Every parent wishes he or she could be “perfect.” Often as parents we are so focused on what we wish we could do better, that we forget to make the most of the moments we share with our kids. I don’t know if becoming a mom makes me a parenting “expert”, but I can share a few tips that have helped me enjoy parenting a lot more.
Stop focusing on being “perfect” and focus instead on how you can be happy and fulfilled as a parent. What is it that you love about parenting? Make sure to make time for those things, whether it’s reading a story with your child or making a game out of putting away the toys. Even mundane tasks can be an opportunity to learn, share, and have fun with your kids. Tasks take longer with your 2-year-old “helping,” but these little moments can be tremendous opportunities for quality time with your kids that will help build their self-esteem and will put a smile on your face.
Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself.
Have fun with your kids for at least a few minutes each day. It’s the little things that count, and even sharing a few minutes of fun time can make you feel like a million bucks. It can be hard to drop what you are doing and put important tasks on hold, but focusing on your children and seeing the world from their perspective will make for some great memories.
Let go of the guilt. It’s so hard to enjoy parenting if you feel guilty all the time. Maybe you feel guilty because you work, and you might not get to spend as much time with your kids as you would like. Perhaps you feel guilty when you hire a sitter to have a mom’s night out. Yet guilt is an unwelcome intruder that can wreak havoc on your personal time with your family. Let it go. Whether you work out of economic necessity or personal fulfillment, it’s an important part of your life, and so is personal time. It makes you, “you,” and ultimately maintaining a balance can make you a better parent!
Reward yourself and make time for you. It’s important for you to have moments when you can relax, reflect, and enjoy yourself away from your kids and the pressures of daily life. This is time to rejuvenate. You might even find that you miss your kids while you’re away from them having this personal time! Afterwards you’ll have a fresh well of patience and appreciate your time with your kids that much more.
As we are bracing for Hurricane Sandy here in New Jersey, seen as one of the worst storms in hurricane history, we have to talk about some of the weather labor myths associated with increase in labor. While there are TONS of myths throughout all of pregnancy from determining gender based on how you are carrying to myths about how to induce labor…there are two main myths associated with weather, both of which I am having to worry about right now with just a few weeks left of our pregnancy.
Myth #1. Full Moons increase births.
Myth #2. Hurricanes bring more babies.
Both of these are simply myths. There have been many studies researching both and while a few studies have shown some correlation, the majority show it’s just simply false. What these researchers do point out in the case of hurricanes is that labor is brought on simply by hormones and the stress from preparing for any type of natural weather disaster, may trigger those hormones, putting a mom in labor.
Today, there is a full moon, in addition to the hurricane set to to make landfall just 45 miles from here, so I guess we will soon see if either of these myths are true for us!!I know that we have been preparing for everything that can possibly happen and while I’m trying not to stress, the thought of having to get to the hospital during a torrential downpour and high speed winds, is definitely not something that I’m trying to think about! I will say that my baby girl was going crazy all day yesterday and has started going crazy all day today too. Who knows!? Maybe I will have a hurricane baby, maybe not 🙂
There are so many things to consider when having a baby. I had no idea there was a difference in breast pumps when I decided that I would breastfed, but I quickly learned that there are actually two types of systems: OPEN and CLOSED. So what’s the difference? Does it matter? I’ve tried to highlight the main points below to the best of my ability. **Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, just a soon to be first time mom, learning as I go, hoping to help others make educated decisions.
Open Systems Basics
- No barrier between milk collection and the pumping mechanism–This means your milk is exposed to an outside air impurities (examples–dust, smoke, pet dander, viruses) and vulnerable to contamination. It also means that milk can be sucked into the tubing parts. If milk gets into the tubing unnoticed, mold can begin to grow in the tubes and the motor.
- With open systems it is recommended to dry the tubing after thoroughly cleaning with isopropyl alcohol; however, while this speeds up the drying time the alcohol vapors can stay and thus be drawn into collected milk.
- Common open system breast pumps:Evenflo Elan, First Years Easy Comfort, First Years miPump
- Barrier between collection and tubing– This prevents any outside air impurities from your breastmilk. Also ensures no milk will enter tubing or motor which eliminates need to wash tubing and prevents mold from being able to grow.
- The first closed system was made by Ameda.
