new motherhood

  • A #SoGladTheyToldMe Twitter Party and Social Media Blitz

    Many of you may have followed Stephanie’s viral post, “I’m Glad They Warned Me,” and the resulting social media campaign that we announced a few weeks ago, #SoGladTheyToldMe. We were absolutely blown away by the support and feedback from readers, and we want to thank all of you so much for supporting the social media movement and the efforts to change the cultural dialogue about motherhood by sharing your own photos and stories. We’ve received almost a hundred photos from mothers sharing their #SoGladTheyToldMe messages, and more keep coming every day!

    Since the campaign’s launch, Stephanie was interviewed by The Chicago TribuneWGN RadioThe Huffington Post, and was on live TV with 9 News Denver. Websites in Australia, Canada, and the UK have featured their own stories on So Glad They Told Me.  We have been genuinely moved and inspired by all the women who have come together to share their truth and present a broader, more realistic view of motherhood, all while providing support and compassion to other moms.

    To celebrate, we’re having a big social media blitz on Tuesday, February 17th. We’re inviting moms everywhere to take photos of themselves with their signs and share them all over social media that day with the hashtag #sogladtheytoldme. Post your messages (you can just share your sign without being in the photo yourself, if you prefer!) on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. To make an even bigger impact, change your profile picture on Facebook on the 17th to show your support and raise awareness.

    We’re also having a Twitter party on the 17th at 9 PM EST where moms can share their photos and their stories, and bloggers can share their own #SoGladTheyToldMe blog posts. The HerStories Project will be giving away an Amazon gift card AND announcing our next book topic and call for submissions. Don’t miss it!

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     To participate in the Twitter party, follow @HerStoriesTales and @MommyIsForReal and use the hashtag #sogladtheytoldme. It’s easiest to use TweetDeck and make a column that follows the hashtag! We can’t wait to reveal our next project and call for submissions!

    You can find all the media links and updates on #SoGladTheyToldMe right here. We hope you’ll join in on February 17th by making your own sign and sharing your photo! Here is a photo gallery for inspiration!

     

  • Online Friends

    We are happy to share a guest post today from one of our contributors, Jennifer Swartzvagher, who blogs at Beyond the Crib. Have your online friendships ever become real life friendships?

     

    Before the dawn of Facebook, Twitter, and texting, I longed for adult conversation during the afternoon. After wrangling a toddler and infant all morning, naptime became “me time.” Alone in the house, I looked to the computer to keep me company.

    Luckily enough, there were countless other moms just like me wandering around cyberspace. We were bleary eyed after countless episodes of “The Big Comfy Couch” and “Blues Clues.”

    We connected on bulletin boards tied together by a common thread. After typing in my interests, a bunch of matches were thrust at me. The options were endless. All I needed to do was find a board of like minded women and jump in. I could share as much or as little as I wanted. A lot of times, I started out slowly lurking and getting a feel for the atmosphere. Baring your soul to complete strangers can be intimidating.

    Some people we meet online fabricate stories and are looking for someone to prey on. Both in life and online, we have to be careful with whom we interact. I learned the hard way how to figure out who the trolls were.

    As the months went by, I found a safe place to ask questions, vent, and form friendships. Granted, I didn’t know these women “in real life,” but that didn’t make our relationships any less valid. Looking back, now that face to face interaction seems to be few and far between, these online relationships parallel the ones I maintain through Facebook.

    Still, I yearned for face to face interactions. We all need friends in real life, even if our online relationships are filling that need. I had come to find that chatting online could not replace time spent with friends. Mommies need playdates too.

    Online friends can’t fill all the needs that real life friends can. Online friends can’t bring you a meal during a time of need, carpool to dance class, or spend the day with you at a moments notice. I would have looked pretty silly dragging my desktop to the mall for a day of girl talk and shopping.

    I searched the internet and started to hook up with a few local mommy groups. Some groups which required more face to face over virtual didn’t work into my busy life as I juggled 4, 5, or 6 kids. Finally, I found a local mommy bulletin board. We may live 45 minutes or even an hour away from each other, but we were local enough to share a common bond. The relationships could stay strictly online or develop in the real world.

    A little guarded at first, I dipped my toes in gradually. While being local was a plus, I wanted to make sure that I protected my privacy and my emotions to ensure I wouldn’t get hurt.

    It didn’t take long for me to jump in, feet first. Girls Night Out and breakfast dates followed. With our busy schedules, most of us rarely get to see each other, yet when we get together, we a chat as if we just saw each other yesterday. It is like no time has gone by.

