15 Reasons Why Toodlers Are Such Angry Little People

Toddlers get a bad rap. Their lives are tumultuous and filled with people who just don’t understand that they need their sandwiches cut into perfect triangles that don’t touch each other under any circumstances. And the juice should be in the blue cup…I mean the red cup…no, it’s actually the blue. Life is hard for these little dictators because sometimes they need to feel the satisfying crunch of a thousand Cheerios under their feet and most people are trying to take this away from them.

Of course, they feel angry. Who wouldn’t?

Here are some other reasons why toddlers are probably so angry all of the time:

1. They fall down a lot.

Have you ever seen how often those little shorties bite the big one? I don’t know any official numbers, but it’s often. I’d be pissed too if I was falling down all day long on legs that just weren’t working properly.

2. Moms don’t get shit right.

It’s not that hard, really. Moms should be able to figure out that clothes are painful to toddlers extremities, and that if your toddler wants to get into the car all by themselves, well then, the world will just need to wait.

3. There is literal crap in their pants.

And potty training is for losers.

4. Nobody understands what they are saying.

Words are hard, and sometimes screaming just feels right.

5. Everybody is trying to ‘change’ them.

If they have made a self-commitment to cry hysterically each time they don’t get to push the door button at the library, who are you to try and take this from them?

6. Nobody takes their problems seriously.

They don’t want your “help” while putting on their shoes; they just want one thousand years to get it right. Chill out.

7. Pants are the true oppressor of our great nation, and nobody seems to get this.

Toddlers get it. Legs are meant to feel all the changes of the seasons.

8. Time-outs are like jail for innocent people.

Toddlers are ruled by instinct, and their instincts tell them to say, “No!”  in a very loud voice when asked most things.

9. Everyone is always suggesting a nap.

They don’t need a nap; they just need someone to let them paint their body with syrup like God intended.

10. It’s like nobody has ever seen someone want to be naked in Target before.

Toddlers are innovators, and they predict that nudity is going to be the next trending topic.

11. It’s always, ‘hold my hand,’ ‘don’t run in the street,’ ‘don’t eat batteries,’ ‘don’t lick the cat.’

These things bring them joy. You don’t know that toddler’s life, lady.

12. They understand that the choices you are offering

them are complete bullshit.

Oh, really. They get to choose between taking a nap now or taking a nap in five minutes? They know a con when they see one.

13. There’s a never-ending list of things they need to do, and people keep jacking their shit up.

Jacking shit up — every toddler’s mom should wear a shirt that says this.

14. They haven’t known you for very long, so they need to see how long it takes for you to blow.

It’s like a long scientific experiment titled, “How fast can I make these people taking care of me lose their minds?” Their hypothesis is “very soon.”

15. Tantrums are great stress relievers.

It’s better than meditation and/or exercise according to some toddler experts.

So, next time you see a toddler losing his behavior at the grocery store, the playground, the pool, the library, the restaurant, or your own home, remember that they are just trying to live their most authentic life. Instead of trying to escape their wailing, you should really stay and watch and applaud their efforts. And give them candy.

Via Scary Mommy

5 Things You Need To Stop Giving My Kid

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Clint Edwards

People are always giving my kids crap. Sometimes it’s my neighbors. Other times its friends, or doctors, or family. And, you know what, I get it. You are a generous person. You like to see children smile, and that’s awesome. But the fact is there are a few things that you just need to stop giving my kids. Things like…

  1. Stickers

Hey, doctor’s office, you give a child a sticker and they smile. Good for you. But do you ever stop to think about where all those Dora and Batman stickers end up? Let me tell you: my van. They stick them on my van window, and then in the heat of the sun, those suckers get permanently welded on there. Well…not the whole sticker. Just part of it. The part I can’t scratch off, leaving me with a white and pink blotch that looks like separating continents. Or they end up on my dining room table. Or on my kid’s shirt, and I forget to check the shirt for stickers because the damn thing was inside out when I did the laundry, and something happens in the wash that is similar to what happens during arc welding, and the sticker never fully comes off my daughter’s favorite shirt. So what am I saying? Every time you give a sticker to my child, you ruin my shit. Stop ruining my shit.

