Gemma Hartley

Gemma Hartley is a freelance writer with a BA in writing from The University of Nevada, Reno. She lives in Reno with her husband, three young kids, an awesome dog and a terrible cat.

I Tried Parenting Like The Swedish For A Week & *Totally* Fell In Love

I’ve never been a fan of American helicopter parenting, despite definitely being a helicopter parent myself at times. The anxiety isn’t healthy for me or for my stifled kids. I hate feeling like parenting is constantly stressing me out, instead of…
By Gemma Hartley

I Thought My Water Broke, But What Was Actually Happening Was Way Grosser

By the time I was pregnant with my third child, I felt like I had this pregnancy thing pretty well figured out. I knew the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and the real deal. I knew that my labors progressed slowly, so I shouldn’t go in…
By Gemma Hartley

I Hate The Toddler Stage — There, I Said It

I’ll be the first to admit that my toddler is wildly and undeniably cute. I am constantly awed by how lovable he is, and the fact that he is my last baby makes him all the more precious to me. He’ll sometimes wake up in the morning and say, “Hey…
By Gemma Hartley

I Tried Being A Strict Parent & The Change Was Profound

I was raised in a fairly strict household growing up. To be honest, I didn’t love it. In fact, I hated it. I often found myself grounded and was frustrated by rules that seemingly served no purpose. However, now that I’m a parent myself, I look back…
By Gemma Hartley

Sorry, But Your Thoughts On Breastfeeding In Public Are Archaic & Sexist

While most people say they are pro-breastfeeding (or at least won’t argue with the fact that mothers should be able to have the choice to breastfeed if they want to), not all of those people actually support breastfeeding. They only support it if…
By Gemma Hartley

I Ate One Junk Food To Induce Labor & It Worked Like A GD Charm

When I neared the end of my third pregnancy, I started becoming desperate for a “natural” way to induce labor. Every time I went into the hospital for my check-ups, the nurses commented on how big I was — and how big my baby was going to be. With…
By Gemma Hartley

The Amount Of Emotional Labor We Put On Stay-At-Home Moms Is Horribly Unfair

Before my husband and I had a baby, mental workload wasn’t something I thought about much. We both worked and went to school full-time. We both pitched in on cooking and cleaning. We grocery-shopped together (even though I was the one who made the…
By Gemma Hartley

What You're Really Doing When You Ask A New Mom If She's "So In Love"

When my son was born, I assumed I’d be instantly flooded with feelings of love like I’d never known before. I had spent the last nine months bonding with him every chance I got. I talked to him. I played with him as he rolled and kicked against my…
By Gemma Hartley

This Joke We Make About New Moms Is Not Just Annoying, It's Wrong

When I became pregnant with my first child, most people reacted to the news with a mixture of happiness and unsolicited advice. One joking piece of "advice" I often received from family and strangers was to enjoy my freedom while I could, because it…
By Gemma Hartley

I'll Never Forget The First Time My Baby Said "I Love You"

After suffering two miscarriages while trying to have a third child, I had to pause and consider what it meant to move forward and try again. My midwife had mentioned that if I were to lose another child, I might need to see a fertility specialist.…
By Gemma Hartley

I Hate This Joke About Pregnant Women

I was never an overly emotional person until I became a mother. I had been warned by older, wiser women that having a child would change my ways, and once I became pregnant, the bar for what made me emotional took a quick nosedive. The joke I often…
By Gemma Hartley

Reggio Emilia Made Me A Much Better Mom

I haven’t always had the easiest time bonding with my son. He had a difficult birth, which was followed by my struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety, so I never quite felt like I could get the hang of parenting him. I'd often heard of…
By Gemma Hartley

I'm So Grateful To My Husband For Helping Me Wean

The decision to wean my last baby was definitely not an easy one. I remember those first days of his life when he refused to latch, and I cried endlessly over the thought that I wouldn’t have the chance to breastfeed him at all. Then after we…
By Gemma Hartley

I'm So Grateful For My Mom's Support When I Was TTC

When I first started trying to conceive, I didn't tell anyone. I was 21 years old, and still a semester away from graduating college. Deep down, I think I knew that my decision to try to get pregnant at this time in my life didn't logically make…
By Gemma Hartley

I Stopped Co-Sleeping To Save My Marriage

I bed-shared with all three of my children when they were babies. Sometimes I would put them to sleep in a co-sleeper next to the bed, but they would almost always make their way into the bed after a late-night feeding, and they would stay there…
By Gemma Hartley

Dear Stay-At-Home Moms: I See You

Dear stay-at-home moms, When I first decided to be a stay-at-home mom and I imagined what my life would be like, I'll be honest: I thought it would be a “break.” I knew it wouldn't necessarily be easy all the time, but I thought it would be a step…
By Gemma Hartley

I Travel Alone, & I Think It Makes Me A Better Mom

I never had much of a chance to travel before I had kids, which means I haven’t had much of a chance to travel, period. I had my son at 22, literally days after graduating college. While most of my friends were packing up to visit exotic locales or…
By Gemma Hartley

The One Problem With Raising A Montessori Kid

When I chose to send my son to a Montessori preschool, I was thrilled when I got the acceptance letter. I loved that the Montessori approach caters to children's own learning styles, allowed them to explore their own interests and work at their…
By Gemma Hartley

Dear Moms With PPA: I See You

I will always remember what it felt like to have postpartum anxiety. There was a constant montage of potential horrors facing my child streaming through my mind: kidnapping, sudden death, car crashes, suffocation, a million different stories I'd…
By Gemma Hartley

I Have An Undersupply & Seeing Other Moms Effortlessly Produce Breast Milk Kills Me

When my daughter started to prefer the bottle to the breast and decided to self-wean at six months, I was devastated. I had hoped she would follow in her brother’s footsteps and breastfeed for at least a year. But while losing the breastfeeding…
By Gemma Hartley