I am a self-admitted “yoga junkie.” Or at least I like to think that I am. Throughout the past 15 or so years I’ve tried pretty much all of the yoga that is out there. So when I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I did (after making my husband deaf with screams of joy) was to check out pre-natal yoga options in Texas (where I was living at the time).
I like to say that I stumbled into the secret world of pre-natal yoga, but in fact it was a purposeful stumble and one of the best purposeful stumbles of my life (besides the obvious “marrying my best friend” which wasn’t really a stumble, it was more like a jumping-out-of-a-plane-with-a-parachute kind of exhilarating thing). Oops. Tangent. So all that to say, that even though we were on a pretty tight budget, I allowed myself a couple “pregnancy splurges” and yoga was one of them.
Before class I was excited and nervous at the prospect of returning to yoga. You see, I had taken a 4 year hiatus (since we previously lived in a town whose yoga options were…sparse. It felt good to get my yoga on. It was an added bonus to be in a room of 20 preggo ladies in varying stages of pregnancy. Some were at 15 weeks and still had that wide eyed look on their face as if to say “I’m only here cause I don’t really believe it’s actually happening. I’m actually pregnant!” others were 40 weeks and the robustness of their bellies just screamed “baby needs out now!” I was somewhere in between; co-workers had emerged past the point of wondering if I was just gaining weight and getting a little pudge (total awkward moment when newly pregnant, by the way). Continue Reading »
When #1 was my only child I considered myself something of a child development and behavioral expert.
My kid was good so obviously I was doing everything right.
Now, three kids later, not so much.
While I still like to think I’m something of a kid raising expert*, I realize that being a successful parental disciplinarian is more than just luck of the mild-mannered-by-nature-child draw.
It requires forethought (from what I hear) and deliberation.
You can’t just accidentally discipline your kids into being good citizens (actually I think you sorta can, it’s just not as sure fire as some of the other more widely suggested strategies).
But with preparation and planning you can certainly
brainwash guide your child into being a responsible, productive member of society with character and manners to boot (at least that’s what I hear).
Here are a few tips anyone can employ for dealing with day-to-day childhood transgressions.
From the featured blog, Snakes & Snails & Puppy Dog Tales
When my husband and I decided to have a baby and I got pregnant, I thought I fully understood my responsibilities as a mother. I was prepared for sleepless nights, poopy diapers, being squirted in the face with pee-pee, my television being permanently stuck on the cartoon network, having a tummy that would forever look like a dried prune, stretch marks, grocery store tantrums and therefore public humiliation. I figured it all came with the territory and I had accepted my fate. But to my surprise, motherhood was a little easier than expected and for the most part, none of the above came to fruition (with the exception of the poopy diapers….unfortunately there’s no way around that one!)
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While I was pregnant, I did an enormous amount of research (what soon-to-be parents don’t?) about all things “baby” including the hospital where we would be delivering. The hospital website said that you could bring your “doula” with you. Well, not being familiar with the word “doula”, I immediately thought of “obdula oblongata”, as in a part of your brain. OBVIOUSLY this isn’t what they meant. I mean, of course all mothers bring in their brains, pregnant or otherwise, to the hospital. I quickly found out, thanks to a search engine that “doulas” are basically birthing coaches. I wasn’t sure, at the time, why I would need one since I was planning on having my husband and mom at the birth.
Then I remembered. One of my husband’s “quirks”…he hates hospitals and gets the worst case of heebie-jeebies known to man anytime he enters one. The sight of me in pain, having contractions and potentially swearing as I near transition might be enough to send him into an alternate place…a place that doesn’t allow him to really “coach” me. Get my drift? So that leaves mom, but who would take pictures? Yeah. So I decided that a “doula” might just the perfect thing for me. I decided to mention this to my hubby and tested out the waters, this is what the conversation sounded like- Continue Reading »
When the extraordinary becomes ordinary, we are in danger. We start looking for more. We stop appreciating things the way we should.
I have the extraordinary job of being the full-time caretaker, snuggler, lover, nurse, story reader, art teacher, music teacher, language teacher to another soul that once grew and lived inside of me. There is nothing ordinary about that!
It doesn’t matter that millions and billions of women before me have had that same job. It’s a calling that no matter how many times its repeated will always be extraordinary. However, over time the wonder of it all can wear off amidst the play dough in the carpet, the bowel movement in the bathtub, the broken pearl necklace, and a week of temper tantrums.
All of the sudden I find myself thinking, “is this mom thing really extraordinary?” Maybe I need more. Should I return to work? What difference does it make?
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Before Ryder was born, RJ and I knew we would be tired, but we had no idea what that actually meant. Within just a few hours of bringing him home from the hospital, we begin to understand…babies can be downright draining and are not always sweet and cuddly joys. I barely remember the first week or so. Between pain meds, sleepless nights, and a baby who wanted only to sleep on mommy…I was beat.