  1. Party Bags with Cheap Crappy Toys

Oh, you are so cute with your little themed goody bag for each kid who attends your child’s birthday party. Help me understand your logic. You have a child. You surely have had your child come home with one of those damn parachuting army men that works once and then gets tangled, so you spend the rest of the day untangling the stupid thing while your child cries, only for it to get tangled again a minute later. You’ve heard the shrill squeal of a cheap plastic kazoo. You know what stickers do to your van windows. So why do you hand that shit out? Stop perpetuating a problem that you know makes everyone hate you.

  1. Cheetos

I love Cheetos, but when given to my children their little hands look like they’ve been into Donald Trump’s sunscreen. Orange fingerprints line my van, their shirts, and my sofa. One small bag and suddenly it looks like my house has been dusted for prints. Unless they lick their fingers. Then everything is coated in a cheese-scented paste that is almost impossible to get out of furniture without good upholstery cleaner and Xanax.

  1. Your Broken Toys

I can’t count how many times I’ve been at a friend’s home and one of my children has fallen in love with some worn-out, crappy, broken-up princess tea set or Pikachu missing an ear, and suddenly I hear the words, “Oh…you can have it, sweetie.” Then I get the wink—that look from another parent that seems to say, “It’s your problem now.” Kiss my ass, it’s my problem! I have enough broken toys at my house. You don’t need to be passing your garbage into my house. I don’t need more. And I will admit, I have done this same thing before. Half the time it’s some broken toy my kids were given. Honestly, it feels like passing around broken toys is some sort of parental hot potato, each person trying to get rid of some silly piece of shit, when in fact we all just need to unify and start throwing this crap in the garbage. Can we do that? Together…please.

  1. Stuffed Animals

I’m not sure if stuffed animals can have sex. I try not to think about stuff like that, but what I do know is that they multiply. So I understand. You’ve got these stupid, button-eyed, hairy things growing in numbers. You want to thin the herd. Awesome. Throw them away. Give them to Goodwill. I don’t give a shit what you do with them, but don’t give them to my children because they are taking over my home, same as yours. Some of them smell bad. Real bad. Like whatever your kids did to them bad. Or they are sticky. I don’t need any more sticky crap, and neither do you. That’s why you gave it away. Sneaking stuffed animals from your house to mine is not being crafty, or spreading joy, it’s just you dumping your shit into my home. Stop it. You’re being an asshole.

I doubt many parents will disagree with this list. In fact, many will probably add to it. And if you do have a love for stickers on your van window or smelly stuffed animals or any of the other garbage I’ve listed, please comment below with your mailing address. I have a package to send you.

 

This Popular Sleep Aid May Be Harmful to Kids

There’s no quick fix that gets kids to sleep sooner, better, deeper. But melatonin comes pretty close.While medical experts don’t have much bad to say to adults about using melatonin, which isn’t a pharmaceutical rather a health supplement, some are concerned when it comes to regular use in children.

A recent New York Times Well blog post reported that while a lot of parents have given melatonin for their kids because it works—doctors don’t actually know whether it’s doing harm in the long run. Children’s brains are still growing and developing, and melatonin is a synthetic form of a hormone the pineal gland produces, and which signals to the brain it’s time for sleep.

“I think we just don’t know what the potential long-term effects are, particularly when you’re talking about young children,” said Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Parents really need to understand that there are potential risks.”

Research isn’t conclusive but some suggests that it could have effects not just on the brain but on other systems developing in children: reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic.

