She Left Paw Prints on My Heart

If you’re wondering how to cope with losing your pet…

If you recently lost your pet…

If you are in the midst of making one of the most difficult decisions of your life to put your dear pet to sleep…

If you’re grieving your furry little friend more than you ever thought possible…

Read on.

What is it about our pets?

Die-hard pet lovers agree that our pets are our kids. They’re members of the family. I’m a mom, but not just to my human baby – to my fur babies too.

In the midst of my agony over the loss of my cat and as I struggled to tell my story and make sense of how excruciatingly difficult it has been for me to deal with this, a close friend of mine put it so beautifully…

She said the love we have for our cats is intuitive.

There are no words between us and yet we know each other intimately. We get one another. We share a deep love that doesn’t need words. Everything we want to say is communicated in other ways.

I thought that was so intelligent. And it’s true. Think about how we connect with other human beings. It’s usually through words. That’s how we build relationships and form strong bonds. But with our pets, there’s no need for that. Because we have so much more.

My girl’s story 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself trolling the internet trying to find someone else who went through something similar – or better yet, the same – as what I confronted with my precious little Boopsie. (Cute story about her name: we named our little brown tabby Betty but it wasn’t long before her name morphed into Betty Boop (I’m a HUGE fan), then Boops, Boopsie, Boopser, Boopsinator, Honey Boopser…need I go on?) Unfortunately, I didn’t find what I was looking for. So, I’m gonna tell you our story on the off chance that you’re going through something similar, or the same, or different but hearing our story helps you find comfort in some way as you try to figure out how to cope with losing your pet…

Back it up 18 months

At the end of August 2014, when I was 36 weeks pregnant with Brody, all of a sudden, one Sunday in the late morning, Boopsie couldn’t lift her head. She was walking around with her head down and when I called her name, she kept trying to lift her head to interact with me, but couldn’t. My husband and I rushed her to the emergency vet clinic. At first, we all thought she just strained her neck. Maybe she and her brother had played a little too rough. Maybe she jumped off something and landed weird. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

The vet told us to take her home and monitor her. The next morning, she still couldn’t lift her head and my gut was telling me something else was going on here. We took her back. This time, they took her vitals and checked her blood.


Her potassium was extremely low.


Apparently, when a cat’s potassium pummels downward like that, it can present itself in a number of ways, one of which is this downward dropping of the neck. Her potassium was so low, the only way to treat her was to keep her overnight on IV fluids to bring it back up. A whole night without my Boopsie? Aaaahhhhhh! I cried, and hoped and prayed the IV would work and that she’d be okay, but we didn’t know… Sure enough, the next morning, they said her levels had come back up beautifully and she was well enough to go home. Thank Goddd!


Now of course, there’s an elephant in the room. A question that hasn’t been answered. Why did this happen? And the answer is that it could have been a number of things – kidney issues (but they hesitated to focus in this direction because she was so young and on a great diet), dehydration (possible but unlikely), cancer or some other disease (but likelihood was low because everything else seemed good and she bounced back so beautifully) and total fluke (sometimes cats can be mysterious and finicky animals). We decided to take her home and monitor her, do a follow up blood work test a couple of weeks later and then keep a close eye. Her blood work weeks later showed no abnormalities. All good.

So we carried on.

But something always haunted me about what happened because we never got a definitive answer… I was constantly telling her to “stay healthy for me, Boopsie, I need you…”

Fast forward a year and a half back to present time

It was a Sunday in the late morning. Again. (Weird, eh?) She was just ahead of Brody and I going up the stairs and I noticed she hobbled up the last few and then instantly had to sit down.

My heart sank.

I called her name and prompted her to come over to me a few steps away. As always, she looked at me, responded and walked a couple of steps before she had to rest her hind legs again.

“Something’s wrong with Boopsie!” I exclaimed to my husband one room over.

He observed her behaviour and then asked me what the game plan was. “I hope it’s not her potassium again…” he said.

Bloody read my mind. We both knew it.

I made the decision to take her in. Myself. Hubby offered to go, but I insisted. I wanted to take her. I needed to take her. It was like a part of me already knew. And if something was seriously wrong, I wanted to spend every moment I could with her.

I put Brody down for a nap and took her to the same emergency vet.

What the vet revealed

They say moms have a kind of instinct and intuition unmatched by others. When you’re a mom, sometimes you just know. While the technicians and doctors were hesitant and almost doubtful at first to say, yes, this does look like the same issue you dealt with before, I was adamant about telling them the entire story from a year and a half ago.

They ran blood work.

I’m so thankful that once we got in a private room with the vet, they let us stay in there while they ran tests and waited for results. My Booper is an outgoing cat in her own environment, but pull her out of her home, in that god awful crate and then into a vet’s office and it’s a whole different story. She was shaking like a leaf in the waiting room and even though I tried to snuggle her, she was too scared to be anywhere other than underneath the blanket inside her crate – but she managed to peer through just enough to keep an eye on me sitting beside her as I stroked her head and spoiled her with Greenies treats (her absolute fave!).

But in the small examination room just the two of us, it was a different story. After a few minutes she warmed up and we shared a few wonderful hours together. Close and cuddly. I’ll always treasure that time…


“You were right to bring her in,” the vet said when she came back with the results.

Potassium and phosphorus way, way down.

Once again, her levels were so low, the only course of action was to keep her overnight on IV. And this time we took it a step further and decided to do a few more tests on her the day after: an ultrasound to see if anything was going on internally as well as a blood sugar test to see if there was perhaps clotting somewhere, diabetes or prevention of blood flow to her legs.

It killed me to say bye to her. I knew how scared she was (me too) and the thought of going home without her was terrible.

You’re never really prepared…are you?

So I say I had a feeling. Sure. I did. But that still didn’t prepare me for what I was about to learn.

First off, things weren’t looking great because my checkup phone calls Sunday night and Monday morning didn’t reveal the superb results I was praying for. Unlike last time, her levels weren’t bouncing back up beautifully by any means. The doctors weren’t sure if we would be able to bring her home Monday night. She continued on IV all through Monday and was booked for the ultrasound Monday late afternoon.

4:00pm …
5:00pm …
6:00pm …

I was literally going CRAZY waiting for the phone call.

All I could do was plead with God and the universe that whatever it was they were going to find (because I knew it had to be something) that it would be manageable. Something she and we could handle and treat.

To no avail.

FINALLY, at 6:20, the call came through. Amidst a very needy and whiny 18-month-old clinging to me and getting extremely upset that I wouldn’t let him play with my cell phone, I struggled to give him attention and take in everything the vet was saying to me.

“Well, your little Betty is a very interesting case,” she started off. I hate that she said this because it sounded so light. It gave me false hope right from the get-go. But the words about to come out of her mouth were nothing but heavy.

My cat had a blocked ureter

The ultrasound revealed that Boopsie’s right ureter (which is the tract that runs from the kidney to the bladder) was almost completely blocked. This means almost no urine was able to pass through from the right kidney to the bladder. It was likely some kind of stone that she developed, the cause of which is unknown.


Surgery. Big. Invasive. Serious. Uncommon.


Insert an implant tract (an implant ureter) that would act as her knew ureter to pass urine from the right kidney down to the bladder. The vet later described the level of intricacy and specialization in such a surgery saying that the surgeon would be dealing with the ureter and the implant that are so tiny they could be compared to a string of spaghetti.


Some cats get the surgery and go on to live great lives. Others need a second surgery.



I hate this part because it feels horribly wrong to talk about price when it comes to saving a life. Animal, human – it’s all the same. That’s just me. But I need to give you an idea of the level of seriousness, specialization and complicatedness of this diagnosis and associated treatment.

Before the surgery, she’d need to stay in the hospital on IV to get her levels up a little more. For the one night so far, we were in for $2100. The ultrasound we got was $500. Before the surgery, they require a cat scan in order to gain a really accurate view of the issue. $2000. The surgery itself is $5000. Boopsie would have needed at least 3 to 5 days in the hospital afterwards to recover. $800 per day. To evaluate her levels, subsequent blood tests would be needed before the surgery and after. $250.00 each time. All said and done? In the vicinity of $15,000.

Here’s the real kicker

So all that I explained above isn’t everything.

There’s more.

A big additional factor.

Boopsie had a heart murmur. Stage 2/3. Apparently stage 3 is the brink. It’s right around this threshold where heart murmurs start to cause real problems in the animal’s life.


An animal with a heart murmur is at a higher risk to be put under with general anesthetic.

The questions you MUST ask yourself as a pet owner

There were just too many things. Boopsie’s was a highly complicated case. They said it to us over and over. There was nothing common or routine about it.

So we had to ask ourselves…

  1. Is this cat even well enough to go through the surgery?
  2. Would she ever be the same?
  3. Would her heart have failed her right on the table?
  4. Or worse, would she come out of the surgery perfectly only to have her heart fail her 6 months later?
  5. How would she cope with surgery and hospitalization for at least a week?
  6. How much stress and suffering would she experience?
  7. How much pain?
  8. What if she was one of the cats that needed a second surgery? Then what?
  9. Is it worth it to put her through all of this?
  10. Am I doing this for her or for me?
  11. Do we need to consider the other oh-so-dreaded option?

Making the decision to put a pet to sleep

It pains me even to type that.

It’s scary.
It’s horrifying.
It’s agonizing.
It’s ridden with guilt.
It’s impossible…

How? How can we make such a decision to end a poor, helpless animal’s life? Physician assisted suicide is illegal nearly everywhere in the world.

“It’s an animal. It’s different.”

I ask these people, have you done it? Have you had to go through it? Have you wholeheartedly experienced it?

But for those of us who love our dear pets so deeply, there’s something we need to know.

Animals don’t understand. (This is probably why it breaks our hearts to see them suffer because we know they don’t get why.) We can’t reason with them and explain to them… “Okay, so you need to stay in the hospital for a little while, then you’ll have surgery, but after that we’re hoping everything will be fine, you’ll be healthy and you’ll be running around the house again…”

Everything they do – everything they know – is instinctual.

I’m a dog. I like to lick people’s faces, chase after balls, run around the backyard, gnaw on bones and snuggle on the coach.

I’m a cat. I like to have free reign of the house, scratch the furniture, play with toy mice and feathers attached to springs, jump up on the table and chase after my owner’s feet.

