What to Look for in a Baby Mattress?

Children are quite sensitive and often startled in their sleep. For your baby to have a good night’s sleep, not to wake up in the middle of the night, a soft, comfortable, and suitable soft crib mattress will be essential. Therefore, parents must research carefully before choosing the best affordable crib mattress. So, what are the tips to help parents choose the best mattress for their children? Let’s find out in the article below!

What to Look for in a Baby Mattress1

Having a baby mattress helps reduce the risk of sudden death in infants

In the first years of life, the vitality of newborns is very immature and needs special attention and care. Ru9 has received many questions from customers about choosing an infant mattress. And one of the two outstanding issues that many parents are most interested in is:

# 1 Should babies be put on a mattress?

For around the first 6 months, babies should stay in a cot to ensure their safety. From the 6th month onwards, you can put your baby on a separate mattress. Many families still maintain the traditional lifestyle of keeping children lying on a mat or a hardwood floor surface. This has inadvertently caused damage to the child’s backbone system. That is not to mention the case of children being “licked” – children lose a lot of hair after the rotation of the head constantly creating friction with hard surfaces. You know, the child’s backbone is very soft and weak. Therefore, even if the family chooses to buy hardwood or a separate mattress for children, it is necessary to choose a good mattress to cherish and care for the child’s body. A good mattress will help children sleep more comfortably and deeply.

# 2 Should babies share a bed with parents?

In the world today, many organizations carry out many studies on risks of “Parents sharing beds with children”. Newborns are at high risk of dying from sleep-related accidents such as heat, being stuck in the mattress, being pinched, etc. leading to apnea.

Therefore, experts recommend that families should choose to buy separate hardwood beds to keep children safe. However, the price of hardwood is not cheap and must be discarded after the child has grown up. These single mattress lines are both spacious for children to play on and can be used until the age of 15. This is considered a smart spending trend in modern times.

What to Look for in a Baby Mattress

The causes of startled baby awakening during the night

The startled awakening during the night causes your baby’s sleep to be incomplete and interrupted, which can even lead to insomnia or staying up all night. Meanwhile, staying awake at night is one of the causes of developmental delays in children. Therefore, parents need to limit the waking frequency of the child in the night. To do this, you must understand the reasons behind the babies’ startled sleeping patterns. The reasons are as follows:

  • Most children wake up at night because their body feels uncomfortable during sleep. Ignoring health conditions such as being sick or teething, the reason from the external environment may be due to the sleeping position, uncomfortable sleeping mattress or maybe due to the surrounding noise
  • Looking more specifically at the environmental conditions of sleep, one of the reasons for the impact may be the surface of the mattress, sheets, blankets are too hard or some components irritate the baby’s skin.
  • Another objective reason is that you give your baby too much sleep during the day. At night, the child is not sleepy, leading to waking up and crying.

Tips when buying a baby mattress for a good night’s sleep

The baby’s body is very fragile, so it should always be protected, even during sleep. When buying a baby mattress, parents need to understand what their child needs for sleep. Parents may note the following:

Choose a soft mattress for children

The Baby’s body is much more sensitive than adults. Lying on a rough mattress will make your baby uncomfortable. This leads to the baby often waking up, fussing, and crying at night. Therefore, the mattress needed for a baby is a soft mattress with a certain level of softness.

Children are often in their developmental stage, so the mattress also needs proper stiffness. If the mattress is too soft, the baby’s body will not be well supported, affecting bone development.

What to Look for in a Baby Mattress

Choose a mattress of ideal thickness and elasticity

Many families prefer to choose thin mattresses to limit the baby-falls from the mattress. However, this is completely wrong. Mattresses that are too thin will lack skeletal muscle support. As a result, the forces acting on the child’s body will not be limited, making the child vulnerable to pain and crying. Therefore, you should choose a thick mattress that is soft, elastic, and able to fully support the body’s movements. The ideal height of the mattress thickness is from 15cm to 25cm. In addition to and to no longer worry about your child falling out of bed, you can use the barriers around the bed to limit the play space of your child.

The mattress must be well ventilated

When buying a baby mattress, you also need to pay attention to ventilation. Babies always have hotter body temperatures than adults, therefore sweating and lying in a hotbed makes them feel uncomfortably hot. Therefore, you need to buy mattresses with high ventilation, to help your baby feel cool and comfortable when sleeping.

Mattress safety for health

The Baby’s skin is also very sensitive. Therefore, parents need to choose a mattress for babies with safe materials for health. This avoids having your baby have allergies or other health-related problems.

