4 Killer Tips to Crush Parental Guilt

I’ve been having a lot of parent guilt and it's fucking exhausting!  I don't usually blog about this sort of thing but I thought, why not?  A lot of mom's are dealing with guilt, so here are my thoughts on the matter.  

I just finished running the Kickstarter Campaign to crowdfund for my first big production run for Leche Libre.  It was a herculean effort, and luckily was very successful.  Now that the campaign is over, I’m looking into my future and realize I still have A LOT of work to do to fulfill my orders and actually do the work of manufacturing the run.

I’ve been feeling really guilty about all the time I’m putting into my business. It's awesome to be coming out of a successful Kickstarter and I’m super excited to grow my business, but at the same time, it's been a challenge, balancing the stress and the additional work of the kickstarter with my family stuff.  I want to be an awesome mom, but I also want to be an awesome business person.  

Leche Libre has always been a one woman show. I’m aware that I can be a work-a-holic and I try not to push to hard so I can still spend time with my kids, but the amount of work I need to put into Leche Libre is substantial and with the added Kickstarter stuff, I’ve been feeling a lot of parent guilt about if I am prioritizing my job over my kids and if I’m being a bad mom.  

It sucks feeling guilty all the time.  It takes up a lot of energy I don’t have to spend right now.  Also, I’ve noticed it sets a negative intention.  The more guilty I feel about whether I’m being a “bad mom” the more of a bad mom, I actually become.  I have been very impatient and curt with my kids lately which makes me feel even worse.

If you’re looking at my blog, the probability is you’re a mom too.  I feel like parent guilt is something a lot of us experience.   I spent a long time journaling about my feelings of guilt to day and thought I would share the self talk I’m working on in case it is also helpful to anyone else. The reasons we feel guilty may all be different but I feel like the answers on dealing with the guilt cover most situations.

Self talk to deal with guilt

1)  Positive Intention:  

I have been spending a lot of time looking for the ways in which I feel like I’m failing at parenting.  I’m focusing on the negative so that is all I see.  I need to flip the script and do the same for the positive.  I really need to look at my parenting and acknowledge all the ways in which I am doing a good job.  I have a tendency of putting more weight on the negative then the positive and so the negative in my mind seems bigger than it actually is.  I need refocus on the positive and see it outweighs the negative.  At base level, my kids live in a safe place with all their psychological needs and above that, they feel loved and are generally happy kids. The more I can focus on my being a good Mom, the more of a good Mom I can be.  

To do:  make a list of all the things you do well as a parent. Focus on how you are doing well and rephrase in your mind that you are a good parent instead of focusing on what you’re not doing.  Pick ONE thing you want to do better as a parent and make a positive intention to try to work on this on a daily basis.

2) Focus on my priorities:  

In the past I have weighed which I prioritize more, my kids or my work.  I always say my kids take top bill, but then there are sometimes when I actually need to prioritize my work for a bit because of a time sensitive thing and I feel guilty about my kids.  What I have come to realize is my number one priority should be my own happiness.  I know that sounds very selfish, but the more I focus on what I need to do to make myself happy, the more I will be able to be a parent and do my work from a positive and happy place.  When I am at war about which one I prioritize more, I feel like I am always fighting a losing battle. When I focus on me in a positive, loving way, I can be open to being my best self in all the roles of my life. 

To do:  make a list with three columns marked self, parent, work.  Make a list in each column of things you enjoy doing in each section of your life and try to bring them into your daily life.

3) Stop manufacturing problems:

A lot of my problems come from the fact that I struggle with the idea that I am a person worthy of being happy and having success.  I think things have to be hard in order to be earned.  So I take small issues and make them into bigger problems in my mind by worrying and obsessing about them.  I do this a lot with parenting.  I worry that small behaviors, like my daughter’s sassing back to me which I view as negative are proof that I am a bad parent instead of just seeing them as a temporary behavior in a phase of her development.  Sure, I need to talk to her about positive communication, but I need to practice that in myself too.  I need to stop beating myself up over small things.  I need to assert that I am a person worthy of having good things and allowing them to come to me easily.

To do: Meditate on the mantra: “I am fine just as I am.  Things are whole and fine just as the are.”  Let go of the idea that small problems reflect a greater problem.  Work on accepting things as they are and letting go of perfectionism.  

4) Be gentle with myself and take it one day at a time:

When life gets stressful, it is hard to deal with small frustrations.  I lose my cool easily and yell at my kids a lot.  I am always pushing hard in every area of my life.  It is hard for me to let go of being perfect.  It is important for me to focus on the fact that one’s best isn’t always the same.  My best at a chill time in my life isn’t going to be the same as my best when I’m busy.  The more I beat myself up the more stress I feel and the more yelling I will do.  I need to just accept that I am human and that having relationships is hard.  We all make mistakes.  

