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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Weekly Bit of Baby Love: Shifting your paradigm

Hat, sunglasses. Useful for masking your third day without a shower.

Nothing rocks your world quite like becoming a parent. Many of us had not yet mastered the art of taking care of ourselves when we became responsible for another little being. With the coming of new responsibilities is the “going” of our old way of doing things. Some pieces of our old lives are hard to give up, despite the joy that a new baby brings.

What do you find yourself struggling to get back? I remember feeling so defeated as a first-time parent simply because I could not drag my sleep-deprived self out of bed early enough to take a shower before my baby awakened. I work at night and truly need every minute of morning sleep I can get. I finally realized that the days of greeting the world freshly showered, fashionably dressed and with a current hairstyle were temporarily on hold. I always hated showering at night, but found it was the only way to make this new life work. And, after awhile, I came to enjoy scrubbing off a days worth of baby spit-up or the various messes created by a toddler. I shifted my paradigm (or at least my shower time) and it made a world of difference.

MOM DARE: This is the week to make a change in your life to incorporate at least one thing you find yourself complaining about or longing for. What is it: exercise, a date with your spouse, the mountain of laundry that children mysteriously create? Shift the pattern you’ve gotten yourself into and make the necessary change to fit in (or remove) the source of stress. Your solution does not need to be permanent, but may help you realize that adaptability will become one of your greatest strengths as a parent. As my mother always recites, “This too shall pass.” So shift your current expectations, and make this week work for you in a whole new way.

To subscribe to my Weekly Bit of Baby Love and see if you’re ready to take on other Mom Dares, enter your email on the right under subscriptions, or sign up online at www.babylovecarebook.com/weeklybit.html

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Changing your world one diaper at a time.

Sometime around the third or fourth week after having a baby, you come to the realization that once foreign tasks like changing a diaper can now be done one-handed and in the dark. Your reality has certainly shifted.

Not your grandmother's cloth diaper. Shown is the BumGenius 3.0.

So, what choices are you making in this new reality? Are you choosing only the quickest, most convenient options when it comes to food, entertainment and the ever-present diapers? Now imagine if you were to use just ONE cloth diaper a day for one baby. That’s about 1,000 diapers per child that would stay out of the trash. There are 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year. Imagine now that ONE cloth diaper a day for each baby would eliminate 4,000,000,000 disposable diapers; 4 BILLION in case you’re struggling with all those zeros. (And if cost is on your mind: In 2010, the average cost per disposable diaper in the U.S. is $0.36.) Think about it.

MOM DARE: Your challenge this week, if you haven’t tried them already, is to buy or use a cloth diaper. Your options are endless, just do a quick search online if you’re completely in the dark on this subject. An “all-in-one” (AIO) is made just like a disposable and runs between $15 and $20 a piece. These are your most expensive option, so if you’re thinking of buying a new baby gift for someone, this is what to buy. If the thought of washing diapers wrinkles your nose, I can assure you that life will present you with far greater challenges over the next few years. It’s not a hippie thing. It’s not a poor person thing. It’s just another opportunity for you to make a better choice for this world.

To subscribe to my Weekly Bit of Baby Love and see if you’re ready to take on other Mom Dares, sign up online at www.babylovecarebook.com/weeklybit.htm

p.s. If you really need some help with this one, comment with your cloth diapering questions. I’ll be more than happy to help you out with this. I have cloth-diapered three children, so I believe I’ve heard (or uttered) nearly every excuse there is on the subject.

 
 

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Fussy baby strategies = Happy mom strategies

Babies cry. There’s just no way around this reality. Sometimes it breaks your heart, and other times it’s enough to raise your blood pressure and wish you were anywhere else but RIGHT HERE. But you are right here in the heart of parenthood and your baby is communicating by crying. It’s now your job to break the code.

Ah, the often-seen (but rarely photographed) side of babyhood.

Do you have a consistent routine yet? At the very least, get up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night. You can ease a fussy baby simply by giving them a consistent, loving environment. Crying generally boils down to three basic needs: FOOD, SLEEP and  COMFORT.

During the first few months of motherhood, I made this list for my husband or any other family member who came to help out with my very fussy baby. I called it our Happiness Routine, and perhaps it will bring you some happiness as well.

Mom Dare: Your challenge this week is to make sure you are meeting your own three basic needs. Are you eating healthy meals at regular intervals, sleeping whenever possible and depending upon someone close to you for moral, spiritual and physical support? Taking care of yourself is the best defense against the frustrations of parenting. So take three things off of your To-Do List and pencil in a nap, a healthy meal and time with someone you love instead.

 

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Weekly Bit of Baby Love: If you don’t ask, you won’t receive

During your first few weeks as a new parent, you may get offers of help from many different sources. It’s tempting to politely say no simply because it’s easier than coming up with a task for them. Get into the habit of saying “YES” to offers of help, because the offers may stop just when you need them most. (And let me tell you, they stop all together once you’re the mother of three or more children!)

What do you really need this week?
A shower, a prepared meal, a long nap or just a little time in the sunshine by yourself? Maybe you would like for someone to vacuum your house or do a load of laundry. Just ask. I promise that someone loves you enough to do this small act of kindness for you.

Mom Dare: Your challenge this week is to ask for help at least three times and say yes to any offer of help. Someday you will remember this help and pay it forward to another new parent, but for right now, bask in the gift of time and encouragement. And, if you’re a mom who has made it through the baby years, how can you offer your time to a new mother this week?

 

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Weekly Bits of Baby Love: Are You Ready for the Mom Dare?

Grab a little morsel of grace each week.

So, you’ve embarked on this new life of parenthood, for better or worse. Sign up for a weekly bit of encouragement, humor and – hopefully – inspiration to become a better parent, partner and person. These VERY SHORT messages will appear in your email one time per week and your email address is never shared with anyone else. Some are geared to parents of newborns, but most will appeal to parents at any stage.

Each message also comes with a Mom Dare, a challenge for the week to help you reach your highest potential as a mom.

Give it a try and unsubscribe at any time. And, if you subscribe, we’ll send you a discount code to use on future purchases. To get the emails one time per week, jump on over to www.babylovecarebook.com to subscribe there. You can sign up here, but you won’t get the older posts and you won’t get them once a week, just whenever I post them. It’s worth the extra step to sign up on the Baby Love web site.

Remember: Baby love is easy, around-the-clock baby care is not. (And yes, it’s okay to admit that.)

 
 

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