Mattress size for children

There are many sad cases where newborns have suddenly died during sleep, especially when sleeping with their parents and relatives and there are many reasons given for this including heat or being trampled on, etc. Therefore, experts recommend that families should consider choosing separate mattresses for their children. One suggestion is to buy a mattress size of 1m2x2m to make a separate sleeping space for children. With this size of the cushion, children will be able to lie on the cushion until they are 15 years old. Having a separate bed helps children learn to be independent, it also protects their safety. Besides, if families want to let their children lie with other family members, they should choose a size of 1m8 mattress. This spacious mattress size will be suitable for 2 adults and 1 small child.

How to Safely Carry a Baby

When you let your kids hang out, you can’t hold them forever. At this time, you can think of a baby carrier. However, you need to learn how to use your sling properly.

Babies are often very weak, so in addition to paying attention to their children’s health, parents also need to know how to take care of their babies properly, to avoid unfortunate cases. A baby carrier is a useful option for mothers who want to look after, be close to their babies, and save time and effort. So how do you safely and safely carry your baby? Please refer to use refer to the following useful information to know how to safely and safely carry a baby!

Benefits of baby carrier

  • Support breastfeeding: When you are close to your baby, you will easily recognize that your baby is hungry and nursing without having to wait for the baby to cry. The awareness of the needs of the baby will help parents take care of the baby better
  •  Babies cry less: According to research, babies who are slammed by parents are less likely to fuss and cry than other babies
  • Can help avoid spine and skull deformities: Babies who often have to sit in a stroller or bassinet are at high risk of deformity of the skull or spine. Properly holding a baby helps to develop the baby’s skull, spine, and muscles naturally.

Types of carriers for newborn babies

A hammock is a baby sling

A hammock is a piece of cloth that is wrapped around your head and worn over one shoulder. This type of sling is ideal for babies because the size of the cloth will fit your baby’s weight. Toddlers should also use this type of sling in a sitting position. There are many different types of cloth carriers, with or without padding, with or without loops for easy adjustment.

A baby carrier is the most convenient option

A cloth sling is a long piece of cloth that wraps around your body and both shoulders. This type of carrier is very flexible and least expensive.

Baby carrier with a soft sling seat

This type of carrier is made of soft cushioning material but is sewn into a chair with two shoulder straps and a buckle. The carrier is ideal for outdoor activities and other occasions when you carry your baby for a long time.

Among the carriers, a hammock and a carrier are ideal for newborns.

Note on the safe and proper use of the baby carrier

Here are some general guidelines for using a baby carrier to make sure your baby is safe:

Keep baby breathing

For babies, if a baby carrier is used, you should use a soft carrier and always supervise your baby carefully to avoid the risk of choking if the chin, babyface on your chest. Make sure your baby’s nose is not hindered by your body or the carrier. The baby’s nose should be cleaned and kept from touching your baby’s chin, at least two fingers apart. When your baby has control of his or her head and neck, put your baby’s head in one direction, cheeks on your chest while you sling in the position opposite to you to avoid choking your baby.

Prevent baby from sliding out

It is very dangerous for a baby to fall from a height across your chest. In addition to using a carrier that supports the baby’s head and neck, you should always watch carefully when carrying your baby while moving. If you need to pick something up, lower your knees instead of lowering your hips, so your baby will be kept upright.

Hold your baby with one or both hands

If you are new to the baby carrier or have just started using a new carrier type, take the time to learn how to use it properly to ensure that your baby is held securely on both sides safely. safe. You should hold your baby with one or both hands until you get used to carrying your baby and make sure all the locks and ties are secure. Over time, when you feel comfortable holding your baby, you may not need to use your hands to hold it.

Head and neck support

For babies, the neck is so weak that they cannot hold their head, so parents should support this part of the baby properly. Parents should carry a baby when they are at least 4 months old. In particular, a baby carrier on the back will not be recommended until the baby is a little older, at least 6 months old.

Protect the newborn’s hips

The newborn’s hips will grow stronger in the first 4 months of life. Therefore, babies need special care. Parents should keep the baby out of the carrier regularly so that their hips, knees, and the rest of their bodies are allowed to move freely.

