Be There For Baby

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Everything changes when you invite a little one to share your life. Your priorities shift, and you suddenly realize what’s been missing from your life. No parent likes to think about what could go wrong when they’re in those preparation stages. There’s enough to worry about already. But, it would be naive to assume that every birth is 100% perfect. It’s a tremendous trauma on both you and baby. As such, there are many complications to consider. A lot of babies end up on some form of medical support for their first days, weeks, or even months. It makes complete sense that a new parent wouldn’t want to think about that. But, if it does happen to you, it’s important to remember these points to get you through.

KNOW THE FACTS

As stated above, birth complications aren’t rare. In fact, it’s suspected that 94% of births are complicated. When you look at it like that, things don’t seem so bad. Obviously, it’s never nice if something’s wrong with your newborn. But, the issues are often less worrying than they seem. Midwives and doctors see this sort of thing on a regular basis. To make the problem easier for you, make sure to ask questions. Find out about any care your child is receiving by researching things like Foremost medical equipment, or medications. Knowing what those frightening tubes are doing for your little one will help put your mind at ease. And, remember that birth problems often improve quite quickly. Things will seem a lot more bearable when you know they won’t last long.

STAY STRONG

It’s a cliche, but it’s important you stay strong for your little one. They haven’t had the best start in life already. But, if you’re tense and stressed, things will be even worse for them. Despite the fact that the circumstances aren’t ideal, those first days with your baby are crucial. Keep your voice soothing and calm at all times. Do your best to smile, and be happy around your baby. If you feel things are getting too much, take deep breaths and take some time out. No one’s going to judge you for finding the process hard. It’s also important to eat and sleep. You may well want to sit by your baby’s side without pause, but you won’t help yourself, or them, by doing so.

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ENJOYMENT IS STILL IMPORTANT

It may seem strange to think about enjoyment at a time like this, but it’s crucial you enjoy your baby. Circumstances aside, your new arrival is still a gift. Enjoying your time together will take everyone’s minds off the situation. It’ll also help to build the bond between baby and you, which is crucial. It may be that you can’t hold your newborn for the time being. But, you can still spend plenty of time talking to them. If they’re in an incubator, put your hand to the side and see if baby responds. Interaction like this can be incredibly rewarding for both parties.

How an Unexpected Pregnancy Birthed a Short Film

By Amy Ferguson

Riddle me this: Two long time friends living in different states get together for one passionate night after twenty years of wondering ‘what if?’ One lost his wife to cancer six months prior, and is still working through his grief. The other has spent a great deal of her adult life a single cat lady dedicated to her career as an artist. What do they do when they find out that one passionate night resulted in a pregnancy?

No really. What do they do? Because that cat lady is me and in the moment I had absolutely no idea. Eight months into that pregnancy I did know I wanted to capture the unique and strange circumstances that brought me to where I was– an unusual crossroads of life I’d never planned.
Myself and my partner in this decided to take things in our relationship at a normal pace, even though baby’s arrival was fast approaching. He stayed in Colorado, while I continued my life in Los Angeles, although life was rapidly becoming new and strange and very different– solo midwife visits and baby shopping were fast replacing a late night beer and comedy show. Even though we were dating, and in love, I was planning for the birth alone, getting the apartment ready by myself. Then there was the uncomfortable Mother’s Day and Father’s Day I wished could be joyful, but held a certain sadness. My significant other had his first birthday without his wife, and after, the one year anniversary of her death. And then there was me, holding the promise of something new in my belly while helping him let go of the past. It felt impossible. It was a lot. Pile on some pregnancy hormones, and you could at times have a crazy emotional cocktail.
There was also another child to think about. A child who lost a mother. And then me. There with the promise of a new baby growing ever bigger in the face of their grief. Again, it was a lot. We’re still trying to figure it all out because, hey, if we can make this work, that would be pretty cool, right? Being partners in this crazy world, making the impossible possible for my new baby born from passion. But it’s just not that simple… He’s used to his mountain life, surrounded by nature. I’m used to my city life, surrounded by artists and collaborators. How do we meld these two lifestyles? Can we make a life that satisfies us all? What will become of our new family? Or will we simply be long distance co-parents?
In helping me process how rapidly my life was changing, I made a short film about it all. I hoped to capture how strange it was to constantly be filled with love, sadness, and uncertainty. I’m still facing the uncertainties now, but that’s was life is, isn’t it? Uncertainty and delicious surprise.

Thanks you for watching!

‘Til Death Do Us Part from Lindsay Stidham on Vimeo.

This film would not be possible without my co-director/ writer Lindsay Stidham, amazing DP Scott Uhlfelder, co-star Mort Burke, executive producer and co-parent Bryan Madden, and many others who donated their time and talents.

