Reach Out :: A Postpartum Mental Health Resource

Postpartum mental health changes – including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and psychosis – occur in some women after giving birth. These changes present themselves with symptoms that vary widely from woman to woman. The symptoms becoming consuming and can make the newborn phase difficult for moms and other members of a household. If you or someone you know is experiencing any changes in the way they are feeling or acting, please Reach Out. Reach out for yourself, reach out to the new mom at preschool pick-up or to the mom whose 15 month old has yet to sleep through the night. Write a letter, send a text message, or make a phone call.

Talking about mental health disorders has for too long been a hush hush topic. It is time we allow those going through these situations to step out of the darkness and help them find themselves again. Below is a list of resources, categorized by type, available to those experiencing mental health changes in any stage of parenthood. Many of these resources provide free assistance and privacy is of the utmost importance. 

  • National Alliance on Mental Health – 1-800-950-6264 or, in a crisis? Text NAMI to 741741
  • National Emergency Crisis Text Line – text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255
  • Postpartum Support HelpLine – call to get basic information, support, and resources – 1-800-944-4773(4PPD)
  • Postpartum Support International – free, live phone sessions every week – chat number: 1-800-944-8766/participant code 73162 – click here for more information
  • Depression After Delivery Support Group – Bay City – contact Sherry LaMere or Kelli Wilkinson at 989-895-2240
  • Moms Bloom – Grand Rapids – Mom to Mom Support
  • Tree of Hope Foundation – Metro Detroit – meeting in multiple locations – Facebook page
  • PPD Support Group at Hurley Medical Center – Flint
  • PPD Support Group – Grand Haven – North Ottawa Community Hospital – 616-847-5145
  • Spectrum Health PPD Support Group – Grand Rapids – Nancy Roberts at 616-391-1771 or 616-391-5000

*Always take caution to protect yourself and others when sharing information in an online format* 

We are not healthcare professionals and this resource is not intended to diagnosis, treat, or substitute the expertise of healthcare providers. However, we are all moms, some of whom have experienced mental health changes postpartum, that want to reach out and say, ‘We are here for you. You are not alone.’ If you know of a resource that may be a helpful addition to those listed above, please feel free to contact us at 

Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas + FREE Printables

I’ve always felt appreciative of those who contribute to my children’s well-being, education, and needs. Needless to say, the pandemic gave me a whole new perspective on life and learning, and it’s safe to say I along with many others got to see what the workload of a teacher is firsthand. The stress of lesson planning, scheduling, adapting to each child’s individual needs {and attitudes}, and finding unique ways to make not only educational but FUN. How in the world do they do it? I mean, seriously, if you know please let me in on the secrets here.

Here are some ways we can show some much-deserved love and appreciation for our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week happening May 8th – May 12th, 2023!

  1. Write a note or email from YOU the parent to tell them how much you appreciate them!
  2. Have {and help} your children complete one or all of our FREE Teacher Appreciation Week Printables and send them in with your child!    
  3. Send some flowers! Or, draw some and drop them off, ahem FREE printable #3!
  4. Have your children make up a song about their school day and sing it to them in a video clip and email over!
  5. Coordinate with other families on a bigger gift for your teacher!
  6. Send them an e-gift card or a physical gift card in with your kiddo to one of their favorite places {bonus points for shopping local!}
  7. VOLUNTEER at school or reach out to see if they need any help! 
  8. School supplies! Maybe do a “coupon card” for XX amount of dollars of supplies of their choice or a box of various items they will need!
  9. Subscriptions: Audible, Hello Fresh, InstaCart, something to make their busy schedule easier!
  10. Send in a plant or seeds with a note “Thanks for helping me grow!”


Honestly, with all that is going on, teachers deserve this and so much more. Thank you for your love, devotion, and talent, teachers!!! From all of us at Mid-Michigan Moms WE LOVE YOU!

Mid-Michigan Moms Favorite Neon + Bright Swimsuits & Rash Guards


Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-14.  We hate to come out of the gate swinging on a post with a statistic like that but it’s important to know how quickly and how easily even the best of swimmers can drown – which is why seconds truly matter when it comes to finding a person in water.

