‘unwanted’ parenting advice

Here you are holding your new bundle of joy. You feel happy, scared and excited and who knows what other emotions are brewing inside you because this is intense. You and your partner just made a tiny little human!

Your new adventure has just began. Wondering what you are going to do, how are you going to raise them. All these new never done before moments.

Let’s be honest you have no idea what you are doing and of course you will get the ‘unwanted’ parenting advice from all different walks of life parents out there.

I wanted to talk about the ones that I received when I had my first baby, heck I still get it after having 4 kids.

Don’t get me wrong some of the advice I received was great, I could use it and other ones were just went completely against what I felt was necessary to have a connection with my child.

So grab your coffee and let’s get started

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1. Don’t hold your baby too much

Your baby was inside your belly for 9 months, then comes out into this huge world, it has no idea what is happening. It’s nice warm comfort zone is gone. You holding your baby, is giving your child that comfort zone. You cannot spoil your baby. The attention you give your baby is the foundation for thriving, emotionally, physically and intellectually!

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2. Treat your child the way they treat you

In other words, they give you attitude, you give it right back. They speak to you in a rude tone you speak back to them in a rude tone. Monkey see Monkey do. You want your child to know what they are doing is wrong. If you come back at them with the same tone or attitude, they will just continue with it. “Well mommy does it so I can” It is a better idea to be a good role model. You want to show them better ways to react to situations that you don’t like. Instead of getting mad when they are frustrating you, say “wow, I really loved that you did what I asked of you even though you were upset”. Get them to talk about why it upset them in the first place, children are just learning how to express themselves in the right manner and we need to teach them the right way.

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3. Spank them when they misbehave

This is one of them that bothered me the most. Your child looks up to you. You are their safe place. You start spanking your child, you are no longer their safe place. At the same time, you are telling your child “we do not hit each other when we disagree with what they are doing” yet you are doing it to them when you don’t like what they are doing. Words. Words are more powerful then a punishment that will scar their self-esteem. If your child refuses to do their school work because they want to play games, then tell them if you refuse to do what I ask then you don’t get to play your games. The one thing that I found worked best for tantrums was just walking away, not only does it help you calm down, it helps them. Giving them some space, when they realize that you are no longer giving them that attention they will calm down and stop what they are doing.

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4. Be a helicopter mom if you want to keep your child safe

This one lately I have been struggling with, because I feel like their is a fine line with over parenting and letting your child figure out life. If you never let your child figure out their own mistakes. You are constantly there hovering over them so they make 0 mistakes, when something comes along and you are not there they will have no idea how to deal with that situation. Tell your child about your experiences as a child, “when I did this, this is what happened, this is how I dealt with it” We are not always going to be around our kids, we need to teach them how to live in the big wide world. So that means, they will fall and get hurt. They will make a mistake. Being a good mom, doesn’t mean you have to be a perfect one. Since that doesn’t exist.

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5. Don’t ever give your child junk food

This means no pizza, no cake, no cupcakes. Not even french fries or burgers.
While eating healthy is very important, but all the time with no cheat days isn’t really practical. What if your child get’s invited over to a friends house for a sleepovers or birthday parties? I personally feel like it would have more of a negative effect on your child’s social and emotion development. You are telling your child that they can’t have these things at birthday parties or gatherings but all the other kids can. They will potentially feel like an outcast. Obviously if your child is allergic to something yes, of course they shouldn’t.
Yes, having your child have healthy food more than junk food is important, but teach your child the difference between junk food and healthy food. Allow your child to eat junk food in moderation. Show your child that healthy foods can be just as fun and inviting.

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6. ‘Cry it out method’ is best

“This will help them learn to be more independent”

“This will help mold their lungs”

There has been studies that have proven that this can have a negative impact on your child. One study shown that your child would become more dependent on you. Your child just cried himself / herself to sleep, which means they tired themselves out from crying and gave up hope thinking that you will be coming back in. Hearing this one goes against everything that I believed in. Knowing that my baby just gave up on their comfort zone.
What we did for this one was, we waited till they were at least 6 months old and could sleep through the night to change them over to the crib in their own rooms. As for transferring your child to a toddler bed and they keep getting out. What we did was sat outside the bedroom door. Every time they would get out. I would put them back in reassuring that I was there but it is bedtime this is where you sleep now. Showing your child that no matter what you will always be there is key. Letting them know that it is bedtime but you promise to me there when they wake up.

