You know that somewhat jarring feeling when you see a radio DJ for the first time, and he or she looks nothing like what you thought? Well, for those of you who only know me from my words on a screen, get ready to say, “Huh. That’s not how I imagined her at all.”
I am incredibly excited to share the video from my Listen To Your Mother St. Louis performance that happened this past Mother’s Day weekend. My piece is called “How Real Love Stories Go,” about how a minivan turns out to be the perfect setting for a real life love story.
The highest compliment I could have ever gotten about this piece came from my very talented fellow St. Louis cast member, LaQuetta Ruston, who said:
“Your amazing story completely changed how I think of my kids & slowing down in life to enjoy them!”
Happiest of Mother’s Days to all my mama friends out there! As my buddy Kandace posted:
“It took me a while. But, I think I am all prepared for Mother’s Day…. The garbage and recycle are full, the dishwasher has been run and is ready to be emptied, the dog’s water is low, the bird feeder needs to be filled, the toilet paper and paper towel rolls need to be changed, there is a dry load of clothes in the dryer and a freshly washed load in the washer! Let the games begin!!!”
OH, and congratulaions to Lisa Craven for winning the Jewelry Made by Maggie Giveaway! As a consolation prize to everyone else, Maggie is offering 20% off at her Etsy store until June 1st! Just use the code kelly20.
Now go out and enjoy your day and love your mamas!
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Eat your vegetables. Put on a coat. Tie your shoes. If you don’t clean up this hell-hole-hurricane-disaster-zone-stinking-landfill-of-a-room, I will clean it for you…and give all your earthly possessions to homeless Brazilian Pygmies who don’t have bedazzled password journals.
I think we can all agree, though sometimes begrudgingly, that it is usually best to listen to your mother. In fact, listening to your mother has become such a universally good idea that 39 cities have decided to devote an entire show aimed at giving motherhood a microphone. One of those cities happens to be my hometown, St. Louis. And I am honored to say that I have been chosen as one of the mothers you should apparently listen to.
There is nothing quite like breastfeeding to make a new mom feel like a complete failure at the most important job she will ever have. Scratch that. There is something else: a lactation consultant.
Now before anyone objects, let me say I am perfectly aware that nurturing and helpful lactation consultants exist and are likely the norm. I was lucky to have a good one after the birth of my first child. Unfortunately, despite all the help and understanding she provided, I struggled with little success to breastfeed my daughter. After latching problems, unsuccessful pumping sessions, a painful bout of thrush, and many tears, I gave up after a month. And man, did I feel the guilt. Hence my statement, “There is nothing quite like breastfeeding to make a new mom feel like a complete failure at the most important job she will ever have.” But guess what? Continue reading “The Lactation Consultant from the Black Lagoon”→
I swear I could faintly hear the collective “aw” of humanity as I checked my Facebook news feed and learned that Ann B. Davis, better known as Alice from The Brady Bunch, had died.
Though I had grown up watching The Brady Bunch like millions of others, thanks to the magical gift of syndication, the sad news didn’t conjure up childhood memories. Instead, my mind immediately brought me back to 3:30 A.M. on any given night between March and December 2005. That was when my first-born would awaken for her middle-of-the-night feeding, and I often passed the time catching up on some golden oldie boob tube. It just so happened that my daughter’s sleep schedule coincided with the airing of The Brady Bunch on Nick at Night, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I came to actually look forward to my nocturnal trips back to the early 1970’s. In fact, I usually got annoyed if she happened to wake up a little later than usual, and I had to watch Hunterinstead. Continue reading “Step Off, Carol Brady: What Alice the Housekeeper Taught Me About Parenting”→
Remember how excited you were as a kid when you got to school and realized there was a substitute sitting at your teacher’s desk? Well, get excited…because you have a sub today! I am pleased as punch to be turning over the blog to Elizabeth Roper, one funny lady and a great writer. Elizabeth and I met at a writer’s group and bonded over occasional pieces of pie and cups of coffee at one of those all night pancake houses likely to be the backdrop of an independent film. How writerly of us. With that said, I present “Under the Arbor”…
The Circle of Moms website posed an interesting question this week: “If you were giving a commencement speech, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to young women who want to include motherhood in their futures?” I thought about it, and threw my answer into the ring. You can go vote for it on the site…I’m not sure what I would win, but it would be fun to just pretend I’m the most popular singer on American Idol. You can identify my comment by my name (Kelly Suellentrop), but here is what I wrote:
Motherhood is not an either/or situation. You don’t have to be either a mother or a professional, either a mother or a follower of your passion, either a mother or yourself. You can be a mother AND all of these things, for motherhood is a job that coexists with every other aspect of your life from the moment you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It is not always a peaceful coexistence, but it is almost always one that helps put everything in perspective. It is a forgiving job and one that allows you endless opportunities to get it right. It is the only job from which you can not be fired. Yet it is also the only job you can never quit, even though there are days when you will want to. It is the hardest and the easiest thing you will ever do with your life all at once. And the fruits of this labor will dwarf all other accomplishments you ever achieve; but their mere presence will also make all those other accomplishments that much sweeter, knowing your greatest achievements in life are proud that you are their mother.
