Your Kids Don’t Come First

Change is good.  It always is.  And I have to say that I just recently had an epiphany of sorts, and it has altered the way I think and feel in ways I could only previously imagine.

I feel that I have always been overly dependent on my daughter.   I almost feel sorry for putting her in a position where she was my wellspring of happiness and self-worth.  I knew that on a subconscious level, the reason “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” from Frozen keeps playing inside my head is that I have associated it with my daughter.  Whatever she likes, I like too.  It’s as if I’ve lost my identity and wrapped myself emotionally and mentally around her.  That’s just totally unhealthy.

She was my number one.  Everything else took a step back.  But when I started reading the Wealthy Single Mommy blog, I learned how important it is that we don’t put our kids first.

Now before you feed me to the lions, hear me out.

Yes, I love my daughter.  I love her to the moon and back.  But that doesn’t mean that I live for her.  That she’s the reason for my existence.  Eventually, she’ll grow up and have a life of her own.

My job now is to be an example to her, to show her what it’s like to live a full and rich life.  I have to show her that it’s not her obligation to make me happy, that I can do that by myself.

I realize how my old mindset has carried over to my just-recently-ended romantic relationship.  Probably one of the reasons it didn’t work out, was because my then boyfriend saw how much of a doting mother I was to my daughter.  He felt out of place.  He felt less than important.  If I knew then what I know now, it would have made a whole world of difference.

My daughter is staying at her Dad’s for two weeks.  I’m at the halfway mark, and I’m proud to say that I no longer achingly pine away for her.  The gassy anxiety spells I used to have are now a thing of the past.  I enjoy my time alone, like a normal and healthy adult should.

If and when love comes knocking on my door again, I’ll know better to give him the attention he needs and deserves.  If he asks me out to a Gin Blossoms concert even on a weeknight, I’ll go.

Happy parents make happier kids.  If you know how to take care of yourself, then you’ll be better and more effective at taking care of your children.  That’s how it all adds up in the parenting equation.

Advantages to a Center for Surrogate Parenting

If you and your spouse are interested in having a child but cannot do it naturally, take comfort in knowing there are still a number of ways of proceeding. Some couples are interested in adoption, but there are a few couples who want a child who is of their own flesh and blood. These families who have it within their means to do so opt to visit a center for surrogate parenting. A center will typically perform in vitro fertilization on a surrogate mother screened and selected for the task. There are several advantages to this approach, so review these if you are interested in surrogacy to bring your child into the world.

Benefits for the Surrogate Mother

You may be concerned that you are imposing on another person if you choose this option. However, you should realize that there are several benefits a surrogate mother will receive from this process. For one, a surrogate mother is usually generously compensated for what she does, so she does get something out of this deal. The mother receives the money during the pregnancy and post-birth. She can use this money to improve her quality of life. The surrogate mother is also rewarded in other ways. She gets the satisfaction that she helped bring a new life into this world and can give her child to loving parents.

High Success Rate

The couples who choose surrogacy do so because it’s often less risky than a traditional pregnancy. The intended mother may have a serious medical issue such as diabetes or kidney disease that would result in complications during pregnancy. Such circumstances could be dire for the mother or the fetus. In some cases, a baby could inherit a deadly disease from the mother. A surrogate pregnancy is the best chance for the child to make it into the world. Recent statistics indicate a high success rate for surrogate pregnancies. That rate is 70 to 90%, so you don’t have to be concerned so much about gambling away your money. For finding more about your specific chances of a successful surrogate pregnancy, be sure you visit a center for surrogate parenting.

 

Humour in Parenting!

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When you sit down to write a blog you need to be sure that you have something to say.  On my parenting blog, I always try to do just that, from the mother’s point of view.  However, getting a touch of humour into the writing is not easy, no matter how funny parenting can be sometimes.  I’ve found a few dad blogs which have managed to get the right tone of humour alongside other more serious articles.   Being a parent is not easy and writing about it even less so, particularly when what you write is very personal to you.

