I Am One in Six :: National Infertility Week

I am one in six...

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week or NIAW. It is a week when women in this country come out of the shadow they hide in, feel forced into, or can’t climb out of alone and tell the world that they are one in six. One in six American women (and likely more) struggle with infertility.

I am one in six…

I have been through some hard and lonely things, but nothing made me feel more alone in the world than when my husband and I first struggled to conceive.

Our infertility saga is a story for another day, but as soon as I started to talk about what we were going through, I found that I was not as alone as I felt–not even close. From then on, I decided to take my struggle and grief and make something good out of it. I decided that I would be more open about my infertility and that the women in my life would never have to feel alone if they were going through the same thing or something similar.

It is an awful club to be in, but it is much easier to know you are not the only member. Infertility is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. And if you aren’t completely exhausted already, the drugs will seal the deal (IYKYK). Sometimes it can be hard for those around you to understand or see why you feel the way you feel, but I am here today to tell you that I see you.

To the woman saving vacation days and sick days hoping desperately that you will need them for maternity leave some day, I see you.

To the woman who suffers through a horrible cold with no medication hoping that maybe, just maybe, this month you will be pregnant only to find out you could have taken the NyQuil a few days after you start to feel better, I see you.

To the woman in the middle of the two-week wait, I see you, and you are not crazy even though you feel like you might be going insane.

To the woman holding on to a piece of her grief because you worry that, if you don’t, no one will remember your baby anymore, I see you. I know the feeling of being the only one who knew your baby.

To the woman who had to turn off the show or put down the book because you are having a tender time and you can’t handle the storyline about the pregnancy or the miscarriage or the delivery, I see you.

To the woman with a box in the garage of baby clothes and maternity clothes that you can’t bear to look at but also can’t bear to get rid of, I see you.

To the woman deep breathing in her car outside her best friend’s baby shower, I see you.

To the woman with a child or children who aches for another while people talk to you about how wonderful it must be to be done having kids and out of the baby stage, I see you.

To the woman who suffers from the symptoms and pains associated with one of the many diseases that cause infertility but make life harder every day in other ways too, I see you.

To the woman who holds the children in her life (yours or others you love) a little differently and a little tighter, I see you.

To the woman with the empty arms that feel indescribably heavy, I see you.

Infertility is a disease, and you didn’t do anything wrong. It is also not a competition. Just because someone has had it seemingly harder than you or waited longer than you or spent more money than you doesn’t make your grief or loss or pain or frustration less valid.

This year’s theme for NIAW is Leave Your Mark. There is a lot of talk about big ways to leave your mark, but if all of that seems a little daunting right now, just focus on speaking up. Don’t let others feel alone in this journey. Support each other by finding each other. The best way I have found others going through infertility is to speak out about my own. So leave a mark of togetherness. Leave a mark of sisterhood. Leave a mark of love and empathy. You may be one in six, but you are definitely not alone.

#NIAW2024 #LeaveYourMARK2024 #Iamoneinsix

If you are looking for a more organized support group, please visit the Resolve website and filter by topic, city, and more. The Boise chapter is pretty great and also has a Facebook group.

I Am One in Six :: National Infertility Week
…But I am not alone.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Spring Cleaning :: 5 Ways to Get Started

spring cleaning

As the days grow longer and temperatures rise, it’s time to welcome the freshness of spring into our homes! Spring cleaning isn’t just about tidying up—it’s a rejuvenating process that clears away the clutter and welcomes new beginnings. Each year,  my spring cleaning schedule looks slightly different, but there are key areas that help my home feel refreshed. 

Tackle the Closets

Say goodbye to winter coats and bulky sweaters, and make room for lighter, breezier clothes. I take this opportunity to go through my kids’ winter clothes and donate anything that won’t fit us next year. You can also add in their spring and summer clothes so they are fully stocked for the warm weather! For my closet, I adjust my organization, putting my coats and sweaters towards the back and bringing my lighter shirts forward. This can also be a great time for me to get rid of anything that is very worn out or things that don’t fit anymore. 

