Message to the Judgmental Natural Birth Moms

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Note: This is an old blog post I found in my drafts. I edited it a little bit since my writing style has changed, but my feelings on this topic are the same.

Dear random judgmental mom at the grocery store,

On a casual shopping trip to Trader Joes, you successfully ruined my day. I’m sure you didn’t mean to, but you did. My 10-month-old Porter was sitting in the shopping cart eating samples, happy as a clam. Just prior to bumping into you, a kind stranger told me that he looks like Prince George. We’d gotten this before; Porter is fair skinned with chunky cheeks and he’s a big boy, – he’s been in the 90’s on the charts his entire life, with the exception of his 100 percentile head.

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So there I was, drooling over the cheese section as per usual and you pulled up next to me. You had a son in your cart too — the boys began to cutely interact.

Random Mom: “How old is your son?”

Me: “He’s 10 months. How old is yours?” I asked with a smile. (I’m careful not to have my #restingbitchface when talking to strangers)

Random Mom: “He’s 15 months. I know he’s small.” (for reference, he looked substantially smaller than Porter)

Me: “Awww he’s so cute.”

Random Mom: “Your guy is big but I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Me: “No actually I ended up with an emergency c-section and it was a really horrible experience.”

Random Mom: Shuts up.

I walked away as quickly as possible.

I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

I realize this lady said this because she’s clearly insecure about the size of her child, but this is not an isolated experience. Through social media and even other face-to-face interactions, I’ve encountered numerous mothers who judge c-sections. What’s crazy to me is that if I hadn’t had one, I would have risked Porter’s life. He wouldn’t budge after two hours of pushing (you can read my full birth story here), so when his heart rate dropped and the doctor said they needed to get the baby out, I said OK because obviously I wanted my baby to be born safely and alive and I’m not the one with the MD after my name and neither does your doula.

“I bet you weren’t able to give birth naturally without any drugs like I was!”

Who honestly says that to a complete stranger or any mother for that matter? Do you want to get punched in the face? Or maybe you want me to tell you how amazing you are that you gave birth to your smaller than average baby without any drugs? That’s not how this works. I honor ALL mothers no matter how their babies come out because we all sacrificed ourselves on some level to make a human, and we all have our own stories to tell.

My opinion of anyone who brags about anything, let alone how they had their baby, is that they are immature. A woman of wisdom understands that being humble earns more admiration. If you want me to think you’re awesome, don’t tell me how awesome you are.

“I gave birth naturally” in my head equates to “I made the choice to give birth as though it was the olden days so I could feel like I’m better and judge other mothers who used drugs or had surgery.”

This is less relevant to the point of this rant, but I personally think pretending we live hundreds of years ago is kind of stupid. So although you think it will impress me, I literally think you’re kind of a weirdo. But I would never say that to your face because we are all different, and that’s ok.

I thank God I was born when I was, with modern medicine saving lives on the daily. I plan on embracing modern medicine for the rest of my life.

And to the natural birth moms who judge my c-section: If you ever have to have a limb amputated, I challenge you to do that “naturally” too. Let’s just pretend it’s the olden days for everything. Let them cut off your limb naturally; no anesthetics – maybe just a shot of whiskey and a stick to bite on from a pesticide free tree.

Ok, I’m being snarky now. I know I’m probably pissing a lot of people off and I sound like a hypocrite because this sort of comes across like I’m judging the “natural” moms. I’m really not though; this rant is about all of the judgmental moms out there who try to make other moms feel bad about themselves. I couldn’t care less how everyone’s babies are born because it’s none of my business.

Motherhood is hard enough, so let’s just support each other. You might be thinking something in your head when you see another mom, but don’t say it out loud unless it’s kind/supportive/encouraging.

Rant over.

