Breathe Grace

Emma Kate Warren was born on 9/12/2017. In the age of Wiki and all the information available at our fingertips I thought I was 100% ready for motherhood (all seasoned moms laughing a little here right now). I took prenatal classes, I learned prenatal yoga and rocked it! I had every plan to read a book (but who am I kidding, was too tired to do much else) But ya know, I had my baby showers, I had all the supplies needed….I got this. Ya know, I really did have this. However, I absolutely lacked one really important thing: Grace for myself.

If I could go back in time, say 9/11/2017, and have a quick 15 minute conversation with Destiny (probably after those 11 hours of no-med labor when I finally got some relief from the epidural) OR, if I could give you a little bit of advice new mamma. These are the five things I’d tell myself the day before I held my little Emma.

  1. Fed is best. So whether it’s formula or breast milk, give yourself grace. If you’re trying so hard but don’t have a large supply, or if the pain is so much that you just can’t go on. Maybe you have post-traumatic stress from a previous babe and stressful breastfeeding experience. You’re not a failure. Give yourself grace. Thank goodness for formula, baby is fed. That’s what matters. Give her what you can, or don’t if it’s too much for you. Baby feeds off of your mood as well, so don’t let it steal your joy.
  2. Babies cry, it’s not a reflection of you. So who cares if your in-laws are over to see the baby. OF COURSE they want to see the baby. Baby crying is not a reflection of your motherhood. Babies cry. You’re a great mom. Breathe some grace into your situation, and sometimes let someone else hold the baby. You need a break, take it.
  3. LET OTHERS HELP YOU. I feel like this is a point everyone told me, but I didn’t want to “put my mom out” when she was over. What was I thinking!? Let your family and friends clean your house, you take a nap. Is your mom OFFERING to watch the baby so you can nap. Don’t say no, please nap. You have earned the nap. Who cares what the house looks like if you don’t have anyone there offering help. Snuggle your babe tighter, and the house will be ok. Breathe grace in, breathe grace out.
  4. Co-sleep, no co-sleep? Do what feels right to you with no shame. It only makes sense that your little baby who slept so close to you for 10 months wants to sleep close to you still. No justification needed, you both need sleep and you’re not a bad mom. You’re just tired. So do it, or not-but do what is right for you and don’t look back. When those thoughts come creeping in, just gift yourself some grace. You’re doing a great job-let that be enough.
  5. “Comparison is the thief of Joy” -C. S. Lewis. Don’t let yourself go there. It’s unfair to you to compare your journey to another’s. We are all too different. Situations are so different. Give yourself grace. Compare your journey to no one else’s-and I promise you-you’ll live with more freedom.

I hope I get the chance to be a new mom to another baby some day. I know I’ll come back to this same post when the hormones are through the roof, all reason has gone out of the window and I begin to let myself believe lies that current Destiny would be shocked by. Words have life, and I truly believe what we say to ourselves (even when its just a thought) can become true when we tell ourselves enough.

The grace you would extend to another mama, give to yourself as well. You’re worth that and more.

Cheers mama,

Destiny Warren

You’re a Mom…But That’s Not All

My kids are my life, and pretty much everything I do revolves around them. However, I’m a firm believer that you have to take care of yourself first and you have to have your own life outside of being a mother. Yes, it is my most important job and my highest calling. But I believe that in order to be the best mother I can be for my children, I must be healthy not only physically, but mentally. If I do nothing but parent 24/7 and do nothing that is enjoyable to me, I will get frustrated, irritated, annoyed, and burnt out. When this happens, you become like a volcano just building and building until an eruption. A lot of times you take things out on your spouse or your kids or your friends or other family members, and this isn’t fair to those people.

Take time for yourself.

Take time to relax and clear your mind. Take time to do things that you enjoy–that don’t involve the kids. When you do these things for yourself, you are helping release more of the good chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy and satisfied with life. If you are feeling satisfied, you will be in a better mood, have more patience, and will be more willing to read that dumb dinosaur book to your kid for the 57th time today.

Happy moms are the best moms and you can’t be happy if you never take any time for self care.

