We are so excited to showcase this Mental Health & Postpartum Advocate and twin Mama, Michele Lovetri, as our BCB MomIRL (in real life!) this week! She graduated with a BA in Communications and planned on a career in writing, however, like so many mamas, life took her in a different direction and she began a career in healthcare. After the birth of her boys in 2016, everything changed and her love for writing re-surfaced. It took her 5 months to get her blog going out of fear. She knew sharing your darkness is not easy and criticism, opinions and comments come with the territory, but nothing fills her heart more than another parent or mental health warrior reaching out because she just made them feel less alone by sharing her truth. She truly believes we are all connected on this journey of life, this journey of parenthood, and our mental health journey. Community is so important and community saves lives. Follow Michele on Instagram!
We want you to meet our BCB #MomIRL…
Name: Michele Lovetri
Kid(s) and Ages: Landyn and Logan, age 3, fraternal twin boys
Where do you live? Have lived in Connecticut all my life!
What are the 5 things you never leave home without (other than your phone)? Most of the time I am a hot mess leaving my house! Truth! I have left with slippers on, no bra, you name it. Getting two three year old kids out of the house, and on time (which most of the time I am not), feels like running a marathon. Surprisingly enough I never leave the house without mascara. I’m so not a make-up person (never have worn foundation unless I had to), but I feel putting on a little mascara makes me at least look a little more awake. I also never leave my house without taking my anxiety and depression medication and always have my rescue medication on me in the event I am faced with an anxiety attack. I also try to never leave the house without water because I know that dehydration increases my anxiety (admittedly I’m still a work in progress with drinking enough water but I give myself an A for effort). Sunglasses are another must for me, even if it’s raining. I have a minor eye condition that impacts my peripheral vision outside so they are a necessity. Lastly I never leave the house without a hair tie or scrunchie. Unless I’m at work you will always see one on my left wrist ready and waiting because my hair is either one of three ways, up in a top knot (or my version of it which always seems to look like a bird’s nest), ponytail or down. Now that I type this I could really use some hair lessons!
If there were 1 product or service that’s helped you survive motherhood, what is it? I am certified in first and second degree Reiki and it has been such an amazing resource for my anxiety. I fell in love with it after a friend gave me a session and the way it calmed me was incredible, I had to become certified. I did it throughout my pregnancy and still do it almost every night before bed. Also meditation and focusing on my breath has been a lifeline. Even taking three minutes to myself to just center helps my anxiety immensely. Also, and I know I was asked about one but I can’t help myself, social media has been extremely uplifting. I have met some incredible mamas thru it and am so grateful.
What’s your go-to easy family dinner? Admittedly I haven’t made too many family dinners. I know, I know. My boys are still in a very picky phase and change their minds constantly about food. My husband and I usually wait until they are asleep to sit down and eat a meal just so we get some quiet time. One thing everyone agrees on is my homemade mac and cheese that was my mother’s old recipe.
How do you balance it all? I honestly don’t feel like I balance it all, in fact far from it. I feel like I wing every single day, give the day and everyone around me my best and I think that is good enough. Our best always has to be good enough. This may not be a momhack but I know when to take a step back and tap out, even if it’s for five minutes asking my husband to take over. My anxiety, OCD and depression are something I battle on a daily basis and can get easily overwhelmed. Knowing when we just need to breathe I have found is the best hack. When we are feeling like our best selves then I believe we can give everyone and everything else our best.
Talk to us about mom guilt…do you have it? Oh yes do I have mom guilt, which is pretty much why I haven’t been away from the kids for more than a few hours. The boys are going thru a “mommy” phase right now where they want me for everything, right down to opening their apple sauce pouches and tucking them in. I love it but it can be exhausting. Sometimes I feel guilty just by working out and taking 20 minutes to myself, but I know they are ok and that the “me time” is going to benefit everyone in the long run. I tell myself daily that I’m one person and doing my best, and that’s all I can give. I will, and have, made many, many mistakes, will try and fail, and will often feel as if I’m just treading water, but I know that’s ok! I know it’s ok not to love every minute of the journey and try to meet myself with some grace. It’s not easy though!
What message do you think every woman should hear? You are normal, “I get it,” and you are never alone. Hands down. This applies to so many aspects of our journey. We are so hard on ourselves, compare ourselves and are our own worst critics. Personally I know the impact of not feeling alone and the power in someone understanding my darkness along my mental health journey. I know how life changing it could be to have another woman say, “I understand, I get it, I was there too.” I feel there is so much power in knowing we have community, knowing we are not alone and knowing that our shit show, whatever that means to us, is normal.
What motivates you most? Some may be surprised by this answer, but myself. I have gone thru hell and back since having my boys. The postpartum, depression and anxiety I have battled has been some of the lowest points in my life, but I have to get better for me first. I have to fight for me first in order to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend. Right up there are others who share their hearts, expose their darkness and share their stories in hopes of being a light to someone else. Someone who puts themselves out there, who becomes vulnerable to spread love and life to someone else motivates the hell out of me. How courageous is it to share our truth and touch someone else? There is no greater gift than service to others and if we can unite thru our journeys then how amazing is that?
Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I have been blessed to have such supportive friends and family and have met countless badass women thru my blog who, although I haven’t met and may never meet, feel so connected to at the heart. I am so grateful for every mom who has held my hand, whether in person or virtually, and only hope I can return the favor.
What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? I have said it time and time again. When I was at my lowest with postpartum a friend told me, “Love grows.” I would look at my boys and feel such an emptiness in the beginning. I know this was the illness and not really me. I felt such guilt until a friend told me that it was ok that I didn’t have the movie script beginning with my boys where I fall madly in love. That they are two completely new people for me to get to know, even though I carried them for 37 weeks, and I was a whole new person for them to get to know. It changed my life and was such a pivotal point for me.
When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I love to run, spin and workout in general. I am usually torn between a good run or taking time to go to my guilty pleasure stores Target, TJ Maxx or Marshalls and of course I love to write!
About BCB #MomIRL Features: We know it can be sometimes overwhelming as an expecting or new mom…and let’s face it…all stages of motherhood can feel like that sometimes, so we are showcasing some of our favorite real-life moms in the trenches who share their stories, life hacks and tips & tricks to juggling it all! At BCB, we aim to bring YOU some of the best resources for mom life by highlighting some real life moms and their exclusive insider tips! We want to help YOU on your motherhood journey and provide valuable guidance and a sense of community with all of our BCB mamas and families!
Don’t forget to keep checking our BCB site for more #MOMIRL features of other moms killing it! If you’re an expectant or new parent, click here to see all of our BCB events in your area! We’re bringing you the BEST baby gear, products, services, networking + safety information across ALL of our local and nationwide events – Gearapalooza, webinars, playdates + more! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and sign up for our email list to make sure you’re first to know about our latest content, giveaways, events + more!