Hi, My name is Paula and I am a course creator! It's pretty incredible but it is a goal of mine that has been in the works for some time. I am really excited to share my experience and knowledge with you. I am almost done with the writing of it. Next step is creating some video/audio for you busy moms who would find it easier to listen to the content than to read it. I want it accessible for everyone. It is 20+ years of experience designed to give you confidence in your informed decisions. It will NOT be a course in dictating your decisions about your baby. There are too many people out there telling you exactly what THEY think you should do for your newborn. I want you to have me, a wise woman (in this arena anyway), by your side to help you know you are doing a great job and give you some of my tips that you can choose from. But again, I'm going to empower you to make choices that fit you and your baby. If you are ready to get a free sample of the material and see if you are going to be in my premier class, please add your email address in the box below. You are going to come away from this feeling like a "Confident, Tenderhearted Mom."
Hello tenderhearts followers and guests,
Welcome to blogpost, quarantine edition. I truly hope you are surviving the times and are healthy. I am praying for my readers and my clients. This time has lead to things we have never experienced before. I am used to going to the grocery stores before a snowstorm, on the east coast here, and seeing empty shelves of bread and milk. (apparently that is staple snowstorm food). Corona has left us with empty shelves of every kind and where it is empty they seem to be re-stocked with fear.
I, like many people, am home without income. A blessing to me has been that the one family who is a regular has paid me to not only keep their place as a client but also to "do the right thing." I am so thankful for their kindness. They have also sent Amazon gifts of fun crafts to do while quarantined. I have also dropped off care packages to friends' porches to give moms of littles something new to do. Hand-me -downs from my house.
As a new mom you have been given a gift of time. Stay home and really learn about your baby. Look for her cues and really focus on her. When you feel stressed take a step back and think about the situation. I have found so many times in my experience of 25 years + that the problem is rarely that the baby is so much of a handful but that all the other things you would like to do are keeping you from reading her cues and responding.
I hope you are using this time well. Besides being a mom of 3 teen girls and my very rewarding doula job, and this blog and creating a course for you all, I'm also a children's church director. Here is a little taste of what I shared with the parents of Point Community Church, Somerset NJ
I just wanted to reach out to those of our congregation with children or have a role in a child’s life. As anxious a time in history as this is for us, your children have even more confusion and possibly fear. Our job for the children we love is to try to make a safe place for them. Helping them feel that you care about them and that their feelings are valid is a huge task. I am going to be posting resources to help you understand what is appropriate to talk about and what things you can do to help our children in this very different time. You can reach out to me and I can email you with the resources. (church members are on slack app)
Try to find the joy in this time we have been given. I want to read the quote I found from Mr. Fred Rogers and then the guidelines the staff of the Fred Rogers Center at St Vincent’s college posted. Read below
I’ll post this as well as some videos and talks about how you can help our PCC children and any children you may influence better understand what is happening and that the adults who love them are keeping them safe.
Blog readers: I'll post more while I am here in quarantine. Please follow me by sending your email and keep checking back for more helpful posts during this trying time.
There are many more resources at
The Fred Rogers Center
Please support their wonderful work and legacy.
As I said months ago, life happened. AND it just kept on happening. To be completely transparent, as I try to do in life, there was longstanding betrayal, emotional abuse and a divorce. My daughters and I have spent the last 10 months in trying to recover and create our new lives. It has been hard as people have come forward to share the ways they tried to protect us from the betrayal. Wave after wave of stories washed over us. Some so hard to believe.
We rebuild now, as the strong daughters we are. I see resilience and life, just like the trees in my yard are coming out of dormancy and beginning to bud again. I feel that way and I see it in my daughters.
My story has redemption in every page.
Part of the rebuilding is getting my blog back on track and working towards that lofty goal of having a course for you. I know some of you that have been reading for a while have toddlers or even pre-schoolers now. If this blog isn't relevant to you anymore, could I ask you to please send a link to a friend. Thank you! I am so filled with joy when I see moms in community, growing strong. being resilient themselves. Keep following your God given intuition and look for the joyful moments to help sustain you. Blessings, Paula
Life has happened and therefore we are....