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Note:
These are just my opinions on how I feel about the advice I was given. Get your own opinion on each one. Take the advice with a grain of salt. Some things may work for one family but they may not work for all.

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Most important love you baby with all your heart. Show them all the love you can give them. Enjoy this new adventure. Days will be harder then others but you have got this!

Wine Wednesday’s isn’t just for drinking wine.

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I am sure everyone has heard of “Wine Wednesday” at some point in their lives and what is the first thing that pops in your mind. A day for drinking wine. Even though let’s be honest here I drink wine any day of the week, more so right now, since we have the time. Not shuffling off the sporting events or after school programs.

It is not just a day to drink wine for moms. Heck you don’t even have to drink wine to enjoy this day with your friends. I am sure i’m not alone in this but sometimes we feel like all we are, is a mom. Trying to have a conversation with a tiny version of ourselves every day, all day. It can get a little repetitive. Yes, we love those little turds like no other but sometimes adult conversation is nice. Hey, even if you bring the kids along then all the other kids can play together while you sit and chat about some other then “You need to wipe your bum” “Please do not sit on your sisters head” “There is tons of air in this room, you both can breathe it”

Not only does this help you have some socialization it also helps the kids too, all the kids playing together, tiring each other out and bam bedtime gets just a little easier. I know with everything going on right now its hard to get together with your friends. Why not have face-time or skype or whatever video call platform you are using and sit together on your decks and have that bottle of wine.

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Wednesday proven by Science is one of the best times to drink wine, according to bottlers Cobevco. They said its because Wednesday is the half way mark to the end of the week and everyone just feels more comfortable popping open that cork. Believe it or not but men are actually more likely then woman to open the cork at 6:40 pm and woman at 7pm. Probably because the kids become thirsty philosophers and refuse to go to bed on time.

According to medical news society, wine has a lot of health benefits to it. One bottle a day keeps the doctor away? no? It could work. There was a study done in 2018 although wine is not actually recommended for these things but the study showed that drinking wine moderately has some positive outcomes like,

  • cardiovascular disease
  • atherosclerosis
  • hypertension
  • certain types of cancer
  • type 2 diabetes
  • neurological disorders
  • metabolic syndrome

Red wine has anti inflammatory properties in it as well as antioxidant.

So grab that wine glass or bottle. I am not judging and bottoms up! You mama deserve it!

TOMORROW I will do better

I am all touched out.

I am all talked out.

I am all schooled out.

I am all cooked out.

I am stretched thin.

I took a minute in the car today. I told everyone I needed a minute. I went to the car and I sat in the car silence. No phone. No music. Just the sound of nature and my coffee.

I started to cry. I have been pushed and pulled in every direction. I have cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I have heard “Mama” “Mom” “Mommy” so many times, I feel like I am the only one on this planet that can help them. Because we all know that not being able to open fruit snacks is the end of the world.

They will completely walk past their father and go all the way to the end of the house just to find me or scream for me while I am in the bathroom.

Do they know he too holds the power of opening fruit snacks and finding things around the house. Even though I am sure he will yell for me too asking where to find it.

In the car I thought about all the things that I was going to do with my life. I was going to have my own animal rescue. I was going to be the towns go to place when they could no longer take care of their animals and needed a place that they knew the loved pet can go. A place for people to bring the animals that they find that needs that extra love. I was going to go to school to become a vet. Take care of the 4 legged family members that we all love so very much.

Instead I am watching all the people that I grew up with enjoy their dreams. Become who they always wanted to become and I am here drinking my cold coffee because I have been running around trying to help 4 kids with their online schooling that I left it on the counter. I am here trying to convince my 4 year old that if he eats his veggies he will grow up and be big and strong. I am here telling my 11 year old that bossing her siblings around is not okay. I am here running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

I am to the point where I am about to give in. Sure have ice cream for breakfast, Sure watch that whole season on the TV, sure play mine-craft all day. Because honestly I am way too tired to have the energy to process life. Way too tired to try and win these battles.