    Our local board doesn’t exist anymore, mostly due to the dawn of social media. We picked up and relocated to Facebook. Come to think of it, my original national mommy board is there too. Thanks to social media, we are all connected to each other on so many levels.

    Over the years, these women have become my family. It just goes to prove that real life happens online too.

    HVMommies

  • Even At 2 a.m.

    IMG_8931 (2)We’re so happy to feature our blogging friend, Jean Heffernan, of Mama Schmama with us today at HerStories.  Because both of us are educators, Stephanie and I love the perspective of new parenthood from a very funny and warm former teacher that Jean brings to her blog. Check out Mama Schmama!  Jean’s essay reflects so much of what  we hope for The HerStories Project to be about: emotional and practical support during new motherhood, friendship, patience, and generosity. 

    As I write this, my best friend is in labor.  Hopefully by this time tomorrow, she will have given birth to her first child.  Earlier today, I gave her a call and after we talked about what she could probably expect to happen, I made this promise to her:

    “I will keep my ringer on and I will answer the phone whenever you want to call, even if it’s at 2am.”

    Almost word for word, I was repeating what another close friend said to me the week before my first child was born.  I had called her up and told her that this labor thing just wasn’t going to work for me because I was going to poop on the table in front of the doctor and my husband and then what.  She responded with the best piece of advice I heard while pregnant:  Giving birth lasts such a short time.  It’s what happens when you leave the hospital that you should prepare for.  That’s the hard part.

    Turned out, I was right.  Labor did not work for me and I ended up having an emergency cesarean.  More importantly, she was right.  Even in my pre-labor hysteria, I knew she had spoken the truth because she was a mom and because she knew me well.

    My sage friend was someone I had met at work.  Our friendship developed in the trenches, teaching children who led difficult lives which required us to be on point all day.  We could read each other’s mind with a look or a tone of voice.  It helped our instruction and to develop a positive relationship between us and the students.  In fact, students would tell us that they loved both of us when we were together.  On our own, we were just “okay.”

    Years before she made that pre-birth promise to me, she had her first two children.  This was while I was still single and wild.  While our shared purpose grew our friendship in the classroom, our opposite lifestyles made us a good fit for each other once work ended.  Her family life showed me what I wanted for my future.  I dragged her out of the house and reminded her that child-free fun was still to be had.  My horrible dating stories and drama also reinforced her belief that she had made the right choice because she didn’t have to deal with that ever again.

    Two days after I found out I was pregnant with my first child, she called me up to tell me she was pregnant with her third.  Our children were due ten days apart from each other.  The big difference being, of course, that I was at the start of my family journey and she was having her third and final baby.

    Throughout my pregnancy, I would call her and talk about how I was feeling.  Now living far apart from each other, we visited each other only once during our pregnancies.  We sat and grumped about how it would be really nice to have a beer.  Me, thinking “I’ll never have a beer again!”  She, grumpy but knowing the beer days would happen again.

    So then our babies were born and we started the work of adjusting to our new families.  I went downhill quickly and she was the person who helped me the most.

    She kept her ringer on and answered the phone, even if it was me calling at 2am.

    “Babies do that all the time.”

    “Yes, my breasts leaked in public and everyone saw.”

    “Yes, it’s obnoxious.  In fact, yesterday she farted so loud in line at the grocery store that a woman looked at me like I did it!”

    My favorite piece of advice from her about parenting an infant was this:  I think about the times I have to get up in the middle of the night as a set number.  Each time I get up is one more time crossed off the list.  All her advice was positive and motivational.  She never tried to scare me with stories or make me feel like I wasn’t doing the best job I could.

    I would call with a simple question or complaint and because she could detect the edge in my voice or the way I would repeat stories or use the wrong word from fatigue, she would stay on the phone longer than she had time for just to talk.  It would calm me down and helped to center me.

    My teacher-friend and I have evolved from that of mentor and mentee parent now that I am past the first rocky year of motherhood.  We catch each other when we can over the phone (never at 2am anymore) and meet up once a year without kids so we can talk as long as we want about everything but being pregnant and getting up in the middle of the night.

    I look back at my early days of being a mom and feel nothing but gratitude towards my patient friend who gave me her advice and time.  I can’t repay her for that but I do believe I’ll be able to do something better.

