There's nothing clean about the learning process, and that's the way it should be. Don't believe me? Here, I'll let this insanely accomplished 17-year-old explain:
"Just a day in the life."
How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.
The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.
Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”
The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.
Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.
As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”
Needless to say, people were impressed with Oakley’s fierce multitasking abilities.
“Tell me you're a super mom without telling me you're a super mom,” wrote one person.
Another added, “this was 100% the most badass, amazing, award deserving feat I have ever seen.”
To no one’s surprise, moms were finding the situation ultra relatable.
“I wish I could say I hadn’t run out mid breastfeed to save a chicken lol but that would be a lie,” one mom commented.
“My husband sent [this] to me and said hey look it’s you,” wrote another.
And perhaps the best comment of all:
“Girl I thought that was a water gun. Read the caption and realized it was a baby.”
Though she clearly wowed the internet, Oakley sees the entire fiasco as a mundane reality.
"It feels like an accomplishment, I suppose,'' she told TODAY, “but for me this was a day in the life."
And the winner for "Most Tasks Done In A Single Minute" goes to...Giphy
Not every mom has to save a pet goose from an eagle attack and breastfeed at the same time, but most mothers can relate to the almost comical, certainly never-ending juggling act that is parenting.
For a therapist, the decision to leave the field doesn’t come easily.
Most of us know that the pandemic has taken a significant toll on people's mental health. Everyone from young kids who missed out on important socialization and learning during the lockdowns to older adults who experienced isolation, to teens, college students, young people just starting out in the world of work and parents … every slice of the population had legitimate struggles. Those seeking therapy were often left stranded due to long waitlists or difficulty finding a therapist that accepts their insurance. That's if they were lucky enough to get a callback.
Therapists themselves have become so overwhelmed and badly burned out that many have just thrown in the towel, and the situation continues to get worse. I was one of those therapists! Walking away was the hardest thing I’ve done because of how much I care about the people I help.
For a therapist, the decision to leave the field doesn’t come easily. By nature, many therapists are compassionate and empathetic people who truly care about their clients and the practice of mental health. For some therapists, walking away can be a choice between life and death. Therapists being pushed to the brink of suicide is not unheard of. Some even succeed in taking their own lives. I knew several therapists who ended their lives, and I was forced to push through the grief until finally the overwhelm became unmanageable. I felt guilty adding to the shortage of therapists, but something had to give.
Like everyone else, therapists have been hit by the pandemic and other tragic events such as mass shootings, but unlike everyone else they are expected to hold the fear and pain of every client they see on top of their own. Many therapists have their own therapists to help them carry the load. The number of therapists to go around just isn’t enough.
Currently there are approximately 530,000 therapists in the United States to serve a population of 330 million people. This number includes clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, licensed counselors and marriage and family therapists, and it also includes those who have left the profession but maintained their license. Obviously every person in America isn’t seeking therapy but it’s clear that there’s a disparity in numbers.
Therapists have to hold everyone else's pain on top of their own.Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash
The exodus from the profession is more than simply the high demands of clients. There are multiple factors, including the grind of dealing with insurance companies, many of which require therapists to jump through a lot of hoops to get paid. Insurance companies often reimburse therapists well below what their actual rate of service is, and insurance companies are notorious for doing “clawbacks,” which is essentially when they take money back. Clawbacks can be done for minor things like using a 60-minute code instead of a 45-minute code even though you spent a full hour with the client. Some insurance companies don’t feel that every diagnosis deserves a 60-minute session. There have been reports of clawbacks being tens of thousands of dollars and collected several years after the date of service.
Big box therapy providers have also come in the mix, promising better hours and more control over schedules, only for therapists to feel duped and exploited. Companies like Better Help and Talkspace offer low rates of pay and often require overscheduling for a therapist to be able to make a decent salary without them having to hold a second job.
All in all, therapists are just tired, and trying to figure out what’s best for themselves as well as their clients in that state is not enjoyable or rewarding. For those seeking mental health services, the outlook is a little bleak. Of course, it is possible to find a mental health professionals to help, but it generally takes a good measure of time and effort to find the right one.
Directories such as Therapy Den and Psychology Today are good places to look to find a local therapist who is accepting new clients. Then there's Therapy for Black Girls and Clinicians of Color specifically for people looking for a Black, Indigenous or POC therapist. If you’re uninsured or underinsured you can search for a therapist offering low-cost slots on Open Path Collective.
It's not a stretch to say that the current system is broken, and that negatively impacts both therapists and clients. Of course, there are new therapists joining the profession, and therapists who have taken a step away may well rejoin the profession after a much-needed break. Let's hope that these professionals are eager (again) to help shoulder the problems of the world.
The Mayyas walked like the proud lionesses they are.
We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.
The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.
Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.
“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”
Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”
Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.
For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”
The Mayyas went on to fulfill their promise of a truly hypnotic performance. Starting in a single file line, the women created magnificent shapes while moving in flawless synchronicity. At one point the group even became a pair of eyes (a major crowd pleaser).
According to ET Canada, Cherfan blended moves from both Chinese and Lebanese folklore. It made for a wholly original celebration of cultures, not to mention one breathtaking spectacle. The judges—and the audience—were left dumbfounded.
It was no time at all before judge Sofia Vergara leapt up to give the Mayyas their well-deserved golden buzzer. “There are no words to explain to you what we were feeling over here. It was the most beautiful creative dancing I’ve ever seen,” she told the team.
Howie Mandel added, “You said you were going to hypnotize us. When we sat here and we watched the movement and the perfection and the time and effort that went into that, we were hypnotized by what you did.”
You can watch the Mayyas’s spellbinding act below. Prepare to be hypnotized yourself.