Your 4-Step Guide to Becoming the Best Mom You Can Be

“Uh oh,” I heard my child say. As I looked over to see what sparked the comment, I saw the cup on its side and juice flowing from the table to the floor. My son was frozen as if he found out about the mannequin challenge and decided this was the time to record his own version.

The natural response would be to grab some paper towels, head over and engage my son in helping to clean it up. Instead, I felt a boiling up within me, something erupting in my throat.

And then it happened. I exploded.

“What did you do that for?! Why are you just standing there? Clean it up!” I started vigorously grabbing paper towels and headed to the accident location. As I sharply dropped to the floor to clean the mess I saw my son flinch, in fear, out of the corner of my eye.

That fear softened me, but I still vigorously cleaned up the mess as my child perfected his mannequin stance. Once done, I muttered some comments and headed to my room as shame took over, tears dripping down my face.

How did this happen? Why did I respond like that? It was JUST spilled juice, seriously not a big deal.

Sitting on the bed, ashamed, embarrassed, and actually afraid, it hit me: I was repeating what my mother did with me. I was once in my son’s shoes, a little kid stuck in fear trying to understand what I did and how to prevent having more rage turned on me.

Yet, here I was, repeating the pattern—the pattern I vowed never to repeat with my own child.

It was a tremendously scary yet welcome realization because such a realization always precedes change. It felt like a “make it or break it moment,” and truthfully, it was. It was now or never—and I made the choice to change my behavior so that my son won’t respond in the same negative ways with his future children.

Let it be known that I didn’t respond like this all of the time—not even a majority of the time. But enough of the time…enough to cause damage, enough to continue to pass on the cycle.

Enough of the time for me to finally say, “Enough is enough!”

For you, it might not be spilled juice; it might be whining or refusing to go to bed or any number of other parenting difficulties most of us face. But whatever it is, if it’s causing you to overreact and snap at your children regularly, then it’s hurting them and it’s hurting you—and it’s time for a change.

But change is never easy, is it? Especially changing something I experienced myself for decades, something I didn’t know was in me until I had my own child. Something that comes out so unexpectedly and shocked even me.

So I created a concrete plan to become my best mommy-self—following these four steps.

4 Steps to Becoming the Best Mom You Can Be

1. Decide to make a change.

Sounds simple, yes, but hear me out.

Most of us know about plenty of things that aren’t exactly good for us, but that doesn’t mean we do anything about them. Take sugar for instance; I’m guessing you know sugar is bad for your health, but does simply knowing that fact motivate you to go out and eliminate all sugar from your diet?

For most people, the answer is a resounding no. Pass me one of those brownies!

It is only when we intentionally decide that the risks of eating sugar are far worse than the struggle of eliminating sugar from our diet that we are able to make the change.

There has to be a decisive moment—and the same goes for changing our parenting tactics.

You must make a solid decision that the pain of seeing your child flinch when you approach her is far worse than continuing what you’re doing. Or perhaps, you must choose to acknowledge that your child will parent his/her future children the same way if you don’t make a drastic change.

It can be painful to think about, for sure—but that pain can propel us forward.

2. Forgive yourself.

Remember that in my story I went to my room and felt a horrible sense of shame at my response to my son? ‘What kind of mother does that to her child?’ That’s what I was thinking.

I bet you’ve had those thoughts at times, so let me be blunt: You must forgive yourself. Period.

Forgiving yourself doesn’t let you off the hook for making the changes; it just lets you see yourself as human. You are repeating what you were ultimately taught. You weren’t provided the tools to respond in a different manner.

Acknowledge that and forgive yourself. Yes, your response wasn’t ideal but it also isn’t irreparable, especially since you made a decision to change it (you did, right?). Release the responsibility you put on yourself to do something you have no idea how to do, and cry for the mistakes you’ve made and the pain you’ve caused. Most importantly, cry for the pain you hold inside. Release it and forgive yourself.

3. Identify your triggers.

According to Psych Central, “A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma. Triggers are very personal; different things trigger different people. The survivor may begin to avoid situations and stimuli that she/he thinks triggered the flashback.”

One thing I’ve learned in this parenting gig is that your kids will hit your triggers. In fact, they are masters at it.

It’s up to you to know what your triggers are so you can respond accordingly when they are hit.

My son used to continuously disregard my requests. I would feel so pissed by the 3rd time I repeated my request. After really analyzing these instances, I realized that his disregard triggered my feelings of continuously being ignored and not acknowledged as a child. I wasn’t responding to him, but to my feelings the trigger brought up.

