From Blip to Baby: How I Came to Terms With My Unplanned Pregnancy

Is it just me, or is everything simply whizzing past in a dizzying blur? Things are happening at lightning speeds, that it’s becoming increasingly stressful to keep up with the pace.  In the midst of all this daily frenzy at home and at work, it’s always refreshing to hear good news (not gossip!).

I just got word from an old friend who now lives in Australia, that she had an ultrasound in Adelaide which confirmed that she’s 8 weeks pregnant. How exciting is that!

This brings me back to nearly two years ago, when I found out I was pregnant. When I saw that tiny blip on the ultrasound machine, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was shell-shocked, to say the least, as it was an unplanned pregnancy. The last thing I wanted was a baby with a man I had just broken up with. A tsunami of thoughts and emotions wiped me out: How was I going to raise this kid alone?  Will I have enough money to make it through this? How is this going to affect my older daughter?

After turning to friends and family for emotional support, sanity then took over. The torrential rains inside my head started to die down, as I embraced the fact that I was going to have a baby.

Even as my little one was still inside my womb, I showered him with all the love I could possibly give. I watched what I ate, and tried my darndest to always think happy thoughts. I regularly tracked his development as he grew inside my 40-year old uterus. When he was finally born, i had a newfound sense of what true happiness meant.

Sometimes, life plays funny tricks on us and jolts us out of our mundane existence. It’s not the end of the world when things don’t go as planned. As long as we believe that we have what it takes to pull ourselves through any situation, we will come out whole again- sometimes, as better versions of ourselves.

And then when it hits you that the seemingly impossible CAN be possible, you get a renewed faith in the cliche that there is a reason for everything.

On the Breakdown of the Family: What Does This Portend?

There has been much literature published on the breakdown of the family unit but in recent years a renewed interest in the subject has been stirred by the controversial nature of same-sex marriages and all the press they have gotten. This has reopened the debate on whether or not the breakdown of the family unit is responsible for crime and poverty and as time goes on, it appears as though it does.

However, validation comes not from a religious perspective as many would like to claim when denying the possibility that a two parent household is important in the development of children, but from a purely socioeconomic perspective. As time goes on, it does appear that the breakdown of the family unit is largely, or at least in part, responsible for a rising crime rate and a life of poverty.

How Same Sex Marriages Can Mirror Traditional Benefits for Children

In a recent study undertaken by the combined efforts of two professors from Harvard University, it was their findings that children from two parent households fared better in the long run than those coming from single parent families. Their findings were not biased by overtones of religion but rather stemming from purely socioeconomic factors.

It is extremely difficult to be a single mother/father and raise a family while giving adequate attention to both children and jobs. Whether it is a same-sex marriage or a traditional marriage, having two parents in the household offered better hope for the future. Children from two parent households went, for the most part, optimistically forward into adulthood getting both a degree and a living wage.

Two Parent Households Provide Better Focus on the Kids

There are few, if any, studies that indicate that it is as easy to give your children the attention they need in a single parent household as would be possible in a two-parent household. By the time you have worked enough hours to pay the bills and have done all the household chores, there is little time or energy left to devote to the children.

Again, the thesis that two parent families offer hope to our youth isn’t based on Judeo-Christian precepts. Yes, you can explore sites like OnFaith, a site for all religions to find that all religions commend family life for offering the greatest opportunities for children but you can also see the implicit understanding that economics has a great deal to do with that hope as well.

General Conclusions:

Rather than blame one group or another for this breakdown of the family unit, maybe a good place to start would be to look at some of the facts and figures that have become available due to these recent studies. Across the board in almost every community studies of all racial and cultural demographics, children from two parent homes fared better in adulthood than those of single parent homes.

This is not to say there won’t be exceptions to the rule, it is just to indicate that as the family unit continues to erode, the prospects for the future of society look grim unless another paradigm is found and developed – that of the extended family in the community at large representing multiple father or mother images to take the place of the missing parent. It’s a thought provoking concept that should be explored.

It’s Not The End Of The World: Top Advice Moms Need To Get From A To B Without A Car!

Whether your car is off the road, or you just can’t afford to run one, it can feel like a stressful time for a mom without a vehicle. After all, you need to get the kids from A to B. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. For one thing, you are bound to save money without a car. The fuel prices, insurance, and tax can end up costing families a fortune. In fact, http://www.cheatsheet.com/ says the average car owner spends $9000 a year on their vehicle. It is a lot of money for a family to payout every year. And it’s also better for the environment and your health if you don’t have a car! Therefore, here is some top advice moms need to get from A to B without a car!

