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Posts tagged ‘mother’

I found the following post intriguing, because I co-slept with both of my children for a few months before moving them to a crib–usually by the time they were able to roll over or before. I hope you find this post helpful.

Choosing to have your baby in bed with you is an often controversial topic, and polarizes opinion enormously due to the dangers that are often spurted out in the news. But the benefits of co-sleeping also speak for themselves. So what really are the pros and cons of co-sleeping with your baby, and how is it done safely?

The Pros

  • A calmer baby – bedsharing is renowned for making your baby feel more at ease and content, having their mother right by their side. They are likely to sleep better and for longer periods, as they feel safer and more secure.
  • Bonding – if you have been away from your baby all day, you can instantly regain that connection and closeness by having your baby in bed with you. Make sure your baby is between you and the wall, and is placed to sleep on their back for the safest way of co-sleeping.
  • No cot shopping yet – for the first few months, there might not be any need for a cot or Moses basket, saving on space and money. You may want to invest in a new double mattress that is much firmer.
  • Breastfeeding made easy – having your baby right by your side means there’s no need to get up for a feed, and there’s less disruption during sleep for you and baby.
  • Body clock – your sleep cycle is more likely to stay in sync with your baby’s if you sleep together, meaning you both get better and longer sleep.

The Cons

  • Cot death – the biggest and most important negative of co-sleeping. Unfortunately, this is a possible danger due to strangulation and suffocation that could happen in your bed. To reduce the risk of cot death, it’s extremely important to ensure that you and your partner have not been drinking, smoking or are unusually tired.
  • Less sleep for you – at first, it may be an unfamiliar and strange concept of having your wriggling baby in bed with you, so it may mean less sleep for you.
  • Getting too used to it – co-sleeping may make the transition from bed to cot much harder and drawn-out for your baby, as they are too familiar with the safety of sleeping next to their parents. It might also make it harder on yourself when your baby is left with a sitter or relative.

How to co-sleep safely

  • Invest in a firm mattress, and tight sheets that lay flat on the bed. Make sure your duvet or comforter is lightweight. Remove any unnecessary cushions, throws, blankets and stuffed animals and keep all bedding to a minimum.
  • Place the baby to sleep on their back, for the safest sleeping position.
  • Keep your baby on top of the duvet to avoid overheating, and always check your baby’s temperature is warm and not hot.
  • Place your baby to sleep in between you and the wall, and place rugs and soft furnishings down if you have a hard-wood floor for extra safety.
  • Keep the bed right up against the wall, and ensure there are no gaps around the bed. Wedge pillows or tightly-rolled blankets into any visible gaps.

 

Zoe is an avid blogger and experienced freelance writer, and loves to share her knowledge through content on the internet. Zoe is currently writing on behalf of bed superstore Archers Sleep Centre.

Since I am currently pregnant with our third child, I found this article to be very insightful–and comforting!

Did you ever wonder if you become a bit dumber once you have children? Many women are concerned about losing their “intelligence” after having a baby as a result of being surrounded by milk bottles and diapers all the time. You must have heard stories about women putting nipple cream on their toothbrush and just being forgetful about many things. Childbearing does take a toll on your body and some feel on the mind as well. However, this is far from true. In fact, there is now evidence that suggests that giving birth does nothing but boost your brainpower so that you end up getting smarter post pregnancy.

What does this actually mean?

The “smartness” experienced by women post-pregnancy can be broken up into five categories, with each category supported by animal and, in some cases, human studies. The first category, which is perception, deals with the five senses and studies have shown that pregnant women have more advanced sense of smell and sight. What this means is that they are able to notice more things and are capable of sensing any unfavorable smells, both of which help them in protecting their baby.

Studies have also shown pregnant women to experience a boost in three other categories, resilience, motivation, and efficiency. Pregnant women are more fearless, get better at multitasking, and can also handle stress better. In fact, the hormone oxytocin, which is important for labor and breastfeeding, also boosts your ability to learn and memorize many new things.

The fifth category, emotional intelligence, is where mothers benefit the most. They gain the ability to see the world from someone else’s eyes. To be a good mother and understand your child better you automatically learn to broaden your mind and your perspective.

When you become a mother, you also learn to strategize and prioritize. You may have noticed new mothers exchanging information while their babies played. What they are actually doing is collecting each other’s experiences to make things easier for their own baby. This may include anything from teething troubles, bedwetting, the best school, the best daycare, and so on.

