On Being a Better Mother Than My Mother

I woke up yesterday and I looked different. I’m not sure if it was the extra couple pounds I’ve gained recently… thanks third trimester… or if something has changed in me and I’m just seeing myself differently now. All I know is, something is different and I like it.


Coincidentally, yesterday was the day that I received the very first copy of my first ever published piece of writing. It’s a coauthored book project called Self-Love Club, in which 20 ladies have come together to share their journeys into self-love. It’s launching on Amazon on June 1st, I have a lot of feelings about it.


Last night I cracked open the book for the very first time, I’m chapter seven, lucky number seven, and I re-read my chapter for the first time in a few months. It seems that I discover something new every time I read it again.


This time, it was the part about my mother and how she was with me in my early years. My beliefs around how “well” she did have shifted recently. I guess it probably has to do with my continued investigation into how we feel emotion and codependency and trauma and so on and so forth.


Anyway, I’m not exactly sure what me looking different has to do with this, but I have taken it as a sign that a big change within me is starting to come full circle. I’m always on the look out for signs, and there have been many. One of which being the fact that I have pulled The Butterfly Maiden card from my deck of Goddess Guidance cards the past 3x I’ve consulted the deck. Everything right now just screams transformation, and this whole quarantine thing feels like the perfect cocoon for it all.
I’m an extremely spiritual person, so I like to pay attention to the small things. I like to assign meaning to things. I like to believe it’s the universe whispering to me and letting me know that I’m going in the right direction. I feel faith is a pillar of wellbeing.
So I open the book, I read the part about how she poured her heart into motherhood in my first three years of life. And I question that for the first time ever.
Did she pour her heart into it? Or did she just get to the busy-work of what she thought good-mothering is supposed to look like?


Because what did she do, really? I have no true way of knowing, other than the stories that she’s told me. After all, it was just me and her most of the time right?
What proof do I have on the quality of interactions we shared? It’s not like there was an unbiased observer there taking notes as if he was doing some sort of observational psychological study. All I have are her romantic recollections of what seem to be the only “good old days” in my childhood. I’ve asked my dad and he doesn’t seem to have any vivid memories of how it was. He was working, she was with me, all seemed well.


So let’s see… what did those moments between us consist of?


Well, she liked to tell me how much she taught me. How I was potty trained by 18 months or maybe even earlier. How curious I was and how she started to educate me on the workings of the world from before I even entered it. She would explain in great depth how the vacuum worked, and what it was for, among other things she did throughout the day. Apparently, I spoke in full sentences before I was two… stuff like that.


But my question is, what was the attachment like? How did she handle it when I cried? How did she respond when I was in distress. Were there real moments of emotional connection? Did we ever gaze deeply into one another’s eyes? When she looked into my eyes, did she just see a reflection of the little girl that she once was, that she had wished her own mother had paid more attention to? Or did she ever actually see me? Did she ever wonder who I was and who I’d become? Because she always seemed so sure she already knew exactly who I’d end up being.


Was teaching me my ABC’s the way she knew how to show love? Or was it all one big re-enactment of how she wished it had of gone down for her? A replay, a going through of motions, rather than a true exploration of her OWN emotional connection to me.


All I have to go on are my own feelings towards her- my memories and recollections of how I felt. From the time I can actually remember having feelings; maybe around the age of three or four. Truth be told I don’t remember ever feeling safe with her. I don’t ever remember having those feelings of deep comfort that you think that a child would inevitably feel with their mother. I remember going to her in distress because she was the best option, but I never truly felt at ease or able to let go and fall apart in her arms.


Now, for those of you who have never heard me speak about my mother before, I feel the need to give a side bar about the fact that she grew up in an extremely abusive household with two alcoholic abusive parents. So when I go into this inquiry, it’s not with a finger out, pointing with blame. It’s with a deep need to understand both her and myself and what happened. How we got to where we are, currently not speaking. Our most recent interaction was a voicemail in which she told me to “go die”.


