Self Care

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Self care is something I think we all need to spend more time doing. Taking moments to care of yourself instead of focusing solely on work or kids or whatever else it is. I believe that if we can give to ourselves, then we can give more to others. So yah. I believe this. It doesn’t mean I practice this. I absolutely suck at taking time for myself.

I don’t think it is an easy change to make. If you are someone who gives so much to others, it is a major shift to start thinking of yourself more. But I think it can be something to achieve. Start small? Maybe it is as little as taking two minutes to sit and breathe and reflect on the day. Or taking the time to make yourself tea. Or getting a babysitter so you can spend some quality time with your husband. Or getting to the gym or yoga class.  Or even just talking kindly to yourself. Mindful self care. Seems easy right?

I am going to be tracking my daily self care on my Instagram stories feed in order to make sure I give myself some love. Because I deserve it!

I would love to know what others do for mindful self care on a daily basis?

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Taking some time to enjoy a latte and a donut. 

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Mommy Guilt

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Mommy guilt is real. There are the days where you have a bad parenting day and feel guilty about it. For working and putting your kids in daycare. For not working and still putting your kids in daycare. For taking time for yourself. For going on vacation without them. For being too tired to play. The list goes on and on.

Lately, I have been feeling an incredible amount of guilt for something. It’s in the past. We’ve moved on. But I keep thinking about how I wish I had done that different. I have grown as a parent and because of that, I wish I could go back and change one thing. I wish I didn’t sleep train my kids. Not just at the age they were. But at all.

At the time, I was sleep deprived and had kids who only slept on me or near me and used me as a human soother. I needed relief. We used a form of controlled crying I guess. Going in at intervals and soothing. But the tears. Too many tears. And for too long. I hated every second of it. I raved about it back then because I got the relief. I got some sleep. But my heart didn’t get relief. And I wish I could go back and do it differently.

In the end though I really gave up on “the rules”. With Jack, I would go into him and rock him to sleep when he struggled. I would sleep in his crib with him when he woke up in the middle of the night. Or held him until he fell back asleep.

And with Cole, sleep training didn’t work because he shared a room with his brother and we couldn’t follow “the rules”. It worked in that he was able to fall asleep on his own but beyond that, we couldn’t leave him to cry (even for a short time) because he would wake up Jack. I went in to him. I soothed him. I held him. And in the end, he didn’t sleep through the night until he was 18 months. And I was tired. But I didn’t care.

Going in to my kids when they needed it, I felt connected to them. And them to me.

And now, we very much do things differently. Cole falls asleep on his own. I lay with Jack while he falls asleep. We co-sleep when the boys need it. They don’t need it every night but we make sure they are welcome when they do. They know it is safe. I may not get a good sleep. I mean Jack tends to sleep horizontal to us so I always have feet in my back. We fare better with Cole although he tends to wake us up early when he sleeps with us. But they are only little for so long and will only need us like this for so long.

I don’t know why I feel so much guilt because really, we are giving them the support they need now. I guess I just wish I had given them more support when they were so little and probably needed it the most.

I also wish I had known what I know now and how gentle you can be in “sleep training” babies. And I say sleep training loosely. It is more about being realistic about babies sleep and what is normal and laying the foundation for healthy sleep habits early and still being able to give them the support they need at night or during naps. Because that would have worked for me. And I know it would have worked for them.

So let this post be about me letting go of that guilt and embracing with a full heart the parent I am now.

 

 

 

 

My Top 10 Baby / Toddler Products

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There are so many baby products on the market. Some you need. Some you don’t. These are the products that we used and loved!!  They may not work for every family but they worked for us!

