Tag: Honest

The Reality Of Motherhood With A Dash of Humor

When we are new parents we tend to read every book that has been recommended to us. I know that I read my fair share of sunshine and rainbows before I had my daughter. Then once I became a mom, I got the harsh reality of true motherhood. Therefore, when I was approached by author Jillian M. Parsons with an introduction to her upcoming book I was just thrilled!

I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy before it hit the book shelves and I was honored to have been picked to read it!

Say No to Placenta Pics And Other Hilarious, Unsolicited Advice for Pregnant Women by Jillian M. Parsons with Allison Baerken should be on every new moms and their BFFs reading list.

The book is about how two best friends make it through a Pregnancy, with all its gut-busting hilarity and gross bits.

“Maternity isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and natural glows. It’s also elastic waistbands, hot flashes, and throbbing breasts! Prepare yourself for a nine-month roller coaster ride of emotions – for both the pregnant woman and her best friend.”


“Say No to Placenta Pics is the ultimate girlfriend’s uncensored, tell-all guide to the down and dirty of pregnancy for all badass moms-to-be (and their non-pregnant friends watching from the sidelines) who desperately need a joke over the next nine months. Together, BFFs Allison (pregnant) and Jillian (decidedly not) ride the learning curves from first trimester to after birth, rejecting standard pregnancy fluff in self-help books, exploring the issues about mother-to-be-hood no one else seems to have the guts to:

  • The anti-sex appeal of maternity negligees
  • Surviving the high school experience of online mommy groups
  • Resisting the urge to overshare on Facebook
  • Executing the right angles on a maternity photo shoot
  • Listening to yet another birth story from a stranger

Tongue-in-check, and fearlessly relatable, Say No to Placenta Pics is the realest girl talk between two women who mock and celebrate the wonder of pregnancy, every step of the way.”

Momma Braga Review

I absolutely LOVED this book! I loved it so much that I was able to provide a short review that can be viewed on their website, Amazon and Chapters Indigo.

Say No to Placenta Pics, offers readers unique voices of a mom and non-mom who talk about on pregnancy and the aftermath. They touch on every topic that you can imagine and they leave no stone unturned when they give you the good, the bad and the very ugly. For that alone, I applaud them as they are being real and offering different perspectives that we can all learn from. They are relevant and up-to-date with their topics as they talk about Facebook and Mom Bloggers. I have to admit that the Mom Blogger section was my favorite one. Now I do need to warn you that you that if you are a mom blogger you will need to read it with an open mind and with a sense of humor to get it! 😉

There is so much more I can write about, Say No to Placenta Pics, but I can’t spoil it for all of you! What I can say is that this book should be on everyone’s reading list and many of you will be able to relate to a lot of it. We give this book 5 sunshine and rainbows out of 5 and this is on our most recommended list!

Lastly, I will sum up my review with my quote:

“A refreshing read on the reality of pregnancy and the aftermath, which is articulated beautifully with a dash of uncensored humor. You can’t help but laugh out loud as there are so many relatable points in the book. It clearly brings up topics that most of us moms want to say but feel the need to sugar coat; the bad and ugly. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a sense of humor and wants the honest truth on embarking on the journey of motherhood and for the childless friends around them.”

Say No to Placenta Pics will be released on April 17th so make sure to reserve your copy (Amazon and Chapters Indigo) as you don’t want to miss it! This book will be BIG!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga



Transition from Workaholic to Stay-At-Home Mom

I was raised in a home where work ethic was very important and I held onto that mindset throughout my work history. I have always been known to work very hard and give 110% at every job that I had since I was 16 years of age. I never said, ‘no’, to working overtime, evenings or weekends. I had jobs in retail, office and in social services. So you can say that I have had a mix of experience but always stayed loyal to the employer I worked for.

Many times I would put work above anything else as I became the “job”. I didn’t realize then that I allowed my job to define who I was as a person. For some odd reason I lost myself in the process of being dedicated and it took me to start a family and to get laid off to realize it.

So why was it hard for me to digest the fact that I was not going back to work? Why should I not be jumping over the moon as I get to spend more time with my daughter? Why did I have mix feelings on the next chapter of my life? Who was I?

These were just some of the questions that were on my mind. But with everything in life, we eventually find the answers.

It was hard to come to terms that I wasn’t going back to work (due to my lay-off) or in other words working outside of the home. Even though it was the best decision for my family for me to stay home for a little longer, it was still hard. I felt that I worked so hard to build my professional portfolio and now it was over in an instant. So why was it hard for me?!

It was difficult as I knew how hard it would be to re-enter the workforce. The labour market is a fast pace and competitive one, being out of it for another year can be a real disadvantage for anyone. Employers may look at your skills as outdated or feel that you could be a little rusty from being inactive for a while. This made me worry about our family’s future and how I can financially contribute to it.