Back to my Boopsie. The generalized weakness she had in her hind legs must have been so scary for her. She must have been confused and bewildered. She must have been in some kind of pain not being able to pee properly. She must have felt so frustrated wanting to follow me and come sniff my fingers when I called to her, but couldn’t because her legs failed her.

I feel insanely guilty for putting her to sleep. It still eats me up inside. BUT, the more I think about it, the more I analyze her situation and the more I really and truly consider what the alternative would have been, the more I believe that I may very well have been suffering a different – albeit WORSE – kind of guilt if we’d made the decision to do the surgery. Because then, I may have been forced to watch her suffer in a way I never could have imagined. And for what? The mere hope that we made the right decision? Meanwhile we were left with no source of confidence, no guarantee, no big likelihood of a flawless recovery without complications down the road.

How to find comfort

I know you’re struggling right now, trying to figure out how to cope with losing your pet. There are a number of friends and experts I’ve spoken to along the way who have helped me deal with everything I’ve gone through and am still going through over the loss of my girl. These people have provided me with tremendous insights that I now want to share with you. I hope they help you find comfort too.

  1. The decision to have a pet is a very brave one. Why? Because we know with almost absolute certainty that we’ll outlive them.
  2. Some are here for a long time, some are here for a short time. That’s just life.
  3. Pets don’t understand suffering and pain. So then, should we put them through it?
  4. You have given your pet a wonderful, loving home that they otherwise wouldn’t have had. If yours was a rescue, just think of where they’d be without you.
  5. The decision to put a pet to sleep is a selfless act of caring. Nothing less. When you make the very difficult decision to send your pet to the Rainbow Bridge, you spare them their suffering and you assume it upon yourself.
  6. Being there with them in their final moments and seconds is the last amazing thing you can do for them. Your pet can die in comfort, without fear and without loneliness because they’re close to you. 


I can still feel Boopsie’s body relax and give way into my arms. I had no idea I’d be able to hold her through it all. I kissed her a million times, pet her, spoke to her softly and gave her all the love I had to give in those last few minutes. I’ll never forget the feeling. Although it’s something that haunts me and that I still replay over and over again in my mind, I can’t explain how good I feel about doing it.

I knew it would be hard.
I knew it would be painful.
I knew it would be unforgettable.
I knew I had to do it.

Although it was ridden with heartbreak and sadness, there was something beautiful about it. The fact that I got to hold her so close was comforting in some strange way. Her and I shared our special bond right until the very end.

How to cope with losing your pet – the takeaway

I’m not over Boopsie yet. Not sure if I ever really will be. But one month later, I am better. If you’re in the first few days, you’ve probably been trolling the internet in desperate need of something – anything – to help you cope with losing your pet. So, here are the steps I took to get me where I am today. Use none, use one, use some…

  1. Let yourself be upset.
  2. Cry as much as you need to.
  3. Ignore the people who don’t get it.
  4. Surround yourself with the people who do.
  5. Talk it to death.
  6. Get all the information you can about your pet’s condition.
  7. Research, research, research so you find the support you’re looking for about your decision.
  8. It’s okay to search for ways to feel better but at the end of the day, know in your heart that nothing will.
  9. Except time.
  10. Give it time, go through the grieving process – it sucks but it’s healthy and you have no other option but to do it.
  11. Remember all the good times.
  12. Re-focus your anguish on the things in your life you’re grateful for.
  13. If you have another pet at home, show them tons of love.
  14. When you’re ready, consider giving a new pet a beautiful home.

Celebrate your pet’s life

Sure, I am hoping this post helps at least one other person find the comfort they’re looking for but I’m really writing this for myself. This is my tribute to Boopsie. It’s my way of getting it all out…of saying goodbye.

I vividly remember the day we went to meet and bring home our little girl. She was in a foster home with a woman who had about 15 other cats living with her – some resident cats, some rescues. Little Betty Boop was in a washroom with her littermates. As we slowly opened the door, she scooted out between our legs. My mischievous little Boopsie. I loved her right from the moment I laid eyes on her. I held her in my arms and she instantly began to purr. Yup, this was her. Home bound!


Our other little guy at home was so eager to meet her that we likely rushed that introduction. In any case, it wasn’t long before she settled in to her new home and crazy brother (all the male cats in her life have always treated her like one of the guys – I like to think this feisty female creature asked for it rough).


We didn’t get long.

Boopsie’s life was only three and a half years long. Not nearly long enough. But like I said above, I find comfort in the fact that her life, in its entirety, was the best it could have possibly been. When she was found on the street by the rescue agency, she was eating dirt! I gave her all my love, the best diet money could buy, Greenies treats (her true obsession), a big house to run around in, tons of toys, never ending cuddles, attention and conversation.

Yes, I’m serious.

Boopsie and I had conversations with one another. A lot.

I think the most special quality about Boopsie was her need to chat. All day. Every day. She was the most vocal cat I have ever come in contact with. I’m a Chatty Kathy myself, hence the instant connection.

I miss her yapping.
I miss her presence.
I miss her big beautiful eyes.
I miss her loud, soothing purr.

I miss her.

We love having two cats in our house and our Hanky Panky definitely needs a buddy. So I know we’ll adopt another cat soon. But it won’t be to replace her. It will be to give another cat a special home. It will be to honour Boopsie’s life by giving my love to a fellow feline companion.

Life won’t be the same without my Boopsie and she’ll always have an exclusively reserved place in my heart.

Can’t wait to cross the Rainbow Bridge with you, Boopsie. Until then, be happy sweet girl, just that side of Heaven.



Are You Spending Time on Promising Leads or Dead Ones?

If you’re in the service business, then you live and breathe the saying: TIME IS MONEY.

And if you don’t, you should.

I run a service based company too and it wasn’t long before I realized that my time is everything. It’s up to me, and only me, to value my time and do everything I can to maximize it.


I’m constantly trying to do things that save time. I’m on the lookout for process inefficiencies. I’m alllllll about convenience. I’m a productivity whore. I’m continually revisiting and changing my approach to make sure that when I give something or someone my time, it’s worth it.

Recently I travelled down a little road that had me reevaluating new leads. Contrary to what first comes to mind, a new lead isn’t always rainbows and sunshine and MONEY. Sometimes they’re flaky, unorganized, confused, tire-kicking wastes of time!

I wrote a guest blog post all about it over at The Work at Home Woman. If you want to know how to spend time on promising leads, not dead ones visit and tell me what you think. And if you believe it’s worthy (which I pray you do), share the crap out of it so all of us service-slaves can spend more time where it counts.


Taking a Little Longer to Answer Isn’t Bad Customer Service – It’s Life

I’m obsessed with good customer service and responding FAST.

Maybe it’s because I’m the type of person who can’t get any real work done until my inbox is empty. Or maybe it’s because I can’t stand when other people don’t get back to me quickly. Or maybe it’s because I’m impatient as hell and want the answers I need right now and so I assume others demand the same.

Whatever the reason, I take responding promptly to a whole new level. (At least I used to before my son was born.) Emails had a reply in minutes. Phone calls were returned within the hour. Clients were damn impressed too. Who wouldn’t be when so many other companies drop the ball?

What’s a “prompt response” when we’re talking about customer service? 

We all have a different idea of what a prompt response is.

15 minutes?
Half an hour?
Same day?
Next day?

Like I said above, I was truly OBSESSED with getting back to my clients ridiculously fast. So for me, my opinion on what a prompt response is has changed. Just a little.

It used to be minutes. Now it’s hours.

I’ve realized that in most people’s lives, minutes just isn’t realistic. Or even possible.

And that’s okay.

For argument’s sake, let’s define a prompt response in customer service as one that takes place within the same business day. I think this is more than fair, isn’t it? So if you get a new lead inquiry at 10am on a Tuesday, reply by 5pm and you’re in the prompt response zone. (Although, 5pm might be stretching it so I’d aim for a little sooner than that.) Reply on Wednesday at noon? No good.

Redefine your terms

After my little prince was born, although at first I tried to keep my response time to minutes just as it was before, my customer service reply times quickly turned to an hour and sometimes two or three.

But guess what?

My new leads and existing clients were still making comments like, “Katie, thanks for getting back to me so quickly” and “I really appreciate the quick response…” and “Thank you for your prompt return of my call”.

Huh! Imagine that. I think I’m taking forever to get back to someone and they think I’m Speedy Gonzales. Time for a change in perspective.

Like I said in my post about life’s ultimate transition to new mom, when you have a kid, things change. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. You find yourself in a position to rethink. Readjust. Reevalute. Redefine.

Just because you used to get back to clients in a few minutes, if you respond within a few hours now, I’m telling you that they’re likely not even to notice. So relax. Minimize your stress. (Don’t you already have enough of it?!) Settle in to your new definition of a prompt response.


Continue to impress 

Now you take 2 hours instead of 2 minutes to get back to someone? You slacker! How dare you take so long…

No, no, no. It’s fine. Your clients will appreciate a response back within a few hours. I’ve witnessed this firsthand, which is what made me stop and think about all the added stress I was putting on myself to be so fast. I realized, hey, I’m still fast. Before I was ridiculously fast. Now I’m just fast. And I can live with that.

But here’s the key…

Don’t let this slight change in a timing perspective be the tipping point in your business. Just because you’ve become a tiny bit more slack on how strict you are with your response times, doesn’t mean you can let go and start changing a whole whack load of things. Your clients have expectations of you. They’ve come to appreciate what you do and how you do it. If anything, it’s time to step it up in other areas.

So you take a little longer to respond now. But make sure your responses are still as friendly and thorough as they’ve ever been. Be detailed and informative. Accommodate client needs. Don’t miss deadlines. Deliver on promises. Go above and beyond.

Just don’t beat yourself up because your average response time is 2 hours and not 2 minutes. Give yourself a break. You’re a mom now. And a business owner. You rock!

And plus, the likelihood of anyone caring as much as you do is pretty damn slim.

One SIMPLE Tip To Be More Present When You’re With Your Kids

You’re here because you want to be more present when you’re with your kids. Kudos to you.

I know you’re expecting a major scroll-down before you get to see my one simple tip.


I’m going to reveal this tip FIRST


I know. I know. I KNOW.

It’s crude.
It’s overly simple – almost seemingly too simple.
And it doesn’t make much sense.


Let me paint you a little picture

You’re with your kid. You’re playing and having fun.

You’re there, but you’re really not.

