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How Pregnancy Will Change Your Body

Becoming pregnant and bringing a new child into the world will do a lot more than just create a temporary belly bump and related large waistline. It will also trigger a number of changes to a woman’s body, some remaining permanent. And they are not the predictable ones that women typically learn in high school or from science books. Instead, many of the changes are going to be things that only women know and pass on from person to person verbally. And when one woman talks about them, those in the know will smile and nod agreeing. But to outsiders, motherhood remains a “joy” to look forward too.

Let’s Talk about Those Tootsies

There are some parts of the body that get bigger with pregnancy, but don’t expect feet to be on the typical expectation list from the doctor or generic pregnancy preparation pamphlets. The fact is, women’s feet get slightly longer as their foot arch decreases. This change, often assumed caused by the baby weight and the body hormonally preparing muscles and ligaments to stretch, ends up triggering the need for new shoes.  So no, it’s not just about needing to shop for the sake of shopping alone.

Redefining the Term “Exhausted”

Because a woman’s body has now become the creation system for a whole new life, it consumes a lot of energy, including what that mother-to-be would normally need to get through the day. The result is a regular and ongoing feeling of being wiped out most of the day. This sensation happens off and on from trimester to trimester, skipping the second one and returning again on the tail end.

Getting a Healthy Glow

Hormones being the culprits they are, will trigger a significant production of facial oil. That in turn will give you a very Roman healthy look which also makes a pregnant woman look a bit younger too. You’re going to feel like your face is greasy more than not, but everyone is going admire how beautiful you look. Go with it; the facial changes are one of the up sides of the body changes.

Be a Lot More Careful

Pregnant women trip, stumble and fall a lot more than normal. The same hormone affecting the feet is affect all the other joints too, causing ligaments to stretch. Unfortunately, this benefit for allowing a woman to give birth will also affect all her other ligaments, making ankles and knees in particularly a lot more wobbly. No surprise, women tend to wear flats a lot during the second and third trimester for better traction and less falling risk.

Mommy Brain

Yep, you’re not suddenly going stupid after years of being a genius; you have mommy brain when pregnant. Pregnancy is often associated with mentally feeling cloudy or forgetting a lot of things. When you have a being inside of you taking up some of that oxygen in your circulatory system, it’s going to have an effect, and this one cuts down on the oxygen going to your brain. That will affect your ability to maintain concentration or use short-term memory in a normal fashion. Plan on writing things down a lot to remember what you need 30 minutes later.

Yes, having a child is a beautiful thing, and yes, you will get a bigger belly and breasts as part of the change to make a pregnancy happen. But there’s a lot of other changes in the package that can be a bit of a surprise. It’s up to you if you want to share them after your pregnancy, but it does make being pregnant a bit easier knowing more of what to expect than always being surprised.



A bus that broke down resulted in the most unlikely of friendships

Shannon Jackson



It was a hot 92-degree day in Milwaukee as Shamika began her daily bus route. Shamika drives one of many city buses that provides cheap and convenient transportation for the inner city. As she drove the bus down the city’s streets, the bus began to buckle and make odd noises. 

After a few minutes of weird engine noises and trouble accelerating, fate struck. The bus came to a stop and the engine shut off, but would not turn on again. That also meant Shamika and the other passengers were left without air conditioning on that hot 92-degree day. 

With no other options, Shamika was forced to make the passengers leave the bus and wait outside. The inside of the bus was quickly heating up beyond 92 degrees. This happened because the heat entering the bus had no way to leave it, resulting in a sauna of sorts. 

As Shamika sat outside waiting for the city to send a tow truck for the bus, a young boy saw her. The boy was ten years old DJ Fromme or just DJ for short. He sat outside, killing time with his skateboard at hand. DJ watched the scene unfold and saw that Shamika was standing outside and was bored but looked unhappy. 

