This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received products to facilitate my review.
We are so stinkin’ excited for this summer. It’s the first year that our toddler can actually express that she wants to go to the pool or beach and know what those things means and naturally, she’s been begging to go often. I keep telling her that it isn’t warm enough yet, but she’s not having it. She keeps telling me, “It is Mama! It is warm.” I feel so bad that we can’t go right away, because as a water lover myself, I know the excitement that she has over this.
The baby on the other hand, really has no clue what in the world her sister is talking about, but what I know is that her love of the water is going to have her extremely excited once the time is here. Luckily, we only have about 2 more weeks (weather pending) because we can get to the pool!
As the same time, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m also a bit nervous. Because Andrew works hectic hours, it means that I’m going to be alone some of the with both girls around the water. I’m gearing up though to have all my ducks in a row to make sure that this summer with two littles goes super smooth.
Some of the things I’m doing is:
- Always try invite a friend. Two adults are always better than one and friends’ kids can play with my helping them to stay close.
- Make sure that our pool/beach bag is well organized. Doing this allows me to make sure that I can quickly grab what I need and less likely that the girls (Skibbles) can run off while I’m searching for something.
- Explain the importance of safety to our toddler so she’s able to listen.
One way I can ensure safety is my using the SwimWays Baby Spring Float. This is what we will keep the baby in, at least while at the pool. It’s a great introduction product for babies and water. Apparently it also makes a great toddler toy to run around in while in the yard. At least I know she’ll be occupied.
SwimWays wants you to know that as the leader in promoting water safety, they are responsible for the 5th annual National Learn to Swim Day on May 21, 2016. They also have a National Learn to Swim Day to help educate parents about things like water safety and the benefits you get when learning to swim.
We hope you’ll join us as we head to the pool see! See you then 🙂
It’s 11pm. I’m just crawling into bed after trying to work a few hours after putting the girls to bed. I’ve been up since 5am with both girls after intermittent sleep all night. Both girls waking up every hour or two back and forth. My to-do list for both home and work growing instead of shrinking. There’s simply not enough time or energy for that matter to get through some days.
The day was long. It was a struggle.
A struggle that only a mom truly understands. The Mom Struggle.
I know I yelled too many times, got upset, and didn’t breathe and reboot enough. I didn’t take the time to bask in the beautiful moments that were happening. I may have been counting down the hours until bedtime. Between the baby screaming because her gums hurt from teething, to the threeanger’s attitude and incessant need to say “mom” over and over and over again. Trying to get my work done both for the business and to keep the home in order. I’m…just…so…tired. I need a break.
I find myself. Crawling into bed and the wave of hormones rush over me like I’m drowning in their love.
I kiss the baby on her head. Rub her soft, baby hair and rub my nose against her cheek. Something so smooth and innocent about her sleeping makes me realize how precious life is every day.
I look at my toddler. Your sweet, peaceful, sleeping face. I take in the scent of your hair. I notice that you no longer have sweet baby’s breath. I tenderly rub your cheek, stroke your hair, reach in to kiss your cheek. You start moving and I pray that you don’t wake up, but just let me take this moment in for a bit longer. For I know that tomorrow you are going to be just a little bit older.
So, please, stay sleeping, and let me have this moment.
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Folks, I’m just going to throw it out there and be completely blunt.
This sh*t is f*cking hard.
Okay, deep breathe. Exhale.
You know how people are like labor is hard, but they don’t tell you HOW hard it really is and then you are laying (or squatting, or whatever your preferred birthing position is) on the hospital bed screaming in pain, yelling at your doctor that your vagina is on fire. Same sh*t happened with this. People were all, “oh, going from one to two was harder than when I went from 6 to 7.” But they don’t keep it real.
So let me keep it real with you.
You will never sleep. And this isn’t like never sleeping when you only have one. You get the big kid down, then you go lay the baby down, the big kid gets up. Then you get them both down again and the baby is up. For some reason your toddler decided she wanted to be one of 0.04% of kids that didn’t give up breastfeeding so now you find yourself tandem nursing them both and the big kid is nursing more than the damn baby. LIKE. FOR REAL. Just Stop it. Except when I’m engorged and then I’ll happily let you nurse. Otherwise, back up and have another cookie.
