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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Image by NoVa Hokie via Flickr
If you know a couple that’s expecting, then you know they need a plethora of items for their new bundle of joy. While most new parents-to-be concoct an actual baby registry list, there are some baby items that new parents really want. Some of these are really practical and will be used often, and others are just fun but appreciated just the same.
- Cute Clothes Most new parents stock up on basic onesies and sleepers for their new baby so they’ll appreciate if you splurged and went all out. You can buy baby hampers in Australia from Baby Gift Box Company, including ones selling designer clothes. They have a designer gift basket for girls that features pink ruffled bloomers made out of 100% cotton, a matching cotton bodysuit, Mary Jane style socks, and a personalised gift box.
- Children’s Books Nowadays, it’s becoming popular to sign a book instead of a card at baby showers so that the new baby has a full library as soon as they arrive. You can go with that idea or you can prepare a basket with lots of children’s favourites like Goodnight Moon, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
- Diaper Bags for Both Mom & Dad Nowadays both mom and dad need diaper bags for when they run errands. It makes it easier to leave each bag in separate cars. Consider making the mom’s the main bag by finding one big enough to hold both bottles and baby food in insulated compartments, as well as several other pockets not only for diapers, but also for a small first aid kit, and phone. For the new dad, try to find the more modern combination of a diaper-messenger bag. It kind of looks like it holds his laptop and can hold his phone or e-reader in a compartment, but there are plenty of pockets for diapers, wipes, and anything needed for a car ride.
- Modern Feeding Supplies Do you want to help the new parents keep up with the times? Then consider gifting them some of these cool gadgets like a baby food dispensing spoon. It keeps feeding time easier and neater because all they have to do is fill up and squeeze the spoon for the baby to receive the food. Along with that, you could give them a baby food maker, where they can make their own out of various fruits and vegetables. In addition, as they grow older, they may have use for the cooling plate, which allows table food to go from hot to child-friendly warm in under a minute.
- Car seat/Car seat CoolerEvery set of new parents needs a high-quality car seat like a Graco My Ride that holds up to 40 pounds facing backwards, and then can be converted to a forward facing toddler seat. If you live in a warm area, supplement this gift with either a car seat cooling pad or a car seat sun shade so that the baby is not exposed to too much sunlight.
While you can buy these gifts, don’t forget that sometimes new parents cherish homemade gifts or even a kind thought too. Ask any new mom and she’ll be extra grateful if you came by with a hamper full of dinner, cleaned her kitchen while she took a nap, or offered babysitting services so she and her husband could enjoy a night out.
There comes a moment in a relationship that’s gone bad that you realize and you accept it’s done. Those words, “it’s over”, ring through your head. You might not even remember which of you said it first, or last. But you know it’s the truth. And there is a sense of calm about that fact when you accept it. After what may have been months of unhappiness and argument, you know all of that is over too.
Of course, life is about to be very different. You have freedom and also more restraint than before. You’re about to be a single parent. And you’re also about to be free of a relationship that really got you down. Your feelings will change. There will be anger, sadness, relief, and even joy. But it’s not your feelings you need to be concerned with right now. Your kids are about to go through hell.
When they learn that Daddy and Mommy are no longer living together, they will be devastated. Even if they know you are both happier living apart, they can’t understand yet how that will work. They fear a situation they’ve never experienced before. One parent won’t be there. So what can you do? Kids need routine, security, and love. Create a routine you can all stick to, and make it clear that both parents will always be available.
You may choose to move swiftly with the legal side of your separation. This can be very helpful if there is a new partner on the scene. The divorce lawyers at Skillern Firm believe that an amicable divorce is the easiest and least painful way to move forward. It takes the pressure off the parents, and this reduces the stress for the kids. At this stage of your separation, only the lawyers may be talking to each other. However, it’s important you find a way to politely communicate with your ex, for the sake of the kids.
Being the only adult in the house with the kids can be difficult. You won’t be able to go out in the evenings without getting a childminder in. And you’ll be solely responsible for the cooking, cleaning, and shopping. This can take quality time away from you and the kids. Share the tasks wherever possible. If you can afford it, get a housekeeper in to help, so you are free to be with the kids right now.
Children can often push boundaries at this difficult time. They can feel the situation is all about them. Try talking candidly with them. Speak about how hard it is being a newly single parent. Talk about your own sadness about the situation. And be honest about how you and your ex can be better parents when you’re apart. If things are still difficult, family counselling can be very helpful if you’re all willing to attend.
You may be surprised at how quickly you fall into your new routines and feel comfortable with how things are. It may get tricky again in the future when new partnerships are formed. But for now, you and your kids can share some quality time together.
Being a single parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It’s hard enough looking after a family with a spouse, let alone on your own. So, I thought it was about time I provided all you single parents with some of my advice:
(Photo via: https://goo.gl/8g9ylz)
Tell Your Children About The Situation
Sometimes, you’re a single parent from the moment your child is born. Other times, you could have a partner but things don’t work out, and you split up. Either way, there’ll come a time when your child starts asking questions. They’ll wonder why they don’t have two parents, and you’re going to have to explain things. For me, you have to tell your children about the situation. You can’t lie to them and try to keep them in the dark. Explaining things can help them understand why things are the way that they are. And, it can bring you closer as a family.
