Get The Conversation Started – Postpartum Depression

IMG_4872

I still remember the day I broke down sobbing on my best friends kitchen floor. You couldn’t tell by looking at me but I had been suffering from prenatal and postpartum depression for months and had neither told nor admitted it to myself or anyone.

I had just embarked through pregnancy and motherhood alone. I was emotionally numb and could not find the joy when I should have been my happiest. I struggled my entire pregnancy through the decision of abortion, to adoption to ultimately deciding to go through having my baby, without his father. I hid my pregnancy from majority of people and family for six months. My postpartum depression didn’t really hit me until a month after Blu was born. I did anything and everything to distract myself. A few months had passed, I began to slowly heal through fitness, which later become an obsession and resulted in becoming bulimic. Every morning I woke up and eventually I overcame that and finally found self strength and some inner peace.

It has been three years since the birth of my son. Although I am emotionally in a much better state, I still struggle with the symptoms through everyday challenges. Luckily for me my symptoms have not been so extreme as some women suffer so severely it engulfs their entire life which leads them to physically harming themselves or their child. Some days are harder than others and at times, I can feel alone and overwhelmed. But I know at the end of the day I need to take care of myself and be strong for Blu. Which would not be possible with out the continuous support of some incredible people.

Postpartum depression is a very lonely and isolating illness and sadly very little attention is paid to a mothers mental health. I sadly don’t recall ever being asked, not even once if was happy, if I needed a hand or how I felt being a newly (single) mom. As a result many women stay silent and struggle on their on because of the lingering stigma against mental illness. On top of that I still have to face societies judgement and biased opinions against single mothers.

It is 2018, yet we are still afraid to openly speak up. We live in constant fear of our actions and hide parts of our lives because we are afraid that we will be judged and labeled as a failure, weak or as bad mother. If we continue to stay silent, people will continue to suffer.

No one should have to fear seeking help or feel ashamed of their story.

xo.

If you or a loved one are affected by postpartum depression or any other mental illness looking to seek need help or info you can visit the CMHA website at www.cmha.ca.

Advertisements

To wait or not to wait – Does it matter?

https://instagram.com/p/BMR7RzNhQOc/
As a woman in her mid 20’s, I have a high libido, I am not ashamed to say it. I enjoy sex, I love sex, no I don’t sleep around and no I don’t just sleep with anyone. If any readers here want to call me names, go right ahead. You’re not hurting my feelings.

However, what does bug me is whether or not sleeping with a guy too soon is going to make him more or less interested in you.

I was talking to friend the other day about a guy I recently met and whether or not holding off on sex really made a difference on how he perceived me, or kills any chance of having a relationship.  She told me “I don’t think it would have made a difference if you had waited. If sex is all he wants from you it won’t matter if it’s the first night or the 100th.”

I thought about it and figured she had a point. As young girls we are told to wait to have sex until marriage or for “the one”. That it should be a conquest, and used to get guys to do what we want. That the longer we wait, the more we hold out, the more he’ll chase. While waiting may lead to more dates and developing feelings for someone, who may potentially not even be interested in you, it really won’t make a difference. Having sex with a guy and learning these things early on might actually save you.

Yet here I am over analyzing all of this, still wondering am I ruining my chances of having a serious relationship or meeting Mr. Right by allowing myself to subjugate to my sexual urges?

What do you think?

xo.

Free the Nipple

“Humans aren’t afraid of human breasts. It’s the nipple that’s the issue…I’m showing my boobs and no one has a problem because the nipples are covered, so somehow that’s OK. America’s actually fine with tits. It’s nipples they don’t like—which is what you have. Which is insane, because the nipple, you can’t show, everyone has—but the jug part that everyone doesn’t, you’re allowed to show under-boob.” – Miley Cyrus

http://instagram.com/threethreethree_
A nipple. A small projection of the skin on the human body….
Yet people feel there is a need and expectation to cover your nipples in public at all times. Why? It is 2017, and with International Women’s Day passing just a few days ago, it is a time for women to unite, to feel free, proud and to embrace THE NIPPLE!

