10 Sanity Saving Parenting Tips

Here are a few things I have learned now that I am a mommy...

For the billionth time, Parenting is so hard. Thankfully, the good times outweigh the trying ones, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a 24/7 365 job, that's constantly changing. Once you become a parent, "dull days" cease to exist. They are replaced with emotional roller coaster rides that grab you by the heart, and then take you and your patience to the ends of the earth and back.

During my short time so far as a first-time parent, I have learned valuable lessons the hard way that have led to rules I now parent by. Below are 10 that help me maintain my sanity (for the most part) on a daily basis.


1. Laugh at yourself- First and foremost, Laugh. Parenting is hard enough, if you don't find the humor in it, you will go bat shit by the end of the first 6-weeks.

2. Laugh at your child- Kids are hysterical, laugh at them. Most of all, laugh with them.

3. Forgive yourself- There is no such thing as the perfect parent. No. Such. Thing. We all make mistakes. If at first you don't succeed... you will eventually.

4. Forgive your child. Those little shits... mean well. Just like us, kids make mistakes too. It's part of life. For little ones, life is all about trying new things and testing limits. They are bound to screw up a few (hundred) times.

5. The Joneses are assholes- Damn those Joneses trying to set standards and pass judgementsPay no attention to the talking heads, they don't know you or your child.

6.  Your instinct is right, listen to it. Mom. Dad. Listen to your inner parent, it knows what's best. Don't let someone or some book make you think otherwise. Start with your instinct, then go from there.

7. The "Right Way" is the way that works for your family. Your family is the new normal. Don't let a book tell you your instinct is wrong. You know your child(ren) better than anyone else, work within those bounds.

8. Say I love you and hug your family everyday. Who doesn't love a little acknowledgement and affection? I know kids especially do. So give it to them. Make there be no question just how loved they are.

9. The dishes can wait. Don't sacrifice your family time. Take the time to be with your family now, because tomorrow is not promised. Besides, the dishes will always be there.

10. Love every second and every stage because when they pass, you will miss them dearly. Yes, even the really annoying stages. Everyday goes by so fast, try to remember and document as much as possible.

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Top Tips For Expecting Dads, From A New Dad Who Knows...

Today I have a special treat, My husband is giving out some top tips for first time expecting dads.  Warning... my husband is a shameless Australian.  If you look through the laughs, the tips are actually really good....

OK soon-to-be first time Dads, listen up!  This post is for you guys who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing the most anticipated week of your life so far.  The dreaded 7 days before 'ole fat-guts' explodes and pops out your brand new son or daughter.

I reckon that most of you would agree that we tend to take a backseat to this whole pregnancy thing...we've silently dealt with 9 long months of strangers wanting to rub the wife's guts, quietly shuffled through miles of 'Babys R us' aisles buying crap, eaten the vilest of organic tofu dinners, taken time off work to sit in a doctors office while the wife does a $400 pee, slept lonely on the hardest of sofas and assembled the most ridiculously difficult cribs, toys and damn strollers. Geez!  But in the last 7 days or so, something primeval happens in the back of our minds and we realise that shit is becoming real - then we panic a bit.
"Crikeys...I'm actually gonna be a DAD!  What the Hell do I do now?"


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6 simple steps to help expecting dads be better partners....

My “Pregnant and hate my husband” post is by far the most popular.  While I laugh when I see the multiple versions of the keywords that brouhgt the new visitors... “I'm Pregnant and Hate my husband” “I’m pregnant and my husband is an Asshole.” “How can I stop my husband from being a jerk while I’m pregnant.” “My wife is pregnant and Hates me.” “I’m Pregnant and my husband hates me.” Truthfully it’s all really unfortunate.

While I am not a relationship expert, I am definitely well versed in pregnancy and the strains that it puts on a relationship. I decided to share my knowledge in hopes that I can save a couple from the same pain and strife that my husband and I endured thanks to the wild and wonderful blessing of pregnancy!

Here's a few tips for the expecting dads...


Step 1: COMPASSION

This is not hard… for a woman! ; ) I have come to realize most guys see the word through “man feelings.” I know sometimes it seems like women are either just bitching for bitch sake, or just not being tough enough. Well, when it comes to pregnancy put all of those preconceived notions aside or pay the price! Please just try to listen, envision yourself feeling the exact pain or emotions she is complaining about, and then hopefully you will have a better understanding of her TRUE feelings.