Deep Breaths: Letting Yourself Relax In The Evenings

A lot of busy mothers find it hard to relax in the evenings. If that’s you, never fear – here are some tips to make it easier…

 

Make Timetables

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Okay, okay, it’s true – making timetables doesn’t really sound like the most relaxing way to spend an evening. But a lot of the time, for busy parents especially, the guilt of what you should be doing often means that you find it hard to relax and regain your strength and energy for the next day. If you make a timetable of things that have to be done on specific days, you’ll feel much better about letting yourself sit down, watch some TV, and chill out. Sure, the laundry basket might be full, but you won’t feel too bad about not emptying it if you already know that’s a task for tomorrow instead.

 

Change Your Living Space

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Many of us spend most of our evenings in a den or living room – if this is the case with you, then you need to make sure that it’s a relaxing space for you to spend some time in. The key word to consider is comfort. No couch is worthy of your money unless it feels as though you’re sitting on a cloud – with no other piece of furniture is comfort quite so essential (other than with your bed!). Add pillows and blankets so that you can snuggle up and stay cozy, and invest in a streaming service so that you can keep up to date on the best TV shows and movies.

 

Start A Bedtime Routine

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If you have problems sleeping then you might need to start a whole new bedtime routine. Make sure that you turn off your electronics at least an hour before you go to bed, and drink a warm cup of tea like matcha green tea or perhaps valerian tea when you get into bed. You could also try taking a warm bath or shower to lull your body into feeling much sleepier.

 

Teach Your Kids To Sleep Alone

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If you have kids, you might have realised that you often get woken up by them. Okay, not ‘might’ – you’ve definitely realised that happens! With small babies and toddlers, this is often inevitable and simply a difficult time that needs to be got through until they’re a little older. Co-sleeping can often help this because you can simply nurse your baby back to sleep from the comfort of your own bed. But if your older kids are coming to wake you up at night or demanding to sleep in your bed, it’s time for you to put an end to that – your own sleep is important and you’ll be a better parent during the day if you’re not exhausted from staying up all night and being rudely awoken at four am with an accidental kick to the mouth from your seven year old’s grubby foot. Lead your children back to their beds calmly if they come and wake you up – although it might be hard to begin with, they will definitely start to understand in a week or so, and remain in their own rooms.

5 Steps To Learning To Love Your Mom Bod

Being pregnant and giving birth changes your body in ways that you most probably can’t imagine. Being pregnant isn’t just like gaining weight, postpartum losing weight is different to losing weight after a normal weight gain because your size and shape has been altered by being pregnant and giving birth. That’s not to say that you can’t look and feel amazing again because you can do, it’s just that it will take time. A lot of new mamas dislike their post-pregnancy bodies and lose confidence because of it, but that shouldn’t be the case.

 

Your body is amazing, it has done an amazing thing, and you should love it for that. To help you learn to love your new mom bod, below are five steps to try, that should help to give your confidence a boost.
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Step 1: Ignore social media

 

Whatever you do, don’t search ‘#mombod’ on social media because it will leave you scarred for life. Instagram is packed full of pictures of perfect looking women who have apparently given birth recently. It’s these kinds of images that make new moms feel inadequate in terms of their appearance. The fact is that when it comes to the changes that occur during pregnancy, everyone is different, and because of this, we all recover at different rates. Just because your best friend was back in her pre-pregnancy jeans two weeks after giving birth, that doesn’t mean that you should be.

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Step 2: Realize how insane your body is

 

Instead of focusing on the fact that your body is no longer ‘perfect,’ focus on the fact that your body is amazing – you grew a human, what’s more incredible than that? Sure, your body may not look like it used to, but you grew a human inside of you. Just because your body isn’t as ‘perfect’ as it used to be, don’t let that get you down. Instead, focus on how strong your body is and how resilient.

 

Step 3: Focus on the parts you love

 

Don’t focus on the parts of your body that you dislike, instead focus on the parts that you love. Whether that’s your cheekbones, your slim wrists, or your long legs, find a part of your body that you love and focus on that. Remember, every woman has things about herself that she doesn’t like, but the key to feeling good about yourself is not focusing on them and instead focusing on the areas that you love.

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Step 4: Fix the parts you hate

 

If there are parts of your new mom bod that try as you might you just can’t get passed, what you need to do is to find ways to fix the problem areas. Let’s say that you’re not keen on your new tiger stripes – a cute new name for stretch marks that a lot of moms are using – then perhaps it could be worth trying to get rid of them. Before using over-the-counter treatments, try natural ones – do this first and if you don’t see the results you want then try other treatment options. For a lot of new moms there most hated feature is their mom tummy as it is less flat and toned than before. The key to getting your tummy back to looking like it did pre-baby is toning, and the best way to do this is by practicing Pilates – after just a month of Pilates, you should see a major difference.

 

Step 5: Update your wardrobe with clothes that fit

 

Last but not least, if you want to love your new mom bod you need to update your wardrobe with clothes that fit. The chances are that you don’t yet fit into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe but your maternity clothes are too loose now that the bump is gone, so you need some new clothes. You may not be able to buy ‘normal’ clothes yet but what you can do is buy smaller-sized maternity clothes instead. By updating your wardrobe with a selection of clothing that fits you properly, you will make yourself feel happier about how you look and will give your self-esteem a boost.