Your mind is racing through your to-do list. You cast your eyes into the next room and see the mess. You remember that you still have laundry to switch from the washer to the dryer since the morning. You wonder if that client emailed you back yet to close the project. You quickly check the time on your smartphone to see if you’re late on dinner prep.

Then your kid looks up at you, waiting for a response.

Are you there, mama?


Don’t beat yourself up

Give yourself a break! Seriously.

Us mamas always find a way to put ourselves down. To criticize what we do. To think we’re not good enough. Well, cut it out!

Because guess what? You ARE a good mother. Otherwise reading an article like this wouldn’t even be on your radar. Do you have any idea how ahead of the game you already are?

Your mind wanders…so what?

I read a life-changing book a long time ago: Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. At a time when I was down, frustrated, unhappy and fundamentally dissatisfied with my career, it made me realize that I did have the power within me to control my damaging thoughts. It went a step further to explain how, as humans, we are not our thoughts. We are the beings behind those thoughts.

Holy shit! Powerful, right?



I think in many ways we’ve become a little too obsessed about controlling and suppressing our thoughts so that we can be more present. So we can live in the now. So we can experience life moment by moment.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe strongly in this concept and it’s extremely important – especially for those of us who are Type A personalities trying to do a million things at once all the time.

But my dad gave me a whole new perspective not too long ago. I’m 5 ½ months into my second pregnancy now, and man, when I tell you that I’m an EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL BASKETCASE, well the all CAPS doesn’t even begin to describe it. My mind is my worst enemy these past few months. It wanders like crazy. I spiral out of control and either wind up in tears or the worst mood ever.

In one of my episodes about 2 months ago, I happened to be talking to my dad on the phone and his response was:

“Alright so you’re having a fit. So what? Have 50 more fits between now and your due date in May. We all have wandering minds and sometimes our thoughts get the better of us emotionally and mentally. Who cares? It isn’t our thoughts that matter – it’s the choices we make and the actions we take.”


It was a totally different perspective from what I was used to – something along the lines of “…you’ve gotta learn to control those thoughts…” No. This was different. And empowering in a whole new way.

So how does this apply to you and your wandering mind when you’re with your kids?

You’re not the only one.
Forget about the thoughts and focus instead on the way you act with your kids.
Because actions are what really matter, not what’s going on behind the scenes.

Having said that, if you can stop your mind from wandering when you’re spending time with your children, I do believe that you will be happier. So here’s where my F*CK IT tip comes into play.


Why this tip really works – it’s simple

Let’s revisit our little scenario above.

You’re having fun with your kid – or at least trying to.

But all these other things keep flooding your mind and raining on your perfect play session. Now, the great thing about my F*CK IT strategy is that it’s easy to remember (who can’t remember those two words?!) and easy to apply.

I’ve learned that one of the hardest things about practicing mindfulness and staying present is catching yourself in the moment. And I’m talking about the exact moment when you start to slip away.

In those few critical seconds, a “useful” checklist of points ain’t gonna help you. You need something fast. Something emphatic. Something that acts as a reminder and a cue just as much as a solution.


Let’s test it out.

You cast your eyes into the next room and see the mess.

You remember that you still have laundry to switch from the washer to the dryer since the morning.

You wonder if that client emailed you back yet to close the project.

You quickly check the time on your smartphone to see if you’re late on dinner prep.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

And when something feels good, it usually works. And it’s something you’ll likely use again. Talk about empowering, well this is a whole other realm of empowerment. Making the decision to say “F*CK IT” – just for now – is crazy empowering.

And that’s the key to my tip. I’m not telling you to F*CK IT forever. Just for now. Just for this moment. Just for this special time you have with your kids before they get dropped off at school or go to daycare or take a nap or go to bed for the night. Yeah okay, you’ll set yourself back a few minutes later on and you’ll probably get a little less sleep. All good things come at a price, remember?

How to use this simple tip to be more present when you’re with your kids

  1. Recognize the distraction.
    This is key. Catch yourself in it. Notice it. Feel it coming on. You’ll get better and better at this step over time.
  1. Ask yourself: “In the grand scheme of things, is this absolutely critical right at this moment?”
    I guarantee that 99.9% of the time, the answer to this question will be “no”.
  1. Make your decision.
    You’ve qualified the situation. You know what’s going on here. What will you do? Run off to switch the laundry over? To check your email? To clean the mess? Or…
  1. Say those two powerful words in your head – with oomph!
    Just say F*CK IT!
  1. Feel good about it.
    You made your decision (it was a damn good one, and you know it). Relish in it and enjoy your kids to the fullest. Every second is new and exciting. Now you won’t miss a single detail.
  1. Whatever you put off for the sake of your kids, deal with it later.
    Back to reality. Kids are gone. Now it’s time to get back to work, to clean the house, to finish the laundry – whatever. Be efficient and get down to it. When everything is done, it’ll all have been worth it.

Are you making an effort to be more present when you’re with your kids? Tell me how!

5 Ways to be Productive with a Baby who Catnaps

So you’ve got a catnapping baby on your hands. And now you need to figure out how to be productive with a baby who catnaps.

I know how frustrating it can be…

Your baby finally goes down for a nap after a half-hour battle. But you won so now it’s time to enjoy your much-needed break…by working! (Hey, it sounds worse than it is – we’re mom entrepreneurs so we LIKE work, right?)

You pour your steaming hot coffee that’s been waiting for you in the coffee maker for an hour and that you’ve been looking forward to since 7am.
(5 minutes)

You climb up the stairs and settle in at your desk.
(1 minute)

You begin emptying your email inbox before you really dive in because you know you can’t get real quality work done knowing there are unanswered emails waiting for you.
(15 minutes)

Alright! Emails are answered. Inbox is empty. Now you check your schedule and refer to your TO-DO list to figure out what work needs to be done and you make a plan for yourself.
(3 minutes)

Now you’re really feeling productive. You’re starting to get work done. You feel good. You’re in the zone. Everything is flowing beautifully.
(17 minutes)

And then…



You literally jump out of your seat as your blaring baby monitor reveals the worst: baby is awake.

A record breaking 40 minute nap.

Are you kidding me????

WHY Does My Baby Catnap?

This is an important question. Before you can truly accept the fact that you’ve been blessed (excuse me, cursed!) with a catnapper, you need to understand the reasons behind short naps. Setting aside the long list of things that so many other resources state you might be doing “wrong” (ignore most of this shit because there’s no wrong way to be a good mama) such as poor scheduling, sleep associations, clothing, lighting, the way you put your baby down, blah, blah, blah…there’s an important fact that you may or may not be aware of:

An average baby’s sleep cycle lasts 30 to 50 minutes.

Notice the correlation between this and the quick catnap example above? Baby woke up because babies do wake up between each sleep cycle. The question is, will they go back to sleep or call it quits? (A little more info on babies and sleep cycles.)

Once I learned this very important fact, I instantly felt at least a little better. Another thing to keep in mind as you battle your way through the catnaps is that this is likely just a phase. Most babies naturally transition from short catnaps to longer, more substantial naps on their own. Be patient. Have a little faith. Give your baby some time to grow up.

3 Simple Things to Extend Your Baby’s Catnaps

In the meantime, here’s a little extra motivation: between 0 and 5 months or so, my little guy was a pro star catnapper. Not only that, but it would take me 30 minutes just to get him down and then 30-45 minutes later (on the dot!) he’d be up and ready to party again. It was ridiculously frustrating.


By about 6 months, he started taking longer naps. And no, I didn’t “sleep train” him to do this. Of course I tried a lot of atmosphere type things such as a fan for white noise, experimented with extra padding on his mattress, lighting and so on.

But the final list of extended sleep must haves are right here:


I can say with complete honesty that I don’t know whether his naps extended because of these three things, or because of him, or because of a combination of the two. In any case, you’re probably just as desperate as I was so these three easy things are worth a shot!

How Productive Are You? Really? 

You might think that you’re being productive because as soon as your baby goes to sleep, you’re sitting at your desk, plugging away at your keyboard and, well, “working”.

But what are you really doing?

Are you taking a few minutes to catch your bearings? Are you easing into your workload? Are you checking the news first? Looking at your social media stats? Checking your site’s traffic?

While these are all tasks that have merit, are they really where you need to be spending your VALUABLE time? Things are different now. You can’t take an hour to get into the zone. Your baby may have already woken up and had a full feed in that amount of time.

And so if life is different, then you need to be different in it.

Get better at working with what you have.

Here’s how…

5 Ways to be Productive with a Baby Who Catnaps


  1. Keep to-do lists and set schedule reminders.
    Without this step, you can’t do anything that follows. Before you can actually be productive, you have to know what you need to be productive doing. If you’re scattered and disorganized, there’s no hope in hell. Organization is the very first step to productivity. Especially with a baby who’s totally turned your life upside down! Use Apple Notes, get Evernote or take advantage of any other note-taking, to-do-list app out there to jot things down wherever you are – at your computer, on your phone, on the move… Then sort these random notes and to-dos into priorities by day. Figure out what you need to do tonight, tomorrow, the next day and so on. Know what’s coming up. Be aware of your responsibilities to clients and colleagues. Map out your day, week, month. And what’s the cardinal rule? Don’t ever say to yourself, “No need for a reminder, I’ll remember that.” No, no. Those days have passed, Mama. Even the things that you feel certain you’ll remember, like a best friend’s birthday or an appointment you’re looking forward to – you might just forget. To prevent that from happening, set reminders in your calendar. Get those alerts chiming at you all day long if you have to. No shame! You’ve got baby brain now. (Yes, it’s a real thing.) Knowing you’ve got everything set up and scheduled will help you keep your sanity, trust me.
  2. Get all the administrative BS out of the way beforehand.
    You know what I’m talking about…the menial, basic stuff you need to do. And although it’s work, it isn’t work work. Use the precious silent, uninterrupted time while your baby is sleeping to get some real, valuable, feel-good work done. At some other time of the day when you manage to get a few minutes, throw your baby in a sling, set her up with a toy beside your desk, or let him pull all the books off the shelf while you quickly check your email, sort the papers on your desk, draft an invoice or record a payment. Then, when you finally get that little catnapper down for a rest, you can dive in to actual work.
  3. Transform your mindset.
    Getting quality work done has a lot to do with your frame of mind. Are you focused? Motivated? Into it? Or is your head still in baby lala land? If your little one is anything like mine, it takes a lot more than a couple of minutes to get him down (he’s a sleep fighter, doesn’t want to miss a beat!) and sometimes this is actually quite helpful. While I stroke his back and ease him into his nap, I’m able to take 5 minutes or so to think about the work I’m about to complete. This works wonders once I actually sit down at my desk and get going. Because I’m already in it.
  4. Have everything ready.
    You probably need a few documents on your desk, websites open, phone numbers handy and a steaming hot cup of coffee. So, have it all there ahead of time. If you don’t, this could eat up 5 minutes of your precious timeslot. I’m a mama who really believes strongly in giving my little prince maximum, undivided attention when we’re together – as much as humanly possible that is, I mean, I’m still trying to run a business and raise a baby. But what I mean is, instead of trying to always get everything ready while your little one just wants to play and be with you, take 5 minutes the night before to look at your schedule. Check your deadlines. See what’s up for you the next day. Then prep it all for a serious productivity hoedown mañana.
  5. FOCUS.
    Sounds simple. But it might not be. Even when you know that you only have 40 minutes to get something done, your mind may just not be in it. Shit, a few months ago, you would have had all day to get your ass in gear if you needed it. Ahh, those were the days. Maybe a personal thing is consuming your mind. Maybe you’re tired. Maybe something in the news caught your attention and distracted you. Whatever it is, you need to block it out. Hone in on the task at hand. When your mind wanders, bring it back. Practice being in the moment. Force yourself to get down to it. You’ll feel so much better afterwards, knowing you fought through the all-too-tempting distractions. And of course, you’ll have your work done!


