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Raising You

Toddler Gift Guide

The time has come to start shopping for Christmas! I am so excited because my daughter just turned three and she now understands Christmas and Santa and all of the fun festivities that we can do this time of year!

However, if you know me, you know that I do not like a cluttered house or more things than what we actually need and use.

We are so fortunate to have such a giving family, as I am sure most of you have as well. Deciding what to get family members or friend’s children can be a difficult task. There are endless amounts of toy options out there.

This year I am putting together a gift guide for toddler of products that I feel are valuable to my family and yours! Whether or not you have a boy or girl, the majority of these toys below are gender-neutral.

Now when I think of a good toy/product for my children, a few things come to mind:

  1. My child finds joy from it…more than once.

  2. It can be manipulated in multiple ways…as they develop.

  3. Passive toy…leads to active playing.

  4. Aesthetically pleasing…wooden toys create a calm and inviting environment for both me and my child.

As an Amazon Associate, I do earn a commission on purchased items. However, I am only recommending these items because I feel they are genuinely great children’s products that enhance their childhood and encourage learning.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Fold & Go Barn, Animal & People Play Set

  • Easy to travel with handle once folded
  • Wooden sturdy toys
  • Promotes imagination play

Hape Eggspression Wooden Learning Toy with Book

  • Encourages communication about emotions
  • Helps develop emotional maturity

Magnetic Building Blocks

  • Easy for toddler’s hands to control
  • Not going to lie…I like building with these!
  • Encourages creative play
  • Endless ways to use these blocks

House Cleaning Set 

  • Imagination Play
  • Encourages helping around the house, teaching responsibility
  • Invites children to be involved with our daily routines

Kidkraft Trainset

  • Open-ended play encourages creativity
  • Convenient storage with the bin included

Melissa & Doug Wooden Jumbo Stacking Train

  • Large train – more than 2 ft long!
  • Nice and simple design
  • Creative play with endless ways to incorporate wooden blocks

Cartoon Superhero Capes & Masks for Boys

Cartoon Superhero Capes & Masks for Girls

  • What kid doesn’t like to play dress-up?!
  • Perfect for children who have siblings to play with!

Melissa & Doug Wooden Snacks & Sweets Food Cart

  • Seriously, how cute is this little food stand!! Debating or not to have this be my daughter’s “big gift” this year.
  • It comes with pretend food too!
  • Encourages group creative play
  • A child can continue to play with this toy as their imagination grows
  • Suitable for a large age range (3 – 7 years old)

Melissa & Doug Scoop & Stack Magnetic Ice Cream Cones

  • My daughter got this set for her 2nd birthday and still loves playing with it!
  • The magnetic connection makes it easy for young toddlers to be able to stack the ice cream
  • Fun set to add to pretend play

Kinetic Sand Folding Sand Box 

  • Great for sensory play
  • Comes with a sandbox for easy cleanup
  • Encourages creative play
  • We just got some kinetic sand and I love it. Very therapeutic to play with!

Duplo Legos

  • Develops hand-eye coordination
  • Encourages creative play
  • Various different sets depending on the child’s interests

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Puzzles

I love puzzles for children! I believe it helps them develop logic skills at an early age. Puzzles are something that can most definitely grow with your child.

We have started simple puzzles as young as a year and a half and now watch my daughter do those same ones by herself. They start off as a group activity and then can transform into independent play once they are ready.

Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks 

Melissa & Doug Dinosaur Jigsaw Puzzles

Melissa & Doug Underwater Floor Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board

Games

Games are such a fun way to build connection and play with the family! My 3-year-old daughter has been in a game craze lately!

Games are great for teaching young children how to take turns, build patience, and enhance logic skills!

Some days are better than others with her attention span during games, but we let her lead. If we start playing and she decides shes had enough we accept that and move on to something else. Week by week we have seen her attention span grow.

I have linked all of the games through Amazon, but make sure to check and see if Target has any deals. Sometimes they do buy 2 and get 1 free on Games, Books & Movies.

Candy Land

Alphabet Bingo

Connect 4

Trouble Olaf’s Ice Adventure

Sequence for Kids

I hope this toddler gift guide helped you find the perfect gift for that special little person in your life. Playtime time for children is such a magical time for them! What a rewarding feeling it is to see a child enjoy an item that has been given by you.

Let me know in the comments below some of your favorite gift ideas for toddlers!

Categories
Raising You

Toddler Interview – FREE Printable

Do you ever stop to listen to what silly things your toddler says sometimes? What a fun way to record your toddler’s personality by doing a toddler interview!

Our daughter, Melina, is almost three and let me tell you, she has a lot to say!

Toddler Interview

My husband and I thought it would be fun to sit Melina down for a toddler interview and ask her some questions. We knew some questions she would understand and others we were going to get some pretty funny answers. Toddlers certainly have a mind of their own. You can ask them the same question five times and get a different answer.

I have made a FREE Printable with the questions that we used along with some space for the unique questions that you would like to add specifically for your child. Those questions are my favorite!

 

We weren’t sure how this was going to go because well she’s a toddler and let’s just say she doesn’t have the largest attention span. But we figured if we gave her a snack to munch on she would be much more willing to cooperate. And we were right!

For our toddler interview, we decided we wanted to record it as well for our family vlog that we have on Youtube known as Raising Us Vlogs.

If you are in the mood for some cute toddler talk and some funny answers watch Melina’s interview below!

By the way, I do not make her stay in bed until 10am! My rule is that we can’t get up until the sun is up. 

 

I can’t wait to do this for years to come to see how much she transforms throughout the years. It will be a fun memory to look back on with her once she is older.

I want to cherish the sweet personality that she has right now! She will be grown before I know it.

Related Content:

Pumpkin Decorating For Toddlers

Dealing With Challenging Behavior Using Positive Discipline

Our First Month as a Family of 4

 

Categories
Raising You

Pumpkin Decorating For Toddlers

Decorating pumpkins is so much fun, especially for kids! We decorated 4 pumpkins with easy ideas that our toddler, Melina was able to participate in. These ideas are free from carving with easy ways for the child to participate in.

Our daughter Melina is almost three and had a blast decorating the pumpkins with these ideas.

Watch our vlog about it here or continue reading below.

 

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Melted Crayon Pumpkin

Supplies You’ll Need

Pumpkin of any size and color – we selected a small white one

1 Box of Crayons

Hot Glue Gun

Hair Dryer

Cardboard Box

Instructions

After you and your little one picked out your pumpkin, you will need to peel your selected crayons. We placed a piece of crayon in each divet around the pumpkin. Count your divets and that is how many crayons you will need.

Next, you break your crayons into smaller pieces. I suggest letting the kiddos do this as it is a simple way for them to be involved. Melina loved doing it!

Glue your crayons into the divets all around your pumpkin. We chose to glue the crayons on the top and the side of the pumpkin for maximum color.

If you do not want to do that, leave your crayons whole and just glue them on the top.

Place your pumpkin in the box and start to melt the crayons with the hairdryer. This takes some time so try to be patient.

You will start to see the crayons run down the pumpkin once the wax starts to melt. This is a cool way to teach your children the effects of heat on certain materials like wax.

After the wax is melted, let the pumpkin cool before placing it on another surface so you do not get wax on anything else.

