Tag Archive | "parenting tips"

A message to stay-at-home moms – stay true to you

It’s entirely too easy to immerse yourself in motherhood and forget who you are when you’re a stay-at-home mom. You’ve entered a whole new world full of dirty diapers, bottles, tiny clothes and brand new responsibilities.

The first few months of a baby’s life are demanding while you both adjust to this new world together. However, before you attempt to morph into a super mom, taking on every challenge and forgetting about tending to you, stop and take a breath. Don’t forget about yourself.

Take a moment and consider a few questions. What hobbies do you enjoy? Do you have friends with whom you’d like to spend more time? What new activities have you considered? Who has offered to watch your baby so you can have some alone time? These are a number of the key questions to answer. I know it may seem impossible to nurture a hobby with a newborn, but it’s not as difficult as it may seem.

For example, let’s say that photography is your passion. Take the time to show off your skills. Record your baby’s growth by taking pictures every few weeks. If you’re too busy to collect the photos in scrapbooks, just store them for later when you do have more time. You also could show off your little one’s growth in a fantastic display using inexpensive collage frames. Or, how about using video? Send a few clips to relatives who live far away. This is a great way to stay in touch and show off your baby’s accomplishments and milestones.

Baby books can take on a whole new meaning if writing is your niche. Instead of using a book that simply requires you to fill in the blanks, opt for a blank journal with a cover that strikes your fancy. Take a few minutes out of your busy day to jot down what your baby has done or how your baby was feeling. You could write an entire page or just a sentence. Regardless, with a little time each day, this can become a treasured work of art for you and your child to enjoy.

Why stop at a baby book? Keeping a personal journal is great therapy and can help keep your life in perspective. Finding just a few minutes each day to jot down your thoughts and feelings, especially those that are hard to share with others, can remove a heavy load from your shoulders.

It can also help you relieve tension in a healthy way. Personal journals may become an invaluable outlet for moments when you feel overwhelmed or anxious. It would also be a great way to look back and see how you have changed over time, as well as how you handled certain situations. And, are you trying to lose those extra baby pounds? Record your activity and weight for an added incentive to stick to healthier living.

Are you the type who likes to get your fingers dirty in a flower bed? Don’t put off gardening simply because you’ve got a little one in tow. Involve them in the action as well. Toddlers love to get their hands dirty…although you might not always like the critters they find. Have patience with them when they pull the blooms off your plants. It’s a compliment to how beautiful the flowers are. If your child is too young to get her hands dirty, bring out the playpen and set it up in your garden. The screens around the playpen will keep bugs away from your baby while you are busy. All that fresh air and sunlight will do wonders for both of you.

In the end, it’s all about using your time wisely. Don’t lose sight of your passions or trade them in for household chores. Work time for them into your daily or weekly schedule. As your days become more predictable, you’ll be able to spend even more time on your hobbies. The important thing here is to keep your spirit lifted by nurturing and not neglecting who you are.

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When mom gets sick

As if it weren’t tricky enough taking care of an infant with a cold; with the return of cold and flu season, you may find yourself coughing and sneezing right along with him. It may seem near impossible to find ways to soothe your aching body and get back to full health without neglecting your role as a mother. There are a few ways to sneak in some relaxing you time, provided you have the essentials. Before cold and flu season is upon you, remember to stock up on your rescue items. Make sure you have plenty of cough drops, tea, honey, lemons, tissues, hand sanitizer and, most importantly, comfortable pajamas or lounging clothes.

It’s much easier to get through an illness when your baby is sleeping soundly at night. Therefore, the moment you start to feel a cold coming on, try your best to keep the germs to yourself. One way to combat the spread of germs is to always wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or even using a tissue. Sometimes it is difficult to just get up and run to the bathroom to wash your hands. Who knows what sort of trouble your baby could get into in your absence? Keeping small bottles of hand sanitizer next to your tissue boxes as well as in strategic places throughout the house can easily solve this problem. After using a tissue, you can easily sanitize your hands if you’re unable to get to the washroom.

When you are ill, one common piece of advice that is extremely important to remember is to drink lots of fluids. Drinking fluids aids in loosening congestion, which helps you heal faster. If you don’t like drinking plain water, drink tea. Hot tea is a great way to soothe the soul while making sure you get sufficient hydration. But safety first! Never drink a hot beverage around an infant. Spills happen to even the most cautious, and a hot drink could severely burn an infant. This would be a great time to use your baby’s swing, jumper or exerciser. While your baby is playing, sit back and enjoy your relaxing cup of tea. To get an extra boost of vitamin C, add a squeeze of lemon. Honey will also add sweetness and flavor to your tea, as well as soothing your aching throat.

Try to keep your days on the quiet side until your energy is back up again. Grab a dozen or so of your baby’s favorite books, cough drops, tissues, and hand sanitizer for you, and snuggle together under a blanket for story time. Your baby will love the one-on-one attention and all the extra snuggle time. Your body will definitely thank you for the extra rest while it continues to fight off your cold. If reading becomes too difficult, settle down for an educational DVD or simply turn the pages of a picture book and let your baby “read” to you. This is also a great way to see how your baby copies gestures or points out certain objects with which he is familiar from when you two previously read the story.

Don’t beat yourself up about not accomplishing all your normal household chores. If it would boost your spirits to keep up your normal routine, feel free to continue. Just remember – no one is going to hand you a gold medal for having the cleanest or most organized home. And no one is going to find fault with you for taking time to rest your weary body. Now is certainly not the time for you to push yourself to the limit. There are some moms out there who would just go crazy thinking of all the chores to be done. The sight of dirty dishes or unwashed laundry would leave them in a permanent state of unrest. For those moms out there, go for it. The idea is to keep your mood light and boost your spirits for a quick and healthy recovery.

With a little luck, you’ll recover and be back on your feet in no time. It can be hoped that all germs can be contained and removed before anyone else in the house repeats your symptoms. If those germs decide to take up residence in your home for a little while longer, when they do finally leave it’s time to celebrate. You deserve it.

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