As we approach summer it is no surprise that our social media post alerting parents that the color of their child’s swimsuit could potentially safe their life went viral! This post included water tests from Alive Solutions that showed visibility of clothing colors at certain depths in certain environments such as light bottom pools, dark bottom pools, and lakes… which led to everyone asking where can I get neon and bright suits for my kids?!

neon colorful swim suits and rashguardsSo we at Mid-Michigan Moms have rounded up {and linked below!} 25 of our favorite neon and bright swimsuits and rash guards to make it easier to dress your kids in those eye-catching colors this swim season!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25

And remember just because a person is dressed in these colors does NOT guarantee you will be able to see them underwater as many factors affect visibility such as pool bottom coloring, water clarity, lighting and weather, surface activity such as agitation and currents, type of water, lake bottom make-up, and of course depth at which the person is under the surface.

For those who boat or prefer to spend their times on lakes, oceans, and ponds almost all colors disappeared which is why it is so important to have your child in the appropriate life jacket to keep them at the surface.


Eighty-seven percent of drowning fatalities happen in home pools or hot tubs for children younger than 5. Most take place in pools owned by family or friends. The color of bathing suits + rash guards is simply an added precaution to help make them more visible during supervision or should they sink below the surface to hopefully be able to locate them quickly.

This post contains affiliate links.

Water Safety: Choosing The Right Life Jacket For Your Child


Summer will be here shortly and that means WATER.  As a self-proclaimed Moana {as in I always come back to the water} my family spends a majority of its time either on a boat, by a lake, on a paddleboard, or in a pool, so water safety is of the utmost importance, especially with three little ones.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. The most alarming of these statistics is that among children 1-14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death {after motor vehicle crashes}.

While I understand that most drowning incidents are accidents, just like the majority of motor vehicle crashes, I wholeheartedly believe just like researching car seats to protect our children we should take every step possible to ensure water safety and put the same effort into researching life jackets, swimming/ISR lessons, and even color of swimsuits!
water life jacketTo save you from the deep interweb of life jackets for little ones (and spending hundreds of dollars on garbage ones like me!) I’ve compiled some helpful tips, rules, and my favorite U.S. Coast Guard {USCG} approved life jackets for a fun, SAFE summer on the water for you and your children!
water life jacket

Keep the following in mind when selecting a life jacket for a child:

  • To work correctly, a life jacket or personal flotation device {PFD} must be worn, fit snugly, and not allow the child’s chin or ears to slip through.  
  • Child life jacket approvals are based on the child’s weight. Check the “User Weight” on the label or the approval statement that will read something like “Approved for use on recreational boats and uninspected commercial vessels not carrying passengers for hire, by persons weighing __ lbs.” They can be marked “less than 30,” “30 to 50,” “less than 50,” or “50 to 90.”
  • Michigan law requires all children under six years of age to wear a USCG-approved Type I or II PFD when riding on the open deck of any boat while underway. {PFD laws for all states here}
  • Each person riding on a jet ski or Personal Water Craft {PWC} or being towed behind a PWC or other vessel must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II, or III personal flotation device. Inflatable PFDs are not allowed on PWC or while being towed behind any PWC or boat.
  • Most importantly a life jacket/personal flotation device is not a substitute for adult supervision – NEVER leave a child unattended in or near the water.

waterAccording to the USCG there are 5 types of life jackets (PFDs), the three most recognizable are:

  • TYPE I – Best for open, rough or remote waters where rescue may take time.
    • Turns most unconscious wearers face-up in water.
    • Highly visible in color.
    • Floats the person the best, however, this PFD is often large and bulky.
  • TYPE II – Best for calm, inland water or where there is a high probability of fast rescue.
    • Not suitable for extended survival in rough water.
    • A Type II will turn SOME unconscious wearers face-up in water.
    • Often requires the wearer to tread water in order to keep head above water. 
  • TYPE III – Good for calm, inland water or where there is a high probability of fast rescue.
    • Generally the most comfortable type for continuous wear and available in a variety of styles and colors.
    • A Type III PFD allows freedom of movement for most active water sports including water-skiing, small boat, sailing, fishing, swimming, etc.
    • Individuals may have to tilt their head back to avoid going face down, not for extended survival in rough water.

