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What Moms Want: YTTP Moms Share What Actually Helps

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, after all.

After much deliberation about the right story for Mother’s Day this year, we took into consideration the fact that this day falls during Mental Health Awareness Month—and after asking some of the moms on the team what they would want to see, we came up with this:

We invited the self-identified moms on the team to share the communities, advice, affirmations, products, organizations—anything really—that they found actually helped support them as a mother. Whether you’re a mother yourself looking for a boost or need some insight on how to support the mamas in your life, read on to learn what the moms at YTTP have found that’s helped. 

Chantee Willis, Artist and Influencer Relations 

One thing that really helped me as a parent was letting go of societal norms. Our family doesn't look like any family I know, so for a long time I tried to fit that mold, but it didn't work for us, and that led to feeling like a failure as a mother. When I was able to embrace our unique dynamic, I felt an immediate shift. I was able to focus on my own intuition and found that I attracted a more authentic group of parents to learn from and grow alongside. 

Armine Charkhchyan, SVP of Operations 

With my busy schedule and many meetings, I may not have long hours to spend with my kids, but the time I do have with them after work, I really try to make it Quality time. This means giving them that 1:1 attention they need, whether it’s talking about their day, helping them with something, or just spending time playing a game or taking them somewhere fun for them. This keeps our relationship and bond strong with all of our schedules. 

Jamie Somphanthabansouk, VP of People + Culture

A question I've asked myself: Am I a mother even though I never got the chance to bring my twin baby girls into the world? Yes, absolutely. Abso-freaking-lutely. It's a pain and a joy that is incredible and no one can take that from me. You are still a mother on Mother's Day even if you have had a miscarriage or stillbirths. I'm doubly proud of nurturing and loving Hope and River until it was their time to go.

Losing your children makes you part of a club no one wants to be in, but many of us are. We’re a collective of loving and resilient women who support each other. Community is everything. 

Some accounts I love on Instagram: @ihadamiscarriage, @wearerobyn, and @the_worstgang_ever—two women on a mission to smash the taboo of baby loss. Strangers at first but bonded by a shared experience of loss and motherhood, we rally in support and cloak one another with love. 

One of my clients shared this article with me on how the Japanese grieve after a miscarriage. It's absolutely arresting and beautiful.

In US society,  we're still figuring out how to grieve the loss of children, miscarriages, and stillbirths. Not everyone wants to share, but we're breaking the stigma and allowing people to grieve openly. Grief is not linear and there are many phases of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But I would even go as far as to say that joy is an extension of acceptance. For me, sharing is healing. What's important is that grief and loss are personal and unique to everyone. Communities exist so that people going through related experiences know they are not alone. 

Alicia Kendust, Customer Experience Coordinator

After having my son, I found it impossible to reach out for help. One thing that brought me a little peace was a book by Jessica Urlichs called From One Mom to a Mother: Poetry & Momisms. Some of the entries are a little silly, but others were so validating. When I read something that truly expressed how I felt when I couldn't find the right words was incredibly comforting.  

Krystin Phillips, Director of The Client Experience

For me, I found the support I needed as a mom within my friend groups and community.  My 28-week twins were born super early, and I had the pleasure of meeting someone from the Tiny Miracles Foundation which helps to support parents of preemies in the hospital and beyond. 

I was assigned a mentor early on who helped support me through every twist and turn that a preemie birth could be.  I was also added to their Facebook group and gt to connect with other moms with very similar stories, giving me hope that my girls would be ok and come home soon.  Some of the best advice that I received is when someone you truly trust asks to help you, let them. Moms need REST! I didn't realize how tired and worn out I would be following birth and eventually when my girls came home. I tried to be Super Mom and Super Wife and then one day, I crashed.  Crippled by the weight of working full time, and running a household, I came to the realization that If I continued on this path I would burn out and would be of no use to anyone. My children, being the most important, needed me in a way that I have never been needed. I couldn't fail. So when people started asking if they could come over to help hold a baby or cook or even give me a break to shower or get a pedicure, I jumped at the opportunity.   

Lastly, I had to learn to shy away from not asking for advice. I think we all have a way that we see as the way to raise our children. But asking for advice or simply sharing my story with other moms has helped tremendously in gaining perspective around raising children.  I still do it my way, but occasionally with a little added twist of someone else's way. I have to shake things up sometimes! 

Jeannette Webber, Sales Operations Specialist

As a mother of three kids with a husband who travels for work and was often not home during the week I had to learn to balance three active kids during their younger years.  I found support with a mother's group chapter in my city, Las Madres. Not only did this organization help me find both working and stay-home parents that I could collaborate with, it provided me and the kids a safe place for age-appropriate playdates and adult interaction. The group assisted in meal trains when there was a new birth in the family or unexpected emergencies. We raised money annual for local organizations like a battered women's shelter, local food banks, and outdoor summer programs.  We had a date-night exchange-sitter program which was also very helpful when we didn't have family nearby to assist when my husband and I went to dinner or a movie without the kids—and these points were helpful for medical appointments, hair appointments, or just anytime I needed to take a break. I developed long-lasting friendships and a sense of giving back. My kids still remember those years and how those experiences shaped who they are today! It takes a village.

Janine James, Regional Sales +Education Executive

What's helped support me as a mother? I can think of many things, the little things, however, three things stand out the most by far.

First, I don’t know how to begin to express my gratitude for the tremendous amount of support my parents have given me throughout my motherhood journey; from giving sound advice (that always rings true) and to homemade remedies, to baby-sitting, bottle washing, diaper duty, playing the tickle game, storytelling…you get the picture. I know in my heart that I'm a better parent because of them.

Next, my private conversations with God. Just God and me. Nothing can top it. The best part is that it can happen at any given time, any given place whenever I feel the need. Whether it’s burning my favorite frankincense incense to calm me down, staring at the white puffy clouds in the blue sky from my bedroom window, walking along the shore, or listening to the birds chirping and literally smelling the roses, being in nature. There’s no place I can’t talk with God! This is my center. My core.

Finally, my family, friends, and community! Where would I be without them?? You can't underestimate the joy a good hearty laugh can bring or the comfort of a big warm hug from a loved one—it changes your mood right away. Girls’ trips and family charades night, unexpected delivery of your favorite bottle of Baileys from a friend just because…no grand gestures necessary. It’s the little things. This is my support system, the bedrock, my foundation. I wouldn’t change it for a thing.