Not Her, How not me applies to our daughters (and sons)

Not her

 

I started thinking what does this me too lesson mean to me as a mom. I often ponder the take-away and deeper lesson in things. People started posting “me too” as a status on social media last week in response to recent headlines concerning sexual abuse of women. Although deeply personal, I felt that it was important to post “me too” as well. To illustrate the cause intended.  I didn't add my own story or take. The most difficult abuse I have faced was what stood out in my mind initially. But, it was too raw and intimate to share in this way. The more this subject poured across my newsfeed and my mind returned to it, the more that subtle causes of sexual abuse and degradation of the feminine stood out to me. The point of the me too post was to show just how prevalent and also silent of a snake sexual abuse is in our society. And the reason it matters is because we want to look at our daughters and be able to say “not her” and look at our sons and be able to say “not him” So, how can we fix this problem, by finding the root of it.

 

The thing about First world problems is that they are hidden. We have hunger here. We have extreme poverty here. We have torture and oppression here. It is systematic and there are laws that keep it going. The difference is that it is hidden. It is silent. It is ignored and denied. This denial and covering up of our problems is a sadly rampant social disease we face. We cover up with lies, excuses, drugs, money: transactions that keep  people quiet. Things like police brutality, mental health and chemicals in our foods to sexual misconduct and abuse are all kept under the radar and off of media while our focus is placed on sensational,  materialistic and emerging trends.

So this issue of sexual abuse, it is an undeniably huge problem, and one head of a larger monster. Not only is this denial and excuse response being drilled down onto women (and men) from above. We inhabit it within ourselves. We view it as normal. We are brainwashed to deny and make excuses for things that in all sensibilities should be nothing less than egregious. Leaving our feelings stuffed inside, our brains feeling insane, curtailing our ability to serve in our world, flooding our bodies with antidepressants, stoking anxiety and anger. And this applies to men too. The men committing these acts are brainwashed just as equally to act toward women as if they are superior and objectify women’s bodies. Men are taught to fear a woman’s power but to recklessly throw his own around whenever he wants something. Men are discouraged from expressing their emotions and encouraged to express aggression. Women are taught to please others and hide every other emotion. Women appear in images as sexual objects but are equally jeered for expressing sexuality and confidence.

The message to women: you are an object of affection and to be used for other’s pleasure, but you are not to celebrate your own power, pleasure, beauty and self.  Stuff your unpleasant feelings and true desires, including femininity deep, deep down within where it can fester into poor self esteem, unhealthy sense of self, disorders and depression. The lesson to men; you are an object of money making power, to use others for pleasure and to get ahead, not to express any sensitivities, compassion, love or fears. But to stuff them inside where they can fester into  damaging mental health and unhealthy expressions of sexuality and anger.

This translates into “me too” in a systematic way for both men and women. Because we know the most prevalent symptom. We know when we get that final diagnosis of the social cancer; what it looks and sounds like and how one cannot deny its destruction. We know the terms: rape, molestation, abuse. Do we know the causes? Do we prevent them? Do we see them or deny them? Do we look the other way or worse contribute actively without even maybe realizing it? I would say that as a society, as a whole 110%.

While these are my personal responses to ‘me too’, I would bet not ONE person could not say me too to at least one of these, in your own version of how it resonates true in your own life.

The thing is, most of these are so subtle yet powerfully deadly to the emergence of femininity, equality and humane treatment across gender. The point being, we must pull these weeds before they manifest into  impossible to ignore and deeply hurtful effects.

Me too-when my father felt he needed to abandon his kids and go into the world seeking power, money and fame yet he is the most kind, sensitive warm hearted man I’ve ever known.

Me too-when my brother was shamed for his kindness, and artistic, sensitive soul.

Me too-when my girlfriends started turning their backs on me, as my value as friend became nothing in comparison to the threat of “stealing” their boyfriends, which I had no intention of doing but that didn’t matter.

Me too-When I too couldn’t see past that threat of women being predators and men being helpless victims to their attraction to others, or the reverse. Both notions not holding ownership for a person and his or her own choices.

Me too-every time I heard a woman hate the other woman and forgive the man, in words actions and deed, in response to betrayal.

Me too-when my boss said just sit there and look pretty with a wink, to me asking to be trained at a job he was paying me for, in fact it was my first job and I was about 13 years old.

Me too-when that same boss would say, you’re lucky you’re cute when I would mess up instead of teaching me how to improve.

Me too-when at my second job, now age 16, I asked for the position of cook and was told I’m too pretty for that and they gave me the position of cashier

Me too-when I felt awkward and ashamed around my bosses his wife as if I were somehow the problem and I questioned if my shorts were too short or my top too tight.