I do my best to have as much compassion for her as I humanly can, with my human emotions and all. And I also do my best to work towards forgiveness for everything that’s happened since… but in the same breath… I will not deny her the burden of responsibility for her own actions.
My point here is, I guess we all try to do a better job than our own parents did. And I think, for most people, that means giving our children the things we think we would have benefitted most from if our parents had given them to us. In my mother’s example, I suppose she believed she would have benefited from more attention from her own mother, regardless of whether that attention had anything to do with a true interest in her as her own being or not. Attention in the form of teaching skills, attention in the form of grooming to fit society’s ideals of the perfect little toddler… who knows.


I know she didn’t get that, so how I can expect her to have done any better? In many ways, she did do better…


Anyway…
It is in my belief system to be as generous as possible with my assumptions about people’s intentions. It helps me to believe that people are doing the best they can with the tools they have. I also know that healing is hard as fuck. From my own personal experience. So there’s that too. Not everyone is cut out for it.


Once again, that doesn’t lift the burden of responsibility off of someone’s shoulders for their own short comings.


And we still have the question, what if someone’s best still isn’t good enough?
Well.. then it just wasn’t good enough.
As I’m about to become the mother of a daughter myself, I suppose I’m preparing myself for what I feel must be done differently.


I’m not completely fresh to this whole motherhood game, but in a way I am because of al the specifics of the mother-daughter relationship.


I didn’t feel the same pressure with my son- although I have given it my all, and have done a TON of personal healing work in the past few years in attempts to be the best I possibly can be for him. This is just a new layer, a new level, a new journey that I’m about to embark on.


So, will I be a better mother than my own mother?


I’m damn certain.


Why?


Because I accept responsibility in a radical fashion.


I know for a fact, that the most important skill I can hone is one of self-reflection and the ability to investigate and admit to my failings. I also have a deep and extreme need to improve and heal constantly. I’ve never been more dedicated to anything in my life.


Sometimes I wonder if I’m incredibly selfish because I’d almost always rather read books about self-help than parenting.


I reassure myself that the more I can heal my wounds, the more I will be able to approach motherhood from the TRUE needs of my child rather than the needs I put on them, from the things I feel I was deprived of. I keep hearing this Carl Jung quote that the biggest burden we can put on a child is the un-lived life of a parent and I think that’s so true and can come in so many forms.
The more I’m able to attune to my children and allow them to unfold as the beautiful beings that they came here to be, not who I want them to be.


I know my children on a deep level, they’ve been with me for several years already. I know that sounds whacko as all hell to some of you… but I’m also done caring about that.
I had a vision a few years before I got pregnant with Rosen. It was of these two incredibly strong and supportive beings walking beside me. One boy and one girl. I knew they were my children, and they told me that they were ready to come whenever I was ready for them to come.


They knew the boy had to come first to give me more time to prepare for the extra work I’d need to do to be ready for the girl.
They are my team, and I am their equal. I know they’re here to have my back and to help shepherd me as much as I’m here to shepherd them.


That’s one huge difference between me and my mother. She always loved to tell me how much more I’m like her than I know, that I’ll walk the same path she did and that one day, I’ll need her. Because we all need our moms right?


That may be true. That may be very, painfully true that we need our mother- but another thing that’s very true is that millions, if not billions of people go with even their most basic of needs unmet everyday.


What I’ve learned is how to meet that need for myself, and how to grieve what I’ve lost.
This may be deep, this may be heavy. I’m well aware.


But if you’ve gotten this far, something must be either resonating with you or at least intriguing you.


What I know is, I’m open for inquiry. I’m open to vulnerability, and I MISS writing exactly what I feel, and exactly what my truth is.


I used to do this before when I didn’t really think anyone was reading my blog. But I’ve shied away from it in the last while as my audience has grown because it feels scarier.
I’ve felt more afraid of saying the things, because I know how mean people can be on the internet and I haven’t been sure if I was ready for it. I’ve been pretty lucky thus far in avoiding the trolls. But what I also know, is that you have to take a stand for something. And maybe, I’m not sure exactly what I’m taking a stand for- but I do know it’s time to start talking about our mommy-issues.