It wasn’t unusual to find one of us asleep in very odd places. Think, dining room table or while throwing in a load of wash. I once found my RJ curled up on Ryder’s bedroom floor. He was, evidently, too sleepy to walk to our bedroom after putting the baby to bed. I’ve passed out while nursing Ryder so many times that I had to start seeing a chiropractor! I would literally rock him for hours, with my poor head hanging down unnaturally. Ouch!
Welcome to your new life! You’ll only lose more sleep from here. Continue Reading »
Every night sometime between 1 and 4am, my toddler wakes and though my husband used to be the designated soother, our daughter has started to reject him lately which means one of two things.
First option is that David picks her up and brings her to me in our bed, so she sleeps with us all night kicking David so violently that he moves into her empty bed. bed (I, for one, possess supersonic hearing but have trained my body to feel nothing in sleep so, as long as they were silent, a bunch of giants could play volleyball with me in my sleep and I’d never wake up. Its a Darwinian thing, like my ability to eat a meal in under 5 minutes.)
The second option is that I get up and try to sooth Seconda back to sleep, usually falling asleep in bed with her
I’ve always thought that if you had to sleep with your kid for whatever reason, it was a better bet to sleep in their bed rather than vice versa, because you can always get up and leave their bed but just try kicking them out of yours. And that is why our firstborn, Primo, hasn’t been in our bed since he was a toddler.
But since we’ve put the two kids in the same room, I’ve realized there is a big problem with me sleeping in bed with one of them. Once I’m in that room, it is as if they can sense my proximity and rouse themselves from sleep to start a tug of war with me. “Mommy!” calls Primo in the top bunk. And as soon as I’ve gotten him back to sleep I hear, “MAMA!” from the bottom bunk, and as soon as I’ve drifted back off its “AHHHHHH!” from the top bunk again, and on and on until morning has mercy and ends my servitude.
But last night something different happened: Continue Reading »
To say my child was a difficult newborn might be an understatement. He was the type of child that woke every 2 hours to eat and had to be held 24/7. And when I say 24/7, I mean exactly that. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When we brought him home, I learned my first real lesson as a mother: flexibility. I was adamant against Ethan sleeping with us. I was terrified of SIDS and bought into the whole idea that the safest place for the baby was in a bassinet or crib, but never ever in your bed. Ethan slept with us in one way or another for 6 or 7 months. He started sleeping in his crib at night without coming to bed with us around 5 months. Naps took a little longer.
I had heard tales of the baby who slept in his or her bassinet with ease. I had heard tales of the baby who started “sleeping through the night” at 2 or 3 weeks, understanding that sleeping through the night meant 4 to 6 hours at a stretch. I had even heard of babies who had to be awakened to be fed because they slept so much. I wondered if that baby actually existed. There came a point, however, when it became a matter of safety and necessity that Ethan learned how to sleep on his own and for longer than an hour at a time.
I’ll start at the beginning of our efforts to change Ethan’s sleep habits. As any sleep-deprived new mother can tell you, figuring out how to get more sleep becomes an all-consuming goal. We struggle on so little energy to care for these needy little creatures that bring us so much joy and so much pain. In the early hours of the morning before the sun even begins to brighten the skies, we cry and scream and beg for just a little more sleep. I can’t think of a single mother that would say they weren’t ecstatic when their little ones hit that monumental milestone.
Before I was a mother I was many things.
A collector of vintage garments. A connoisseur of expensive footwear. An organizer of junk drawers. A library book smeller and a yard saler. A coupon cutter and a daily bubble bath taker. A fashionista and a cosmo drinker. A friend and a foe. A daughter, an aunt, a wife.
In our lives we expand until we could practically explode from the many shapes and forms we take. Changing and growing and always rolling along, adding to our list of undertakings and belongings and hobbies and personalities. Some we are more proud of than others. Some lead us to next. Some teach us and prepare us for our future, for taking on yet another hat to wear or burden to bear. They shape our subconscious that later guides us to make life decisions.
While they may have led me to the right path, none of these things could truly prepare me for the insane journey that is parenthood.
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Did you know that most books and articles say that 10% to 15% of new mothers will suffer from postpartum mood disorders? These disorders can include postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety/OCD and postpartum psychosis. This is a very real and scary thing. I should know since I have dealt with it personally on 2 occasions. After both my sons’ births, I went into the very dark and deep hole of depression and anxiety.
My son, Connor, was born March 8, 2008 on his exact due date. The pregnancy was perfect. All my doctor visits were routine, and I knew since 18 weeks that I was having a healthy bouncing baby boy. It was an exciting time for my husband and I.
I went into labor on Friday March 7; it was the start of a 2 day long process. 48 hours of 0 sleep and an epidural later, my son was born at 8 pm on Saturday. It should have been such a joyous and happy moment but it wasn’t. Continue Reading »