Tag Archives: parenting

Why I Bother with Babywearing

I have two children. They are three and a half years apart. Obviously I’ve done a lot of things differently with Little E than I did with his sissy.  One of the biggest changes is that I wear E quite a lot.

evin

Now please understand that I know babywearing is not for everyone and I am not here to tell you that you should, however I feel that everyone should at least try it.  Trying it may change your life.

The main reason I wear E is out of convenience.   When Selina was little, the house was always a mess.  I just thought “Oh well, that’s how life is when you have small children.”  Never did I think, “Oh! If I just wear her, I could do the dishes.”  For some reason, when Evin was just a few weeks old, I went out (spur of the moment) and bought a wrap.  I read the directions and wore him around the house that day.  Do you know how well he slept?  And do you know how much I got done that day?  My living room AND kitchen were sparkling clean for the first time in WEEKS. Then, a friend showed me a better way to wrap him and life was good.  For a while.

Then E started growing.  Six months later, he doesn’t really care for being carried in the front.  He wants to see everything.  So I desperately facebooked my friend who had showed me how to wrap him.  “I need a new carrier.  Please help me.  My house is falling apart without one.”  “Come right over” she said.  She pulled out all of her carriers and we found the perfect one for us.

Not only did my friend drop everything for me, but she even called a local little store to see if they had any in and the cost.  They sure did.  And they were on MEGA sale.  She then took me down to the store (which I would have NEVER found by myself) and I bought E his Christmas present.

We tried it out for the first time today and holy cow.  I made coffee and bread.  I put away all of the clean dishes and washed up the ones that were used last night.  I then made our bed and bagged up the bathroom trash.  I then wandered into the kitchen to start the crockpot for dinner and I glanced at the clock.  Was that REALLY the time?  How on earth was I 45 minutes ahead of schedule?!?!?  Oh, that’s right.  Because I wasn’t tending to a crying baby every 5 minutes.  My word, this carrier is wonderful.

So, if you have a small child and still need to get things done, I suggest finding a carrier that works well for you and your kid.

Either that, or get a child-rearing robot that holds that baby for you when you have to wash the dishes….

Actually, get a robot that does the dishes instead.

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Epic Win for Intrinsic Value

Please note that while this particular blog post has a religious background, the message can and should be used for all children.  And by “all,” I really mean “any child who you love.”

 

I have gone to church my entire life.  I still enjoy going.  In fact, I am going this evening.  While in high school, I attended two churches on a regular basis.  It was from one pastor, Bruce, that I learned about Intrinsic Value. Image(This is Bruce.  Hi Bruce!  Picture credit: Bruce’s facebook)

I am a smart person. I love large, rarely used words. I read a lot. But seriously, I had never heard the word “intrinsic.”  For those of you who are in the same boat I was in, intrinsic means that something, or someone, has value just for its own sake.  The message that Bruce was trying to portray was that we have intrinsic value to God.

Fast forward 12 years (yes, 12).  There is Selina, deciding to throw a tantrum in the middle of the court so that all of the neighbors can hear.  I can’t even remember what it was about, but I do remember that we were going to be late.  I hate being late.  So as I pick up the screaming 4 year old and place her in the car, I tell her that I don’t like the choice that she had made.  Of course, her smart little mind had a momentary lapse of smartness and my words got translated to “I don’t like you.”  And that started another wave of hysterics. 

We get to my in-law’s house just about the time that she calms down.  As we walk into the house,  I drop the baby off with the rest of the family and haul Selina upstairs to have a chat.  But honestly, how can I tell her that she has intrinsic value to me?  Yes she’s smart, but she’s still 4.  But here’s what I came up with:

“Selina, I love you with all of my heart.  Sometimes you have a hard day and you make choices that I don’t like.  I love you and I always will. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to make me stop loving you.  But I don’t like some of choices that you make.  But I love you.”

I know.  Repetitive. But she left happy and had a fairly good evening afterwards.  But that is a seriously hard concept to grab.  I tried anyways.

Skip to last week.  I was having a very rough day.  After I got off work (at 10pm), I went to pick up the kids to take them home.  I thought they were both asleep, so I wasn’t worried that they would overhear me crying in my bedroom.  A little body appeared in my doorway and slowly made its way onto my bed where I was crying. 

“What’s wrong Mommy?”  my little girl asked.

“Nothing, baby.” I replied. “I’m just having a hard day.”

And somewhere in her mind a trigger was set off and she told me “It’s ok Mommy.  Sometimes you have a hard day and make bad choices.  But I still love you.  And I always will.”

Epic win for intrinsic value.

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How to Survive One of Those Days

5:15 am. I heard a little voice next to my ear.

“Mommy, can you put Brother in his crib so I can sleep with you?”

Simple enough request.  But you must understand that we have been co-sleeping with Evin for 5 months now and if I move him away from human contact, he wakes up immediately and refuses to go back to sleep.  (OK, I haven’t really tried to break him of this too hard.   I enjoy cuddling too much.)  So we all shift around and get her into the bed too.  After 30 minutes of laying here, singing quietly to herself,  Selina finally asks me lay with her in her bed.  Fine, I say.  Anything to get another hour of sleep.

Then 8:30 rolls around and my husband peeks his head in the doorway and says “Don’t you have to be somewhere?”  Oh yeah, the pumpkin patch with Selina’s class.  I should have started getting ready to go a half hour ago.

The next two hours goes something like this “Whine, whine, whine, fake cry, real cry and some more whining.”  I threaten not going to the field trip.  This, unfortunately, does not make things better, only worse.  How do I get it to stop?

Then it hit me.  (This is where you want to start taking notes.)  We’re going to have a Quiet Day.  Everything we do has to be quiet, calm and not hurried.  Of course, Selina sees this as a game and has to tattle on Evin every time he starts to cry.  So far today, we’ve had a leasurly stroll through a corn maze, made bread and hot coco and ate lunch as a family (with Daddy at his work!). The plan for after nap is to make dinner, scrub toilets and play dolls on the floor.

Whenever my kids get cranky, whiny or all out grouchy, I have to remind myself that they’re not being upset just to be upset, something is wrong with them.  They are either hungry, tired, sick or they need some Mommy time away from everyone else.  Today, when Selina asked me to climb in bed with her, it gave me a clue.  She needs me.  And she needs all of my eyes, ears, mind and heart.  She knows that she has to share me with Brother,  but today was a day that I needed to be with her and not rush her to do anything.

Here are some good Quiet Day activities that we love:

Make cookies.

Make bread.

Make dinner.

Make hot coco, then sip it slowly while reading a bunch of books.

Make a pillow and blanket fort.  Grab a flashlight and some books.  Read aloud.

Color.

Take a pan.  Put a bunch of baking soda in it. (We used the whole box.)  Take vinegar and put it into little bowls.  Add food coloring to the vinegar.  Use a dropper or syringe to drop the colors on the white baking soda.  Watch reaction.  Enjoy quiet for at least 30 minutes.

Anything arts and crafty.

 

Quiet Day is something that you really have to commit to.  Kids know when you’re bored and they’re going to start acting up again.  This is a solution that works for my family.  Maybe it will work for yours.

Also, for those who are keeping track, no fast food has been consumed in 1 whole week.  I am so proud of us.

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