Posts Tagged ‘stay at home mom’

Why Should We Have to “Have it All”

Monday, December 19th, 2016

have it allSocial media did it again. Another mama went and did something that has a lot of people armed and ready with all their judgments. A mom, ten weeks post-partum, videotaped herself working out as she went about folding cloth diaper laundry from the dryer. Diary of a Fit Mommy is known for her videos incorporating workouts into daily routines and inspires a number of other people, mostly women, to do the same.

I want to be very clear. I have nothing but love for this mama. You get yours! I work out most days of the week and have my own strategies for fitting it in. My routine is a work in progress but I think I get the sentiment behind the idea that we all have time and can find said time if we get creative and honest with ourselves and our day. I also wonder if people would have a strong response to my laundry multi-tasking—folding while talking to my hubby about our day. We are all multi-tasking.

But my first thought upon viewing this video was more of a question: Why must everything be so complex? Can we make single-tasking a fad that sticks? Perhaps the response is doing squats while stuffing cloth diapers is not a complex task. That’s true—it appears relatively easy. I just tried it myself and, yes, it’s simple enough. I’m just wondering what’s so wrong with single-tasking?

All day I’m doing five things at a time. I just want to sit and do the laundry with a show on the TV or even just in the still silence of children in bed. In some ways sitting in the quiet or watching TV still isn’t singular in focus. I might be reflecting on the day or catching up with hubby. Still, can’t I just not always be thinking and acting on the idea of “having it all?”

Lots of women all over the world don’t have it all—they don’t even have the time or resources to play around with the idea of having it all. Sometimes I think what many of us want is just a little simplicity. I am okay with a single focus even if it means I don’t have a “perfectly” slim tummy. For my own sanity I need to not always be doing, fitting everything in, and getting the most out of the day. That just feels like unnecessary pressure and anxiety.

Yet again, that’s what I’ll have to come down to, my own sanity and my own experience. We are all battling different demons; we all have different places we’re coming from and ideas of whom and how we want to be. If you’re in the mood to multi-task your way to a perkier tush while preparing diapers for your baby’s fluffy bum I’m happy you’re finding ways to make your goals reality. I’ll be over here folding laundry and little else, except perhaps taking a sip or two of wine.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 8 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

When Baby Won’t Take a Bottle

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

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One day when my son was about 6 weeks old, I left the house for a few hours and when I returned, the kitchen sink was full of various kinds of used baby bottles, tubes, shot glasses and baby spoons.  A baby boy who wouldn’t take a bottle was the guest of honor at the party that went on while I was gone.

I wanted so badly to make breastfeeding work for my son and I.  We struggled as soon as he was born with nursing.  He fought it and it was stressful and uncomfortable for me.  He couldn’t figure out how to latch and would just scream instead of drink milk.  Doctors required me to supplement with formula for 24 hours until he started gaining weight and I was devastated.

Fast forward two months from after he was born and he refused to do anything but breastfeed.

Since breastfeeding was such a struggle from the start, I was too nervous to offer my son a bottle or a pacifier until two weeks before my maternity leave was going to end when he was 6 weeks old.  There were many attempts by my husband and a few friends to get my son to take a bottle of pumped breast milk. They all resulted in him screaming.

Finally, a few days before I needed to return to work and bring him to daycare part-time, my son drank a few ounces from a bottle.  I felt hopeful.  The first two weeks that he went to daycare, I was so relieved that he cooperated.  Then, something happened.  He changed his mind.  He started refusing a bottle from all the staff at the daycare and screamed until I would arrive to nurse him.  We received a lot of advice, but nothing encouraged him to drink from a bottle.  Occasionally, he would drink almost an ounce from a daycare worker if they would sit him in a bouncy chair, sit behind him so that he couldn’t see them and offer him a bottle.  It was a tip we received from a lactation nurse who said that some breastfed babies do not want to be fed by anyone besides their mother.

I lasted 2 months of working and visiting my son at least two times a day at daycare, so I could nurse him there and return to work.  Morning drop-offs were torture for everyone as we knew what the day would most likely look like.  That stress went away when I left my job and became a stay at home mom.  The reality became that I could dump my pump and feed my son on demand once I was home with him all day.  Unfortunately, my schedule was still limited he turned a year old, because I needed to always be available at his bedtime and for other feedings.  But, just like with other baby bumps in the road, we survived.

My second baby refused a bottle also, so luckily I had practice and knew I would get through it.

Sarah Cole is a freelance writer and stay at home mommy to two busy toddlers who wanted nothing to do with baby bottles.

 

My Pregnancy: Week 29

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

My pregnancy: week 29We’ve got two boys, one just days from four and the other just above two. The older likes to give baby hug and kiss each day. He tells her he loves her in such a way that my heart just about bursts to splatter us all with warm gooey love. The younger refers to baby, realizes my growing abdomen is “baby,” and knows her name. Though they are both in for a big surprise, the younger one won’t know what hit him. Luckily he’s the more go-with-the-flow of the two children. At least right now.

They don’t yet realize my patience is about to be cut by a solid third. Their waiting for a cup of milk, already a feat of patience within them, will soon stretch until a third kiddo has a more pressing need met. I can’t find it surprising that they are unclear of the future babe because I JUST, while writing this post, settled into the realization that instead of “Mommy!” “Mommy!” it will be “Mommy!” “Mommy!” cries for mommy. All. Day. Long.