Me too-when working as a waitress and bartender and had to take endless thoughtless derogatory comments from men about my looks, my smile, my personality. Nothing was off the table and I was told many times to ignore it and smile even though it crushed me inside.

Me too-when a drama coach in middle school would wink at me and pat my back, and make comments about my looks until I quit the school play, walked away and never went on a stage again.

Me too-ten years old at camp and called a prude and also a slut and up until then had no idea what either word meant, yet suddenly as a not even matured girl had to reconcile those terms into my identity.

Me too-every time I bought and read a fashion magazine with a half-naked girl on the cover

And read it-

And internalized it-

And fed my low self-esteem with it-

And every time I straightened my curly hair to get “his” approval-

And lost weight to be loved

And gained weight to be liked

And every time I thought my worth was reflected in “his approval” not my own-

And every time I tried to hide my looks so I others would notice my personality or thoughts instead-

And every time I thought I needed to cut my hair short to PROVE I don’t need to look feminine, even though at the same time I am supposed to embrace my femininity, but somehow quieter, and in the corner where no one can hear.

And every time I read a princess story where the man’s love and approval and place of power was the girl’s happily ever after

And every time I cheered at my high school football games in a short skirt and the players broke through the paper banner we held for them to tear through as they entered the field grunting in aggression at the opposing team.

And in high school when my math teacher told me I was a girl so it didn’t matter when I didn’t know how to do the equations.

And in college, when it became really clear that women’s studies are a subject in a book and men study books to create today’s story and tomorrow’s history.

And even in my generation post women’s right movement, I heard that girls go to college to earn an MRS (find a good husband) and men to earn a degree.

And every time I spoke up in a meeting at my job and literally got ignored or at best a courtesy smile.

And every time a male colleague spoke up in that same meeting saying almost the same thing and got emphatic nods, and pats on the back.

And when that male colleague got promoted.

And when I had kids and my job became mommy and i became virtually invisible to society, friends even family at time because of how undervalued the job of motherhood is even though it is the epitome of feminity.

And when I started a business and because I was also a mother, my ability to perform was totally unsupported and ignored in terms of how much time and energy I had to give.

And yet when I see Dads in typical women dominated roles like parenting receive excessive praise for things like changing diapers, making dinner and pushing the baby in the stroller.

And every time I got dressed in the morning having to consider if it made me fit in and be accepted, or be targeted.

And the fact that the questions I am taught to ask are how to get others to accept me, not how to I accept myself, and is there a man around I need to be afraid of, not what other people will I meet and collaborate with or connect with in general, and what do my looks say? Not what can my voice say? These are the questions we are brainwashed to ask for every single move we make.

I could go on and on and on  with just about one example from every hour of my life. And that is not an exaggeration. It is because these ideas and practices are so deeply ingrained into our ways of life. But, the beautiful thing is that these ideas are now being unearthed. We are beginning, to examine these ideas and see what is really going on. I think we are headed in the right direction. Because, we have another generation of boys and girls that need to not have to have this conversation anymore.

We have so much work to do. We have so many conversations to have. And the point of all this? So we can say not her for our daughters and not him for our sons.


 

Define Mompreneur

What it means to be a mompreneur

I have a love/hate relationship with this word. I am fiercely tied to language. I come from a long line of literary and English mavens and lovers. I relate to words as if my being depends on the interweaving of their definition and manifestation into life. I want to define mompreneur. But, the definition has already been designated.

I want to discuss what it means to be one, in real life. I want to map out the intricacies of the minute-to-minute that is this life.

To begin with, the broadest scope of this word is a mom who creates and maintains a business venture, large or small. There are some things that do not exist in small. Motherhood and business being two of them. Both of these journeys are full time expeditions. They have no time boundaries. They have no cost boundaries. They have no boundaries on one’s mental, emotional and physical capacities. They both hold this sort of infinite realm of growth, possibility, scope and depth. No two days are alike. Imagine a combination of both in one life. There is a part of me that dislikes this word because it somehow feels as if it demotes the mom or the entrepreneur aspect. Similar to the term, boss babe. In my opinion,a boss need not be sexy, cute or babelicious in any form. A boss need not carry a special term that highlights her femininity and her distinction from her male counterpart; particularly a distinction related to sex and beauty. Babe is defined as an innocent or inexperienced person by dictionary.com. So with all due respect to those who use the term bossbabe, because many of them perform truly phenomenal work. I cannot understand the notion to choose this particular label and the coining of this phrase strikes a chord in me.