Writingpaddad.blogspot.com

This is one dad that was born to write entertaining articles.  One of his main issues at the moment is turning 40 and, combined with parenting and his teaching work, he manages to bring the best out of every situation.  His post on his birthday questioned if he should feel bad about the big 4-0 as so many people seem to think he should.  As anyone with children knows, there are bigger issues to deal with, so one more birthday will never make that much of a difference.  His question and answer session is also very helpful for his readers to get to know him.

Stephenlitel.wordpress.com

Because the writer of this blog has a background in sports writing, this is always a great site to read.  He entertains even in the face of serious issues such as autism and depression.   I love the review of a kids’ film where he uses the opinions of his children to put it together – after all, children can be the harshest critics!  This blog also has the added bonus of tackling a number of issues that are not related to parenting, so you do not have to be a mum or dad to relate to what has been said.   Check out his ‘where do I belong’ blog post, where he tries to determine exactly what sort of a writer he is – then comes to the conclusion that he fits neatly into more than one category.  By the end, you will find yourself nodding in agreement.

Flatpackdad.com

Here is a blog that every parent can relate to, and the humour is there in spades.  Flatpackdad talks about parenting and DIY –you initially get the impression that he loves this sort of hobby, but he tries to make out that it is the bane of his life.  Anyone with a DIY enthusiast in the house will be reading this blog along with him, as so many of the stories and scenarios are played out in homes up and down the country every weekend and bank holiday.  If you share your home with someone who can’t resist hammering and drilling at every opportunity, then this is the one for you.

I’ve tried to do something similar with my own ‘mum’ blog, and I hope that those who read it are able to see the humour in it.  As these dads show, it doesn’t matter what happens during the day, there are laughs there, and it is far better to laugh than to cry.

 

 

Pride and Prejudice: The Non-Jane Austen Version

Because I’m too lazy to Google it, and I’m again having one of those memory lapses, I’ll just venture a guess and say that it was the Backstreet Boys who sang “As Long As You Love Me”.  I’m suddenly having this music flashback because an old friend came to me with a predicament:  she and her boyfriend broke up after his mom disapproved of their relationship when she found out that my friend’s mom is a single mom.

Can anybody be any more narrow-minded than her?  How dare she judge my friend’s character based on that alone.  Does being raised by a single parent diminish one’s character at all?  If anything, it should even be impressive that her mom took on the challenge of bringing her up to be a decent adult.

It goes without saying that rearing a kid by oneself is no walk in the park.  It’s a vocation riddled with challenges coming from every imaginable direction.  You learn to dodge life’s curveballs, and just grin and bear it when you have to.

It just baffles me to think that in this day and age, there still are people out there who think lowly of single mothers.  Shame on them.  They deserve to be locked up in a cell with only ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic   music piped in over and over again for an entire day!

It would break my heart to have my daughter subjected to such prejudice when she grows up.  Hopefully by then, the human brain would have evolved to become more rational and less “ass-wipey”.

Of Motherhood and Bad Haircuts

Rain does have its way of washing away sorrow and ill feelings.  Heavy downpour dominated yesterday, flushing out negativity from my system, reassuring me of good things to come.  Ginormous raindrops virtually bathed my soul, leaving me with a sense of calm and overall order.

That sense of peace was suddenly jolted by an email from an old friend.  She felt like she was the worst mother on the face of the earth because of her daughter’s bad haircut.  While at the salon, my friend was so engrossed in the pages of a magazine, that she didn’t notice the hairstylist snipping away at her daughter’s hair, cutting it way too short.

What transpired next was a series of tears, blame and a remote control flying across the living room. Suffice it to say, my friend’s daughter wasn’t the least bit pleased at her haircut.  And she blamed her mom for it.  My friend tried her hardest to reassure her daughter that her hair will grow back, but that didn’t appease the furious 10-year old.   My friend sucked it all in, believing that she the lousiest mother ever.

I felt both of their pain.  I knew how horrible it felt to have a bad haircut, and I knew how even more horrible it felt to let your daughter down.