  1. Nose Frida: I tried other nasal aspirators before the Nose Frida and none worked. When I had a sick baby on my hands and couldn’t get the snot out, I was desperate and did some research and found the Nose Frida. As much as it sounds gross to suck out the snot, I was willing to give anything a try to relieve my little boy. This thing is AMAZING! Sure my kids may not like it much but it works and gives them the relief they need.
  2. Perlimpinpin Sleep Sacks: We started with these sleep sacks when my kids were about 3 months old.  Jack stopped using his when he transitioned to his bed at 3 and Cole is still using his at 2. They come in great designs and in various TOG weights. (TOG is a unit of measure of thermal insulation used in the textile trade). We had various weights depending on the season. I love that the zippers are reversed (end at the bottom) so diaper changes in the middle of the night are quick and easy. They wash super well and last!
  3. Diaper Genie: This is one that some will say you definitely don’t need. We tried using a garbage pail and felt like the room smelled constantly. We bought a Diaper Genie and never looked back. It traps the odor, is easy to use and doesn’t take up much room. We have had ours now for 4 years and it’s still in perfect working condition. Although I have to say, can’t wait to get rid of it, if it means we are finally done with diapers!
  4. Ergobaby Carrier: Babywearing is pretty much the best thing ever. My boys lived in the Ergo. From early on with Jack and with the infant insert, I learned that I could have him sleep soundly while I could get things done like grocery shopping or cleaning or making dinner. And since Jack, wasn’t the best napper in his crib, he spent A LOT of time in the ergo where he slept like a dream. With Cole, it allowed me to still do things with Jack like going for walks or to the park or even change his diaper while Cole was sleeping. It gives you the hands you need when your baby just wants to be close to you. We also moved when Cole was only a few weeks old and the Ergo gave me the chance to pack up an apartment while he slept the day away!
  5. Dex Sound Sleeper: On doing a search, it seems like this sound machine might not be available anymore. This one isn’t fancy but did the trick for us because it was continuous (no timer although it had that option) and it has many different sounds that you can use or even combine two different sounds. My boys have only ever used the ocean waves setting. They still use it at night at 4 yrs old and 2 yrs old. I asked the other day if they still wanted to use it, and they both said YES! There are so many other great options now though that would be worth looking at. A friend recommended this one: Baby Hatch Rest and it has all the bells and whistles. It’s a night light, sound machine and can be used as an Ok to Wake light. All controlled by your phone. If my kids were babies still, I think I would be giving this one a try!
  6. Boon Ripple Bath Mat: The one thing I have to say about this bath mat is that I can’t believe it took me so long to discover it! I have gone through many different bath mats. All get water trapped underneath which ends up growing disgusting things. You can’t take them off every day because where are you going to put them? And then I found the Boon Ripple Bath Mat, which is relatively knew in our family but has made its mark. I put it down at bath time then hang it up when we are done. No science experiments and stays out of the way. Just love it!
  7. Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rail: When we moved Jack to a bed from his crib, we moved straight to a twin bed and couldn’t find a bed rail that worked with the bed. Then I found this and it has worked so well for us. It even comes with a pump so you don’t have to worry about finding one that works with it. And the best part? It deflates to a small size pouch so you can take it anywhere. We brought both of ours to Mexico with us!
  8. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib: I am so grateful we had this crib. We used it all the time. When the boys got too big for their bassinet, we used it until we transitioned them to the crib in their bedrooms. Because the boys share a room and had different nap times, we had the crib in our room so Cole could nap in there and Jack could nap in their room. We used it for travelling. It is small and easy to carry and we just checked it as luggage. And the greatest part is whenever we were done with it, we could just fold it up and put it away to give us the extra space.
  9. Mimi Musical Owl: We use this to cue bedtime in our house. As I leave the boys room, I pull the cord and let the music play. It only plays for 30 seconds but its enough to let me kids know it is time for sleep. Cute and hand-made. A perfect addition to any nursery. I got mine as a gift but you can get them at the Circle Craft Fair in Vancouver. They always have a booth each year.
  10. Aden + Anais Classic Issie Security Blanket: Best thing we have ever bought. We introduced these to our boys at 3 months. They are small, soft and breathable. I would sleep with one under my shirt so it would smell like me and I would give it to them at night. They used these to comfort themselves when they needed it in the middle of the night. Of course, they still needed us but they could also use the blankie. They would also take the blankie to daycare with them to comfort themselves when we couldn’t be there for them. We had four on rotation. They never got attached to just one and could wash one when needed. I always gives these out as baby gifts because I love them so much!