Bake with me and hear me talk my thoughts 😂

Bake with me and hear...

Sock on, boots on, coat on, granola bar, and Shrek to save the day!

Sock on, boots on, coat...

Today Milo wore his PJ shirt that slept in lastnight to daycare. And you know what? He had the best day ever. No accidents, happy as a pig in sh*t, ate his dinner (I was shooketh), lovely bath and bed time. 

My point is... wearing a PJ shirt doesn’t matter at the end of the day. We also didn’t have a raging tantrum or miserable morning because I didn’t force him to change his shirt. Makes for a better day overall when you choose your battles and don’t stress about sh*t that really doesn’t matter. 

Maybe one day I’ll have to fight him to get dressed. Like, when he refuses to put on his coat and it’s -20C. Today wasn’t that day... and that’s okay. ❤️

Today Milo wore his PJ...

The Mom Room Podcast 🎙

EP55. Shootin\' The Sh*t with Alexandra & Shane Cunningham @thisfamilytree @shanedaddy83 

EP55. Renee, Shane, and Alexandra sit down for a hilarious conversation about marriage, babies, date nights, and reality TV! Grab yourself a beverage and settle in for a laugh. #themomroompodcast

The Mom Room Podcast 🎙...

The more time we (okay, mostly my husband) spend in the kitchen making a meal, the more Milo says “NO! YUCK!” when we put his plate down in front of him. I’ve collected the data and done the calculations. The correlation is positive, strong, and significant (r = 0.97, p < .001).

The more time we (okay,...

The Mom Room Book Club: 

January’s Book is How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids by @janceedunn. It’s really a great read whether you have kids or not. So much valuable information with regard to communication and how to have a healthy romantic relationship!

We do our book club posts in The Mom Room Community (on Facebook). We also release a book club podcast every month where @jenduhams and I chat about that month’s book. #bookclub #themomroombookclub

The Mom Room Book Club:...

This is so fun. 
Please share yours in the comments. 
I am Lady Rand Kyle Waterton of RDX 😂


This is so fun. Please...

I always go full speed/non stop all day. Today I made myself sit the f*ck down all afternoon and watch Bridgerton. It was lovely. Instead of rushing to make (and probably ruin) a dinner that Milo most likely wouldn’t eat, I decided it was gonna be a McDonald’s day. It’s so satisfying to put something in front of him that he’s excited about and gobbles up. Yesterday it was mango. Today it’s a cheeseburger and fries 😃 

I always go full speed/non...

Postpartum Anxiety: Cathy’s Story

A few days ago I briefly posted on my Instagram stories (@molassesandbread) about postpartum anxiety and the response to that post was huge! Many of you related in some way, and/or wanted to know more so here we go.

It started as baby blues, crying, anxiety, mood swings, but… I was told this was all very normal in the first few weeks postpartum. So, I waited it out. But it didn’t stop. “Well, we also just bought a house and are moving” I told myself. We closed the deal the same week I delivered. We moved when Addie was 3 months. And yet, it continued. I screamed when I was in the car because I imagined car accidents. I froze at the top of the stairs because I “saw” us falling. I stayed glued to the monitor ALL NIGHT watching her breathe. I described those intrusive thoughts as a nightmare while awake.

I screamed when I was in the car because I imagined car accidents. I froze at the top of the stairs because I “saw” us falling. I stayed glued to the monitor ALL NIGHT watching her breathe.

Everything felt so much more difficult, I was in love with my daughter and wanted to give her the best, but I was SO exhausted from all the worry. I was afraid to go out but also strangled with guilt about not getting her to activities that would further her development.  What if the building wasn’t accessible? What if I couldn’t manage her crying while I was out? What if.. what if… but what if she lacks skills because I DIDN’T take her?! I couldn’t win.