I just told my friend to let her daughter vent and express her anger.  Her feelings aren’t to be trivialized, because she has every right to feel that way.  But maybe her anger should be redirected elsewhere, and not at my friend.  Moms only want the best for their kids, and that hair disaster was anything but her fault.

I told her to tell her daughter about a similar hair catastrophe she may have had when she was in high school.  That way, the kid would know that that thing too shall pass, and they could just laugh at the situation.

And then I comforted my friend, reminding her that she was only human- that I’m only human.  Whatever mistake she felt she committed didn’t earn her the title “Worst Mom Ever”.  It’s these minor mishaps which make us wiser and add dimension to our personalities.  We stumble, shake it off, and go on with life.

At least now I know better not to take my daughter to THAT hairstylist from hell.

How a Woman’s Body Changes During Pregnancy (Infographic)

How a Woman’s Body Changes During Pregnancy
Pregnant Weeks

A guide to choosing maternity clothing

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeytingozlu/7921267806/

You’ve just found out you are pregnant – congratulations! And now, other than cooing over teeny tiny clothes for baby, you’ll also be thinking about your own wardrobe, and what you’re going to wear as your waistline expands. The good news is you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good collection of clothes that will see you through not only your maternity, but also for the first few months after you have the baby, too.

The capsule maternity wardrobe

Trying to create a capsule wardrobe for your maternity period is key to stretching your budget as far as possible and giving you a range of outfits to wear while you’re pregnant. We recommend you include some of the following.

  • Leggings with lots of in-built Lycra. Choose black, brown and grey for great flexibility and to allow them to go with lots of different tops.
  • Roll top skirts. Elasticated, stretchy skirts with roll tops feel as comfortable as jogging bottoms when worn – but look a whole lot more stylish.
  • Tunics and longer length tops. Colorful long tops or tunics can help you retain a bit of your shape, particularly those garments which are nipped in below the bust, while still having enough give to accommodate any size of bump and to hide that pregnancy belly after you’ve had the baby.
  • One good dress! A jersey dress is a great option to have in your wardrobe for work or for more formal occasions. The stretchy material will accommodate your bump long into your pregnancy, and after you’ve had the baby there will be something you can slip on to feel great straight away.

When to buy maternity clothes

It can be tempting to go out and buy lots of maternity clothes as soon as you know you’re pregnant. The truth is, however, that most women do not know how their weight and body will change during their pregnancy, so rather than buying expensive maternity clothes straight away, invest in some capsule buys that offer stretchy comfort and in a size bigger than your usual size.

Many of these will do you up until your 6th or 7th month of pregnancy at least, at which point you can pop out and buy a minimal wardrobe of maternity clothing to see you through the last few weeks. Don’t discard these stretchy friends though, as you’ll be glad to have them back after the birth. Even the fittest new Mum takes a few days or weeks to get back into her pre-pregnancy wardrobe!

Getting cheaper maternity clothes

With so many pregnant ladies buying from the high street shops, the second hand maternity clothing market is replete with bargains to be had. As most women only wear their maternity clothes for a short space of time, lots of second-hand clothes are in excellent condition and can save you huge amounts on the retail prices.

Don’t forget, when you’re finished with your maternity clothes, there are lots of places specialising in recycling clothes for cash, so you can recoup some of your investment and have more money to spend on your new baby!

 

 

Freedom and Popcorn

When Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation more than a hundred years ago, huge numbers of slaves jumped for joy as they finally enjoyed the freedom they had always longed for.  Without a doubt, freedom is something even we in this day and age continue to value.  There’s probably nothing anybody wouldn’t give to be free.

Right now, I am free.  I’m a single woman who can do as she pleases, without anybody to look after but herself.  But as I sit here and think about eating dinner alone tonight, I realize that there’s nothing more I want than to be with my daughter.  She’s at her dad’s now for Easter break, and I’m once more home alone.

I have the TV all to myself, and can freely watch my favorite soap, but deep down in my heart, I wish my daughter was here, popping corn with me as we get set to watch another Disney flick.  After work, I can go on a night out with friends, but I choose to go home, with my daughter’s imaginary arms waiting to hug me at the door.