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Potato Head Pumpkin

Supplies You’ll Need

1 Pumpkin

Potato Head Pieces Or Pumpkin Insert Decorations

Screwdriver

Instructions

Does your child like potato heads? If so this pumpkin idea is perfect for them!

We purchased these pumpkin insert decorations at the Dollar Tree that are to insert into a foam pumpkin like a potato head.

However, we decided to poke wholes into a tiny pumpkin and place these faces into them to create our pumpkin head. The Dollar Tree had a Frankenstein themed insert or an angry face. We purchased both so Meina could mix and match them.

You could also you Mr. Potato Head pieces that you already have at home.

Then all you have to do is poke the holes into the pumpkin for your child.

After that, let your child create the silliest or scariest pumpkin that comes to mind!

Remember the key is to involve them as much as possible with these designs.

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Mummy Pumpkin

Supplies You’ll Need

Pumpkin

White Duct Tape

Google Eyes or Permanent Marker

Instructions

After selecting the pumpkin, cut your duct tape into different length sizes. There is no right or wrong here on the size.

Tip: Tom thought that he was able to wrap the pumpkin with the duct tape instead of cutting. But he quickly found out that it was not working and creating too many big lumps on the pumpkin.

When the pieces are cut, you can let your toddler start placing the tape around the pumpkin.

You will want to help them make an opening for the eyes and the mouth. Other than that, they have freedom of where to place the tape.

I have found that the fewer limitations a project has, the more my daughter enjoys it.

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Customizable Pumpkin

Supplies You’ll Need

Pumpkin

Any or all of the following:

Stickers

Glitter

Sequins

Tempora Paint

Permanent Markers

Instructions

The last pumpkin that we had Melina decorate was completely up to her and her art supplies. So there are not really and real instructions on how to do this one.

You know what your child enjoys doing best so I would base your decorating off their preferences.

We purchased some Halloween stickers from the Dollar Tree for her to place on her pumpkin. She enjoys using stickers.

We originally thought she could color on the pumpkin but did not realize that the washable markers would rub right off. Permanent markers are an option if your children are older or you are comfortable with them handling them.

Melina recently found my stash of glitter for our crafts and has been itching to use it. We figured why not make a glittery pumpkin!

It was a bit messy but she really enjoyed being able to have the freedom to use it and get her hands messy. After all, that ‘s what this was all about!

Tip: Use a larger sized glitter or sequins. The glitter that we had on hand was very fine which made it harder to see on the pumpkin and use overall.

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We hope this gave you some inspiration to decorate pumpkins with your toddlers! Carving a pumpkin can be a lot of fun but also frustrating for the little ones that want to be more involved.

Comment below with your favorite Halloween activities to do with your toddlers!

 

Categories
Raising You

Dealing With Challenging Behavior Using Positive Discipline

Tantrums and angry children are downright exhausting and frustrating. Let me help you learn how to handle children’s challenging behavior using positive discipline.

We first have to go back to the basics of positive parenting and remember: It is not our job as the parents to control the child.

If you are unfamiliar with positive discipline, start here: Basics of Positive Discipline

Attempts to control children, especially when they are angry, creates more problems and power struggles.

It is best to allow the child to feel whatever emotion they are feeling, even in public.

A lot of the time we hold children to very high standards when dealing with difficult situations or emotions.

But the reality is that young children are not able to express anger or frustration the way that we adults are able to. They simply do not have the skill or maturity yet.

This is why many adults view angry children as misbehaving children. When in fact, they are just struggling with handling these difficult emotions.

And to be honest, a lot of adults still have a difficult time properly expressing these emotions in a healthy way.

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What We Can Do When Children Are Angry

The best thing we can do for our children is to remain calm through the situation. I know this can be very difficult to do sometimes. Remember it is not about perfection, but progress when starting this new way of disciplining our children.

It has been studied that children rely on mirror neurons to perceive physical action, facial expressions, and emotions and then the brain duplicates what it sees.

So when you are feeling angry, anxious, or excited your child’s mirror neurons will catch those same emotions and create a similar feeling in your child. Or vice versa.

Mirror neurons are the reason why it is so important that you understand what you do is so much more powerful than what you say. 

 

If you need to remove yourself from the situation before you lose it, simply communicate to your child that you need a moment alone. You can say “Mommy is going to cool off in her bedroom for a few minutes. I am feeling very angry right now.” Then as long as your child is in a safe environment to be briefly left alone, continue on into your room.

Taking that pause to regain control over yourself will empower you to handle trying situations with patience and love instead of anger and punishment.

After all, the only person that we can control is ourselves.

When we are angry, our prefrontal cortex disconnects leaving us unable to think clearly and logically. This is kind of a big deal because the prefrontal cortex is responsible for emotional regulation, impulse control, and good judgment. Pretty important stuff!

Always offer a hug and allow the emotions to be processed. This teaches your child that they will survive challenging situations and are still worthy of your love.

Related content:

Become The Mom You Were Meant To Be Not The ANGRY Mom You Have Been

Basics of Positive Discipline

30 Affirmations Every Child Needs to Hear

Intentional Parenting: Why & How To Start Your Journey

Validate Feelings

Children display their sense of feelings through many different ways, talking, crying, tantrums, screaming, whining, and even nonverbal cues.

Resist the urge to try and stop their expressions. Even when they are unpleasant. Observe and listen to what they are trying to communicate, then validate their feelings.

Just because you validate the feelings does not mean you have to agree with them. You are allowing your child to feel these emotions and process them appropriately.

I grew up always being told not to be sad hearing the famous line “why are you crying” or “there’s no need to cry”. Even to this day, I have a hard time expressing my emotions correctly.

Often times a lot of parents will downplay an injury to limit the crying after the fact. But why? Why is it so wrong for them to express their pain? Reassure the child that you understand the pain. Try saying “Gee that looks like it really hurts, would you like some ice?”. Instead of “You’re okay, brush it off. You are a tough girl/boy.”

Other examples:

“You seem like your sad about being ignored by the other children.” Instead of “Why don’t you find someone else to play with.”

“You look like you are having a lot of fun playing with Kate. You are feeling disappointed that we have to stop playing.” Instead of “It is time for us to go home to take our nap.”

Behavior Is Communication

According to Michigan Alliance For Families, all behavior, positive or negative, is a form of communication with others.

Typically we see a misbehaving child and think “Wow that mom need’s to get a grip on that situation.” But we should really be thinking “Wow that child is having a difficult time, I wonder what she needs right now.”

By changing the way we think about misbehavior, we change our reaction to it.

When a child has challenging behavior she is communicating that there is an unmet need. It could be that she is hungry, sad, scared, hurt, tired, or even angry and she isn’t able to put those feelings into words. Some children even act out because they feel a lack of control or need to fulfill a sensory sensation.

Before you react to challenging behavior, try your best to figure what the cause is.

Emotional Literacy

Developing a child’s emotional literacy encourages healthy mental and physical health throughout their lives. It is an important skill to be able to express one’s feelings from the time we are young children to grown adults.

Now in the early stages of development, this means teaching basic emotions such as happy, sad, mad, excited, afraid, upset, worried, etc. The best way to do this is to show them pictures of containing these emotions and asking them what they see.