And what about mompreneur?

Do we need to drop the entire definition and replace it with just mom and business owner?

In relation to that desire to promote all things equally I would say, no. However, I must say on this one. YES, yes and Hell fucking YES! And here is why mompreneurs are an ENTIRELY different breed than entrepreneurs.

Let me tell you a story.

Once Upon a Time a mompreneur wakes up and creeps around in her house to get early morning work done because if she wakes a child her work time is squashed. Done. Finite. Morning work not done. Or she wakes to the sound of babies crying, older children making breakfast, or toddler climbing over her face.

An entrepreneur (according to most of the awesome and successful ones who blog and dole out life advice) awaken to a blissful morning routine specifically designed to enhance her chi, karma, productivity, stamina and flow of abundance. She stretches leisurely to yogic chanting and sound bells and basks in the morning sun. She pours organic coffee that raises her vibration because its fair trade and spiked with ghee and love. She carefully crafts a daily to-do list over a green smoothie and power bowl breakfast.

10 am: Baby wakes up from nap crying nice and loud and toddler crashing into the room alerting mompreneur that her hour (now reduced to fifteen minutes) of productive time is now screeching to a painful halt. Forget that she carefully intended mantras and planned out nappy time and snacky time to ensure she could get her work done. Plans mean very little when little ones are around.

10am in entrepreneur land, she gleefully sends out marketing posts to all her loyal followers, fresh from her shower, dressed to the nines, after a meeting with one influencer and before her next meeting with the next. She makes her own schedule. She is empowered and in charge of her own time. Soon, she will do a little yoga.

Lunchtime is literally a juggling act; trying to feed baby with the ‘thank-god-there-is-a-clean-one-in-the- drawer’ spoon; mom munches on crackers and almond cheese. It is vegan so she is raising her vibration and there are a few flax seeds sprinkled on there so she is staying on top of her nutrition. Forget about a meeting, she is covered in spit up and baby food. She might smell because she hasn’t had a minute to shower in days. She has work to think about, but her mind is slowly filling up way past the brim. The preschooler needs a nap. And there are those flyers she spots in the corner of her eye that need to be returned to the big kids’ school. She is having the first of a dozen mini breakdowns that ensue throughout her day. This is definitely not good for vibration raising. She says a prayer.

3pm and Entrepreneur’s energy drops. She schedules a massage as she takes a walk in the fresh air to clear her thoughts. They drift to some painful times in her childhood and some struggles she has about trying to change the world. She schedules an extra hour with her therapist to go over this in detail at their next session and decides she needs an extra shot of wheatgrass today to take the edge off.

In mom land the vacuum is on and toddler is carefully hidden under perfectly constructed safety fort so the noise doesn’t bother her. Baby in left arm, while the right balances cord and pushes around the edges of the couch. She sees blankets that need folding. Her husband texts her that he loves her which is a band aid to her wound for the time being. She decides to let the little one ride her tricycle and she pushes the baby in the stroller while sipping hot tea (and trying not to spill it) as a deserved break. T minus 30 minutes til big kids get home. Dinner defrosting on counter. Emails getting ignored. Chocolate being shoved in face. It’s 3pm in mompreneur land.

While entrepreneur schmoozes and connects over happy hour drinks and appetizers, mom desperately pleas with older children not to argue over the last waffle. And also, “we are eating in 30 minutes why are you cooking waffles,” and, oh my gosh the baby has the broom and the toddler never napped and is now crying that she cannot feed real food to her doll, on the carpet, in the living room. As cracker crumbs spill all over that rug that looked vacuumed for two seconds and the folded blankets are now a tent.

Entrepreneur winds down with a good book. Husband texts mompreneur that his train is delayed and will be an hour late and asks to please lay out clean clothes for him. E sips her wine and responds to a bunch of emails. M tries to get all kids showered, in PJs and in bed. M tries to quiet down children who increase exponentially in energy as her own energy drains at rapid pace. E orders takeout and laughs with partner about how life is so grand.

9pm. M is passed out with a baby latched on and nursing. Older kids are in bed but not asleep but she has nothing left to give. She may wake up around 10pm and sneak in two hours of work before passing out again, losing sleep and making her day harder tomorrow. But, we wanted this as women. We wanted to have it all. Motherhood, career, clean house, happy family. We are grateful right? This is the modern happily ever after.

This is a satire, and it’s dramatic and it might seem a bit unfair. Disclaimer to the hard working entrepreneurs out there that are not moms, you rock! I am one of your loyal followers too.  You are creating awesome companies, jewelry, books, artwork  and opportunities that enhance the lives of others!