A great way to test a child’s lifejacket is to pick the child up by the shoulders of the PFD. If you’ve got the right fit, the PFD will not slip above the child’s chin and ears.

life jackets for baby youth child favorite safetyMy FAVORITE Life Jackets:

  1. Stohlquist WaterWare Infant and Stohlquist Child– This is hands down my favorite of all infant life jackets I’ve tried. The best feature, in my opinion, is the V-neck {see image below}. The child is secure but the V-neck allows for more movement and their face/neck is not squished especially when being held, and trust me this includes the chubbiest of babies.  The back of this PFD is also not bulky as it’s just cross straps with the head support which is nice for naps, walking, being held, and of course, if they were to fall into the water to roll them on their back and support the head.  The infant weight {0-30lbs} is rated a Type II and the child weight {30-50lbs} is rated a Type III which provides good support to children with some swimming skills. It is available via Amazon {with prime shipping} or directly from the Stohlquist website.
  2.  Level Six Swordtail PFD – I love this life jacket! Available in infant, child, and youth sizes (again based on weight) like #1 it has the ability to roll a child on their back should they fall in the water but still allows them to be mobile due to the back being a neoprene PLUS its quick dry so your child wont be sitting in a cold wet life jacket if they swim then cruise on the boat! Straps are adjustable for those long torso babes and it’s not too hot in the summer heat.  This is a great option for boating, kayaking, and paddle board adventures! It is available via the Level Six website. 
  3. Hyperlite Child Indy Vest – Also available in a variety of colors, this neoprene vest is my go-to for life on the lake. This vest is great for swimming, tubing, the pool, playing on a lily-pad, or just when I’m not 100% comfortable my child is not going to fall off the dock while fishing. Please note this PFD is rated a Type III for children who weigh 30-50lbs so I would ensure your child is able to keep their head above water or that a fast rescue would happen should they go into the water. It is available via Amazon, the Hyperlite website, and online/in-store at most Costco locations.
  4. Mustang Lil’ Legends Life Vest – If you are serious about boating or much prefer the Great Lakes or coastal boating over inland lakes/intercoastal waterways, then this PFD would be the best choice. It is a Type II rated life jacket with all the bells and whistles when it comes to PFDs; constructed with ultra-soft, stain-resistant outer fabric, a ventilated mesh back, and a moisture-wicking liner, this vest provides all-day comfort and reduces complaints. The zipper and buckle closure with the leg strap creates a secure fit, and the three-piece collar cradles the head when in the water. The grab loop makes quick rescue possible, and reflective accents ensure visibility. It is a little bulkier, but definitely worth it. It is available via Amazon and the Mustang website.
  5. Puddle Jumper – Being completely honest here I use a puddle jumper BUT my ISR instructor and the internet has advised me otherwise hence my * disclaimer. This Type V rated PFD is great in my opinion for being in the pool, lake, or beach with adult supervision when you just don’t have enough hands to hold or wrangle multiple children who can not yet swim alone. The reason for this is that studies show this PFD creates an upright swimming position which is literally the drowning position for children and impossible for children under 4 to maintain. Not to mention many believe that Puddle Jumpers create a false sense of security and confidence for children who do not yet have the cognitive capability to understand that they need the device to float in the pool. Thus, the problem occurs when the child is not wearing the puddle jumper. The child is now conditioned to believe that not only can they can swim alone in the pool, but they are supposed to do so in an upright position. So like I said I do use this device, rarely but I do, and when I do I give my children breaks from it to reinforce that they can not swim/float without it and we are HUGE supporters of ISR so before we exit the pool after wearing the Puddle Jumper we do a couple of starfishes for muscle memory! Please use your own judgment with this PFD, and definitely on boats in motion or situations where a water rescue may occur as this may not keep an unconscious person’s head out of the water. It is available via Amazon or the Stearns website.
  6. Hyperlite Youth Vest – In my opinion you can’t go wrong with HyperLite or if not this brand a good quality neoprene vest. There is something about the feel and freedom of movement it allows that makes it much easier for kids. This small size version of this vest is for kids 50-70lbs and is rated a Type III, there are two additional weight options for bigger kids and a smaller version for toddlers up to 30lbs. with head-support. I just love Hyperlites colors, style and look – most importantly I know they’re safe . It is available via the Hyperlite website and online/in-store at most Costco locations.

water life jacketFor more information or to answer any additional questions you may have about life jackets/personal flotation devices or the laws pertaining to PFDs please visit:

This post contains affiliate links.