Because if we can so openly accept daddy-issues as a thing, and call ourselves feminist- **which btw I’ve had a huge problem with that word in the last few years (former women’s studies student) but that’s an entirely different topic** then we also need to be ready as women to start owning our mommy-issues.


One of the bravest, most courageous things we can do is not just to call out our male oppressors, but to also recognize the pain and damage we cause one another as women. From generation, to generation.
The buck has to stop. We need to start looking in the mirror, and we need to start forgetting this taboo of the bad mother.
The fact is, there are a lot of them, and that’s to be expected. I realize that women and mother’s specifically have unrealistic expectations placed upon them, but that is something huge to unpack. That’s a bigger societal issue…


A part of what I refer to as radical responsibility is to renounce victimhood, and to realize that if we want to be truly in our power as mothers and as women, we need to own our wounds, our mother-wound. And the way to do that is to start shining light upon it.


The shame can’t live in the dark and if we are too ashamed to speak about our mother’s shortcomings, we will never be better. We will never heal, and the world needs us, so, so badly.

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How I Really Feel About Having a Second Baby

Milli Fox, Toronto based lifestyle blogger and influencer reflections on her mixed emotions about having a  second baby.

All around me are reminders of the amount my freedom is about to be greatly diminished.  It’s starting to sink in, how I really feel about having a second baby.


I’m so overjoyed about the life I’m carrying inside me. For more reasons that I’m actually willing to share. But one huge one being, I can already feel the healing having a daughter of my own will bring. 


Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not expecting my daughter to heal me of any of my past traumas. I’m just saying, due to the fact that I missed out on a healthy mother and daughter relationship combined with the fact that I know I’ve done enough work personally to provide my daughter with the closest thing to that possible, I will be able to have these new, incredible, amazing experiences with a little girl of my own.

 
So that I can learn and know how beautiful that truly can be. 
I’ve often looked at friends who have this with mothers with envy- so to be able to create a healthy bond with my children will be the biggest honour of my lifetime. 


However, it doesn’t make facing what’s directly ahead of me seem any easier. 


An empty crib, a quiet bedroom. A sleeping toddler. All of these things remind me that stress is about to descend upon me in a major way. 


Will I handle it better this time? Will my marriage fair better this time? 
How much older am I going to look in two years?


Will I make it through the first 6 months, living with my in-laws and this baby with my mental health in tact? 


Will living in the suburbs make me feel even more isolated than I did when I first became a mother?


How will my son take it? How much pain will I feel for him as he sees me divided and ripped away from him? 


Will I resent breastfeeding from day 1 or has it been long enough since I stopped with my son that I’ll feel ok about it for the first while?


Will bottle feeding work this time? Will I be chained to this baby for the first year of its life the same way I was to my son? 


There are so many more questions that I have. Yet so many more things that I feel more sure of this time. 


It’s such a strange feeling. 


I know we don’t all feel this way expecting our second or third child. I see many women that seem full of pure glee and excitement. 


I feel all those things too. I’m so excited to snuggle that tiny body. And to look her in the eye and feel that incredible soul connection.


For the blessing of spending our lives together. 


This is the most important thing in the world. 


But I’m so scared, in such a new way. 


When you head blindly into something like parenthood and you have no idea what to expect, that’s one thing. But an educated fear? Oy. Its a different kind of edge.  That’s why I wanted to share how I really feel about having a second baby, because I’m sure I’m not the only one with these mixed emotions.


So I sit, waiting for the day- a day I’m truly looking forward to, that I become a mama of two. 


I know my heart will grow. Hell, I know I’ll even shit my pants (pants I won’t be wearing). 


But out of it I all, I will expand. 


Motherhood has made me into a person I am so proud of. It’s shown me my true strength and power. It’s shown me my ability for grace, for patience and for transformation. 