Melatonin has known possible side effects for adults, including “headaches, dizziness and daytime grogginess,” the Times reports. That last one is what makes it a sleep aid and also dangerous for drivers who might use it. The hormone-like substance, which is also found in foods like barley and walnuts, can also interfere with medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose.

Doctors who treat sleep disorders in children have long known parents turn frequently turn to melatonin to help their kids with sleep issues, often picking up the pills at a health food store and not telling their own doctors—a mistake.

“I rarely see a family come in with a child with insomnia who hasn’t tried melatonin,” Owns said. “I would say at least 75 percent of the time when they come in to see us” at the sleep clinic, “they’re either on melatonin or they’ve tried it in the past.”

For those who give it to their children, Owens recommends letting their child’s doctor know. She also said the pills should be picked up from a reputable source. Because they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration, there’s no way of know how much of the useful ingredient is in each pill. Buy “pharmaceutical grade,” which tend to have “more precise dosing levels.”

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose. In fact—and this is where parents, particularly, should be cautious—some contained nearly 5 times the dosage written on the label.

So while there’s still no silver bullet for kids and sleep—except for lots of exercise, predictable nighttime routines and early (yes, early!) bedtimes—the melatonin temptation should be met with caution and some medical support.

Contributions on this post via Mom.me

9 Things a Pediatrician Wishes You’d Stop Doing

One pediatrician tells us the truth about the things doctors wish parents would stop doing, now.
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, so unsuspecting moms and dads are left to figure out a lot on their own. Our go-to sources of advice—friends, the internet, our own parents—might not have the most reliable, up-to-date info. Then when we get to the pediatrician’s office, we’re either too stressed, rushed, or embarrassed to ask our questions. Doctors are great at telling you what to do, but even they might be hesitant to be upfront with parents about what not to do. So we asked Bill Bush, M.D., pediatrician-in-chief at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to give us the truth about the things parents should stop doing, now.

1. Stop looking to the internet for medical advice

When you’re freaked out about your child’s symptoms, the first place to turn is usually Dr. Google. And while trusted sites like the American Academy of Pediatrics can have useful info, it’s still impossible to diagnose your kid over the internet. Instead, take your concerns to your doctor. “I’ve been given websites to look up because a parent is pretty sure their child has X, Y, or Z disease,” Dr. Bush says. “I’m always happy to look and get back to them, but a diagnosis is based on our medical evaluation.

2. Stop going to the ER for everything

I’m guilty of this one. Recently my 3-year-old ran head-first into the fridge, and after blood started coming out of his nose and mouth, I rushed him to the ER without waiting for a call back from his doctor. Four hours and a $900 bill later, he was pronounced totally fine. “Except for extreme emergencies, getting a phone call in to your physician’s office gives time for the child to calm and the family to make assessments, and for us to determine if there’s an alternative place we can have you seen,” Dr. Bush says. An urgent care facility or the pediatrician’s office the next day may be better options.

3. Stop requesting antibiotics.

It’s natural to want our kids to get better as soon as possible, but Dr. Bush says antibiotics aren’t always the answer. “There are times when it’s absolutely appropriate to give the antibiotic when they have a bacterial infection, but for the majority of the patients we see with viral illnesses, it’s not,” he says. “Colds and coughs don’t need an antibiotic, they just need time to heal.” Plus, giving antibiotics too often can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are then harder to fight off.

4. Stop refusing vaccinations and demanding alternative vaccine schedules.

Ironically, just as some parents rush to medicine, others are scared by vaccines. Even if parents agree vaccines are a good thing, they’re concerned about giving many at the same time. “Very solid evidence exists that immunizations prevent many deadly and debilitating childhood diseases,” Dr. Bush says. “The FDA requires any new combination of vaccines to prove equal effectiveness as if they were given on separate dates so we’re not overwhelming the immune system.” The problem with delaying vaccines, especially with babies, is children then go unprotected for longer. “When you start spreading them out, you put more kids at risk,” he says.