    My best friend delivered her beautiful, happy, and healthy baby.  I will not tell you how long her labor took because it might make you jealous. 

    When I got the news, I reminded her that my ringer will be on and I will be ready to talk if she needs it.

    And it’s true.  My ringer is on and will continue to be, even at 2am.

     

     

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    Jean writes at Mama, Schmama but spends most of her time chasing around her two beautiful, feisty children.  She recently resigned from a career in elementary education to stay at home with them.  She’s hoping not to turn her new home into a classroom while she recovers from teaching.

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  • My Momtourage

    We are excited to share an essay from Dana at Celiac Kiddo today. Dana shares her transition to new motherhood, and the women she was lucky enough to share this journey with. Dana has a fantastic blog- if someone in your family is gluten-free or has Celiac Disease, you should definitely check her out. And if not, you should still head over there, as she writes about motherhood in such an honest, entertaining way.

    mom and baby a rare moment of peaceWhen I had my first child five years ago, I was lucky enough to have a momtourage. Together we were four brand new deer in headlights mamas struggling to figure out life post babies. For nearly a year we spent countless hours in each other’s homes, at cafes, and in parks while carrying, wearing, or strolling our new babies, trying to make sense of our strange new life. We talked, nursed, cried, advised, and confided. Our last time together was at my daughter’s second birthday, but we had begun to drift apart well before then.

    Sounds dramatic, but it wasn’t. We were friends of proximity. The kind of friends that are drawn together because of shared circumstances. Our friendship was intense, as those kinds often are, born out of fear and the unknown, burning like fire until the flames die down.

    I met my momtourage in childbirth class. About ten couples gathered every week for six weeks to listen intently to a neighborhood woman who had not one, but two babies (!) and was trained in such matters. I thought of her as a guru of sorts, someone who was supposed to reveal the secrets of the universe, which for our class of first time mamas-to-be was how the hell to have a baby. As the class wound down and our due dates approached, our teacher set up an email contact list. In the weeks that followed, we learned the names and saw the smushed up faces of the babies who had brought us together.

    A few of us continued emailing after the initial announcements, and somehow less than two months after having my baby, I ended up meeting three of my classmates on a sweltering June day. The “oldest” baby was mine, at about seven weeks, the others coming in close behind. Though we were relative strangers, even after our six-hour course, that first afternoon we couldn’t talk enough. From the moment we walked through the door of Amy’s apartment with our tiny babies in tow, stories spilled out of our mouths. We tried taking turns, but it was impossible not to chime in and interrupt each other. It wasn’t rudeness, but excitement, and more specifically, utter relief at having found one another. New motherhood is like being airlifted and dropped into another country where you don’t know the language, geography, or the culture. You stumble along feeling totally shell-shocked until suddenly you run into another traveler who you understand, and better still, understands you.

    baby gang age approx 4 monthsWhen you’re pregnant, labor and delivery seems like the penultimate event, but as we mothers all know, it’s only the opening monologue to a play that lasts the rest of your life. Those first friendships I forged in the fire of new motherhood saved me from losing my mind, and my sense of humor. Because right alongside the ecstatic joy of having a new baby is the utter despair upon realizing your “life” is irrevocably changed. Like, forever.

    Even though we’re not all still in touch, I will always be grateful to these three women who made up my momtourage. Names have been changed, but the details are for real.

     

    Hanna

    I remember picking up Hanna on the way to Amy’s home for our first official get together. I had warned her that my baby would probably scream in the car (as she did most of the time except when she was passed out on my body). Hanna took it in stride and sang the whole way while I drove white knuckled. She was always like that, kind hearted and easygoing, never making me feel self-conscious about my colicky baby. I will always remember how she unabashedly sang Old McDonald for the zillionth time to soothe my fussy girl while strolling down crowded city sidewalks, and for the countless moments of kindness she consistently offered, and continues to offer, to both me and my daughter.