Refresh the Pantry

A well-organized pantry makes life so much easier when it comes to meals and even meal prep. Take stock of pantry staples, dispose of expired items, and reorganize shelves for easy access. I always say that if I can’t see it, I’ll forget it’s there. So I try to organize so I can see pretty much everything so I don’t forget about something and allow it to expire! While going through cans and other non-perishables, consider donating things that your family doesn’t love to local food banks to support those in need.

Dust and Power Wash Outdoor Areas

Extend your cleaning efforts beyond the confines of your home by dusting off outdoor furniture and power washing porch areas. We always do a deep clean of our water table and wash any outdoor toys that have been collecting dust. We want to be comfortable outside while our children inevitably spend most of their time out there. Moving furniture away from walls helps you to get a good thorough clean behind and under them!

» » »  RELATED READ: Spring Is Here: Cherishing the Seasons of Motherhood  « « «

Let the Light In

Open up windows to invite the crisp spring air into your home! This is when I take time to clean window sills and tracks. I clean all the windows with glass cleaner and open them up! Natural light can work wonders in uplifting moods and brightening spaces. 

spring cleaning
Photo credit: depositphotos.com

Garage and Car Care

Don’t overlook the garage—a space often neglected during routine cleaning. Sweep away winter debris and organize tools and equipment for easy access. We make room to store winter gear in waterproof totes and put away any winter and snow tools.

When it comes to your car, give it some TLC by clearing out clutter, wiping down surfaces, and leaving it sparkling clean for springtime adventures. This is when we stock up our family adventure kit too! We use an organizer in our trunk, and we put in all the things we might need. We always have swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, bug spray, plastic utensils, paper towels, bandages, trampoline park grip socks, etc. You can personalize it to your family’s needs! We love it because then we are always ready for fun!

Spring cleaning isn’t just about physical cleanliness—it’s a chance to refresh our surroundings and reset our mindset for the season.

Spring allows for so much life and growth. By embracing these tasks with intention and enthusiasm, we can create a home that radiates warmth and comfort for all the seasons ahead. 

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

20 Spots for Patio Dining in and Around Boise

patio dining

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect spot to enjoy patio dining in and around Boise, you’re in luck! From charming cafes to picturesque eateries, we’ve curated a list of the 20 best patio dining destinations. So grab a seat (preferably with a view of the Boise River) and fill your bellies with Boise local goodness. It’s patio dining time!

Below are a few of our favorite patio dining spots. What would you add to the list?

Bardenay (Boise or Eagle)

610 W. Grove St. (Boise), 155 E. Riverside Dr. (Eagle)

Bardenay in Boise is located right in the middle of the Basque Block. Their patio offers great people watching and is a lively spot for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The Eagle location offers picturesque views of the Boise River. Did you know that Bardenay distills their spirits in-house?

Pie Hole

205 N. 8th St.

Pie Hole offers a stress-free and quick patio dining experience. Their funky indoor decor and variety of pizza options make it a local favorite. Located on lively 8th St., grab a huge slice of pizza and get outside.


2900 W. Chinden Blvd.

The Sandbar is the ultimate summer destination. Live music, great food and drinks. What else could you ask for? The Boise River and Greenbelt make for a great view too.


1603 N. Main St. Meridian

Kahootz is located in Meridian a little off the beaten path but well worth checking out!

10 Barrel Brewing

826 W. Bannock St.

This restaurant has a great patio, and when the weather is nice, they open up the garage doors making the inside feel like outside patio dining.

Wild Root

276 N. 8th St.

Located on 8th Street, Wild Root is a great place to people watch. Their food focuses on fresh ingredients, and their patio always looks so inviting.


199 N. 8th St.

One of the best spots for brunch. Their patio offers plenty of seating and is a must while downtown.

Fanci Freez

1402 W. State St.

For another quick patio dining experience, you won’t want to miss Fanci Freez. Whether you want a burger and fries or even just a milkshake (some of the best ice cream), it’s perfect for soaking up some sun.

Diablo & Sons

246 N. 8th St.

Diablo & Sons offers patio dining during summer AND winter. With their patio being enclosed during the colder months, it makes for a perfect all-season patio.