5. Stop allowing unlimited screen time.

Let’s face it: Screens are a part of our lives now, which the AAP recognized when they relaxed their rules around screen time. But even so, Dr. Bush says to make sure your kids have outdoor play for exercise, and face-to-face interaction for social development. “Life’s about interacting with other people, so encourage children to play with their friends in person instead of texting or playing video games online,” he says.

6. Stop blaming your child’s cold on being outside.

This is one myth that just won’t die. But your kid is not going to catch a cold by going jacket-less for the 10-second walk to the car, so it’s probably not worth fighting that battle. “Viral illnesses such as colds come from the spread of germs—kids touching everything and then they touch their eyes, nose, and mouth,” Dr. Bush says. “We see much more spread of illnesses in the wintertime when kids are all condensed into one small area for the entire school day.”

7. Stop skipping well-child visits.

We all lead busy lives, and when it comes time for what we consider “non-essential” appointments, it’s easy to let them pass by. But Dr. Bush says that’s a mistake. “If we switch from providing sick care to well care, we can do a better job of preventing or managing certain diseases,” he says. This includes hearing and vision problems, heart murmurs, blood pressure elevations, kids who are failing to grow and spines that may be developing scoliosis. Plus, the visits give you and your child a chance to feel more comfortable with your doctor, so you’ll be more likely to discuss any concerns in the future.

8. Stop using Q-tips to clean your child’s ears.

You may think you’re helping your child’s hygiene, but you’re really just pushing wax further into the ears. “Kids will come in sometimes with ear pain or decreased hearing because their ears are just so packed with wax from the Q-tip not bringing it out, but pushing it back,” Dr. Bush says. Instead, allow some water to get into your child’s ears at bath time, because the moisture should help wax naturally work itself out.

9. Stop freaking out about your child’s temperature.

It can be alarming when your child develops a fever, but once they are out of the newborn stage when it may be dangerous, it’s just something else to report to your doctor. “It’s a symptom like a runny nose, cough, or pain, part of the collection of information that helps us make decisions on what’s the appropriate diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Bush says. “It’s very rare that a fever alarms us.”

Via Parents

Are You This Lucky?

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There is one rule in most situations to don’t compare yourself to others. But as moms, that’s almost impossible not to do, we now spend a majority of our time with other parents and their kids. I often think to myself, is she just a better mom than me, or does she have easier kids?

Of course, I know the answer to this question. All children come with their own set of rules, and I’m doing the best I can, but it’s still hard because our children can be a reflection of us to the outside world.

These are the moms some wouldn’t mind trading places with for one day:

  1. The Moms whose Kids Sit in the Shopping Cart

The grocery store is practically handing us an excellent ticket when they offer carts that look like race cars. It should be a toddler version of someone letting me drive their Ferrari but my kid make me want to drive off a precipice as I push that ridiculously enormous object and here comes another car cruising towards me, those damn carts are so huge we have to knock down all the displays to get what we want most of the times.

  1. Moms whose Kids Hold Their Hand When Walking Down the Street

These are the moments I apologize to the parenting gods for ever judging anyone who put their child on a leash. I want to handcuff mine most of the times. Even when he does hold my hand walking, it’s a little vague; his arm is in a constant shake motion.

  1. The Moms whose Kids Brush Their Hair and Teeth

Just ask my kid sometimes every morning is a mission to do it, he is little and he needs my help but even that he wants to make it himself and is the constant fight every morning. It makes no difference what flavor the toothpaste is or what character appears on their toothbrush.

  1. The Moms whose Kids Leave Places in peace

Everywhere we go somewhere and it’s time to get back into the car to leave my kid act like I’m tearing him away from Disney World. No matter where we are, chaos ensues when it’s time to go. I think I won’t take him to Disney World until at least their mid-30s, when he establishes some self-control.