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Look into bus passes

 

A lot of people rely on public transport to get them from A to B. After all, it’s a useful way to safely transport your kids. However, you need to research online so that you can plan the bus route. That way, you know which bus to catch to get to your child’s school and to the local shops. Also, you need to look at bus passes for your family. For a lot of companies, you just pay one price and then you can use it as much as necessary during the week. Remember if you are going to use the bus, you need to ensure you pack light. As it says on http://lifehacker.com, it might be busy, so there won’t be much room for storage!

 

Find a decent taxi firm

 

Although taxis can be expensive, there are some ways to reduce the cost in the modern world. For example, you can download apps such as Uber or Lyft which can both be used to get your family around safely. You can pay the cost before you travel so that you know you won’t be ripped off at the end of the journey. And it tends to be a lot cheaper than using a

traditional taxi rank! You can find out more about how these work on sites such as CruzApp.com.

Get your family some excellent bikes

Another way to get around without a car is to get hold of some bikes. It’s a great way to travel short distances while getting fit at the same time! There are lots of different bikes, so make sure you do your research. As discussed on this site, it’s important to think about the distance and the terrain you will be riding on when choosing a bike. And you can get some excellent bikes for your kids as well. Or if they don’t want to ride them, you could get a child bike trailer which attaches to the rear of your bike. That way, you can ensure you get from A to B without too much trouble!

And remember to ask if any other moms drive past your area on the way to school. You could set up some form of carpooling. That way, you give the mom half the petrol if they transport your family. It will help them save some money on fuel while getting you from A to B at the same time!

Pampering Myself & Saving Money With Groupon Coupons

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine

Just like that, it’s already November. Time doesn’t just fly- it zooms past us like a philanderer breaking a woman’s heart. If you so much as blink an eye, you’re going to miss important events in your life. And with so much going on in mine, I know that I should do something to let loose and relax. What better way to carve out some “me” time than to pamper myself?

When it comes to self-indulgence though, I still opt for a good bargain whenever I can.  So I looked no further than Groupon Coupons for good deals on nearly everything.

My idea of relaxation is packing my bags and going on a trip, so I hurriedly looked up travel deals HERE, and was not disappointed.  They have deals that let you book your flight and hotel at the same time, so you save money. I can then have that vacation I’ve always wanted without burning a hole in my wallet.

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Since the bedroom has always been my go-to place for relaxation at home, pampering myself also means getting new bedsheets and linen.  So when I found great deals on beddings, I was naturally ecstatic.

I also found lots of good deals on Care.com

Time may pass by in the blink of an eye, but it can never steal my delight in things like Groupon coupons.

 

Unbreakable Bond: Moms, This is How You Bond With the Kids

The bond between a mother and her children is one that can’t be broken. And, forging this unbreakable bond is something that happens at an early age. So, you need to come up with the best ways of bonding with the children and making a positive impact on their lives.

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Flickr.com

Read to Them

You know one of the dying arts these days? Parents reading to their children. Most parents these days are too content to let their kids sit in front of a screen. As such, many children nowadays aren’t able to read very well. Educating your child to read and reading to them yourself are really important. This can increase a child’s vocabulary, excite their imaginations, and make them more creative.

Discipline is Important

Discipline plays a big role in your life as a parent. You have to be sure your children are well disciplined and that they know the rules. Kids who lack discipline at a young age will wind up being entitled and spoilt as they get older. That’s why you have to address this behavior when they are very young and make sure you nip it in the bud. Discipline teaches kids about respect and understanding and will bring them closer to you in the long run.

Spend Time Together

Spending time with your children is one of the most important things you’ll have to do as a parent. Kids need love and attention at a young age because it’s crucial for their growth and development. Children look to you as their role models and their link to the world. The more time you spend together, the more your children will learn, and the more well-rounded they will become. If you neglect your kids and don’t make time for them this will have repercussions on them as adults. Too many parents these days don’t make the time for their kids, and you’ve got to make sure you don’t make this mistake.

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Play With Them

You have to put in the time to play with your kids. Spending time together is important as well. But you need to share in the act of playing together. This means you join in with their games and embrace the way they want to have fun. It’s really important for kids to be able to play with their parents. And not enough moms and dads these days take the time to do that. Kids need stimulation and interaction when they play. And they have to be taught about socializing while they play because this will come in very important later in their lives. Also, playing with them allows them to spend time with you in an entertaining environment and ensures that you develop strong bonds.