To do:  Work on accepting yourself as imperfect and forgive yourself for making mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to apologize to your kids if you make a mistake.  

I hope this is helpful!  I’m going to work on all this stuff myself! Ok, back to life now!

 

 

How To "Back" A Kickstarter Campaign

Are you new to Kickstarter?  No problem, this blog post will quickly give you all you need to know about how to donate money or preorder one of the garments of the collection.

Here is a step by step guide on how to back my kickstarter, followed by some backer FAQs.

HOW DO I BACK YOUR KICKSTARTER?  I'm glad you asked.  Here is a detailed breakdown of steps.

Step 1: Review the Reward Tiers

Kickreward.png

Scroll down from the top of the page.  All the reward tiers are on the left side of the screen starting at the top.

Step 2: At the top click Back this pledge or click on any of the reward tiers on the right

Step 3: Select your reward.  If you wish to donate money on top of the reward tier cost, please BY ALL MEANS go ahead and do so.

Step 4: Put in the amount you wish to pledge.  Here I've decided I want two sweatshirts, so I've multiplied $75 x 2 and put in the total.  

Step 5: Sign into Kickstarter or create a Login.  You can also login using via Facebook.

Step 6: Put in your payment information and confirm. 

Press Pledge and you're done!  You will receive email updates as the Kickstarter goes along to update you on my status.  As I said above, I only get the money if I make my $20,000 goal.  Once the campaign is complete, you'll get an email letting you know how it went.  If I am successful, the money will be charged to your payment option and I will send you a survey for you to select your size/color options.   
 
Wait a minute, back up! I've got some questions!

What is a backer?  With a Kickstarter campaign, anyone who wants to support the campaign, also called backers, can donate money to the project in exchange for various reward tiers.  For the Leche Libre campaign, I have kept things very simple.

I don't need breastfeeding apparel, can I just donate money to you?  Yes!  I am offering 7 basic reward tiers.  The first is just a straight donation of money.  If you want to support Leche Libre's mission of empowering women to confidently breastfeed in public shame free but do not want any of the clothing you can opt to just donate whatever amount of money you wish using the first donation reward tier.

What do I do if I want to get a dress or a sweatshirt from the new collection? The next 6 reward tiers are for preorders of my new collection.  You can select any garment you would like, and donate to that reward tier.  

What is a preorder? It is called a preorder because the garments are not made yet.  With Kickstarter, I will only get the money if I reach my $20,000 goal.  Once the campaign concludes successfully, the money will be transferred to me and I will use it to begin production of the garments.  If you choose a preorder, the reward tier will tell you the estimated delivery of your garment.

Did I see something in your campaign about a donation to breastfeeding women in need?  Yes you did!  If you wish to support breastfeeding women in the Chicagoland Area.  I have partnered up with the Volunteer Chicago Doula organization.  Any garments which are donated will be given out to empower teen moms to confidently breastfeed their babies.  Teen moms face the most obstacles to successful breastfeeding and your donation can really make a difference support women and help their babies have the best start to life.  If you wish to donate a garment, just choose the garment tier you wish to donate, and preorder it.  When the campaign ends, I will send you a survey and you can notate that you wish to donate your garment, and I will take care of the rest!

Can you order more then one garment? Yes, of course!  First check out the whole collection reward tiers.  If you order all three, or all 5 (all three in all color variations) you will get an additional 5% off, at a total of 30% off.  If you want to just mix and match, add up the total for the garments you want to buy and select a reward tier with one of the garments.  Then enter in the total amount of clothes you want.  When the campaign is over, I'll email you a survey where you can select the style/size/color mixture you wish.

 

 

Leche Libre Kickstarter!

Leche Libre is doing a Kickstarter to fund its first large scale production run and I need your help to get there.  Please donate today and you can help create a world where women everywhere can confidently breastfeed whenever they want, wherever they go in style!

Hi I'm Andrea Newberry, founder of Leche Libre and proud mama of two kiddos – Thora and Otto. 

Like most new moms, I had a pretty severe identity crisis right after the birth of my first baby. I was sleep deprived,  my body felt weird and now I was responsible for another person that needed me 24/7.  I was so busy taking care of Thora, I was overwhelmed at the idea of taking care of myself as well.

