4 Ways to Enjoy Free Time as a Parent

Parenting is a full-time job. And only parents know how difficult it can be. There are rare occasions when your little ones are at preschool or spending time with their relatives. This means kids spend most of their time at home, making it difficult to find some peace and quiet. 

What are you supposed to do with all this free time? Read below to find out four great ways to maximize and enjoy your free time. 

Show Yourself Some Love

You’ve been running around after your kids so long, you’ve almost forgotten what you look like. That’s why a bit of self-love and grooming is essential! If you’re an eternally tired mom, create a makeshift spa at home. 

Paint your nails, take a long bath, and listen to some calming music. Dads also need some relaxation, and taking care of your looks can provide that. Get yourself a haircut and try to neaten up that overgrown beard. It won’t be long until your home is filled with the beautiful sound of kids again! 

If you’re living in Toronto, check out mens barber shop toronto. It’s considered to be a fantastic place for all your grooming needs. They offer luxury styling and grooming for men. Give yourself an extra boost of confidence!

Date Night

It’s been a while since you’ve stayed up very late. But, if the kids are spending the night elsewhere, bedtime is out the window! 

Get all dressed up and take your partner or friends out for a special night. Order a fancy dinner and maybe head to a bar afterward. 

If you aren’t feeling like having a night out, stay in and cook a special meal. Treat yourself to a nice bottle of wine. Or even a dessert that you’ve safely kept out of the kids’ reach. 

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It’s important that you incorporate fun into your routine life. You don’t get many opportunities to do so as a parent! 

Catch Up on Housework

Housework isn’t a very exciting way to spend your free time, but it’s a great way to relieve some stress! Your little ones can be messy sometimes, and after a long day of cleaning up after them, the last thing you want to do is even more housework.

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But, when the house is empty, it’s the perfect opportunity to follow up with a deep clean. Take out the rubber gloves and sponges. Don’t miss this opportunity to get around to that spring cleaning!

A study conducted on two-thousand adults found that 60% of them felt less anxious after doing housework. So, spend your free time as a parent decluttering both the house and your mind! 

Re-Discover Old Hobbies

Your life revolves around your children. You probably wouldn’t change that for the world! But, in those free moments or days, you find yourself reminiscing on your old hobbies. 

If you’re a book fan, pick up a classic and get immersed in it! Maybe head down to a book club and engage with other parents. Get your old fishing poles out. Or rummage around until you find your piano songbooks. Practice the things you enjoy doing when you have the time. It’ll help you through the stressful periods of parenting.

In Conclusion

Parenting is a wonderful gift, and we know you’re doing a great job. But don’t forget to incorporate some of these tips into your “me time.” Taking time out for yourself is crucial!

Why You Need a Child Custody Lawyer

The proverbial saying goes that where two bulls fight, it is the grass that suffers. This is often the case when it comes to a divorce. When couples can no longer stand being one, they have to face the fact that divorce is inevitable. They begin to struggle to get their footing in a new reality where they no longer live under one roof for example.

As expected, each parent wants to get the better end of the stick. Often, one parent, brings out the big guns, trying to meet the bias that already exists favouring the mother. The best course of action here is for the couple to get the help of a child custody lawyer.

The fight for child custody is basically a fight over who gets to stay with the children. The custodial parent gets to make the primary decisions regarding the children, such as where they go to school. The other parent has to pay child support. Depending on the arrangement, the non-custodial parent gets to see the children and spend time with them on the weekends or during the holidays.

It is important for one to have an experienced legal team on their side when they start to file for child custody. If you are passionate about living with your kids following a divorce, contact a family law firm. They can help you in the following ways:

Catering to the interests of your child

In a child custody battle, both parents are usually trying to get the most beneficial agreement for them. Family solicitors can help you to that end.

However, a more pressing need in such a case is for an outsider who is able to see things objectively. The child custody lawyer is not in the emotion of the moment. They will be looking to get what is the best for your children.

It helps if you go with a family law firm with a lot of experience in the area. They are able to handle the contentions between you and your ex-spouse, stay on your side while essentially looking out for the child. That way, you can rest easy knowing that whatever decision you end up with, your children are well cared for.

Legal counsel

Family solicitors are familiar with family law. They have dealt with many cases before yours and they know the nooks and crannies of each regulatory requirement. You benefit from their counsel along all steps of the legal process. For example, a lawyer might tell you what papers you need and the right time to file for custody.

Besides helping with your papers, the child custody lawyer will be prepared to counter any issues that might arise. Their understanding of the law helps them to see what the other party is up to and to prepare a counter-argument. This is a critical benefit in cases where both you and your ex-spouse are fighting for asset control.

Courtroom procedures

If your squabbles take you before a judge, you will need a professional to present your case. A child custody lawyer will know how to put the facts in the best light. Their experience will give them confidence with difficult courtroom procedures. What is more, they will be able to prepare evidence that is necessary to support your claim.