Needless to say, these are things I never imagined would be an issue before I was a mother. I had no idea my child would complain about the simplest tasks, he also knows the right moment to plant a kiss on my cheek or bring a smile on my face, but I also have come to embrace the chaos, and laugh each day because I survive the unexpected but even the adversity I consider myself a lucky mom.

Enforcing bed time to kids

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I am a stickler for a strict bedtime for my kid  specially during the week  since he was a baby because I think nothing is worse than greeting a lot of cranks attitudes  in the morning and specially to maintain a routine and for my mental health is also an advantage.

Now, a new study published in the journal BMC Public Health finds that enforcing a bedtime during the week means kids are more likely to meet established sleep guidelines, which benefits their overall health and well-being.

Researchers at Public Health Ontario, Canada looked at self-reported data from more than 1,600 parents with at least one kid younger than 18 and found that 94 percent of parents encouraged a specific bedtime. Meanwhile, 84 percent of parents went a step further and enforced bedtime rules. These parents were 59 percent more likely to have kids who met sleep guidelines on weekdays.

Dr. Heather Manson, senior author of the study, explains the different between encouraging and enforcing bedtimes, saying: “We found that ‘encouragement’ as a parental support was less effective for both weekend and weekday sleeps. Enforcement of rules around bedtimes had a significant impact, but only on weekdays. We can conclude that parents enforcing a bedtime on the weekday could help support their child to achieve sufficient sleep.”

Manson added, “Sleep is increasingly being recognized as an important determinant of health, and an integral component of healthy living for children, integrated with other behaviors such as physical activity and sedentary time. In the family context, parents’ support behaviors towards sleep could play an important role in their child’s health.”

 

When Mom or Dad Is Seriously Ill

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When a parent becomes gravely ill, the entire family is thrown into crisis; for children, it may well be the worst of their lives so far. Often, the first impulse is to protect children, to spare them as much pain as possible. But children usually have to take on new responsibilities and confront stark realities, frightened and exhausted adults often have little energy to spare for children who are themselves terrified and confused.

As a parent you feel like the whole world is crashing down, feeling like you are sinking, and hard to give your kids the support, and at the same time you don’t want them to be ruined by this.

Ms. McCue, the supervisor of the Child Life Program at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a major medical center, has spent years trying to help adults and children not only to endure these crises, but also to emerge stronger. For years, she said, children were “the invisible people” in hospitals. Only in the last five years, she said, have professionals begun to recognize that techniques devised to help seriously ill children can be used to help healthy children whose parents are sick.

Probably the most difficult principle for well-meaning parents to follow, but the most central, is to tell children the truth, with the details adjusted to suit their ages. Parents, she writes, should always tell the children three things: that the mother or father is seriously ill, what the name of the disease is, and what the doctors say is likely to happen.

Most parents, she said, have found their children are far stronger than they thought. Children must be allowed to express their grief.

“Although telling the children the truth is very frightening and can be very emotionally overwhelming at the time, once you’ve gotten past that moment, everyone is carrying the burden together,” Ms. McCue said. “You can deal with it and help the child make the most of it. You say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do to handle this.’ ”

Adults must be careful, however, not to overburden children or to expect them to offer more than fleeting comfort, Ms. McCue said. They will need help talking about their fears, reassurance that the illness is not their fault and permission to have fun, Ms. McCue said.

Children may also need to be prepared for the sight of a sick parent in the hospital, and Ms. McCue recommends showing them pictures of hospitals and describing in detail the machines or other medical devices the children will encounter.

In many cases, children’s grades might suffer, but both the well and the sick parent, if possible, need to tell children that illness cannot be an excuse for failure, example, stopped doing his homework and started acting up.

While these are normal reactions for children, Ms. McCue also provides a list of warning signs that should prompt parents to seek professional help. These include severe problems with sleeping or eating, risky actions that might indicate suicidal thoughts — like deliberately dashing in front of cars — very aggressive or withdrawn behavior and extreme fears.