I had a really hard time finding clothing that was easy to breastfeed in My style is edgy, sleek and sophisticated but the only options I could find made me feel frumpy, unstylish and like a completely different person.  I felt like the clothing was telling me I should be ashamed of my postpartum body and I needed to cover it up with shapeless layers of loose fitting clothes. Becoming a mother had already changed my identity, and the nursing clothes I found made me feel like even more of a different person than I was before I became a mom

After the birth of my second child, I knew there had to be a better way.I was just learning to sew at the time, so  I started making a few things for myself with breastfeeding access and whenever I would wear them out, I got so many compliments about the design.  People would freak out when they realized my dress was functional for breastfeeding.  I knew I was on the right track and should keep going. 

Prior to having kids, I had no experience in the fashion industry.  This is a mission of passion for me, and I've spent the last four years teaching myself fashion design and the fashion business to develop this idea.  I've done several small sample runs for market testing and have fine tuned my designs along the way.  I've gotten feedback from over 500 women and I'm finally ready to take my Leche Libre to the next level with my first large scale production run.

WHAT I’M SELLING

The money I raise with this kickstarter will go directly toward buying material in bulk and meeting higher factory minimums to allow me to sell the same ethically produced, high quality Leche Libre garments online and in stores to at the prices women want to pay.

The collection I've designed for this kickstarter represents 3 dynamic and versatile looks all with zippers down the bust for discreet nursing access making it easier for women to fashionably integrate breastfeeding into their busy lives. 

  • The Little Black Breastfeeding dress is the ultimate in sophisticated style and can easily transition from day to evening wear. 

  • The Zipper Tunic is the signature look of the edgy Leche Libre aesthetic and transitions easily from professional to casual wear. 

  • And finally, I’m excited to debut my new Nursing Sweatshirt, which will be the first piece of my upcoming casual streetwear line. 

From home to office to formal events, these three versatile looks will cover all your bases and allow easy breastfeeding wherever you might go in style.  In reward to being a backer to my kickstarter, you’ll get the first exclusive access to these new looks at an awesome discounted rate!

Women have always been pigeonholed and pressured into cultural expectations of femininity and beauty. As moms, we face a lot of pressure to be perfect, and it doesn't help when our nursing options stifle our personal styles, forcing us to dress like people we are not. Leche Libre is pushing back against these stereotypes, redefining what a Mom can look like and creating more space for women to be their authentic selves.

I believe bringing our true authentic selves into parenting makes us the best moms we can be. Being able to wear clothing with a more edgy aesthetic was a key part in helping me regain my identity as an individual, and the functionality of the clothes I made allowed me to breastfeed more easily in public situations, making me a more confident Mom.

Any new mom can attest to feeling a lot of pressure to be perfect, and being forced to dress as someone you’re not only exacerbates this problem.  I believe we will all thrive when mothers feel empowered to be their true selves and can bring that authenticity into how they parent.

Moms do it all, wearing multiple hats throughout the day to get shit done.  mom, wife, boss, friend…   I want to help badass women everywhere express their unique individuality in any and all situations so they can be confident as women and be the best moms they can be. 

Leche Libre is changing the look of breastfeeding apparel forever.  So please, contribute today.  With your help, we can empower women everywhere to confidently breastfeed whenever we want, wherever we go, in style!  Zip and sip!



 

Do You Want To Be The Next Leche Libre Model??

   

 

 

Are you a nursing Mama who feels passionately about promoting public breastfeeding?  Have you always wanted to be a model?  Here's your big chance! We're looking for a few rad looking breastfeeding Chicago Mamas and their kiddos who would like to be in a Kickstarter video for LECHE LIBRE BREASTFEEDING APPAREL!  We’re looking for women with an edgy urban style, alternative or radical moms, or other Moms with nursing babies who don't fit a conventional mold! Any age, shape, size or color!  Participants must be available for shooting the first weekend in June in Chicago.  Video shoot will probably last 2-4 hours.  All models will get professional digital pics of shoot to keep as well as the possibility of keeping their clothing (depending on style).

TO APPLY: Just click on this link to fill out the quick application form and attach a photo of yourself and your baby to be considered.

Don’t forget to follow Leche Libre on Instagram and like us on Facebook! Visit us at www.LecheLibre.com for more information on our brand!

Check Out Our Precious New Arrival!

I am super pumped about the NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR SHOP.  Check out the AMAZING Lucha Libre inspired design custom made for us by Damara from DamaraDoesDesign

I'm so thrilled to have Damara create such a rad image for us.  I LOVE IT!   For those of you who have despaired over the limited options of baby clothing in black, we've got you covered.  Check out our new Leche Libre onise!  No matter what anyone says, black is a great color for baby clothes, hides all those inevitable stains so nicely.  And what person doesn't need a rad tote to carry all their awesome life supplies in. 