For example when she says…. “Ugh, honey I feel so sick! This morning sickness is hell.” DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SAY- “I feel sick too!” Oh my goodness that will get you killed! Try saying this instead-“Oh baby, I am so sorry to hear that, can I do anything?

See the difference? It’s simple- listen, be compassionate, offer support and stay in the running for man of the year!

Step 2: Random Acts of KINDNESS!

This is so simple! Out of nowhere clean the house, do the shopping, pick up some nice earrings, a nice scarf, something your mother-to-be likes, or even better do something for her you know she hates doing. Ideally you will do something once a week, not once a month. Really, you should do this for your her pregnant or not...

Step 3: Compliment! Compliment! COMPLIMENT!

Pregnancy is hell on the body and psyche. She needs reassurance that she is still beautiful and attractive to you. Most of all be smart and sincere about it. If she looks yuck but the outfit is nice, compliment the outfit. Some days I am so tired and run down, on those days my husband tells me how proud he is of me for being such a great mom already by giving up so much. Really he's learned to say anything to lift my spirits. Trust me it goes a VERY long way!

Step 4: BE GREATFUL!

She is carrying your Child! It is not easy, does not feel wonderful and sometimes feels like a very long process! She has to give up all kinds of stuff to provide a safe and healthy environment for the baby to grow in. You on the other hand do not! You get to smoke, drink, sleep on your belly, bungee jump, ride roller coasters, (real ones, not the psycho emotional one know as pregnancy.) Basically you get to continue on with your life the same way you did the day before you found out you were going to be a father. Imagine having to Google everything you want to put into your mouth to make sure it is safe to eat. Something as simple as a kiss on the cheek and a “thank you baby for carrying my baby!” will go so far you might be able to stay off that shitlist for a week!

Step 5: Shower her with LOVE and AFFECTION!

I think this may be one of the most important steps. Just like you eat three meals a day and two snacks… give three kisses a day and two loving, I love yous! When you wake up in the morning, when you get home from work and before bed, give kisses and I love yous. Love and hugs are all a pregnant woman needs to be reminded that she is so much more than a mobile incubator… it is your job to remind her daily that she is YOUR beautiful woman first, the mother of your child second.

Step 6: PATIENCE!

Please have patience with your mother-to-be. Understand that she has been possessed by pregnancy and will return to normal after birth… it may be a month or two after birth but it will happen. Pregnancy is process for both parents. It takes a lot of work and compromise to survive it together sanely. You absolutely, positively have to have patience and understanding or it is going to be a very long 10 months.

Here is a tip from me to you: This too shall pass… Look into her eyes and find the woman you love. I promise behind those sleepy raccoon eyes, filled with scary furry, tears and a twinkle of nuttiness, she is in there. Again, remember she has to give up so much during pregnancy, the least you can do is try to always be understanding of that. All the very best to you and your new family!


I promise if you follow this simple 6-step plan, your home life will be dramatically better.
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10 Things I Wish I Knew About Breastfeeding...

Before becoming a mother, I had NO IDEA how huge the decision to breastfeed would be, and how everyone would have something to say about it... In honor of World Breastfeeding Week and Top 10 Tuesday I thought I would throw in an extra top ten for those who care about the ta-tas, here are 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Breastfeeding...

1. Nursing IS NOT Plug-and-Chug. It's still baffling to me how something so "natural" can be so damn hard! Between learning the proper latch and the best hold, it took lots of time, patience and pain to get the hang of it.

2. At first... Cheese Grater. Guys, want to know what a woman goes through in the first few weeks of nursing? Hook a vacuum hose up to your nipple for 45 minutes to an hour, then take a cheese grader to it for the same amount of time. Voila... nursing tits!

3. MY Nursing is apparently EVERYONE'S Business. Amazing, no one cared about my boobs before I had a baby... Who knew my newborn's nutrition and the daily goings on of my boobies would be on the radar of every woman I came in contact with?

4. It Takes A Village. Between doctors, lactation consultants, my husband's 24/7 support, a massive pump, and a bunch of creams, I FINALLY got the hang of it.

5. HELLO MASSIVE BOOBIES! By the time my milk fully came in, I was up THREE cup sizes! Those puppies got so big it looked like my armpits grew a set!


6. There Is No Rest For The Weary Nurser.  Nursing is 24/7. Every two hours without fail if I wasn't nursing, I was pumping. It took nearly 6-months to get everything to level out! Needless to say, I was one tired cranky big boobie bitch!

