How Do I Get A Break as a Busy Mom?

How do I get a break as a Busy Mom? Mommy Breaks are a wonderful thing. Being a mom sometimes feels like a long distance race, and we all need time to recharge for a few minutes from time to time. Have you ever tried to take a Mommy Break and found that you honestly really felt no better afterwards? For example, one day when I was just feeling done, I watched my son empty the bookshelf because I was too exhausted to to even think of sitting down to train him on how to put the books back in anymore. So, while he emptied it, I ate my candy bar. I stood there thinking, “Sure, I’m calmer now, but I also have a huge mess to clean up and I’m just as tired as I was before!”  Then, in a moment I had a revelation: “This is not rest; this is a timeout….rest needs to be restorative.” This thought was revolutionary to me. Rest needs to be restorative or it’s not rest! Wow! Actually, there is some solid research on the necessity of rest particularly for moms. Check out this article for more on that.   Rest vs. Timeouts Me watching

How Do I Help My Child with the Transition to Kindergarten?

How Do I Help My Child with the Transition to Kindergarten?

How Do I Help My Child with the Transition to Kindergarten? Change is just plain hard. I still remember sobbing as a child when my parents sold our big, beautiful, brown 1975 Volvo Van. Then, when we moved away from our old, yellow farmhouse as a teenager, I shed a few more tender tears. Even as an adult, I still struggle with the changing seasons in my life. When something is good, you just want to hold on. Ironically, sometimes good turns to better with a life transition. Or, if not better...it is just a different version of really good. Case in point. Kids are so darn cute when they are little. So innocent and beautiful. Then, one day they turn big. Just like that. Big kids with big opinions and big mouths. Not so cute anymore. It took me several years to just START getting comfortable with having big kids. I longed and longed for them to stay little and cute. Now mine are no longer babies. No longer even toddlers. My youngest is in Kindy and my oldest is twelve. Major life transitions for us. Lots of emotional adjustment for Mom. One unexpectedly bumpy transition for us has been my

Help! My Toddler is Climbing Out of His Crib! What do I do?

Help! My Toddler is Climbing Out of His Crib! What do I do?

Help! My Toddler is Climbing Out of His Crib! What do I do? Does your toddler climb out of his crib? Last week, I put my son to nap and five minutes later he had climbed out, snuck into the bathroom, and was happily emptying the shampoos. Yikes! I knew the time would come, but at least we made it to 23 months! I swooped him up and put him back in his bed. Wouldn’t you know it? 30 seconds later he was right back out. This time I was standing at the door, though, and put a quick end to the escape. This process repeated itself eight times during an hour punctuated by tears of frustration on my son’s part and me resigning myself to the loss of an afternoon. After about an hour of this game, I had an idea. I caught my little guy on his way out of the room, scooped him up and back into bed, and shut the bedroom door. He hesitated before climbing out again and during this brief moment, I throw open the door with a big smile. “You stayed in your bed! Good job; it’s time to wake up!” I said

How Do I Handle My Emotions as a Mom?

How Do I Handle My Emotions as a Mom? Today was the first day of Kindergarten. I cried when I saw that my little kindergartner was the first up in our family and had her uniform on before the crack of dawn — her jumper twisted over her shoulder, with one blouse collar up and one collar down. One was sock pulled high, and one sock barely on. I cried when her teacher simply greeted me in the morning. I cried when my baby got in line to go to class, with her big brave eyes and a wave goodbye. She was fine. I was a wet mess. I did feel better when my friend, Jessica, admitted that she shed a tear when her baby ate her first bit of solid food this week. Sigh. This is what we do. As moms, we cry. We deeply sense every transition, and we feel it somewhere deep in our heart, our spirit. This is how we are made. In fact, this lovely, awful pang is what makes us so able to connect with our kids, with our friends, with our own moms. And, however emotional it is...however heart-wrenching and beautiful it is to navigate...

How do You Teach a Toddler to be Gentle with a Baby?

How do You Teach a Toddler to be Gentle with a Baby? The first few days I watched my 17-month-old son interact with his new sister I realized that nothing is more precious than the newborn-toddler combination. It really is magical! On the other hand, one of my primary roles immediately became keeping my enthusiastic toddler from killing his sister by mistake! So. How do you teach a toddler to be gentle with a baby? I’m going to share a roleplaying method that works really well for me not only for teaching a toddler to be gentle with a baby but also for teaching a toddler not to pull the books out of the bookshelf or do other amazing feats such as how to whisper. Empathy The first step is to think for a minute about where your child is in the process of developing empathy and use this information as you go through your roleplaying session. In my case my oldest was young enough that his empathy skills simply had not developed very much yet. In other words, neurologically it was not possible for him to understand the concept that what he was doing hurt or might hurt the baby. For

How Do You Teach a Newborn the Difference Between Day and Night?