At first, it may be difficult for children to read these emotions correctly. You can assist them by encouraging them to look at the facial expressions and body language presented in the pictures.

emotional literacy

If we can help our children master this skill, they will be much more successful communicating with others leading to healthier relationships throughout their lives.

Let Go Of Control

If you find your child frequently not listening to you. Ask yourself are you setting realistic boundaries?

Are these boundaries important to protect their safety or health? Or are you just setting these boundaries because you expect your child to listen to what you have to say?

Maybe it is time to reevaluate why your children need to listen to your commands 100% of the time.

I remember when I was younger I would question some of the boundaries that were placed upon me. More times than not the response would be “Because I am the parent and you are the child.” The result would be a power struggle. I didn’t understand the reasoning behind the limitation and my mother wanted my obedience just because.

The need for control has crept into my own parenting journey and I despise it. When I catch myself falling into this trap, I do my best to question the limits I am placing. If they are unnecessary and based on convenience, I let them go. positive discipline

Our children are their own person which means they have their own interests, desires, and motivations. Even in their youngest days.

Majority of the battles causing your child to get angry in the first place probably links back to control.

Take a step back and ask yourself if you are guiding your childing or dictating their actions?

Consistency Is Key

We all know that one family that acts like they have strict rules one day and then the next its whatever is convenient at the time.

Children need consistency and routine in order to feel confident and secure in their environment.

Take a moment to figure out what are your must-have rules. Most families create rules around safety, health, and time.

The simpler your rules are, the more likely that you will be able to consistently enforce them.

Remember, it should not be our goal to set unnecessary boundaries on our children. Our rules should help guide our children in the right direction in life.

There is nothing easy or convenient about being consistent.

It takes up more time, more energy, and forces you to be a mindful parent.

But the tradeoff is worth it.

When we give in to a certain undesired behavior we are actually reinforcing it to continue. We end up being the enablers.

When we demonstrate consistency, the child knows what is expected and understands the natural consequences.

Create A Cool-Off Area

Punitive time outs are a very popular parenting technique. Positive discipline uses a positive time out referred to as a cool-down area. Establishing a safe and positive area that your child can revert to when dealing with difficult emotions helps provide a sense of security.

This method is most effective for children over 3 years old. If they are younger, you can start by teaching about the cool-off area by going with them.

The key is that this area should remain positive for your child. Make it cozy with items your child enjoys.

parenting tips

Refrain from sending them away to this spot and forcing them to stay for long periods of time. You can offer it with another option so they do not feel forced.

When my husband and I started implementing this technique, it took us a while for us to stop insisting our child go to her cool down area. After catching ourselves many times we have trained ourselves to simply invite her to take a break and cool-off.

If she decides she does not want to do that than I offer a hug and just sit with her until the emotions have passed. During this time I sportscast the situation and validate her feelings.

Like I mentioned above, sometimes I need to cool-off myself for a few minutes when we are having a difficult time understanding each other.

Things To Avoid When Using Cool-Off Area “Timeouts”

  • Demanding the child sits still for long periods without moving
  • Forcing the child to go away
  • Making a child put their nose in a corner
  • Humiliating child in front of others
  • Nagging and reprimanding after the situation is over

Learning how to handle challenging behavior respectfully with our children can make parenting a lot less stressful and more enjoyable. After a while, you will start to see your child respond to your changes.

I hope you consider these tips the next time you are faced with challenging behavior. I know Mama it is not easy to handle.

By no means am I saying this will be an easy transition. For years we have watched how our parents and other adults handle these situations and learned from there.

But implementing these techniques along with the ideology behind positive discipline can transform your parenting journey as well as your relationship with your children. 

Categories
Raising You

Basics of Positive Discipline

Discipling children are one of the toughest yet most important tasks a parent does.

Are you tired of the constant power struggles with your child that leaves you both frustrated and overwhelmed? Positive discipline techniques have the power to bring the peace back in your home and relationships with your children.

When you decide to have children and become pregnant it is recommended that you read pregnancy books to best prepare yourself for your experience ahead. After that, the majority of parents decide to just let parenting come naturally to them, reverting back to styles that their parents used for discipline.

I think it is safe to say the default disciplinary action is typically punishment.

Positive discipline is based on the belief that we should teach our children right from wrong where punishment is based on the role of parents controlling their children.

Trying to control a child creates more problems and power struggles.

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This is an area that has been very difficult for me to change my belief system. I grew up where I constantly heard the saying “children are meant to be seen not heard” and was disciplined with the typical punishments.

In my own parenting journey, punishment has been my default style when handling misbehavior.

Early on I realized that I was uncomfortable with this type of parenting style. It did not feel right to slap my daughter’s hand when she acted out or yell at her when she is not acting right.

In fact, it felt pretty hypocritical.

How can I sit there and tell my daughter that she needs to be nice to others but not model that behavior towards her?

How can I ask her not to raise her voice when I do not control mine?

You can’t.

It will not work without damaging the relationship between you and your child.

Something I was not willing to let happen.

That’s when I started researching how to handle children’s difficult behaviors in a respectful way. I found positive discipline and have continued to educate my husband and myself on how to implement it into our lives.

I hope to help other families transition into this method of discipline.

Let me tell you, it is not something that you can just start doing perfectly. We catch ourselves many times reverting to our default style. It most commonly happens when we are tired or overwhelmed.

We give our daughter a sincere apology explaining that our behavior was not right and try to handle future situations more respectfully.

We are not perfect and by demonstrating that to our children we teach them that mistakes are okay.

I have found it is helpful to read different texts on the various parenting techniques. I really enjoy Jane Nelson’s work Positive Discipline For Preschoolers.

 

The main difference is between punishment and positive discipline:

Punishment usually takes the approach that children must experience some type of negative emotion to learn that they did something wrong.

Types of punishments used most often:

  • yelling or lecturing
  • spanking or slapping of hands
  • take away toys or privileges
  • punitive time out

Positive disciplines main belief is that children do better when they feel better, using kind and firm methods to teach children life’s lessons.

Alfred Adler based positive discipline on the principle that human behavior is motived by a desire of belonging, significance, connection, and worth.

Belonging comes from a sense of connection and unconditional love.

Significance is a sense of feeling capable, being responsible, and making a contribution. 

All children have many wants but just a few basic needs. It is important to make sure you are not giving in to everything that your child wants but fulfilling their basic needs.

4 Basic Needs of Children

  1. Sense of belonging and significance
  2. Personal power and autonomy
  3. Social & life skills
  4. Kind and firm discipline that teaches

As you can see, positive discipline aligns with children’s basic needs. Punishment tactics encourage doubt, shame, guilt, and rebellion.

What is Positive Discipline?

First, we must understand the building blocks of positive discipline a bit deeper.

  • Mutual respect (treat your child with respect in order to receive it)
  • Understanding belief behind behaviors (ALL BEHAVIOR HAS A PURPOSE)
  • Effective communication (invite the child to think/participate in decisions instead of demanding)
  • Understanding a child’s world (educate yourself on developmental stages)
  • Teach rather than punish
  • Encouragement (celebrates improvements and efforts)
  • Connection before correction (hug and validate the child’s feelings)

Many parents believe that their job is to control their child and make sure they are behaving in an appropriate manner.

Especially in public.