- Common closed system breast pumps: Avent ISIS iQ, Ameda Elite, Ameda Purely Yours, Playtex Embrace, Lansinoh Double Electric, Medela Swing, Hygeia EnDeare or EnJoye
There has been a lot of debate lately about breastfeeding.
First, TIME magazine put a very controversial cover featuring a woman breastfeeding an approximately 4 year old child.
Then, two military moms were featured in the news for breastfeeding while wearing their uniforms.
I’ve never been extremely eco-friendly. While I do recycle and recently started my own garden…it really ends there.
Then I became pregnant.
Almost immediately I started considering cloth diapering. Where these ideas came from… I have no idea. But halfway through this pregnancy, I am diving head first into learning everything cloth diaper.
And let me tell you…it’s hard…these aren’t my moms cloth diapers with just some folding and pins. There’s prefolds, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, one size, fitteds, covers, pockets…overwhelmed yet…I sure was am.
So why do I want to? (The four main reasons)
- It saves a ton. The average cost of disposable diapering until age 2 is $2000. The average cost of cloth the entire time a child is in diapers is approximately $800. Plus if you have more than one child, you can continue to reuse the cloth diapers, yielding an even bigger savings.
- It’s healthier for baby. Many people don’t realize that there are harsh chemicals in disposable diapers that cloth simply don’t have, including dioxin and polypropylene, amongst others.
- Convenience. Ever run out of diapers and are stuck leaving a dirty diaper on your child until you can gather find everything your keys you need get to the store? Never again. You can never run out of cloth diapers…though you may need to do a wash.
- Prevent waste. In addition to just making yourself feel better about protecting the baby, you will help the environment by eliminating up to one ton of waste that is estimated to come from every child’s disposable diapers by age 2. Plus a diaper taskes approximately 500 years to decompose.
The first reason, is really all I needed. I’m very frugal spending aware, especially as we are trying to save for our downpayment for our first house. Which is essentially how I convinced my fiance to do it with me. His initial thought was literally, “Hell No! I’m not touching poop”. After explaining the modern convinces to cloth diapering plus the savings, he was all in. Thank God!
While the average cloth diaper costs anywhere between $5-$25, the initial shock was overwhelming. However, the more I read, it’s recommended for 2-3 dozen diapers for newborns-6 months and as little as 6-8 once older, depending on your washing preferences.
There’s also no more “dunking” associated with cloth diapers like many people initially assume and the adorable bright colors and prints are to die for!
Do you cloth? What are your favorite brands? This is just my initial post on how I came to my decision to cloth. I will be posting a lot more once I start to build my stash and obviously once the baby is here, so I can update everyone on how it’s going!!
Updated: Read more on Cloth Diapering
*Disclosure: Affiliate links contained in this post. You purchase like you would normally, but we receive a small commission.
I freaked out when, at only 6 weeks, my pants were already tight. By 8 weeks even my “big girl” jeans weren’t fitting. I wanted to break down and cry…okay for a few minutes I actually did. Whether it was because of the jeans or the hormones, I’ll never know…but I’m blaming the hormones.
What in the world was I going to do…I was still in shock that I was pregnant. Hadn’t even told any of my family yet and I was going home for Easter to break the news to everyone and I couldn’t even find anything to pack.
I had heard that Target had an awesome maternity section, but was dreading going there to look for maternity pants. Not only did I not want to buy them yet, I heard so many stories about them not fitting until you were readily showing (which I wasn’t at the time).
Once I got there, I found, on the end aisle, a “BeBand Maternity” (similar to this one). I was intrigued to say the least. The thought of being able to use this for multiple months would save me a ton. They had them in white, black, and a nude color. I took it out of the package in the store and tried it on right there in the middle of the aisle…I was desperate to find something. I was hooked!
|Be Maternity BeBand as shown on Target website|
So what are my initial thoughts … 13 weeks after buying this….
It doesn’t feel constricting whatsoever
Whether I unbutton or completely unzip my pants it holds them up
Multiple neutral colors, give you the option to just look like you are wearing another tank top
Still just as tight after multiple washes
Because it is a fairly thin material, depending on the shirt you decide to wear, you can see that the buttons are undone on your pants
|17 weeks wearing with jeans from Forever 21|
|20 weeks wearing with shorts from Forever 21|
For less than half the price as a new pair of maternity jeans, you really can’t beat it. I have recommended it to all of my friends that are currently expecting and will continue to recommend it to anyone that I find out who is!!