When the worst happens, and a parent is going to die, Ms. McCue offers detailed guidance about how to prepare children and how to handle final hospital visits. Although generally she advocates not pushing children if they are reluctant to talk about their parents’ illness, she said that if death is imminent, children must be told as soon as possible, to give them time to prepare.

She suggested that parents offer children several opportunities to visit the parent, but not to force them to do so. Whenever possible, the dying parent can be encouraged to dictate a last message to children, something they can hold on to in later years.

In her years of work with children, Ms. McCue said that she has been continually surprised at how much children can grow and even thrive despite the trauma of parental illness. “They develop some skills they didn’t know they had,” she said. “If you could make it go away, that’s the first choice. But if they can get through this, they can get through many things.”

 

The Importance of Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day had become a commercial holiday in my eyes abused by capitalism and retailers to extract as much money out of everyone as possible. I became relaxed about the day. It was just another Sunday in May because I think about my mother every day.

However, my feelings changed when I became a mother, of course they did. Everything changes when you birth a child. I began to see Mother’s Day as a day to be treated special and to be encouraged of how lucky I am to finally know the feeling of being a mother. I finally understood why my mother and aunts loved Mother’s Day so much. I asked a few friends what Mother’s Day means to them now that they are mothers themselves and we all agree on how special is now because of our children making us feel special.

Now that I’m a mother, I really love Mother’s Day from the handmade invitation to have breakfast at my son’s preschool, to the excitement important up to the event even that he is only 2 years and 5 month old, to the way he sees me in front of his classmates. The adorable gifts he’s made for me will always mean more to me than anything store bought I’ve ever received. It’s such a sweet holiday for me. I remember when I was a young girl; the emotion to wait for my mom at school on these special events makes me feel excited and compromise with my son, and I understand how my son will always feel about this special day.

Perhaps one of the problems is that society has tried to make Mother’s Day a tribute to women in general. This is one of our greatest errors. We don’t make Father’s Day a tribute to men everywhere, no it is a day for dad. Let’s make sure we not only do something special for her but tell her how deeply she is cared for and appreciated this Mother’s Day. I cannot think of a more thankless job. I hate to even call it a job, but it is work, with long hours, no vacations and no pay.

 

Ask almost any mother out there and they will tell you that there is not a more rewarding job/role to have then to be a mother. That pride, that feeling starts the moment they find out that they are pregnant, it as if life now has a deeper meaning and if you watch, if you pay attention you will see the woman you once knew become one of the most amazing women you will ever meet.

Motherhood And The Tendency To Alcohol

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Mothers have unique challenges that can aggravate drinking issues in those with susceptibility. However, it is important not to blame external circumstances exclusively for leading mother’s to drink heavily, also are also biological and physiological factors at play.

There are many challenges and blessings of motherhood that are not unique to alcoholics, as other mothers experience them.  However, it is important to acknowledge them and support other mothers in finding strategies to address the challenges in order to enjoy the blessings:

Challenges:

  • It can be challenging to find time for self-care without the support of loved ones, as an example alone time, massage, exercise, nap, read)
  • Mothers may experience “mommy guilt” for leaving their babies in order to take care of themselves.
  • Hormones are unstable during pregnancy and after, especially if a mother is breastfeeding.  Mood and energy can be effected and difficult to regulate.
  • The extreme change in routine with a baby can throw off the recovery plan a mother may have had previously, one of the most difficult stages in life.
  • HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired) is an abbreviation for possible causes that lead to decline.  These 4 triggers are sometimes hard to avoid as a new mother and it is important to stay aware of how vulnerable they can leave you to fading.
  • Mental health issues as anxiety, and depression can be intensified during early motherhood for reasons that include: stopping psychotropic medications due to pregnancy, hormone variations, sleep deprivation, mood issues, stress.  For those women who used to drink to self-medicate mood issues in the past this can be a difficult and causing time to learn to handle without turning to alcohol.
  • Loss of freedom:  drinking alcohol can be an escape and lead one to forget about their responsibilities for a short time. Parenting can lead some to feel locked and trapped.
  • Mothers put their child first and this can lead them to ignore recovery suggestions and to avoid taking the time to fit their recovery program into their new busy life.
  • Motherhood is continuous in a non stop routine. Alcohol can offer a quick escape and sober mothers need to find other options that may require support from others.
  • Marriages and partnership dynamics inevitably change after a baby enters the family, and there may be an increase in tension for a long period of time.
  • Motherhood is the opposite of a lifestyle and feeling responsible for another human being can lead some mothers to long for a time when they were independent and spontaneous.
  • Motherhood involves delayed gratification and patience in the process.  For those who require immediate gratification and rewards, they may look to other sources as alcohol, and food.
  • Many alcoholics’ desire excitement and stimulation in their life, becoming a mother requires a quieter existence and a monotonous routine.