Xo,

Bethany

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Tulle Skirt Round-up

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I’m what society  snarkily refers to as a #basicbitch. I love Christmas, I’m a sorority alumni, I have fake blonde hair, I enjoy Louis Vuittons paired with everything (including my Ugg boots when I feel like being cozy, which is often), I wear leggings as pants, Nordstrom is life, I sometimes hit curbs while driving my Chevy Tahoe mom-mobile, I like white subway tile, I listen to gangster rap when I’m driving without my kids in the car, you get the idea. So I’m sure it’s a big shocker that I LOVE any excuse to glam up in some tulle because it makes me feel like I’m still a little girl playing princess dress-up.

Christmas time allows me to pull tulle off without judgement (for the most part). I mean, haters are always gonna hate, but I feel like wearing Christmas glam gets more of a pass than if I were to try and pull off some tulle in the spring/summer or even fall. I urgently ordered one via Amazon Prime right before my holiday photo shoot because I didn’t have my ish together, but I’ve rounded up some of my favorite black tulle skirts that work as the perfect holiday party outfit, or even holiday photo shoot outfit if you still haven’t done yours yet.

Below are 5 Holiday glam – worthy black tulle skirts:

Here’s the one I wore $32 on Amazon Prime

Tulle Lace Midi Skirt $26.99 at Charlotte Russe

Halogen Tulle Midi Skirt $79 at Nordstrom

LC Lauren Conrad Flocked Tulle Midi Skirt on sale from $60 to $26.99 at Kohles

Pearl Tulle Skirt $148 at Anthropologie — a bit of a splurge but I love the pearl details

 

Hope everyone is having a happy Christmas Season so far!

Cheers,

Bethany

 

 

 

 

 

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Mitchell Family Holiday Photos 2017

Photo shoots are HARD when you have a four year old and a nineteen month old. With Porter, we were dealing with smile refusals and attitude problems. With Preston, we were dealing with just general crazy behavior that mostly included running away when we put him somewhere to stand or sit or even heaven forbid we hold him and he isn’t diving head first to the ground. I tried bribing with food, but it was ineffective.

Somehow our photographer managed to capture some moments that made it look like we have our *ish* together, so thanks for that Jacki Raney. Hopefully we can fool everyone that’s on our Christmas card list. And thank the Heavens above for Amazon Prime’s free two day shipping for giving me something to wear. My outfit is linked below and I really think every girl should buy these shoes.

Sam Edelman Leopard heels (on sale for $119 from $140 – kind of a splurge for me, but I’ve been obsessed with these forever and plan on wearing the heck out of them)

Plaid Shirt (only $15 with a looser boyfriend-ish fit)

Tulle Skirt (Under $30 and comes in every color you could ever want)

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How MomFriends Make or Break your #Momlife

Momfriend: A friend you make with the common bond of both being moms

The term “momfriend” didn’t enter my vocabulary until I had my first baby. Before that, I just had “friends” or “girlfriends.” Fast forward four years and my “momfriends” are just my friends, because the only friends I have left are moms (with the exception of a few).

“A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands.”

It wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized the crazy bond momfriends have. I literally feel like I could not live without my momfriends even though I know I technically could, but it would really, really suck. Because mommin’ ain’t easy.

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A good momfriend is a lifeline when you’re drowning in a sea of crying babies, unfolded laundry and cranky husbands. A good momfriend is there for you to vent to whenever you need it and it’s judgment free; sometimes it’s via text, sometimes it’s a phone call, sometimes it’s over Snapchat with a funny filter. If you need her, she’s there. A good momfriend is down for a night out and sometimes it’s at a moment’s notice because you’re losing your sh*t and need a break. A good momfriend loves your child almost like they are an extension of their own kin – they treat them with genuine care and understanding. At a BBQ with a bunch of people and your kid trips and hurts himself/herself? A good momfriend swoops in and plays the mom role if you’re not around. Did your child accomplish something? A good momfriend is genuinely proud and excited for him/her – and there’s zero passive aggressive comments made about how their child did it earlier and is so advanced, blah blah blah because a good momfriend would feel sick if she knew she made you feel anything other than happy and proud of your child. Is your child struggling at something? A good momfriend finds the silver lining and helps you to see it in a more positive light. She encourages, supports and loves and you give all of that right back to her. Making a medical decision for your child? A good momfriend never ever criticizes it because she knows those types of decisions can only be made by the mother/father. She tells you to trust your mom gut – and she definitely does not send you links from .org websites to argue her point that what you’re doing is harmful to your child.

