It feels like it was just yesterday that I was pregnant with Mini and making the decision to breastfeed for the first time. Being completely honest, I wasn’t 100% committed to this idea of breastfeeding. I was 25 and going through a really rough time in life. Divorce, an unplanned pregnancy and jobless–rough time doesn’t fully describe things! I just wanted things to be as easy as possible. She was my first experience in breastfeeding and I loved it.
- 1 bottle Rose I used (and highly recommend) Mionetto
- 1 bottle Kombucha
- 8 oz Coconut Water
- 1 handful Frozen Cherries
Pop the bottle for the Rose.
Add 2 oz of Kombucha.
Add 2 oz of Coconut Water.
Pour desired amount into glass.
Sit back and enjoy.
I’m a wannabe country girl who can’t give up the city so when I had the opportunity to hang out with some dairy cows on one of Organic Valley’s farms, I jumped at the chance. I’m still breastfeeding BC and while I was away from him, I was on the pump. Naturally as I hung out with the dairy cows, I realized that they had quite a few things in common with nursing moms.
Summer is my favorite time of year. The days are longer, the fruit is better, and this is the perfect season to make those family memories that will bring about nostalgia for many years to come. Conquering summer with a toddler is a balancing act however. There are very small windows between heat tantrums and nap time tantrums to make outings enjoyable. This toddler friendly summer bucket list takes into account their “lengthy” attention spans, but is also easy on your wallet so in the off chance a mission has to be aborted, it won’t be a budget strain.
I partnered with Wellements to share my thoughts and opinions on how their products have helped me with teething.
Teething is literally the worst thing that babies and parents go through until potty training–which is pretty awful as well. But there are 10 things in particular that really grind my gears as it pertains to teething.
Making time for self care is one of those things that’s “on trend” right now but for many of us, it’s a fleeting thought. Last night I had the conversation with a friend and fellow mom about what self care is being touting about on social media. You see people talking about “Just left a 83739 day cruise!!! #SelfCare” or “I just took a 485 mile hike and feel amazing!!! #SelfCare”. Yes, these numbers are inflated but you get what I mean.
If you didn’t already know, black girls are lit. We are creative, intelligent, magical, and just darn right fabulous from our head to our toes! From our kinky, coily textured hair to the array of chocolate skin tones kissed by only the sun’s rays, black girls are everything to be desired. The crazy thing is, not every black girl knows this about themselves. What they see in the mirror may be contrary to popular belief. Our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, and nieces can sometimes struggle with challenges of self-identity. Self-esteem and knowing their self-worth in a world that was just not made for their benefit is truly difficult.
Building Up Black Girls Matters
To empower someone starts from within. Building up the self-esteem of young black girls happens when we mirror what they already have inside of them. There is so much material being created for our chocolate youth that is hidden in plain site that features them in ways that are courageous, intelligent, and capable of all things. Having two daughters of my own now, I make sure to let them know every chance I get just how amazing they truly are. One of the many ways I do so is by reading books with them that they can relate to on a societal and cultural level.
I don’t recall being presented with reading material that defined characters that represented who I was or what I looked like in order to be comfortable in my own skin. Growing up, I wasn’t around other children that looked like me or shared the same background. I felt ashamed of the texture of my hair and even the curvy shape that my hips and thighs gave me and I desired to be something I could never be.
Flipping the pages of books that described a brown skinned girl that had thick lips and a wide nose like mine would have made me feel like I was not so alone. I would have been able to recognize that my beauty came from the unique features I possessed both inside and out. I could see myself wandering the pages of imaginary adventures of girls like me that were princesses, scientists, presidents, or just another neighborhood girl loving who she was just the way she was.
10 Must-Read Books For Black Girls
What are some of your favorite books that highlight black girls?
Every Mother’s Day arrives and most of us are all like “I don’t want anything“. And you know what? We do want things. We want our kids to behave. We want to feel appreciated. We want to be nurtured with spa days that we didn’t have to ask for because our loved ones feel like we’re doing THAT great of a job that they surprise us with them. But you know what happens most Mother’s Days? We get handmade cards (which I personally love), kids that give zero effs about us wanting to feel appreciated, and spouses that are consistently questioning what to get us–if we have them.
Well, enough is enough. I’m declaring this Mother’s Day the National #TreatYoSelf Day for moms. So ladies, figure out what you want for yourselves this Mother’s Day and let’s make it happen FOR US!
Stop Talking About Self Care And Be About It
I feel like we’ve all been on this huge self-care movement but we aren’t really doing it. And by we, I also mean me. I have post after post after post (yes, all of these are clickable so go ahead and get click happy) on self-care and do you know I’m terrible at even just giving myself a little bit of grace in life? Wait. Let me amend that statement. I WAS terrible but listen, I’m subscribing to this whole #treatyoself movement hardcore.