52 Awesome {Non-Candy} Easter Basket Ideas!

Do you ever watch how quickly your kid can down a chocolate bunny? Literally, less than five minutes for five dollars to go right out the window, and all you get in a return is a sugar buzz and crash that leaves you feeling like the Wicked Witch of the West come Sunday afternoon, and the entire week thereafter where your child is begging for their eggs! Now I’m not preaching to go completely sugar-free this Easter, but let’s be honest: how many Reese’s eggs does one person really need? Easter candy ends up in the garbage, rubbed on the coach, or in mom’s belly. 

I’m here to offer up 52 awesome alternatives to fill those baskets… and to give a little more bang for your buck!

52 Awesome {Non-Candy} Easter Basket Ideas!

  1. Stuffed Animals {this is a great one for the littlest of recipients}
  2. Summer Hats
  3. Sand Toys – Pail + Shovels
  4. Books
  5. Bubbles
  6. Bath Toys
  7. Kite
  8. Sippy Cups
  9. Golf Clubs {Fisher Price all the way to Titleist}
  10. Baseball Bat + Tee {also can range from Fisher-Price to Easton!}
  11. Name Straws
  12. Bunny Ears
  13. Hair-bows + Headbands
  14. Watercolor set
  15. Markers, crayons + Coloring Book
  16. Pens
  17. Coins {my little one loves putting these in his piggy bank}
  18. Savings Bond {make that money you’re spending worth something!}
  19. Movie Passes
  20. Restaurant Gift Card
  21. Sandals or Sneakers
  22. Matchbox Cars
  23. Blocks
  24. Pajamas
  25. Puzzles
  26. Pool Float
  27. Sunglasses
  28. Life Jacket
  29. Water shoes
  30. Trip to the Zoo
  31. DVD or iTunes card
  32. Headphones
  33. Costume Jewelry
  34. Craft Kit or Slime/Putty Ingredients
  35. Bathing suit
  36. Sidewalk Chalk {or Paint!}
  37. A Journal
  38. Dominoes {Mexican Train anyone?}
  39. Board Games
  40. Card Games {UNO!}
  41. Barbies
  42. Make-up
  43. Nailpolish
  44. Chapstick
  45. Phone Case
  46. Baseball Hat
  47. Figurines
  48. Wooden Rattle
  49. Water table
  50. Bath Bombs for the bigs + Tub Paint for the littles
  51. Stickers and/or Temporary Tattoos
  52. Ride-on Toy

52 Awesome {Non-Candy} Easter Basket Ideas!

This basket above cost less than $15 total with a combo of various items AND was completely candy-free!

Whatever your price range, there is sure to be an item or a combo above to fit your budget! There are endless options from Target, Amazon, the Dollar Store, to Sam’s Club + Costco. I know our sand shovel and buckets bring a lot more joy for a much longer period than the suckers that are there and gone in a matter of minutes. 

52 Awesome {Non-Candy} Easter Basket Ideas!

Do you have non-candy Easter basket suggestions you’d add to the list?

Yes, Our Activity-Packed Calendar Is Worth Every Second!


Recently I was told how I have too much on my calendar and asked why I have my kids in so many activities throughout the year:

  • I was told that they NEVER have downtime to be kids and that it’s not fair to them.
  • I was told they are too young to do everything they are and that I should wait till they are in middle School or High School.
The reality? My kids are not into a lot of things, it just seems like that because we have seven people on one calendar. Each of my older two boys is in one sport, plus a church activity group. My kindergartener is in one sport. My youngest two kids attend a ‘Parent and Me’ class twice a week.
busy calendar
Why are my kids in sports now instead of later? To give them the skills now that they need to be able to try out and get on the middle school and high school teams. Let’s face it, if you’re not playing at a younger age the likelihood of you getting on the older teams is a bit harder! And it’s awful to have to explain that to a kid who pours their blood, sweat, and tears into something. I was that kid. Our calendar may look packed, but it has a purpose.
My kids pick the sports they want to play. Not me. We’ve done soccer, baseball, and basketball. We have offered others as well. We’ve cheered them on in rain, snow, and in blazing sun. We’ve had weeks where we felt like we lived out of our van – carrying snacks, dinner, and extra clothes. We’ve left the soccer field and headed directly to a family wedding, or other activity more than once. 
So ask me again, is it worth sitting on the sidelines for three hours of practice? Is it worth watching several games a week? Is it worth freezing my tush off one week and sweating bullets the next? Yes – and I will always say YES in response to that question! 
It is WORTH every second of our busy calendar to see my kid smile when he scores. It is worth every second to hear the thwack of a bat hitting a ball. It is worth every sunburn, rainstorm, and long day to see my child succeed in something they love – for them to come off the field feeling accomplished and proud of reaching a new personal record. I will always say YES. OUR ACTVITY-PACKED CALENDAR IS WORTH EVERY SECOND! 