676 E. Riverside Dr.

Coyne’s does a great job offering a fine dining experience or a more relaxed vibe during brunch. Their patio has great water features which make for a charming patio dining experience.

13th St Pub & Grill

1520 N. 13th St.

Located in the heart of Hyde Park, 13th St. Pub & Grill has a great corner patio with plenty of seating wrapping around.


1515 W. Grove St.

Known as a great breakfast spot, A’tavola has tons of space on their patio. The inside fills up quickly, but if you need to wait for a spot, just check out all of their local goodies. Yum!

Cottonwood Grille

913 W. River St.

Cottonwood Grille is probably one of the more serene and calming patios. Located right off the Boise Greenbelt, the Boise River offers a great backdrop while sipping on a refreshing drink and eating tasty grub.


515 W. Idaho St

Ochos is known for their large fire pits. They have a patio that usually requires reservations but is a great spot for large parties to gather around.


3693 E. Longwing Ln, Suite #140

The Yardhouse is located in the Village right next to the fountain. Their patio is HUGE and has tons of space! In the winter, it is enclosed and can even be enjoyed when the weather is a bit colder.

The Reef

105 S. 6th St.

One of Boise’s few rooftop patios. The Reef does a great job at bringing some island flair to Boise with their Palm frond-covered patio and occasional life music. It makes for a great patio experience.

Wepa Cafe

175 E. 35th St.

Speaking of rooftop patios, we can’t forget Wepa. Located in Garden City in the Waterfront District, this Puerto Rican restaurant is to die for. Their rooftop patio is only available during Summer but well worth checking out.

Boise Brewing

521 W. Broad St.

Boise Brewing just recently added food to their menu, and they bought the old Boise Weekly building that was next to them, extending their patio and taking up almost the whole block. There’s plenty of room if you just want a beer or you’re looking to try out their new menu.

Basque Market

608 W. Grove St.

The Basque Market can be found in the middle of the Basque Block and is a cozy little patio. Whether you are stocking up on local ingredients or looking to try out the Basque cuisine, it is a great stop.


121 N. 9th St.

Bacon is nestled off the main road and is a great brunch spot. Their patio offers a cool morning spot in those hot summer months.

For more dining ideas, check out our Guide to Date Night in the Treasure Valley.

What’s your favorite patio dining spot? Let us know in the comments!

Become a Leader for the Boise Mom Community & Conversations Group

Become a Leader for the Boise Mom Community & Conversations Group

Are you passionate about creating connections, supporting fellow moms, and making a positive impact in your community? If so, we want YOU to join us as a volunteer leader for the Boise Mom Facebook group! Learn more about the group here.

Our community is growing, and we’re looking for dedicated volunteers who are excited to create a supportive environment for all moms in Boise. As a volunteer leader, you’ll do a few things:

  • Help plan and attend in-person playdates and meet-ups
  • Help manage the Boise Mom Community & Conversations Facebook group
That means actively engaging with members, facilitating conversations, and creating opportunities for connection.

This is a volunteer position, but there are a few benefits:

  • Your photo and bio on the Boise Mom Meet Our Team page (with links to your personal blog, business, and/or social media handles if you choose to share them)
  • A professional headshot and team photo shoot with Boise Mom
  • Potential opportunity to test products, attend business openings, and/or visit local businesses for review purposes
  • Coffee shop meet-ups, hugs, and new friends!

If you are interested, please fill out the form below.

How would you describe your social media involvement?
Let us know about your work status.

Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom’s Escape for Lasting Well-Being

Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom's Escape for Lasting Well-Being
This post is sponsored by Perpetuity Skin + Spa. At Boise Mom, we work with businesses and organizations that bring value to our readers.

When is the last time you took some quality time for yourself and did something that helped you feel like you for a little while and not “mommy?” If the answer is “too long,” we can relate, and we know that finding “me time” is tough.