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You know what’s sad? Finding good momfriends like this isn’t easy. If you’re new to this mom life, don’t be discouraged! You’ll find your mom tribe, but you may have to weed out the not so great momfriends, or learn to tune out their garbage. But once you find even just one true and genuine momfriend, the amount of enrichment you’ll get from that relationship is immeasurable. Yes, husbands and family are super important too; not trying to belittle those relationships. I just want to spotlight the female bond of motherhood because is unlike anything you’ll ever experience. So let’s all strive to be the very best momfriends to each other: whether you work outside the home or inside the home. Whether you’re “just a mom” (that phrase irks me) or your child spends their weekdays at daycare. Let’s do less of the snarky/passive aggressive comments. Let’s do less Facebook posts of articles that say our way of mothering is the better way. Whether you get an epidural, have a home birth, elective c-section, breast-feed, pump and bottle feed, formula feed or a combination of both, let’s all be good momfriends and give nothing but support, love and encouragement. If moms were all besties, we’d take over the world. So let’s make that our goal, shall we? 😉

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How Momfriends can make or break your #momlife - tips on how to be a good Momfriend

A little House of Mitchells update

img_5842.jpgWe are officially Arden Park residents! After selling our Roseville house and then living with Ryan’s mom for 2.5 weeks, we pulled the trigger and moved into our fixer upper home in our dream neighborhood about three weeks ago — I seriously cannot even believe it’s already been that long.

We had originally planned on doing major renovations prior to move-in, but plans changed for various reasons:

  1. Living with Ryan’s mom proved to be less comfortable than we had originally envisioned; if we are going glamp, may as well do it in our own house
  2. We were naïve thinking we could find a contractor and get the projects rolling at light speed – everything is taking way longer than we thought it would
  3. When we really thought about it, we knew we could make the house livable by having all the carpet removed (exposing the original 1950’s hardwood, which is in very good condition) and having the entire interior and exterior painted
  4. Waiting on construction will enable us to move-in with my parents, who will finally be in their new house (in Arden Park) – Added bonus is that we will have an entire wing of the house all to ourselves.

A little about our new hood…

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For outsiders, sometimes it can be confusing about what the exact bounds of Arden Park consist of so here’s a clarification: Sacramento’s Arden Way, Fair Oaks Boulevard, Eastern, and Watt avenues bind the neighborhood.

Arden Park reminds me of something from the past in the very best ways – or at least something that’s not typical in California. I’ve had probably 10 neighbors stop by to say hello/bring treats, as well as multiple neighbors on the NextDoor app send me a greeting. If you enter Arden Park in the mid-morning or dusk, you’ll find gobs of people walking their dogs, kids riding bikes, families walking their babies/kids and they will all likely smile and greet you. I’d say probably 85% of the homes in Arden Park have a front patio where people actually spend some time and everyone proudly flies the American flag. The culture here is friendly, extremely neighborly and there are parks and kids activities galore within easy walking distance. It’s common to see people cruising the neighborhood in their golf carts or beach cruiser and if you don’t feel like going to one of the parks, there are a handful of quality restaurants and bars nearby. Oh, and the large trees will keep your kiddos nice and shaded during your journey, which is one of those perks that come with buying into an older, well established neighborhood. We are stoked to be here.

On the flipside, it’s kind of unsetting moving into a house when you know the entire kitchen/bath needs to be gutted and you desperately need an add-on. Homes in Arden Park cost more per square foot because the location/neighborhood is so desirable – you pay more money for less house and they were all built in the 1950’s. If you’re looking for newish large tan stucco house, don’t look in Arden Park lol. The homes here are all about the mid-century charm.