Freedom is special and most people would fight tooth and nail just to have it.  I don’t mind freedom, but if it means being away from the one I love most, then to hell with it.  I’d rather have that ball and chain tied to my foot as long as I have my daughter right next to me, pigging out on buttered popcorn for hours on end.

 

A Summerrific Summer: Fun Times With My Daughter

Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In this part of the globe, at this time of year, the sun is king.  Kids- and adults- all over are chanting Bugs Bunny’s infamous “No more classes no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks…” Yes, it’s finally summertime.

With the sun beating down so heavily and mercilessly, I dream of spending languorous days at the four seasons hualalai with my daughter.  The beach beckons with its undulating waves crashing the shore.  I ache for a pina colada as I dreamily gaze out to sea.

I’ve been to many beach vacations in my life, but I find that the ones I really enjoy the most are those with my daughter.  She enjoys the sun and sand, while I enjoy relaxing and watching her play on the shore.

Going on vacations with my girl reminds me of the things in life which I should be most grateful for.  I may not have some things which others possess, but what I do have, these are enough.  I never really had a body meant for Baywatch, but I do know how to project and exude an aura of undisputed sexiness.  (Yes, I simply had to sneak that in!).  Ours may not be the ideal family, but my daughter and I are happy.

So, the next time you’re feeling stuck in a rut, take a quick vacation.  It’ll help you recharge and change your perspective on things.  It’ll make you feel sexy too!

Knowing Your Baby’s Gender: Tests That Tell

So you are curious about knowing the gender of your baby? Well this is only natural. The only problem is that there are so many gender tests available that you are bound to find yourself lost as to which one to choose. But how accurate do you need your gender test results to be? You could choose a simple, at home old wives’ tale and just hope the answer is correct or opt for a DNA test or an ultrasound and be almost 100% guaranteed a correct result.

There are a whole range of tests which can be done at home – they are cheap, quick, simple and totally unscientific. Nevertheless, they do have their appeal and many expectant mothers actually enjoy carrying out these tests. The most popular ones include:

The Cabbage test: this must be an all time favorite which results are guaranteed to be 50% accurate. Its origins are very obscure and no one really knows how it came about. However, here is an explanation of how it is carried out. All you need is a red cabbage which you will need to finely chop and place into boiling water. The cabbage-water mixture must be left to simmer for ten minutes and after that, the cabbage strained from the water and the water retained. The purple colored water needs to then be mixed with an equal part of urine. If there is no color change, the baby will be a girl. If, on the other hand, the color changes to red then the baby will be a boy.

The wedding ring test: this test is done by passing a string or a hair through the wedding ring and holding it above the pregnant belly. The movement in which the ring moves should be a telling sign of whether you will have a baby girl or a baby boy. If it swings in circles, you are expecting a baby girl whilst if it sways like a clock pendulum you are expecting a boy. Again, this test is only 50% accurate.

Ultrasounds to discover baby gender

Ultrasounds are accurate at determining baby gender. You will need to undergo an ultrasound anyway at around 19 weeks and at this stage it will be easy to see the sex of the baby with an ultrasound image. It is important that you do not undergo an ultrasound specifically to discover the gender of your baby.- the FDA does not recommended this as it means exposing your baby to unnecessary radiation (although they are far safer than for example X rays as the type of radiation between an ultrasound and X ray are very different)

DNA testing for baby gender

There are two main types of DNA tests that can be used to discover the gender of your baby. Gender testing can be done using a sample of blood or of urine from the mother-to-be. Besides the type of sample used, what also differs is the accuracy. Urine baby gender DNA testing offers 99% accurate results while blood baby gender testing offers a result that varies in accuracy between 85-95%. Both tests can be done at around nine weeks of pregnancy. What scientists do once they receive the blood or urine sample is analyse the genetic material in it to discover whether there is male DNA or not. If the expectant mother is carrying a baby boy, then she will carry male specific Y chromosomes in her blood and urine.