Julie Trotter

Atlanta doula, Julie Trotter, provides bereavement and birth support, and lactation consultations in the areas around Newnan, Peachtree City and Senoia.

Via Parent Nurture, Julie teaches parenting classes and baby basics with her in-home, private sessions or group classes in Atlanta. She is an infant care specialist serving Fayette and south metro Atlanta.

STRESSED and Worn Out?

After becoming a parent, does it ever seem like you never find a minute to unwind and have time to yourself? It seems like there is always someone yelling "Mom" right when you sit down to take a breather, right? I find myself struggling with finding a balance between "me time" and being the "perfect mom".

I feel like there is so much pressure these days on being what we all think is the "perfect mom". You know, that one who home bakes all the PTA fundraiser cookies, has organic homemade salad for her kid's lunch instead of a Lunchables and spends glorious hours creating art project masterpieces with her kids, all the while being able to carpool this kid to soccer, that kid to band and this kid to ballet! Phew, I don't know about you, but this high expectation we have set on ourselves stresses me out!
 

How do I cope with feeling like I'm being pulled in every direction?

 

  1. The gym! I know the gym is not for everyone, but I have found solace in having that one hour a day, 3-5 times a week, all to MYSELF! I participate in group classes and that also keeps me motivated seeing the same faces there each week and making friends who hold me accountable for getting to class. Plus, group classes are WAY more fun than trying to workout on the machines or at home by yourself, in my opinion.
     
  2. Naps! I never feel guilty taking a nap when my toddler does, even when the laundry is piled up in the corner all the way to the ceiling. Sleep is super important for keeping your moods in check, so I tell all moms to sleep whenever possible!
     
  3. Get out of the house for some girl time! Manis, pedis, dinner, drinks, whatever is your go-to fun time away from the house. I've found my moods are much better when I'm able to get out and let loose with my friends, which leads me to number four.
     
  4. Laugh, laugh, laugh! Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" was right! Laughter increases endorphins and reduces stress hormones, making us all feel better!
     
  5. Get a babysitter and go out with your significant other! So often our relationship with our significant other goes on the back burner after we become parents. Finding time to reconnect together by finding something you both enjoy, even if it's just going out to dinner, can really improve the overall household stress level. Don't feel like you can afford a sitter? Swap sitter time with another mom in your mom group! Each of you take one evening where you can watch the other's kiddos so you can take turns going out.

 

Whatever you happen to find solace in, be sure to utilize that method of stress relief as often as possible to help you be a better mom. Mom life is not always easy! Cut yourself some slack and allow your destress time!

What do you say when someone experiences pregnancy loss?

Back in 2010, my baby boy, Weston died at 39 weeks. Friends and others often said "sorry for your loss", which I found hard to respond to. I wanted and needed to talk about our story in order to get through it, so trying to tell people something like "no need to feel sorry" and then go on with what exactly happened was always a bit awkward for me. 

Stillbirth Doula - Julie Trotter with The Happiest Doulas serves families in Newnan and Peachtree City with birth and bereavement doula support. She is a lactation consultant and provides in-home private breastfeeding help in Atlanta.
 

I always questioned if the person I was talking to really wanted to hear the details or if they themselves were feeling awkward about this "taboo" subject and just wanted to steer clear of the conversation all together. Nine times out of ten, I simply moved forward with explaining our story and the conversations ended fine, but I realized talking about loss is really an awkward subject for most people.

Why don't we speak of loss more often? Once I had gone through the experience myself, so many people I had known for years told me they, too, had experienced some kind of loss. I had no idea that they had gone through something similar. It was very odd to me that people I knew so well in my own life never previously talked with me about their losses, whether it was miscarriage or stillbirth. It was because of that realization that I took it upon myself to start being a mouth piece and talking about our story with others more freely, in hopes to reach others who had also experienced a loss and allow them to know they were not alone.

Feeling like others understood my pain and what I was going through was really important in the midst of the tragedy for me.
 

Some tips when talking with those who have experienced loss:

 

1)  Saying something like "Wow, I can't imagine what you're going through right now. I'd like to hear your story, if you want to share and please let me know how I can best support you" would be a good response.

2)  Giving parents the option to share their story with you is a great way to show support.

3)  Don't be too alarmed if the parents don't really have an answer as to how you can best support them.

4)  Showing you care and giving parents a safe space to talk is a huge step to helping them feel understood.

5) If you've had a similar experience, sharing your experience can be helpful, but make sure you've allowed the other parents to share theirs first.

 

Loss is a touchy subject. There is really no right or wrong way to deal with it. Just remember to be open and if the person you're talking to wants to share, give them that "safe space" to share in. If they seem to be not to want to share, allow them to grieve in their silence. Sometimes all we need to know is that someone is there if we decide we really need them. Give your friends time and if and when they feel like talking, they will know who to come to.