     

    Julie

    My gratitude to Julie reaches back to the very first days of our friendship when she graciously invited my family to dinner at her home. Her husband is a chef, so considering our post-baby meals were almost 100% take-out, this was bound to be a real treat. But still I hesitated. Dinner hour was my baby’s prime screaming time, but Julie didn’t seem fazed. In the end, her laid back manner eased my anxiety, and my sweet yet high strung baby somehow followed suit and fell asleep on the car ride over. My husband and I were able to eat dinner while both babies slept angelically on the table beside our perfectly cooked lamb burgers. Soon after Julie and I enjoyed our first glasses of wine post partum while our husbands’ fed the babies pumped milk. It was my first moment of “normalcy” and I will never forget how good that meal tasted. Not to mention the wine.

     playdate--beautiful chaos

    Amy

    My gratitude toward Amy is all wrapped up in loneliness and a respite from loneliness. Just a few days before our babies were born, we met at a local bakery and politely exchanged stories. When she revealed to me that her son would be named after her mother, who had passed away years before, I nearly dropped my cupcake. My own mom had died shortly before I became pregnant, and that recent loss was still so raw. After our babies were born we mourned our mutual sadness, which was twofold: how our mothers would never hold our babies, and how our mothers would never know us as mothers.

    Motherhood can be a lonely and isolating time. Motherhood without a mother perhaps even more so. There is something to be said about shared pain, and I will always be grateful to Amy for understanding my loss.

     

    Loneliness might be powerful, but so is friendship. The stories here are only the tip of the iceberg. The rest lies beneath the surface and buoys me up, even now five years and another child later: a rock solid foundation of support, solidarity, and love.

    The four kids at age two
    The four kids at age two

    Dana Schwartz is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two wild kids, and two neglected cats. She writes about her family’s journey with celiac disease on her blog, http://celiackiddo.wordpress.com

     

  • My First Year as a Mom

    Swagon1Today’s HerStories contributor is Amy from Swag On, Momma!  On her blog, Amy shares her own stories of new motherhood and invites other new moms to share their own stories.  We think you’ll hear parts of your own story as a new mom in Amy’s; we certainly did!  

     

    My son Hayden, was born March 25, 2012, and I was scared.  Though I liked kids, newborns terrified me. (They’re so helpless and have such floppy little necks!)  After years of avoiding infants, I had little confidence in my baby-whispering abilities.

    Despite this, I wanted kids and knew that my husband, Patrick, and I would find our greatest joy in becoming parents—we had lots of love to give.

    So we took a leap of faith and decided to start a family.  About a year later, Hayden was born. Oh, how I loved my little son, but we definitely had a rocky first couple months.

    Before I continue, I don’t want you to think that I’m ungrateful for my son…I love him so much my heart aches!  And, I also don’t want you to think, “Thanks for the warning sistah, I’m NEVER having a baby.”  Though being a mom is hard, it’s also SO full of love.  I want to be real since many mommas can identify with my story, and some are going through this right now.

    swagon4Like I said, we struggled.  My baby screamed his whole first week home from the hospital…and I cried almost as much as he did.  Looking back, that time is just a blur of worry and exhaustion.  Nursing was a nightmare; he had a weak suck and couldn’t latch.  My husband (who was in the middle of brutal finals right before graduation, and working full-time), my mom, and I took shifts through the night holding Hayden, bouncing on the exercise ball (his one solace.)  He was jaundiced, had reflux, and couldn’t nurse.

    I was distraught: “What the crap have we done?!  Who was I to think I could hack it as a mother?!”  I pictured moms nestling their babies to their breasts, feeding and bonding…but that was nothing like my reality.  Soon, I switched to pumping and bottle-feeding full time.  Finally he was full, though he continued to scream from the reflux.

    I was panicky, on-edge, and tired to my bones.  Every waking (and sleeping) minute was commanded by this tiny, hollering tyrant.  I wanted to reason with him, “Give me a break, child!  I’m new at this, and I’m trying my best!”  I didn’t know how to help my baby and that was killing me.

    In short, life was ROUGH.

    It wasn’t just the worry that made this time so emotionally crappy.  After giving birth, your out-of-whack hormones make you a crazy person.  Plus, lack of sleep makes you stupid-tired and extremely emotional.  My baby’s cries sounded in my ears, “You’re no good at this” and “You can’t even make your own baby happy.”

    It didn’t help that I was always in the house.  I was no longer walking at the gym and it was too windy and cold (darn Idaho) to go walking outside; I sorely missed those “working out” endorphins.  Also, I was no longer teaching junior high and high school art.  I missed interacting with students and teachers, along with the accomplishment and recognition my job brought me.  I went from feeling successful, to feeling like a big-time failure of a momma.  And I was lonely.  My husband supported me and adored Hayden but he was gone many days and evenings, busy managing a restaurant.