There are two things wrong with this belief:

  1. Our job as parents is not to control our children. It is to offer guidance in the right direction.
  2. Appropriate behavior according to adults is much different than what children can realistically provide depending on their developmental stage.

Do not expect a two-year-old to sit still for long periods of time. It is an unrealistic expectation setting you and child up for frustration which leads to misbehavior.

Related Posts: 

Implementing Positive Discipline

Implementing positive discipline into your parenting style is going to take some effort and time. You will have to be patient with yourself, your spouse, and most definitely your child.

First, eliminate your previous beliefs that children need to obey. Realize they are exploring the world around them and understand their developmental capabilities.

Yes, there are dangers and yes it is our job to guide them away from those dangers. Just remember to be kind and firm.

You can start by:

Getting your child involved with decisions

  1. Create Routines Together
  2. Offer limited choices
  3. Provide opportunities for them to help

Children are more likely to participate if they are involved in the process of setting boundaries. Demands invite resistance.

It is helpful to create routine charts using images for the morning, naptime, and bedtime. Routines set clear boundaries and inform the child what is expected of them.

Both adults and children feel more confident and secure in their environment when routines are set.

Teach respect by being respectful

  1. Model the behaviors and traits you wish to see in your child

Children learn respect and other traits by experiencing them.

Keep in mind that it is not respectful to expect a child to stop what they are doing right then and there. Especially in activities that they are thoroughly engaged in.

Show respect by providing the child with a five-minute or two-minute warning. 

Common desired traits parents wish upon their children:

  • Self-discipline
  • Decision making skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Cooperation/Collab Skills
  • Creativity
  • Values
  • Endurance
  • Responsibility
  • Empathy
  • Honesty
  • Self-reliance
  • Self-confidence
  • Resilience
  • Adaptability

Think about your actions that your children see.

Do they align with what you wish upon them?

If not, you have some homework for yourself.

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Use a sense of humor

Following rules and directions become a light easier and enjoyable when laughter is involved. Some tasks are difficult to get children involved because they do not see the fun in it.

Try spicing it up and getting your little ones to laugh. No one said you had to be a serious parent all the time!

Read my post about transforming into a fun mom here.

Remember that discipline says “I’ll teach you how to do it right” where punishment says “I’ll make you regret doing it wrong.”

Disciplining your child does not have to be a negative experience for you or your child.

It may be challenging but you can still make sure to add lots of hugs and cuddles too. I have read that daily rations of hugs encourages children’s emotional health.

Children need to feel a true sense of connection and belonging in the world, especially from their parents. 

Handling Misbehaviour with Discipline

As I mentioned early it will be an adjustment phase of replacing punishment with discipline techniques.

Provide Opportunities

When a child misbehaves or makes mistakes, try replacing punishment with an opportunity for the child to help.

Example: Child spills a drink on the carpet. Try to resist yelling and lecturing and offer them to help you clean it up. After the mess is cleaned up you can remind them respectfully to hold a drink with two hands etc.

Positive Time Out – Cool Down Area

If the child is acting out by yelling and screaming or using violent actions, a non-punitive time out might be effective.

Time-outs are commonly used as a punishment technique but you can transform it into a “cool down”. To do this, you and the child must agree where this spot will be, making sure it is a positive environment.

It is not meant for the child to be sent to this spot or to go against their will. That will make it a punishment.

I found the best way to incorporate this is to demonstrate it yourself. There have been many times where I have lost my patience or temper when dealing with Melina’s difficult behavior.

I simply state to my daughter, “mommy is going to cool down for a few minutes, I am feeling very frustrated.” I will then head to my bedroom and regain my calm.

After demonstrating this a few times, I started asking Melina if she would like to cool down when she was overwhelmed with her emotions.

Adding in hugs after you and your child cool down helps build the connection between you.

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

How many times have you made threats to your child in hopes they would change their behavior?

Most times the child still continues the behavior fearlessly of what you just said.

There is probably no action taken because you really didn’t want to have to follow through with that threat.

Children are very smart, most likely that situation happens often and they have learned that mom and dad are not going to follow through with what they say.

My husband is famous for this. 

Now it is time to break the routine!

Only say what you are actually willing to do.

Example: Let’s say you and your child are at the park. Your child refuses to hold your hand while in the parking lot while walking.

Instead of saying, “You need to hold my hand or else we are going home”.

You can say, “You can either hold my hand or I can carry you.”

Providing children choices allows them to feel that they are somewhat in control of what is going on and invites cooperation.

Act, Don’t Talk

Majority of parents spend a lot of their time lecturing and yelling at their children. Resulting in even more frustration because they most likely continue to not listen to you.

This is very ineffective, especially in the earlier ages. Instead of wasting your breath, start to take immediate action. The fewer words, the better.

Example: Your child has decided that she is going to stand on the kitchen chair. Simply remove your child from the chair saying “butt down please”.

Remember the key is to positive discipline is to be kind and firm. 

Parenting is a hard task, especially when it comes to disciplining young children.

Transforming your mindset to believe that it is not your job to control your child but to guide them in the right direction will be freeing.

Take one day at a time making small changes towards parenting using positive discipline. 

Categories
Raising You

Our First Month as a Family of 4

As I sit down to write this post, it amazes me that it has been a whole month since my daughter, Delilah, was born and we became a family of 4.

Check out our beautiful birth story here.

Time in your parenting journey is a funny thing, it seems as if the days go by slow but before you know it, the weeks fly by.

Our first month of a family of four has felt like a rollercoaster ride. It has been such an exciting time filled with an abundance of joy and love but also a very stressful and somewhat chaotic time.

Not to mention the frequent poop explosions and adorable milky baby smiles.

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Someday we will look back on our hardest days and laugh at what we found difficult…like our first few outings with both girls. They were disasters!!

We went to Delilah’s two-day check up and on the way there we were stuck in 40-minute traffic where we learned Delilah was not a fan of the car seat or stop and go traffic. She screamed ALL.THE.WAY!

Melina decided she couldn’t wear her flip flops because they started hurting, so she needed to be carried through the doctors. It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal but our double stroller was not in our car yet and I was still recovering and couldn’t handle the weight of Melina or the carrier. 

We looked like a hot mess in that doctor’s office!! After all those frustrating moments we finally made it back in the car and my husband and I just looked at each other and laughed…“So this is what a family of four is like?!”

I hope that other new Mama’s will read this and relate instead of feeling like they are alone with the challenges that motherhood may bring.

Seasoned Mama’s of more than one…I am all ears for your advice!

First Born’s Reaction

If you don’t know already, we have a little girl that is 2.5 named Melina. Melina is the typical toddler, a lot of energy and a whole lot of personality!

She has shown Delilah so much love ever since she first met her in the hospital, just like I thought she would. It is one of the most precious things to witness your baby love your other baby.

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She loves trying to be mommy’s helper and is the first one to check on her when she wakes up. Whenever we are about to go somewhere she will say to us “what about sissy”. We have asked her if we should leave Delilah behind and she always says “NO!”

But since we have settled in at home the first few days after the hospital, she has seemed different. Not different with Delilah, but different with my husband and I. I remind myself that she is still adjusting to our new family dynamics but it has been hard to handle her.

Our Reactions

To be honest, so am I. And I am sure my husband would admit the same thing. For some reason,

I thought going from one to two kids would be a piece of cake. A walk in the park. We were so good with Melina that we didn’t think we would have issues adding another one.