Another reason I believe it is so important to have your own life as a mother is one day, far too soon, these children will grow up and sadly, leave me. While I still hope to see them very often and be involved in their lives, I will need to have my own life. As someone who has struggled with depression, OCD and anxiety for a large portion of my life, I can see how parenting could become an unhealthy obsession.

An obsession where I give and give of myself until there is nothing left. Looking to the future, what’s going to happen when they’re all out of the house and living their own lives? What will I be left with? An empty house, an empty heart, and no friends or hobbies of my own. I can see that being a very dark time in my life if I don’t do things now to combat that. So I try to have things that I do regularly outside of being a mom. I believe all mothers should have hobbies and things that interest them besides their kids. It is so important to not lose your own identity for the sake of being a mother. You are still an individual and when your child grows up, you can’t live their life for them. They will become their own person and if you lose your own identity, then when they find theirs, you will be left with nothing.

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So how do we keep from going insane as a mother and also keep our own sense of individualism? Here is a list of ideas to help:

  1. Go on a date with your significant other
  2. Go to a coffee shop by yourself for a while to read a book or online shop
  3. Have dinner with friends
  4. Go to the gym
  5. Get a massage
  6. Get your hair done
  7. Get your nails done
  8. Get a facial
  9. Go for a walk alone
  10. Go to a movie with your mom
  11. Go shopping without the kids
  12. Have your significant other take the kids somewhere and let you take a nap at home
  13. Go out for a drink with friends
  14. Take a bubble bath when the kids are in bed
  15. Take a local craft class
  16. Take a long drive to nowhere
  17. Have a show that you keep up with (that is not a cartoon)
  18. Have a podcast or radio show you keep up with
  19. Join a local club or group
  20. When all else fails, hand the kids off to your significant other and  go to Target!!!
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What are some things you do for self care and to keep your identity that I didn’t mention? Comment below or email me!

Let’s be friends! Life is so much better when we do it with others.

xoxo,

Lindsey

Give Santa a Break!

The holidays are such a fun time of year and should be filled with so much joy! I think there is something so magical about everyone everywhere celebrating something! It’s a beautiful thing.

Growing up, Christmas was a fun time of year and something you look forward to all year long. Once you become an adult it’s like the fun changes to stress, and the countdown of excitement, turns into the dreaded “How much longer do we have to pay for everything or get all the things done”. I’ve seen the effect the holidays can have on some people, and unfortunately it’s not all merry and bright, if you know what I mean!

I know for my family personally I want my girls to have the most incredible Christmas, filled with all the festivities and events, with the perfect photo with Santa, and the most sparkly festive Christmas morning! I see so many people including myself get caught up in the stress of the holidays and totally miss out on all the good.

No matter what you celebrate this rings true! This time of year is about spending time with your family, making those lasting memories together. Engaging in traditions that have been in your family forever, things your great great grandma started. It’s about inviting people into your home and loving on them. Serving and giving to others.

Don’t get me wrong! Every mama loves to see the look on their babies face when Santa came to visit and left them some goodies under the tree. I thought I loved getting gifts but after having kids, nothing beats the feeling of lighting up their little world! In my opinion the gifts do have their place in the holidays. I mean it’s a celebration, a party, a big ol’ birthday bash! But the holidays don’t revolve around the gifts. That is what I am trying to get across to all the moms out there stressing over Wwhat are we going to get the kids?”, or “How are we going to afford to buy everyone gifts this year?” Santa has a lot of kids to visit so don’t stress yourself out too much thinking about what he will leave your kiddos.

If you are anything like me then you love a good practical list! I put together a little list of things you can do with your family this season to keep your hearts joyful amidst the crazy.

1. Serve others! Do some sort of random act of kindness as a family. There are so many options when it comes to this, whether it’s serving in a soup kitchen, baking holiday treats and delivering them to your neighbors, or taking gifts to your local fire station/police station. The options are endless! Think “How can I make someone else’s holiday magical?” Ask your kids that question and let them be creative and brainstorm some ideas!

2. Teach your babies to give! I know for sure my girls have way too many toys for them to love. Have your kids go through their toys, books, clothes, really everything and donate it! Give it to a family that you know may not be able to give gifts this season. Involve your little ones and explain to them that it’s time to pass some of their toys onto another little boy or girl to love. My daughter gets so excited when she thinks about gifting it to another little girl. If you don’t know where to take your items, Goodwill is always a great place to donate! 