In addition to the above notes, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Except when breastfeeding and when the baby is a carrier, the mother should put the baby upright
  • Always check the baby carrier regularly to see if it is worn or damaged. Also, check all the locks and buttons to see if they are securely fastened
  • Your baby’s knees must be higher than the bottom and legs stretched out to allow the spine and hips to grow well
  • Do not carry your baby in a forward-facing position (sling forward) because their legs are suspended and may lead to hip dysplasia.
  • Do not drive or cycle while carrying a baby
  • Never drink liquid or hot drinks like coffee or tea when carrying your baby.

How to choose a baby carrier

Consider and answer the following questions to find the right carrier for your baby :

  • When using a sling, do you and your baby feel comfortable?
  • Does it support the natural development of your baby’s spine and hips?
  • Can you put the baby in a sling yourself?
  • Can the baby be breastfed in a carrier?
  • How long will the baby sling fit?
  • Can it be used for babies?
  • Does increase the baby’s skin surface contact.

With lots of useful information and safe and proper carrier tips. I hope to be of great help to mothers in finding the right and safe carrier for their babies.

How to Treat Stretch Marks after Birth

Giving birth to a child is the loveliest moment for every woman. There is no greater joy in life than having a baby in your hands for the first time. After giving birth, you can see many stretch marks in your belly and you need to treat it properly

Stretch marks are created on the skin frequently at the time of before and after childbirth. However, stretch marks are normally connected with childbirth and pregnancy, it is not real. Stretch marks can likewise occur due to weight gain, extreme physical work involving an appropriate part of the skin, pubertal changes, bodybuilding, dieting, etc. Stretch marks are described as Striae Distensae medically. Though bad they may look, stretch marks are forever a cosmetic problem and they have no consequences on the health of the person.

An important part of the celebration of childbirth is broken when the woman sees out that the pregnancy has created several bothersome changes in the body. Stretch marks are one of the topmost pregnancy-related difficulties. These bring a big dampener on the self-confidence of women. A few women may determine not to give birth to a baby simply to avoid the disfiguring altering that pregnancy causes. There are several best stretch mark cream for pregnancy to remove your unwanted scars and make you look beautiful.

How to Treat Stretch Marks after Birth

Useful herbs for the treatment of stretch marks

When you’re purchasing for the stretch mark cream for pregnancy, then you will have to look for those which are not too creamy as these can taint your clothes. Your skin should quickly be able to consume the ingredients and the best elements for your skin to consume are those which are original. That is why natural extraction solutions are more extremely recommended than chemical-laden outcomes. If you put this stretch mark cream for pregnancy on the concerned areas daily and add it with drinking lots of water and workouts, the stretch marks should be eliminated or naturally reduced.

Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)

The tulsi or the holy basil is utilized in the stoppage of bleeding of tissue, scarring and stretch marks that can happen during pregnancy.

Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)

The Gotu kola is an original Indian herb which is being widely marketed and employed in foreign countries for treating stretch marks and additional remedial problems of the skin. It is a vital ingredient in various pharmaceutical products for the medicine of the stretch mark cream for pregnancy.

Indian Madder (Rubia cordifolia)

Indian madder is noted as the Manjishtha in Ayurvedic style. It is very powerful in the solution of surface problems such as stretch marks. It likewise prevents skin sores.

Indian Margosa (Azadirachta Indica)

The Indian margosa is also called as the neem, which is nearly admired in Ayurvedic medication. This is utilized to prevent irritations and sores that can be created during pregnancy and it is also used to remove stretch marks. The neem is additionally useful in the therapy of secondary infections.

Sandalwood (Chandana)

Sandalwood has a cooling impact on the skin. It shields the skin from stretching broadly during pregnancy.

Dietary treatments for treatment of stretch marks

During pregnancy, women must nourish their skin. For this, their intake must include an adequate amount of vitamin and minerals. Vitamin E is present in various oils such as sunflower oil, olive oil, wheat germ oil, peanut oil and walnut oil and fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, hazelnut, pollards, soybeans, corn, oatmeal and asparagus. Oatmeal is commonly recommended for women to prevent their stretch marks.

The food should likewise contain sufficient amounts of vitamin C, which is crucial in keeping the water content of the body. This can be gained from green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits, which must be consumed in a minimum cooked form.

Pungent and sour foods must be withdrawn. Likewise, saturated fats must be prevented in excess, as they can cause extreme stretching of the skin, and further lead to weight gain. Having seeds and nuts that are plentiful in mineral content and particularly zinc will tone up your skin.