Mostly my personal life but also this site. Working currently on a really intensive newborn parenting course that I hope to roll out in September.
Please keep checking back or join my email list for updates. Hope you are doing well awesome mommas. Check in again with you soon.
Its Springish here in NJ and things are blooming and rain seems daily. We have been feeling a bit better because we have been able to venture out a bit more. I wonder if you have felt the same. I also have days when the outside makes me feel guilty. You should really go out, we have not had nice weather. I want to still be in my hygge attitude. I like blankets and books and snuggles. A LOT!!! Now don't get me wrong, I don't have that kind of leisure but when I do have time, that's how I wish to spend it. The other day I got a longer nap for my daycare child and I decided to take that monitor outside and I took my shoes off and sat in the chair and put my feet in the grass. You know what happened? I came inside after 30 minutes of reading and had at least 4 large welts from mosquito bites. I did get some good vitamin D feels to compensate for my itchy ankles.
Isn't this just like motherhood. It's not what you thought but it is good. It is not the idyllic picture remember this one...
Its not all filtered and smiling and sleeping babies. The haze is probably your tired eyes and you are smiling because you finally got her to sleep and now your smile turns to fearful grimace as you try to lay that girl down without waking her up again. The struggle is real.
But when you step back and re-group and think about all the good in this time of hard, you absolutely can see straight. I came inside searching for the balm for my bug bites and realized how good my toasty warm body felt after a short time. I had read a few chapters of a book I absolutely loved, too. I had done some important self-care and I was better for it.
You are a better person for being a mother. Your self-sacrificial giving and your momma bear fierce love for your child are creating a new being. Comparing this you to the old you will not do! Stop that right now! (I used to be fun, I used to have adult conversations, I used to have sex, LOL). You can still do all that and seek them out if you are feeling depleted. However, also celebrate the new being you are, a strong and gentle and amazing creature who is nurturing a LIFE! You GET to share the things you love about God's world with your child and influence forever who they will become. Its daunting but really rewarding too. Bonding with a child is a gift you give them forever. It sets them up for psychological health for a lifetime. I think that is one of the greatest things a person can do for another person. DO NOT DISCOUNT being a MOM!
Hugs to all who are struggling this week! I am praying for you.
I am working on a course so please get on the email list to be first to get the details.
I'm Mister Wookie and I approve this message:
Hi Mommies! I am excited to tell you I have been working on a course for you dears. I want to provide you with a place you can come with all your questions and a place for a tribe to gather. So I wish I could say that I am working hard but mostly I'm scared and talking myself out of it because while writing and nurturing and holding babies is all in my skill set, technology is not. But I care so deeply about my passion of helping new moms and babies that I press on. I am reading so much lately about brain formation and how important early bonding and attachment are for emotional and physical health. I cannot wait to pass it all on to you, in a really fun and approachable way. SO it is all still in the works but I am so excited about it that I really want to let you know about it as I am working on it. If you want to be in on it when it drops, be sure you sign up for emails. I am also working on special email content just for you. Please pray for me as I work on this, especially for my confidence and for the technology side because I do not yet have the finances to hire people who know how do video (or the fancy couch and paintings that all vloggers seem to have. lol.)
Ok. On to GIFTS, We all have them! Do yo know what yours are? There are literally millions of gifts to consider. Everything from a strong stomach to handle dirty diapers to an ability to know what your child is feeling. That is a huge spectrum. Really I want you to start to give yourself a gift...some credit. While I believe all good gifts are from God, He delights in our using them. (as I always say, I am preaching to myself here because I always forget.) Today I am reminding myself that I made a warm and cozy Easter celebration, yesterday. I could say, it was easy to prepare stuff, ham in a crockpot, a quick brussel sprouts recipe, pop-n-fresh dough, etc. I could think about how grumpy everyone was getting up earlier for Church breakfast before Easter service. I could have remembered a family member's poor attitude that kind of put a damper on things at the end or their sneaky way of doing what they did. (which reminded me of the dysfunction that exists in our extended families). BUT today I choose to remember how I made my house a nice place for my children and my husband and all who attended. I choose to remember how I made some memories with my children who are quickly getting to adulthood themselves.
