Taking Time for Yourself as a Mom

As a mom it can get a bit crazy. It is important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. I remember being a new mom Busy Momsand my husband had gone back to work after paternity leave. I would get so caught up in all the little chores and nursing my baby, my husband would come home and I would be so tired. He would ask me if I had eaten anything recently and I couldn’t remember the last time I ate anything. Being a mom takes everything that we have. It is the hardest job in the world.   We are constantly in demand and never get a day off even if we are sick. We put our little one’s first everyday and it is important to do that, but it is also important to take care of ourselves.

If we do not take care of ourselves we have nothing to give. Things that were easy to do before kids like exercise, eat healthy, have a hobby, and get some downtime are now next to impossible. But we have to take the time. If not we are going to be miserable. It gets harder and harder to do this as your family gets bigger. I remember being able to get together with my friends more often when I only had one child. Now I have three and I find myself going for long periods of time before I realize I haven’t seen my friends in a while.

I know it is hard to do, but we must set aside time for ourselves. If not we cannot do our job of being a mom and enjoy our children. If we are tired and on empty children become a chore not a joy.   When we are stressed out and unhealthy we don’t get to enjoy all the fun things about being a mom. Here are some ideas to help you take care of yourself:

  1. Wake up an hour before your children get up. Make sure you take the time to take a shower, eat breakfast and take a little time for yourself. I like to spend time eating my breakfast, drinking my chai and reading my Holman Christian Standard Bible. This way when your child calls you in the morning ready to get up, you are up and ready and not stressed. I know it can be hard to do. I’m not a morning person myself, but I have had to work on going to bed earlier so I can get up and be fresh in the morning.
  2. When you are grocery shopping make sure you buy special foods for yourself. I found myself buying all my husband’s and children’s special foods and getting home and not having anything in the cupboards that I like to eat.
  3. Make sure you plan a girls night out once a month with friends you enjoy spending time with. If it is on the calendar then it will not be stressful and you don’t have to think about it.
  4. Make sure you exercise at least a couple times a week. I joined a mom’s workout class at my local fitness center and it is a great time for me to focus on myself, being healthy and also socialize with other moms. I bring my children with me so I do not have to pay for child care.
  5. Take a break when you need it. Take the time to find a couple sitters you really trust to have on hand for when you need them. It is important to take advantage of childcare not just when you have an appointment, but also to get a break every once in a while.

In closing being a mom is the best job in the world, but can also be the worst job in the world when you’re stressed, tired and on empty. So make sure you take care of yourself and don’t feel bad about it. You being healthy and happy is the best gift you can give your child.

 

Photo Credit – www.maidsbytrade.com

Picky Eaters

When my first child started eating solid food I was determined to stick to the Super Baby Food plan which is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. My sweet baby boy ate everything and ate super healthy. I gave with oatmeal in the morning mixed with veges and ground flax seed. He ate so good but had really bad baby acne and eczema. Picky EatingHis eczema got worse and worse and the poor baby was so itchy all the time. He would wake up in the middle of the night itching and had to take several trips to urgent care. At 3 months we got him tested for food allergies and it came up he was allergic to all nuts which he was getting through my breast milk. Later on through more testing we discovered he was also allergic to kiwi, egg yolk, and sea food. Also when he was around 18 months he got the flu and threw up for a week. During this week the only thing he could keep down as he started to feel better was animal crackers. After the flu he became a very picky eater and gone were the days where my boy would eat broccoli, asparagus, tofu, and pretty much whatever I put on his plate. So now 7 years later I have three kids now and they are all super picky and prefer to mostly eat cereal and sandwiches.

So I am in the middle of the battle with all of you that have kids that are picky eaters. I have tried many strategies. Some have worked and some have not. I have tried sticker charts, rewards, having them go to bed hungry because they chose not to eat the dinner which is available for them at anytime. But my kids are stubborn and smart. They know that I get busy and forget the plan for let them slide out of convenience. So my advice from experience is whatever your plan is stick to it. Have family dinner together with whoever is home and offer your kids something you know they like and whatever else is for dinner. They have to eat everything on there plate before they get anything else and be consistent with that. It will be hard but overtime you will no longer be a short order cook and your kids will start eating what the rest of the family is eating. It is still a battle in our household but when I am consistent and stick to the plan my kids eat better.