A good diet means elastic skin, healthy and unexpected weight gain is the kind most likely to induce stretch marks. If you can have things calm and maintain good skin with essential collagen production, your surface will be much more apt to stretch without harm. Verify to drink lots of water, as properly. Good hydration retains your body, your newborn, and your skin in normal condition.

The water level of the skin must be retained high to sustain its suppleness. When pregnant, the woman must consume at least six to eight glassful of water in a day.

Home remedies for the treatment of stretch marks

Stretch mark cream

Apply the best stretch mark cream for pregnancy that is rich in content on the area where stretch marks are likely to occur. This will limit the stretch marks from developing later on. Even if the stretch marks endure later, you can use vitamin E bearing creams on the region for removing them.

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is extremely acclaimed for limiting pregnancy stretch marks. This butter must be used to the skin every evening when you are pregnant. Cocoa butter has much more advantages if it is utilized directly after a lukewarm shower as it opens up the holes of the skin and encourages it to penetrate better.

Vitamin E

You can apply vitamin E rich oil such as castor oil, olive oil and rub it over the belly every nighttime. Apply some fragrant herbs like lemongrass, mint, lavender, thyme, etc., create a paste of them with the vitamin E oil and use them on the belly for more desirable effects. The massage must be performed for nearly twenty minutes every nighttime while going to bed. Moreover, if this is performed after delivery, it supports the stretch marks to fall after some weeks.

The best stretch mark cream for pregnancy will only be useful if you understand how to utilize them properly. This is particularly true for pregnant ladies, who will be restricted in the number of choices they have. While almost anyone can have stretch marks, they are very common in women who are pregnant, and they can be quite irritating to deal with. For this best stretch mark cream for pregnancy to be active, you have to begin utilizing them as soon as you observe the stretch marks appear. The reason for this is as fresher stretch marks are simple to remove than the one which is earlier. The eternal you allow the stretch marks to go without medication, the more difficult they will be to eliminate.

Heart, Perfected

 

Many people have been recently talking about Jimmy Kimmel’s recent monologue where he shared that his newborn son was born with a congenital heart defect and underwent surgery in his first few days of life. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it, its a very touching video showing the emotions of a scared and grateful father.

I pour a lot of my emotions into this blog, I try to be raw and reduce the stigma of struggling with emotional and mental health concerns as a mom. I try to break down the myth of a perfect mom or that motherhood is joy 24/7. I try to be real because I know that being real can help other mothers feel less alone. But for some reason I’ve been hesitant to share something here.

At our 20 week ultrasound my husband and I were told that our unborn daughter had a potential heart defect. I didn’t want to write about it because I was processing it still and there was so much uncertainty leading up to the birth about what was actually wrong with her. I couldn’t write about what I didn’t know and the only thing I could really talk about what the intense uncertainty we felt and how hard that was to deal with and every time I sat down to write I couldn’t process it into words it was this ball of intense anxiety and dread and I was almost so afraid that if I wrote it down it would become more permanent in some way. I talked to many family and friends about it so I didn’t keep it inside but most conversations huddled around what was going on, what did we know about her, what were the medical decisions that were going to be made by the doctors. Not many people truly asked how either myself or my husband were coping with all of it. But I understand that, its really hard to open that conversation with someone when you don’t know what to say or you can’t truly relate. In some ways I felt alone along with my husband but in others I was immensely supported.

Flash forward to my birth- my beautiful birth. A small bit of pitocin, an epidural (because thats my choice and my jam ;)) and about 10 pushes and she entered the world into a room filled with doctors and nurses. Luckily she didn’t have any signs of distress and I got to hold her for 15 minutes. It took me awhile to grieve before she was born that I wouldn’t have her in the room with me and that she would be in the NICU but in that moment as hard as it was to hand her over I did it gladly, knowing that we needed more information to make sure she was okay and if that meant a heartbreaking separation fromm her- so be it. Several days and tests later and she was diagnosed with a mild form of a very serious defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. A couple weeks later and another defect was confirmed, a very mild form of coarctation of the aorta. Very mild. Those two words couldn’t be more comforting. Before her mild was my preferred type of salsa and now its my preferred type of heart defect.

Her future is uncertain but as my sister in law reminded me- so is everyone’s. No one is safe from heart issues, cancer, accidents, anything. That would normally be so daunting of a statement to someone with anxiety issues like me but because I was so afraid of what would come in those first few days of life I find myself appreciating the moment so much more than ever. Today she doesn’t need surgery. Today she is breathing and nursing and kicking her legs and feet. Today is a gift.