But I explained it away. I had anxiety about the anxiety (meta anxiety my therapist calls it). What did it mean about my parenting? I didn’t want people to think I didn’t LOVE being a mom – because I did. That was the problem. I was obsessed. Obsessed with things I couldn’t control. But if I could control something, I did. Did I check the railings on the stairs today to make sure they’re secure? Hmm. Better check again. Is she in her car seat right? Better pull over and check again. These thoughts and feelings can really steal the joy from the otherwise beautiful moments (and added to the stress of the hard moments).

At my 6-week follow-up appointment with my OB, I was given a screening tool for postpartum mood disorders, but having a background in standardized tests, I knew how to fudge the numbers to make it look like things weren’t a breeze, but well within the normal range (why is the scoring key right on the front of the test?! C’mon people!).  I was asked by a nurse at one of Addie’s well visits about my moods but it was phrased “you don’t have (*whispering*) *postpartum* do you?” so, of course I didn’t feel comfortable admitting to what I was feeling.  She made it feel even more shameful, like it couldn’t be said out loud. (side note: this is exactly why it’s important we talk about PPA/PPD and normalize it!)

It wasn’t until Addie was 9 months that I finally said something to my doctor (with my husband’s help and encouragement), and believe me… he tried to get me to say something plenty of times sooner. I couldn’t. I felt so much shame about having anxiety because I knew my thoughts were “crazy”, I KNEW these events were unlikely, and I KNEW worrying about them couldn’t change the outcome. But, anxiety isn’t rational. My doctor was great. It was a relief just saying it out loud. She normalized it and referred me to a women’s reproductive mental health clinic (how fortunate that I could access this via our government services!), Covid hit at the same time so the wait was longer than usual but I was finally receiving services before Addie’s first birthday.

I’d be lying if I said the wait was easy, even once I received the screening and was deemed eligible for services, my anxiety told me I was stupid, that I was taking someone else’s spot, that I wasn’t WORTHY of help. Thankfully, after my first appointment, these feelings quickly faded, I felt understood, I felt heard, and that initial anxiety started melting away.  I finally felt like I was worth the time and effort.

I felt so much shame about having anxiety because I knew my thoughts were “crazy”, I KNEW these events were unlikely, and I KNEW worrying about them couldn’t change the outcome. But, anxiety isn’t rational.

I regret not saying something sooner now, because one great resource (The Pregnancy and Postpartum workbook) and a few sessions has already made an incredible difference. I now have tools that I can use to help me cope with my worry, and help me come back to “calm”, or at least a place where I can think more rationally and/or ask for help now when I’m feeling worried or overwhelmed. Even knowing that I have the tools, and that they work has helped reduce my day to day anxiety.  Interactions with my husband are better, and there is so much more joy spending time with daughter now that the fog of worry has been lifted.

Postpartum anxiety is so much more common than people think (approximately 15% of mothers being affected – keeping in mind, this is only based on those actually reporting symptoms).  Postpartum depression is finally getting some attention now, but there’s still a long way to go in bringing awareness to ALL postpartum mood disorders. Also, worthy to note: men also get mood disorders after the birth of a child – and I think A LOT more attention needs to go there too. But, women’s health in general is greatly under-represented in research and general knowledge/awareness. So, the more we talk about it the better.

So please, if you’re struggling with postpartum or any mental health issues, speak up. The more we do, the more it’s normalized. The more it’s normalized, the more support we can access. And PLEASE… don’t wait as long as I did, but if you have, know that it’s not too late! There’s always time to make your life just a little bit better.

**photo by: April McColeman Photography

How to get help if you need it:

  • If you are worried or feel like you may harm yourself or your child, please, call 9-11 or attend your local emergency services immediately
  • Talk to your doctor, they should be able to refer you to the appropriate mental health services
  • Contact your local mental health agency. For mental health services in Ontario, call 1-866-531-2600 (toll-free).
  • The pregnancy and postpartum workbook (linked in article above – available on amazon)
  • Talk to a trusted friend or family member, it’s amazing how much sharing can help (and they can help with baby steps, like going with you when you leave the house at first)
XOXO Renee Reina

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“Babe, can you…?”
Postpartum Anxiety: Cathy’s Story