Things to do yourself to boost your brainpower

Even though there are many changes that automatically take place in your body to make you smarter during your pregnancy, there are some things you need to be careful about and consciously do to improve your brain power post pregnancy. Don’t be lazy to breastfeed your baby as the oxytocin hormone released during breastfeeding helps to calm you and bond better your baby. You are bound to be sleep-deprived, but make a time table or a schedule and ask your husband to help you out and share some of the sleepless nights with you. Getting adequate sleep will help in keeping your brain sharp and alert.

Just because you are pregnant does not mean you sit in one place and munch away. Engage yourself in some form of experience, but only after consulting your doctor. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits; studies have shown that these help in preventing decline in brain function. Don’t forget to socialize. Make friends with other new mothers. Join a mother-toddler group and share your experiences with each other. Not only will this help in better brain functioning but also helps in warding off postpartum depression.

Have a positive outlook

Lastly, new mothers or mothers-to-be must realize and appreciate the level to which your brain gets challenged by learning so many new things. Even if you feel exhausted, just concentrating on the amount of learning you are experiencing in such a short span of time, is enough to energize and keep you on your toes.

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About the author: Ellen Spencer is a blogger and writer. She is a health freak and very environmentally aware. These days she is busy in writing an article on Psoriatic arthritis. Beside this she loves reading. She is also a big fan of Baby Strollers.

Okay, it’s time to make the announcement official: I am pregnant. Due sometime in late July–I don’t have an official date yet.

I’ll admit it: I’m procrastinating the whole prenatal check-up thing because most days I don’t feel like even cooking and doing dishes, much less getting out and going somewhere. That, and I want a home birth, but I need to see if I can convince my insurance company to cover it. Otherwise we’ll have to pay the midwife out-of-pocket or do it unassisted–and the latter isn’t really something I want to do. I know I could do it, but I don’t really want to be without a professional, and I know my husband would feel the same way.

But that’s not why I started writing this. I just need to get some thoughts down on “paper.” A conversation I had with my brother brought this up, and I just wanted to get it out.

First off, this will be our third child. We had more or less planned on having more children. We just didn’t intend to have one quite yet. We are still living in the rental house, waiting for our place to be fixed up. The deadline for that is the end of February. So hopefully we will make that deadline, or pretty close to it. But after discussing it, we realized that a summer baby, while my husband is not in school (he’s going after his master’s in social work–just finished his first quarter) would be perfect. We could get into the routine of a new baby before school starts again, and he plans on taking paternity leave for a while to help the transition. We realized that waiting until he was doing his internship would not be a good time to have a baby, and if we had waited much longer, the age gap would be larger than we want. Manny will be 3 1/2 when the new baby is born. I’m 3 years older than my brother, and we always wished we could have been closer. So my husband and I are happy with this surprise pregnancy.

But my mother is not. She thought we should have stopped at two. Of course, because this one was unplanned, there wasn’t a whole lot she could say, other than that she hoped we were done. And honestly, I don’t think we could have timed it better if we had planned. Seems God knows best and overrules sometimes, in spite of what we may do. But she sure ranted and raved about it to my brother.

The typical American family has 2.5 children, supposedly. So congratulations are always in order on a second or third pregnancy. But after that, a lot of people will start asking questions like, “Was this one planned?” “How many are you planning on having, anyway?” And any American family that has a lot of kids gets discussed quite a bit behind their backs. Of course, the Duggars are on the extreme end of things, but I remember how my mom talked about the lady who moved to our town and came to church that had 5 kids. “She shouldn’t have so many. How can she take care of them all?” Hey, she ran a daycare! She knew what she was doing. At least in one sense. And she wanted more. What right did we have to say she shouldn’t?

I am not officially quiver full; I believe God has given us the responsibility to be sensitive to issues such as finances, the health of the mother, etc. But I think there is a lot of truth in the quiver-full philosophy. Children are a blessing. And if my husband and I end up having 5 or 6 or more of them, that should not be an issue that affects my relationship with my family.