I also received the gift of being a part of the heart parent community. I am so incredibly inspired by these parents who have been through so much and so much more than me. And when I’m overwhelmed about her future and what could happen that I can’t breath and tears are rolling down my cheeks I think of those parents and believe that whatever is on our path we are up for and we can manage because we are a strong family, we have so much support, and because those same heart parents will be rooting in our corner.

Our journey with our daughter has given me a profound gratitude for the present moment and how letting go of the anxiety over the future and the anguish about the past can truly be liberating. We can experience fully the moment even when the moment is difficult and this makes us so very alive. I don’t know what I believe about the meaning of life and our purpose here but I know when I am in the moment holding her, smelling her head, hearing her cries even that I am so very much here with her and the precious present.

My daughters heart defects have perfected my own heart in a way by giving me the grace of gratitude and the gift of living in the here and now.

Forgiving Myself

I have had enough. Today I am choosing to forgive myself.

I’ve built quite the “bad mom” rap sheet these past couple of days.

I’ve been in a cycle of 3rd trimester pregnancy horomones, sleep deprivation, and burnout. I’ve yelled, been short and snippy, ignored and isolated, and made some over the top disciplinary decisions that were neither age appropriate for my son or fair. (My child development professor in grad school would not be happy with me.) I’ve been disconnected, not present, finding any way I could to escape the hum drum routines of the day that felt as if they were swallowing me whole.

I chose to stay stuck in this cycle because what I often do when I make mistakes is to enter into a tug of war with myself. The downside is no side wins, we just keep pulling at one another. On one side is this fierceness of holding on to my anger and stress as a right because I’m defensive about feeling this way. I spend the day thinking of all the reasons I have the right to feel this way, “I’ve gotten NOT time to myself lately!”, “This pregnancy has been hard!,” “I never get to put myself first!” These aren’t gracious self-talk statements, these are angry picket signs in my mind that fuel the anger and rage. They don’t come with solutions or hope, they just keep me angry. They keep me holding tightly to my negative cycle instead of realizing the most powerful thing I can do is let go.

On the other side of the rope is the self-loathing and negative thoughts… that I’m really an awful mother, a monster, a person not even capable of trying to change so I might as well just throw in the towel and succumb to the fact that I’m awful and my kid will be forever screwed up. What’s the point in changing? I can’t. So again, I’m holding tightly to this tug of war on both sides because I’m afraid I don’t have the strength and the power to just let go.

During nap times and when I get a minute to catch my breath I find myself using my old defense mechanisms-explaining it all away, minimizing it, procrastinating changing and telling myself that I will be better when __________ happens. These are lies with false hope, pretty little wrapped packages with nothing inside them. I procrastinate taking that next step in breaking the cycle, waiting for an external event to happen for things to get better.

It hit me today that the only way to stop this is to be vulnerable and be forgiven. And no one needs to forgive me more than myself. I will make amends to my son- make attempts to re-connect, correct my direction and be more confident when standing by his side. But the hard work is putting down the rope and walking away from the game. The hard work is looking myself in the mirror and saying – yep, you screwed up this week, things have been hard but you’re still amazing, you’re still what your son deserves, you still are exactly who you need to be. It’s putting the rope calmly on the ground and putting my hands in the air. I surrender to the game, I don’t need to win it, I need to leave it all behind. It doesn’t mean things will all of a sudden be easier. But with forgiveness comes a head that is looking straight ahead,  not looking down in shame. Because if I’m going to be my awesome self and get back to where I want to be I have to see where I’m going.

Bits of Apple and Letting Go

Bits of Apple

Bits of apple, sticky and sweet, are scattered across the coffee table.

I will wipe the table, again, even though I just wiped it five minutes ago.

No, I will wait.

These are messes of motherhood that have been a strong thorn in my side not only because of the added labor but because of the symbolism that leads to so much anger within me. I know as a therapist that anger is often a feeling that is masking another. So I take a deep breath and take off the mask. What I am feeling? Out of control. 

My initial reaction is to take control. To rush to the table, start wiping it down, and exhaustively sigh in front of my son showing him my exasperation. But I know that although that brief interaction will not have much large of an impact on me will stick around in my son’s head and heart. An intention to play and explore connected to an annoyed and exasperated mother.  A sense that attempts to have fun and be creative brings about conflict and anger in the relationship that matters the most to him. And that just isn’t worth a clean table.