Speaking of cookies, hide those everywhere. I mean behind the couch, random drawers, under your pillow. EVERYWHERE. Because the older one is going to flip their lid at random times because you are naturally stuck under a nursing baby every 25.3 minutes around the clock. Cookies help. Chocolate preferably. Make sure you put some extra in there for yourself, because you forgot to eat breakfast and lunch and it’s 3:00pm. Go ahead and order pizza because you forgot to thaw out the chicken for dinner tonight.
Once the baby starts crawling, the older one suddenly learns how to hit and bite and pinch and scream because EVERYTHINGGGG is THEIR TOY! Everything. Their actual toys. The baby’s toys. Your cell phone. Your socks, dishes, and underwear. Essentially anything that the baby can touch is theirs and will cause them to go ape sh*t the moment the baby touches it.
Someone is not going to be showering. Whether it’s you, the big one, or the baby, maybe all of the above, there’s just not enough hours. It’s probably going to be the baby, because hormones have you smelling less than fantastic, showering the toddler get you 6.8 minutes of peace (add color tablets to the tub for 10 minutes), and the baby only spit up twice today, so she’ll be good for another 4 or 5 days.
Just start eating your food straight from the fridge. You will never eat another hot meal until your kids are 12 so just get used to it now. The literal moment that you sit a pipping hot plate of food down, your mouth starts salivating because you haven’t ate all day (except for the random slice of orange, 4 blueberries, 1/2 a pbj sandwich, and cookie crumbs your toddler left behind), the baby will start screaming. And not like just a little cry, like full fledge scream like someone poked her in the eye (which also may have actually happened if you forget to sit the toddler down to the table).
But I regress. Somehow the moments where you catch them chatting, holding hands, and laughing together, make all the craziness worth it. And then, as if it’s not already hard, the mom guilt will kick in. You will realize that the big one is growing up too fast, you haven’t spent enough time with them, and you will break down in uncontrollable sobbing to your significant other, telling them that you are a horrible parent and they will look at you like you have five heads.
Carry on. Be strong.
We live in a word of constant judgement everywhere we go. On the internet, in public, in our homes when we invite others, like family, inside. I do my best not to feed off other’s thoughts about my parenting skills and techniques and instead focus on how best I think to raise my kids. It’s completely different from how I was raised and that’s okay. I’m not saying that my ways are better or that my parents did or didn’t do something right, but I’m doing what I feel is best for our girls. But I think there comes a time when no matter how right we think we are doing, something knocks you down and makes you question if you really are doing the right things with your kids.
That moment for me happened last week.
We have raised Skibs to be very independent. We give her options and let her decide what things she would like to do. We let her try to figure things out on her own. We give her space to learn about life while guiding her at the same time. This has worked out very well for us and we know that it will be a great characteristic trait of hers later in life. However, there are times when she wants to do something her way and has a meltdown if we tell her otherwise. Typically these moments are quickly dissolved with a little reasoning and explanation. But not last week. Last week, we went to the library for the first time to get her a library card and check out some books for school time. It was nearing time to go and I told her she could pick out one more book and then it was time to go. She kept wanting to pull all the books off the shelf and when I explained that she couldn’t do that, we had the biggest, epic meltdown of her entire life. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIBRARY. It was so embarrassing. I actually had to remove ourselves from the library in order to get her to calm down. The walk from the children’s area of the library to the front door seemed like a million miles. She was screaming and crying so loudly that everyone stopped and starred the entire way. I felt completely out of control, out of my element.
I wanted to scream and yell. The embarrassment really got to me in that moment. But I had to quickly remind myself that none of those people inside matter. I had to Parent On because I would likely never see a majority of them ever again. Parent On. That was it. A new campaign from one of our blog sponsors, Tommee Tippee, recently created. That no matter the obstacles that we face as matter, no matter what advice or judgement we receives from others, that we must #ParentOn.
As quickly as I could I got us into the car, channeled my inner Daniel Tiger (“When you’re feeling mad and you wanna roar!, Take a deep breath and count to four) and remembered that I had to Parent On. Skibs and I talked about what happened and I gave her the choice to go home or go back and try again. Happily (for both of us) she wanted to try again and we did and it went beautifully.
No matter the situation you are in, whether you feel others are judging you with their eyes, or they actually comment to you. No matter who the person is, whether a stranger or your own family member. You, We, I– must remember that these are our children and we are doing the best we can, so let us trust our instincts, embrace what’s perfectly imperfect about parenting and enjoy our children growing. We must continue to Parent On.