Okay, that’s my two-cents.

Got anything to add?

Inspirational Quotes Every Working Mom Should Read on a Monday

Here’s your Monday Mama Motivator.

Need a little help kicking your ass into gear today? There’s nothing like a solid quote that hits home and knocks you out of your Monday funk.

Even better, here are a bunch of inspirational quotes that I’ve compiled just for super amazing working moms like you (but who need a little reminder every now and then). Let’s get your feet off the ground for work, business, home, baby and everything else that Monday brings!

  1. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – OPRAH WINFREY
  1. The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. – NOLAN BUSHNELL
  1. When you’re in the thick of raising your kids by yourself, you tend to keep a running list of everything you think you’re doing wrong. I recommend taking a lot of family pictures as evidence to the contrary. – CONNIE SCHULTZ
  1. I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed. – MICHAEL JORDAN
  1. Cry if you need to. – WHITNEY SHAFFER
  1. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – HENRY FORD
  1. Nothing will work unless you do. – MAYA ANGELOU
  1. There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. – JILL CHURCHILL
  1. The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant. – JANE SELLMAN 
  1. Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism. – GILDA RADNER
  1. Your house will be messy but it’s all worth it. – SARAH RAY
  1. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. – CONAN O’BRIEN
  1. If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. – ABIGAIL VAN BUREN
  1. Good things happen when you go for it! – ALAN WEBB
  1. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. – MAYA ANGELOU 

So, I don’t have any “quotes” of my own, but I do have a few words to share that’ll hopefully elevate your mood, spark that energy inside you and keep you goin’ all day long.

  1. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you leave yourself too much time to complain, to wallow in the difficulty, to remember how tired you are, well then even if you do get around to doing what you need to do, you’ll be in a horrid mood to do it.
  2. Remember, it could always be worse.
  3. Focus on the positives in your life. All the amazing gifts you have. See the everyday teeny-tiny miracles.
  4. Know that you’ll feel great when it’s done and you gave it your all.
  5. Tell yourself you’re amazing.
  6. Tell your kids they’re amazing.
  7. Breathe.
  8. Smile.
  9. Laugh. LOTS.
  10. Notice the beauty all around you. Trust me, it’s there – we’re just usually too busy to recognize it.


Got a few Monday inspirational words to share?

Do tell!

Halloween Activity for a 1 Year Old – Simple, Easy and FUN!

Think your 1 year old is too young to participate in any kind of Halloween activity?

Think again, Mama!

You just need to keep it simple. It doesn’t take much to amuse a 1 year old if you just think on their terms.

If you’re looking for a simple, easy and fun Halloween activity to do with your little one, consider this. It ain’t original – but it’s fun as hell!

I don’t know about you but my little guy LOVES getting dirty. The dirty the better. Messy? Bring it on!

So, I kicked it back old school with him yesterday and dragged the pumpkin in from outside…

I used a big roll of white paper (actually, the same white paper I used to create my very own backdrop for my son’s first birthday cake smash – I knew it would come in handy somehow again) and laid it out flat on the kitchen floor. Knowing my son, I gave us lots of extra room. Instead of white paper, you could also use plastic or even a bunch of garbage bags piled up together.


(Of course my cats got involved too.)

Then I sawed off the top of the pumpkin (without the little guy around, of course).

I sat my little prince down in front of the pumpkin and…


He went right at it! No hesitation. All excitement.

We emptied the pumpkin right out and now it’s ready for me to carve tonight.

Status today? Brody’s clothes are soaking in the laundry sink.

So what’s this Halloween activity for a 1 year old called? Empty all the goo and seeds out of the pumpkin.

Oh, and if you feel like it, save the seeds for a delicious roast with avocado oil, sea salt and pepper. Mmmmm.



Such a blast! And 100% worth the mess.


Tied Down by Breastfeeding. And How to Get Over It!

You have no idea what “routine” is anymore.

Morning feels like night and night feels like morning because days and nights have become one.

Lightness and darkness mean nothing to you.

Your boobs are KILLING you and you’ve got a tiny little human sucking the life out of them every 2 hours on the dot.

You feel trapped because your baby depends on you and only you for food.

You can’t go anywhere for more than an hour and you can’t do anything that you once used to.

Fast-forward 10 months… 

You’ve got a great routine.

Once again, days are days and nights are nights. It feels good.

Lightness and darkness mean evvvvverything to you.

Your boobs appear to be back to normal (minus the extra sagginess you try not to notice in the mirror), pain is nonexistent and every time your little one needs a milk snack you relish in the opportunity to relax, get close and bond.

You can go lots of places. Anywhere you like in fact.

One of my good friends inspired me to write another post on breastfeeding. She inadvertently reminded me that us breastfeeding mamas need all the support we can get! If I can help just one of you out there to feel a little better about the experience, my job is done.

Here goes!


10 Reasons Why You Feel Tied Down by Breastfeeding

1 – It’s all on you.

“Got Milk?” Uh, yeah. In fact, you probably have lots of it. But you’re the ONLY one! No one else can feed your baby but you. Not your husband, not your mother, not your friend. Just you, Mama. And especially if your baby feeds often, this makes it pretty much impossible to even so much as get your hair cut.

2 – Pumping is more of a hassle than it’s worth.

It sounds so easy. Just pump your boobs, store your breast milk and then go wherever you want, whenever you want leaving behind a delicious bottle of the goods for your baby. Sure, except that we’re forgetting one very important part: if your boobs miss a feed while your little one is mowing down on the bottle when you’re out, then you need to pump to keep up your milk supply. Now, given, this is particularly critical in the beginning and not so much as the months go by, but still! The beginning is when you need a break the most. And yet a break isn’t a break at all. It just becomes a logistical nightmare you’d rather not even think about.


3 – Your baby doesn’t take a bottle.

Okay, so you don’t mind pumping and all is well. Over the first few weeks, you’ve accumulated quite a stash of milk popsicles in your freezer that you just can’t wait to use so you can have a little time off…to snooze, to watch TV, to read, to go for lunch with a friend, to give your nipples a rest! But now your baby throws a baseball bat into your spokes! No bottle. Nope. Not having it. And your plans for freedom slip away.


4 – You’re not comfortable whipping out your boobs in public.

You’ve seen other moms do it many times before. You’re proud of them, maybe even a little envious…but you simply can’t bring yourself to do it. You’d much rather nurse in private. And that’s okay! I’m not sure if it was because my little guy and I had sooooo many issues at the start, but I could never breastfeed in public. Then once my pain was gone and nursing actually became an enjoyable experience, my little prince went through his “distractable” phase. In other words, the tiniest sound or voice would prompt him to break latch and have fun instead of feed! So I never really had a choice but to nurse in private – door closed. Problem is, along with the decision to avoid breastfeeding in public, comes total isolation. You’re always alone. You have zero company. You miss out on conversations. You get bored. You feel antsy and anxious instead of relaxed. You feel…tied down.


5 – There’s a constant balancing act between demand and supply.

I often say breastfeeding is like magic. It’s mind boggling how our bodies know how much milk to make for our little ones. Of course, for the first few weeks or months, your body is figuring it all out (as are you and your baby). This is when you might experience engorgement, really full feeling breasts, leakage, blocked ducts and fast flow. In fact, during the first month or two I was breastfeeding if my little guy broke the latch during a feed, my boobs would be spraying evvvverywhere – including right in his face! It was pretty hilarious. But then all of a sudden, I remember waking up one day, feeling my boobs and then freaking out because I thought I totally lost my flow! They felt deflated and squishy (like they used to feel after a feed, not before). But I noticed that Brody simply nursed as usual, definitely getting the milk he needed. When I mentioned this to my lactation consultant, she was so excited. She explained that this signified two good things: 1) my baby boy was latching well and efficiently feeding to get milk, and 2) my body had become regulated in its milk production, effectively producing what baby needed (and not over-producing).

Now, part of how this “magic” works is on you. Let your baby feed on demand and maintain a consistent nursing schedule. If you miss a feed, your body will assume this is milk baby doesn’t need. So supply goes down. If baby has an extra feed or two in a 24-hour period, your body thinks baby needs more, so you might notice your boobs feel fuller over the next day or two. These adjustments are not immediate, but our bodies are so impressive when it comes to breastfeeding that you can count on the fact that if baby needs more or less milk as the days and months go by, she’ll get it!

I think as breastfeeding moms, we’re constantly monitoring and noticing our milk supply. Other than your baby’s latching and feeding habits, so many things can affect your milk supply including fatigue, caffeine intake, stress, diet, not enough water, etc. etc. If you’re anything like me, you’re very much in tune with your body, and as a result, your milk supply (maybe even too much so). We’ve already established that you don’t like pumping and/or your baby doesn’t take a bottle. Sooooo…something’s gotta give. And that something is your schedule and your freedom. You don’t want to just skip feeds to do whatever you want or need to do because you think that might potentially drop your milk supply and screw up days ahead. And yet again, your life is dictated by breastfeeding.