3. Give your kids the opportunity to gift someone else. There are so many opportunities to buy gifts for other little ones this season. Give your children some money or if they are a little older have them raise money and take them to a store and let them pick out something to gift to someone else. We have let Charlie do this a couple times but this year will be the first year she can really grasp what she is doing. She’s only three years old but their hearts definitely understand giving…ya know after mom and dad tell them about 10 times “we’re not here to buy a toy for you!” 

4. Ask your kids what they want to do! I am so guilty of planning all the activities that I think would be so fun and they would all love! But kids are simple. Sometimes your babies just want to snuggle up with you and watch Charlie Brown. Some of my greatest memories with my girls and husband have been on our lazy weekends just spending quality time together!

5. Lastly, give Santa a break! I mean Santa’s not supposed to have a sleigh full of toys just for your kids! Plan your gifts. Your kids don’t need the whole Disney aisle at target. Trust me I want to buy my girls all the princesses too because I know they would love it. But how many dolls can two little girls play with? Kids actually play better with less! This year our family will be buying each other four gifts! Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read! Four gifts from mommy and daddy, and of course the few gifts Santa decides to drop off!

Speaking of the big SC! Kids talk and share all the things Santa left for them on Christmas morning. Be mindful of other families and the money that is being spent. A seven year old doesn’t understand why he got a basketball and little Johnny over there got an xbox one. Be mindful, mommas and daddies. Don’t crush the magic for other kids or make those parents have to have that uncomfortable conversation. Keep the expensive gifts from you and leave the simple stuff to Santa!

Now enjoy the most wonderful time of year with your family!

I hope this encouraged you this holiday season to soak it all in and not stress about the little things. Let’s go out this Christmas season and spread all the holiday cheer! Make some new family traditions with your kids and show them the real reason for the season!

Put The Phone Away

It never ceased to amaze me, how my tiny baby practically came out of the womb fascinated by screens and technology. She has always been intrigued by the TV, trying desperately to see around whatever obstacle is in her way. And she constantly reached for any cell phone within her grasp, despite the fact that she’d never seen what they can actually do.

My husband and I are not the type of parents who use screen time as a babysitter. Our daughter has only seen our phones brought to life a handful of times in her ten months. Only sharing a YouTube video of Baby Shark with her, or teaching her how to play a short game of balloon popping from a Baby app when we were desperate to soothe her inconsolable cries.

So why has she always been fascinated by technology she’s never been allowed to use? How can someone as young as she know that these contraptions are so important?

I used to think maybe it was the colors, lights, or sounds that sparked her interest. But then a few days ago, I stumbled upon an article that filled me with sadness.

The author spoke about a study with cell phones, babies, and mothers. It was discussed how little ones were observed in public, smiling or making faces at their mothers. And each of those mothers remained distracted with their phones.

After a few minutes of trying to capture their uninterested mothers’ attention, the small children appeared visibly distressed. In some cases they even acted out after being ignored, as that seemed to be their only chance at receiving attention…

Reading that broke my heart. And I realized how many times I’d actually witnessed scenarios exactly like the one described in a restaurant or a grocery store. Perhaps even been one of those mothers a time or two without even realizing it…

I suppose we have to face the reality that our children are growing up in a digital world. I totally understand the addiction to today’s technology. And I am one hundred percent guilty of having a cell phone in my hands way more frequently than I should.

It’s hard not to with all of the benefits cell phones bring. Communication is so easy. I constantly snap photos on my phone of every moment with my beautiful little girl. Then I find myself sharing all the baby spam in texts, on Facebook, Instagram, my mom blog, etc…

I realized after reading that study about cell phones, it’s probably not just the lights, colors, and movements that intrigue my daughter. It’s also a reflection of how much she sees her mother, or anyone else in her life, obsessing over these tiny devices. If it’s so important to us, maybe she should be obsessed with it too.

It’s rather sad she learned this so quickly in the short time she’s been earth side…

If I could redo anything about these last ten months, it would only be to put my phone away more.

How many precious little moments did I miss with my daughter because of a screen in front of my eyes? How many times has she felt ignored by her mother, but couldn’t voice her concern to me?