But, to the MOMpreneurs out there. I’m in that gutter with you mamma! I salute you! I see you. I bow down and say, keep up the good work and give yourself a break.

I see you taking phone calls on the sidelines of soccer practice and feeling a little neither here nor there.

I see you checking emails on the playground and trying not to feel guilty.

I know you are nursing on mute on conference calls.

I know you aren't eating or sleeping enough.

I know you dream about naps and sometimes eat junk.

It’s okay and it’s going to be okay.

I know your type: you’re doing more than average yet you’re harder on yourself than those who make half the effort you do. You’re shooting for the moon, dancing with the stars and trying to rewrite history. You care so much about doing it right that no matter how much you squeeze into a minute of time, you regret not doing one more thing.

One day, when you miss your kids after they are all grown up, you can chant with the yogis and sip chai in the coffee shops all you want.

But on that day, keep calling yourself a mompreneur. You own that term, you rock that term. Wear it with pride.

Carry on brave ones.

Written By: 

Olivia Treubig ©  

https://www.mrandmrswrite.net/

Mindfulness/Child Development Poetry

Parenting Newsletter

 

A somewhat unique, holistic simplified and nurturing method for preparing a baby registry

A somewhat unique, holistic simplified and nurturing method for preparing a baby registry.

 

 

Ten years ago, I was about 7 months pregnant with my first child. With the knowledge of an upcoming baby shower, I asked my friend for help preparing my baby registry. She had a child already. I had no clue where to even begin. We went to the huge baby item superstore and it admittedly felt like Christmas morning. I joyfully aimed that scanner thing at all the cute, pink, fluffy infant items one could want. I loved the idea of trading in my purse for a diaper bag. How exciting! It felt like a rite of passage. A twinge of nerves fluttered through me as I didn’t want to jinx the baby by “counting my ducks before they hatched” so to speak. I had thoughts about how wonderful life with baby would be and also hard hitting realizations that I was about to be responsible for a little human. I had never done this before. I felt overwhelmed, over joyed and over stimulated all at once. Now, years later, I realize it could have been more simple, effective and stress free had I known a few things. Most importantly, this ritual of preparation, left me no where near prepared for real life post baby.

 

Weeks before baby arrived my apartment was wall to wall with a huge amount of stuff. I spent weeks pre washing tiny cotton onesies with hypo allergenic detergent. I paced around waiting. At first it was exciting. Eventually, after baby arrived, all the stuff became a burden and more to clean and organize, as well as a waste of money and love. On the other hand, I suddenly had needs popping up, I never knew I would have. None of which were met. Motherhood, as we all hear often is extremely different in reality than our pre parenting expectations lead us to believe. Therefore, when you are registering for a baby, before the birth of your first child; it is difficult to know what you actually truly need. As a more practiced mom, who has been through quite a number of babyhood experiences ( I now have four children) ; take my advice below.

 

Ask yourself these three questions, and allow my answers to guide you.

 

Q: What will I need the most of after baby is born that I do not need now?

A: Sleep, Peace and Help

 

Before you even start thinking about baby gear, start off thinking about you. You may be thinking, this is totally backwards. Isn’t this the time of my life to be selfless, to think about the baby and put my needs aside? That is a slippery slope, I ask you not to journey along. While parenthood itself will inevitably propel you into a lifestyle that requires masses of selfless love and service; you have to keep conscious of what you need. In fact, there exists an even greater need to put yourself and your needs on the agenda, because the demands to give are so high. Trust me on this. A baby needs present, loving and joyful parents (at least mostly) The biggest factor in the transition from non-child households to parenting is the psychological and social adjustments the parents need to make. Not solely the gear one needs to buy. Many societies are aware and supportive of this time period. While we do not have a social system that recognizes and supports this chapter, you can individually pay attention to that which is needed proactively. Having a child greatly effects marriage and individuals. In fact, according to recent demographic studies, more than 40 percent of children born to two parents can expect to live in a single-parent family by the time they are 18.(psychologytoday.com)

 

To incorporate this into a baby registry, take the initiative and ask for contributions to several funds that are designed to increase your chances of a smooth and effective transition. You can do this on sites such as www.plumfund.com

Sample List

1-Couples Coaching: statistic insert about how new baby effects couples http://www.designingmotherhood.com/design-options-new/

2-Meal Service or Grocery Delivery such as these http://www.mealbaby.com/  https://yumblekids.com/

3-Nanny/Babysitter/Night Nurse

4-Yoga Classes/Gym Memberships

5-New Mom Circles/Support Groups

 

Q: What will the baby need before 6 months of age?