It has been two and a half years since I last wore a bra. I tried to wear one a few months ago and couldn’t stand being in it for more than five minutes….so I tossed it. Good riddance.  The fashion today, the braless trend to be exact, is the most political and social way of delivering the message of freedom and gender equality. Baring the body no longer has anything to do with sexual seduction. It is about feeling comfortable, beautiful and loving your body.

So why are we still censoring women’s nipples, and not men’s? Why must I feel ashamed, and risk social scrutiny because my nipples are exposed through my shirt? Why as women are we expected to follow a certain set of rules?

I have a hard time understanding the message we’re sending the younger generation when we erase such a crucial part of a woman’s body.  Women are self-objectified for embracing their bodies and being brave in their own skin. Nudity in our culture, especially female nudity, is sexualized. But in reality, being nude is not a sexual thing. Breast are so hyper-sexualized to the point that women cannot even breast feed their babies in public! Even social media sites like Instagram have completely banned anyone and anything with a nipple exposed, correction…A WOMEN’S NIPPLE.

Campaigns like Free the Nipple were created to empower women and to raise awareness against female censorship and oppression. However, the campaign doesn’t just advocate the freedom of public nipple exposure but also the legal right to breastfeed in public, and most importantly seeking gender equality. There are also other campaigns such as National No Bra Day, where women are encouraged to go braless for 24 hrs to support awareness of breast cancer and the importance of regular screen testing.

As women we should have the right to decide how we represent ourselves and our bodies, without the fear of society judging or attacking us. Embracing the freedom of nudity isn’t porn, it’s a movement. Having this freedom is about empowering one another and showcasing the importance of a women’s body, that it is more than just a sex object!

You ladies with me?

xo.

Pizza, The Greatest Food Created

HAPPY NATIONAL PIZZA DAY!

Can we all just agree that pizza is winning in the food game and is the solution to all things right now?

Aside from a LARGE glass of Merlot, pizza is my weakness. I could literally eat a whole XL to myself. I have always loved pizza, any kind of pizza, my favorite being Neapolitan style from Pizza 21st Century.  In the last year, I’ve noticed this major trend with the obsession of pizza, you see it and hear about it everywhere, especially within millennial females. Myself included. I am actually typing this all out as I eat a slice of pineapple feta pizza from A Little Pizza Heaven.

img_0802
@wpgpizzaprinces

Another woman who shares the love for pizza is WPG Pizza Princess , also known as Chelsea Allen. In 2014 Chelsea started an Instagram account, which had first started out as a blog, where she features post from different pizza shops in Winnipeg and ranks them.

Of course, being a pizza lover I began to follow her page and wondered why anywhere she went or anyone she met knew her as ‘the pizza princess’. I asked her if her love for pizza came post her struggles or prior, “I wouldn’t say I necessarily have always loved it as much as I do now, but I’ve always ranked it pretty high on my favorite foods…Pizza became my safe food and since then it has always been my favourite.”

In 2008, like a lot of young women, Chelsea began to struggle a lot with weight and body image issue. A year later she was medically diagnosed with an eating disorder and for the few years following she struggled with her relationship with food. Now, Chelsea has managed to take control of her eating disorder, which lead to her creating the Instagram page, “I guess the Instagram started because I had finally found a food that I actually loved eating again.”

Eating disorders are the most common mental illness amongst young women. According to a survey done by the Government of Canada, about 1.5% of Canadian women ages 14-24 have suffered from an eating disorder. There are three main eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating. An eating disorder is not only about how you see, or your relationship with food but its also on how you feel about yourself and body.

img_0803
@wpgpizzprincess

Today you can’t log into social media sites or walk in to a store without seeing pizza pictures, clothing, memorabilia or memes everywhere, and more specifically having a correlation with females. Although, Chelsea does not necessarily believe the pizza craze is specific to females, but people in general, she shares her thoughts on this recent trend with me, “The internet is the answer. Seriously people just become obsessed with trends on social media now a days and like to be involved. Just so happens this trend tastes good too so the obsession is real…”Thanks to social media and this new trend, pizza sales and consumption have increased immensely.