What would be the harm in saving phone usage for nap times? It would allow me to give my growing baby a real human connection.

Why not put the phone away until lunch breaks at work, or until after my daughter has fallen asleep for the night? Then I can give her the motherly love and attention she deserves while she’s awake and in my company.

I wonder if these questions should have ever been something to cross my mind as a mother… These are options I should have been using all along for the sake of my child.

These last ten months have flown by in the blink of an eye for me. The baby stage and childhood only happen once.

Personally, I know I don’t want to miss another minute…

And so my beautiful baby girl, here is my new promise going forward:

I will put the phone away.

And I will be more present for you in this crazy, digital world.

How to Make Christmas Magic

It’s that time of the year, and if you ask me – it’s the best time of the year

It is the warmest, most beautiful,  most emotional and the most spiritual time of the year -Christmas !

Unfortunately over the years it has become the most expensive and most stressful .

There is constant pressure that everything has to be perfect, which can cause you a lot of stress. But it doesn’t have to be really that complicated. Enjoying Christmas doesn’t have to cost that much.

Christmas magic is already in the air – you just need to add a little glitter.

The key is to keep everything simple and fun. Here are some ways to do so!

  • Decoration

Every time I go into any shop, Christmas decorations are so tempting and I want to buy them ALL! I always end up buying a lot of decorations that, let’s be honest, I don’t even need.

How about this? Instead of spending a lot of money on decorations- make them. Make them together with your kids. Kids will be happy because you are doing something together and they will have a lot fun making them. There will most likely be a lot of glue and glitter around the house, but also a lot of fun.

And yes I almost forgot…Put an orange peel on the heater vent. It looks nice and smells even nicer.

  • Dinner is ready !

           First – don’t overcook. Second- be smart when picking the menu. What would make you think that your kid will eat something that he or she doesn’t usually eat, only because it’s Christmas?

Don’t experiment with new things. I don’t know about your kid, but it’s easier for me to get him to brush his teeth than it is to get him to try to eat something new. So make something that everybody likes.

For example, my younger son likes broccoli ( not my child, I don’t know how that happened) so I will make him a Christmas tree from broccoli.

I like butternut squash, so I will make butternut squash in the oven with extra cinnamon on top. It is delicious and the house will smell like heaven.

My husband likes beer. I will put antlers, eyes and a red nose on the bottle so he will have reindeer beer.

And my older son…oh well he likes chips. How festive is that?! But since I will be making Christmas magic, I will make him home made sweet potato chips. Bon appetit !

  • In vino veritas

“In wine lies the truth” – Latin phrase

Hot wine, mulled wine, gluhwein, vin chaud – call it whatever you like. Red wine or white, you pick. There is no need  for it to be expensive and good  since you can add spices to give it some flavour. Just add oranges, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom… That’s something for you, so you can survive all those Christmas preparations.

  • Family traditions

Start your own family tradition. This year I’m planning to start new tradition where we watch home videos from when we were young. It will be very interesting for my kids to see what my husband and I looked like when we were little.

They will remember this all their life, and maybe one day they will sit with their kids telling them how their parents had this tradition when they were young.

This way you will stay with them forever…

  • Gifts

I don’t remember any present I received back when I was kid, but I do remember my father serving dinner dressed up as Santa. We were laughing and my younger sister was crying because father didn’t come to Christmas dinner.

I used to spend a lot of money on presents so that my kids could end up playing with a box. So keep it simple. It’s better to have a few small gifts, but wrapped nicely. I just love wrapping! Use your imagination here too. Write nice cards. Let your kids draw something on the paper and wrap gifts with that.

Wrap them experiences and memories, not the gifts.

  • We are not alone in this world

Use opportunities to teach your kids empathy and the beauty of giving and sharing. Let them go through toys that they don’t use anymore and have them donate them to other children. It teaches your kids giving, and helps make other kids happy as well.

Fifteen years from now your kids will not remember gifts. They will remember you being there.

They will remember their brothers poop explosion during Christmas dinner. They will remember their father falling asleep and his snoring during the Christmas movie.

They will remember the smell of hot chocolate, orange and cinnamon.

They will remember magic that YOU, their mother, put together.