But you also know that self-care is important to your emotional and physical well-being, and ultimately it helps us be better parents. We encourage you to find that “me time” at Perpetuity Skin + Spa on the Boise Bench. It is a gorgeous space offering a full range of spa services with trained massage, skin, and nail care professionals. Forget the hustle and bustle! Perpetuity Skin + Spa offers the perfect escape for moms. It’s more than a spa; it’s a chance to relax, unwind, and reconnect with yourself and other women and mothers–a precious and rare treat just for you!

Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom's Escape for Lasting Well-BeingRelaxation at its Finest

Located on Vista Avenue, Perpetuity Skin + Spa stuns with its beautiful and spacious layout. From the moment you enter, the luxurious atmosphere washes over you. Eight pristine treatment rooms accommodate facials, massage, and body treatments, two floatation therapy rooms, and an inviting nail salon–everything whispers “relaxation.” All of the products have been thoughtfully chosen for their alignment to being natural, a core value of Perpetuity Skin + Spa. Perpetuity’s massages, body treatments, and many of their facials highlight the beautiful, food-based skincare line The Body Deli, handmade in Palm Springs, California. Products so fresh, they’re even refrigerated!

Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom's Escape for Lasting Well-BeingFeeling Good Goes More Than Skin Deep

Continual existence–that elusive philosophical concept is reflected in perpetuity, meaning “continual” or “uninterrupted.” At Perpetuity Skin + Spa, we believe in our connectedness and the cycle of doing and feeling good. Naming this spa came from a strongly held belief that the better we feel, the better we can do in our lives. Taking time for yourself can have a direct benefit on your attitude, your relationships, your workplace, and especially in your family as a mom. Treat yourself to the relaxation and rejuvenation you deserve. As a mom, your self-care affects those around you, in perpetuity.

Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom's Escape for Lasting Well-BeingEase for Busy Moms

So you found a window of time, but finding a spa that’s convenient can be another challenge. Thankfully, Perpetuity Skin + Spa is just off the I-84 Vista exit, making it an easy escape from the every day, with many clients traveling from Mountain Home, Eagle, Meridian, and beyond. The parking lot is ample, so no need to worry about downtown parking lots or feeding meters. Once you walk into the lobby, you’ll be transported to a world of serenity and feel good about the time a mom can enjoy. We designed Perpetuity Skin + Spa with moms like you in mind. The private, yet convenient, location allows you to easily escape to beautiful, tranquil surroundings. You’ll enjoy a full range of spa and wellness treatments that even the busiest mom can fit into their schedule.

Luxurious Skin, Nail, and Body Treatments at a Fixed Price (i.e., No Tipping Here)

What makes you radiant is unique to you, and we offer an extensive range of options to personalize your treatments and focus on aspects of your appearance that you most wish to nurture. From Dermaplane Facials to Ashiatsu “Barefoot” Massage to Gel-X manicures, we strive to make each experience excellent, and our prices are fixed. Curious as to why we don’t expect tipping? Our blog post here explains it, but basically, we wanted to create a consistent experience for a consistent price for our clients, as well as a consistent wage for our team. Eliminating tipping goes miles in this team-based mission, and also, our clients and employees love it.

Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom's Escape for Lasting Well-BeingReady to Book?

We have an extensive service menu and a 24×7 online booking platform, but you can always call us at 208-996-3090 to answer any questions you may have or to organize something just for you!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Join our Community & Conversations Group

Join our Community & Conversations Group

Are you looking for a supportive community where you can connect with other moms who truly understand the joys and challenges of motherhood?

Look no further! Welcome to the Boise Mom Community & Conversations Facebook group, a private group for Boise moms. Whether you are a new mom, new to the area, or just looking to connect with other moms, you’ve come to the right place.

Here at Boise Mom, we believe in the power of community. Motherhood can sometimes feel isolating, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Our Facebook group is a place where moms from all walks of life can come together to share their experiences, ask questions, offer support, and make meaningful connections.

One of the best things about our community is the conversations. Whether you’re a new mom navigating the early days of parenthood or a seasoned mom looking for advice on everything from potty training to teenage angst, you’ll find a welcoming and non-judgmental space here. Questions can also be non-mommy related.

