It takes a village to raise a family; advice and tips to make the most of yours.
Reclaim your Fun Bags after Nursing
Breastfeeding is a beautiful act of love and sacrifice. When a mother nurses her child, she is giving more than nourishment; she is bonding with her youngster. With breastfeeding comes the responsibility of providing your baby with healthy nutrition through your diet (BabyCenter.com, 2021). When it's time to wean your little one off the breast you have to do it with care for both of your sakes. Encouraging your baby to let go of the teat can be difficult for both of you, but it is a task you'll have to perform to reclaim your breasts.
Spring for a Toddler Mom
As I sit here writing, my son, Leo, is eating his breakfast. This morning he has a mini peanut butter sandwich, unsweetened applesauce, and a small amount of no sugar added orange juice. He has eaten his fill, and is now proceeding to tear off a piece of crust. He is making "choo choo, clickety clack" noises like the toasted bread is a train. He has taken his spoon and painted his cup, tray, bib, and part of his chair in applesauce. At various points he has forgone the spoon entirely and dipped his hands in his bowl of applesauce, and shoveled it into his mouth. It's more efficient that way. He pushes the now inside out sandwich over top of his cup's top, smearing peanut butter all over the lid. This is a fairly common occurrence at mealtime in the Martin household, and I'm sure it is fairly common in other family houses as well. By the end of most days, I will have cleaned his tray a total of twelve times for one reason or another. Some messes and food will be less concerning. When I'm really stressed about the mess, he'll have some finger foods like gold fish crackers, dried fruit, or veggie straws. Those items are usually reserved for busy telework hours when we are both home for Covid-19 quarantine reasons or for the occasional trip out, but sometimes you're just tired of cleaning the same messy tray over and over again. Sometimes the quick wipe down after those pre-packaged snacks just makes life a little easier. When I clean his trays and the big messes foods like applesauce, soup, or smoothies can create, I try to remind myself that he ate healthy food. Not only did he eat it, but he ENJOYED eating something that is beneficial for his growing body. That is a big deal, and a success. He has recently been excited by helping make smoothies. He loves getting the berries out from the fridge or freezer, dumping them into the blender, pushing the button, and watching it blend. It isn't a mess free experience, but it is a pleasant one to be a part of. This Spring, I'll get to watch him help with new child safe parts of seasonal recipes and taste even more seasonal ingredients. Messes are unavoidable and inevitable, but finding the positives about the messes with a toddler does seem to help.
So Much Spring Cleaning
My interpretation of spring cleaning has changed drastically this 2021 season. For the first time in my 35 years, I am seeing spring cleaning as a time for spiritual cleaning, unlimited self-care, and healing inside and out. My 2020 could have been the most traumatic year of my life, however, it is a year that I will be forever grateful for. In the midst of a global pandemic, remote working with two boys, a Masters degree, and being a wife, I was able to bring myself out of the deepest depts of my own past, and emerge into a beautiful butterfly. After 17 years I had to walk away from a marriage. A marriage that almost killed me both mind and body; however, it only made my spirit stronger than ever. I connected back to God and accepted feedback from others. This feedback helped me to believe in my inner goddess again and fight for my freedom to be the person I deserved to be.
Are You Making Your Parents' Life Better in the Older Part of Their Living?
We have four relations who live with us closely for most our lives. It's our parents, siblings, spouse, and our children. There are other relations too, including our friends and few colleagues who stay in our lives much longer, but those four relations are exceptional.
MAMA HAD NO CLUE
Understanding why a child does not speak up when being abused is unfathomable to adults. They say, “why didn’t they tell their parents”, unfortunately, therefore they call it abuse. A child is at the mercy of the adults that they are put in care of, whether it be buy natural birth, adoption, or a trusted caregiver. Abuse is abuse. A child is abused and should not be held responsible for the manipulation inflicted on them. A child can be threatened and told that if they tell someone, they will not be believed or that they will hurt them or their family members. Ask me how I know. It happened to me and I can vouch that there are reasons that abuse is kept a secret and that a child is too tired to confide in someone about the abuse. I was very good at hiding the truth, but, as an adult I know there were signs, that if my parents would have picked up on, she may have been able to figure out that something was not quite right. My abuse began first with my grandfather when my brother and me were left with our grandparents for two weeks during my family’s move from Texas to North Carolina. I was nine years old and found myself awakened in the bed I was sleeping in. My grandfather had woken me up by molesting me, I was so scared that I willed myself back to sleep and still do not know fully what happened to me. The next morning, I instantly confided into my uncle and he took me to my grandmother. I told her what happened, but she did not believe me. That is where the viscous cycle of me thinking that no one would believe me, began. Although my grandfather began the abuse, he did not continue, and I was able to avoid further abuse from him. Soon after this event, my uncle on the other side of my family, began molesting me and this continued until I was eleven. He threatened me with harm, he told me that no one would believe me, and that it was my fault that he was touching me. I did not feel like mama would believe me. He was her brother, there is no way she would believe me. I avoided the situation that put me in my uncle’s presence as much as I could. When mama was at work, we had to either stay at my paternal or maternal grandparents. I would avoid the abuse of my uncle by going to my paternal grandparent’s house. Remember, this is where I was abused by my grandfather, however, he was at work too. I would refuse to go to my uncle’s house and mama never knew why and did not understand why I refused. There were many days my brother was there, and I was at the other’s house. Unfortunately, I was unable to avoid my uncle all of the time and trust me he took advantage every time he had the chance. I would flee to the woods behind my grandparents’ house, but somehow, he found me. He inflicted pain on me and punished me to get me to do what he wanted me to. He pulled my hair and bruised my breasts with force to make me stay where he wanted me to. Fortunately, we moved away from the area, which completely stopped the abuse. I was a victim, plain and simple. I was a child. Should my parents have noticed? Were there signs? Yes, there were signs, but the person that did this to me was trusted, he was family, and he was supposed to protect me. Dad and mama could have noticed, but they were in the middle of their own marital issues. I do not blame them, but as a parent myself, I realize how easy it can be to not know what is going on. I finally told my mama when I was sixteen. She was completely heartbroken and the fact that I did not tell her, haunts her all of the time. I assure her that there was nothing she could have done because I was good at hiding it.