6 – You feel guilty leaving your baby and messing up the sacred “schedule”.

Once you start to get in a groove, things get easier. You and your babe figure each other out and that’s when the real bonding and utter enjoyment come into play. I think the bond a mama creates with her baby is exceptionally special when breastfeeding is involved. That’s not to say a mom who can’t or who chooses not to breastfeed doesn’t have a strong bond with her baby, but breastfeeding gives a whole new meaning to the word bond. And along with this extra special bond comes the mommy guilt! “How will he sleep without my boobs?” “She’s going to freak out when she wakes up and can’t breastfeed because I’m not there…” “But I always nurse him at 4pm!” “If we miss that feed, I’ll have to totally restructure our day.” And on, and on, and on.

7 – A ridiculous amount of strategy goes into every plan.

Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, a friendly gathering or a trip out of town, if you’re still breastfeeding, everything (in the beginning) feels like a logistical nightmare. “My baby feeds at this time, but we’ll be here at that time, I wonder if there’ll be somewhere I can slip away, what if the appointment runs long and my baby is starving, what if she doesn’t fill up before I go, I can’t breastfeed there and he’ll hate me putting the cover over him…” And to avoid these crazy thoughts, you plan, strategize and prepare up the ying yang until it’s alllll figured out. But then you’re so exhausted you can barely muster up the energy to get out the door.

8 – It’s lonely.

Even though the world around us has come a long way when it comes to the acceptability of breastfeeding in public, I think a lot of us mamas just aren’t there yet. At the end of the day, it comes down to your personal comfort level, views and beliefs. Of course, every decision comes with its own consequences, one of which might be loneliness in this particular case.

9 – Sometimes it’s easier to just say “No”.

Because of so many of the reasons above, lots of times, you might find yourself choosing to turn down that invite, to cancel that plan or to avoid certain outings altogether. It’s just not worth it. TOTALLY understandable. But the result is likely that you feel more tied down.

10 – It’s a VERY demanding job.

I’m not sure which category you fall into but some women have a seamless breastfeeding experience. They never go through any pain, they have a good latch, and they have a baby who feeds fast, doesn’t get distracted, relaxes at the breast and never bites. Other women (including myself) have a bit of a rougher go: we experience pain, we have trouble latching, we have babies who are excitable, hyper and challenging to tame at the breast. If you fall into the latter group, chances are you find breastfeeding quite a demanding task – not in a bad way, just in a matter-of-fact kind of way. It is what it is. You don’t regret your decision but you also don’t think of it as a total cakewalk either.

Okay, ladies. Enough with the negativity. Let’s get to the good stuff and transform every point above into a positive one.



10 Ways to GET OVER IT

Feeling tied down by breastfeeding? No big shock there. I think most of us do at one point or another. The best way for you to get over that feeling is to CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE.

Sit back.

Relax (ideally with a glass of wine).

Take a load off.

Reward yourself.

Acknowledge everything you’ve already done for your baby.

Remind yourself of why you chose to breastfeed in the first place.

Know that it’s temporary.

Know that it’s the best.

Know that in due time, you WILL enjoy it and you’ll come to treasure every moment.

1 – It’s all on you.

Yeah, it is. Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kinda gal? Think about this statement. It’s all on you. There are two ways to consider it: 1) It sucks that you’re the only person who can feed your baby, or 2) The fact that you’re the only person who can feed your baby makes you the most important person in their world.


So…embrace it. Love it. Accept the responsibility with an open heart. See how much comfort you can provide by doing it. Understand that it’s so much more than food – it’s the closeness, the skin-to-skin contact and the absolutely unparalleled contentment your baby loves. Watch as your baby becomes more and more attached to you over the months ahead – and pay special attention to how much you come to relish in it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.

2 – Pumping is more of a hassle than it’s worth.

That’s right. It is. So don’t do it! In the first few months I know it’s hard to get a grip on the fact that your life is exponentially different than it was just 60 days ago – or even more so, 9 some odd months ago. Don’t worry, it won’t take you long to settle into your new role. As long as you LET yourself.

  • Imagine you couldn’t breastfeed (because many women can’t!)
  • Accept the fact that your boobs are now utility vehicles.
  • Know that they’re in use pretty much all the time.
  • Appreciate the closeness that breastfeeding brings.
  • Remind yourself that it won’t last forever.
  • Bid farewell to pumping because it’s a VERY shitty alternative.

3 – Your baby doesn’t take a bottle.

I can think of a few incidents where this was definitely inconvenient and worrisome. You know your baby needs to eat and if you’re not there, he’ll surely starve! Not exactly. One of my close girlfriends said something awhile back that totally reassured me before a night out: “Don’t worry. Babies can go a surprisingly long period of time without food. If he doesn’t take the bottle, he won’t starve before you get back. There are babies his age already sleeping through the night and going 12+ hours without food.” I think this was around the time that my little one was about 4 months old or so. She reminded me that if he goes 4 or 5 hours without food, he’ll be fine. And if he’s really, really hungry, he will take the bottle. Sure, it’s not ideal having a baby who refuses anything but boobs. But especially once you start to introduce solids, your concerns about her not taking the bottle will become less and less of an issue.


I remember feeding my little guy a bottle a couple of times. Beforehand, I thought to myself, “This is gonna be great, my boobs will get a rest!” But you know what? It was awful in comparison. There was no body heat. There was no connection. That wonderful closeness was gone. The special mom-baby bond had disappeared. For moms who haven’t breastfed, I find it very hard to explain. There’s just something about breastfeeding that is indescribably magical. Mind you, this isn’t how I felt in the beginning. If you’ve read any of my other posts like Breastfeeding Problems…Tongue Tie, Lip Tie, What Tie? or Breastfeeding Pain, you know that I struggled immensely for two and a half months. So what’s my point? If your baby doesn’t take a bottle, don’t worry. If you haven’t already, you’ll adapt. You’ll accept things for what they are and you’ll love the fact that your baby prefers the real deal to the substitute, rubber nipple.

4 – You’re not comfortable whipping out your boobs in public.

This is a tricky one. And I’m right there with ya, Mama. Unfortunately for us, though, this is how we separate and alienate ourselves from the world. The one thing I can say about getting over this point (and I believe it’s damn good) is this: you’ve created an opportunity to have special, one-on-one, uninterrupted alone time with your baby. In the hectic, non-stop, buzzing world we live in today, how often do you actually get an opportunity like this? Where there’s no noise, no voices chattering, no TVs humming in the background, no smartphones or tablets or computers…sounds crazy doesn’t it? I’ll tell you something. It’s WONDERFUL. Because I choose not to breastfeed in public, wherever we are, me and my little guy just slip away into our own little space to nurse. It’s quiet, it’s comfortable, it’s peaceful. I stroke his head, I talk to him, and he makes the most adorable noises to communicate back. I now treasure this time to think, to practice mindfulness, to really and truly live in the moment, to enjoy the closeness, to just BE with my son. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

5 – There’s a constant balancing act between demand and supply.

True. But try not to become overly fixated or concerned about your milk supply. Even though I had tons of milk (especially in the beginning) I was always thinking about what would happen to my milk supply if my prince and I missed a feed. Yeah, just one feed. I learned that, every now and then, skipping a single feed isn’t going to do much of anything. Our bodies are incredible. As baby’s demand fluctuates, so does our milk supply. Sometimes you might notice that it takes a day or two for things to feel back to normal, but it’s a fast adjustment. If you’re worried your supply is too low, let baby suckle a little longer on each side (if they’re willing) and this will tell your body, “Hey, milk is low, baby needs more, pick up the pace!”

6 – You feel guilty leaving your baby and messing up the sacred “schedule”.


This is natural. Totally normal. It’s motherly. So don’t beat yourself up about it! Motherly guilt is a powerful thing. I’m not saying it’s a good thing but I’m not saying it’s a bad thing either. Before I actually became a mother, I thought I’d be leaving the little one on a regular to go out for nights on the town, girly dinners and partying sessions. But it’s true what they say…life changes. Slowly, you realize that there’s someone else in your life. Someone who needs you, depends on you, loves you unconditionally. And you feel the same about them. And those feelings take precedence over most of the albeit useless things you used to do that seemed so important before. It’s great to get out once in awhile and it’s a good idea to plan little outings with those friends who matter most to you. Give yourself a break, take a night off. You’ll probably feel guilty, but know in your heart that you shouldn’t. And on the flipside, if you’d rather say no to that invite, do it. Listen to your gut. And don’t feel guilty about that either! Cherish this time with your baby. She’ll be a teen who wants nothing to do with you before you know it.

7 – A ridiculous amount of strategy goes into every plan.

Ha! I know, right? It’s absurd. So instead of letting it drive you crazy, take a minute to see the humor in it. Laugh it off. It’s really all you can do. Top recommendation to battle this point (which, by the way, I was no good at): strategize LESS. Try to go with the flow a little more. I found that the more I conjured, planned and strategized, the more things didn’t go as I anticipated. And I don’t mean that in a negative way! I often paint these scenarios in my mind and then spend way too much time planning for what I’m going to do if it happens only to be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen. And then I think to myself, “Huh! Awesome. Clearly I shouldn’t have wasted so much time thinking about this.”

8 – It’s lonely.

Oh, but it’s not. This is serious you-and-babe bonding time, Mama! Change that negative perspective around. You’re not alone at all. Sure, for those 5, 10, 15 minutes of nursing time you don’t have the company of an adult you can actually have a conversation with, but you needed a break from those people anyway! Look at that gorgeous baby’s face and see how content she is as she eats with you. Notice how he looks at you or strokes your arm. Recognize how special this moment is. Enjoy it. Don’t spend it wishing you were somewhere else.

9 – Sometimes it’s easier to just say “No”.

Absolutely. And you have the perfect excuse. Even those friends who don’t have kids and who don’t get it at all, they will give you special treatment when you tell them you can’t make their birthday party at the same club they went to last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. Say no! Say it with confidence and scrap the side of guilt. There’s no need for it. You care about saying no far more than your friends care about you not being there.

10 – It’s a VERY demanding job.