Join our Community & Conversations Group
Photo credit: depositphotos.com

But that’s not all—we’re not just a digital community. We also host monthly meet-ups where you can connect with other local moms face-to-face. Whether it’s a coffee date, a park playdate, or a moms’ night out, our meet-ups are a fun and relaxed way to build relationships and strengthen our community bonds.

You’ll find friendship, support, community, and plenty of conversations here. You’ll find a place to be yourself, share your triumphs and challenges, and know you’re not alone.

Ready to join us? Send a request and an admin will approve you.

We know lots of people are not on Facebook. So while you may miss out on the discussion in the private group, we’d love the chance to invite you to the playgroups and meet-ups. So if you would like to be in the know about when and where, you can sign up to receive email updates below.

Sign up for email list here.

Sign up for Facebook group here.

We hope to hear from you soon!

After School Ideas for Quality Time with Kids

After School Ideas for Quality Time with Kids

­Working full-time and being a mom is hard work. We have daycare pickup, swim lessons, gymnastics, baseball, soccer, Girl Scouts, church events, you name it! We are busy! It’s hard to find time to do pretty much anything, but let’s talk about those crazy few hours after school and before bedtime, shall we? 

We know how hectic life can get during the work week, but squeezing in some quality time with our little ones is an absolute must. It doesn’t matter how old your kiddos are, tailor the activity to your children’s age group.

Here are some ideas to make those after-school moments count. 

Tech-Free Zone

First, let’s unplug and reconnect! Designate some screen-free time to focus on each other. Trust me, the TikTok videos can wait.

Outdoor Adventures

Time to soak up some Vitamin D! You would be surprised at how everyone feels better when they get outside together! Take a stroll, hop on bikes, or hit up the nearest park. It’s a win-win–fresh air for everyone and a chance to burn off some energy. You can even bring your dinner to the park and have a picnic as a family.

With springtime upon us, gardening is a terrific way to teach your children a new skill and bond with each other. You can learn about gardening with your kiddos in this great article by another Boise Mom: Guide to Gardening in Boise: How to Start and Involve Your Kids.

Crafty Indoor Fun

Get those creative juices flowing with some indoor projects. Think painting, baking cookies, or building the ultimate blanket fort. Crafts don’t have to be planned and structured. Get out the supplies and go to town! Let everyone create their own thing and let their creativity shine. 

» » » » » »  RELATED READ: Spring Is Here: Cherishing the Seasons of Motherhood  « « « « « «

Story Time Magic

Snuggle up and dive into a good book together. Let your little ones pick out their favorites or discover new adventures. When they are younger, a few short books are great, but you’d be surprised at how your four-year-old might enjoy a good chapter book that you read to them. Trust me, these story sessions are pure gold for bonding.

After School Ideas for Quality Time with Kids
Photo credit: depositphotos.com

Kitchen Sidekick

Time to put those tiny hands to work in the kitchen! Whip up some dinner together and try out a new recipe. If getting their hands on the food makes you nervous, my favorite thing to do is to let them help me with the dishes. They rinse, and I load them into the dishwasher. It takes longer, but they have a blast. It may be messy, and a bit chaotic, but it’s worth it. 

Game On, Family Style

Bust out the board games and let the friendly competition begin! Whether it’s Candy Land or Apples to Apples, family game night is always a blast. Learn new games together, and don’t forget to check out your local library! The Garden City Library has a ton of board games and activities you can check out. You can even find board games that are meant for your two-year-olds so they can get in on the fun! 

Library Time

If you’re looking to get out of the house for something that isn’t your children’s extracurriculars, we love the library. Most local libraries are open until 8 pm on the weekdays. The hours and addresses of the public libraries are available here. The kids can pick out new books or your toddler can roam and play in the play areas. Most of the libraries have a great little play area for those younger readers! They also have computers and some have tablets with games if you want to give your children access to those as well. Some also host events after school for different age groups. 

Heart-to-Heart Chats

Take a breather and have a good ol’ chat. Ask about their day, share funny stories, and let them know you’re all ears. It’s these little moments that matter most. We love to do conversation cards and ask a few each night. It helps you open up talking points, and it can help you get to know your older kids who aren’t as chatty all the time. 

