A physician at Tempe’s Desert Wellness Center
When I think about women’s health and postpartum health, the first things I think about are pelvic health, hormone balance, and mental health maintenance.
When you Google women’s health and postpartum health, headlines nearly always only point to mental health factors. There’s probably a lot of positive things to be said for this focus as mental health is still often put on the back burner, but I would argue that we’re forgetting the realities of the rest of our bodies.
When women age, have babies, and go through all the hormonal changes associated with the female life, a lot can shift.
I recently met the folks at Tempe’s Desert Wellness Center and was so encouraged by their approach toward women’s health. I took some time earlier this month to talk with Dr. Barbara Ezrre. Our Q/A is below.
And all the other stress that comes with periods of unknown
We're officially a million years into a case without a concrete timeline. I know there's nothing new to our struggle over here at the Zehring household. Anyone who's been in a period of waiting-- for a pregnancy, for wellness, for finality in a foster care case, for closure in a relationship-- knows that the limbo period is the worst. We also know, or at least many of us could say that this place of in-between is also where the growth happens.
All of this is true and Nick and I know this in our hearts, but it just doesn't make it easier.
So here I am, writing this all out and asking myself: in this space of foster parenting (insert all other challenges) how do we navigate the most fundamental part of this journey without becoming overwhelming inward focused and negative?
I just launched this beautiful mug-- and another in the original font-- and I couldn't be more thrilled to share this in my shop. If there's anything consistent about me and who I am, it is my love of coffee.
Coffee fueled my romance novel reading in High School, thesis writing in College, long hours at the office when I worked in politics, gave me an easy date night, and now gives me the energy I need to parent.
If you're looking for something fun for your Christmas Blend coffee this holiday season or an easy stocking stuffer, look no further! Click the link below to shop!
Delegation and Communication Rule the Day
Nick and I used to fight every night around 7p after the littlest of kids were sleeping because I'd be getting ready for the next day while Nick was ready to relax.
I felt overwhelmed by the duties of the house and I hated when Nick asked how he could help. I remember thinking and probably in many instances muttering under my breath, "Oh, you know. You can help me with EVERYTHING I DO EVERY NIGHT."
It was stupid. The fighting was petty. The exhaustion is/was/(will always be) real. We really just needed to figure out how to better communicate.
I figured out that if I could label each individual task that needed to be done every night or before hosting friends or before a parent visit, the playing field could be leveled. Nick wouldn't have to ask how he could help and I could give him the opportunity without having to have a conversation about all of our nightly to-dos.
With magnetic popsicle sticks, I can put each to-do on the fridge each afternoon and by the time bedtime rolls around, both Nick and I can tackle the tasks 'listed.'
Here's what it looks like in real life.
How to harness numbers to set better expectations
When you decide you’re going to become a foster parent, you sign up for 30+ hours of classes, find an agency that will pick your personal story and life apart, and you’ll literally label containers in your linen closet so you know where Hydrocortisone cream is for your home inspection. The preparation to become a foster parent is unreal—and crucial.
I feel like Nick and I did a lot of preparing of our home, our hearts, and our heads on how to parent children in foster care. We did extra reading on trauma-informed parenting, sensitive discipline, and boundary setting with extended family and friends.
What we didn’t dive deep into was the data behind the machine of foster care and the Department of Child Services.
Now, I can’t say that digging into data really is the most important, crucial part of foster care. At the end of the day, your role and job is to care for the child in your home.
However, if you’re anything like Nick and I and you want to be eyes wide open on all the hard, challenging parts of this journey it can be helpful to know the numbers behind what will happen with your child’s case.