I promise you I love being a mom.

My kids are my everything. I could not imagine my life without them. I would give them the shirt off my back if I had too, but I would be lying if I would give anything to also have more time to myself. To hang out with my friends without getting up every 2 seconds to tend to a little version of myself.

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I am constantly being touched, hung on, climbed on. My personal space no longer exists.

Their needs are never ending

Their questions are never ending

My sanity, is for sure ending

I am always tired. Like permanently tired. At this point I feel like that It’s normal. This is just me now. I know one day, when they are all grown up. I will miss this. I will miss their questions and their moms I need yous. The house will be too quiet.

But today I needed a minute. I needed a minute to let it all out in my car alone. I needed a reset. I needed to show myself that I am still human and not the energizer bunny. I reached the I AM DONE point.

Then they go to bed and my world is silent. I look at them while they are sleeping and I question myself as to why I even needed that minute because they are so cute and cuddly. These tiny little humans that I created made me completely loose my mind that I went to my car and cried and questioned my life. I feel the guilt set in. I feel guilty that I yelled “Mommy needs a minute”

I kiss them on the cheeks and whisper, Mommy is sorry. Mommy was not her best today.

Tomorrow I will do better

Where is the balance.

The realization how times have changed from when we were younger. We roamed freely. We would walk to the store along when our parents had enough of us and gave us some pennies, to grab penny candy.

We rode our bikes with our friends without our parents being right there. We wanted to walk up town for lunch, no problem.

Our parents would sit on a bench and let us play freely on the playground while reading a book or talking to their friends.

Now, modern parenting is a whole different story. It makes it hard for us ‘None helicopter moms’ we feel that we need to be RIGHT there in case of judgement.

Now parents even with older kids are hovering by the playground “oh honey, you shouldn’t use the monkey bars just in case you fall” “I will stand here while you ride your bike in the driveway”

Yes, I do realize that we are now more aware of kidnappers and people whom are bad because of social media, they were always around.

Allowing your teenager to go to the mall alone with her or his friends is out of the question. You feel guilty, you feel scared the whole time.

I find myself trying to find a balance between permissive parenting and helicopter mom.

I want my kids to be able to make those mistakes and learn their lessons but at the same time I am scared for being judged that I am not doing enough.

I struggle with all the rules that is set in place now. How our generation is ruin our kids because they should have 0 screen time, spend every single moment with them that you have, sign them up for every single spot even if they don’t like it. Celebrate every single holiday and buy them huge gifts. Wait, when did Easter become the new Christmas?

Your kids don’t get enough outdoor time. Um, I promise you if my kids could live outside in a forest they probably would.

I want my kids to have somewhat of the same childhood I did, even though I know it’s not possible now. To be completely honest trying to find a balance for that is stressing me out.

As social media gets bigger so does all the information about how we can and cannot do this and the information is back and forth.

How are we suppose to figure all this out when everything is so conflicting.

You shouldn’t have them on technology for long, yet in school that is a huge part of their learning.

You shouldn’t tell your kids that their homework is wrong, let the teacher mark it, yet you need to teach them the right answers.

You should be outside with them in your OWN backyard watching their every move, but that’s when I get my peace and able to get my housework done.

Where is the balance… where do you balance… when do we step back a little and where do we come in?

I find myself comparing everything I do to other parents, just to make sure I am doing thing’s right. Even those I know that is silly. It can drive a person mental.

The stakes are too high. There is so many rules I feel like I cannot keep up with them. I feel they are only going to get worse from here.

I can’t help but wonder if I am doing the right things, I can’t help but think am I ruining the kids by not doing or am doing these things?

Where do I find a balance?

Being a perfect parent is overrated

When I had my first child, I had it in my head that I was going to do everything right. I was going to buy her all name brand clothes, I was going to do all organic foods or even make all my own baby foods in the jars with the perfect little labels and dates. Honestly I tried my hardest to do all those things. Life got in the way of that. I got lost in the trying to make a sweet, crying every night baby happy. Waking up several times at night to breastfeed, that I was way too tired to even think about baby food or jars. Sometimes I was way too tired to even remember if I ate that day. 