Follow along on social media with #ParentOn to support other parents in moments where they want to give up but remember that they too have to persevere.
The baby is crying again.
He just won’t sleep. We are tired and getting cranky ourselves. Dreaming of hitting the sheets and our comfy down pillow. Isn’t that funny? We are dreaming of dreaming. These tired eyes are getting darker circles by the minute, while the babies cries are getting louder. I have been rocking the baby for almost two hours, and each time I set him down his eyes burst open and the tears stream down his face. Back to square one.
And then you come up and ask, “Why is he crying? Why won’t he sleep?”
Please don’t! Asking this does not help, in fact it makes things worse. If I knew what was wrong, I would fix it. This comment can fill my insides with steam, as I am already frazzled and tired.
Please just keep this silly comment to yourself. Leave me to the cries, or you take the reigns. But please don’t ask me why the baby is crying. We are both so tired, but neither of us will be sleeping like this.
I take the baby back to our bed, I can feel your eyes rolling from across the room. I’m tired, he’s tired. We need sleep.
You ask, “will he be in our bed until college?”
Not helping dad.
I, too, dream of days of uninterrupted sleep without a baby’s foot in my ribs and a pillow to myself. In fact, it all seems like a distant memory that I barely remember. So please don’t tell me you are tired in the morning, I am tired too. I don’t think I’ve hit a full REM cycle since the baby was born. So for now, I am off to bed, with baby in tow. So please don’t ask me when the baby will sleep on his own. In his crib. All night.
Right now I just choose sleep. Any tiny glimpse of it. I will do whatever allows me to lay my head on a pillow with my eyes closed tight.
We love you. But please don’t say those words.
Maybe I am just cranky and maybe I just need some sleep. But those are two comments that are enough to drive this mommy mad. We get enough backhanded comments from outsiders. Let’s keep these two comments out of the house. We will all be a lot happier. If you want to help, grab the baby and let me take a nap. Or make us another pot of coffee. Even better, Mothers Day is coming up… I envision a nice spa day. We know you don’t mean it, you may not even know that it frustrates us. Like I said, I might just be tried and cranky.
Welcome to Time for Mom!
Welcome to the final Time for Mom link up! Yes, you read that correctly, this week will be the last week for Time for Mom. The four of us co-hostesses discussed this recently and decided that while we had a good run, Time for Mom has run it’s course. We will all continue to write about parenting and “kid stuff” on our blogs, so please follow along on each of our pages for many more posts to come! Melissa will continue her parenting/preemie Tuesday posts, Brie will continue writing her fantastic parenting posts, Larisha will continue sharing her natural parenting tips and Rachel will keep writing about kids activities and toddler friendly recipes.
Thanks for the wonderful years of Time for Mom everyone! If you wish to keep sharing your post with us weekly, please feel free to request to join our group Pinterest board, Time for Mom Superstars!
Don’t forget to link up today for our last hurrah!
Every week each of the co-hosts picks a blogger to feature from the week before! Check out our picks from last week’s link up!
Parenting isn’t Easy at All.
You’re washing your face and trying to keep your eyes open. The day is done, until the baby wakes for his 1am feeding, you can’t help but feel run down. Your hair is a mess, there are several unexplainable stains on your shirt. The bags under your eyes have replaced the ones that used to be in your closet. You can’t help but wonder where you have gone. The girl who was spontaneous, carefree and well put together.
You run a warm bath hoping to get a few moments to yourself. You head downstairs to pour a glass of wine and grab a book that you bought last year and still haven’t opened. Before you head back upstairs hubby asks if his jeans are clean for tomorrow. You shrug and head back down to the laundry, you knew you forgot something.
But don’t you always?
The clothes are sitting sopping wet in the washer. You give them a quick sniff and throw them in the dryer with a few extra dryer sheets. You take a deep breath and head back upstairs and fall onto the couch. You hit the cushions and feel your eyes starting to close. Suddenly you remember the bath water is running. You get to the bathroom just in time to see the water pour over onto the floor.
Another mess to clean. Your relaxing bath turned into yet another chore. You soak up the water and then sink into the tub. You take a sip of your wine, and slowly lower your head under the water.