A Relationship with Parents
When I am left alone with my thoughts, I am often plagued by things that have been said to me by the people who brought me into this world- who I love dearly, but who have seriously said damaging things that have left me hearing their echoes for years. They are haunting and cruel, and I just think also its a generational thing.
There is always some mystique, and far too much pressure as a result, about spring cleaning. I believe we should blame our mothers, and their mothers and generations from long ago. I find spring cleaning to be overrated and quite daunting. Just hearing the whispers, and casual comments that start in February, about the impending thrill of ‘spring cleaning’ gives me great anxiety. I don’t need the rapid heartbeat. The pressure to rise up to some unknown standard is frightening. The good news is that we get to define or redefine our approach.
Effective Time Management Tips for Moms
Time executives are a major worry for moms nowadays. Between children's exercises, family obligations and, for some, the requests of an upsetting work environment, numerous moms have abandoned the battle to figure out an ideal opportunity for themselves and are simply attempting to complete everything. The accompanying time the board tips can be utilized by occupied mothers wherever to remove a portion of the pressure from life, and make more opportunity for no particular reason times with kids, quality time with their accomplice, or even that desired and almost neglected alone time.
"Born With Sight"
What is in life that one would rejoice at the conception of a human. Balloons and glitter fill the air with color as time passes to reveal the life hidden away within. Our lives seem to be comprised of our experiences alone. What we look like, how we feel, and what has happened to us all shape our reality in this world. If we aren't careful we will begin to believe that our value lies in the sum of our experiences. Memories seem to slip away the further we travel down the path of time. What once was freshly etched into our brains becomes empty spaces left with burn marks unrecognizable. As to their source who could know except maybe the ones who were there. In time, even that begins to fade. There are some things that we say we will never forget, but over time we may change a few details here and there. I have had it happen to me before: my perception of a moment changing the next day. It seems that there is sometimes a pang of guilt that can follow when the ashes of the images burned in our minds begin to be carried away by the winds of time. How is it that we can forget the faces of the ones we love? Maybe we remember things based on where we are emotionally speaking. After having time to process things and think them over, we allow ourselves to see more of what was truly happening at that moment that we weren't willing to look at within our strong emotional state. Sometimes our minds wipe memories away like a wave pulling a sandcastle into the sea. The memories remain but are unintelligible. This is a form of self-preservation.
From Ones Perspective
From broken to healed, healthy to sick, there are many ways that people are suffering. Even in the healthy and healed times. There are certain times someone who is broken can look down on someone that is just like them. Something to ease their pain off to someone else. It’s all perspective. It’s all the way you see things in your own point of view that make things bad or awkward. Someone right now is probably thinking to themselves that they can’t push through what they are trying to accomplish because others who are broken like them are holding them back from their true potential. The elderly will possibly look down on pregnant teens and people who are leaving the house states away. There are parents who do not see eye to eye with their child because it’s a different generation then what they lived in.
For the Domestic Abuse Survivor Single Moms
This is for the single mom who, after finally fighting the system to keep herself and her kid(s) safe, is safe. This is for the mom who has no support system close to her, has a real fear of anyone watching her kid(s), and is just trying to survive. What do you do? What do you do when the people who you thought were your family turn out to be just as evil and sadistic as the person you married. What do you do when that support system, the ONLY support system, ends up burning down to the ground. What do you do when you have made every effort to kid(s) safe and you have successfully done it but are left with the emotional and mental distresses of what the abusive spouse did to either you, your kid(s), or even both? What happens when you have a mental break at work and they fire you without any warning? When you are now daily trying to make ends meet, on your own?
Co-Parenting: Not For The Faint of Heart
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. Breakups suck. It is a fact universally acknowledged by anyone that has ever been in a relationship that no breakup is a good breakup. Some breakups may be better than others but in 99% of relationships that end, it's safe to say they breakups just suck.