Boy, did we get a wake-up call those first few days home. Two kids are the real deal! Our whole routine and flow have been off and we are still finding our rhythm a month later.

The hardest part for me has been maintaining my patience. Especially when I am breastfeeding Delilah while I am home alone with Melina.

It seems that five minutes after I sit down to start a feed, Melina is either finding trouble or has to go potty right now! (We recently potty trained her so we are working on wiping and pulling undies all the way down)

You may be thinking well why don’t you ask her if she has to use the bathroom before you start a feed…I do, but she refuses to go until she feels the urge.

When I take a step back, I see that this is most likely happening since my attention has shifted to Delilah during this time and she’s grasping for some attention on her.

I do my best to make sure we are playing before and after feeds. I have even attempted trying to play while feeding or snuggling up with her. Some days it feels like no matter how much attention we give her, it doesn’t make a difference.

I am praying that this is just an adjustment stage for all of us to work through. For now, I am planning on reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman to get a better understanding of how to connect with my daughter and fill her “love bucket”.

Wish me luck!

Breastfeeding Journey

You never know how breastfeeding will go until you start your journey, even if you have been successful in the past.

Our first few feeds in the hospital were a little challenging. Delilah took a while to figure out how to get a good latch. Leaving me with some sore nipples…yay mom life.

Luckily the discomfort was eased by my Earth’s Mama Nipple Butter within a few days that I made sure to include in my hospital bag.

Here’s my hospital bag essentials checklist!

Newborns are commonly sleepy the first few days after birth, but Delilah seemed extra sleepy which meant very short feeds. During this time I had to pump A LOT to remain comfortable since my milk had come in.

For all the moms that exclusively pump…I give you a ton of respect! I HATE pumping. It takes forever, it’s uncomfortable, and you’re stuck to the machine. But it is worth it to get that liquid gold for your babes.

Now we have a good freezer stash for mom and dad to have date nights every now and again to keep our sanity!

A month later, my milk supply has finally evened out with the demands, making me only pump once in a great while.

For more breastfeeding advice click here.

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Mama’s Hormones

Postpartum recovery is not only physically taxing but also emotionally. I am so thankful to have had an easy labor, making my postpartum recovery a breeze compared to my last birth. (I had postpartum hemorrhage that resulted in a blood transfusion and a longer recovery).

This time around, we were released from the hospital after 24 hours and I was feeling great! Yes, I still had all of the bleeding and cramping but nothing that felt too restricting.

The hardest part of recovery for me has been handling my emotions. There have been many days where I am overwhelmed and become emotional.

I wouldn’t go so far to say postpartum depression but I would probably guess I am on the border. Lately I have felt more like myself in the past week which has been a relief.

I have been battling anxiety for a few years now so it is important I keep an eye on my mental health for my family and myself.

Read more about my motherhood and anxiety: My Journey With Anxiety

I do not feel depressed or hopeless but frustrated that my days haven’t been how I imagined them. The lack of control of my days leaves me feeling angry. Then I feel guilty that I am not loving every moment of being a mother of two.

It is a vicious cycle inside my head. 

The demands of motherhood are hard. Little did I understand the struggle until I was knee-deep into it.  At times it feels like I constantly have one baby on my boob and the other is bouncing from one activity to another.

Yes, I was one to judge other mom’s before I even knew what they were going through and this experience has humbled me.

Just like other mom’s don’t know or see my struggle I do not see theirs. 

Making some time for myself has been a huge help in recharging myself and allowing me to handle my tough days. My husband does his best relieving me when he comes home which has been really appreciated.

I have decided to resume seeing my therapist and am looking forward to seeing her within a few weeks.

I have no shame anymore admitting that talking to someone helps me process all of my difficult feelings. In fact, it is one of the best feelings when I walk out of there after our session.

I drive home, put on whatever I want in the car because yes I am alone! (Gangsta mom comes out) More importantly, I am more relaxed and at ease with my thoughts and emotions and can show up better as a mom with I am reunited back with them.

Adventuring Out

Our first few experiences out were pretty nuts and frustrating but we are not ones to sit home often. I don’t want to call us “busy” because that makes it sound like we are busy with commitments. Instead, we fill our time with activities that we enjoy as a family.

Since my recovery was pretty fast, we figured it would be best to continue our lives like normal so Melina doesn’t feel like everything has stopped since Delilah. We continued our library routine, often visited the park, met friends at our favorite beach, and even had a big family zoo trip!

Doing all of these outings have helped Melina get her energy out and have time to socialize, which is something she loves! This also gave me time to get out and about and help from feeling lonely.

Let’s face it, sometimes I need a bit more conversation than baby coos and explaining “why”. 

Our first month as a family of four has not been as smooth or easy as I thought it would be.

But it is our journey as a family and for that it is beautiful.

Even on our hardest days, I wouldn’t give it up.

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There is nothing that can compare to those moments when you look at your children and feel that rush of love that brings tears to your eyes. 

Each season of parenting comes with challenges and this is no different.

I am excited to continue to find the routines that help our family thrive as a family of four…for now we take one day at a time making adjustments where we see fit.

Most days our primary focus is making sure both girls hearts are full of love and their bellies full of good food. 

 

 

 

Categories
Raising You

Honest Breastfeeding Advice

Hey Mama!

Are you considering breastfeeding your new babes or already on your breastfeeding journey and need some honest advice? I am here to help!

I recently just had my second baby about a month ago who I am currently nursing and previously breastfed my first daughter until about 14 months old.

Read more about my birth story here: Natural Hospital Birth – Delilah’s Birth Story

When I was first pregnant I knew I wanted to attempt to breastfeed my babies but had no idea what it was going to entail. In fact, I was unsure if I was even going to be able to do it.

Luckily, shortly after Melina was born, we attempted our first feed and we were successful! I had been so worried that I wouldn’t know what to do or that I would be uncomfortable with how it felt while feeding her. I didn’t come from a family that nursed their babes and for a while, the thought seemed a little uncomfortable for me.

When the time came, everything came naturally. I didn’t think twice about any of that and just started to nurse her.

If you are expecting and hope to breastfeed your baby, the best thing you can do is to keep an open mind.

Be accepting of either way to feed your baby. Remember fed is best!

Here are some realities about breastfeeding:

YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE DOING

And that is okay!! Some women feel very pressured to make sure that they can successfully breastfeed and I think that can make it a lot harder. It can make the situation much more stressful and unenjoyable.

Give yourself and your new baby time to figure out how to get a successful latch and determine the most comfortable positions for both you and baby to nurse in. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

There are lactation consultants that you can reach out to help assist you. I am a firm believer in trial and error throughout time.

Remember that each baby is different, so what may have worked with one is not guaranteed with the rest.

YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED HUGE BOOBS BUT NOW THEY ARE HARD AS A ROCK

Hey there boobs! Your milk has come in and your boobs are most likely huge and hard. Seriously pump as much as you need to remain comfortable.

Try to have your breast pump when you leave the hospital to prevent engorgement. Newborns usually eat about 2-3 ounces and your most likely going to produce a lot more than that.

If you are feeling like you just can’t empty your breasts, try taking a warm shower and then nursing or pumping right after. I also find it helps to massage the breast while nursing, especially if you feel a hard lump in your breast. A hard lump in your breast usually means a milk duct could be clogged.