So, there you have it–some easy-peasy ways to make the most of our mom time after school. The great thing about kids is these activities don’t have to last for hours. Even giving them 30 minutes of your undivided attention helps strengthen your relationship with them. It will make you feel better too.

Remember, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being present. Let’s cherish these moments and create memories that’ll last a lifetime. 

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a New Mom

5 Things You Shouldn't Say to a New Mom

Navigating the early stages of motherhood is challenging to say the least, filled with fluctuating hormones, lack of sleep, and days (and nights) full of brand-new experiences. And as friends of new moms, all we want to do is help, right? Offer our insight, expertise, support, and encouragement, and seize an opportunity to hold a new squish.

At the heart of it, I believe we all want to support new moms as best as we know how, but there seem to be some important nuances to how we can best support moms in those early stages. Below are five things to never say to a new mom and some great replacements you can say instead.

5 Things You Shouldn't Say to a New Mom
Photo credit: depositphotos.com

1. Are you breastfeeding?

I’ll never forget my first time walking through a grocery store with my newborn. I was stopped by strangers for the first in my life, commenting on my adorable newborn. The first question that followed the well-meaning compliment was almost always, “Are you breastfeeding?” At that moment, I almost burst into tears. Little did this stranger know, I was struggling because my doctor was recommending I start supplementing my daughter’s feedings with formula due to an inability to produce enough milk.

» » »  RELATED READ: Spring Is Here :: Cherishing the Seasons of Motherhood  « « «

We’ve come a long way in our society to accept that “fed is best” and moms should not be shamed for feeding decisions. However, it’s not something a mom should feel the need to explain to a total stranger in the middle of the dairy aisle. There is a time, a place, and a certain level of intimate friendship one needs to have to ask such questions. When that time and place arrive, might I recommend asking the question, “How is feeding going?” And allow your new mom to share or not share as they please.

2. Did you give birth naturally?

Similar to the breastfeeding question, this question involves a preconceived “right” or “natural” way of having a birth. To which I respond, is not all birth natural? Let’s just assume for a moment that every mom on her day of delivery has a preferred outcome of how delivery is going to go. We call this the infamous “birth plan.” And then let’s just assume 99.9% of women’s births don’t go exactly as planned. (I just made up that statistic to make a point.) The most predictable thing about birth is how unpredictable it is. And while I love a good birth story, I might phrase my question this way. “When you’re ready to share, I’d love to hear about your birth experience if you’re open to sharing.”

3. Have you tried . . .

Sleep, the most fleeting thing in the early stages of motherhood. Sleep training, co-sleeping, cry-it-out method. A new mom will not benefit from hearing your advice about how to get her baby to sleep better. However, I’m increasingly convinced that being graced with a great sleeper is a matter of luck. And the overwhelm of information for the newborn mom is so intense. We moms are resilient. We learn from our mistakes how to best care for the children we’ve been blessed with. Support your friends by keeping unsolicited advice to yourself.

4. Let me know if I can help.

I’m probably guilty of saying this. I love to be helpful, but I rarely think of specific ways to lend a hand before reaching out. Or maybe I offer help by saying, “Let me know if I can make dinner for you.” I’ve learned that if you really want to help someone, don’t leave room for them to say no to receiving your help. Try saying, “I’m planning to make you a meal this week, would Tuesday or Thursday work best for me to drop it off?” Similarly, if you are in their home for a visit, find a few things to help with and just do them. Offer to watch the new baby while mama showers. Head into the kitchen and do the dishes. Or my favorite, make mama a snack. We all know she needs one!

5. How is your baby doing?

I have heard countless stories from women of people asking how their baby is doing, but not asking how they are doing. An increasing number of women are experiencing postpartum mood disorders. So let’s remember, check in on your new mama friends regularly. This new stage of life brings an unexpected amount of isolation. When asked how life is going, a new mama friend of mine comments on her baby’s weight, height, and most recent pediatric data. I get it! But it’s important to remember that we have an identity outside of being a mother. Dreams get put on the back burner for a few months. So let’s be people that help rekindle passions and learn to dream again.