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-8-43-17-pm
@wpgpizzaprincess

After all this talk around pizza I had to know of all the pizza Chelsea has tried where the best pizza she has ever tasted was from, “Chicago had amazing deep dish pizza. Deep dish is honestly on another level, there are so many toppings and so much cheese. I could only eat one slice at a time!” For those of you who don’t know about this famous Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza, like its name, it is essentially an upside-down pizza baked in a round, relatively deep baking pan with a thicker crust and stuffing, allowing for more sauce, cheese and ingredients.

So now after reading this if you are craving a slice of some amazing pizza, here is a list of Chelsea’s top 6 pizza spots to eat at in Winnipeg. Go check them out, and make sure to follow her personal Instagram @itsschelsea as well as @wpgpizzprincess to see some awesome pizza photography and keep up to date to where she orders from next!

img_0804
@wpgpizzaprincess

1. Vera Pizza – “can’t wait to check out Super Deluxe  their new restaurant!”
2. Pizziera Gusto
3. Pizza Land
4. Presto Pizza 
5. Pizza Hotline – “for when I order late night, thin crust only!”
6. DJays Restaurant 

xo.

Dj

Loving Yourself Through It All – w/ Meghan Zahari

The reality of “doing it all” is exhausting. Mothers are often so busy taking care of everything and everyone around them that they often forget to take care of the most important person – themselves.

Becoming a mother can sometimes make us feel as though any other meaning or identity we had before is gone. With the demands that our lives place on us, and with the expectations of society, it is easy to lose sight of who we are. As mother it is important that we become self-aware and take the time to care of ourselves both physically and mentally, not only for oneself but for our children.

One women who inspires me as a mother and a writer is co-owner of Bronuts, Meghan Zahari. She’s a donut shop owner by day, writer by night, mother and wife 24/7. Scrolling through her Instagram page and reading her work on Rouge Wood Supply, I am amazed with how she manages to stay sane and get it all done with such a busy schedule.

img_0577-1

https://www.instagram.com/meghanzahari/?hl=e

I exchanged a couple emails with Meghan asking her on her thoughts on self-love and rediscovery as a mother to avoid depression. She says, “The questions you get asked are all about your baby and sometimes about your body, so you’ll have to be bold and stick up for what’s going on inside your head. You’re not a bad mom if you feel sad or crowded. Do what you need to do, cause at the end of the day moms are still humans and we need to look after our physical and emotional needs just like anybody else.”

Despite taking care of your body and mind, as mothers we need to remember not lose ourselves or our identity in motherhood. Meghan shares, “It’s okay for you to have your own identity. It’s actually so good for your kids. I heard it said about motherhood once that martyrs make martyrs and creators make creators. I’ve never forgotten it.”

People have this ideal that being a “good” mother isn’t consistent with having time to yourself. It’s okay to be selfish and do something for your own fulfilment, regardless of what others think. It’s a necessity.  Meghan advised my readers, “Don’t let the expectations of culture dictate your feelings about yourself. The fact that you created a human should make you so proud of yourself. Be kind to yourself and look after your needs.”

I still consider myself a “new-mom”, but since day one I have always made sure to have my own identity beyond being “just Blu’s mom”. I made the choice not to let society control me. I don’t see why I should have to give up on my own ambitions and needs just because I am a mother.

Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your kids. Love yourself enough to not lose yourself, because when you do everyone loses. Your children need you just as much as you need you.

xo

Dj.

Society on Single Moms

images

I completely adore my son and love being his mom. However, no matter how hard I work to improve my life I still have to deal with the social stigma associated with being a single mom. I decided after my son was born that I was going to work on myself, my happiness and stop listening to what society or man’s expectations of women and single mothers should be.