And you…you don’t need magic, you already have it. Your magic is your kids laugh and having your family together…

Ok…and hot wine.

Accepting the Slow-down of Mama-hood

When I first became a mama, there was a good 5-6-month period, where I couldn’t for the life of me, wrap my head around slowing down. It wasn’t just about being physically and energetically unable. It was about having to redirect the attention normally put towards my business and myself, to my infant son. It’s not that I hadn’t been prepared to be a mom. I read the books and googled my life away for 9-months. I had wanted a baby for God’s sake! Nonetheless, all of that couldn’t have prepared me for the reality that a child would not fit into my plans, my lifestyle or my agenda. 

After a year of adjusting and learning to let go, I feel freer and more successful than I have since before my son was born. The funny thing about this success is, it’s still a 80/20 ratio- where my son’s needs and desires are the winning 80% and mine are obviously the latter. It’s been a wrestling match with pre-baby and post-baby me, but I’ve learned to cherish the slow down and I even enjoy it.

If you’re struggling with the slow-down of mama-hood, keep reading. Below are three mental modifications and tricks I’ve learned that have helped along the way as I raise my son.

  • Embrace ‘phases’ and understand that nothing is forever. 

A necessary modification to my mind frame after having a baby was shifting my ‘now or never’ attitude to an ‘it can happen later’ attitude. During the first year of motherhood, I was unable to pick up as much work as I had done the year before. Rather than understanding this as a phase of ‘slow down’, I saw it instead as my business failing and blamed being a mom. I was worried and angry. Now, I look at it from a long-term point of view and remind myself that everything happens in seasons. At some point as both you and your baby grow, your phases will change to work better for your current life situation. Now that my son is over a year old, I know that I’ll be able to gradually get back into the ‘building phase’. I see now that adopting a ‘nothing is forever’ mind frame would have lessened the unnecessary guilt and grief. Give yourself enough compassion to call out each phase that you’re in and know that your phases are not forever. 

  •  Try to find a community, work and hobbies that support your new lifestyle as a mom, but also allow for various versions of yourself.

Going back into the world as a mom can be daunting. For some, the work world is not as pro-mom as it should be. You’re showing up to this world as multiple versions of yourself. You are a mom, a professional, a colleague, a mentor, a friend, a boss, etc. Being able to step into each of the roles separately is a skill and requires boundaries. However, as many working moms will attest, the role of mother is a harder one to separate completely than the rest. Finding clients, workplaces and communities that are flexible and understanding of your multiple roles, creates a safer and more authentic life. A few examples of combining roles are; finding gyms with in-facility babysitting programs. Finding workplace options that promote flex schedules and going to local breweries and vineyards with kid friendly accommodations. 

  • Accept Defeat and do ‘the new’ you, just as great as you did ‘the old’ you. 

Finally and probably most importantly, just admit sweet defeat. You birthed a very incapable and incredible little human. Part of the gift of motherhood is that you get to be responsible for this baby’s sense of love and development through your attention and time. When you realize this, the game changes. I recognized how blessed I was that I had been able to conceive my little man and birth a healthy little boy. As I settled into the new me, defeat morphed into appreciation. Try to take the pressure off of yourself as best you know how and enjoy your small wins and little bits of progress. You’ll be surprised at how successful this new version of you can be.   

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Salt Dough Christmas Crafts

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! There’s nothing like a cold winter night cuddled up on the sofa with the fireplace going, sipping a cup of hot cocoa with the Christmas tree lights illuminating the room.

Growing up, my mom had a tradition. Each year she’d get my brother and I a new ornament. I love keeping that tradition alive to this day. It’s so much fun adding a new addition to the tree each year.

For those of you that don’t know, I’m a crafty lady. It’s fun to go out and buy a new ornament but it’s even better to make one of our very own!

Salt dough is such a fun and easy project to do with the kiddos. It just takes a few simple kitchen ingredients for hours of fun. It’s non-toxic and safe to use, even for the youngest of children. Kids can have so much fun rolling out the dough and it helps with their fine motor skills. You can also let them help you measure out the ingredients for a math lesson!

This is a fun project I did for many years with my students. It’s a great keepsake for parents to collect each year to watch their children grow.

It can be fun for grown ups to get in on the action too. Make hand prints of the whole family to add to your tree!