Now, I know my dad’s family would be fine with it. My dad’s only sister had 5 kids, and now has at least 8 grandchildren and counting. My dad himself had 6 siblings, and he wanted lots of kids. My husband had 4 siblings, and his parents both came from even larger families. My mom, on the other hand, had two brothers, and I think she was unplanned, considering the age gap between her and her older brothers. It’s fine for her to look at the smaller family and say, “It’s so much easier on the mother, easier on the finances, and we are so close to the end of time, etc,” but she’s done having children. This is our family. We don’t know if we are done or not. I figure we’ll know when we get there. But that’s not something I’ll be able to know for at least two years, if then.

I was reading a post on one of the few blogs I still keep up with called Childrearing As Our Profession. As a young adult, my goal was to be a wife and mother. I’m a wife for as long as we both shall live. But I’m a mother in the profession sense only as long as I have children in the home. Of course, I’ll always be their mother, but I can’t really mother them once they grow up. The more kids I have, the more I’ll have the chance to practice that profession.

And I’ve made some mistakes along the way. I’ve let things slide. I’ve lost my vision of motherhood at times. But this pregnancy has been a wake-up call. Once the morning sickness wears off and I can focus on life again, I need to get my home and children in order. I can’t focus on that right now, because I’m in survival mode, but I know that I must soon. Because having another child won’t make it any easier, but being more organized and in control before that child comes will.

So there you have it. My thoughts on having more children. My brother asked me if we still are planning on 10 (I used to joke we would have 10 kids). I told him that we don’t know. We’re going to take them one at a time, and when we’re done, we’ll know. And honestly, I don’t care what my mother thinks. If we have 5 and she can’t afford to come to every birthday party, she won’t hurt my feelings. But she’s the only grandmother my children will ever have–my husband’s mother died a few months after Gislaine was born–so I hope she just accepts that this is our family and we are going to decide between us and God what to do with increasing it or not.

There, I’ve said my piece. It’s late and I’m going to bed. Thanks for “listening,” if you got this far.

What is my purpose in life? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. So let me muse aloud here just a little.

Right now it looks like my purpose is to raise Godly children. And to please my husband. And to keep the house tidy and running smoothly. But is that really my purpose in life? Is that what God made me to do?

Let’s backtrack about six years. I was single—in love, but still single. I had a very determined goal in mind: I was going to study to be a Bible worker. I had just finished a summer of selling Christian books door to door—canvassing, we called it—and had been accepted for the winter/spring term in the Amazing Facts College of Evangelism. If you had asked me at that time what I felt my purpose in life was, I would have said it was to win souls for Jesus, to do outreach. I knew two languages and was working on a third, and I wanted to be equipped as a Bible worker with the training that would make me an effective soul winner.

I went to that college. After I finished, I did some more canvassing, then got married. After a blissful honeymoon, we moved down to the bottom of Texas to start our first assignment as Bible workers for the Texas Conference.

But things didn’t work out like we had thought. My health declined for some unknown reason (I still don’t know what it was). I was tired all the time and didn’t have the stamina to go out looking for Bible studies. Even though I was the one with the training, my husband ended up being the one who did the work, while I stayed home or went with him half of the time. Then our different personalities began to rub each other in the middle of doing God’s work. I was raised to be very punctual, and it bothered me to be late for appointments. On the other hand, my husband is much more relaxed—Hispanics tend to be that way, and we were in an area of Texas that has a very high Hispanic population, so I really had no reason to fret. But we decided that we just couldn’t continue as Bible workers. The pay was barely enough to make ends meet, and we had absolutely no savings to fall back on for emergencies. It’s easy to talk about making sacrifices, but reality is a while other thing, and we weren’t ready for it yet, at least, not as a couple.

So we told the evangelist we were working for that we would finish our term with this church and then we weren’t going to continue. He tried to talk us out of it, but we felt it was the best thing for us in our marriage, so we stood our ground.

The month that our term ended, I got pregnant. That put a new perspective on everything. I now was to be a wife and mother. I took a part-time job during my pregnancy, but have not worked outside the home since my daughter was born.

Now here I am with two precious children, considering my purpose in life. Why did God make me? Was I born here to gratify my desires and those of my husband and children? Is life just about keeping the house clean, cooking delicious meals, and raising godly children?

God made us as His children. He wanted us to be His special people on this planet, worshiping Him and making the universe a better place for our presence. But Adam ate the fruit, and everything changed. Or did it? Did God’s purpose for us change? In some ways it did. But ultimately it didn’t. When sin has been dealt with and is eradicated from this planet, God’s original purpose for us will be realized every moment for the rest of eternity.