 

The fact is that it will take time to learn to love your new mom bod, but you will learn to be proud of the changes to your body. You might miss your pre-baby size and shape, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to love your new figure. It’s also important to realize that in time, with hard work and motivation it is possible to get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight and shape.

 

 

 

Give Your Life New Energy… Literally

The life of a modern parent can be tiring. In addition to keeping your kids entertained, you need to work, complete the household chores, and find time for shopping. Quite frankly, if you haven’t got high energy levels, it can feel more than a little overwhelming.

While natural energy levels can vary from person to person, there are a number of things you can do to inject greater amounts into your daily life. Not only will you feel better prepared for life’s challenges, but you’ll also gain a plethora of other health benefits.

Follow these four simple tricks, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly those results show.

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Eat Right

 

Your body is the most complex machine on earth. If you aren’t fuelling it with the right stuff, you’re doing yourself a major disservice. Even if you only make one change to your lifestyle, improving your diet should be top of the agenda.

It’s still possible to improve energy levels while losing weight and gaining a better body shape. The key is to choose a suitable nutrition plan rather than starve yourself. A keto diet can be the perfect way to achieve the best of both worlds. Ultimately, the key is to find balance.

Above all else, you must remember to drink well. Dehydration will leave you bereft of energy regardless of what you eat.

 

Exercise

 

It’s a strange thing, but spending energy is one of the best ways to generate more. Regular exercise gets your body used to needing to use energy in a productive manner, and it will leave you feeling far more alert.

Again, the other health benefits of following the right plan are plentiful. Even if you don’t like the gym, you can always use group classes and dance lessons to regain a sense of activity in life. Keep it fun, and you’ll never want to stop.

 

Respect Your Body

 

Good diet and exercise will always have a positive impact on your body. However, life isn’t always black and white, and those elements are just a small part of the challenge. No two people are unique, and your faults may be causing you to become tired. Understanding and respecting those limits is key.

Sufferers of chronic fatigue, ME, and other problems need to find the right diagnosis and right treatment. However, those direct issues aren’t the only contributing factors. Something as simple as not wearing glasses when you need them will put strain on your eyes, and that will result in tiredness. The body is an amazing thing, and it will let you know if there’s a problem. Do not ignore it.

 

Get Your 40 Winks

 

Making positive adjustments in your daily life is crucial to regaining your energy. However, it’s equally vital that you recognize the importance of rest and recuperation. Disrupted sleep will inevitably lead to a lack of energy.

There are many reasons why you might not be sleeping, from financial fears to keeping your mind too active before bed. Either way, choosing the best mattress and suitable bedroom décor will go a long way to helping. Meanwhile, many poor sleepers find that modern tech and soothing music can have a positive impact too.

Getting a good night’s sleep will leave you waking up full of beans. As long as you follow the other steps outline above, there’s no reason that hey should change throughout the day.

 

Single Mom Vacation Stress, And How To Reduce It

So, everybody knows that while vacations can be wonderful family time, they can be a big bag of stress as well. There is all the washing and ironing you have to do before you go. Then there’s the packing, as well as booking and paying for things.  All of these issues can be magnified when you are the only adult that is going, as you don’t get to split the responsibilities or the stress. But there are some ways you can seriously reduce your vacation stress, and have an enjoyable time. Just read on to find out what they are.

Pay In Increments

So one of the biggest stresses about vacations is that they can cost so much money! It can be pretty tough to make ends meet when there is only one parent in the household. So finding the money to go on vacation is often a rare and exciting treat.

One way you can make this a little easier on yourself is to find a voucher to help you reduce the cost of your holiday. Or you can look for a provider that allows you to pay in increments.

Some vacation providers allow you to book your place, and dates, with a small deposit and then pay off the remaining fees over a year or so. It’s a lot easier to pay a little each week or month. Plus, by booking it this early, you have something to look forward to on the days that are a bit stressful. You know the ones I mean!

 

Pack In Advance

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Another major stress of vacationing is getting everything ready to go. This is primarily made up of washing, ironing, and packing all of the clothes that you will want to take with you for both you and your kids.

The best thing that you can do to reduce stress here is to get packing in advance. What you need to do is sort out which clothes you will need for your trip, and keep them separate from anything else. Then wash and iron these, and roll them up once they are dry as this will help to stop them from creasing.

Be clear with the kids on what they can and can’t wear for the week before the holiday, though, as they might take something from the wrong pile. You can even put it in their suitcases, so they know not to touch it.

Also, it’s often a good idea to dress in something comfortable, but nice when you get to the airport as this helps you to get in a festive holiday mood.

 

What About You

Something else that you can do to reduce the stress of your vacation is to make you’re you provide for yourself as well as the kids. It’s your vacation too!

For example, it is your time of the month while you are away, you may want to get tablets to delay your period, so you don’t have to worry about that on top of everything else!

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You may even choose to pay for some childcare on one of the days. Then you can get some time to relax by the pool, instead of always making sandcastles and running after the little one when visiting theme parks!

 

 

 

 

 

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.