So I step back today and wait. I have to start to see these bits of apple differently because they happen every day and I cannot be feel out of control like this any longer.

I haven’t felt really in control since the day before I gave birth. Before I was able to keep order. I was able to make decisions with careful thought instead of feeling like I was always just reacing. I came and went as I pleased,  I gave of myself to the things I wanted to and I could count on my housework accomplishments lasting for more than a couple of minutes.

When under stress a fierce type-A personality emerges within me trying to make order and sense of things and fit things neatly into boxes. This goes there, that happened because of this, everything has a place and is right with the world. I can put it all back together. I can fix it.

But you can’t do that when you’re responsible for a human being. Human beings are beautiful, but very messy. So now my coping mechanism isn’t as effective because no matter how hard I try I simply cannot control it all. So I have to reframe my perspective and see this new life as beautifully messy.

I’m starting to believe that western ideals have started to butt heads with motherhood. In my generation women (and men) are raised to believe in individualism, quantitatively measurable achievement, freedom of choices, and adventure. We were raised to poster our lives in front of others for validation of our efforts. “Look at me, look what I’ve done, look where I’ve gone, I’m worthy now.” We believe we control our destiny and we are all destined for greatness.

So when we learn to expect greatness and connect it to our self-worth it’s hard to see it in a messy kitchen, poopy diapers, and a loss of willpower to shower or wear our hair down anymore. We start to feel that we are being controlled by a tiny human and it’s no wonder we feel disillusioned, lost, and chaotic.

But what if we embraced the chaos? What if we learned to love the hurricanes that come our way? What if we started to see the beauty in those bits of apple? What if we unlearned some of these ideals that we held so tightly to as young women and threw them out with the bathwater?

It’s going to be a journey. It’s going to take practice. But each time I take a deep breath and sit down instead of rising to rush in and control I am not only trying to accomplish a better outlook and mood I am teaching my son some new ideals. Sometimes you need to let the universe happen to you. Sometimes not controlling is the most control you have. Sometimes you need to sit with a mess and embrace it for it’s beauty before it’s time to clean it up.

So I look hard at what these bits of apple really mean. A little boy’s attempts to cut it up with a plastic knife because he wants to be like mommy and daddy. A little boy’s security that he can freely explore and create and won’t be punished or yelled at by his mother. A mother’s willingness to let go and enjoy the moment in order discard her anger in a healthier way, even if it’s just for this minute.

It’s time to leave for our nature playgroup. Today we will jump in muddy puddles. I don’t have the proper wet gear or even rain boots. Anxiety creeps in about the mess that will happen and how I’ll handle it all. I take a deep breath. I look at the bits of apple on the table and decide to leave them there. “Let it go,” I say to myself, “it’s not a burden anymore.”

Self-Care Mondays #12: Make a Self-Care Plan

One of the most important tenets of self-care for me is that self-care is a prevention tool. This means that engaging in self-care practices can prevent stress, becoming overwhelmed, having emotional breakdowns, coming into negative head space, or disillusionment. The most important thing however, is that self-care is used in a way to prevent first, then treat. This means that self-care is engaged in a routine and daily fashion not just relied upon when stress takes over. So engage in creating your own self-care plan in order to make sure you’re maintaining emotional health instead of just remedying it when it starts to falter. Here are some tips:

Self-Care Mondays #12: Make a Self-Care Plan

  1. Creating a self-care plan can be done in the way that best suits your personality. If you’re a little type A and need some structure to your day make sure you write in (WITH PEN) your daily self-care practices or rituals. If you’re more type-B don’t worry about having a set plan for each day but pay attention to the rhythm and flow and stay mindful of the best times to utilize for self-care. Either way make a commitment to at least a 10-15 minute self-care ritual each day. You may have to test and trial times and spaces that work for you based on your schedule. You may think that you’ll wake up an hour early each day and then keep hitting the snooze button- then its time to change what time is best for your self-care ritual.
  2. Each morning  take some time to think mindfully about which practice would most benefit you during your self-care time. This is important because we can easily fall into doing something that is mindless or not as impactful during self-care time. “Me time” is different than “self-care time.” Self-care time is mindful and focused on doing something to enhance your emotional and/or physical wellbeing. “Me time” is giving in to whatever desires you have for yourself and maybe even indulging- there is nothing wrong with this. However, self-care time is more planful and intentional and a NECESSITY, not a luxury. I have watched so many nap times come and go where I didn’t feel any more nurtured or rested because I sat in front of the TV or on the internet for 2 hours and that wasn’t refreshing for me. That “me time” wasn’t working for me so I had to devote the first half hour to mindful self-care and then I could turn on the tube.
  3. Keep a list of self-care practices readily available. Sometimes it can be daunting to even sit down and think about what we want to do for ourselves. Having a list of self-care rituals at hand can be helpful to select what is best for ourselves that day. Breaking self-care rituals into different categories that address our needs can also be helpful. Feeling a little in need of more social time? Have a list of self-care rituals that help address loneliness or disconnection such as writing an email to an old friend, scheduling a coffee date with another mom, or Skyping with your cousin who lives overseas.