Know When to Reward Them

You have got to know when to reward your children for their behavior and accomplishments. Now, this is a bit of an art form because you have to get it right. It’s important to recognize their good behavior and success, but you can’t always reward them. You shouldn’t get into the habit of rewarding the kids constantly for things they should be doing anyway. This will make them grow up thinking that’s always going to happen. But it is important to show recognition on occasion. You also have to choose rewards carefully. You could buy them treats, gifts of unique craftsmanship, or follow through on promises. Make a decision about what you feel the best reward will be for your children.

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Image Via Flickr.com

Be Consistent

One of the big mistakes that parents often make is to be inconsistent in their approach to parenting. This is a mistake because it gets confusing for their children. They need consistency to familiarize themselves with the way you parent. This means you need to follow through on threats you make, as well setting boundaries. Find a style of parenting that works for you, and stick to it. The worst thing you can do is chop and change the way you are with the kids. This is okay occasionally, and when they are younger. But, if you do it too much then you’re going to find that the children disengage, and they won’t take things you say seriously. Consistency is the key to success in anything, and parenting is no different.

Prepare for Tantrums

As your children get older, the number of tantrums they have is going to increase. As they get more and more hormonal, they will start to treat everything like it’s the biggest deal in the world. Now there are many ways you can tame your children’s temper tantrums. But this will become increasingly more complex as they get older. And you need to be aware of the fact that these tantrums are going to occur. The best way of bonding well with your kids is to make sure you understand their tantrums and try to understand their emotions. If you can deal with these things well, then you’ll get on better and develop a better relationship with the children.

Find Out What Works for You

There’s no formula for how to be a good parent, though people may tell you otherwise. It’s about being there for your kids and treating them well. But, it’s also about making sure you find what works for you as a parent. Something that is effective for other people and their kids may not work on your kids. The best way to bond effectively and be a good mother is to determine what works with your children and then use the techniques you need. This helps you I understand your kids on a deeper level and allows you to bond with them better.

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Pexels

Parenting is one of the hardest things in the world, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. And you need to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance of being a good mom. The thing is, there is no guidebook to raising children. Sure, there are plenty of parenting books that give you the basics. But no one knows your kids the way you do. And you can use this knowledge of them to ensure you bond with the kids as much as possible.

3 DIY Projects Moms Will Love

On Mother’s Day, how can you honor your mother for the work she does for your family? Perhaps the most popular way of showing Mom how grateful you are for her is through DIY projects. Whether it’s decorating a mailbox for the spring or helping her fix up a space in the house just the way she wants it, young children can get in on the action by making decorative items with Dad using age-appropriate materials.

You might even take it a step farther and get Mom a DIY craft kit or a gift card to her favorite store. The following three DIY project ideas can help you give Mom a nice surprise on Mother’s Day.

DIY Crafts for the Whole Family

 

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Image via Flickr by PersonalCreations.com

Crafting is a relaxing hobby, and it’s one that the whole family can share with Mom. While it’s traditional to give Mom something on Mother’s Day, consider giving her a DIY craft in which everyone can participate. Crafting moms get the pleasure of making something with their families, and everyone else will get to enjoy learning more about Mom and her favorite crafts. Going this route might slightly change up the tradition of giving Mom a gift outright, but it brings the family together and makes the day a particularly special one.

Decorating the Mailbox for the Season

Mother’s Day is something of a season opener for planting annuals or perennials, making it the perfect time to create a beautiful setting for your mailbox. Take Mom on a trip to the nursery and have her pick out what she’d like to see in her front yard, but don’t stop there: Go one step farther and prepare the spot for planting, then let her design the layout. Don’t let her do the work, though; this is her day to relax while she enjoys what her family wants to do for her.

You can also find weatherproof decorations to put on the mailbox. Pick out Mom’s favorite flowers or find items that represent her hobby, and then place them around the mailbox. Be sure, though, to keep them out of the way of the postal worker who delivers your mail.

Check an Item Off the Honey-Do List

There’s always something around the house that Mom has been wanting to do for ages but that never seems to get done. Use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to get that project done. When you tackle the jobs that are the most important to her, you can get the whole family involved, assigning age-appropriate tasks so that no one will feel left out.

Whether it’s hanging a mirror and putting up a shelf or two — or even something a little more involved that doesn’t need a contractor — your gift will be something that Mom will appreciate for years to come.

Mother’s Day is just one day in the year, but a mother’s work is never done. Make this day special by giving her a gift she’ll remember for life. Think outside the box and get the entire family involved, combining everyone’s best effort into an unforgettable project.