It does suck that we can’t fully unpack our things because we would only have to repack them for construction. I’m not complaining – it just is what it is. We knew what we were getting ourselves into (for the most part) when we put our house on the market.

The good news is that Porter and Preston seem to have settled in quite well. We have an awesome “water thing” we call it (this) from Target and the kids have been having a blast having such a big yard to play in. We live a stone’s throw away from some of our best and oldest friends – and more keep trailing in! I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but there’s a major pattern of people who went to my high school where we all leave the area, but once we start popping out kids we all move back to our little Arden bubble.

Despite the chaos that is moving/renovating, I truly believe in my heart that this is where we are meant to be. We prayed for guidance throughout this whole process and feel we were lead to be here.

Now we wait for the next phase – finalizing construction plans and temporarily moving in with my parents. Once it’s all said and done, I’ll be sure to post some entertaining before and after photos haha.

Cheers,

Bethany

 

SOLD: My Feelings on Selling Our First House

IMG_5671.JPG.jpegIf you follow my Instagram stories, I’m sure you’re aware that we sold our home and are getting ready to move. I have mixed feelings about this, but I’m surprised at how numb I’m becoming as the move out date gets closer. Is it an emotional defense mechanism? Will it finally hit me as we drive away for the last time?

After all, this is where I brought my babies home from the hospital; it’s where they both took their first steps; it’s where I learned about all the intricacies of motherhood. It’s also a project that Ryan and I worked our butts off on for four years, completely gutting and updating it from top to bottom. As I look around, all I see is stuff we did to transform the once dated, popcorn ceiling little home that could.

It’s just a structure, but it was a place our family called home through crazy high fevers, pregnancies, dinner parties, birthday parties, arguments, apologies, Christmas mornings, laughing, loving – the list goes on for infinity. We moved in just the two of us (with Porter in my belly) and we are leaving as a family of four. The most life changing thing we’ve done in our lives is become parents – and this is where that crazy adventure went down.

This house saw life lessons TO THE MAX. We learned so much about ourselves, each other, our marriage, how to communicate with one another, our strengths, weaknesses, fears, dreams, unique needs, etc.

This sounds so cliché but I think it’s because of where we were in our lives when we moved in, vs. where we are now as we say goodbye. Four years ago we were newlyweds with no kids and now we will be celebrating our six year wedding anniversary in a few months and are responsible for meeting the needs of two crazy boys…and man are they needy at times haha. This house is where we learned that huge life lesson of how to put other people’s needs before your own, and we have grown wiser as a result.

This is so cliché, but it’s truly how I feel:

 

“Home is wherever I’m with you”

 

As special as these past few years have been, we are ready to move on – we took a hideous house and made it beautiful. We made a family. We learned SO MUCH. As we drive away from our first home for the last time, I hope I only glance for a moment and appreciate what it gave us, but look forward excited for our next adventure.

10 Dollar Summer Dress

IMG_5377I’m sure you all know by now that I love a good bargain, so when I saw this ten dollar dress at H&M I thought it was almost too good to be true. I had Preston with me, so I just took it home and hoped it would work and it did! The temperature has been pushing into the 90’s in Sacramento lately, so this was the PERFECT date night dress. I paired it with a blazer and wedges since I was out at night, but you could easily dress this down with some sandals sans jacket for the daytime. I think I may have to go back and get it in bright pink now too. Side note, I realized on this night that I REALLY need to put on some self tanner, or maybe even use that gym daycare to go lounge by the pool haha. #ghostlegs

Dress: Jersey Dress

Wedges: They are sold out at Nordstrom, where I bought these last season, but this year’s version is in stock and super cute! The pair I have on are insanely comfy so I’d absolutely buy another pair of ugg brand wedges http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ugg-reagan-sandal-women/4505218

Blazer: Mine is from 2010 so it’s basically vintage Nordstrom, but it’s super similar to this one 

Necklace: Kendra Scott Rayne