The “Slut Shame”

People assume that I am a single mother because I slept around. Personally I was in a five-year relationship with my high school boyfriend, once I became pregnant he realized he wasn’t ready to be a father. I didn’t chose to be a single mother. I wanted a family. Unfortunately, life didn’t work out the way I planned. 

I am a very busy 23-year-old women who takes care of her child and makes sure to take care of herself. I am perfectly capable of being a great mother and still enjoy casual dating or sex. Being a busy mother in school, I don’t exactly have the time or energy required to be in a relationship – I also don’t envy relationships these days, this coming from my past two experiences. I’m also not sure I want to introduce my son to any potential new partners. Some people are just not worthy enough to get to know that part of my life. I don’t want to expose my son to anything that may just be temporary, put him in jeopardy or confuse him.

It seems to be a common thought that single moms sleep around looking for attention from males. This frustrates me. I do not value myself any less, or seek any form of attention or replacement father for my son because I am a single mom. If I am in a relationship it is simply because I enjoy my partners company and they make me happy.

The “Single Mom”

It baffles me how some women and men throw around the “you’re a single mom” phrase like it is some insult or a bad thing. It almost as if they assume that because I am a single mom I should be miserable, broke and have no life or aspiration beside raising my child. I am capable of being a great mother and still enjoy having a social, dating or sex life outside the house. If anything, I was in a much worse place and completely unhappy before becoming a mom. Those who think otherwise should probably educate themselves and reconsider what they are saying or how their own mothers would feel hearing something like that.

I try not to let comments get to me. My reason for being a single mom is no one else’s business but my own. I am an awesome person, with an even better kid, anyone who assumes any less is missing out.  I am not going to let other people diminish my hard work, I will not allow them to define me, I will not be ashamed of being a single mother.

As women we struggle enough in society, and it is time to put an end to it, we cannot allow other affect our self-esteem and our self-worth. So please before you start making rude comments or assumptions of us try to put yourself in our shoes.

xo.

Dj

 

 

I Am A Single Mom

image1

My Story 

I am a single mom. It took me awhile to say that with confidence. I always had the idea that to be a real family you needed two parents, or that you had to get married first, boy was I wrong. I don’t have the best opinion of men, and don’t take the experiences I share as daddy bashing, its far from it. I am just a women that is real and raw, who is not ashamed of being a single mother.

I have a two year old son named Blu, he is my happiness, as well as the reason behind this strong, independent, confident women. In such a short period of time I have come to grow and learn so much with parenting and in myself. Things I never imagined possible. I have made some amazing new relationships, as well as improved my life and the way I think, and see the world. However, I am still fairly new at this, I still have my share of battles.

….

Being a single mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. Trying to have a social life ontop of being a parent, and a full time student is possible but it’s not easy. Parenting alone can be overwhelming. Without a partner it can be very isolating. Some days are rough, at times I feel alone and can become frustrated.

It is so important to have a support group of family and friends. I grew up having a single mom. I watched her struggle emotionally and financially. She worked her butt off to make sure my brother and I always had a place to sleep and food to eat. She has been the most supportive person since my pregnancy, and help with raising my son. We might not always get along but I appreciate her for never giving up on me and inspiring me to be my best.

Although I haven’t always embraced raising a child alone, I completely adore my son, and love being his mom. Watching him grow into this incredible little man reminds me that it is more than the smelly diapers and endless crying. As I continue on with motherhood and all its challenges, it is important to remember we are all HUMAN, we have all faced our demons. Mistakes will be made when raising a child and its ok. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know why fate turned me down this path but it has been one remarkable journey.

My Goal

I know I am not the first and I won’t be the last but I want to share my story and my bit of wisdom as a young single mother to help empower other young moms. We all need connection, encouragement, and the realization that others have been where you are. I believe that all single moms have the power within, to create a life they are proud of and love.

So let’s talk, let’s connect,  and let’s support each other!

If you want to know more about what to expect from this blog, make sure you stop by the about me page.

xo.

Dj