The gifts then are so unique to each person. My gift is the ability to look beyond the mundane and get to the meaning. The gifts might be something you possess yourself or something you bring to your family. Here are some categories of gifts to get you thinking about yours..
Praying for yourself and babies
Desire to Bond
Being "for" your children and spouse
Being "there for" them
Your specific skills
Quest for learning
Showing up every day
Being there for them
Exactly who your children need
Seeing the best in yourself and children
Service and Helping (being an example of care for others)
Growing your relationship with God
There are so many more but I ask you to please, please PLEASE, take a step back from the mundane and busy life of motherhood and pick out some things you do well. Think about those things. Think about how you might have learned them or maybe they were with you since as early as you remember. Give yourself a minute to say, this is hard work but I am rocking....
Yeah, I rocked Easter dinner hard and I rock making my girls feel good about themselves and I rock being an example to them of the importance of helping others. I do that well. I would love to hear your comments. What do you do well? Please get on the email list too, so you can be in the know and on the first to receive list. Once I get this course worked out there will be contests and freebies! Be the first in line!
Thank you for all you do in the lives of your children and others, it is the most important work.
Gifts, we all have them. Things that we gained, either by nature or nurture, that show our individuality. I believe that God gave us each a purpose and helped us acquire gifts to fill that purpose. You might say, " I have gifts that I bring to work, to church or volunteer work but not too many mothering gifts." I say, "au contraire!" You bring a great many gifts to mothering and you are the perfect fit for your child. There are gifts and ways of being that are unique to you and perfectly built to help you raise your unique child. It may seem to you sometimes, or often, that you had a hospital mix-up, someone took home your baby. If you are supposed to be a perfect fit for this child, whom you cannot seem to understand, that must be the case. But let's take a step back and look at it with a different perspective.
Let's go from the assumption that you are in FACT the right mom for the job. What would that change for you? I am still in the trenches on this question so we can work it through together. If I was the perfect mom for my messy, living-in-the-moment, thrives-in-a-group-child, who's love language is time spent, what of my gifts can I bring to her? My gut response is, I have absolutely no idea. My husband sure can relate, but I thrive in order and thinking ahead and quiet time to do that thinking, alone! What was God thinking giving me this child? I always feel like I am doing her a disservice because I cannot supply her needs for constant attention and creative thinking and spur of the moment projects. However, one day she will need the calming influence that I bring. She will need to learn to order her steps to complete her crazy project. She will also find that, one way or the other, her mom will always find time for her. My gifts are trying to help facilitate her creativity when I can, with planning and getting supplies. My gifts are making sure she has all the hugs she needs. She also brings me rich gifts from her storehouse. She points out things I definitely would have missed, flying off to the plans I made. This is a blessing for both of us.
Last post I asked you to think about things that made you feel strong. Today I would like you to think about things that are your strengths. I want you to see how much you really bring to the table. I also want you to think about your child's needs. Needs for love, acceptance, nurture, creature comforts, even food, water, safety. What things can you supply, in your giftings and efforts, to love your child? Next time we will list a bunch of ways moms are gifted and maybe it will spur you on think of some you have not thought of yet. You will see how they match up with things your specific child needs, even if they do seem opposite on the surface. You have no idea what good you do by giving a smile, some attention to a story or even when you take time for self-care to model that for a growing daughter. I know of a mom with a really sarcastic and witty sense of humor who will someday pass that on to her currently newborn daughter and help her laugh at a world that doesn't always make sense. IT ALL COUNTS! You get some points and you get some points. LOL. Let's think about this together. I know it is hard. I still have so much trouble thinking about what I am good at. But my trusted counsel has told me many times, I have nothing to earn and nothing to prove. So, it follows that the credit goes to the one who gave me the gifts, either by nature or nurture and some times despite (or due to) negative situations. It is all used for God's purposes. So I can brag that I have such gifts from a good God.
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What is strength?