We’re all well-meaning friends wanting to offer our support and a helping hand to new mamas. Let’s take our good intentions and add a dash of sensitivity and creative solutions. And let’s schedule time to be a tangible help to those nearest and dearest to us!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Bridging the Gap: 5 Simple Questions to Strengthen your Marriage

I met my husband in his small hometown in Spain during a study abroad in college. After we got married, he joined the military. Since getting together, we have spent a lot of time apart. Whether across the table from each other or across an ocean from each other, life has a way of creating gaps in even the healthiest relationships. Intentional communication can help bridge those gaps.

For us, this has come in the form of five simple questions that we ask each other on a regular basis.

Regular check-ins ensure we are on the same page and moving in the same direction, even when we are apart.

We had our first spouse check-in a few years ago. My husband had been home for a week after being gone for 8 months of military training. When he left, I was 37 weeks pregnant with our first child. Needless to say, he came home to a very different house than the one he had left behind. He was getting to know his new-to-him baby. And after 8 months apart and a lot of change, we were getting to know each other again, too.

Bridging the Gap: 5 Simple Questions to Strengthen your Marriage
Photo by Bri Rose Photography

The living room that had once displayed nice decor was now covered in toys and spit-up. The bed that we used to share now had a tiny indentation from where our baby had taken his spot. Late-night movies had been replaced by late-night feedings. The silence that had once bounced effortlessly between the walls of our home had been replaced by a litany of new sounds.

» » »  RELATED READ: 6 Tips to Keep the Spark Alive with Your Partner  « « «

No matter how much we had anticipated the adjustment of him coming home, it still felt like we had both been bucked off a horse, then shattered when we hit the ground like a Mr. Potato Head.

We were both working on putting ourselves back together again, and I felt like we were as disjointed together as we were individually.

Bridging the Gap: 5 Simple Questions to Strengthen your Marriage
Photo by Bri Rose Photography

So I came up with a list of five simple questions. Questions to force us to be straightforward, proactive, and compassionate with the big changes we were both going through. I gave them to him, scribbled on a piece of paper.

I told him to think about them and let me know when his answers were ready. Then one night, while the baby was asleep, we walked through them carefully and intentionally.

Fast forward a few years, and these checkins have become a standard for recalibration in our marriage. As seasons change and the challenges of our lives come and go, these questions help us manage those changes. They’re nothing fancy or complex, but they do seem to work.

The 5 questions:

1. What are three things you’re stressed about?

2. What are three things you’re excited about?

3. What are your short-term goals?

4. What are your long-term goals?

5. How can I support you?

That’s it. Just 5 simple questions to touch base and help both people feel seen, heard, and understood. They quickly address the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. Sometimes they take five minutes to go through, sometimes an hour. Most of what comes up is things I already knew. Sometimes, I realize I had been making assumptions about his stressors that were way off base. As we make it a priority to have transparent, regular communication, the time apart doesn’t seem to affect us as much.

Bridging the Gap: 5 Simple Questions to Strengthen your Marriage
Photo by Bri Rose Photography

Last year, we added a little brother to the party. While he was at least there for the birth this time, the military called him away again shortly after. It was hard, but the foundation was there. A foundation we had built intentionally, knowing that life would continue to create gaps between us.

I think it’s easy, amidst peanut butter stains and sleep deprivation, to forget that your spouse is the most important person in your life.

When I prioritize my relationship with my husband, then we can prioritize our kids together. These check-ins help me to do that. I hope they are helpful for you, too!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Mama, Do You Need Therapy?

Mama, Do You Need Therapy?

There I was, earbuds in, bopping along down the greenbelt while listening to one of my favorite podcasts (Ask Lisa), when I heard a statement that stopped me in my tracks. Quoting research from Dr. Suniya Luthar, the author stated that “the number one intervention for any child in distress is to make sure the primary caregiver’s well-being is intact.”

Okay hold up. Here’s what the author did NOT say.