Now, while making salt dough isn’t an exact science, I’m going to give you my recipe. You may need to tweak it a little bit to get the exact consistency that works for you.

Start with a large mixing bowl

Add flour and salt

Mix together

 

Next, slowly pour in the water mixing as you go.

 

You may not need the whole cup but if you do use the whole thing and find the dough to be to sticky, just sprinkle a small handful of flour and keep mixing until you get the consistency that you like.

 

Once I have it mixed fairly well in the mixing bowl, I lightly flour the counter, dump the mixture out and knead it, just like bread, until it’s nice a fluffy. Sometimes during this process I add a few more drops of water or sprinkles of flour. There’s really no right or wrong consistency, just as long as the dough doesn’t end up sticking to the counter.

When you have your dough mixed..now comes the fun part!

Roll your dough in to a ball, place in front of your child and let them roll it out! Slowly roll the rolling pin back and fourth across your dough until it’s about a half of an inch thick. You can make your ornaments as thick as you’d like, just remember the thicker they are the heavier they will be when they dry and on the flip side, if the dough is too thin, it will rip.

You can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. We chose to make hand print ornaments. Hand print crafts are my absolute favorite. It’s such a precious memory to look back on and see how tiny your kiddos hand were.

Once you have your shapes, lay the ornaments out on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper.

Make sure to poke a small hole at the top so you can thread it later to hang on the tree

(I used a Capri Sun straw to poke the holes)

 

Next, just pop them in a 300 degree oven for about an hour. Times may vary depending on how thick or thin you rolled your salt dough. I like to keep a close eye on my ornaments as they dry just to prevent any cracking. You can also leave your ornaments out to air dry but that can take a day or two.

Once your ornaments have hardened, take them out of the oven and let them cool down.

 

Now you’re ready to paint!

I love Craft Smart Acrylic paints. They come in lots of colors, they’re non-toxic and they wash off little hands easily.

That’s it! Easy peasy Christmas ornaments you’ll treasure for years to come, along with all the precious memories you’ll create while making them!

If you have any questions about anything mentioned in my article please feel free to comment!

Merry Christmas, Mama’s!

When You’re the ‘Small’ Family for the Holidays

The holidays bring about memories of everyone gathered under one roof, sharing presents and meals, laughter and cheer. Our home is a little more quiet and our place settings are fewer. The day is still special, yes; but far more simple. You see, we’re on the opposite side of the country from the rest of our families. We are the ‘small family’ for the holidays, with it being just myself, my fiancé and our son. Small in size, big on love.

When we made the decision to move from Massachusetts to Washington state, we knew the holiday season would be different. We knew our son, an only child, wouldn’t be bustling back and forth between different families houses over the celebratory days. We knew we wouldn’t be going to the same tree farm Patrick and I grew up going to every year. But that was okay; because as we grew older and started our own family, things changed in our extended families and the generations who seemed to uphold those traditions passed on. It was up to us to start new ones.

It can be hard, seeing other families at the school assemblies with tribes of people there to support their kiddo while it’s just you two, the parents. It can be hard, waking up on those holiday mornings and knowing it’s just on you to make this day special. It can be hard, remembering what the holidays were like when you were a kid and it seemed like there was a house full of people but your child only knows a morning of you three.  You wonder if he’s missing out on some fundamental part of childhood because he’s not building forts with cousins or careening down the hill going questionably fast on a sled in your grandparents backyard. (Though some would argue that we also miss out on the logistical nightmare that is holiday air travel!)

But it’s not the size of your dinner table, your tree, your list of gifts, or visitors cars in the driveway.

It’s the laughter in the room, the smile on his face, and how he will always remember the traditions we are making, Here and now. Instead of getting sad or anxious about how things aren’t quite the same for our son as they were for us, we’ve taken on the season as our own and made our own traditions. We found our own favorite tree farm here in Washington. we visit our favorite Christmas lights attraction and make our own playlist. We spend the morning in our home, laughing and enjoying simple gifts and a good meal.

It is always enough for them, mama. No matter what you do, the day is magical for them because they believe that it is. Don’t get so caught up wondering if you’re ‘big’ enough for them and forget to enjoy the wonder of the small things.