LEAKY BOOBS ARE NO FUN

Since you will be producing so much milk at first you are going to have some leaky boobs. I know sounds fun right? I hate this part of breastfeeding.

In the beginning, I feel that I have to constantly change my clothes from leaky boobs and baby spit ups. I constantly feel sticky and smelly. Daily showers are very appreciated during this time.

Nursing pads are a must to slow down the turnover rate in clothes. I use both reusable nursing pads and disposable pads depending on where I am at. Reusable pads are for mainly when I am at home.

When my supply is really intense or I am behind on laundry I even use washcloths as nursing pads. Nothing more attractive than some square boobs…my poor husband. Disposable pads are great for when you are out and about and want to quickly swap out pads.

NURSING BRAS AND TOPS ARE NICE BUT NOT A MUST

Do not feel like you have to completely change over your wardrobe and lingerie because you are breastfeeding your babe. That would be pretty depressing and expensive!

I would say it is nice to have a few nursing bras and tops for when you are out in public feeding that way you are not completely exposed.

BUILD YOUR MILK SUPPLY EARLY

When you are pumping, to remain comfortable, it is the perfect time to get your milk stash started. Just make sure to properly label and date your freezer bags so it’s easier later on.

Building a milk stash allows you to have some freedom away from the baby at times. Trust me, you will need this after a while. 

Plus it gives your partner a chance to be involved with feeding your little one. I know my husband feels left out in the beginning because of how much the baby is on me. We have introduced the bottle with both babies fairly early, probably about a week after birth because of this.

Some women report that their babies won’t take a bottle which is why I recommend attempting earlier so they are more accepting of the bottle.

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CHAPPED NIPPLES ARE A REAL THING

Your nipples may become chapped and bleed or just be sore from the constant feeding every two hours in the beginning…invest in some nipple balm and pack it with your hospital bag.

Read more about what I included in my hospital bag here: Hospital Bag Essentials – Second Time Mom

My first time around I only had one period where my nipples became chapped to the point of bleeding and that was within the first week when she was learning how to properly latch on.

This time around I applied my nipple balm, Earths Mama Organic Nipple Butter often and only had minimal discomfort the first few days. No bleeding!

As painful and uncomfortable as it is, feed through it Mama! Make sure to continuously apply your balm/cream to heal the chapped area faster. Within a few days, it should feel back to normal.

Decreasing your feeds because of the discomfort may hurt your supply or even affect how your little one nurses. A lot of women will end up giving up breastfeeding because of an issue like this. 

YOU MIGHT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE BINGE EATING

You may feel hungrier due to the extra calories you are burning. Most women burn about 300 calories from breastfeeding. This is great in the beginning when you are trying to lose the baby weight. But make sure you are getting enough nutrients to fuel both your body and the baby as time goes on.

By the time I was done breastfeeding my first daughter I was under where I was prepregnancy. While some women would kill to have that happen to them, I started to lose my womanly figure and became insecure about how skinny I was.

Remember the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. 

This time around I have some major sugar cravings. I am not sure why but am assuming it is from all my hormones. My toddler doesn’t mind my daily ice cream craving though!

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!

It is said that nursing mothers do need additional fluid intake other than the recommended daily amount.

The general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.

So if you are 150lbs, it would be ideal for you to consume 75 ounces of water.

Dehydration can cause havoc on your body and mental state.

Trust me I know. On days where my water intake is low, my energy is drained and I am more irritable.

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BURNOUT IS COMMON

Breastfeeding is often a difficult journey for Mama’s to go through. It may feel like your baby is on your boob 24 hours a day in the beginning and you don’t have any time to yourself. Or that you feel like you are not in control of your time because oftentimes you are nursing on demand. I know I have felt like that this time around.

It is important to remind yourself that these feelings are okay and completely normal. I mean we are human and need some time to ourselves too.

Whenever I am going through a difficult time in my motherhood I remind myself that it is only a stage. This too shall pass.

In the meantime, make sure to schedule a time for yourself. Whatever you want that to look like. Whether its a lunch date with your friend or a mani and pedi trip to unwind, go do what makes you feel good!

Read my go-to self-care ideas here: 5 Self Care Tips Every Mom Should Do Daily

Self-care is so important to ensure we stay in a positive mindset in our motherhood. 

All of the discomfort and frustration breastfeeding may cause, I believe it is still a beautiful journey. It creates a bond like no one else has the chance to experience with your child. Moments are filled with adorable milky smiles and their arms hugging around you.

But that does not mean this journey is for everyone, and that is okay too.

If breastfeeding ends up causing you too much stress and unhappiness, consider giving it up. Your baby needs you to be the best mom you can be, not the most stressed.

Categories
Raising You

Letter to my firstborn, Melina

My dearest Melina,

We are days away from welcoming your baby sister into this world and I have so many mixed emotions. I am so excited to meet this little angel that I have had the privilege to carry and nurture for the past nine months. However, I am nervous about the changes that it might bring to our family.

Your dad and I have talked a lot about sissy and have tried to prepare you for her arrival the best that we can.  It will be confusing at first I am sure. Mommy and daddy will do our best to be patient with you while you adjust to the changes that will be coming your way with becoming a big sister.

It is my hope that you two will share a special bond throughout your lives and make memories that will last a lifetime. I never had the chance of having a sister but sibling bonds are truly something special. Even if they seem like a pain sometimes. As you grow older, you will understand why they are so special.

I promise to continue to have special time with just you. At times that may be hard but we will make sure we still get our time together. Some days that will be cuddles when sissy is sleeping or doing each other’s nails. Others it might be a solo trip to Jungle Java or the movies to get your favorite, popcorn and juice!

I often find myself feeling guilty that your sister will not have me to herself like you did these past two and a half years. I worry that I won’t be able to balance my attention the way I hope to. And even more scared at how mommy’s patience is going to be when times are tough and I am worn out.

But then I think about how sissy has you to look up to and love her also. It is not just me, it is me and you that will spend most of our days with her.

How lucky is she to have such a kind-hearted and adventurous soul to follow? I can’t think of any other little girl that could be a better sister.

I feel so blessed that God chose me to be your Momma. You are the light of my life sweet girl. You have made me a better person and inspired me in ways I can’t thank you enough for.

I think God knew I needed you first to help me be the best mom I could be.

As much as I want time to speed up and bring us, sissy, I want it to slow down so I can soak up your snuggles and laughs. When you catch mommy staring at you a little longer or kissing you more, don’t push me away. Let me love your little soul before you transform into a big girl before my eyes.

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I am forever grateful for our beautiful journey together. Our journey as a family of four will soon begin and I know it will be just as amazing.

Love always,

Mom

 

 

 

Categories
Raising You

Toddler Easter Basket Ideas

Yay Spring is here and Easter is right around the corner!

The sun is out, the weather is changing, and the Easter Bunny is on his way!

There are so many options for toddler Easter basket ideas that do not involve a ton of candy or really toys for that matter. I try to find items that we can actually use and that we need, not little junk toys that we will be throwing away or donating in a month.

We are really intentional about the amount of stuff we have in our home and make sure it is getting used. If it is something that we are not loving, we do not keep it around, that goes for our daughter’s toys too.