So get these items while the getting's good!  Adult t-shirts soon to follow.

Check out more amazing art from Damara!

Leche Libre Is Featured On The Leaky Boob!

Totally thrilled to share that my Little Grey Dress was recently featured on one of my all time favorite breastfeeding blogs, The Leaky Boob!  The Little Grey Dress was selected as the centerpiece of the Work That Pump collection in their #LeakyLooks segment .  Check us out!

"With this look I was just itching to feature a dress from Leche Libre’s collection! This designer is phenomenal and her subtle, utlitarian-yet-classic style really set her pieces apart."

"With this look I was just itching to feature a dress from Leche Libre’s collection! This designer is phenomenal and her subtle, utlitarian-yet-classic style really set her pieces apart."

If you want to talk to me, just look up a good 10 feet.  I'll be riding high of this for a while. 

Why I Was So Unhappy With My Business; And How I Fixed It

I envisioned the day I would launch Leche Libre many times, but I never guessed how I would really feel about it.  When the day finally arrived, I didn't feel elated or excited.  I felt something was off.  I kept thinking: I love my designs and feel 200% behind the concept of making stylish breastfeeding apparel; I know the quality of my dresses is spot on and made of the best materials.  Why am I feeling so bad?

I easily met my sales goal during my two week pre-sale but when it was time to start promoting and marketing the dresses outside my of my fan base, I couldn't do it.  I felt totally paralyzed. 

After spending weeks in this mode, I realized I just didn't feel right about the $200 price tag.  Are my dresses worth $200.  YES!  But, when all is said and done, I wouldn't buy a $200 dress.  I want my dresses to be accessible and I want to sell to women like me.  I want Leche Libre to promote public breastfeeding to as many women as possible.  My price tag was sucking all the righteousness out of my purpose! 

I based my pricing on the standard fashion industry model.  I didn't know what to do.  My price didn't fit my brand but I felt totally stuck with it.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The brand of Leche Libre is based on the concept of "Discreet Anti-authoritarianism".  I don't have to go by the Fashion Industry standard!  I need to be true to myself and my mission.  I need to throw aside the shackles of "standard" and create my own path.

I met with my fashion consultants and we came up with a new DIRECT PRICING structure based on me selling directly to you via my website only.  My new direct pricing structure gives me the control to set the price where I want it to be.

Yes, I'm taking a risk.  I'll have to do all my own promotion and not be able to lean on the crutch of stores helping me with marketing, but you can't buy what I'm selling in stores.  You'll never find a structured garment of organic locally sourced materials handmade in Chicago for $100 on a store rack.  But you can now at LecheLibre.com

To be a mother is to constantly sacrifice for others.  Leche Libre wants to create a SACRIFICE FREE space for all moms. Get the absolute best quality garments, designed specifically for your needs which make you look as powerful as you feel while breastfeeding.  If you want a kick ass dress with amazing nursing accessibility, I will get it to you!

So, with no further ado, I'd like to announce the relaunch of LecheLibre.com.  Together, we can change the conversation about public breastfeeding.  Don't let anything limit you from being who you want to be.  Be yourself.  Express yourself! 

(And this time, I'm fucking pumped!)

Why Leche Libre?

The clothing currently available for nursing is designed for the postpartum period, all comfort and no style.  This is fine for the first few weeks, but do you want to continue looking pregnant 12 months after giving birth? Do you want to be in the position of having to sacrifice your own personal appearance and aesthetic for comfort and ease of nursing?

FORM OR FUNCTIONLeche Libre gives you both stylish AND functional nursing apparel, empowering you to integrate breastfeeding into your wardrobe.  Be a stylish woman AND a capable mom at the same time! Zippers placed along each bust allow for easy nursing and pumping access.  Our fitted silhouettes are designed to be flattering to all body types.

CELEBRATE BREASTFEEDING.  The lack of style in current breastfeeding apparel seems to reinforce the idea that breastfeeding is just a short period of time to be gotten through. Leche Libre encourages you to celebrate breastfeeding by integrating it into your wardrobe with stylish clothing you'll want to wear whether you're breastfeeding or not!  Whether you choose to nurse your baby for a few months or a few years, You deserve to look as good as you feel while breastfeeding.  We want to help you represent your mom power in style!

NEVER ASK PERMISSION AGAIN.  Why should you have to worry about what situations are OK to breastfeed in?  Why shouldn't it be easy to do the most important thing?

A LECHE LIBRE DRESS CHANGES THE CONVERSATION from I can't believe you're breastfeeding here  -to-  you look amazing and I didn't even know you were breastfeeding!

 

Don't let anything limit you from being who you want to be.  Be yourself.  Express yourself.