    Worst of all, heavy guilt hung over me, for not “loving every minute”. I’d catch myself thinking, “This sucks.” (Like when my baby woke for the 14th time in one night.)  I hated feeling resentful, especially since I knew couples who longed for a child.  Then I’d hear moms say, “My baby is growing up too fast!”  And I’d think, “In 5 more months he’ll be half a year old.  I’ll survive till then.”  Then that familiar guilt would wash over me for wishing this time away.  I was too ashamed to admit my feelings to anyone, causing myself more isolation.

    The beautiful moments revived me: holding my sleeping baby on my chest and seeing his first smile. Also, prayer was my lifeline; it brought me strength and peace.  I figured God gave us this child , so I expected His help in raising him!

    Through everything my husband, family, and friends loved and supported me.

    My saintly mom and amazing mother-in-law each stayed a week with me after Hayden’s birth.

    My awesome momma friends commiserated with me, offered encouragement, and told me their own heart-wrenching, hilarious new-momma tales.  These stories were like gold; they meant that I wasn’t the only one who sucked at this! Haha!  They shared practical advice and gave me hope: “See?” I thought,  “They’re normal!  I won’t be a zombie forever.”

    I also loved visits from my friends who weren’t moms…they gushed about the cuteness of my son, (how could I help but love that?) we reminisced about old times, and laughed our bums off!  It was so good to know that the old me was still there, somewhere under the spit-up covered sweats and baggy belly.  I could still be funny!  People liked me!

    swagon2Everything steadily improved, including Hayden’s reflux and night wakings.  Life didn’t end after having a baby– though for the first couple months, it SURE felt that way.  After I found my momma groove—and Hayden stopped screaming—life became fun again!  We laugh constantly at our silly son.  He waves to everyone, loves reading books, and dancing.  Oh, and he sleeps 12 hours straight every night…(insert happy dance)  Now, besides caring for my baby, I teach art lessons, I facebook friends, I blog  as my social/creative outlet, I have new mom friends, and go walking every day.   We are happy!

    And yes, every baby/child stage has its crappy parts—we still have rough moments (sometimes entire days)—but when my son beams his adorable two-teeffer smile at me, my heart is so full I wonder why it doesn’t burst.

    New momma, you and your baby will make it!  Do your best, and don’t guilt yourself—your best is enough!

     

     

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    Amy is the creator of Swag On, Momma! — a blog to support new moms and to share their experiences.  She lives in Idaho with her husband and son.  

     

     

    Don’t forget to attend the first HerStories Project Twitter party tonight, June 17 at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Follow us on Twitter @herstoriestales, and use the hashtag #herstoriesproject.  Check out our invite for more details!

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  • Introducing Our First HerStories Expert: Patience Bleskan, Child Development Specialist and Parenting Coach

    We are thrilled to begin introducing our panel of experts, starting with sleep expert and parenting coach Patience Bleskan.  Patience currently practices in the Denver metro area as a doula, parenting coach, educator, and group facilitator. Visit her website to learn more about her work.

    As the mother of 4, Patience Bleskan supports mothers with both the personal and professional perspective. She has had her own experiences with postpartum depression, loss of community, and balancing a career with raising a family. These experiences and her passion for helping others understand children is what drives her life.

    Stephanie has attended Patience’s sleep support group in the past, and was extremely impressed by her skills as both a sleep expert and a group facilitator. She had the opportunity to ask Patience some questions about her perspective on new motherhood, finding support, and the power of women gathering together in a group. Read her responses:

    The HerStories Project:  What do you perceive as the biggest challenges and most significant areas of need for new mothers?

    Patience Bleskan:  During pregnancy, women start to build and create an image of themselves as a mother. We create pictures in our head of what being a parent will look like, and feel like. We create birth plans, learn to change diapers and how to swaddle. No one ever pictures that motherhood will look like the entire family crying at 2 am exhausted and wondering if it is possible to just run away. The disconnect of the image we created before baby arrived and the reality of the daily grind with a newborn throws us for a major loop-de-loop.

    Expecting women need to be taught realistic expectation before baby arrives. The image they have of mother will happen, when baby is closer to a year old.

     The HerStories Project:  How does sleep deprivation affect new mothers?

    Patience Bleskan:  The simple answer is that sleep deprivation is one of the key factors leading to postpartum depression.

    The more complex answer is that sleep deprivation is an interesting phenomenon in America. We don’t value sleep as a culture, it is just something we squeeze in. There is almost a badge of honor that comes with being so busy you don’t have to get a good nights sleep. When baby arrives, getting things done is still a greater priority then sleep for ourselves. So in the first weeks we do, do, do and then crash.