It’s also a VERY rewarding one. Trust me when I tell you that it will get better. It will get more and more awesome. It will become something you truly enjoy with your baby. This article isn’t about all the benefits of breastfeeding because we know the list is long and impressive and you wouldn’t be nursing in the first place if you weren’t aware of at least some of the points on there. No, this isn’t about that – although these are all excellent reasons to reinforce why you’re sticking with such a taxing job. This is about YOU. You’re battling pain, discomfort, inconvenience and emotional turmoil. You’re frustrated and tied down. You’re missing out on events, gatherings and conversations. You’re putting the needs of someone else ahead of your own. You’re learning. You’re adapting. You’re changing. You’re growing into your role…

You’re MAMA.

You’re amazing.

And don’t you forget it.

How to Start a Business and Become a Work at Home Mom

There’s a reason why women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years. It’s forecasted that women will create more than half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to exist in the United States by 2018. And they won’t be doing it in corporate, office environments – they’ll be doing it from the comfort of their own homes.

Are You One of These Women?

According to a survey conducted by BMO in 2012, 71% of women in Canada want to start their own business.

As of 2004, in the United States, women were starting businesses at nearly twice the rate of men. (And that was over 10 years ago!)

Laurel Douglas, CEO of B.C.’s Women’s Enterprise Centre, says that for women who start businesses, it isn’t money that’s the primary motivator, it’s flexibility.

A self employed mom is one who has total control over her schedule. She can care for her kids and manage her household – on her time.

At Home vs. Outside the Home

When you work at home, everything about your day is more efficient. You maximize work time because you don’t have to commute anywhere. You maximize quality time with your kids because even if you have a quick work task to complete, it’s just a flight of stairs away. You maximize money because you’re not spending on gas, transit, parking, etc.


And who doesn’t want to work in their sweats anyway?!

Steps to Start a Business

I’m going to walk you through a series of steps to start your very own business so you can become the work at home mom you’ve always wanted to be. These are actually the steps I took so I can tell you with confidence that they work. And I’ve got 6+ years of successful at-home, entrepreneurial, self-employed work under my belt so far. I hope it continues because I can’t imagine my life any other way…

Do Something About It


The first step to start your own business is action.

Make a move.


Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year…right now.

It might be something small such as researching about your interests or seeing how many other companies like the one you want to start already exist. Or it might be something larger like brainstorming a company name or registering a domain online. In this early stage, what’s most important is momentum. Even if you only allot 10 minutes every day to your new endeavor, commit to that. Don’t stray from it. And to make sure you never say, “Oh, it’s late, I’ll just do it tomorrow”, make sure your timeslot is early in the day.

1 – Define Your Business


  1. What is it?
  2. What do you want to do?
  3. How do you want to do it?
  4. Are you selling a product or a service?
  5. Does it already exist or is this a brand new concept?
  6. Where will you offer your product or service?
  7. When will your business operate? Year round? Seasonal? Now? In a year?
  8. Is it something you will make or do personally or will you need to hire a team?
  9. What makes your business different? (This might be THE single most important question you need to answer so take your time on this one!)
  10. Why do you want to do this? (Another extremely important question. In today’s business landscape, you need to connect with your customers on the why factor. Have purpose. Have direction. Have a story. Have a deeper meaning behind your business. And communicate this to your target audience.)

Think Apple.

Check this out:

  1. What value will you provide?
  2. Are you solving a problem?
  3. Will you provide advice?
  4. Will you be cheaper or more expensive than your competitors?
  5. Will you focus on quality, or efficiency, or saving people money, or getting people to do something differently than the way they do it right now?
  6. DEFINE your business. (Think of every aspect of every part – it all needs to be defined.)

2 – Name Your Business


I used to think that a company name was just that – a name. It doesn’t dictate success. It doesn’t make or break your business. And it doesn’t really matter what it is because a) people will grow into it and b) what you do with it is what counts.

But my take on business names and domain names has changed drastically.

Here’s why…

My husband recently renamed and rebranded one of his companies. He spent the better part of a year (yes a year!) coming up with a new name. And in our house that means a year of thinking about it, debating it, brainstorming it and talking about it – to death! Needless to say, I learned a lot about naming – or renaming – a business.

I’m now here to tell you that your business name IS important. And it’s important on two sides of the spectrum:

  1. It’s important internally. (For you and your staff.)

Your business name needs to be something you and your partners, employees and contractors can get behind. It should be something you and your team can resonate with and relate to. Parents spend months (likely 9) coming up with the perfect name for their child, so it makes sense that business owners should also spend ample time making the right choice for their companies. After all, as entrepreneurs, aren’t our businesses our babies? And if you choose wisely, you’ll never have to go through the hassle and cost of rebranding.

If you’re passionate about your business name, I’m going to argue that it might just positively affect your performance. I’m not saying it’s everything, but it’s something. Once my husband’s new brand was launched, things started to happen – from the very first week. New leads rolled in, projects were closed, motivations were sky-high. There were a lot of factors at play here, but just from a personal standpoint, right down to how he answered the phone with the new brand name, he oozed confidence and authority. There was a change in demeanor. And it was damn good. Don’t underestimate the power of the psychology behind a solid brand. It might just make YOU perform better, and therefore, contribute to greater success down the road.

  1. It’s important externally. (For everyone else.)

What will leads, customers, competitors, colleagues and the media think of your business name? Does it make sense? Is it meaningful? Do you think it’ll make your target audience say, “Hey, I want to buy from them”? Just like anything else, a business has a chance to make a first impression, and oftentimes, this starts with the name. It could be through an email, in online search results or on a store sign. Bottom line: when people see or hear it, what’s their immediate reaction?

These days, it isn’t quite as easy as simply coming up with a good name. You’re going to want a website for your new business (obviously). And what do you need to put up a website? A domain name! Well guess what? The very first domain name was registered on March 15th, 1985. By 1992, fewer than 15,000 .com domains had been registered. As of January 2015, according to the Web Server Survey, 876,812,666 websites were in existence. Point is, not only is it difficult to come up with an excellent business name, but also one that isn’t yet taken online! Another thing my husband’s rebranding initiative has taught me is that web real estate is valuable. It’s worth money. So if you find the perfect business and domain name, don’t be afraid to pay for it. (These are called premium domains and you can learn a little more about them here: Thinking of, finding and/or purchasing the perfect domain name is a challenge to say the least, but one very well worth the time investment to get it right.

So what makes a good business name?

  • It’s short. Too lengthy and people won’t remember it.
  • It’s easy to spell and pronounce. Imagine every time you tell someone your business name they answer with “huh?” or “say that again”. If you need to spell it out every single time, then it isn’t simple enough and you’ve overcomplicated things. You should be able to say it and instantaneously people know what you’ve said – no questions, no confusion.
  • It makes sense. While some big brand names are totally meaningless such as Kodak, Amazon and Google, for us smaller fish in the sea, it’s best to stick with something that has meaning in your industry so you can be memorable right from the get-go. Take my writing business for example: Striking Content Inc. I think you’ll agree that I’ve got the two points above down pat AND this name makes perfect sense in my industry. In fact, I’ve had a lot of compliments about my business name from clients, and people I work with often make it into a pun by saying something like, “Katie, I need you to write striking content for my website.” Yeah!
  • It’s comprised of real words. Notice how the three examples I gave above are all made up words? These are remarkably successful brands but again, for branding success on a smaller scale, you want to make it easy for people. Stick to words or combinations of words that already exist. Examples of big brands that have done it this way: Apple, Facebook, Evernote, Twitter.

3 – Register Your Business and Secure Your Domain Name


Enough planning! Now it’s time to solidify your decision. Wherever you’re located in the world, there’s a way to register your business.

To register a business in Canada, get started here:

To register a business in the United States, get started here:

To prevent any issues down the road, you might want to consider consulting with a lawyer about your business name. Make sure you’re not in conflict with other business names in your industry. Before you spend money registering your company, you want to know that everything is legit.

So you’ve got your business name. You’ve legally registered your business with whatever governing body is applicable to your location. Maybe you purchased your domain name first or maybe it’s your final step but whatever the case, make sure you can buy the domain name that is EXACTLY what your business name is. Don’t fall into the trap of “Oh, isn’t available so I’ll just get the domain”. No, no. Bad decision.

4 – Choose Your Business Structure … And DON’T Incorporate too Soon!

Are you on your own?

Do you have a partner?

What kind of liabilities or risks is your business subject to?

How much money do you expect to make in your first year? Or two? Or three?

Given your current business situation, think about what structure is best. Just a quick word of advice: don’t rush into incorporating. Yes, there is a certain stature and permanence that comes along with the “Inc.” tacked on to the end of your business name but incorporation is at least a little bit about timing.


Remember that an incorporated business costs more to set up, more to manage and more to file taxes on an annual basis. Plus, you need to know all the right ways to pay yourself (which often comes with more headaches too). It’s a common misconception that corporations give their owners tax breaks. Yes, this is true. But only if you know exactly how to legally take advantage of those opportunities and you usually need to make enough money so that you can leave some of it INSIDE the business. If you’re just pulling everything out, it often defeats the purpose. The decision to incorporate is multifaceted and it’s one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Reasons for or against incorporation at any stage in your business have to do with liability, financial, personal and so many more.

All I’m saying is don’t automatically assume you need to incorporate. To start, see if you can operate as a sole proprietorship. Minimize your upfront costs so you can evaluate whether or not your business is actually going to fly before you invest money into incorporating.

5 – Start Online


Self employment and entrepreneurship aren’t what they used to be. A hundred years ago, aspiring entrepreneurs didn’t have the Internet to just give things a whirl! They had to find a space, set up shop and deal with a whack load of overhead expenses right from the beginning.

But your situation is different. Sure, you could choose to rent a retail space, invest in inventory, buy all kinds of store supplies and décor and start your new business much the same way as your counterparts from the past.


You could take advantage of a powerful (and cheap!) tool at your disposal:


Again, minimize your upfront costs.

Start smart.

Start online.

Not only is it important to minimize your upfront costs to avoid unnecessary debts but also to give yourself some breathing room. If you’re sitting on thousands racked up in loans and credit cards, how do you think you’re going to run your new business? Like a stress ball! And when you’re stressed out in business, your vision gets clouded. You can’t give your new company the gusto it needs to take off. You’re reluctant to really go for it because you feel way too much pressure to get that next sale or solidify that new client. When you’re coasting along comfortably, you know you’ve got nothing to lose. And that gives you the mindful freedom you need to perform better.

6 – Build a Website


The way I see it, there are three ways to go about designing and building a website for your new business:

  1. Buy a template and customize it.

Many years ago, “the thing to do” was to create a website using custom code. This is how my original websites were built for my businesses. Back then, the word “template” was forbidden – you’d be shunned if you used a template.


Things are different.

Have you seen the latest templates you can purchase online? Check these out. These are the most popular WordPress themes. Click “Live Preview” for any in this list and you’ll get a real eye opener into the calibre of the once-dreaded template marketplace. If you’re just starting your business and you’re new to the whole online world, this is great news for you! Because it means you can purchase a template for dirt cheap and then customize it any way you like.

My top recommendation of where to purchase templates today: Sort by code type, website type, popularity, industry and more.

*Quick Warning*: Although these templates claim that you can literally customize any aspect of the design without any coding experience, be careful. I know a teency, weency, tiny bit about coding and I definitely couldn’t customize any of my previously used templates on my own. If you find yourself in the same boat, it’s time to hire a developer to help you. See how and where to do this in point number 2.

  1. Hire a web designer and web developer to run the project from start to finish.

If you want to take a little more of a hands-off approach, this option is better for you. Typically, you want to find a freelance designer and a freelance developer. This is the most economical way for you to do this, since if you find a larger company that has both designers and developers on staff, you’re already in another price category. And this post is all about saving you money as you embark on your new, uber-exciting endeavour remember?

So here’s what I recommend…

Create an account on any of the major freelancer websites you prefer. I started out on (which is now actually just Upwork). Guru and Freelancer are also worth looking into. Once you’re signed up, follow the super simple process to post a project and then watch eagerly as tons of freelancers “bid” on the work. Then you can chat, speak with, drill and vet all those freelancers until you’re comfortable hiring the right one for your project. If you have a location preference, you can specify it. Or, you can let ’er rip and accept bids from freelancers all over the world.

A little side note here: when it comes to design exclusively, check out 99designs. If you have the time and you’re ready to have some serious fun, this site lets you run a design “contest” and then receive multiple submissions from designers on a global scale. Obviously, the cool thing here is that you get to SEE the designs before you award a winner. It takes time to go through all the submissions and then give feedback to keep the process rolling, but there’s something awesome about viewing several designers’ interpretations of what your website should look like. And ultimately, you’re the judge.

  1. Use an online website builder and pay a small monthly fee to maintain and run your site.

There are lots of website builders online, but I recommend GoDaddy: If you’re a total newbie to the online world and you don’t know the first thing about building a website, hosting that website and setting up a proper business email (and more importantly, you don’t want to learn how to do these things because you’d rather focus on your business), then this is the option for you.

There are three different packages you can choose, ranging from $2.99 to $14.99 a month. Big whoop! You don’t need to know any coding, no technical skills are required, there are lots of design templates to choose from and GoDaddy sets you up with your domain, hosting and business email.

7 – Get a Business Phone Line


Don’t make the mistake of using your cell phone and always picking up the phone saying “Hello?” Or even worse: “Yo?” Invest in a virtual phone number (VoIP) or a cloud based PBX. It’s a minimal monthly cost that’s well worth every dollar. When a business call comes through to your smartphone, you know it’s a business call, and so, you can answer professionally. The last thing you want potential customers to say when you pick up the phone is, “Oh, have I reached the right place?”

The top 3 VoIP services of 2015 are RingCentral, Grasshopper and eVoice. As a matter of fact, I can personally vouch for RingCentral, which is the virtual phone system I’ve been using since the beginning. Now that I think of it, there may have been one other company I used first but for so little time that I can’t even remember the name.

8 – Create Marketing Collateral

Okay, so you’ve got the idea, the business name, the domain, the website, the phone line…you’re all set up.

So what’s next?

It’s time to prepare to market your business. Naturally, before you just dive in and start spending a ton of money on marketing materials you’ll never use, it’s important that you think it through. Research it. Plan it. Wrap your head around it. Remember, it’s alllll new so take your time.

What form of marketing tends to be most successful in your industry?

How can you minimize costs upfront?

Is there a way to spend less money on production?

Use trial and error to figure out what’s working and what’s not.

Invest where the results are!

You might be in the type of business that screams social media success. Your marketing focus might be strictly digital. Or perhaps yours is an industry that still calls for business cards and print materials. Whatever it is, figure it out. Research the hell out of it. Make a solid plan so you can create and spend money only on what you need.

My recommendation?

Take advantage of the online world! Don’t get fooled into thinking that you MUST have a business card “just because”. When I first started my company, I made the mistake of designing a beautiful business card and printing a thousand of them that I thought I’d rip through in no time. Well guess what? About 800 of them are still sitting in my closet:


  1. Run pay-per-click (PPC) ads in the major search engines – or at the very least, Google.
  2. Design your site to be SEO friendly.
  3. Figure out what people are typing in to find businesses like yours.
  4. Create social media accounts and get active on them.
  5. Write as much fresh content as you can and add it to your site on a regular basis.

9 – Get Out There (in other words…market your business) 

“If you build it they will come.”

Is this what you’re thinking? Think again!

One of the biggest reasons entrepreneurs fail is because of their lack of marketing strategy, spending, drive and general know-how. Successful entrepreneurs are so special because they have skills on both sides of the equation: they’re really good at whatever it is they actually do, but they’re also really good at business – and more specifically, driving business.

Here are a few good-read articles that discuss some of biggest causes of small business startup failures:

Of course, there isn’t just one reason. There are many. But have a look. Notice the common thread?

Ineffective marketing or a lack of marketing altogether.

Without marketing, you ain’t gonna go far. No matter how good your idea is.

Once again get online (you’ve probably noticed by now that I simply cannot stress this enough)! Particularly in the beginning, you can’t beat the costs of online marketing in relation to the number of TARGETED customers you’re able to reach with your efforts.

  1. It’s affordable.
  2. It gives you the ability to reach a huge target audience.
  3. It supplies you with invaluable data that can help you tweak and customize your campaigns to continually improve things like click-through-rate (CTR), engagement and conversions.
  4. It has global scope.
  5. It’s a marketing medium available to customers 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

10 – Hustle and Bustle, Mama!

We all need a little kick in the ass every now and then. For some of us, it might be every morning (ahem, hem…coffee please!). For others, it’s a weekly or monthly need when we start to feel run down.

Whenever you need it, make sure you do everything in your power to stay motivated and on track. You’ve chosen your path. Now it’s up to you to make it happen.

Need a little motivation right now? Watch this:

Make no mistake…

This is the rockier road. It’s the uphill climb. It’s the swim against the current.

Entrepreneurship is the most rewarding career you’ll ever have. But with rewards come challenges. Big challenges. Challenges that will make you want to quit a thousand times over. So you’ll need some firepower beneath that sexy ass of yours…

A support network you can turn to.

Colleagues you can bounce ideas off of.

Motivational activities you can do on a daily basis.

Friends you can call on for a good distraction when you’ve just got to get away.

Most importantly, you’ll need that DRIVE within you. That determined little voice in your head that always keeps you moving forward even on days when the only thing you want to do is curl into a ball and give up. And it’s this tiny, yet all-powerful voice that will give you the hustle and bustle attitude you need to stay true to your vision. To keep your focus. To push for what you want. And to never, ever, ever, EVER give up.

Are you ready, Mama?

How to Lose Your Pregnancy Belly in a Week and a Half

That’s what I did.

No, it’s not a lie.
No, I’m not exaggerating.

10 days after the birth of my son … MY. BELLY. WAS. GONE.

Shocked? I was too.

I know there are lots of resources out there that claim to offer the perfect solution or program to help you lose your pregnant belly in X amount of time. Trust me when I say that over the last 8 and a half months, I’ve given this a lot of thought. Particularly after receiving a countless number of compliments about how I look post baby (not gloating, just stating the facts) and after seeing my weight on the scale go back to exactly what it was before, even though I’m still breastfeeding.

And I believe I have a solution. But not like the others out there.

Mine’s more reasonable.
More realistic.
More difficult but more effective.
More manageable over the long term.

It’s not easy and you have to be committed to it.

So here’s how to lose your pregnancy belly FAST…

BEFORE you get your pregnancy belly

For ladies that care about their figure (ahem, hem … I guess that’s all of us), the first pregnancy is downright scary. You have no idea how your body will handle the pregnancy, how you’ll be able to look like a sexy pregger and not a balloon, and how you’ll manage to lose all that baby weight when your little one finally arrives.

Well, guess what?


[tweetthis]Losing your pregnancy belly starts before you even have one.[/tweetthis]


Pregnancy is HARD on our bodies. It’s even hard on a fit, healthy body never mind a loosy-goosy, haven’t-seen-a-gym-in-a-year, no-idea-what-vegetables-taste-like kind of bod.


[tweetthis]The best thing you can do for your post-pregnancy body is take care of your pre-pregnancy body.[/tweetthis]



  1. Eat well. I mean it when I say that this is really the be-all, end-all. Consider all other points useless if you don’t eat right. I talk more in-depth about this a little further down.
  2. Do cardio. Don’t like the gym? Find something else to do to get your blood flowing. Jog, walk, swim, go out dancing, have sex!
  3. Tone. I never tire of seeing the shocked looks on people’s faces when I tell them, “No, I don’t lift weights.” I hate weights. Maybe it’s hereditary, maybe it’s from my gymnastics, dance and karate days, maybe it’s all of the above, but yes, I’m naturally muscular for sure. BUT, let’s go back to point #1. Diet. For sure, it’s at least partially my diet. A big part! If you’re eating Big Macs and Cheetos, you ain’t gonna look toned. EVER. So when I say tone, I’m not talking about weights. Although, if you’re down, lift ’em! Rather, I’m talking about stuff like the plank, abs, pushups and band work – all exercises you can do at home.
  4. Sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. Get lots of it. I am a huge advocate of sleep. And I’m proud to say that because I place it in such high priority in my life, even as a new mom who’s working and running her businesses, I have yet to find myself at a point of sheer exhaustion and total malfunction. We need sleep to stay healthy. Experts say catching forty winks is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to our health, weight and overall wellbeing.

Alright, so you’ve got a good thing going on. You’re not pregnant yet. But you’re physically ready.

WHILE you have your pregnancy belly

There are two of you now. But you’re not eating for two! Here’s where so many of us make our mistake.

You get pregnant.
You’re excited – elated, in fact.
You’re exhausted.
Your body is working triple overtime to make another human being.
You’re not drinking.

In other words…


[tweetthis]When you’re pregnant, you feel entitled. Damn straight.[/tweetthis]


Entitled to have that tub of ice cream from Baskin Robbins.
Entitled to have seconds at dinner.
Entitled to sleep more and do less.

As you should!

But you can do all these things and still maintain at least some form of control during your pregnancy. And this control is what will make it possible for you to lose your pregnancy belly fast.

The key is BALANCE.


I’m a huge believer in balance…
Balance between work and play.
Balance between saving money and spending it.
Balance between nights out and nights at home.
Balance between exercise and rest.


Drum roll please…

Balance between going off the deep end and maintaining good health.

But it’s hard when you’re pregnant, right? We feel so entitled to do (or not do) and eat (or not eat) anything and everything we want that we totally forget about balance. It’s difficult to stay in control when you’ve got one cooking in the oven!

  • Your hormones are all out of whack
  • You’re an emotional rollercoaster
  • You’re annoyed by the fact that your entire life has already done a 180 despite the fact that you’re still sans baby (while your husband’s hasn’t changed in the slightest)
  • You have no idea how your body’s going to handle the pregnancy
  • You don’t know what’s “good weight gain” and what’s “bad weight gain” because regardless, you feel fat every day

What is a poor pregger to do?


[tweetthis]To lose your pregnancy belly fast, you need to keep your sexy shape while you’re rockin’ the belly.[/tweetthis]


Here’s what I did and what I recommend:

  • Eat well during the week, let loose on the weekends.
  • Maintain a little restraint.
  • KEEP working out! Just take it down a notch so you’re not overexerting yourself.
  • Drink a ton of water. (This should keep water retention in your body at bay and hopefully help you avoid swelling or edema.)

AFTER you give birth

Okay, let’s get one thing straight here.  My regimen below, DID NOT START until 2 months AFTER I gave birth to my son. No way in hell was I doing anything except breastfeeding and sleeping in the first two months. My whole point here is that if you were in good health BEFORE you got pregnant, and if you maintained some form of balance WHILE you were pregnant, then guess what?  Those unwanted pounds AFTER you give birth will fall off so fast your head will spin!

Most soon-to-be mamas and new mamas think after they give birth is the hardest part. But actually, if you gave two sh*ts about your bod before you got pregnant and if you maintained some form of healthy eating and exercise while you were pregnant, well then this part is easy!

You see, the first two parts of my “How to Lose Your Pregnancy Belly in a Week and a Half” program are the most important. That’s the key. And I believe it’s where so many of us go wrong.


[tweetthis]If you’re fit before pregnancy… And fit during pregnancy… Then you’ll be fit after pregnancy in no time.[/tweetthis]


Okay, so my belly was gone in a week and a half. BUT! (And this is a big but.) It didn’t exactly look like the toned, flat, bikini stomach I was used to seeing in the mirror. Sure, the belly was gone…but the skin was all loosy goosy nasty! In other words, I still had work to do. But unless I decided to wear a bikini outside on brisk fall walks, no one was the wiser. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t determined to abolish all that jiggle!

Here’s my after birth routine.

Wait a second…this looks awfully familiar.

It’s the same as the BEFORE routine. Yeah, go figure. But there’s a few revisions you should know.

  1. Eat well – and more, if you’re breastfeeding. Again, check out the details of my diet down below but eating healthy should be your top, top priority if you’re determined to get your full figure back. If you’re breastfeeding, get used to ALWAYS BEING HUNGRY. And I mean, ALWAYS. I am literally never full. Not after breakfast, not after lunch, not after dinner. Not after seconds, or thirds, or dessert. Not ever. Although you’re burning hundreds of calories a day making milk for your baby, this doesn’t mean you need to pack in the midnight snacks and give up on our body for the next year. Again, back to balance. Be reasonable. Treat yourself but don’t go crazy. Eat more protein, veggies and fruits. Have seconds at dinner and forget the cookies before bed. And mama, best of luck because when you’re always hungry, this is extremely difficult to manage.
  2. Do cardio. Get back to it – whatever “it” is for you.
  3. Walk. Having a baby is the best excuse ever to go walking. Even when your wee little one is a newborn, fresh air can be very beneficial (for you too, Mama).
  4. Tone. How else do you think you’re ever going to see those ab muscles again? Tone, tone, tone. Nothing crazy, but regular ab strengthening exercises every day can go a long way.
      1. The plank. I don’t think very many people know how insanely good the plank is for your body. Not only does it work your abs, but also your arms, shoulders, back, butt and legs. And the best part is you can do it anywhere!

      1. Abs on the foam roller. You can get a decent foam roller for $30. It’s so easy to tuck away behind a couch somewhere and pull it out whenever you want. Next time your little one is doing tummy time, why not do a little tummy time of your own?

  5. Sleep. You’re a parent now. Of course there is an endless sea of things to do but guess what? If you don’t get enough sleep, none of those things are going to get done anyway. Sleep deprivation can have horribly negative effects on your daytime function. You owe it to your baby, yourself and your partner to get enough sleep. You’ll be a better mama, a better wife and a better YOU. Plus, let’s not forget the objective we’re talking about here…you’ll be in a better position to shed the pounds if your body is as well rested as it can be. So if baby’s up till midnight and waking every two hours to eat, stay in bed till noon. Feel like you could use a nap? Lie down when your little one does to catch up a bit. Do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t feel guilty about it. You need it. You deserve it.

The best diet…for your body, your health and your state of mind

Like I said earlier, what you eat on a daily basis is more than half the battle when it comes to getting back that sexy bod of yours.

And you want that because…


[tweetthis]There’s nothing hotter than a fit, toned mama![/tweetthis]


I’m going to tell you about my “daily diet”, and by “diet”, I’m referring to what I eat, not a predefined program that I follow, and by “daily”, I’m referring to most days, as in what I eat when I’m at home – not out at a restaurant or on vacation.

Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie

(Banana, apple, pear, kiwi, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple, almond butter.)

Check it out…


So I have those two glasses there. And the bowl beside them? That’s my little guy’s ration. He loves it too. Honestly, I can say with absolutely surety that this is my favorite meal of the day.

Lunch #1: Salad

(Green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, baby spinach, cucumber, tomato, mushroom, extra virgin olive oil, and squeezed lemon or balsamic vinegar depending on my mood.)


When I first started eating this way (I’ll explain why in a minute), I really missed my lunchtime sandwiches. But now? I don’t feel right later in the day if I’ve missed my salad for lunch.

Lunch #2: Eggs and Sweet Potatoes

(Other than a few spices on the potatoes, these are the only two ingredients – oh, and coconut oil.)

Yeah, that’s right. I have two lunches. Or at least that’s what I call them. Here’s where I change it up though. One day, I might have eggs and sweet potatoes because Hubby offers to make it for me (this is a daily for him). The next, I might scrap the sweet potatoes and eat just the eggs. Some days I eat the yolk, some days just the whites. Other days, I might avoid the eggs altogether and have an afternoon snack of veggie leftovers from the night before, rice cakes or mixed nuts. And if I’ve got leftover turkey breast or chicken, I usually throw this into my salad as a protein kicker and an extra fill-me-up.


Dinner: Mixed Veggies (fried, barbequed or steamed) and a Protein (chicken, beef, lamb or seafood)

When it comes to veggies, anything goes. From leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower to carrots, turnips and squash, I love it all. We usually cook up some kind of assortment to keep things interesting because if there’s one bad thing about this diet it’s the fact that it gets pretty damn boring after awhile. As for protein, we usually barbeque – and in the winter, fry or bake.


So what do you notice about this diet?

  1. There are no grains.
    That’s right. And I’ve said “grains” and not “carbs” because too often people use these terms interchangeably. But in fact, fruit has a ton of carbohydrates in it – not to mention the sweet potato, which I have a couple times a week. So, my diet isn’t “carbless”, it’s grainless. And as a matter of fact, I’m not totally grainless. Usually once a week, we make quinoa and once in a very, very, very blue moon, we make rice or pasta (usually brown rice, spelt or kamut pasta).
  2. Dairy’s out.
    Humans are the only animals on the planet who drink milk from another species (as adults). There are a whole host of reasons that many doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists and dieticians advise against the consumption of dairy – cow’s milk in particular. Just a few: it doesn’t benefit exercise performance, it isn’t a great source of calcium, there’s no evidence that it’s actually good for your bones, it’s loaded with saturated fat, and it can actually exacerbate stomach issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and other allergies. For me, my stomach just can’t take it on a daily basis. And my stomach issues are the fundamental reason I eat the way I do. I went through such pain and discomfort in the past and realized that it was grains (primarily wheat) and dairy that were my issues. But even though I can’t eat any other way, I also choose this diet because of the way it makes me feel…like a million bucks!
  3. There’s an overload of vegetables.
    Damn straight. Here’s where all the nutrients are, mamas! I challenge you to go 2 weeks eating a ton of vegetables (replacing grains and carbs) and report back about how you feel. I guarantee that afternoon crash will be non-existent. That tired, lethargic feeling you’re usually battling on a regular will dissipate. And your energy levels and overall clarity will be sky high. Seriously. I wouldn’t eat so many veggies if they didn’t make me feel so damn good.
  4. There are TWO lunches!
    Absolutely. C’mon, I’m a breastfeeding, working out, active mama here. I’m starving most hours of the day. There’s no need to feel guilty about an extra meal in the day when you’re eating super healthy. Something else to keep in mind, when you’re reaching for seconds on a huge bowl of pasta, it makes sense to attempt to refrain yourself. But when we’re talking about lean protein and fresh veggies, the more the merrier! It’s a different kind of full. You could have thirds and fourths and still feel 100% satisfied without getting “the Itis”.

At first it’s hard. But it gets easier.

Like anything else, the beginning is the most difficult. We don’t like change. We like things to stay as they are.



[tweetthis]To get results in life, we have to be willing to work for them.[/tweetthis]


I’m not even going to try to sugarcoat this for you: this lifestyle is the pits in the beginning. But give it just TWO WEEKS. That’s it. And if you’re not fully converted, you will be soon. It’s really hard to turn back when you feel like such a better version of yourself.

To sum it all up…

No, there’s no quick fix to lose that pregnancy belly.

My approach is about BEFORE, DURING and AFTER.

It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

Sure, my advice will help you lose your pregger belly, but there are so many other reasons to consider it too.


Did you lose your pregnancy belly fast? How?