Those things never come with a walk in the park. 
So while I’m expecting this journey to be difficult af. I’m excited to come out on the other side of it. 


Here’s to the next 3 years (and a lifetime)! 

XO Milli Fox

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Natural Cold and Flu Remedies Safe During Pregnancy

Natural cold and flu remedies safe during pregnancy. Milli Fox, Nutritionist & Doula, Toronto-based lifestyle blogger and Youtuber. Wellness advocate for new moms.

Getting sick while pregnant sucks! As a Nutritionist and Doula, expecting my second baby, I have found a great variety of natural cold and flu remedies safe during pregnancy. Being pregnant with a cold doesn’t mean you can’t take anything!

When you are pregnant your immune system is compromised because your body is allowing a foreign life to grow inside of you! So instead of feeling like you have to suffer, you can also use these remedies to boost your immune system to help ward off illness as well.

All of these remedies are great for anyone who is not pregnant too.

**this post contains affiliate links**

Natural cold and flu remedies safe during pregnancy mentioned:

1. Probiotics – https://www.usana.com/s/S8SiM

2. Vitamin D – https://www.usana.com/s/6wBD92

3. Zinc – https://rstyle.me/+l4VqCE9x3BZkDLuMi0BaqQ

4. Bee Propolis – https://rstyle.me/+1Yj-2CLcZYNB9-XcSFIBfA

5. Echinacea – https://rstyle.me/+CLXGdBJKbjDPVZTB1vQ0Rg

6. Elderberry Gummies – https://rstyle.me/+bFpT4S8kCsZZnjrYd1aqXw

7. Vitamin C – https://www.usana.com/s/6wBD92

8. Liquorice Root Tea – https://rstyle.me/+KLicyDsWvc_YLSOsCGsvpQ

9. Ginger & Turmeric Tea – https://rstyle.me/+GIZHUcRi4617c6NZMqsy4g

10. Essential Oils – www.janeandthunder.com (Use Code: MILLIFOX for 10% off!)

Popular remedies not safe for pregnancy:

1. Colloidal Silver

2. Oil of Oregano

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My Go-To Natural Beauty Products

It’s taken me years and year of experimenting with natural beauty products to confidently be able to share my favourites.

About 7 years ago, I had a mini-breakdown when I got out of the shower and started counting how many products I used in a normal day. I was thinking of how many chemicals I had been lathering onto myself day in and day out without even considering their effects.

That’s when I slowly started to try out natural beauty products and now I’m very excited to share my recommendations with you!

Click the video below to watch, and find the links to each of the products listed below.

Products mentioned in this video are:

1. Green Beaver Antiperspirant: https://rstyle.me/+qsRHYpT1qDwH3glgsk…

2. Niu Body Skincare: https://rstyle.me/+BV9AO3IxfRIJWQVgtp…

3. Sukin Facial Exfoliator: https://rstyle.me/+29jQCIN2U01af6XKaC…

4. Nude by Nature Makeup: https://beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca/Be…

5. Jason Powersmile Toothpaste: https://rstyle.me/+UilRaFwCPwpDouypvr…

6. Carina Organics Shampoo & Conditioner:

https://rstyle.me/+64smIkm1UOFtEhceH5…

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Thanks for watching/reading!!

XOXO Milli

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Faena Hotel Tour Miami Beach

Miami Beach is our favourite destination of all time!

We had the opportunity to spend a day at the gorgeous and luxurious hotel, The Faena, in Miami back in January and it was such a great experience.

Our key takeaways from our experience:

-it’s a great place to come with a kiddo because they have great choices by the pool for food and room service

-the design is really fun and quirky

-it’s a great splurge to book one night here for a special ocassion

If you liked this video and you want to continue following along on our Fox Fam adventures, make sure you hit SUBSCRIBE on Youtube.

Also, come find me on the GRAM @millifox

Thanks for reading and watching!

Xo

Milli

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