Pregnancy has been a tough journey for Amy Schumer as she’s suffered pretty much daily bouts of vomiting thanks to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG.
But she’s nearly due now and coming into the home stretch Schumer is feeling pretty good, and celebrated by showing off her bump (including the belly button she taped down during her recent Netflix special).
“Feeling strong and beautiful today,” Schumer captioned her bump selfie, which she hashtagged “#didntpuke.”
As Schumer nears the end of her pregnancy she’s feeling strong in some ways, but as many pregnant women can relate to, the third trimester also has a way of making things that were once easy very hard.
In an Instagram video demonstrating how to put on a sock while pregnant, Schumer hilariously showed her IG followers how little things can become big problems when you approach your due date.
“When you’re pregnant, like I am, and you wanna put your socks on, it’s easy. First, the left foot, okay a little discomfort but not really a problem … then the right foot,” Schumer jokes in the video. “You just, it’s easy. You put your toe in and then you try it from behind. You hook your toe then you just kind of slowly will the sock up your foot. And that’s pregnant!”
Schumer proves that being pregnant can make a mama feel strong, beautiful and uncomfortable all at the same time. It is totally possible to be both amazed at how hard it is to put on socks and amazed at your body’s incredible strength.
Just like motherhood, pregnancy can be hard and easy (sometimes even both at the same time).
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Four years ago, I was in my final months of business school, negotiating opportunities and fixated on titles. Two years later, as my son turned 4 months old, I chose to shift my work and lean into motherhood and did away with any title beyond Mother. I quickly realized I had to find my own sense of validation and ego in that. Mixed reactions included questions about what I was going to do all day and worry that I might feel bored. It would temporarily send me into a tailspin about worth but more so gave me a view into the cultural rhetoric on motherhood and the chasm between power at work and power as a woman making choices for her and her family.
I get it. As women, generations of us have had to fight to have respected identities outside of the home. The storyline that emerged was if we choose to prioritize family over our paid work for a period of time, we are in some way giving up ourselves. What’s left is a cultural narrative around motherhood that is antiquated.
To rebuild my own narrative, I leaned into motherhood further, networking (read: hosting endless playdates) with women. Some were negotiating for a flexible schedule, others taking a full pause or others building their own businesses to afford themselves control and impact. Some were staying in full-time work but switching employers who could “re-meet” them as mothers. The shades of grey in the space between motherhood and ambition were more present than our black and white notions of the “working mother” and “stay-at-home mother.”
This camp of women that I spent my days with were far from the caricature of women lost in the trenches of motherhood that American society has developed that includes conversations limited only to the particulars of the children and mindless days. Our real conversations were yes, about our kids’ development and parenting approaches, but also about marriage, health, creative concepts and culture. Women who were pausing talked about classes they wanted to take or areas for self-improvement. Women who were flexing talked about ways to get more efficient. Women starting their own thing were committed to making it more meaningful.
I’m not going to say there weren’t the stereotypical vats of coffee and wine, top knots, athleisure and maybe even piles of laundry around the periphery. Or that there weren’t disclosures about lonely and messy moments. But the camaraderie and connectedness that came from that shared experience felt most novel. New mothers talk about a deeper appreciation for each other and a parting with that competitiveness from our 20s.
I spent 10 years in advertising before starting Mother Untitled and I often say the rebrand of motherhood may be my greatest challenge. But I think the pay-off is significant. I’ve now spoken to and profiled over 75 women who have chosen paths to make room for motherhood, and the undercurrent is powerful.
These women didn’t trip and fall into a dark well of motherhood. They chose to be involved mothers, set an intention for who they wanted to be as a mother and as a woman and allowed their choices, shifts or pauses to open up new ways to think and feel. They learned more than they expected from raising their children—in their capacity for patience, empathy and ruthless prioritization.
If we can reclaim the respect for the role of the mother and recognize the opportunity for growth in motherhood, we allow women to openly embrace this part of their life without penalty on the other side. Ultimately, our culture’s recognition of women as relevant and connected during these years and an appreciation that the space between ambition and parenting is fluid, can allow female talent greater confidence in returning to work and advocating our worth.
The common assumption is we get soft as mothers. Yes, motherhood made me softer, but it also made me stronger. It’s a powerful combination with a wild amount of potential.