DJ then decided to walk over the Shamika and try to cheer her up. He pulled out his skateboard and asked Shamika if she wanted to learn how to skateboard. With nothing else to do, Shamika agreed. The two quickly formed a bond as DJ showed her tricks and other tips for riding the skateboard. 

Eventually, the two grew so comfortable with one another that DJ began to open up about his home life. Likely with no one else to talk to, DJ felt comfortable talking about his struggles with Shamika. DJ explained that he never met his biological parents. That alone had brought a lot of stress and negativity into DJ’s life, considering he was adopted. 

To make matters worse, DJ also told Shamika that his current legal guardian was diagnosed with brain cancer. Shamika did her best to listen and comfort the DJ while explaining the things in his life, causing him grief. 

After waiting a little while longer, the tow truck eventually arrived, and Shamika had to leave. Having been moved by DJ’s kindness and compassion, Shamika said goodbye to DJ at the bus stop and left. 

The story could have ended there, but Shamika decided to return the kindness DJ showed. The next day, Shamika knocked on the door of where the DJ lived. 

He answered the door and was surprised to see her standing at his doorstep alongside a brand new bicycle. DJ had said he wished for a bicycle the other day as the two became friends. DJ then accepted the bicyle and the two have contiued to be firends and a source of inspiration for others to be kind. 

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Dad suffering from broken heart syndrome, tells others to watch out for stress during the pandemic. 

Kelly Taylor



Richard Watkins is a family man first and businessman second who lives with a family in Ohio. As the executive of a large car manufacturing firm, stress is already something Richard is quite familiar with. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, which hard last March in the United States, however, has made his stress rise to entirely new levels. Due to shutdowns and decreasing consumer demands, many jobs had to lay off or fire many workers as nearly 52% of small businesses have shut down for good. 

In the face of mass layoffs, which left nearly 30 million Americans out of work and no jobs to turn to, Richard found himself in the position of having to lay off many workers as well. 

The company simply couldn’t afford to keep paying worker wages while taking in no revenue since their manufacturing had all but stopped. 

The result was an unfortunate but necessary layoff where Richard had to tell hundreds of workers the company could no longer pay them and had to lay them off for the time being. 

In the midst of that incredibly stressful time, Richards’s father, who was 91 years old, also passed away. 

On the day of Richards’s father’s funeral, Richard remarked to his wife that he’s back felt unusually tight, and his arms both went numb. 

Richard then laid his head down on the kitchen table and closed his eyes. Initially, his wife didn’t react as Richard just seemed to be bowing his head down. 

However, after nearly a minute of silence, Richard began to turn blue and did not respond to his wife’s frantic calls to him. Richard’s heart had stopped beating. 

Richards’s wife immediately called 911, and paramedics were able to resuscitate Richard and get his heart back up and running. 

Doctors at first believed Richard had suffered from a heart attack. However, this wasn’t the case. Richards’s heart and arteries did not have any blockages, and we’re seemingly healthy. 

Instead, Richard says that immense stress had caused his stress to stop beating. Although rare, this phenomenon has been documented in the past. 

Now Ricard has taken to social media to warn people about the dangers of stress. Richard says that reducing stress and dealing with it head-on is extremely important for your health. In fact, stress can even cause other issues like chronic inflammation, poor sleep, depression, and more.

Richard says he found many ways to reduce stress, which may or may not work for other people. One popular and scientifically proven way to reduce stress is through meditation. That doesn’t necessarily mean sitting silently for hours at a time. 

Some people meditate for just five to ten minutes at a time. While others may “actively meditate” by silently walking and paying attention to their thoughts as they walk. Other people find other coping mechanisms like reducing obligations in their schedlues and taking more “me time” for themsleves. 

Other experts urge people to take mental health days, and spend more time and money foucsing on their happiness other than pleasing work bosses or appeasing other unhealthy work ethics. All in all, the key seems to be making your life more simple and getting outside more often. 