Stay In Contact With Your Ex-Partner
I think it’s really important that you try and stay in contact with your ex-partner. You don’t have to be best friends, but it helps if you’re on talking terms. I understand that many single parents are the product of a divorce. And, lots of divorces don’t end in a good way. However, you need to try and extend the olive branch, for your children’s sake. Trust me; they’ll find life a lot easier and better if their parents are speaking. Otherwise, you may rely on them as your means of communication. Both of you will tell your child to pass a message on to their mother/father. It can be horrible putting them in a situation like this. My advice is to do all you can to be on speaking terms at the very least. You can text or email one another; you don’t even have to meet face to face.
(Picture from Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/8rZ1wP)
Remember That You’re Not Alone
A lot of single parents fall into the mental trap of thinking they’re alone. They want to try and do everything by themselves; it’s a natural reaction to being a single parent. Especially if you’re a single mother and the father left before the baby was born. You can feel abandoned and get the mentality that you have to do it all. But, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. You’ll have loads of people supporting you and trying to help. I bet your family is more than willing to lend a helping hand and look after your children when you’re busy. Similarly, you may find that the father is eager to be part of your child’s life. Which is why you need to heed my advice above and stay in contact with them! Let them see your child and look after them on weekends or set a schedule, so they get the child at certain times. Whatever you decide, don’t do it all on your own!
Single parenting is hard, but you can make things easier for yourself. With my advice, you’ll find it’s much easier to cope, and you’ll become a better parent too.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Mine is 71 cms. tall and 8.3 kilos heavy. Instead of a flashy cape, he wears a drool-drenched bib with cute prints. My hero is none other than my 5-month old baby boy.
Before he came into my life, I was a hopeless mess. I was in a desperate quest to find Mr. Right because I used to think that without a partner in life, I was nothing. So I searched high and low for a man to meet my emotional needs.
I signed up for online dating sites left and right, and actively chatted with prospective partners. I never realized that dorks in sheep’s clothing were a dime a dozen. It was frustrating how I kept dating losers.
When my baby boy was born, everything has surprisingly changed for the better. He has rescued me from the doldrums. It’s almost a miracle how I no longer see the value in scavenging for a life partner. I realized that I already have everything I need to be happy.
My eldest daughter is happy, healthy and proves to be a smart young lady, save for her occasional intellectual diatribes on life as a tween. My baby boy is healthy and thriving. What more could I ask for?
Sure it would be nice to have a man to hold hands with as we walk towards the sunset, but the idea is not something I pine away for anymore. I am content with my kids and the joy they bring me- dirty diapers and all.
When my daughter came home from school yesterday, she could barely contain her excitement as she showed me what she was hiding behind her back- a cross stitching kit. She was beaming like a beauty queen who just bagged the Miss Universe title when she told me that her teacher handed a kit to each one of them in class.
I couldn’t have been more surprised as I knew that she was hardly the Martha Stewart homemaking type of girl. She was more of a thrill-seeking and adventurous Pippi Longstocking.
She then went ahead and showed me the pattern assigned to her. All I could think to myself was “Wow!” I knew that even I with all my patience wouldn’t be able to finish that cross stitch project. I couldn’t imagine how a grade four teacher can be such a sadist and give her kids a huge task.
But because my daughter was a real trooper, she took it as a challenge that she just wasn’t ready to bow down to. As she ran her fingers through the multi-colored dmc threads which came with the kit, I can almost hear her whisper, “I can do this even if it looks boring”.
And she is determined like hell to finish this project and make me proud. Little does she know that even as I write this, I’m already proud of her.
I consider myself to be a fairly congenial woman, but no matter how friendly I am, I guess I’ll never really be friends with time. It always seems goes by so fast when I’m at my happiest. The end of my 78-day maternity leave is starting to rear its ugly head, and time has yet again sped things up. Such a killjoy!
There are simply too many happy moments I do not want to let go of.
I’ll miss looking down ( thanks to gravity taking its toll on my breasts, I have to literally look way DOWN!) at my little one as he peacefully suckles at my breast in the wee hours of the morning. Everything around us is so quiet and serene.
I’ll miss the endless playback of lullabies and nursery rhymes in versions I never before thought existed.
I’ll miss being home when my eldest arrives from school. It’s quite comforting when we both don’t need to rush doing her homework. I am able to chat more with her and peek into what goes on in a tween’s slightly melodramatic life.
I’ll miss watching reruns of Friends. In my book, it’s still the funniest show ever.
I’ll miss not having to think about my jungle of a workplace. Noisy kids in my library can really try my patience at work.
But the clock ticks on, and I have to move with it. There will be happier moments ahead- whether I’m on maternity leave or not. It’s not the end.
So I guess I’ll just hang a shining star upon the highest bough, and have myself a merry little maternity leave now.