Knowing your triggers helps you to know how your children trigger you, allowing you to create a plan of how to respond intentionally instead of just reacting impulsively to the situation.

4. Find a mentor.

It’s amazing how many topics formal education covers in this country, but the most critical jobs are FIOY – Figure It Out Yourself.

Even so, there are ways to learn from others.

I truly believe that finding a mother mentor is a critical key to learning new ways of relating, responding, and interacting with your children.

There are many other benefits to obtaining a mother mentor, also.

A mother mentor can be—but doesn’t have to be—an “in person” relationship. It also doesn’t have to be one person. As you think back, were there things that friends, mothers, aunts, or maybe teachers you had did with children that you admire or feel is a great way to handle situations with children? If so, those things would begin to make up your mother mentor.

Also, look around you and either find a one-on-one mentor (a family member, someone at church, or a mom coach) or create a mother mentor by identifying mothering skills you admire from women you see.

You do have everything within you to be a great mom, and taking the steps to make some necessary changes doesn’t only affect you but also your children—and all subsequent generations.

Life is full of choices, and here’s one right in front of you:

Will you choose to heal your own hurts and parent your children in an emotionally supportive way?

Doing so is perhaps the greatest gift you can give them.…

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5 Tips To Prepare You For Being A First Time Mom

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an amazing journey known as motherhood. There’s nothing quite a rewarding, strange, grounding, and frightening as becoming a mother for the first time.

While the fear is healthy, it does help to educate yourself a little bit on what becoming a mother for the first time entails.

We put together a guide of five super healthy tips for first time moms to help take some of the guesswork out of motherhood.

Check out this helpful first time mom guide below!

Some of these first time mom tips might surprise you.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Keep The Fans Waiting

Immediately after the birth, your family and friends are probably bursting at the seems to meet the baby.

Just because you’re a first time mom doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to set boundaries with people and there are some things new mamas want visitors to know.

You and your partner may want to spend some personal time alone with your first ever child. That’s perfectly fine. It may even be beneficial to the baby. Maybe there are reasons beyond just being alone that you want to avoid visitors right away.

Right after birth is also important if you are nursing and you will want to establish that latch and begin understanding this new nursing relationship in the first few days.

Newborns are very alert immediately after they are born. This could be the right time to talk to them, make eye contact, and start skin to skin care. This is a special bonding, as well as learning time for all of you.

4. Remember That You Have A Right To Breastfeed Just About Anywhere You Want

It’s a sad and unfortunate thing that our society sees breasts as strictly sexual objects that should be hidden away, rather than something that literally feeds our children.

This strange culture hatred of public breastfeeding has led to horror stories from moms about being shamed publicly for feeding their child.

As a first time mom, it’s important to be brave. Sure, you can breastfeed your baby in a gross public bathroom stall, surrounded by germs and isolation because some people are uncomfortable at the sight of a boob. But if you wouldn’t want to eat in a toilet stall, do you think your baby would?

Whether you’re dealing with unsupportive family and friends or are afraid of being shamed in public for feeding your baby when they are hungry, stay strong. You have a right to breastfeed your hungry newborn anywhere you might be.

It’s also important to know that children up to six years old can benefit from breastfeeding. Whether you or your child is willing to go that long is up to you. However, Western countries seem to have the greatest taboos about how long one should breastfeed compared to the rest of the world. While US mothers stop breastfeeding around six months, the rest of the world’s mothers continue to breastfeed until around two years on average.

3. Set Baby Bedtime Rituals

It may seem better to let things happen naturally and organically. There is even the concept of “free range” parenting where things just go with the flow.  However, sleep times should remain consistent, and if you can get this down, you may be thanking yourself later.

Committing to a schedule and sticking to it will help your baby learn to expect things to happen. If your baby is really having a hard time with sleeping on a routine schedule, try doing a few “cool down” activities before bed.

These can include any of the following:

  • Lullabies and soft songs
  • Massages
  • Bathtime
  • Prayer time
  • Rocking chair lulling
  • Nursing baby to sleep
  • Reading

Doing these activities consistently before bed can help your baby associate them with sleepiness.

Sleeping close to your baby is also a great way to help them regulate their heart rate and stress levels.

2. Car Seat 101

Most first time moms go through the classes and spend hours on Google learning about the nooks and crannies of being a mom. This includes everything from how to use a breast pump, how to establish milk supply, to how to change a diaper.

However, one baby device tends to be forgotten– the car seat. This can be a huge pain when you’re ready to come home from the hospital with baby and realize you have no idea how to set the thing up.

