around us. That refreshing feeling of coming to place of really appreciating all that there is and accepting ourselves just the way we are.

Here are 7 things that have been enlightening in my daily routines: Continue reading

The Mantra Helping Me Deal with Anxiety Over Becoming a First-Time Mom

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By Kate Kole

Without ever labeling it, I began struggling with anxiety in college. It was the first time in my life that I was overcome with a desire, which felt more like a need, to be perfect. I hit the gym at 6 am for the perfect body, and I studied like crazy for perfect grades. It became an almost addictive pattern. The more control I felt I had, the more control I craved.

And so, it didn’t stop with graduation. It only intensified. I had all the classic symptoms that came with it: excessive worry, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, and a lot of inexplicable sweaty panic. But I justified my anxiety as a good thing. Because as much as it destroyed me, I’d convinced myself that it simultaneously drove me to be my best. Until it didn’t. Continue reading