She did not say that the best intervention was to read all the best parenting books and become a master of all the latest techniques. She did not say that you should fill your child’s schedule with sports and playdates, take expensive vacations, change their diet, redecorate their room, or put notes in their lunchbox. But she did say that if you are the primary caregiver and your child is in distress, the number one way to help that child is to take care of YOUR OWN well-being. (Insert bomb explosion noise here.)

Jennifer B. Wallace, author of Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic – and What We Can Do About It, highlights a profound claim here. She prioritizes the mental health and well-being of moms, who are most often the primary caregivers. This is a message that has long been ignored. We live in a culture that has often identified motherhood as the pinnacle of sacrifice and selflessness.

Moms feel tremendous responsibility for their child’s health and well-being.

So much of our time and money is invested into making sure our kids have everything they need. We measure their vegetables and their screen time. Bedtime stories are read and homes are cleaned with chemical-free products. We rush to sports practices and schedule summer camps while there is still snow on the ground.

Moms do so much for their kids out of love, but also an undercurrent of anxiety. There is a felt pressure that our actions will have a significant impact on how their lives turn out. Our intentions are good, they really are. Seeing our kids happy and engaged in activities and friendships brings us so much joy. We want to see them succeed. We want our kids to have everything . . . even if it costs us our own sanity.

But let’s face it–this is exhausting.

Moms are tired. And there is just no guarantee that all of these things will work out the way we think they will. Sometimes, our kids struggle. Being a kid, and especially being a teen, is hard in this day and age. We are all keenly aware of the dangers of social media and bullying and social isolation and, and, and . . .

When a mom is worried about her kid for any reason, her first reaction might be to seek out a therapist for her child. This is a great step if the child is open to it and if it widens the support system for the mom. A skilled therapist can create a relationship with a child in which they feel safe and understood. A therapist can also offer insight and strategies to manage the presenting issue. It’s easy for us to conclude that if our kid is struggling with their mental health, then we need to seek out additional resources to help. So why aren’t we willing to do the same for ourselves?

I see you cringing because it requires a deeper look at your own well-being. So how are you, really?

If your kid has been struggling, I can say with a certain confidence that you are too. What’s stopping you from seeking therapy as well? The expense? The time? Yes, those are real factors. However, most insurance plans have really raised the bar on what they will cover for mental health. If you don’t use insurance, there are many therapists that have a sliding scale fee based on your income–you just need to ask.

It takes one hour a week (at most), and you could make less frequent appointments or consider telehealth to reduce travel time. You likely spend that much time doom scrolling (hi, I’m the problem, it’s me), so why not replace it with an activity that will pay dividends in improving not only your mental health but your child’s as well?

Mama, Do You Need Therapy?If therapy does not seem like an accessible option to you right now, perhaps just make sure that you have a close friend or two who can deeply listen to you. Choose someone who can spend time making sure you feel safe, heard, and validated. You know the saying, “If the plane is going down, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help your child.” The same applies here. If you think that bubble baths and manicures will help this situation, you are missing the point. It is not incumbent upon you to “self-care” your way out of this. As Dr. Suniya Luthar indicates, you need someone in your life who will put your oxygen mask on you. 

Not sure where to start?

Try a localized database search such as psychologytoday.com or therapyden.com or call your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Mama, you deserve to prioritize you. It’s time.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.



In + Around Boise

patio dining

20 Spots for Patio Dining in and Around Boise

If you're on the hunt for the perfect spot to enjoy patio dining in and around Boise, you're in luck! From charming cafes to...
Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom's Escape for Lasting Well-Being

Perpetuity Skin + Spa: A Mom’s Escape for Lasting Well-Being

When is the last time you took some quality time for yourself and did something that helped you feel like you for a little...
Join our Community & Conversations Group

Join our Community & Conversations Group

Are you looking for a supportive community where you can connect with other moms who truly understand the joys and challenges of motherhood? Look no...

April Family-Friendly Events in the Boise Area

Hey there, Boise mamas! Spring is springing (is that a thing?), and April is bursting with fun things to do with your little ones....
10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Borrow from Boise Libraries

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Borrow from Boise Libraries

For a long time, I was sleeping on public libraries. Mostly because I just had no idea what they had to offer. With everything...