7. There Is NO Time-limit to nursing. The start of my nursing journey was so rough, I was sure I would never be able to make it to six-months.  Everyday I would tell myself, just one more day... When I made it to a year, I was sure that would be it... Not. Even. I nursed my son until he was two years and four months old. And I am proud of it, even if I did get some of the shittiest comments and rude looks. "You are STILL nursing?" Damn right I am. It's my kid and my choice. I nursed him until the time was right for BOTH of us to stop.

8. Breastfeeding is NOT always a choice. I NEVER thought I would nurse. Never. I honestly didn't know anyone who did, however, thanks to the small village and contraptions mentioned in #4, I did it, and I am SO thankful and blessed for it. That being said, my heart breaks for my girlfriends who were determined, and could not. My heart breaks for the mother's of premies who never got their milk. My heart breaks for the woman who found breastfeeding was not for her, and got chastised and shit on for not "making herself" nurse.   

9. Breastfeeding is one of the very hardest things I've ever done. Full stop. In my case, it took a lot of work, pain, time, loss of sleep and selflessness to nurse my son for nearly two and a half years. Even though nursing became easy enough by the sixth month, it was a very hard fought road to get there.

10. Breastfeeding is one of the very best things I've ever done. Full stop. Nursing my son will always be one of my greatest achievements in life. Hard work pays off, and I have one healthy, strong, incredibly smart, badass BOSS kid to show for it!

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6 Things You Should Know Before You Pop Baby Out...

(I love this post. If only I knew all of this, and followed it, when I was a new mom...)

I have no doubt that every mother will agree with me when I say, during pregnancy the only thing you get more of than stretch marks and bad gas, is parenting advice.  Between the always ready to share been-there-done-that mothers, parenting books and online resources, the information available today for new mothers is overwhelming. What's more, you never know what to believe since one book will contradict the next, and what one mother swears by, another mother will insist did not work for her baby. Weeding through all of the advice can be daunting, to say the least.

Looking back, I wish I was given more advice on how to deal with becoming a mother, and less on the three million different ways to rock a baby to sleep. I needed to know about the self-doubt and failures that came along with motherhood, or that having a baby would take a huge toll on my marriage and personal life if I let it. After talking with numerous other mothers, I realized we all struggled with the same issues; things it seemed no one bothered to warn us about in between lessons on feeding, changing and rocking our newborn to sleep.  I've put a list together of the top six things all new mothers to know.  Things we wish we didn't have to learn the hard way.
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Tips for dealing with Morning Sickness.

The following is a excerpt of a report on Morning Sickness from the American Pregnancy Association.  The complete article can be read here- http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/morningsickness.html


Morning Sickness:

More than half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is the nauseated feeling you get during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be, but is not always, accompanied with vomiting. The nausea is often a result of the increased hormones in your body. Many health care providers think morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well.
There are a number of do's and don'ts you can try to help alleviate your symptoms.

Helpful Do's and Don'ts:

Do:
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How much weight should you gain while pregnant?

YAY! I have been told that over the next 9 months I am to gain at least 25 pounds, and if I gain 40 it will not be the end of the world!  This is way to good to be true, what’s the catch? So far I have found out that the catch is that my butt, thighs, feet, arms, back and well pretty much my whole body is subject to this weight gain, not just my belly. Oh, P.S. As a result, stretch marks are very possible. I knew this couldn’t be a free pass to the buffet line!




Below is an excerpt of an article on Pregnancy Weight Gain from The American Pregnancy Association website.
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Tips for new Parents

No matter how much warning, preparation and natural instinct new parents have, nothing prepares them for parenthood quite like their own child.  NOTHING! Below are my top five of twenty, hard lessons learned, so far, as a new parent.




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Tips for new Parents -Hard lessons learned by Moms and Dads


No matter how much warning, preparation and natural instinct new parents have, nothing prepares them for parenthood quite like their own child.  NOTHING! Below are my top five of twenty, hard lessons learned, so far, as a new parent.  

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10 Morning Sickness Remedies

Have morning sickness? Need a remedy NOW?  They these tips...



1. Sparkling water- I swear by it.  I would drink it all day, cold and warm.  Flavored or not, it helps. BIG time!

2. Crackers in bed.  I kept a bag of crackers next to my bed to snack on before I stepped one foot out of bed in the morning. I know when I first heard of the trick, I thought is was as stupid as morning sickness, but it really works!
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