Life After Kids

Being one of the first to have children in both mine and my husband, Greg’s group of friends we found a lot of them had questions.

A main one was “How does having kids change your relationship?”

It’s a bit of a hard question to answer as everyone’s experience is different. So to answer it for us- it was a little like this.

For us it was, it was basically love at first site. After not being together long at all (only 6 months pre falling pregnant) and only just under a year and a half before having kids, we never got that much time together. So when the time came and the baby bundle arrived we were a little bit over whelmed.

I always tell people after having babies you see the best and the worst in your partner. You may resent they can’t carry the baby, feed or birth when you’re in those really hard times. I hated watching him continue to have a life that was almost the same pre kids. He has the same body, is still going to work, still sleeping through the night, and still hangs out with his friends with out juggling sleeps, feeding and nappies.

It was really hard to adjust to mum life.

On the flip side of that you see the very best. You see the patience with a hormonal wife and crying baby, and the support they can offer. You see them rocking the baby to sleep at night when you’ve had enough, bringing you snacks when you’re hungry and breast feeding, choosing to sit at home with you instead of going out, and changing and playing with the baby while you catch up on sleep.

All these things make you fall deeper in love.

It is 100% a juggle and something every couple will have a different experience with. Nothing is perfect and the most perfect couple will have times that are tough and testing.

The best advice I have is to communicate and ask for help from your partner, as well as family and friends.

Since having our second we have a rhythm. We have more family activities, lots of compromise and more time spent with just us, as a couple. Setting up a calendar is key 👌🏽

Teething: 10 Tips To Make It Easier For Both Of You

As mamas, we have all been there. And if we haven’t been there yet- we will be before we know it.

Teething.

A fussy, crying, hard to console baby. 

But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Here you’ll find some tips and tricks on how to help your baby when he or she is teething.

When to expect?

Teething is a rather painful and difficult time for your baby. Their first tooth usually appears at around 6 months old ( but can appear sooner or later- every baby is different).

Teething itself can be very different for each child. Some might experience teething at as early as 4 month, and others, like my daughter, as late as at 11 months. If your baby is 10 months old and doesn’t have any teeth yet, it is perfectly fine. You can consider yourself lucky, as with the first tooth new activity is added to daily routine – tooth brushing. If  your baby is older than 12 months and you are still waiting for that first tooth to appear, it is recommended to visit your doctor, who will check if everything is fine.

What to expect?

Classic signs of teething include:

  • Drooling
  • Chewing on objects
  • Irritability
  • Tender and swollen gums
  • Fever up to 38°C
  • Problems with nighttime sleeping

A fever higher than 38°C and diarrhea aren’t indications of teething, so if your baby has them – talk to your doctor. If you have any doubts about your baby’s symptoms pay a visit to your doctor so he or she could evaluate the health of your baby. It is always better to be wrong than to miss a ailment,

10 Quick Teething Tips

For all of you busy moms looking for some quick info on teething, the list below has some suggestions on what I think should or shouldn’t be done for a teething baby:

  1. Don’t use any topical drugs
  2. Don’t use amber teething necklaces 
  3. Do use cold gel or water teethers 
  4. Do use frozen apple pieces or carrots
  5. Do use frozen washcloth
  6. Make frozen breast milk/formula popsicles
  7. Continue on breastfeeding 
  8. Cuddle your baby 
  9. Avoid or postpone any long trips or vacations
  10. Postpone vaccination visits if possible

For those of you who always ask “Why?” just continue with me.

Topical drugs for teething

Personally, I’m against all topical drugs because the baby eats it straight after the application. It needs to stay in place for some time to provide relief, but in a baby’s drooling mouth it is washed away instantly. If you use them you might do more harm than good.

Over the counter teething creams and gels usually contain a local anesthetic benzocaine or lidocaine. The FDA warns that dangerous and sometimes life-threatening side effects can be caused by them. If teething is very difficult for your baby please contact your doctor, he might prescribe oral analgesics for your baby. Don’t take my word for granted, you can read more about it here.