But don’t be discouraged there are many protective positive factors that motherhood can add

Blessings:

  • Taking care of a baby is the ultimate act of sharing and can increase our selflessness therefore, decreasing selfish addictive behaviors
  • Being a mother may increase motivation to get and stay sober, so that you have something to offer to your child.
  • Being in recovery can prevent feelings that parenting is “getting in the way” of your drinking life.
  • Motherhood brings new meaning to your life and can fulfill you in a way that you may have been searching for through alcohol.
  • Motherhood can inspire you to plan for a healthy future and excessive alcohol would not fit into that type of lifestyle
  • Mothers want to set good examples for their children, and being a mother in recovery is an admirable
  • Genetics account for 50% of the chance of developing alcoholism.  Therefore, it is vital that alcoholic parents take responsibility for getting sober and staying in recovery in order to increase the chances that their children either don’t develop alcoholism or have role models to support them if they do.
  • Drinking alcohol in excess inevitably brings an element of danger into your own life (health, drinking and driving, blackouts, etc.).  Therefore, as a mother, you would not want to bring these issues into your child’s life.

Recovery involves more than just “not drinking”.  It also includes living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Here are some suggestions of ways to balance recovery and motherhood:

  • Ask for help!  Mothers are not superwomen and need support in parenting from their spouse, partner, loved ones and friends.
  • Make sure that you are eating regularly and if you need help getting groceries or cooking, then reach out to others.
  • Be sure to integrate self-care into your day when taking care of your child: take a nap, exercise, read a good book, watch a fun T.V. show, meditate pray, etc. Cultivate a hobby.
  • Find ways to combine self-care and childcare: get a jogging stroller so that you can walk/run with your child; do yoga stretches while they are playing in an activity center on the floor; get a seat or “pack and play” that will allow you to shower, cook, clean, etc. Be sure to get outside each day, especially if there is sunshine. A lack of vitamin D from the sun can contribute to depressed moods.
  • Ask a loved one to watch your child or pay for a babysitter so that you can do something good for yourself at least once a week: therapy mutual-help group meeting, yoga, exercise, massage, manicure, etc.
  • Join a Mom’s support group such as “Mommy and Me” or library affiliated mother’s groups
  • Begin to create a daily routine that can bring some predictability and stability to your days.
  • Get sleep!!!  Sleep deprivation can lead to many mood-related issues.  If you are having insomnia or constantly interrupted sleep, then it is important to find some support and solutions:
  • Take a nap while your child is napping even if you have chores and other tasks to accomplish, have your partner alternate getting up to feed the baby at night, sleep with ear plugs and have your partner be “on call” alternate nights, listen to a guided relaxation before bed, turn off all electronics 1 hour before bedtime, go to bed first so that you are asleep before your partner comes to bed and have them be “on duty” so that you can sleep, have a night off and sleep at a loved one’s house so that you partner can cover for you (even one night of good sleep could help to recharge your battery).
  • NOT drink caffeine after 4:00pm, “Sleepy time” tea, consult with your physician about getting a blood test for your Thyroid or other post-partum imbalances that could lead to sleep issues, talk with your physician about non-habit forming sleep aid options if all other techniques do not help you.