Here’s a quick guide:

  • If baby was born in colder months, all the clothes they are wearing may not allow the car seat harness to fit right. Put your baby in the car seat with fewer clothes and cover with blankets afterward.
  • The car seat clip should be parallel with baby’s armpits.
  • The car seat harness should be secure but not too tight around baby’s hips and shoulders.
  • Install the seat at approximately a forty-five-degree angle. We want the baby’s head to tilt back, not flop forward and hurt their neck.
  • Always test the seat before putting baby inside. Punch it, push it hard, jiggle it. The seat shouldn’t move more than a few centimeters when properly installed.

There! Not so hard, right? If you’re still concerned, you can have a certified safety expert evaluate proper installation.

1. Prevent SIDS

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is a terrifying and heartbreaking syndrome that affects 2,500 families every year in the US.

Thankfully, SIDS has declined dramatically. But that probably doesn’t ease the mind of a first time mom and we totally understand.

  • There are many things linked to the prevention of SIDS that you can do as a first time mom:
  • Sleeping close to your baby has been linked to preventing SIDS. Sleeping with you baby is ill-advised– try investing in a bedside bassinet so baby can be close to you at night.
  • When in the crib, always put your baby on their back on firm padding. Over-plush mattresses, couches, and pillows should always been avoided, no matter when or where your baby sleeps.
  • Don’t keep super fluffy blankets or stuffed soft toys in your baby’s crib.
  • Always make sure your baby’s head is uncovered while they sleep.
  • Talk to your physician to learn more and get real expert advice on what you should be doing

In summary, keep going mama and know you are doing an amazing job! Stay consistent and don’t worry if you can’t get it all done. In addition, create a third trimester checklist to get a few more things done in preparation for baby.  Little by little it will all come together as you start this new beautiful and learning journey of motherhood.…

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Why being a first-time mom is so hard

  

  

 

   

 

  

    

      

 

  

  

  

             

   

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Haters Gonna Hate: Wear Your Onesie With Pride

Let’s face it, we know that onesies are not the most popular option for everyday activities. However, that has to change as soon as possible. Onesies are way too comfy to wear only when you go to sleep. And we are not the only ones saying it. In fact, onesies seem to be trending around the world.

Right now, there are onesie-themed parties being made on the beaches, in the clubs, and even during sporting events. So, to encourage you to wear your onesie, here are top ten reasons why you should never stop wearing it:

1. Stand Out

You don’t have to fit in every day. Break the mould, make a statement, don’t conform to the expectations. Pack your devil-may-care attitude and be the coolest kid on the block.

2. No More Fussing

As the name implies, onesies come in a single piece. There will be no more last-minute fussing to try and find what to pair with your shirt. In essence, it is just like a dress, but with even more flexibility.

3. Nothing Beats The Comfort of a Onesie

As we said, the onesie trend is picking up, and it is evident by the number of Hollywood celebrities that are open about their love for onesies. Megastars like Cara Delevingne, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and even Beyoncé are huge fans of onesies. They are adorable, fluffy and comfortable.

4. You Only Live Once

Do you really want to spend your life worrying about what others think about your outfit? We sure don’t. Life is too short not to have fun, so make sure to enjoy every bit of it.

5.One-Size-Fits-All

One of the main reasons onesies are becoming incredibly popular is the fact that the sizes are universal. That means that you should have no troubles sharing your favorite onesie with your best friend. And that is just good business. But, even more importantly, onesies are not skin

-tight and don’t have a definite shape. Which basically means that you can use them to hide any imperfections on your body.

6. There is Strength in Numbers

You are not alone. There are thousands of people in every major city that adore onesies. And those who don’t are usually those who didn’t yet have one. So, call your friends over and have a mini onesie party. While we are at it, let’s talk about parties.

7. Onesie Parties

Everybody loves a good themed party. Call your friends over and have them bring their own onesies. You can share the weirdness and come out of it that much happier.

8. Trendsetters are Wearing Them

Believe it or not, some of the famous social media fashionistas are wearing onesies when they stream. And, if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for us.

9. Dancing in a Onesie Earns Your Extra Swag

Wearing a onesie is cool, but nothing beats dancing in one. Whether you just want to goof around, or do a serious dance, it all looks better in a onesie.

10. There is a Pizza Onesie

Everybody knows about animal onesies. But, Katy Perry changed the game when she came out in her Pizza Onesie to greet the crowds. Don’t be afraid of looking a bit cheesy.  …

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