Another reason as to why it was difficult were all the feelings associated with not working. You feel that you don’t have value, feel guilty and sadness as you are no longer contributed to society or to the economy. These are overwhelming feelings to feel and the factors that contributed to these feelings were the expectations through society, my own and how I allowed work to define who I was.

Don’t get me wrong as it is a blessing to stay at home to raise your children as it’s a time that you can never get back. But it was hard for me since work is all that I knew with the exception of my one year maternity leave. I felt that I would be judged by many on the outside and can hear the whispers under their voices. “They must have lots of money for her to stay home.” “She does nothing all day.” So you can say that I was feeling guilty and ashamed in staying home and that I should be doing so much more.

The real issue was that I allowed others to affect the way I looked at myself and my worth. But at times it was hard not to listen to the comments that I got. For example, “You don’t need to buy us anything as you don’t have a job.” Or my favorite has been, “Well, you don’t work.”

It has been a hard transition to go from workaholic to stay-at-home mom but I have finally embraced it. I had to find me first since I lost myself and soon after I learned acceptance.

It has been a journey with many lessons learned. I learned that a job is only a piece of you and it shouldn’t define who you are. Motherhood and being a stay-at-home mom provided me the opportunity to find myself and it gave me a voice that I never thought I had. There is so much more to me and I can’t be defined by a job description.

I learned that people are going to judge or make insensitive comments no matter what you say or do and the most important lesson here is that these people don’t matter. What you think of yourself matters most.

I learned that I do have a job and it is the most important job in the world and it is one that requires me 24/7. I am a caregiver, cook, nurse, teacher, planner, but most importantly I am a mother and wife. I do contribute to society and to the economy as I am raising a child; a future adult who will make her mark in the world.

I am proud to be a stay-at-home mom and am grateful that I was able to do this now. I have stopped feeling guilty and ashamed as my role is just as important as any job.


So who am I?

I am a strong, independent woman who is a wife, mother, friend, niece, cousin and daughter. I am someone who supports, encourages and cares for others. I am creative with a set of many diverse skills. I have a voice, value and worth. But most importantly, I am me and I am so happy that I found her!

Until next time … Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Advice for New Mommies From A Village

To all the first time mommies, welcome to the world of parenting! I am sure you have read tons of books and articles of what to expect when your bundle of joy arrives. You may have even heard the ups, downs and maybe even the ugly from family and friends. All of this information can be valuable and may assist you at some point. But please remember that every child, parent and situation is different so your desired results may differ. That is in all honesty!

So I decided to dedicate a piece with some new mommy advice for all you amazing new moms. First off, great job! You have brought life into this world and you are trying your very best to provide and love your baby with all that you have. You are doing one of the hardest jobs in the world where you don’t get financial compensation for, the hours are long, there are no designated break times, you don’t get recognition for a job well done and your little boss is very demanding! But the rewards are SO much more than all that. So now, seat back and breathe because you ROCK!

Hopefully I still have your attention and that you are intrigued with what comes next in my new mommy advice article. This time around I decided since it takes a village to raise a child, I would ask some amazing moms in my village on their advice to share with all of you.

The question I posed to them, was what advice would they give to new moms or what they wish they knew before becoming a mom and the results are in. The beauty of this advice is that it comes from women of all ages and at different stages of their life. Each one has had girls, boys and even twins so we have a great mix of advice. Enjoy!

My offset piece of advice is….Don’t be a hero. Accept help. Ask for help. Use your village to assist raising your child. You’ll want to do it all yourself, it’s a modern societal need to succeed without help. But you’ll need it. As much as you don’t want to admit it, you’ll need the help. Let them hold the baby so that you can shower, nap, or go to the grocery store alone! Accept the help. And use their help to do something gratifying for yourself. You deserve it.
Colleen, Mother of 3

Don’t worry if your child walks or talks after others. Every child develops in their own time. You cannot spoil a baby with love.
Karen, Mother of 3 & Grandmother of 5

Listen to your instincts. Do what you think is right for you and don’t worry about everybody else.
Debbie, Mother of 1

As mothers, we all have fears and doubts and we all want to do what’s best for our children. Nobody knows your baby better than you do, so trust your instincts. What worked for another mom and their baby might not for the both of you. But do network with other mothers as parenting is one of the toughest but most rewarding jobs you’ll ever experience. To hear what other mothers say, know that your feelings are the same as many, and share stories will help ground you and guide you in your new role called motherhood. It’s a job that keeps on giving, frequent routine changes, learning new things, and reaching new limits and expectations. It’s a journey that travels many paths and mysterious corners lay ahead. Just know to be flexible, and live it to the fullest, because it’s your journey with your baby, a story that cannot be rewritten, but one you will always cherish.
Amber, Mother of 2

My advice would be on breastfeeding. People say, “It’s the most natural thing in the world” but it’s actually very difficult at times. You will get frustrated, you will cry, the baby will cry and you will wonder if they are getting enough. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I bought a couple of sessions at a local breastfeeding clinic to get help and we stuck with it till she was 16 months (with some supplements and eventually baby food). Don’t give up, unless it just cannot be done. And then don’t feel guilty! Anyone who ever said, “don’t cry over spilled milk,” has obviously never pumped.
Michelle, Mother of 1

I wish I knew how wonderful baby bucket car seats were. We started off with a convertible one but now we have both. So convenient especially when he falls asleep in the car.