 I also don’t suggest any homeopathic teething creams. In my opinion they work only 50% of the time, because of the placebo effect. By the placebo effect, I mean- a parent gives a homeopathic medication to their child,  and that parent feels better and relaxes, which causes the sense their parent is relaxed, so they mimic their parents behavior, he calms down. I strongly suggest to use tap water instead of a homeopathic cream and just relax.  You can read more about homeopathy and placebo effect here.

 Amber teething necklace


Amber teething necklaces may not help your teething child. The claim is that amber releases a substance called succinic acid, which supposedly has analgesic effects which will be absorbed by the skin when amber is at body temperature. There is no scientific study to confirm this claim and succinic acid can be released from amber only if heated to about 200°C. Since or body temperature is not that high, it isn’t possible for succinic acid to be released from the amber.

These necklaces are also potentially harmful. Small amber pieces on delicate cords are choking hazards. Some of the necklaces come on thicker cords, the clasps are strong, and infants can easily get strangled by them.

Teething Remedy number one

The best teething remedy is cold. Applying cold to sore gums relieves the  pain and soothes your baby. Teethers should be cold, but not ice cold, which also might cause gum irritation.

You can find plenty of different teethers on Amazon. T are usually made of plastic or silicone and filled with water or gel. They can be put into the fridge to cool and then given to your baby. Don’t put them in the freezer because it can destroy them.  If you don’t feel comfortable with your baby chewing on plastic you might find wooden teethers, or cotton cloth ones as alternatives.

If you want to use wooden teethers make sure they are made of natural wood, well polished with a smooth surface and are big enough to grab and chew.

You also might use small cotton towel or washcloth. Before using it, please, wash it with ecological detergent, rinse thoroughly, dip in cold water, squeeze the excess and put into the fridge for up to an hour. 

Chop an apple, carrot or celery info comfortable to grab pieces and put them into the fridge for about an hour. You will end up with a perfect, healthy, cool, soothing baby teethers, but if it is not the first tooth you’re expecting to erupt, please be cautious and always monitor your baby to avoid choking on food. 

Frozen popsicles are a great way to soothe teething babies. Breast milk or formula popsicles are an effective and safe teething relief.

 For baby up to 6 months old use frozen breastmilk or formula cubes in a mesh or silicone feeder. I recommend freezing fresh breast milk (never use thawed breast milk) or freshly made formula in an ice cube tray, put them in a mesh feeder and hand it to the baby.

Mesh feeders are a bit messy and definitely hard to clean. I prefer silicone feeders because they have handles that are easy to grab and the silicone sac is easy to clean.

For babies from 6 to 12 months old you can make fruitsicles. Blend breastmilk or formula and your baby’s favorite fruit together. See the recipe below:

My fruitsicle recipe: 

  • 50ml fresh breastmilk or formula 
  • 3 big strawberries (my daughters favorite berry)

Put fruits first into a blender and blend them well, then add milk ( or formula)  and blend just a bit more. You can pour it to ice cube molds with popsicle sticks, or you can buy special baby molds designed to give your baby a better grip and the base is sturdy enough to hold the fruitsicle longer.

 Some fruits that will work well with breastmilk or formula are:

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Mango

Remember to add fruit that your baby is already familiar with.

Weaning and teething

If you are a breastfeeding mom and you were caught in the middle of weaning with teething, it is advisable to postpone the weaning. As a general rule, breastfeeding more frequently and intensively than before can help sooth a teething baby.

Cuddle therapy

Yes, cuddle therapy- which basically means cuddling, kissing and snuggling the baby is a scientifically proven method to help with teething discomfort. 

If it is possible, avoid vacations and long trips, not because of the baby, but because you also will be more tired and stressed. A teething baby requires all of your attention even during the night, which result with more cranky adults, due to the lack of sleep. Also a familiar routine is the best for a teething baby,  so it is best to not add additional stress factors.

Vaccination during teething

There is no evidence that you should postpone vaccination if your baby is teething, al though some recommend to postpone the visit, especially if your child has the worst teething symptoms and looks already miserable enough. If you do postpone you will not mix possible vaccine side effects with teething symptoms.

Before making this decision always talk to your doctor.

 

Dear Mom, we all been there, all those cries, tantrums out of nowhere, sleepless nights and cups of coffee, and one thing we can tell you for sure is -you will handle it like a queen!

If you have any questions or additional tips on teething that you find useful, please share them in comments below!

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