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

motherhood · Uncategorized

My Experience With Postpartum Depression

I have postpartum depression. It doesn’t mean I am not overjoyed by my baby. It means that despite that, I struggle most days. I feel touched out, worn out, exhausted, overjoyed, mentally and physically drained.

So many tasks seem overwhelming and impossible, but having an almost 3 year old and a 6 month old means carrying on with day to day activities despite those feelings. Frustration comes swift and quick most days and I find myself having to actively remind myself to take a deep breath or walk away when I need a minute so I don’t feel like I’m going to start yelling. The majority of the times, it is me and my feelings that make me have “rage” or feel like I’m at a breaking point, it’s not Colt (my almost 3 year old) or Sawyer (6 months old) or even my husband Kyle.

It’s just my own feelings of being overwhelmed and just wondering how in the hell I’m going to do everything. But that’s the thing. I don’t have to do everything. I have my husband, I have a support system. My parents, sisters and in-laws are all close by. They all pitch in and help. I have great friends, both local and ones I’ve formed online friendships with over a bonding of having children and a love of reading. I have outlets. I’m taking medication to help with my postpartum depression and I go to therapy every 2 weeks.

The coping tools I have in place are exactly what I needed. I wanted to write this blog post not to scare anyone, but to say it’s okay and normal if you have similar feelings of overwhelm and mom guilt like I do. Especially if you’ve got a toddler and a new baby. But, it’s important to reach out. Have a support system, have someone to talk to. It doesn’t even have to be a therapist. A friend who can either relate because they are a fellow parent or even just struggle with depression themselves. Depression shows up for people in so many different ways and there are so many different triggers that can set you off and make you feel like your bouts of depression and low moods can last forever.

The other coping tools I’ve formed for myself since 2022 has started has been exercising. A lot. It makes me feel good about ME. And coping with my postpartum depression is about me so it is important that I feel good about myself and give myself an outlet like exercise. I found a great program in the beginning of January called obé fitness (this is not at all sponsored). It’s a great site that has so many different types of workout videos (live and on demand) from hiit to cardio to jump roping to spin, yoga, meditation, etc. I’ve found a community there through their facebook group for members of the site and I’ve really enjoyed posting my #sweatyselfies after I do a workout. They have videos that last from 5 minutes to an hour so there’s nearly no excuse to not at least try to get one video in a day. I also have been paying more attention to eating healthier. Although I am vegan, there is still so much opportunity to eat junk food and not eat the right foods. I’m actively trying to eat more whole foods plant based and eat less processed stuff. I’m rediscovering a love for salads which had gone away when I was pregnant with Colt back in 2018.

I think coping with postpartum depression looks different for everyone and while the tools I have used for me might not work for you, it is important to try to find what helps. Dealing with postpartum depression by yourself or trying to mask it behind fake smiles and nightly tears can be a lonely place. No one should have to go through it alone. If you feel you don’t have anyone to talk to, please reach out, even to me. My email is stef@thebevinsclan.com or feel free to message me on Instagram.

I hope sharing my experience with postpartum depression has made you feel a little less alone. It’s still on going with me. I’m 6 months postpartum with Sawyer and every day is a challenge, but I’m open about my journey and hope it has helped. If you’ve struggled with postpartum depression, or any type of depression, I’d love to know what has worked for you in terms of tools to support your mental health.

Much love, Stef

#postpartumdepression #anxiety #depression #newmom #ppd #therapy #therapist #copingtools #mentalhealth #thebevinsclan #momswhoblog #motherhoodblog #lifestyleblogger #toolstocope #exercise #healthyeating #vegan #plantbased #wholefoods #wholefoodsplantbased

motherhood · Uncategorized

Postpartum Body


It can be so damn hard coming to terms with your new body after having a baby, or two. But let’s normalize the stretch marks on the belly, how the belly is soft and squishy, and the love handles. IT’S ALL NORMAL. I grew a human for 9 months. It’s hard to keep that in mind sometimes when you see other moms ‘bounce’ back when it seems like you aren’t but everyone is on a different journey so as hard as it is, try not to compare.
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I’m trying to keep focused on working out and moving my body because it helps both my physical and mental health.
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Just remember momma, you grew a human, that shits hard and YOU did it 💚

#postpartum #ppd #postpartumdepression #postpartumbody #momlife #thebevinsclan #momswhoblog #realrawmoms

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

motherhood

My Postpartum Journey

Postpartum is different for each and every birthing person, each and every time they give birth. My recovery from my second pregnancy with Sawyer has been a lot more challenging than it was with Colt after my first pregnancy.

My Postpartum journey has had a lot of challenges this time including Postpartum depression. My pregnancy and delivery with Sawyer was much more difficult and traumatic than my pregnancy, labor and delivery with Colt.

Postpartum depression can show up at anytime following the birth of a child. For some parents, it may be immediately after giving birth, for others it could be months or even years down the road. For me, it hit a few weeks after Sawyer was born and I am still in the midst of it. Having a second baby brings on all the emotions and feelings as it is, but also having postpartum depression just hits different. I opted to notify my PCP and we increased my antidepressants and we are going to check back in a month to see if I’ve had any improvement. I’m also going to start therapy again. These options are what work best for me with my Postpartum depression and it may not be what works for you.

I won’t go into all the warning signs of postpartum depression in this post, I’ll save that for another time. Just know you aren’t alone and so many other mommas and parents are going through it too. Feel free to reach out if you want some peer support 💜

#postpartum #ppd #momblogger #postpartumdepression #postpartumanxiety #mentalhealth #postpartumjourney #motherhood #depression