 

Photo Credit – raisehealthyeaters.com

Sending Your Child to Kindergarten

Sending your first child or any child to kindergarten can cause mixed emotions. Kids in SchoolOn one hand you might be excited even thrilled to have your vibrant five year old that asks a million questions a day out of the house for a while. On the other hand you might be fearful, worried and even paralyzed with anxiety. The transition for any family can be both joyful and difficult all at the same time. How do you prepare yourself for letting go after protecting your child for five years?   They seem so young and fragile even though kids are strong and flexible. As parents we can have a hard time seeing our kids grow up and Kindergarten now being all day in most school districts can make for a long day for a five year old. So how do we prepare ourselves as parents and prepare our kids for Kindergarten. There really is no way to fully prepare yourself for sending your child to Kindergarten or for any part of parenting for that matter, but you can equip yourself so the process is a little easier. Here are some ideas:

 

  1. Send your child to Preschool the year before Kindergarten Being a stay at home mom and practically having my children attached to me, I was a little nervous to let go and send my children to preschool but most preschools are half day and some only a few days a week. This makes it so you still have time with your child but you both get a little break. Preschool prepares children for Kindergarten emotionally, socially, and academically. Some parents are concerned about the cost of preschool but a lot of districts provide free preschool for four-year-olds so money is not an issue.

 

  1. Start establishing routines in the summer a month before school starts. If your child is used to staying but very late and sleeping in until the day before school starts that is going to make an already difficult transition even more difficult. Also establish a morning and after school routine. Have your child get up and get dressed, brush teeth, etc. instead of hanging out in pj’s most of the morning. Decide what the after school routine is going to consist of. Where is your child going to put his/her backpack, lunch box, and folder when he/she gets home. Do you want them to do chores before they play? Is homework going to be after dinner or before and then there is the shower/bath to fit into the nightly routine. It is good idea to plan this out and talk about it with your child so you have a good plan. The night can fly by when there is only so much time after school.

 

  1. Have expectations for your child to be very tired. If you expect your child to have a few melt downs do to tiredness it won’t frustrate you and catch you off guard. Don’t plan after school activities or sports for the first two months so your child can get used to the new routine and adapt to the life of a school age child.

 

  1. Have fun with it. Pack especial notes in your child’s lunch, take special first day of school pictures for Facebook, go to ice cream after school on the first day. This transition can be difficult but is memorable and special. Your baby is growing up and their first day of Kindergarten only happens once so deal with the fear and anxiety ahead of time so you can enjoy it and have fun with your child.

 

Photo Credit – www.youngpreneur.com

Taking Pictures of your Baby

If you are like me and dreamed about having a beautiful child that is your very own, you want to have precious pictures of that sweet baby you can enjoy for years to come. But life with a baby can also be overwhelming. Even though you are madly in love with your little one, there is still so much to do including diapers, laundry, more laundry, feeding, and cleaning. Even though you can have great intentions of capturing every sweet moment and mile marker on camera, life just happens. Here are some tips to taking and organizing your photos of your sweet baby:

 

  1. Have a baby book. You can buy one from the store or make one online using a photo service like Shutterfly or Snapfish. You can upload pictures and then when you are ready simply pick out the best ones to put into a book that you can enjoy for years to come. Then all the photos are in one place. You can also give these photo books as gifts to grandparents and aunts and uncles.

 

  1. Have a plan. If you want to take a professional picture every month for the first year of your baby’s life then plan for that. If that is really important to you then you can set aside that time. Places like JC Penney and Picture People have affordable picture plans for that. If you have a nice camera and want to do it yourself then you can choose a place in your house and a theme you want to use each time. You can also splurge once a year and hire a professional photographer.

 

  1. Let yourself off the hook. You might have a plan when your baby is in utero to take a picture every month like I talked about above and then life happens and it is just to much. Don’t worry about it. You can do a newborn, six month and one year picture of your baby and still see the changes they make and have that documented.

 

  1. Don’t feel like you have to buy fancy new baby clothes. If you have a theme in mind and an outfit in mind that you just have to have your baby in like a fancy dress or black suit, don’t feel like you have to buy those new. There are so many great second hand stores that have lots of special outfits in various sizes for inexpensive. Baby’s only wear these outfits a couple times so they are usually in almost new condition.

 

  1. Use Props. You can make simple fun props like a number cut out of card stock for each month of the first year of your babies life or use a chalk board and right the number on it. Wooden crates or boxes work great for babies on the move because it contains them.. You can also use a vintage mental baby bath tub which will also contain your baby and make a super cute picture of your baby. You can put your baby in the tub in just his or her diaper or dressed in denim overalls. If you want to do a sports theme, you can pick up baby size sports balls for a dollar at the dollar store.

 

  1. Have Fun! Taking pictures of your baby should be fun and not stressful. Be flexible, if the day is not going your way postpone and try another day. If you have an idea you always thought would be cute, go with it and be creative.