Negotiating and setting up child support

Family solicitors are able to negotiate so that your spouse pays child support that can adequately do the job. If you are on the other side of it, negotiation by an experienced family law firm could make sure that you do not overpay. In some cases, the attorney may negotiate so that you do not end up before a judge. An experienced attorney will help you to get exactly what you desire.
In a court case, the judge places a premium on the interests of the child when deciding on child custody issues. All through the process, a lawyer will protect your interests. They will make sure that your family is cared for in the way they deserve. If you need help with your divorce, contact your local child custody lawyer today.

4 Must-Have Items Every Mom of Multiples Should Have

It’s no secret that taking care of multiple children can be challenging, especially if you’re not properly equipped and don’t have lots of help. The challenge is even more intense when some of your children are close in age or twins, as having two or more little ones is much more demanding than have a smaller baby and a toddler. With multiple children in the same age bracket you’ll have to accommodate similar needs and demands and oftentimes you might feel like you need to be in two places at once. To minimize the hassle and keep your sanity, you’ll want to at least make sure you have the following items.

1.     Play Yard

A play yard can really come in handy when things get hectic and you have several kids trying their best to destroy everything at the same time. Play yards are particularly helpful for pregnant mothers who aren’t in any shape to be chasing kids around and bending over to keep them out of mischief. Other tips for pregnant moms juggling multiples can be found on sites like Preg Med (view site). While you could just confine them to their rooms, having a play yard ensures they can’t get into their dresser drawers, pull down the blinds, knock stuff over, and exploit any other loopholes that you might’ve overlooked in your babyproofing process.

2.     Baby Carrier

If you have a little one that demands your attention throughout the day and you simply don’t have the free hands to carry him/her around non-stop, a baby carrier can be a huge lifesaver. Baby carriers are great for getting chores done without having to put a fussy baby down. As long as they’re snuggled on your chest, they won’t mind you doing your duties minus the temper tantrum drama.

3.     Double (or Triple) Stroller

For times when you want to travel somewhere on foot and you don’t have any help with stroller pushing, you’ll need a multi stroller that can carry everyone. Even if you don’t foresee this being an issue due to your nanny or significant other being there to push the other stroller, you never know when you’ll be on your own and needing the ability to walk somewhere.

4.     Breast Pump

Breastfeeding a little baby while you’re trying to care for other kids can seem impossible. Every time you get the little one latched on and feeding, the next thing you know another kid needs your help with something and duty calls. By using a breast pump to collect the breastmilk and store it in containers in the fridge, you can stockpile your supply and have it on hand for convenient bottle feeding when needed.

Equipping Yourself for Easier Parenting

Ultimately, the goal is to simplify and streamline your job as a parent as much as possible, so equipping yourself with the right tools and techniques is important to prevent yourself from stressing out. With the right equipment and schedule, you can refine your processes to the point where keeping watch of all your rascals becomes a simple part of everyday life.

Things to Consider When Planning a Birthday Party for Twins

Anyone who has twins knows that they can be absolutely adorable and a pleasure to have around, but you also know that certain occasions are a bit different, with birthdays being the most obvious challenges. Some twins love sharing their birthday with their sibling, while others will want their own separate party. Even if you have twins that are cool with sharing their party, that’s only a preliminary step as then you have to actually plan the event. With that said, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind in the process:

1. One Cake or Two?

Do your twins like to argue over things? Or, do they get along well when sharing? If sharing a cake is going to be a problem, or if your twins have not-so-identical taste preferences, then you might have no other choice but to purchase two medium cakes instead of one larger cake. It’s okay though, as the twins can still blow out their candles in unison. Of course, all cake prices vary, so it’s a good idea to compare prices when choosing between the single or separate cake approach.

2. Matching Outfits: Are They Really a Good Idea?

Every parent with twins owns at least a couple of cute matching outfits, and while you might be tempted to put them to use on the big day, it might not be a great idea if you have identical twins that are difficult to tell apart. After all, you don’t want guests confusing one twin for another. If you absolutely can’t resist dressing them up in the same clothes, then you might want to give each a name tag or unique hat/wristband to avoid mix-ups. Alternatively, you can design a themed costume party so that the twins will want to be different characters.

3. Present Opening: Taking Turns or Alternating?

Twins usually prefer to alternate opening gifts (e.g. – twin #1 opens a gift and then twin #2 opens a gift, and so on), but some parents prefer to give each twin their own gift opening session. Letting one twin open all their presents first can upset the other temporarily, but on the other hand, it gives both kids a chance to truly enjoy the unwrapping of all their gifts consecutively. Plus, enforcing this rule can be a good way to teach twins discipline and family rank.