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April 2, 2019 <br/>By Tom Ward, senior vice president, Digital Operations, Walmart U.S. <br/><br/>Customers love our Grocery Pickup and Delivery options. These services make life easier and help customers get back to the things they like doing the most. <br/><br/>What if we could make it even easier?<br/><br/>We continue to innovate for the future and look to technology to make great services even better in the future. Introducing: Walmart Voice Order. <br/><br/>With the new voice ordering capabilities we’re building across platforms with partners like Google, we’re helping customers simply say the word to have Walmart help them shop … literally.<br/><br/>Beginning this month, customers can say, ”Hey Google, <a href="https://assistant.google.com/services/a/uid/0000006c93deffb6?jsmode=o" target="_blank">talk to Walmart</a>” and the Google Assistant will add items directly to their Walmart Grocery cart. Best of all, customers can be extra confident that we can quickly and accurately identify the items they are asking for with the help of information from their prior purchases with us. The more you use it, the better we’ll get. <br/><br/>For example, if a customer says “add milk to my cart,” we’ll make sure to add the specific milk the customer buys regularly. Instead of saying “1 gallon of 1% Great Value organic milk,” they’ll simply say one word: “milk.”<br/><br/>And since the Assistant is now available on more than a billion devices, including Smart Displays like Google Home Hub, Android phones, iPhones, watches and more, customers can manage their shopping carts while they’re at home or on the go.<br/><br/>We know when using voice technology, customers like to add items to their cart one at a time over a few days – not complete their shopping for the week all at once. So, this capability aligns with the way customers shop. <br/><br/>It’s cross-platform, which means customers can use any device utilizing Google Assistant, and allows for items to go directly to a customer’s shopping cart, making this capability one of a kind. We’re kicking off the work with Google, adding others to the mix as time goes on.<br/><br/>Over the next few weeks, the service will roll to more and more customers. We can’t wait to hear what they think about it and how it’s making shopping easier for them.<br/><br/><div class="knotch_5c8bd50648af838275bf3f20"></div>
We cross many paths throughout life. Some paved from the craftsmanship of our own two hands and others laid out on the ground before us. Motherhood, for me, is very much the latter.
As a seasoned mom of 4 and 5-year-old boys, motherhood isn’t new to me. Yet every day, I am faced with a new challenge. From advising my eldest on how to handle bullying behavior at school to teaching my youngest how to appropriately handle his big emotions, I am navigating the waters of parenting, unaware of the current and the size of the waves ahead.
Motherhood is very much a “learn as you go” kind of job. It’s difficult to plan for a future you cannot foresee and so I sat back and thought, without a prescribed manual, how do these other moms out there do it? How do they go through the darkest of tunnels, unaided, and come out on the other side?
It’s easy to get caught up in how busy life becomes sometimes, managing the lives of our little people, remembering to eat breakfast before 2 pm, running through your list of daily errands and trying to keep a smile on your face at the end of the day. It’s tough. Especially on those not-so-great days, when all you really want to do it hide under your blanket with a tub of ice cream.
You know those days. Not being able to please everyone around us, not fitting into the jeans we’ve been staring at in our closet, not spending enough time with our children because we’re cleaning the house and not cleaning enough because we’re too busy with our children, who are upset that we didn’t put enough salt in the pasta or cut the sandwiches into the wrong shape.
But one day a good friend told me something that really stuck. “It’s all relative,” she said. “You learn to take the good with the bad.”
That’s exactly what failure is. It’s not about passing a moment off as an excuse to beat yourself up. Failure is acknowledging the hard times and shifting your perspective. Accepting the good with the bad and learning along the way. Without failure, we cannot become better. We are unable to learn and to grow as mothers, as parents, as women.
We plan ahead, and we attempt to prepare for every possible change in circumstances, but there will always be those days when nothing will go to plan and everything is a mess. Those moments, where it seems we’re never enough, when failure feels all too close, are overwhelming.
But, there’s always perspective.
The other day, I organized my to-do list and was waiting for my little one to finish his swimming lesson when it happened. For some unknown reason, he began losing control of his temper in the pool. I tried to help the instructor and it just made things worse. He was far from happy and I could feel the glares of women around me because my son was holding up the swim class.
A tantrum I thought would be over in five minutes carried on out into the car park for another 45 minutes. I was running late for an appointment and I hadn’t tackled anything on my to-do list. Yet, here I was, in a face-off with a 4-year-old because his goggles wouldn’t sit right.
I sought perspective.
He is a little person. I am his world. His world is coming down on him and he cannot make sense of his feelings. He’s embarrassed, ashamed, angry and confused all at the same time. I’ve been there. I’ve felt overwhelming emotions to the point of bursting. I’ve felt a lack of control. But the difference is I could work through it. At that moment, he needed Mom. So, I held him tight and whispered in his ear, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m right here. I will keep you safe. I love you.”
I felt the tension release from his little body and his arms wrapped themselves around my neck, face buried into my chest. I responded with love and without reservation. I changed my perspective from focusing on the inconvenience this meltdown was having on my day and took it as a learning opportunity for us both. I put the idea of failure out of my head and took the win for motherhood.
Because it’s hard—it’s emotionally, physically and mentally draining. It’s all give, give, give, without expecting anything in return. It’s also a selfless love that knows no boundaries. One which fiercely protects and devotes every thought and fiber of your being for the betterment of someone else.
To all the mamas out there who feel like today is just not going the way you had hoped, who feel like with every step you take, you’re making a wrong turn, you are more than enough. You are learning. You are growing. Embrace your failures because success can come by taking the small wins for motherhood. All it takes in a change of perspective.