Students of Strength – A Tutor in your Pocket

Asking for help is something that I as a single mom should practise more often. After all, it does take a village to raise a child.

In the case of tutoring my middle schooler, I have always done that on my own. Whenever exam days loom over the horizon, I hit the books with my daughter. Unfortunately though, our study sessions almost always end up in hair-pulling episodes (my own, of course) and pencil-breaking meltdowns. In short, I get impatient when tutoring her. That goes to show how effective a teacher I am!

So I was only too ecstatic to discover a gem on the internet. It’s called Students of Strength. It’s an app-based tutoring service where tutors are available 24/7. They work with Tutors from top Ivy-League schools (Harvard, Notre Dame, Brown etc…).

With the convenience of an app you can forget about the hassle of driving your child to a tutoring center, back and forth. All you need is your laptop or phone. What’s nice about their software is it’s user-friendly, fun to use.

SOS offers affordable subscription plans, and proceeds from each subscription purchase go directly towards helping them tutor kids from less fortunate families. That definitely makes the grade, I must say.

In this day and age when you can virtually have access to anything, Students of Strength comes in real handy. For us who are in dire need of quality tutors for our kids, help is just a mouse-click or a finger-tap away.

Pregnancy Pillow Obsession: Why You Actually Need One

As fun and exciting pregnancy might be, the phase when a mom’s belly starts growing also becomes a major source of discomfort. A lot of women go through fatigue and exhaustion from all the physical and behavioral changes. But, although we all have different experiences with our pregnancies, one thing is for sure: having a growing tummy takes away the pleasure because it just gets extremely difficult to get a good sleep.

Thus, there is a growing obsession of soon-to-be-moms for pregnancy pillows.

In case you have no clue what these are, pregnancy pillows work just like normal pillows but they tend to be much friendlier towards the pregnant population.

This is because they were designed to support certain areas of the body that many pregnant women complain of suffering discomfort from. Because it helps relieves all the aches and pains that accompanies a pregnant woman’s sleep, it has become one of their best friends.

But, do you really need one?

Of course you do. Unfortunately, pregnancy pillows can also be a little on the expensive side so you need to make sure that you choose well. There are a lot of them available in the market so you need to be able to get one that can get you the best support and, possibly, one that you could use even beyond pregnancy.

So, what are the types of pregnancy pillows currently available?

Pregnancy Wedge Pillows

Undeniably, pregnancy pillows can cost an arm and a leg so unless you can convince your partner to get one for you, your next best option might be to get a smaller wedge pillow instead.

Wedge pillows can be used in three different positions:

  • Under Your Tummy

Side sleeping is the best and most comfortable position being recommended for pregnant women for a variety of reasons. The weight of the tummy can get quite heavy which is why having extra support under (or on the sides) will help reduce the strain in the back and hips.

  • Behind Your Back

Another way to use wedge pillows is to put in behind your back. If you constantly toss yourself around while you sleep, having one behind you will make sure that you stay sleeping on your side.

  • Under Your Regular Pillow

Wedge pillows can also be used under a regular head pillow to help relieve heartburn and reflux experienced during pregnancy.

There are many pros and cons to using wedge pillows. Aside from costs, this type of pillow is also perfect when you are constantly traveling during your pregnancy plus it does not take up a lot of space in bed.

For some, however, its size can be a huge disadvantage and the steepness can also vary from brand to brand. In addition, you will have to use a separate head pillow as well.

C-Shaped Pillows

This type of pillow is just one of two total body pregnancy pillows available in the market.

C-shaped pillows are designed so that you are sleeping in it in a riding position. This means that one of the curves should be used as the head rest while the other one is saddled between the legs.

The length of the curve should run along your back so that the pressure from your spine is relieved during sleep.

U-Shaped Pillows

On the other hand, U-shaped pillows work just like the C-shaped ones except that it surrounds and, thus, supports the entire body from front to back.

The one thing that many pregnant women love about the U-shaped variants is that they can be wrapped around one’s body and locked at the open end to use as a nursing pillow. They can even be used by toddlers as well!

 

Although regular pillows work great, it is important for pregnant women to note that pregnancy pillows are able to provide more support and relief. This is because it is able to accommodate one’s growing body, ensuring that they still continue to have a comfortable night’s rest even as their belly grows bigger.

So, do you really need a pregnancy pillow?

If you are one who experiences a lot of pain during pregnancy: around the pelvis and hip area or the lower back, then you might just need one to support you. If you have always been a back or tummy sleeper before you got pregnant, then this will help you stay on the side. Pregnancy pillows are also best for women who suffer from medical conditions such as Sciatica.