Staying Within an Allocated Budget

Twins aren’t only “double the trouble” they’re also twice as expensive on birthdays. Setting an equal but definitive budget for each twin will help you avoid the “hey, that’s not fair” arguments that may result from getting one twin more or “better” gifts than the other. However, giving them both the exact same gifts isn’t quite ideal either, so just try to get two of each gift that you think they’re most likely to fight over. Likewise, designating more expensive gifts to both of the twins also helps (i.e. -writing “For [Twin 1’s name] and [Twin 2’s name]” on a present that contains a game console or basketball goal).


Fantastic Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Teenage Daughter

Those teenage years are hard enough to deal with in many cases, but when it comes to finding the right Christmas gifts for your teenage daughter, stressed just turned into panic mode. What do kids like these days and what can you get your daughter that every other girl in her class doesn’t already have? Check out some of these fantastic gift ideas for your teenage daughter.

Handmade One-of-a-Kind Jewelry

Most teenage girls go for all the glitz and glam, and so mom and dad shop around for some statement pieces when it comes to jewelry. Big and gaudy are still the rage, but every girl goes to the same shops in town and so it is hard to find something unique, just like your beautiful teenage daughter. Why not order handmade jewelry from sites like Access Gems where you can pick the gemstones based on signs of the Zodiac or simply follow her preference in color or trend? Teenage girls love to flaunt their stuff – jewelry that is!

Jeweled iPhone Bumper Cases and Crash Guards

Speaking of jewels, what about an iPhone bumper case or crash guard with synthetic stones, just like the real thing you’ve chosen for that amazingly creative piece of handmade jewelry? Whether your daughter sports an iPhone or an Android, there are bumper cases and crash guards with all the glitz a girl could ever want.

Rainbow Temporary Hair Colors

Fantasy rainbow hair colors are raging all around the world. This year, those colors are bolder and brighter than ever before and since they are only temporary, you can give your daughter colors of the entire rainbow. Why they call them rainbow colors is anyone’s guess since girls tend to wear one color at a time, but not your daughter! With several boxes in all the shades you can find, your daughter can go decked out in a true rainbow when returning to school in January.

Custom Printed Meme T-Shirts

For the past several years, memes have been all the rage. What teenage girl doesn’t have a social media page? Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, social networks are the best source of memes if you don’t quite know what to look for. You would be remiss as a parent if you were not your daughters FB friend, so check out her page to see the memes she’s liked with a heart and choose one or two that exemplifies her as a person and the spirit within.

The key takeaway in all this is the dichotomy within a teenager’s lifestyle. On the one hand, they want to belong to a group, so much so that they may succumb to peer pressure from time to time. On the other hand, each girl wants to be unique and known for who she is, not who she hangs with. If you are going to choose a fantastic gift for your teenage daughter, it would bode well to remember this. Give her something just trendy enough so that she fits in, but unique enough to express who she is and what she, personally, represents.




Buying Baby Supplies on the Web is a Money and Sanity Saving Measure

Are you facing problems buying goods for your baby? When it comes time to buy supplies for your little bundle of joy, you’ve got to be proactive. Babies don’t come with an owner’s manual. Each and every one of them have a different set of predispositions and basic needs. This means that, when it comes to shopping for them, you’ll have to be on your toes. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stay completely in the dark when it comes to finding the very best places to shop. As it turns out, there is a whole new world of opportunity for you to take full advantage of.

Where is the Best Place for You to Shop for Your Child?

Suppose that you need to find teething baby rattles online. If you are already working a full time job and are exhausted from caring for your little one on top of that, you really won’t have the time or energy to do much more. However, your baby is bawling. It’s obvious they need something to cut their teeth on. Do you manage to get in your car and go shopping for the rattle they need to sooth their incoming teeth with? It may end up being a wild goose chase that consumes copious amounts of time, energy, fuel, and gas. The shops in your town may not have what you are looking for.

Shop Smart for Your Baby Instead of Shopping the Hard Way

When it comes to getting the supplies you need for your baby, it’s up to you to master the art of shopping smart instead of shopping hard. Instead of wasting time and energy on a cross town trip that may well end up as a fruitless endeavor, you would be well advised to use the power of the world wide web to your advantage. Do you know how to use a Google search to find the baby supplies that you need? A few minutes spent on the web could save you a great deal of aggravation. You can easily find the supplies you need at a price that won’t cause any dent in your family budget.

Finding Baby Supplies on the Web Saves You Time and Money

Why bother with the old way of shopping hard when you can log on to the web, find the supplies you need, and quickly complete your transaction the easy way? It’s the best way to shop for your baby. Shopping smart instead of hard is simply the best way to handle all of your important baby shopping needs. When your child requires clothes, toys, or other important articles, you can implement a quick search on the web, followed by a timely price check.

You Can Easily Give Yourself the Ultimate Gift of Shopping Convenience

If you really want to give yourself the ultimate gift, why not learn how to shop smart? This is the gift that keeps on giving. When your baby needs new items, you can conclude your shopping trip on the web in a matter of minutes and get back to sleep. It’s a time saving measure that will help you become a better and more connected parent for your precious little one.

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.


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.


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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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.