I read all the baby books you can think of. Googled everything under the sun. All great books, but nothing can prepare you fully at becoming a mother. At this point it is really “How to keep your child alive without fully losing your damn mind in the process” which scared the crap out of me because I could barely keep a houseplant alive how can I keep a tiny version of myself alive. 

Second child came and I was more laid back. I came to the conclusion that all name brand clothing was just not going to happen. They grow like weeds. I swear they grow every time they put one scoop of food in their mouths. Side note: WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS HUNGRY!

My kids food schedule;

Snack, breakfast, breakfast snack, snack, lunch, lunch snack, snack, sometimes too full to eat dinner, complains they didn’t have dinner, dinner, dinner snack, snack, bedtime snack, snack… thinking about food while they are sleeping… Repeat.  

Third child, at this point he’s like a free range chicken. I have been there and done that and bought a t-shirt. To say that I am a pro at parenting no, because I don’t think that is even a thing. What I can say is that I do know the just of it. I am not trying to be that perfect parent that I set out to be because it does not exist. 

There are so many rules. What you can and cannot do as a parent. So much judgement out there. What grinds my gears is the parents shaming parents. Kids eating cold french fries off  the car floor HAPPENS. You will be driving and hear “Cold french fries taste yummy mommy” while they fish for that fry that you missed out of their car seat. They will stand at the big bay window in the living room and wave to your neighbor butt naked, with a shirt on their head because they are like ninjas and sneak away while you are finding something for them to wear. They will fart in a restaurant while the waiter is asking what would you like on the menu.

They will become a thirsty, hungry philosopher at bedtime, because they refuse to go to sleep. JUST in case they miss something. Nope all they will miss is me eating a whole cheese cake with a fork, binge watching grey’s anatomy.

All these things do NOT and I will repeat. DO NOT make you a bad parent.  It makes you a real one. Stuff happens. Kids have no filters. They are these balls of stressful, wonderful joys. That will make you wonder about every life choice you made. There is no way to be a perfect parent because I promise you, your kids won’t let that happen and it does not exist. 

One thing I do know. Is that you are perfect for them. They want you. Every little piece of you. While you are in the kitchen getting them several snacks. While you are in the laundry room changing the laundry over that you smell because you totally forgot to change the laundry over. Banging on the bathroom door because all of a sudden they have several questions and fruit snacks for you to open. 

They just want YOU. So rock that perfect imperfect parenting. We are all in this together.

Easter… We have got this!

As Easter approaches I find myself unsure of how I feel. I am excited to still be able to watch my kids hunt for Easter eggs, because thankfully our bulk barn did online pick up, at the same time I find myself a little sad.

I am sad that I wasn’t able to get the ‘Extras” new books, or skipping ropes and bubbles. Normally I like to get them some sort of outside toy to celebrate spring time. It is in the back of my head that I feel I am failing as a mother because I can’t get the things that I normally can, but at the same time I know that I am doing the best I can in this new world that we are living in right now.

I am sad that we wont be able to do our big family dinners that we normally do with the extended family. Dinner at my moms with the big turkey and the big Easter egg hunt that she puts on every year for the kids. My dad’s where he always gets them so much outdoor toys to keep them entertained for the spring and summer. My grandma where her hugs can cure anything I swear.

I am sad that when my youngest keeps asking “Why can’t we go see them for just a minute” “I promise I wont get close to them” then I have to continue to remind him that we just simply can’t right now and explain to a 4 year old, who really doesn’t understand how a virus works.

I am sad that all my kids birthdays will be effected from this virus and there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t stop it. I can’t say “go away, so that my babies can have their birthdays” I am going to do my hardest to make sure that they have the best birthdays under the circumstances but I know that it just wont be the same. Bowling and space dance parties without their friends.

I am sad that I canceled on friends before this because I would give anything to see them right now, I need them.

As parents, we are going to have to figure out how to adapt to the world that is falling apart due to a virus that is just taking over the world. As parents we have to make sure that we protect our kids physically and mentally, but well let’s face it we have no idea what really is going on ourselves. We have to at the same time protect ourselves physically and mentally in order to protect them.