You know why?
Because I deserve it. And so do you.
What Does This #TreatYoSelf Even Look Like?
For some it’s taking long vacations by yourself while exploring places you’ve never been. For others, it’s sleeping in or doing their own nails. The important thing with #TreatYoSelf is doing something that makes YOU feel loved and nurtured. Forget what works for everyone else–do you boo boo, do you.This Mother's Day, #TreatYoSelf. Really. Take care of you. Do the things you want to do. Lay in the sun all day sipping these CrunchyMomMosa's. Relax. Unwind. Appreciate you and the work that you do for your family. No one is going to love you like you!Click To Tweet
I asked the new contributors to TCM (aren’t they pretty awesome?) what this looked like to them and these were there responses:
For me, self care is getting to spend time away from my kids. My husband owns a business so he works every day except Sunday and looooong hours. So I really need that alone time. Going to the gym for an hour every day and a hot bath are my two favorite options.
To me, self care as a mom is making sure that I separate myself from the kids and enjoy time alone to recharge and do what I love. Often times, we find ourselves so attached to our children that we forget who are individually. We’ve got to make sure we recharge every now and then so we have the energy to keep up with our little ones. Moms are the glue that keep our small worlds spinning. Without us, there would be chaos.
This Mother’s Day, #TreatYoSelf. Really. Take care of you. Do the things you want to do. Lay in the sun all day sipping these CrunchyMomMosa’s. Relax. Unwind. Appreciate you and the work that you do for your family. No one is going to love you like you!
Ready for a unique twist on a traditional breakfast drink? I know you are!
Spill it: How do you plan to #TreatYoSelf this Mother’s Day?
Favorites. We all have them in life. Favorite colors. Favorite kids. Favorite parents. But what if you’re the least favorite parent?
A little after Evie turned one-year-old, she started demonstrating a preference for Dad. It wasn’t that noticeable, just showing a little more excitement when he came to play or change her diaper.
Fast forward to now being over two-years-old and she is still clearly fixated on Dad, and as a mom that hurts- a lot.
I’m officially the least favorite parent.
Mom As The Least Favorite Parent Though?
Mothers and daughters are supposed to have this incredible bond, so when that isn’t the case it is easy to feel like a failure. I knew I was busy going to school full time, coaching, and working occasionally. I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I did when I was a full-time SAHM, and it made sense that the less time we had the more distant our relationship became. But Tyler was also busy working from sun up until past sun down, and she wasn’t showing him the same frustrations as I was getting. What gives?
A little googling and you will come across plenty of articles discussing favoritism and its developmental roots. “It is just a phase, don’t take it personally, they will get past it,” etc.Favorites. We all have them. And that was cool until I realized I wasn't the favorite. Click To Tweet
Really though– I can read that over and over and still feel like a guilty, frustrated, and jealous parent. Why does she always cry with me when it is just us two? How come she wants to sit in dad’s lap and snuggle but I can’t touch her? What gives that she is a total different child when it is both parents with her versus just me?
The Toddler Cycle Of Doom
It starts a vicious cycle: toddler acts appropriately (and this is key to note: it is NOT a toddler’s fault. This is 100% normal behavior and they should not be demeaned for it and/or blamed). The un-favored parent feels neglected and gets frustrated. The longer this cycle goes, the more frustrated and distant the parent begins to feel to their child. At one point you may even get to the point of feeling, “Why do I bother?”
You Aren’t Alone
I feel you. I have been there.
I have had days where I cry on the way home because I walk in to pick my sweet girl up from daycare,
and she runs away the second she sees me, followed by throwing a fit to leave, and screaming the whole way home.
She has cried tearfully “don’t like mom” when it comes to me attempting to do bedtime.
I’ve sat across the room from her as she has played, wishing I could just be next to her without being told to “go mom!”
But, for every one of those instances where I have been at my wits end calling Tyler demanding that he return home because I cannot take anymore of her whining (hello, mommy mental breakdown), there has been indefinitely more instances where I forget all of those ugly mom moments.
I’ve walked into daycare to pick her up and she sprints across the gym and thrusts herself in my arms, wrapping me in the biggest toddler hug claiming “miss you mom!”
She has whispered in my ear “don’t leave mom” and thrown her arms around my neck to keep me snuggled with her at bedtime.
I’ve been pulled to sit down so she can crawl in my lap to play Legos, read a book, or just talk.
I try to remind myself of all those endless articles about her ever growing mind, and remember that they are right. She will get beyond this stage; I get her tantrums because she is emotionally comfortable to express herself; she is learning her limits. This too shall pass.
So, here are some tips I have found to help guide me to be patient and loving when I am feeling rejected by my toddler!
How To Handle Being The Least Favorite Parent
Take a cheat moment.