Do you feel strong? DO you? Are you a tough mother? On the hard days? Where does your strength come from? I often wondered if I was strong. I was made to feel very weak at times in my younger days. As a mom of a newborn, I usually felt some confidence due to my many years in the daycare field. As I have mentioned before, seeing other mom's "mistakes" and having a sage guide in a very smart older mom and co-worker, I learned quickly how I wanted to parent and what resonated with me. That confidence was very surface though and only lasted through my so called expertise with newborns. As any mom knows that is a very short lived stage.
One particular time, with my first-born, when she was a toddler, I was able to identify that I had suddenly run out of experience, like you identify a Mac truck after it hits you. I was attending a Bible study group in a childless home. The hosts were newly married and all the lovely things they had gotten as gifts were on display, all of them breakable and all on end tables which, oddly enough are exactly toddler height! Also, they were pretty and shiny and my girl could not help but be attracted to them. Well, I was not able to study much of anything that night except how to outwit my daughter. I also saw how lacking I was in the ways of an energized toddler. My own strength had given out.
Strong is "showing up."
But, did you know that a strong mom keeps showing up? That should be one of the definitions of the word. An actual definition of the word is "having the power to perform physically demanding tasks" And "able to withstand great force or pressure." Ah! There is where all moms lie (HA! Moms hardly get to lie anywhere for long). Every mom I know is withstanding great pressure. It comes at us from every side, inside and out . We are pressed, but not crushed. I find my strength often in Scripture. I also find it in reaching out to those who are in my circle who can lift me up and remind me, this is hard and listen to my struggles and keep on encouraging me to "show up." They help me to get back in there and be a mom to my kids. Strong is often remembering that your style might not be the same as another mom you are comparing yourself to. It is a super power, in my humble opinion, to go the way you know your kids respond best and not the current parenting direction.
Strong is smart.
So in that way, strong is also smart. Being a detective, It means studying your children and course correcting your tactics to fit the child. I had one young child who would sit up and pay attention when I got stern, a different daughter took that as a challenge to press harder. I had to learn this and make different decisions based on my new knowledge. That is strong, that is brave! It is counter-cultural because there are moms who only do what current research says is the right way. They spent pregnancy and each hour of nap time honing a one-size-fits-all parenting method. It may have even worked for her first child but when the rule breaker comes, she is left fighting tooth and nail for the title of mom who won out (child who had to conform) or she was left feeling failure (which no mom who loves her child ever is). The former might have a false sense of strength while the latter feels defeated. The truth is the mom who "shows up" is the strong one. Playing detective is hard! Being a mom who makes mistakes and then apologizes and tries again....really freakin' strong!
What makes you feel strong?
Again, I ask, do you feel strong? Have you been down to the dregs and are still standing? That is crazy strong. Do you know who to message, what to read, what self-care to practice when you are feeling weak and worn and oh! so weary? That is a super power. Take some time today to help identify what makes you feel strong. Do that thing even when you are not down. Take that time. If there is a nap during the children's day, do it then. Dishes can wait, email can too. If they are too old to nap, make that bedroom a safe place where they can be and tell them it is one hour of quiet time. My Grammy who was my caregiver while my parents worked had this rule all through the years she took care of us. I suspect it was for her sanity but I know it has helped me as an introvert find my rest. Sometimes she had to vehemently enforce it, but we got the message, loud and clear, no negotiation on "nap time."
Strong is not putting on the mask of "I've got it all together" and telling yourself, once more into the breech. It is often in the backing off and seeing the places you need help. Super strength is asking for help in those places. It is vulnerable and awkward but if you can do it you are helping others to feel empowered to do it too. Like I learned from Grammy, I share with my children as I take a quiet break myself. Be different. I am counting on you to share your gifts with those around you. I am counting on you to be authentic. I am counting on you to be strong in these ways.
Oh my dear mommies! I am so sorry that I have been absent. My husband had a medical emergency and I had/have to help with appointments and bandages and he cannot drive so the blog and website have had to be on hold. I am sure I will be back soon. Thank you for reading and sharing in 2018.
Paula is a single mother of 3. Follow along on her journeys of motherhood and her fulfilling work as a postpartum doula