Almost every day around nine in the morning I hit a low point. We’ve been awake for three or four hours at that point but naptime is so very far away still. A critical anxiety washes over me as I have no idea how we are going to fill our day until 4:45 PM when daddy comes home, a welcome sight, a reprieve and a joy to see. Of course, every day shows me we make it through 100% of the time, usually with a little grace and sometimes with a semi-clean home and extra hugs and loving words. Usually. Other days dinner isn’t done, the living room is a wreck, and the house smells like poop.

So adding a third kiddo sounds like an adventure but other times I wonder where I will find enough to make it through. Not enough of the stuff on the gift registry. We’ve got enough of all that and almost enough space for it all. Rather, where will I find the patience, energy, strength, perspective, and most of all the heart? I know it’s in me. I believe it because I see so many other mamas similar to me find enough.

I try to remind myself of the similar feeling I felt before we welcomed our first in the world. And then when we found out about number two on his way, just before his brother turned one. Now the task of one child or two seems so manageable, but in the moment of it all I felt rather similar to how I do now. That provides me solace for now. Except for one thing—as I consider being outnumbered, three to one during the day, my heart rate elevates just a tad, by about one-third.

Do We Need Playdates?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

DO WE NEED PLAYDATESPlaydates. A chance to get out of the house and talk to adults for some parents, and perhaps an awkward or uncomfortable experience for others. If you’re in the first group, it can be pretty easy to find get-togethers for your toddler. Meetup.com, local mom clubs (including fitness clubs like Moms RUN This Town or Stroller Warriors) or even the old fashioned way, chatting up people at the park, are some of the different ways to socialize your toddler (and you).

Depending on where you live though, if you are a working parent or a stay-at-home dad the playdate scene might be a little hard to break into. My friend was a stay-at-home dad and said women consistently assumed he was looking for dates, not playdates, and our local mom club wouldn’t accept dads or moms that worked more than part-time. He was persistent–I think he really wanted adults to talk to, and ended up finding some good matches for his family.

If you find yourself in the latter group though where you don’t particularly like attending playgroups, perhaps because you are an introvert or are very busy, it can be worrisome to think your toddler is missing out somehow because he’s not cruising the local playdate scene. Do toddlers need socialization via playdate or other organized activity?

Between the ages of one and two to three, children engage in parallel play, where they aren’t interacting directly with their peers (other than to steal toys or knock each other over). You may have seen your own toddler sit side-by-side with another child and not really see them interact like you would see with older children.

At this age, I think playgroups are perhaps more socially beneficial to the parent than the child. However, while the children may not be actively engaged with each other, they are still watching each other and starting to learn through observation about social behavior.

If you want your toddler to get have some play time with other kids, but aren’t or can’t do playdates, you can work around it. If you hire a babysitter, consider hiring one with a child near your toddler’s age that will come along. If you have a gym membership, the gym’s childcare facility may be a place for toddler socialization as well. MOPS or Mothers Day Out are also potential options. As your toddler gets older and more interested in playing with others, you might consider enrolling her in preschool as well.

Meaghan Howard is a mother to two young boys whose sanity was saved once upon a time by her local MOPS chapter.

Celebrating ONE year with Mom’s Milk Boutique!!!

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Exactly ONE year ago I wrote my very first blog post here at Breastfeed.Babywear.ClothDiaper.Naturally! I remember feeling pretty nervous (wondering if anyone would actually even read it?) but also really excited about the opportunity to share my thoughts on topics near and dear to my heart. Throughout this past year I have felt incredibly blessed to be a part of this wonderful community. I am continually impressed by the integrity of the owners as well as the customers at Mom’s Milk Boutique. You are ALL awesome and I thank YOU for making my job so great! :)

I often (all.the.time in fact) get asked how I got the position as a Social Media Coordinator for Mom’s Milk Boutique (that’s my official fancy-schmancy title ;)).  I went through an application and interview process just like you would for most jobs. I was super stoked when the position was offered to me. It seemed like an ideal part-time, work-from-home position for a stay-at-home mom. I often write posts while nursing my little one down to sleep in the comfort of my own bed. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better gig! Little did I know at the time how awesome of a company Mom’s Milk Boutique truly is! Now that I have a deeper understanding/appreciation for what happens behind the scenes of a small, family owned and operated business, I feel quite honored to be a member of the Mom’s Milk Boutique team.

Mom’s Milk Boutique was founded in 2007 by two sisters, Abbie and Bonnie, committed to natural, eco-friendly parenting products. They opened an itty-bitty storefront in their small town of West Frankfurt, IL. They brought their little ones to work with them (made possible of course by babywearing!) so their babies always had direct access to mama’s milk as needed. 5 years and a few babies later, they have a bigger retail space, carry a wide selection of products, and have an on-line store! Way to go mamas!! I think their story is one that exemplifies the creativity and resourcefulness of mothers in balancing the needs of their families. I like to share their story as an inspiration to mothers everywhere.

I especially love that Mom’s Milk Boutique has very high standards for what products they will carry and strives to offer them to costumers at the very best price possible…all while making it a fun place to shop! There are always specials, contests, freebies, and giveaways happening. The Facebook page is a great place to hang out and chat with mamas from all over the place. They are a very active bunch and about as friendly and welcoming as a group can get!

In my humble opinion Abbie and Bonnie have created something uniquely special that well serves the natural parenting community…and I am filled with gratitude each time I sit down (or rather lay down on my bed with my nursling ;)) to publish a blog post. Thank you ALL for a wonderful first year together!!

Much love, peace, and joy to all, Sarah