Here are some examples of self-care rituals from various aspects of human need. You can ask yourself what area you feel you have the most need in and select a practice from that category.

Spiritual– Read from a religious text or spiritual book, pray, reflect, or meditate, journal, educate yourself on a spiritual subject you’ve wanted to learn more about

 Emotional– write in a gratitude journal, write a letter to yourself talking about your strengths, open up and ask for support from a friend, engage in healthy coping skills, read a self-help book, journal, engage in some form of creative expression through writing, art, dance, or music

Physical- exercise, yoga, sensory rituals that heal such as hot baths, aromatherapy, schedule a massage

 Social – write an email to an old friend, go a new group or social event and meet new people, engage in an online support group, schedule time out with friends, schedule a date night or private time with your partner, call a friend or family member just to catch up

Intellectual– read the news, read a book, engage in a hobby or start a new hobby, make a list of goals, join a group based on your interests

Take 5 minutes today or tomorrow to engage in making a self-care plan and stick to it no matter what. Making this a daily ritual can have an amazing impact on maintaining good emotional health.

Self Care Mondays #11: Rebel!

September brings about this freshness and renewal for personal growth. With children returning to school we are reminded of the goals we want to achieve and start organizing ourselves to strive towards them.

This can be a great thing… unless you have a tendency towards perfection. If you’re anything like me writing down lists and making big plans gives you a “high” that is most often followed by a “low” when you realize you’ll never get it all done. We set our expectations high and we place so many hopes on that sense of accomplishment that can never come because its just impossible to achieve.

I’ll never plan every meal a week ahead of time or make dinner every night. My husband does way more of the cooking than I and yet I find myself each Sunday convincing myself that I’ll take on the meals because I “should.” Why am I trying so hard to strive to be something that I’m just naturally not?

So I’ve decided this week I’m going to do the exact opposite of setting my sights high and choosing to strive towards perfect stay at home motherhood or at least the societal expectation I put upon myself.

In short- I’m going to rebel.

Rebelling is something we often relate to our teenage years. We may look back at ourselves and roll our eyes at the ways we rebelled now but in that moment the rebellion was essential to our development. Rebelling is a key way to affirm your identity and assert your values whether or not they are part of the establishment. It’s a way of saying, “I’m making these choices for me and not for what I feel society expects.” It’s liberating, it’s freeing, it’s so damn important.

In a way being a mom sometimes feels like those junior high days where you feel you have to do so much to fit in. Only instead  of liking N’Sync and wearing Doc Martens its  feeding your children organic vegetables and knowing everything there is to know about the latest parenting book. Societal expectations and attitudes prey upon the vulnerable, those that are insecure about who they are and that quite perfectly sums up how I’ve felt the past 2 years. Well mamas, its time for a rebellion.

To be honest my actions might not change that much in my rebellion. I set my sights high to cook each week and then they usually don’t pan out anyways. I make cook no more or less than I usually do. However, its my attitude towards how much I cook that will change. I’m not cooking because I feel I should. I’ll cook because  I want to. Now I may cook because there’s a tasty recipe I’ve found or because I want my son to eat more veggies or because I want to do something nice to my husband. But I refuse to cook because I feel that it somehow makes me a better mom in the eyes of society. That attitude I will firmly rebel against.

I’ll take more time for myself this week and ask for it clearly. I’m rebelling against the expectation that moms must be martyrs.

I’ll go with the flow and stop feeling disappointed if I don’t have a firm schedule for my 2 year old. I’m rebelling against the expectation that moms must be in control at all times.

I’ll communicate with my son the way that feels loving and naturally to me. I won’t obsess over saying “good job”too much or worry that anytime I get short with him I’ve done permanent and irreversible damage to his self esteem (I will however, apologize to him). I’m rebelling against the expectation that there is only one right way to parent.