Read my post about: Why Decluttering Is Essential for Your Family

We try to fill her Easter baskets with items preparing her for the springtime fun that is ahead! I like doing this because I am going to be purchasing most of this stuff anyway, so I might as well put it in her Easter basket so she can get the excitement of opening and finding her new items. Plus that saves me money in the long run, instead of buying more toys.

I love to watch the excitement in kids around the holidays as their imagination is so innocent and fast at work. Dreaming about what the Bunny will bring them this year.

Our daughter is just starting to understand the holidays so it is so special to see her anticipating Easter. 

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This year we are trying to limit how much candy we put in her eggs and basket since we receive so much of it from family and friends and she is only two. It never all gets eaten and mostly thrown out.

We are getting creative and thinking of other food and small items we could put in her eggs for her to find around the house. I do not have anything against parents that chose all candy, however, that just does not work for us right now.

Here’s what we are going to fill her Easter eggs with:

  1. Kettle Corn (She LOVES popcorn!)
  2. Goldfish
  3. Graham Crackers
  4. M&Ms (Her FAVORITE candy)
  5. Stickers
  6. Tattoos
  7. Stamps

We plan on just letting her find and open her eggs then replacing the food back into storage bags so it does not get dried out.

Money Saving Tip:

Holiday’s with little ones can add up fast if you are not careful. My best advice for saving money on holiday items is to shop for the year ahead after the holiday is over. Last year I bought several Easter baskets and fillers for the cousins and my daughter for about 70% off.

Got to love Target clearance!

The year before that I scored about ten board books for Easter at Walmart just a few days after. I believe they were marked down around $2-3 a piece compared to $8-9.

Obviously, you will not be able to save like that for this Easter. However, when the holiday is over, head out to your local store and try to find items that will work for next year.

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Here are some fun ideas for your toddler’s Easter basket:

    • Bubbles (Is it an Easter Basket without bubbles?!)

These bubbles are seriously the best out there! My Aunt & Uncle had these for their kids and we fell in love. The solution makes big lasting bubbles every single time. I get so annoyed when it takes 8 times to get the bubbles to actually go off the wand.

You can blow the bubbles or just move your hand with it and let the air do the work. We love doing this outside and letting the kids chase down the bubbles.

  • Chalk

This Melissa & Doug chalk set is perfect for little hands. It helps keep the mess under control while using the sidewalk chalk. Playing with chalk is a nice activity for any sunny day!

  • Piggy Paint Nail Polish for girls


Piggy Paint is perfect painting tiny nails as it is a non-toxic product meant for young children. I just started doing my daughter’s nails (she’s a little over two.) We do not do it often but she enjoys the one on one time with me, feeling like a big girl.

Piggy Paint also makes adult nail polish under the line SOPHI which is non-toxic as well that I just ordered for myself.

  • Bath Bombs

Bath bombs seem to be the latest obsession for kids for their baths. My daughter is still a little unsure of them. She likes to watch them fizz out but then wants her water changed after the bomb changes the color of it. However, my cousins who are around the same age refuse to take a bath without one! These Easter egg bath bombs are so cute plus come with a small wooden toy inside of them to add to the excitement!

  • Sunglasses

My daughter has just become a little sensitive to sunlight where she gets upset if it is in her face. We recently ordered these polarized glasses and wish we would have found them sooner. They come with a strap that is optional for younger children so they are not constantly falling off. Also comes in a variety of colors.

  • Water Bottles

These Contigo Tumblers are my absolute favorite cup find so far. They are great quality, cute, and easy for the kids to drink out of. All of the straw pieces come apart making it very easy to clean the cups thoroughly. Boy colors are available as well.

It is important to always be hydrating the kids when outside in the summer so good water bottles are a must.

  • Water Shoes


I purchased these water shoes last year for our Florida trip in May and they lasted us all summer long! I plan on reordering her shoes for this summer since our apartment pool has a cement bottom. Plus we go to the beach often and you just never know what is in the sand. Multiple color options are available.

  • Pool Floaties

 

  • Play-Doh

These Play-Doh eggs are such a cute Easter basket stuffer. I love Play-Doh because it is good for sensory play plus encourages imaginative play. We get a big plastic tablecloth out and place it on our floor to help contain the mess.

  • Chapstick

  • Baseball Hat/Sunhat

  • Kids Gardening Tools

  • Seeds to plant

  • Bathing Suit with Favorite Character

  • Kite

  • Beach Toys

  • Beach Towel with Favorite Characters

  • Sundresses

  • Bows

  • Duplo Legos

  • Coloring Books

  • Crayons/Markers

  • Books

  • Stickers

  • Mini Pool

  • Character Band-Aids

I have seen a lot of cute gardening kits at Target in their front section that would be perfect for Easter baskets. They have little dino planters that are super cute for $5.

Sometimes I go to Target just to check out this section. I have found so many items in this Target section that are reasonably priced for Melina’s gifts. They are really good about making sure this section has a lot of educational toys that are travel size.

Get Creative Mama’s

I love getting creative with how we display Melina’s Easter Items. Her first Easter Basket we decided to fill her baby pool floaty with her items. She was only five months old so she really did not get excited, it was more for me to be excited for her first Easter.

And yes I know we went overboard big time with her first Easter. We definitely won’t be that extravagant this year.

Last year, we got a push along car for Melina to ride in for outside and filled that with her Easter presents. She was very excited to find that and enjoyed using it all summer long on our walks.

You could do this same idea if you were thinking about doing a mini pool. Just fill the pool with your items that you will be giving. I know it sounds like you would have to fill the pool with a lot of items for it to look good. I think you could easily position the few items you are gifting along with filling it with eggs and the little ones would love it!

 

 

Categories
Raising You

Top 10 Mom Quotes That Inspire

Looking for mom quotes that inspire you?

One of my favorite things to do on Pinterest, besides finding new delicious recipes, is reading through quotes!

Especially during a time that I am overwhelmed or stressed out, it is so soothing to just read through relatable quotes.

I have put together my top ten favorite mom quotes that inspire me.

These quotes remind me how precious my job as a mother is to my daughter in times that I take it for granted and get frustrated by the small things.

Sometimes this happens more often than I would like to admit, but that is why it is important to remember how lucky we are to have the amazing children that we have, imperfections and all.

I like to set these as the wallpaper of my phone as a reminder for myself when I become in a grumpy mom mood.

These quotes uplift me and drive me to just enjoy the journey of motherhood.

mom quotes that inspire

“Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger”

This quote will hit everyone differently because we all feel that we needed something from our parents during our childhood that could have helped us. For me, it is understanding and presence.

This mom quote inspires me to just be there and listen to my children’s feelings.

It is not our place as parents to tell our children how to feel.

In fact, when we do, it makes them shut down and not want to express themselves for fear of expressing it wrongly.

I really try not to say things like “Don’t cry, there is no reason to be sad right now.” or “You’re not hurt, it’s okay.”

Instead, I try to validate her feelings, whether I agree with them or not and work on how we are going to make her feel better.

When I was a child I struggled with being able to show my emotions without feeling guilty about them.

To this day I still have issues with this and continue to work on validating my own feelings.

mom quotes that inspire

“The Most Important Work You Will Ever Do Will Ever Do Will Be Within The Walls Of Your Own Home”

If you are a stay at home mom it can be easy to feel that the work that you do during the day isn’t enough compared to what other people are out there doing.