If you said yes to any of the above conditions, chances are that using a pregnancy pillow will help you a lot in getting a great sleep even with a growing tummy.

 

 

AUTHOR’S BIO

Lisa Hayden is a stay-at-home Mom and has 3 kids. During her free time, she blogs about parenting. Lisa also loves to travel with her family.

Preparing for a New Baby on a Limited Income

Having a baby is very exciting, and a joyful experience that people look forward to. But children are also very expensive, so having a steady income that will provide you with the money necessary to give your child everything that he or she needs is important. If you are expecting a new baby but you are on a limited income, you are likely worried about how you will be able to make ends meet. Continue reading to learn a few strategies that you can use to put your mind at ease when it comes to your finances.

Consider Taking Out Loans When Necessary

To make expensive purchases that you can’t afford on your own, you can always opt to take out one of the many UK home and personal loans that are available to people just like you. If you have a low credit score and poor credit history, there are many lenders who will be willing to work with you and help you get the money that you need to support your growing family.

Stick with Breastfeeding and Save on Baby Formula

Breastfeeding is healthier for your baby, and it can actually save you money because you will not need to purchase baby formula. And instead of buying a breast pump, you can borrow one from a friend or family member who used one for their baby. Many women find that they prefer breastfeeding, too, because it helps them bond with their baby, so there are more benefits to this strategy than just saving money.

Have a Baby Shower

If a friend or family member throws you a baby shower, you can be gifted with a lot of the supplies that you will need to purchase for your baby. These include everything from baby clothes, bottles, and nappies, to car seats, prams, a cot, and everything in between. Make it a point to save whatever baby clothes and supplies you can if you are planning on getting pregnant again in the future, as you will be able to save on having to purchase everything all over again.

Look for Savings Online

Use the power of the Internet to your advantage as you search for special offers and discounts on everything that you could possibly need for your baby. There are a lot of online baby stores that you can shop from, and you may be able to save by doing that than by going to local retail stores, especially if you can get free shipping. Plus, you can also find coupons online that can be used anywhere. Shop smart, sign up for mailing lists to access discounts, and use sites that allow you to get cash back on every online purchase.

By following the tips and strategies above, you can excitedly prepare for the birth of your new baby, even if you are on a limited income, because you will not need to focus as much on your finances. Instead, you can put all of your attention on your new bundle of joy.

Are You Really Ready For Parenthood?

For some women, parenthood is a milestone they can’t wait to reach. If you’ve ever seen a cute baby, then you’ll know exactly why! Although having children is wonderful, it can be very hard work for an inexperienced woman. Before trying for babies, it’s important to think about the connotations, and how ready you are. Here are some important questions to ask yourself.

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What were my parent’s successes and failures?

Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as the perfect parent. Even though your folks probably did a great job at raising you, there must have been one or two things they could have done better. When you have kids, as much as the idea might shock you, you’re going to make a few mistakes as well. I’m not talking about the times you stormed to your room in the height of puberty; that’s just part of growing up. You should be more wary of things that were actually harmful to your development. Were your parents hostile to a hobby or interest you had? Did they call you cruel names when they lost their temper? Did they hit you? While these things are often understandable, they’re not exactly helpful to the development of a healthy child.

Why do I want to have kids?

This is perhaps the most important question you can ask yourself before motherhood. The right answer is that you’re ready and excited to raise another human being. While this might be what you’re telling your friends and family, is it really true? Some people try for babies because they think it might mend a failing relationship. I’m not saying this has never happened, but more often than not the child becomes the straw that breaks the camel’s back. If you have a kid with someone you don’t truly love, then there’ll be all kinds of problems you’ll have to work through further down the line. Children aren’t pets or commodities; they’re human beings. Before you take a single step towards parenthood, make sure your heart is in the right place.

Am I financially stable enough to have kids?

This might strike you as a bit of a callous question. True, people from all economic backgrounds have children all the time. However, having a child when you’re not financially ready for it can be a huge mistake. Raising a child from 0 to 20 will cost well over $300,000. If you’re struggling now, then get a handle on your personal finances. Start saving more, consolidate credit cards and erase other debts. Then, start living as if you really had another person to feed and clothe. I hate to tell you this, but most of your leisure activities may have to halt there and then. If you feel you can live like this comfortably, then you may be ready. If not, give it another year.

There you have just three important considerations before having kids. The job of being a mother isn’t easy. Take it from me though, it’s more rewarding than any career!