“There’s An Active Shooter in the Area”: The Day School Was Closed

This post about an Active Shooter was written in 2017, well before the Oxford and Michigan State tragedies. Nonetheless, the topic is timely and the message is the same. Unfortunately – six years later – we are still having this conversation about an active shooter in our schools.

 “We apologize for the late notice, but all schools are closed today due to an active shooter in the area.

The call came in at 6 a.m. – an automated recording from our school district.
The message? Stay home, and stay safe.

No amount of morning coffee could have prepared me for that directive.

active shooter

I don’t live under a rock. I know this is the world that we live in:

  •  I was in college when the Columbine Massacre happened on April 20, 1999. I vividly remember watching the tragedy on CNN with my roommates as we huddled around our small, dorm-sized television. It was unlike anything we had ever seen.
  • Along with the rest of our nation, I sat in horror watching the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting news unfold on television on December 14, 2012. Twenty children and six teachers lost their lives that day. Many of those children were Kindergartners. To this day, I still can’t even imagine how scared those poor babies and their teachers must have been when the shooter attacked them. I cried for those sweet, innocent children. I wept for their teachers. I mourned for their families. The devastation of the parents who lost their children goes beyond anything I can possibly imagine.

But here is the reality:  I cried, wept, and mourned for the Columbine and Sandy Hook victims from the comfort and security of my own home. My empathy – while felt and expressed – came from my safe and quiet community, thousands of miles away.

When Sandy Hook happened, my children were alive and safe. They were given extra snuggles and kisses and were safely tucked into bed that evening. The stark truth of just how fleeting life is and how fortunate we truly are –  which can so easily get lost in the busy shuffle of everyday life – was certainly brought to the surface. But was my family truly affected? No. Not until yesterday morning.

Have my kids been part of the aftermath of recent, mass school shootings? Undoubtedly. Legislation across the country has mandated School Lockdown/Shelter In Place Drill policies.

Michigan law requires that at least two Lockdown Drills be practiced each year “with security measures that are appropriate to an emergency, such as the release of a hazardous material or the presence of an armed individual on or near the premises”.  

For my kindergartener, a Lockdown Drill means playing a game of “hide and seek” with the teacher and the principal. He explained that his teacher and classmates “hide”, while the principal tries to find the students, and break into their hiding spot. After his first mock lockdown this year, he excitedly told me: “Mom, we won! The principal couldn’t find us.” The drill is treated as a game, and parents are given the opportunity to explain – or not explain – the reality at home.

It’s a little different for my eight-year-old. He understands that a Lockdown Drill potentially means “getting away from the bad man,” as he puts it. He had a million questions after the school’s first drill this fall. It led to a lengthy discussion, during which I shared the Sandy Hook tragedy. Like so many others, he grappled with the question of just who in the world would want to hurt and harm children?! He looked at his five-year-old brother and three-year-old sister and I could see the wheels turning. He inevitably asked the question: “Mom, does that mean [they] could be hurt, too?

Yes, my sweet, little one. Yes, it does. It brought tears to my eyes to relay the details, and to watch my son’s reaction. It was like watching a part of his inherent innocence being snatched away, with me as the culprit.

This is the reality of our world. My children take part in mock scenarios where all students practice hiding from violent assailants looking to target and hurt them. My eight-year-old asks if his brother and sister could be potential shooting victims. I know this, but it’s never come as close to home as it did yesterday morning.

Yesterday morning the reality came crashing down, right into our own backyard: “we apologize for the late notice, but all schools are closed today due to an active shooter in the area.”