When I first decided to be a stay at home mom and discontinue going for my bachelors in business, I felt that I was a failure.

Especially when we would meet up with other friends our age and they were off getting their degrees and grown-up jobs. It was hard to explain to them why I decided to stop my education and leave my accounting job because they just were on a different path in life.

However, I know that if I were to continue down that path, I would not be fulfilled.

Actually, I am pretty sure I would be pretty miserable and drowning in mom guilt. That is not my purpose right now, and that is okay.

Read about my journey of deciding to stay home here: The Mom Conflict: Deciding to Stay at Home or Return to Work

I believe my purpose is to raise my beautiful babies to the best of my ability and to continue to provide them with unconditional love. To build a home that is centered on our core values as a family.

I only have four years with my babies until they start their academic journey, and you better believe I want to be around for those years.

So Mama, if you are doubting your importance as a mom, read that quote over and over again until you become proud of what you do every single day for your family.

 

 

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“When Little People Are Overwhelmed By Big Emotions, It’s Our Job To Share Our Calm, Not Join In Their Chaos.”

This mom quote inspires me right now because we are in the middle of terrible twos.

I never understood why it was called that until I experienced it. 

Let me tell you I am terrified for threenager!

At two years old children can understand so much but have a difficult time fully communicating their thoughts and feelings. Whether it be speech difficulty or just not knowing what words to use to express themselves.

Majority of our meltdowns are not misbehavior but miscommunication.

Taking a minute to understand that helps calm down when all I want to do is scream back at my daughter. Sometimes it is very hard to keep your cool but when you don’t you are reinforcing to your child to communicate in negative ways.

Read my post about transforming into a calmer mom: Become The Mom You Were Meant To Be Not The ANGRY Mom You Have Been

Mom Quotes-min

“Many people talk about having kids like it is a bad thing.”

You want to know what true love is? Have some kids.

They don’t care how much money you have, what car you drive, or how you look. They truly love you for you. The unconditional love between you and your children is priceless.

Every parent knows the overwhelming amount of love that comes over you the minute you meet your baby for the first time. And even though there are times when parenting is so difficult, that amount of love never fades. It just keeps on growing.

I say this a lot, but I really believe the most important things you can provide for your children is love and your presence.

At the end of the day that is what every child is seeking, connection.

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“You Will Never Look Back On Life & Think “I Spent Too Much Time With My Kids.”

This one gives me the chills sometimes when I think about how fast time goes by. I try to remind myself in moments when I feel that I should be more productive. Or when I think about how it was when I had more freedom.

Time is so limited and never guaranteed.

Try to be still more Mama with your kids and just observe how beautiful they are, inside and out.

Watch them play, laugh, and imagine.

One of my favorite things to do is to watch my daughter sleep. I just take notice of how peaceful she is right then and there.

I get this overwhelming sense of joy that God chose me to be her Mama. How lucky am I?

I often wonder what is going on in that busy mind of hers. She has a mind like her Mama, going a hundred miles per hour all the time. I can tell already.

I have so many hopes and dreams for her beautiful soul. But the biggest one is for her to be comfortable in her own skin and just let herself shine through, no matter what the world thinks.

Children Do Not Need More Things-min

“Children Do Not Need More Things. The Best Toys A Child Can Have Is A Parent Who Gets Down On The Floor And Plays With Them.”

In today’s society, I see so many parents trying to buy their children’s love. Sure that is the easy thing to do and many think it makes up for the lost time. But children only play with toys for a short period. It all comes and goes in phases.

A child that has every toy in the toy aisle and no one to play with will be less satisfied than a child that has a couple toys that they are engaged with their parents.

Heck, sometimes the best toys aren’t even real toys.

Children love when we demonstrate how to use our imagination. Like making a really cool fort out of the chairs and blankets.

Or when you pretend you are at the beach in your living room. The carpet is the sand, the area rug is the ocean. Get some rice out and a bin and break out the sand toys and let them play with you.

Those are memories they will remember forever, not the newest toy you brought home for them.Great Parenting Quotes-min

“Great Parenting Happens When You Start Controlling Yourself And Stop Controlling Your Child.”

I need this reminder pretty often. I catch myself getting so angry at my daughter when I cannot control her behavior or emotions. Often times it makes a frustrating situation much worse because of how I am responding.

It has been a learning process for me to realize it is not my job to try and control her.

My responsibility as her mother is to guide her in the right direction. And when she strays it is okay, for it is a learning opportunity.

A lot of the time when I see her misbehaving, it ignites a fear that I have inside that she will turn out this way or that.

Unfortunately, I react in panic and harsh words trying to get my message across to her that is no way to behave.

The right thing to do is to talk calmly about the situation, even if she cannot understand all the concepts yet. Demonstrating the right way to behave is much more effective than harsh words and punishment.

Parenting Quotes-min

“Remember You Are Not Managing An Inconvenience. You Are Raising A Human Being.”

Sometimes I feel that parents are overwhelmed with the responsibilities life comes with that they view parenting as another chore that has to be done. I see this a lot when talking to other parents. You can sense their overwhelm just by listening to the way they talk about their parenting role.

This mindset breaks my heart.

I believe children can feel that stigma and become to feel as if they are a burden to their parents. No child should feel that way.

It is my hope to help encourage other Mama’s to be excited and energized at this opportunity to raise their children. It is such a magical time in our lives.

Yes, it is exhausting, and at times you feel like you are robbed of all of your own wants and needs.

But here is the thing, you have the power to set the tone for your motherhood.

You have the power to transform it into a beautiful experience instead of another chore in life.

Kid Quotes-min

“Don’t Raise Your Kids To Have More Than You Had, Raise Them To Be More Than You Were.”

Lately, there has been such an emphasis on children being prepared to go to college in order to get that grown-up job to provide a life for themselves.

But where is the emphasis on children being emotionally ready for life? Where is the emphasis for children to understand money is not what will make them happy?

I am scared to think so many children are set up for disappointment and unfulfillment.

It is my hope to encourage my children to be honest with who they are. Encouraging them to continue growing as a person throughout life.

I am determined to teach them that human connection is one of the most important and fulfilling actions there are in life.

Yes, a paycheck is necessary for survival, but it is not the key to surviving well.

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice-min

“The Way We Talk To Our Children Becomes Thier Inner Voice.”

Words as parents are so powerful to our children. Not as powerful as our action but still very powerful. I know I have been guilty of saying some harsh comments when my daughter is acting out because I am just so fed up with her behavior and frustrated.

After the situation, I sit there in guilt thinking if she hears her mom calling her mean because she is not sharing that she will really believe she is a mean person.

No, I don’t think that happens from very rare comments. But oftentimes we get in habits of how we speak to our children.

Constantly shaming your child when they are misbehaving creates a negative self-talk in their heads because that is what they are consisently hearing from you.

If your hope is to raise a child that is kind to others, encourage that behavior. Verbally point out when they are kind to others and how it makes them feel.

Our words as parents have the power to transform our children’s mindset and belief structure. Not to mention they will stick with them for the rest of their lives..

Read my post about the power of using affirmations in parenting here: 30 Affirmations Every Child Needs to Hear