How do you teach a newborn the difference between day and night? My baby girl was born thinking night time was from about 4pm-2am. How could I tell? She would  sleep “hard” when she napped during these hours. You know the cute, limp-baby, happy sleep? Then right at 2am she would open those pretty eyes as if she were a baby owl and look around like it was the middle of the day. She would not be sleepy again till 4:30am! By then I was so exhausted it hurt. Moms of newborns know this feeling! If you are in a similar situation, here are the basic steps to teaching a newborn to sleep at night instead of all day. The overarching goal is to teach your newborn that days are for eating, playing, and napping while nights are for sleeping and quiet snacking. 1. Lights On During the Day and Lights Out at Night This goal of this first step is to make night and day feel very different to your newborn. Keep the lights on during the day even when your newborn is napping. At night, keep the lights low and sound levels down. If you watch TV during night feedings

How Do You Workout With Kids at Home? 6 Practical Ideas

How do you workout with kids at home? As a starting disclaimer. I have modest mommy-fitness goals: jog a few miles without dying, strengthen my core, hike in the mountains. You get the idea!  Marathons are not among my life goals, at least not yet! I’ve just passed the six-week postpartum mark which means I’m getting back into the workout routine. Here are six practical mommy-workout ideas.    1. Go on a Walk If the weather is good, put the little ones in the stroller and go for a brisk walk. Once you work up to it, you can jog this way as well. It’s helpful to have a jogging stroller, but not absolutely essential. Older kids can ride their bikes beside you. This method tends to get challenging if you have more than two kids under four because the older ones can’t go fast enough on their bikes yet. You may have to invest in a double stroller or do what one of our contributors, Aimee did. She would put her baby in the stroller and have her toddler sit facing toward her, arms linked on the sturdy stroller handlebar. This was a perfect solution for those brisk walks, but certainly

How Do I Help My Toddler Adjust to a New Sibling?

This morning my 18 month old woke up and immediately looked for his baby sister. He looked first at her and then gave me a focused look using his mouth to imitate the sucking motion she makes when she eats. Evidently he was convinced she was hungry! He also proudly showed me her tiny toes and nose, and this brought such joy to my heart! His baby sister was born four weeks ago. True, at first he wasn’t a big fan, but here we are a few weeks later. Two months ago I was asking myself, “How do I help my toddler adjust to a new sibling?”. Today, here is the list of the top ideas I have collected for a smooth transition. A huge thank you to our contributor moms who contributed substantially to this list!   Talk Ahead of Time Before my daughter was born I taught my son the word “baby”. He didn’t learn to say it, but at least he was used to me pointing out babies and saying the word. Once his sister was born, he was saying “baby” within two days. My son was only 18 months old. In preparing for a baby, talking with big

How Do I Cure My Child of a Bad Habit?

I bit my nails as a kid. Even now, when I get stressed I find myself drawn to this old habit without even thinking. Habits are such a bother! Like a dysfunctional relationship, you don’t want them around and yet you indulge them again and again. Habits with kids are another level of infuriation for the diligent Mama. You might have a thumbsucker, biter, hitter, liplicker or teeth grinder. Or, if your child is older you may be dealing with yelling, bad language, a phone addiction or blatant rude behavior. Here are some practical ideas for moms asking, how do I cure my child of a bad habit? Every Child is Unique Every single one of my babies was an avid thumbsucker. I LOVED this at first. It meant more sleep for baby, as they were self-soothing. However, once they were past that baby phase, this habit was simply no longer useful. I had to wield a variety of strategies for my kiddos. My 2nd child developed an infection because of the excessive sucking, so we had to wrap her thumb in a bandage. She was only 10 months old, and I decided to just keep wrapping that thumb and VOILA,

How Do I Wean My Toddler?

I was six months pregnant when I decided to wean my fifteen-month old. I knew the time was coming. Nursing was going wonderfully, and I loved it, but even so nursing two at a time sounded like too much for me!  Suddenly at six months pregnant, nursing started to cause me intense contractions. In a moment my intentions for a slow, gradual weaning went out the window, and I found myself weaning a toddler as fast as possible. So, for all of you moms asking the question “How do I wean my toddler?”, here is what worked for me.  Take heart, especially those of you who are first-time moms -- weaning a toddler won’t be as bad as you think! If I had know this I would have been much less emotional about weaning! Eliminate One Nursing Session at a Time Beginning with the Least Favorite Rank your baby’s nursing sessions in order starting with the one they are most emotionally attached to, often right before bed, and ending with the one that can be given up most easily. Next, eliminate the least favorite or important session. The First Key to making weaning go smoothly is to avoid having

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