My eight-year-old was the only one awake when the call came. I have never been more grateful for his early-morning, conversation-and-snuggle routine. It took me a few moments to process the recorded message, but he snapped right into action. “We’re not going anywhere, Mom,” he said, “we need to stay safe.” I couldn’t have agreed more.

Shockingly, not everyone in our community saw it that way. On the district and local social media channels, some called the school district’s decision to cancel school a “silly, knee-jerk reaction.” Others were complaining that their kids were just about to head out to the bus stop; parents were furious about the “late” notice.

Did I have a day filled with work, obligations, and activities that I had committed to? I sure did. But is anything more important to me than protecting my children, and surrounding them with others that love and protect them in my stead? No. In my mind, it shouldn’t even be a question. It’s not an inconvenience to keep my children safe, regardless of the timing or circumstances.

Schools today are entrusted not only with the enormous task of educating our children, but with keeping them safe. In today’s world, safety goes beyond the sturdiness of playground equipment or putting up safety barriers in the school parking lot. It means teaching our children how to hide from “the bad man”, and ultimately how to save their lives should the need arise. The need could have arisen yesterday.

I’m so thankful that our school system, and so many other surrounding districts, put children first and made the decision to keep them out of harm’s way during an area-wide manhunt for an “active shooter”. I would hope that any school or district across the country would do the same.

As cliché as it sounds, it truly does take a village. I’m so thankful that I have mine.

I am Sleep Divorced From My Husband: Is Our Marriage Doomed?

I am Sleep Divorced. What does that mean? You know those adorable stories about couples going to bed at the same time every night and other cute bedtime routines? They are such sweet anecdotes, especially during the month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and all things love.

Well, this isn’t one of those stories. Instead, I’m sharing with you what I felt for a long time was my “dirty little secret.” Ready?

For years my husband and I didn’t sleep in the same bed. CUE THE GASPS. And no, we weren’t just in separate beds in the same room like was shown on many tv shows. We slept in separate rooms, sometimes on different floors of the house.

Sleep DivorcedIt wasn’t due to some scandalous event or major fight or not loving each other. We both just really needed sleep.

A little back story – when my husband and I were dating and moved in together, we had opposite work/sleep schedules. He was going to bed as I was getting up for work. Going to bed at the same time – or even at similar times – was never the norm for us. So as surprised/horrified as some of you might be about our sleeping situation, I was equally shocked to learn many couples actually go to bed AT THE SAME TIME! EVERY NIGHT! See, I’m screaming – it still gets me.

I realized a few years ago my dirty little secret wasn’t that uncommon and even had a name… “sleep divorced.”

Getting Sleep Divorced
The sleep divorce started after our first daughter was born. She was a terrible sleeper and would wake up multiple times a night until she was around three years old. It was exhausting. So, in an attempt for at least one of us to get a good night’s sleep, we started taking turns with the monitor and getting up with her overnight. And if one of us was actually going to get sleep, it wasn’t going to happen with the monitor in the same room. So, a norm was born out of desperation; I slept in our bed, and he slept in the guest room.

Once she was around age three, we started getting back into the habit of sleeping in the same bed. But that was short-lived because I got pregnant with twins…and was hot ALL THE TIME, and uncomfortable most of the time. On top of that, we still had very different schedules and I would get frustrated when he would come to bed at 3 a.m. {not quietly, I might add}. I would wake up and not be able to get back to sleep…or if I did, I wouldn’t be able to sleep because of his snoring. And yes, he has a sleep apnea machine – but he doesn’t use it…that’s a blog for another time. This is where he will interject that he’s not the only snorer in the house…but I maintain that I do not snore, I sleep with a delightful rhythm.

The point is – there can be a lot of reasons that a sleep divorce makes sense for a couple, and those reasons may change over time. It doesn’t mean the marriage is doomed. It might actually be the reason a marriage gets better; everyone is happier when they are well rested. And I would much rather go be sleep divorced, than actually divorced.

Because one of our twins was similar to our oldest daughter and woke up several times overnight, we quickly resumed taking turns with the monitor so one of us would get a good night’s sleep. Our sleep divorce was further complicated when we turned our guest bedroom into an office during the pandemic. Now, not only did we not sleep in the same room, but we were sleeping on separate floors. I always wondered what our nanny thought when she would arrive, and my husband would come up from the basement – where his office was complete with a couch – so he would often just sleep down there. When our oldest was around three, she would call the guest bedroom “daddy’s bedroom” and our twins still refer to the basement as “daddy’s basement”. I’m sure their teachers have some questions. Oh well.