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The Normality of Single-Parent Households

Kevin Wells



There is a common misconception in society regarding the end of a marriage as a woman. The thought is that the marriage ends because you are searching for a better option. While that may be the scenario in some instances, this is not the case in all.

Of course, having a partner is helpful for some situations but not all women are looking for their next husband and not all children need two parents to have a happy childhood. In many cases, the household is much happier without the father around since there is the added stress component.

Some mothers prefer to live and parent on their own. Naturally, there are challenging aspects, especially not having a dual income, but they can also run their home the way that is best for their children. This also lends to being the single person who is in charge.

For the strong-willed parent, it can be difficult to strike a balance between maintaining that train and keeping up with the best way to raise children, all while being happy in the marriage. On many occasions, both parents must compromise their feelings which can become cumbersome and feel like too much is given. This can be mentally exhausting and cause marital problems.

Single parents enjoy the opportunity to spend time and enjoy life with their children without butting heads with their spouse. This helps build relationships with the children in a loving and caring environment.

Of course, there are stresses associated with being a single parent but feeling like you can be yourself in parenting and life is the most important aspect of single parenting. It is difficult to constantly be happy with yourself when angry at your husband. Attempting to exist in a poor marriage can take its toll on your self-worth, which can occur for many years. Eventually, everyone hits a breaking point if improvements are not made.

Single parents get to enjoy the freedom of running the household and only focusing on the needs of their children and themselves. Of course, companionship is always a plus, assuming it is a positive relationship. When children are at a young age, a single parent needs to create a stable and sturdy environment.

Dating is often still acceptable, but it is different when the new boyfriend is taking up half of a dresser drawer with their belongings, half of the bed, and half of the entire residence. When having so much freedom as a single parent, it can be difficult to imagine having a live-in boyfriend or spouse.

There is a double standard for men versus women when a divorce occurs. Many men get re-married quickly after a divorce because they need that companionship. Generally, society is more accepting of men having and enjoying their freedom. On the other hand, society frowns upon women also enjoying their freedom.

Despite the differences between men and women post-divorce and the way society views everyone, the most important aspect of a single parent is creating a happy and supportive home for their children.

There will always be times of doubt when you wonder if you made the right decision, this is normal. They look at the joy in your children and the happiness in yourself, knowing you made the right decision.

Also, showing your children that you are a strong single parent is a powerful lesson in development. This shows that you do not need two parents in a single household to create a loving family and genuinely be happy. This is a life lesson they will carry with them for years to come!

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A Unique Graduation Picture Set

Renee Yates



High school graduations are occasions that get people thinking about both the past and the future. Many people become nostalgic when they graduate from high school. They think about their first school days. Dylan Bliss took this a step further.

He and his dog Ruger took an adorable picture together when he first started school more than a decade ago. Dylan Bliss’s mother Corie had a clever suggestion. She knew that the two of them had posed for a picture together when Dylan Bliss became a first grader. They could take a similar picture again, and this one would demonstrate the passage of time in a unique way. 

Ruger is a much older dog now, but he’s alive and well. He was able to take a picture with Dylan Bliss to celebrate his graduation day. The family got Ruger when he was still a little puppy. Dylan Bliss and Ruger genuinely grew up together.

In both pictures, Ruger is wearing a collar and leash. Both of the collar and leash sets in the pictures match quite well, which helps to make the pictures look more similar and establish continuity. Dylan Bliss is holding onto the leash this time. 

The expressions of both individuals have also changed. Ruger has his mouth closed in the first picture, but his mouth is slightly ajar in the second. Dylan appears to be more guarded in the first picture, since he’s barely smiling. He seems much more relaxed and confident in the second picture, as an accomplished high school graduate. 

It’s also interesting to look at the changes in the quality of the pictures over the course of more than a full decade. The new picture is much clearer and brighter. It’s easier to see lots of fine details in the picture. Technology has changed over the course of Dylan’s life and Ruger’s life. Both pictures manage to make this clear, and both of them are capturing historical moments. 