Looking at the big picture helps me to see that it isn’t about me at all. It’s about God. God’s purpose for me is much more far reaching than simply my doing right. He wants me to live with Him forever. And He wants me to bring as many with me as I can.

So this morning after church I went to the pastor and asked if I could talk to him. I told him what I had been hiding: that I had gone to the Amazing Facts school and been trained as a Bible worker. He was naturally a little surprised, but he reminded me that now as a mother of young children it wasn’t necessarily practical for me to do active outreach, that I had a mission field right at home. I told him that I realized that, but I felt I could do more. He was already late to an appointment, so he just said a prayer and left, but he said he would talk to the lay outreach coordinator (personal ministries director, I think she would be called) and have her contact me.

I still don’t know what this will look like. I don’t have transportation during the week, so on weekends I have to get my shopping done, and that uses up all my time. If someone wanted Bible studies and could come to my house, I would be glad to help. But maybe there’s something else I can do. Maybe I could help with correspondence Bible studies. Maybe I could just witness to the neighbors. I’m not sure how to do that yet, but I’m praying about it every day.

So what is my purpose in life? It is to glorify God in everything I do. Whether that means giving a Bible study to the lady down the hill, or passing out tracts on a Sabbath afternoon, or making sure the house is tidy and the children so that my husband is refreshed and not stressed when he comes into the home—whatever it means, I must do it to God’s glory. And I must learn to avoid anything that would hinder my walk with God. Even good things. Christ must be my all in all.

Last week I posted an article by L. Elizabeth Krueger of Raising Godly Tomatoes called Teaching Children to Be Helpful.This week I want to share the second part of that section of her website. The topics were posted on the same page, but since they are two very different topics, I wanted to share them separately. I am by no means suggesting that the following method is the only right method of teaching financial responsibility, and I do not think the author would either. This is what they do. My kids are still too young to understand money yet, and I don’t know how we will handle it when the time comes. I share this for your consideration, and would appreciate your feedback.

By nikkinoguer on Flickr

None of our children have ever been told they had to work to earn their “own” money. We never gave allowances either. Actually, they really don’t have their “own” money period. I don’t have my “own” money either. All our money belongs to all of us. Yes, my husband and I are in authority ultimately, so we control the money to an extent with the younger children, but as our children get older, that authority (to handle money) is turned over to them more and more. For example, the younger ones may get a few dollars for their birthdays that they are allowed to keep in their drawers, but if I need it to buy a birthday card or whatever, then they gladly donate it to the cause. Later, if they need new pencils or a notebook, I give them money to buy it and don’t make them take it from money they’ve saved. With the older kids, we give them money as needed and sometimes a little extra in case of emergencies. As they get older, we are less and less controlling about this, and don’t really keep track of what they have or don’t have. They are never allowed to just spend money for anything they please. They are always taught to spend wisely. That’s a prerequisite. This method will not work unless you teach your child to be good steward and spend wisely.

I often borrow from the kids to pay the music teachers and may or may not pay it back. If the kids do jobs for the neighbors, they do not accept money. Same if they baby-sit for a relative or something similar. Occasionally if they do a bigger job (like watch the neighbor’s dog for 2 weeks while they are on vacation), then they are allowed to accept payment, and they don’t have to share it with the family, but yet they can’t spend it on just any old thing either. We teach all our children to spend wisely from the time they are small.

So far this method (which I haven’t explained very well) has produced very fiscally responsible teens and young adults. Our 21yo is doing very well at managing his own internet business, our 19yo does all my shopping and does a better job than I do. Our 17yo does all my personal bookkeeping, including paying my bills and balancing my checkbook and even keeping me supplied with cash as needed. All three of our oldest kids have their own credit cards which are on our account, and we can trust them not to abuse them. I never have to even check on their spending because I can see that they are handling money very well. They keep the family cars full of gas and they take on many of the family responsibilities (like car repairs) that most parents do instead.

I should add that our oldest 2 boys now work at my husband’s office and are paid a salary (for bookkeeping reasons) which they just put right in the bank and we continue on as before. We’re not sure what this money will go for, but at this point it doesn’t matter. If they needed it individually it would be there, and if the family needed it for something, it would be there. This is part of the family farm concept.

Proverbs 17:17 – ” A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (TLB)