Stay positive

I get it, trust me it is really hard to stay positive when you are so scared yourself. Not to mention your kids driving you up the wall and back down again. Thinking about how a cabin in the woods, just you and nature would feel right about now. I find what work’s best here is using my words wisely and they will more then likely work… so instead of saying “Ugh, stop making such a mess” say “Can you please pick up your toys” They are just as stressed as you are. Their tiny lives have been flipped upside down too. Yelling at them will just make you upset and them upset and everyone’s crying and stressed.

Structure

Everything is up in the air right now, and no one know when this will end. Letting everyone just go hog wild in the house for months, is just going to cause everyone to be a hot mess and you drinking out of the wine bottle. I know as parents, moms. We want to sleep in. We dream about more sleep. I found if I set my alarm got up and had my coffee before the mayhem started I have a better day. I have started to get my body back to normal routines. Get your kids up, have breakfast, their showers and their school work. Have their meal times and bedtime routines as normal. Children have a healthier life with a structured life.

Behaviour

Kids are going to be testing our patience a lot more during this time. They know what set’s us off. I get that this time is stressful for them, but at the same time we need to make sure that they know that their behavior is now okay. We have always been their teachers even while they were in school. We need to make sure that they grow up to be respectful human beings. Consequences help teach our children responsibility for what they do. We will hear a lot of “You aren’t my teacher, I don’t need to learn that” they will have more break downs because they are stressed and are still learning how to use their emotions. Small body big emotions. Teach them how to express themselves and let us know whats going on in their little minds because negative outbursts.

Always take a minute for yourself. If you feel like screaming, if you feel like you are about to loose your cool. Go take a minute. Breathe. and come back to it.

You are not alone

Millions of parents out there are trying to figure this out too. Contact your mommy friends and vent to them. Tell them “Girl ima sell these kids to the zoo” I am 100% sure they will agree and say “maybe they will do a deal with more kids, I will drop mine off too” go on some mommy support groups.
Take a break. When the kids are asleep. Have that nice relaxing bath. Go sit outside with a book. Avoid social media with all those news outlets, people sharing all these things about the virus that is sending your blood pressure out the window. You need to separate yourselves from hearing about it all together to settle, to destress.

Talk to your kids about it

I know we are all trying to figure it out. We don’t know whats going on either. Your kids look to you for safety and reassurance that everything will be okay and that everything one day will go back to some what of a normal life. Being silent and not talking about it does not help your child. Listen to their questions and answer them to the best of your ability. Ask them open questions about how they are feeling about this whole situation. If they don’t feel like talking about it, that’s okay. Just let them know that you are here when they feel like talking.

We are all in this together. We can get through this, I know it. It is after 6 so it is time for wine!

Cheers parents, Stay safe, we have got this!

What day is it even?

Day 23… Maybe? I can’t remember what day we are on at this point or better yet what day of the week it is. All the days are just jumbling together.

How is everyone else doing out there? I think what the hardest part about this is being a parent when everything is happening. Not only do you have to look our for yourselves, you have tiny humans to think about too.

I feel like at this point they have had way to much screen time to last them awhile. My coffee in the morning and wine at night have just jumbled together and I may have had wine earlier then I should. My laundry keeps piling up faster then I can do it. Not going to lie someday’s i just don’t want to do it.

I have been finding myself looking back at pictures in February, saying to myself “wow you have no idea what was about to happen” The world was about to completely stop and or go into full panic buying all the toilet paper out of the stores a few months later and you are building snowmen.

Online schooling has started this week, yesterday was a complete hot mess, one child knew exactly what to do but the other 3 were asking me 230842039482 different questions what to do and honestly I was learning just as much as they were. Today went a lot smoother. I have always respecting teachers with everything they do. I just have 4 kids and I have no idea how they do it with 21 and sometimes more students. Props to the teachers.!

Trying to get groceries right now its a nightmare. No body wants to leave their houses which I get, but my normal online shopping has now become stressful. Trying to find a time slot, trying to remember what we did or how much of it we should get because lord knows when we will get another time slot.

I guess this is our new norm. For how long I am not sure. What I do know is we all need to stick together. Call your neighbor or family if you can and ask if they need something, share resources . Make skype or facebook video calls. Keep in touch the best you can. Try your best and say busy with anything around the house because it does look like this will last a bit longer.

Stay safe.