motherhood · Uncategorized

Toxic Positivity and Parenthood

As parents, we often get a lot of unsolicited advice. We are told that what we’re going through right now isn’t that bad, and oh but wait, it’s going to get worse when your child is such and such age. The thing is though, that is not usually comforting and it usually doesn’t help the situation. We used to hear the phrase “it takes a village” in reference to neighbors, friends and family helping to raise kids and teach them. It is not like that these days unfortunately for many people. People may think they are supporting you when they are actually doing more harm than good.

Toxic positivity is an obsession with positive thinking. It is the belief that people should put a positive spin on all experiences, even those that are profoundly tragic. Now, you might ask yourself, “self, what is wrong with trying to look on the bright side and see the good in any situation?” In theory, nothing, but in reality, there is not going to be good in every situation, and it can make your feelings and emotions feel unseen. You may feel as though you need to pretend to be happy even when you are struggling.

It is frustrating and demeaning to be told in the mist of a toddler tantrum that it will only get worse as they get older, or at least they are having the tantrum at home and not at school. Comments like that are toxic positivity. The comments make you feel like you shouldn’t be feeling what you do, and if you do, what’s wrong with you? In the midst of an experience when you need actual support, hearing comments like that can be so frustrating. It makes you not want to confide in someone any longer because all they do is invalidate you.

Some other examples of toxic positivity might include: telling someone who has suffered a miscarriage that at least she knows she can get pregnant, telling someone to not be sad over a death of a loved one but to instead cherish the time they had with them, telling someone that things could always be worse, just move on, etc. Toxic positivity even includes phrases like “you’re doing a great job”. That doesn’t seem like it would be toxic but if you’re explaining to someone that you feel overwhelmed and like you’re drowning and failing, hearing “you’re doing a great job” is glossing over everything you just said about how you feel and once again invalidating your feelings. It is putting the situation in a box and putting a bow on it and calling it a day. This action shows that it is easier to just tell someone they are doing a good job than actually listen or try to help.

I’m a mom of two. I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old. I also have postpartum depression and anxiety. Toxic positivity I have experienced has included being told that I have two beautiful and healthy sons, why am I depressed? It is comments like that, that make parents feel like what they are feeling isn’t valid, and may even need enough to discourage said parent from seeking help by way of therapy or medication. That’s not the case for me as I tell anyone and everyone I have PPD and PPA. You can read more about my experiences with PPD here.

Positive thinking is not a bad thing, I’m not saying that positive thinking is toxic positivity. It’s not. Positive thinking can go a long way and be very helpful. Having a positive mindset can help you reach goals by giving you motivation and understanding.

A lot of times, people may not even realize they are promoting a toxic positivity environment. They might believe they are just sharing positive thinking. For example, if you’ve heard the phrase, “good vibes only”, it is essentially discounting any other “vibes” and saying there’s no space for them. That isn’t realistic and by promoting that type of mindset, it’s discouraging to both parents and children alike; as well as people in general who are not parents.

The Daily Positive says that toxic positivity interferes with the progress in your life. Healthy Positivity inspires purpose in your life.

If you’ve experienced toxic Positive, which many of us have, did it affect your progress with whatever situation you were in? What type of response did you give when exposed to toxic positivity? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments or feel free to DM me on Instagram.

Much love, Stef

#postpartum #toxicpositivity #postpartumdepression #postpartumanything #anxiety #motherhoodblog #thebevinsclan #parenthood #ittakesavillage #unsolicitedadvice #parentingexperiences

amazon · motherhood · Uncategorized

7 Postpartum Products You Need On Your Baby Registry

It is becoming more popular to include items for birthing parents on the baby registry. I just had my 2nd baby, Sawyer, in August 2021. This time around, I made sure to include items I knew I’d need postpartum since it was my 2nd baby.

It is so important to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of your new baby and the rest of your household too whether it be other children, pets, spouses and just general household duties. As the old saying goes – you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you don’t take care of you and find support with helpful people (and products), it’s hard to take everything’s else on.

These items are based on my experience as a mom who had a vaginal delivery and is breastfeeding. Some or none of these items may prove helpful to you if your delivery and postpartum needs are different than mine.

Electric Wearable Breast Pump

Manual Breast Pump – I love this so much more than my traditional electric pump

Nursing Maternity Tank Tops – I pretty much live in these tanks when I am nursing. I wear them under my regular shirt or sweatshirt because they are just so much easier than a nursing bra plus my stomach is covered then. Win-win as far as I’m concerned

Peri-Bottle -this comes in handy after a vaginal delivery. I used it for about a week or two postpartum when toilet paper was just not going to happen 🤣, you’ll probably get one at the hospital but if not, here’s one that works well

Adult Diapers – so worth it and way better than the mesh underwear they give you at the hospital

Comfy and loose pants – these are maternity pants but they are great for postpartum as they are nice and loose.

Washable breastpads

*This blog contain affiliate/Amazon associate links. That means, if you make a purchase I may get a small compensation. I only share products I truly love! Thank you for your support.

#postpartum #newmoms #momhacks #momswhoblog #thebevinsclan #postpartumhacks #amazonfinds #shopwithstef #amazonfinds #amazonpostpartum

chronic illness · Uncategorized · volunteering

5 Ways You Can Still Volunteer For Your Favorite Cause With A Chronic Illness

This post was originally posted on Instagram in May 2020. It has been slightly modified.

Do you have a cause that is near and dear to your heart? Something you feel strongly about and want to support? It can be very challenging to feel like you have enough energy (spoons) to give any of your time away to things outside of self care and at home responsibilities.

If you are like me, you have things that you want to do to help maintain some normalcy amidst your chronic illness. I volunteer with an amazing organization called The Lancaster Farm Sanctuary. Now that I have 2 little ones, I am not at a point in my life where I can regularly go and actually volunteer at the farm Sanctuary. My way of helping right now is by sending emails/cards thanking those who donate to the organization. It allows me to stay involved and I still feel good helping 💚

So, how can you help your favorite organizations?!


1) Offer to send thank you notes to supporters who have donated to the charity you want to support

2) Make phone calls (reference phone calls for animal adoptions,  coordination phone calls for events, solicitation for donation)

3) Share the organizations posts on social media, even if you are not even to help in person, sharing their posts and helping them gain exposure and a broader audience could bring in more donations,  supporters and volunteers

4) Volunteer your time during an event. If they have a booth set up during an event,  offer to take a shift and give information about the organization out to event attendees

5) Ask your organization of choice if there are things you can help with from home such as sending emails, online filing, fundraising,  event planning, etc.

I know it can feel overwhelming having a Chronic Illness (or multiple), but if you are interested and feel like you have some time and a spare spoon every once in a while,  reach out to an organization you support to see how you could possibly help.

I hope this post was helpful for you. What organizations do you all volunteer with?

#chronicpain #chronicillness #volunteering #volunteerworkn #animalrescue #farmsanctuary #spoonie #spoons #spoonielife #rheumatoidarthritis #fibromyalgia #endometriosis #migraines #volunteerfromhome #charitywork #charity #5waystovolunteerwithchronicillness