    Taking naps in the middle of the day, leaving dishes and laundry undone does not fit in with the supermom image. Lack of sleep wears us down until we only feel like a shadow of who we were before.

     

    THSP:  What do you think women gain from attending sleep support group?

    PB:  Sleep group is a place where women can come and be honest about how sleep is going. Tears happen often in group as a new mom is able, for the first time, to really admit how tired she is. There is so much pressure from our doctors, mothers, and even strangers to have a baby who sleeps well. This creates growing anxiety for new moms. At group women get to be reassured their baby is normal and the way they feel is normal. They also leave with more information on sleep and how to make changes if they need to, but that is secondary.

    THSP:  Please share any observations you have about the power of women gathering together with other women who have similar needs and circumstances.

    PB:  My favorite moments in group are when the mothers share their experiences with each other. I often say parenting was never meant to be a solo sport. When mothers gather together we create the environment where women and children flourish. A mom in sleep group for the first time relaxes at a deeper level when another mother says, “I was there and it gets better.”

    Play group is one place where parents and children get to come and just be together. We can share about anything from our crazy parents taking too many birthday pictures, to how did you camp with your infant. The families are all in the same place developmentally.

    It makes a huge difference in the well being of the mother to see others dealing with what she is dealing with.

     

    THSP:  We are interested in how the changing needs of the baby over the first 12-18 months affect the mother, as baby’s patterns evolve and the haze of the first few months wears off. What kinds of support does a mother typically need after the baby’s first 6-12 months? How does a baby’s changing sleep needs after the first 6-12 months typically affect a mother, in your experience?

    PB:  I don’t think the mother’s need changes after the first 6-12 months. The challenges are just different. As baby gets older parents often struggle with how to balance their own needs with the needs of the infants. Since the child is not as all consuming, parents can struggle to know what they should expect their child to do. Going back to work and balancing the desire to work with the desire to be at home creates guilt all the way around. You can’t work the way you use to, and you are missing time with your child. It can feel like a lose, lose. If you are staying home it can feel secluded, and not valued. You can feel you are not contributing enough. Another struggle that comes in during this time is the relationship between the parents. It is often pushed to the side when baby is so little and demanding.

    Now that baby is older you have to redefine your relationship not just as a couple, but as co-parents. This is can be very difficult. Having your community and support in this aspect can be critical.

    Baby’s needs change very quickly and dramatically over the first 12-18 months. They go from completely dependent beings to moving communicating humans. Every new development with baby brings up yet another curve for the first time parents to navigate. This is why being in community with others is so important. Seeing and hear other mothers and children navigate the development of new skills creates an understanding of what is typical behavior and what needs to be taught or learned.

    For sleep, the 12-18 month time is usually when sleep starts to become more stable. This can be a good time for the mother whose child is now sleeping a good one nap a day, going to bed and sleeping most of the night. For the child who is still waking often it can feel disheartening. After the first birthday the brain is much more ready to regulate sleep like an adult does, which means changes can usually improves sleep very quickly. We often hide other issues behind our baby’s sleeping patterns. If baby is still co-sleeping or waking, we can avoid confronting our relationship issues that have developed since baby arrived.

    We are so happy to have Patience as part of The HerStories Project! We will continue to introduce our experts each week- stay tuned!

     And don’t forget to take our HerStories Project New Motherhood survey!

    Patience Bleskan spent the majority of her life learning to better understand how children learn, and how adults, teachers and parents, affect who children become. As a toddler she walked around nursing her baby dolls and in high school her final term paper discussed how parents can teach children to make good choices.

    As she went out into the world her choice of work was easily made as she became a preschool teacher. Patience continued to work with young children as a teacher while she received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the Metropolitan State College of Denver. She wasted no time before continuing her formal education with a Masters degree in Early Childhood Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado.

    While Patience learned a great deal about children and the many theories of development during her schooling, her study of the Reggio Philosophy of Early Childhood Education made the biggest impact in her professional life. The schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy have become the benchmark for high quality education for young children. Patience has attended numerous conferences on the Reggio Approach and was able to study directly with Carla Rinaldi from Reggio in 2002.

    After teaching preschool for seven years, Patience Bleskan founded her Parent Education and Coaching Business in 2004. The work began with classes for parents, but has grown to include groups, consulting, preschool training, keynote speaking and doula work. She has now worked with hundreds families from all over the country.

     

     

     

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