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11 Things NOT to say to a parent of an Only Child

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With a single child households on the rise, it’s time everyone got on board with what onlies and parents of onlies already know: Only children may grow up differently, but they’re just as awesome. I put together this list of comments that I really don’t like to be asked or say.

  1. “He must be really lonely.”

First of all, there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. I can say that only children are actually less likely to feel lonely because they have more experience being alone. We’re comfortable hanging out with ourselves and often have rich inner lives. That said, it’s important to make sure only children have lots of opportunities to play with other kids, so if you’re really concerned about the sibling-free boy down the street, I’m sure his parents would be happy to send him over for a play date.

  1. “He won’t have anyone to help take care of you when you’re old.”

While this technically may be true, there’s no guarantee that the children in a bigger family will share the work of caring for a parent, anyway. We have all heard about families where one sibling becomes the de fact of caretaker, whether he or she wants to or not. This is a situation that’s impossible to predict, so it’s just hurtful to make someone feel guilty for it.

  1. “It must be so easy with just one child.”

Well, yes and no. Yes, parents of only children don’t have to referee sibling fights, fill out school forms in triplicate, or spend nearly a decade changing diapers. But some of us made that choice because we know that we would have trouble managing a bigger family. When other parents start complaining about the stress of having multiple kids, I resist the urge to remind them that they chose to have a bigger family.

  1. “You’re not a real parent until you have more than one.”

Several parents told me they’d heard variations of this hurtful line, as if only-child moms “fall somewhere between a mother and an aunt on the challenge and commitment spectrum,” as a friend described it. We may have “just” one, but we have the important job of protecting and nurturing that life and feel all the same fears, worries, and boundless love other parents feel.

  1. “You don’t want him to grow up to be spoiled, do you?”

Trust me; parents of only children have internalized this stereotype so deeply that most of us are hyper-vigilant about not “spoiling” our kids. Even so, it’s a given that an only child is going to get more focused attention from his parents. Research shows this is a positive in terms of self-esteem, achievement, and even intelligence.

  1. “You’re selfish for not having another child.”

Does anybody know me or know my situation or the reasons for not to have another baby? That is another topic.

  1. “That must be why he is so shy.”

First of all, there is nothing wrong with being shy or introverted. The shy, withdrawn only-child stereotype is so pervasive that for a long time people believed is true, that is another topic.

  1. “He doesn’t seem like an only child.”

That’s a loaded complement if I’ve ever heard one. All kids have selfish and bratty moments, but only children are more quickly defined by these labels than kids from bigger families. Conversely, some people see an only child who actually has empathy and social skills as a rare unicorn. The reality is that all kids are in the process of acquiring these skills and should be allowed some mistakes as they grow.

  1. “What if he doesn’t have kids and you never get to be a grandmother?”

Well, yes, I’ll be a little disappointed if I never experience being a grandparent, but having more than one child just to ensure it happens doesn’t seem like the smartest gamble. Plenty of people never have kids. I want my child to grow up to be happy with his choices, not with pressure to make me a grandmother.

  1. 1 “Are you having another?”

Variations include “Just one?” and “Don’t you want one of each?” I especially like this sneaky one from the grandparents: “Our friends are asking us if you’re having another baby.” It should go without saying, but these are very personal questions. Some people will be happy to respond that they’re “one and done,” but others may have painful reasons behind their family size—money troubles, marriage problems, medical conditions.

  1. “He needs a sibling.”

I love my child dearly, but I try hard not to give in to him every whim and want, and that includes creating another human being for him to play with. There is no guarantee that siblings will be friends. I felt completely identified in this article Follow my blog for more informative and interesting articles about parenting and motherhood’s experiences.