We all try to be those “great” moms that limit junk food and screen time, plan activities, and engage their child outdoors. If you’re feeling toddler-jected do what you can to calm the situation. If that means throwing on a movie so mommy can breathe and just take a second to reset, then do it.
Don’t cave in
If your toddler is having a bratty moment and throwing a fit because s/he wants something (and you’re saying no), then hold your ground! It is okay to be frustrated and to want to give in for the sake of being on your child’s “good side,” but all it will get you is deeper into a power struggle.
Instead, try gently suggesting they take a minute to calm down. I recently read an article about the benefits of having a “calming corner” in your home. When a child is about to emotionally erupt, they can go to the calming area to read a book, play with some soft toys, or just be alone. This usually resets them and then they are in a better state when they have to re-confront the issue.
I tried this with Evie’s toddler-sized couch; she was upset about not getting to help with something I was doing and I asked her if she wanted to go to the “calming couch” to read. Reluctantly, she walked over with me and things de-escalated quickly after that!
Try to make an extra effort to do a special activity every week. For me, I chose to take Evie to an indoor gym with inflatables (think the bouncy houses kids have at birthday parties). She has a blast each time, and it is nice that she sometimes needs my help to climb some of the obstacles! Other times we go to the Children’s Museum or the Zoo; even something like going on a picnic (if you don’t live somewhere with perpetual winter like Minnesota…) or taking them to the pool would be a fun outing!
At the end of the day, just remember: take it one cup of coffee at a time, and try to enjoy even the hard parts since they’ll grow up and past this stage and one day you will miss it!
As this school year begins to dwindle away, those of us who don’t have the deep pockets for camp will be experiencing a home with empty pantries, high electric bills and a summer with kids pretty soon. The addition of children in the house full time can throw anyone’s routine upside down. I’ll be honest and say that I’m nowhere near being the perfect parent. I can be quick to associate any extended time off from school with my children with my patience level being at an all-time low.
As adults, we have our schedules and routines already together. For those that work from home, we have our special time to get work done and complete chores. I’m sure it would be easy just to allow our children to become couch potatoes during their summer break and fry their brains over video games and cartoons, but that’s just not the way to do it. Learning how to apply patience to having children home for an extended period of time is never an easy thing to do. Here are a few things that I’ve learned over the years to keep my sanity and peace in the household.
It’s pretty easy for us to lose our patience with our children when we allow ourselves to become stressed and don’t take time for ourselves. Make sure to take a few minutes of your day to relieve stress the best way you know how. This could be done with some type of physical activity, reading a book, or even a little quiet time alone in the bathroom. Get it in when you can and where you can just as long you don’t take it out on the kids.
Let them have some fresh air
Being stuck inside all day can take a toll on anyone who’s got the wiggles. Kids need some time to let their inner super hero out to play. They can easily become restless and just plain unruly when confined inside for too long. I read a statistic once that said people in prison get more time outside than children do. Just hearing that, whether true or not, pushed me to make playtime outside a necessity. Let them get all the wiggles out. Allow them to run, jump, scream, do whatever their little heart’s desire so that it doesn’t happen inside the house.
Create a loose schedule
This schedule does not have to be strict by any means. Just make sure you have a road map to go by to keep the day organized for not only the kids, but yourself as well. Understand that while they’re home, you may not get as much done around the house or for work. More of your time is going to be devoted to keeping little humans alive which is pretty important.
Schedule times through the day to complete chores, educational tasks, fun art projects and family outings. Sticking to a regular flow of tasks will make things just a little bit easier and a lot less frustrating. I use to go crazy trying to complete work while helping my five year-old trace letters and make her a snack at the same time. Now I create a block of time for my work and a separate block for hers so that we aren’t both frustrated at the same time.
Spend time with them
There may be a list of things that you could be doing this summer, but it’s not often that you get the opportunity to spend the entire day with your kids. I know that in my house, it’s usually dinner, homework, and then the bed time routine. We miss out on watching our children grow right before our eyes. Our patience can wear thin and being home with the little ones can become frustrating, but they won’t be little for long. Take some time to play dress up or hide and seek. Listen to their imaginative stories they like to tell. Stop using the phrases, “not right now,” “I’m busy,” or “maybe later.” Stop what you’re doing to actually listen and interact with your little humans. Read books to them and don’t omit the extremely animated voices for each character.
However you decide to spend your summer with the family, make sure that you are intentional about exercising patience. Understand that kids will be kids. Their tolerance levels for stress and frustration will never amount to yours. Ensure that both of you are in an environment that allows you to express yourselves peacefully. Work together to make the best of the summer and every day after.
Are you ready for the summer with kids? How do you take advantage of your kids being out of school? What tools do you use to exercise patience during chaotic times?