Did you just hear someone calling you? No, the children are asleep.
There it is again, your oldest is awake. Great!
You pull yourself out of the water and open the door.
“Mommy” he says with a smile on his face. And then wraps his arms around you. “I love you”
You breath. The frown on your face turns into a smile. Your short lived bath, and tired eyes are no longer on your mind.
This is what makes you realize that none of that matters. True love, the perfect ending to your night. Those tiny arms around your waist.
“I love you too little man, I love you too”
Parenting isn’t easy, but it’s the little moments that make you realize it’s all worth it.
Welcome to Time for Mom!
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I get asked all the time …what is natural parenting? what do you mean semi-crunchy? These are both terms that we use to describe our parenting, but just because they mean one thing for us, doesn’t mean that they mean the same thing for others who describe themselves within the realm of semi-crunchy natural parenting too.
First, let’s talk about what I mean by natural parenting. Natural parenting is described by Natural Parents Network as the “desire to live and parent responsively and consciously”. According to Natural Parents Network they have four subcategories that essentially make up natural parenting: attachment parenting, ecological responsibility, holistic health, and natural learning.
The reason that I use natural parenting over just attachment parenting is because I think parenting needs to encompass more than just the attachment speak. So what is natural parenting to us? Well, it’s a lot of things. Our main key focuses that we believe in are:
- Preparing for Birth, Pregnancy, and Life – we do this by researching, questioning, and educating ourselves on risks and benefits of recommendations during our pregnancy, as well interventions for newborn care and childhood, as well as the recommendations for us as adults
- For us during pregnancy and birth specifically this means limited inventions during pregnancy, natural, unmedicated birth, delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin contact
- We believe in exclusive breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding
- We do not believe in Cry-It-Out or other forms of sleep training children
- We co-sleep by bedsharing since birth
- We babywear
- We practice baby-led weaning instead of cereals and purees
- We do gentle discipline
- We use cloth diapers
- We garden and recycle and teach our children about the importance of natural preservation
- We find natural, holistic alternatives to health conditions like using essential oils
- We make most of our meals from scratch, watch ingredients lists, and eat organic
- We allow learning to happen naturally and plan to homeschool
- We extended rear-face and are very adamant about car seat safety
And many more things encompass what we believe when referring to natural parenting.
Now, what in the world does Semi-Crunchy mean?
Well, crunchy is just a fun term coined to describe everything that I just mentioned above. So here we are really focusing on the “Semi” part. As much as I wish to be the best 100% Crunchy, Natural, Attachment parent- I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not. So why? Well, the answer is simple, I’m not perfect. And to be 100% honest, we didn’t start on the natural journey at all until we into halfway through our pregnancy with Skibbles. Here’s what I mean-
- We use disposables too. In fact, since about 16 months, we’ve been exclusively using them over cloth diapers after I was running into issues.
- Eating organic isn’t possible 100% of the time. We aren’t made of money and I believe that limiting processed foods is better than not having an organic apple. Everyday we try to get better.
- I enjoy eating out when we can. We know this isn’t the best, but I can’t turn down an Amish doughnut, a spoonful of Nutella, a cookies and cream milkshake from Chick-fil-A, or that delicious greasy pizza from our favorite place.
- We watch way more TV that I care to admit.
- I loose my patience some days and my voice gets raised.
- I don’t ALWAYS enjoy breastfeeding. Since day one, I’ve had moments, days, weeks, where I wanted to throw in the towel…I remind myself that each day is a new day and we’re still going at 26 months.
- Sometimes there’s more snacks throughout the day than there is real food because I just need a break from the whining.
- We give plastic toys AND wooden ones
- Andrew would never allow me to get rid of our microwave
- We don’t always get outside and explore and have fewer playdates than I really want
- And to be 100% honest – there are just some parts of “crunchy” parenting that freak me out or that I just don’t think would work for our family – like kombucha or elimination communication.
The main idea here is that there is not a “one-size” fits all when it comes to natural parenting. We are all parents and we are all trying to do our best. This is what works for our family and we change and adapt everyday as we feel that we need to do so. At the end of the day, I think we all just pray that our children grow into upstanding adults that respect themselves and others, work hard, love unconditionally, and appreciate the little things we did for them.
Do you find yourself a part of semi-crunchy natural parenting? Something else? Weigh in below in the comments.