Oh, and you may as well accept that the chances you will end up with a minivan are pretty good. It’s really not that bad.
If you read my last post, you know I had a very important task to do yesterday. And despite being a tad on the side of super-duper-über nervous, I am happy to say that appearing on one of our local morning shows, Great Day St. Louis, actually went surprisingly well.
I have referred to myself in a previous post as being apparently really lame in person, and that I should only communicate my thoughts via my blog, where I can bypass the mockery my mouth always seems to make of the words that form in my head. History has proven that am more likely to flub up than appear cool and graceful in high pressure situations. Thankfully that was not the case yesterday; and I could not be more relieved. Because yesterday held much higher stakes than impressing some celebrity I adore. Yesterday I risked the unforgiving microscope of high def television to help promote Milk Diaries: a compilation of practical, encouraging advice from the “real” breastfeeding experts. You may have seen me mention it before. It is important to me to help get the word out about this book for few reasons:
1. The author, Maggie Singleton, is a very dear friend of mine. But she is also very talented, and I have watched in awe as she has traveled this journey of growing a seed of an idea into a real life book, doing most of the hard work herself. And doing it in a way that is full of wisdom, encouragement, humor, and even a bit of brilliance.
2. I believe in the message of the book. MilkDiariesis unlike any book I ever read as a new mother, and in the best way possible. Not only is it like getting really great advice from your girlfriends, sister, or mother, but it is a non-judgmental exploration in how mothers can succeed at breastfeeding in a myriad of ways. It is accepting of all breastfeeding viewpoints on the spectrum, whether you are a mom who wants to exclusively breastfeed, a mother who wants to nurse her children well past the year mark, a mom who wants to use a combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding, a working mother who pumps, or a struggling mother who is unsure of how long she wants to continue breastfeeding. There is a story in there for everyone, and a voice that will help each mother feel confident in whatever decision she chooses to make.
3. If Maggie becomes famous, I fully intend to ride her coattails seeing as how I contributed one of the stories in the book, “The Lactation Consultant from the Black Lagoon.” You know, I plan to be the Solange Knowles to her Beyoncé.
So considering the above reasons, I am glad I didn’t pull a “classic Kelly” moment, made famous by the great Micky Dolenz Debacle of 2011 and the Andy Cohen Catastrophe of 2012. I didn’t even make some ill-informed comment about “legitimate breastfeeding.” Whew. (I did use the word “zest” twice, as if that is a word used in natural conversation. Weird, but not damaging.) And I might add that Maggie was very graceful under pressure, appearing quite “authorly;” and Susan, another contributor to MilkDiaries,further proved that Maggie chose some great moms to share their stories in her book.
I also want to thank the people over at Great Day St. Louis who were very welcoming and not intimidating whatsoever. Their easy-going attitudes definitely put the three of us at ease, and it was nice to hear Virginia Kerr endorse the book as something she wishes she had when she was a new mother.
And now the moment you have all been waiting for…the roundtable discussion of the year. Please share this with anyone you know who is expecting a child, who is struggling with breastfeeding, or who wants to read a book that will make her feel great about being a mom. Let’s make Milk Diariesgo VIRAL!!! Boobs do really well in the viral world.
(P.S. You can find MilkDiarieson Amazon. If you live in the St. Louis area, you can pick up a copy at the Ballwin or St. Peter’s locations of Once Upon a Child or at Main Street Books in St. Charles.)