Again, I may go about my week in a similar fashion as always but the way I perceive these actions will change. Instead of rebelling against my sense of self I’m going to rebel against the societal attitudes that I’ve let seep into my life.

So find some small ways to rebel this week. Start to follow your choices and actions based on what you truly want and feels is best regardless of the attitudes out there that say otherwise. Rebel on mamas.

The Other Side

I was in a dark place this last week.

It was dark outside. It was dark inside my mind. I was not me.

I allowed myself to stay in this dark place for quite awhile. I allowed the sleep deprivation to keep me under water. Instead of fighting to thrive I just decided to survive.

Some days as moms we talk about how it is just about getting through the day. But when that becomes every day for a period of time it starts to feel like a dark place. You don’t want to just survive. You want to live, to experience happiness, accomplishment, connection, and fulfilment.

And then this morning I took a brief walk. It was just 5 minutes around my city block while I listened to music but the air felt fresher, my eyes stayed forward instead of looking down, there was a bounce in my step. And it hit me- I had reached the other side.

It’s hard to remember when we are in our dark place that the other side exists. That is is waiting for us. Sometimes it’s up to us to get there and sometimes life circumstances brings it to us. But it is there. Sometimes it gets hard, really hard to find it or wait for it to come. But it’s always out there somewhere.

The Other Side

It’s the place where our best self exists. It’s the place where we feel more whole. The sun shines in our mind. We see all that is before us and are grateful. We see a beautiful self in the mirror and not the monster that was there before.

I write to remember this moment, that refreshing moment of entering the other side. I write so that I remember that it exists if I leave it and am in a dark place again.

I will not get this past week back. I can not take away my mistakes. I can not erase the irritability, the coldness that I spread to my son because he was the only one there to take it. It hurts when I think about it. But its something else I need to remember. I am capable of allowing myself to be less than I am when I’m in dark place. I must be gentle with myself and then others, I must assert my needs, I must ask for help.

So I’ll hopefully be on the other side for awhile. The dark side will start to slowly pull me back. My self-awareness is my best weapon. My belief that I am worthy of always being on this side can help keep me here longer. And if I do get pulled back to the dark side my memory of the other side can hopefully keep my stay there shorter and the strength and motivation to get back to it stronger.

You Are Worthy

First off let me start off by apologizing because I made a mistake. I took a hiatus, I didn’t post about it, I just kind of stopped writing here. I can give you all the reasons that this happened but it doesn’t matter what the reasons were, I just should have communicated that I wouldn’t be writing for awhile.

I wondered if I would get back to my blog. A part of me wondered if all this time I put into was really worth anything, I don’t get paid for it, I’m not sure if anyone really reads it, and now that I’ve lost my momentum, what’s the point?

See when I make mistakes or when things don’t turn out to be my idea of “successful” I run and hide. I avoid thinking about whatever I was working on because I feel ashamed it didn’t work and I start to distract myself with other things.

But here’s what I’m trying to learn. I am worthy enough to make mistakes. I am worthy enough to keep trying. I am worthy enough to do something I enjoy even if it doesn’t make a difference to anyone. I’m worthy enough simply because I am.

I wonder how many times as mothers we put ourselves down when we make mistakes, dismiss all of our efforts the minute we lose it and yell at our little ones, minimize the importance of our work in the home because it doesn’t bring in money, lather ourselves in guilt when we can’t “have it all.” How much time do we invest into making our children feel worthy while we demean ourselves and place ourselves inferior because of mistakes or judgments from others?

You Are Worthy

Here’s an important reminder- your worthiness does not lie within motherhood. It’s simply within you. It was there before you child was and there before you had a career. You’re worthy whether or not you pushed out a baby. Whether or not you have a degree. Whether or not you’re pretty, or patient, or penniless. You are worthy even when you yell, even when you feel like you want to get in the car and drive away forever, even when you’re not sure you’re doing your best.  You’re worthiness is within you all the time, it’s up to you to realize it’s there and start owning it

When you recognize your worthiness so many positive things happen. You can –

  • Take responsibility for mistakes without shame
  • Pick yourself up and try again
  • Ask for what you need and want
  • Recognize the difference between a sacrifice of love and being a martyr
  • Demand respect and recognition from others
  • Give the best parts of yourself without fear of failure
  • Realize what is not worth your time, energy, and effort

So when you feel yourself starting to tear yourself down with shame, insecurity, and fear remember- you are worthy, simply because you are. Now start acting like it.