The backgrounds for both pictures are also different, and there’s something symbolic about that. In the first picture, the background is simple and fairly empty. In the second picture, there’s a stone wall in the background, as well as lots of green plants. Ruger has lived a very full life since the first picture was taken, and Dylan has become an adult. The new background of the picture helps to demonstrate that both of them have richer lives and histories now than they did in the past. It’s a complex set of pictures that communicates a lot at once. 

People often purchase middle school, high school, and college yearbooks. They’ll remember those parts of their lives more effectively as a result. Taking professional senior class pictures is also popular. However, the pictures that people take at home can be just as special, especially because they’ll have plenty of chances to be creative. 

Online, it’s popular for people to take pictures of themselves periodically and use those pictures to show how they have progressed over time. At the end of each decade, there are frequently viral trends where people compare photographs of themselves that were taken at the end and the beginning of the decade. Dylan Bliss’s picture with Ruger is similar, at least in a way. However, it’s much more personal.

The end of a decade is significant for everyone. However, people’s high school or college graduation years can all vary. A random year in any given decade could be particularly important to a person who graduated from school in that year. Dylan Bliss will probably remember 2020 in a relatively unique way for that reason.

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Motherhood at Every Age and Life Stage

Shannon Jackson



Some individuals become mothers early in life. Others have their first children when they’re a bit older. There are many factors involved either way. Both of these situations have their own unique challenges and advantages. Parenthood in general is not easy, and people shouldn’t make any assumptions about mothers of any age. It’s clear that parents of all ages can be successful parents, and that’s certainly the case with older mothers.

For one thing, there is evidence to suggest that the kids of older mothers are academically successful. They have educated parents, and they’ll tend to become educated themselves. These children have excellent verbal abilities. They benefit from the fact that their parents have more life experience. 

Children can benefit from having knowledgeable and experienced parents in other ways. Kids who have older parents also sometimes have healthier lifestyles than other kids. Their parents are more likely to be both financially and emotionally stable. As such, it’s easier for older parents to make sure that their kids get medical care if necessary. They’ll be more likely to have health insurance.

Of course, the fact that older parents tend to be very responsible helps. These individuals can often afford to send their kids to the hospital if necessary. However, they’re also less likely to need to go to the hospital in the first place. Kids in these sorts of families tend to get injured less often. Older parents often take comparatively few risks, and they look after their kids carefully. 

People can become parents in late adulthood or close to late adulthood for many reasons. Some people specifically want to be older parents and raise children at that point during their lives. Other people care for their grandchildren, nieces, or nephews after a horrible accident happens. People who get married for a second time might change their minds about having kids. 

Older parents will sometimes have to cope with health problems. Raising children can be challenging physically. Even many young adult parents are exhausted at the end of the day, so older parents may struggle even more. However, it’s still possible for people of any age to make the adjustment.

People are often motivated to care for themselves more carefully when they have kids. The older individuals who have kids might ultimately become healthier or stay healthier than their peers, demonstrating that late parenthood can be positive on many different levels. 

Some people also age more quickly than others. There are plenty of grandparents who are still very energetic and healthy. Some younger parents are tired constantly, and they have a difficult time keeping up with their kids and the associated responsibilities. It really all does depend on the person, which should be something that all people should remember when this subject is addressed. 

Even young people sometimes have a hard time keeping up with technological changes now, because the world moves so quickly. For older parents, learning a lot of new technology can be emotionally difficult. However, while people can sometimes avoid new technological trends as adults, this is just not the case with most parents. Active parents are expected to be familiar with modern technology, and even many of today’s grandparents are careful to keep track of developments in information technology and social media. Parents of all ages have to do the same thing.

However, as long as parents still experienced with modern technology, they’ll avoid a number of different potential issues. If they stay healthy, people may not even notice that they’re older parents at all. No one needs to live their lives according to a strict schedule. 

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