Sleep Divorced No More!
Last May, my husband and I took a trip to Italy where we slept in the same bed the entire trip. Yes, you are picking up a hint of pride and surprise in that statement. We decided it was a practice we needed to continue once we got home – and we did. There were lots of times over the last few years when one of us would say ‘we really needed to start sleeping in the same bed’ but didn’t follow through with it.

Looking back, I don’t regret the years we slept apart, but I do think there were times we both felt a lack of intimacy. And I think that’s important to be aware of. Do what’s best for your family, your marriage, and your situation. Don’t worry about how it looks to other people…or sounds when your kids go to school and refer to “daddy’s bedroom”. You know what is happening and why you’re making the decisions you are.

But also, if you’re feeling disconnected, be intentional about finding time to connect and have some intimacy. And I’m not just talking about sexy time – I’m talking about a good conversation, a longer-than-usual hug, or just uninterrupted time together {and everyone laughs because as parents, that is hard to find.}

So, there you have it. Don’t be ashamed if you’re sleep divorced, or any other seemingly weird thing that works for your marriage/family. It’s more normal than you think!

Talk Therapy Is Making Me A Better Mom

I used to think talk therapy was a waste of time and not even worth trying. I was very certain of this despite never having actually participated in therapy.

Then in 2022, I went through a traumatic birth that unleashed a Pandora’s Box of emotional wreckage. In my struggle to move forward, I became willing to try anything. A close friend recommended a trauma therapist and I nervously decided to give it a try. I told myself if I hated it I would just never go back. Months later it’s one of the highlights of my week. 

Talk TherapyThe postpartum phase with my second child was a roller coaster of mental and physical highs and lows.
I experienced simultaneous moments of joy, anger, panic, overstimulation, and immense gratitude. I felt unbalanced and exhausted. I tried mood boosters that had worked for me in the past: walking, gardening, music, reading, and exercising. While these activities provided short-term benefits, I still felt out of sorts and hated that I wasn’t thriving. I was so grateful for my family and my life in general, yet struggling so much. I couldn’t believe how low and anxious I felt. At one point I felt that I was getting a handle on things, but by then it was time to return to full-time work away from the baby. I struggled immensely with the return and found myself getting angry at everything.

I decided I needed to do something, I deserved to feel better than I did, and I needed to manage what was going on with my thoughts and emotions so that I could manage my family and career. enter talk therapy.

Upon starting, I humbled myself and dropped my preconceived notions of talk therapy, and I’m so thankful I did.
Going into the first session I wasn’t sure what to expect, I even told the therapist I didn’t know how to do it. We started out by covering the basics of certain experiences, some general history, and current struggles that I felt I needed help with. I cried during the first session because it was such a huge relief to be able to release all insecurities and talk completely openly. After that, I was hooked. What I thought was going to be an awkward and unproductive experience became a healing source of self-exploration.

My counselor was teaching me how to know myself and how to be ok with whatever that meant. She was also providing me with insights and resources to work on the parts of myself that I wanted to change.

  • We’ve talked about everything from parenting frustrations to marriage dynamics and along the way she’s guided me to explore my life honestly and take ownership of who I am.
  • She has shared resources with me that changed my approach to parenting and shifted my mindset on relationships.
  • She has also guided me through the healing process of the trauma I experienced and absolved me of the need to validate and justify my trauma. 

Talk TherapyOverall, talk therapy has been an extremely positive experience for me. It has created a safe space for me to vent, cry, admit my faults, and seek solutions. I’m not saying I’m all fixed and perfect now, far from it. But I have learned better ways to communicate with my husband. I have found strategies to better parent my children.

I’ve been able to release things that were weighing me down. And all of that has made me a better person, and hopefully a better mom and wife. 

If any of the emotions I described in this article sound familiar, I really think therapy could help. I even do my sessions via telehealth from the comfort of home, which is a great option if you have a packed schedule or feel uncomfortable talking face-to-face. 

If you feel like you are struggling mentally with the load of motherhood or other things in life that can weigh us down,
I highly encourage you to give therapy a try

In + Around Mid-MIchigan