Before baby arrived, we prepared some food and stocked up on cans of soup, frozen veggies, and fruit for smoothies which was a life saver. Some of our family and friends brought us meals, groceries and gift cards which were very much appreciated! The best present for new parents (and Starbucks!)

I didn’t realize how many diapers a newborn baby goes through, especially a boy! Ask for different sizes of diapers for shower gifts or gift cards are great!
Kailey, Mother of 1

If you go on vacation and leave your baby with the grandparents, provide them with a sleep schedule. This will help when you return as it will keep them on a normal sleep routine.
Julie, Mother of 1

I wish I had the knowledge of how to deal with a premature baby as my son was born prematurely and was very underweight. He stayed in an incubator in the ICU for five days and it was difficult to leave him there. I was unable to hold him for the first 2 days of his life and he had to be tube feed. There wasn’t a lot of information when I had my son 24 years ago and I wish I had the information as it would have helped me cope and better understand. It would have also taken away a lot of stress that I was feeling. The first month of having him home was difficult. For instance, it would take him 1 hour to drink 2oz of formula and for a new mom that is hard to see. My advice is to access and get the information that you need to help you. There is so much available and don’t feel ashamed to get it as it can help you.
Linda, Mother of 3

My advice would be to not listen to everyone as all moms are all different and to do what you think is best for your child and no way is the wrong way. It’s your way and no one can say it’s wrong. In the end, you’re the mom and you do what you feel is right for your child.
Jennifer, Mother of 2

Everyone will always try and prepare you and give you all their baby advice. Here are my top three: When your baby first comes home, just do what feels right, you will surprise yourself on how your natural mommy instincts take flight; Your capacity to love will grow bigger, not just for your new little one but also with everyone around you. Being a mom makes you be the best you and you will want to share that with others; and lastly, chores can wait….take a nap! I had this vision in my head of always wanting to be caught up with laundry, dishes, cleaning, groceries, etc. and you know I never did get my super mom award so just take it easy, rest when you can. Not all the time though of course.
Carla, Mother of 1

Follow your instinct. If you don’t feel is right, then go with what you feel. You will get over inundated with advice, but you know your child best. Follow that intuition.
Katie, Mother of 2

What I wished I would have done was to nap when my baby napped. Also to have trusted my gut instinct as a mom’s instinct is usually right and not to worry so much. My advice is to not worry about house work and it will get done when it gets done.
Norma, Mother of 1

Asking for help doesn’t make you less of a mom, trust me, it takes a village to raise a child (and that saying rings true 6.5 years later). Life’s new change has brought so many new (and unknown) obstacles and we need to remember we don’t need to overcome them all on our own. Reach out to those who have experience for advice, support, etc.

Don’t be afraid to lean on daddy for support. Or ask grandma, aunty or uncle to tag in once in a while (if and when possible).

Not many people are fortunate to have family close by, so connect with other mommies in your community. Make your community your family.

It really does take a village.
Marissa, Mother of 1

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on enjoying your kids, rather than worrying about what they’re wearing, their haircuts or whether their food is always perfectly nutritious. 2. If you show your kids that you trust them, they’ll learn to trust themselves and make responsible choices. 3. Don’t suppress their creativity and autonomy. Get out of their way and let them try scary stuff. That’s how they learn. 4. Talk to them about absolutely everything. Don’t protect them, because it’s better if they learn about death, sex, etc through you than their friends.
Karin, Mother of 3 (includes 1 set of twin girls & 1 boy)

You need patience in abundance. It’s ok to make mistakes, it does not make you a bad mother. I think that’s one of the biggest things. We are all, secretly, judging ourselves and other moms. And not always in a bad way. You got your kids in swimming and ballet, well then I probably should do the same. Or, you see how a parent reacted to a situation and you think it was awesome and you want to adopt the same thing with your child. I guess the one thing I can say is that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes as parents. It’s totally ok. As long as you wake up the next morning, new day, to try it again. We learn by practicing.
Susie, Mother of 2

Hope you enjoyed this piece full of inspiring advice from some inspirational women in my village of awesome.

At the end of the day, continue to do what you feel is best for your child. No one could ever really write a book about your particular child but you sure can! Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga