What Defines You as a Mother?

When I first became a mama over 5 years ago, doing certain things defined me as a mother.

For awhile I described myself as a ‘breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering mama.’ And, while I did all of those things (and still do), they don’t define me as a mother.

Now, I do these ‘natural mama’ things because they are what work for me and my family.

  • Breastfeeding all 3 of my babies has been easy. But, I know it’s not easy for every mama.
  • I wear my babies because it makes taking my children places so much easier. Wearing my babies also allows me to fix dinner, fold clothes, wipe bottoms and do other household tasks even when my baby does not want to be put down.
  • We cloth diaper because it saves our family money. Diapers are expensive and I love that we’re able to reuse our diapers over and over and have saved a lot of money over the past 5 years of diapering. But, cloth diapering doesn’t work for every family and that is perfectly fine.

Now that my oldest son is 5, my thoughts on birth and taking care of babies do not define who I am as a mother because I realize that there is so much more to mothering than how babies are born, diapered or fed.

With my oldest being kindergarten age now, we’ll officially start homeschooling this fall. ‘Homeschool mama’ will be a way to describe myself, but it’s not going to define me.

Who I am as a mother is so much more than how my child is educated. Our family chooses to homeschool for our reasons and other families choose public or private schools for their reasons but we all want the best for our children.

Being a mom should not be about trying to prove that we’re better than other moms because of the way we give birth, care for babies or educate our children.

No matter how a child is born, how they are fed, diapered or educated, they’re all children. And, all children have tantrums, get sick, fight with siblings and leave their mamas exhausted.

Being a mama is hard and the last thing we need to do is define ourselves by what we do or don’t do and compare ourselves to other moms.

Instead of viewing motherhood as a competition, it should be viewed as a sisterhood. We need to remember that we’re all in this together.

We need to encourage one another. We need to support one another. We need to help one another.

We need to let love, support, help and encouragement define us as mothers.

What defines you as a mother? 

 


Reusable Menstrual Products

When I was in college, I started dipping my toes into ‘green’ living. We started using cloth napkins and traded our paper towels for reusable rags and cloths and I first learned about reusable menstrual products. I purchased a menstrual cup and used it off and on for a couple of years before the birth of my first baby.

When I was preparing for the birth of my second child, I decided to use reusable pads postpartum. I knew it wouldn’t be any extra work to just throw them in with the cloth diaper wash. I purchased a mix of heavy and regular pads to use postpartum.

The cloth pads were so much more comfortable than any disposable pad I’ve ever worn. 

Once my cycle resumed after the birth of my second baby, I was only using cloth pads, liners and my menstrual cup. I completely stopped using disposable products because I love the reusables.

Having a stash of cloth pads (a mix of overnight and day pads) is wonderful for postpartum. I’ve used my cloth pads after the births of my second and third baby. For my monthly period, typically all I use is the menstrual cup paired with a liner.

My period is no longer something I dread or hate because my menstrual cup paired with a cloth liner is so comfortable!

I have found that reusable pads and liners are not all the same. After trying out several different brands made of different fabrics, I learned that I prefer cotton flannel. It’s soft, comfortable, absorbs well and holds up great to repeated washes.

GladRags Pantyliners

My preferred liners are my GladRags pantyliners. The GladRags color pantyliner is very small at 6 3/4″ long by 2 3/4″ wide but it’s very comfortable and you barely notice it’s there yet it provides adequate backup menstrual cup coverage. The color pantyliner plus is 8.5″ long and 3″ wide and provides great coverage both as backup to the menstrual cup and for light days.

One of my favorite things about GladRags is the company itself. It’s a small business and all GladRags are made in the United States. GladRags come in fun, colorful prints like strawberries, cherries, dots and flowers and they also sell undyed, organic cotton ones.

Reasons to Use Reusable Menstrual Products:

  • Your Health – You’re not exposing your delicate parts to the chemicals that are used in disposables.
  • Your Comfort – Reusables are so much more comfortable than disposables which helps make your period more pleasant.
  • The Environment – When you choose to reuse, you’re keeping waste out of landfills.
  • Your Budget – Reusable products do cost more up front, but over time you will save a lot over time.

How do you wash cloth pads and liners? 

  • Since I’m currently cloth diapering, I typically just wash them along with our diaper laundry.
  • When I use a menstrual cup paired with a cloth liner, the liner is used for backup and rarely gets very soiled. I will just toss these liners in with my regular laundry.
  • You can store the pads/liners in a wet pail to help prevent staining and then toss them into your regular wash when you have a load of laundry.

Where can you buy GladRags?

  • Directly from the GladRags website. Right now, they’re offering 1 color pantyliner plus for only $5.95 to Intentionally Simple readers so they can give cloth liners a try!
  • Some brick and mortar stores like Earth Fare and Whole Foods carry them and some cloth diaper retailers also carry GladRags.

Where should I start? 

The easiest way to try out reusable menstrual products is to start with cloth liners. Buy a 3-5 liners and give them a try. If you love them, maybe purchase a few pads next or purchase a menstrual cup to pair with your liners.

Have any more questions? 

If you are interested in learning more about reusable menstrual products, GladRags has a Reusables 101 page on their website. There are frequently asked questions, a chart to help you decide which products will work best for you, a video gallery and more.

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Disclosure: I was provided with 2 GladRags liners to review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

Easter 2015April was a full and fun month for our family! We’re enjoying spring and the beautiful weather so much.

Cecilia EasterWe were able to spend Easter afternoon with some of John David’s family. We had lunch and then the kids hunted eggs. Cecilia enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs at Nana’s this year. ErrandsThis baby carrier (it’s a Boba) makes running errands, grocery shopping and going to church with 3 small children so much easier! It’s so nice having my hands free to hold on to my other two (especially my 3-year-old!) And, the boys positions/expressions in this photo are so funny (Pax was upset because we were in the girls bathroom and Weston is just crazy!)

Baby Stella DollThis sweet nap moment melted my heart – my baby girl loving on her baby doll!
Birthday BoysPaxton turned 5 on April 16!! He and his papaw share a birthday so papaw came down to celebrate. Papaw, Paxton and Weston all went out for birthday breakfast. Then, our family celebrated with birthday lunch at Chick-fil-a. After our late lunch, the kids and I ran a few errands around town and then we ended up at a Mexican restaurant downtown and shared nachoes for dinner before church. Paxton thought it was so neat that he ate out for breakfast, lunch and dinner on his birthday!

Birthday DinnerBirthday nachoes at the Mexican restaurant! And, this was my very first time to bring all 3 to a ‘sit-down’ restaurant all by myself. Cecilia did sleep through half the dinner but I still felt quite accomplished conquering dinner out with 3!
Birthday CakeWe had a small birthday party on the 18th for Paxton. He wanted a ‘big blowout’ and talked about this party for 2 months. It was not a big blowout but was a fun little Lego party with a taco bar, a few good friends and a birthday cake made by his Mimi. He had such a great time even though his party wasn’t a ‘big blowout’!

Birthday PresentsHe was so excited to open his presents at his party. (This is the first party he’s had that he can remember – we typically celebrate birthdays simply but have decided to have birthday parties every few years if the birthday child wants a party!)

Gallery WallApril 2 marked 4 years of living in our home. One of the first things I did when we moved in was put up our gallery wall. I’ve changed out pictures a time or two since then but haven’t made any major changes to the wall. I’ve decided to change it up and add more color in! It’s still a work in progress but I’m loving the pops of color in the living room and seeing the newborn pictures of all 3 of my babies on the wall.
Lego BabyCecilia has a few baby toys but would much rather play with her brothers toys. She really loves their Legos and if they leave them out, she’ll find them. This particular morning, she hit the Lego jackpot since Paxton hadn’t put his Legos away the night before. Weston was yelling for me saying, ‘Lego alert, Lego alert’ (which sounded more like ‘wego awert, wego awert’…adorable!) So, now anytime she gets near Legos, we say ‘Lego alert!’
GardenHere’s a shot of our garden at the end of April. We’ve planted potatoes, onions, cantaloupe, watermelon, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. We’re looking forward to this gardening season and all the yummy things we’re going to grow in the coming months.

Gift Ideas for the Mom Who Lives Simply

Mother’s Day is just a few days away.

What do you give to someone who lives simply and doesn’t like clutter?

I love giving gifts but want to give gifts that are meaningful, thoughtful and won’t just clutter up my mom and mother-in-law’s home.

And, as someone who lives simply, gifts that are personalized and consumable are always appreciated.

Gift Ideas for the Mom Who Lives Simply

1. A Meal Out

Mom’s are always cooking and cleaning for their families. A meal out is a wonderful (and clutter free) way to celebrate your mom. I often say that food is my love language! And, I feel even more loved when I eat out and don’t have to clean up.

2. Personalized Jewelry

Bejewled Outlaw Bracelet

While I don’t own a lot of jewelry, I do love meaningful and personalized pieces. Bejeweled Outlaw is a mom owned business specializing in hand stamped jewelry. She makes cuff bracelets, leather bracelets, necklaces and more.

3. Personalized Photo Gifts

Moms and grandmas love pictures of their children and grandchildren. A photo canvas, photo necklace or photo magnet all make wonderful gifts.

4. Homemade Body Products

I love making homemade body products, both for myself and to give as gifts. Your mom would probably love homemade scrubs or lip balms made their favorite essential oil scents.

My favorite scrub recipe book – Simple Scrubs to Make and Give.

My favorite lip balm recipe – Homemade Lip Chap Recipe

5. Anything Lavender

Lavender Essential Oil

I love the smell of lavender. It is such a relaxing scent. Lavender soaps, essential oil, a lavender plant or lavender sachets all would make a wonderful gift.

Of Lavender and Lace sells beautiful lavender filled pillows and sachets.

Lavender essential oil would make a wonderful gift. It’s consumable, smells wonderful and can be used on burns, stings, cuts and more.

6. Books

I love to read. Books are such an encouragement in my mothering. They help me grow spiritually, manage my home better and teach me how to better nourish my family. This is a list of some of my favorite books and a few that are on my wish list.

Mothering

Faith

Other

7. A Handwritten Card

Don’t just sign your name to a card, take some time and write down things you appreciate about your mom and why you are thankful for her. I’m pretty sure this gift will be more appreciated than anything you can buy!

Do you have anything to add? What are your favorite meaningful and/or clutter free gift ideas? 

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links which help support this site.