A: to eat, sleep, pee, poop and be transported

Anything that doesn’t fit into these categories isn’t necessary. Focus on the type of quality of each item and register for one you really will love for each item then avoid repeats. Ie; one place to put the baby during the day other than the crib such as a swing, but not a swing and an infant seat and a play yard, and a bassinet etc. Whether you go with a doc-a-tot or a rock-n-play (both are items parents swear by) you only need one.

Sample list:

One quality set of bottles and a sterilizer

Or

Breast feeding cover, pads and bottles/pump only if you plan to leave the baby with others

Diapers and Wipes (you don’t even need a changing table) I used the floor, couch and bed on a towel or changing pad most of the time.

A safe carseat and a stroller you love. Having a good stroller is a big deal. It will motivate you to go out and make it easy when you do. Look for one that you can fold up and open with one hand easily, that turns easily and rides smoothly and baby will be comfortable in. This is one item worth spending more on. If you are active a jogging stroller or mini jogging stroller will enable you to easily make or keep a regular walk or run in your routine.

An awesome wrap or carrier that is comfortable, has pockets for your keys, cell, cash and a diaper.

A doc-a-tot, rock n play or similar item for baby to nap in during the day

 

Q. What will the baby need after 6 months of age.

A. One rookie mistake is only registering for infant/newborn items. Think ahead to the period from 6 months to a year. You don’t want to suddenly need to purchase a large amount of clothes and items as the baby gets older.

Sample List

Larger size diapers

Larger size clothes

Sippy cups

Baby spoons

Teething soothers-Sophie the Giraffe is by far the best one!

A car seat that converts as baby grows (not solely and infant car seat)

Safety items for a crawling baby like socket covers/baby gates and door locks

A food puree machine and storage cups

Yes, you will need a small amount of absolutely necessary items for your new baby. But, keep in mind and in your agenda that this is a huge life transition. While it may not be handed to you to also prepare for the mental and emotional needs that go along with this life change, baby registries and showers are a big part of our tradition. Thankfully, you can tailor it to suit the deeper needs as well. This will enable you to fully prepare to bring baby home with gratitude and ease.

 

Written By: 

Olivia Treubig ©  

https://www.mrandmrswrite.net/

Mindfulness/Child Development Poetry

Parenting Newsletter

 

What you need to know (and no one ever told you ) about cooking with Infants; 12 Real Life Cooking Tips

These are the best ever real life tips that no one told you about cooking with an infant (or children).

 

Remember those days you were hungry and a good meal was a phone call away, just dial up an order of drippy cheesy pizza, or indulge in some pork lo mein right? Or, remember when you and your Significant Other were dating, you strapped on that cute apron, slaved away with your pretty pots, in your spotless apartment for hours, surprising him with a 5 course home cooked meal? I bet you both held expectations of all of this wonderfulness carrying over into your marriage while you leisurely sipped your pre dinner cocktails; just add in a few kids eating peacefully, with cute spaghetti covered faces to the table and viola, happy family meal. Uh, yeah right.

I mean, it’s pretty pathetic that we have nearly no idea what real marriage and life with kids looks like. In fact, I know there is still a popular Glamour article circulating that has a recipe for Engagement Roasted Chicken and Hook him Apple Pie. By the way, I confess I have cooked this chicken and hoped for the promised promise, in the way-to-his heart-is-his-belly-so-he will-see-what-life-with-you-will-be-like meal! By the way, it worked. The chicken was delish! And he did eventually propose. Though, I would like to believe it had to do with way more than that meal! But, here is my point. Our expectations and our society’s portrait of life after marriage and kids is so incredibly misleading, and then damaging.

Because, once we land in this world and are slapped with the reality of the exact opposite, it hurts. Thankfully, there are a ton of resources and professionals working hard to turn this ship around. Until then, let’s go back to that moment we started with.

So there you are, its 5pm you and all the children are hungry and hangry (hungry plus angry and yes this is a real thing) You need a solution that is easy and healthy and fast including clean up. So, here you go. These are the best ever tips that no one told you about cooking with an infant (or children).

 

12 Tips for cooking with a Newborn and Kids

 

1.       Keep it Simple

This is not the time for gourmet, calorie counting, designer meal, pinterest worthy meals. Lower your expectations way, way down, and then a bit more. Get your mindset in survival mode. You are pretending you are in the Amazon and your children need food to survive. A protein, a veg, a fruit and grain and go! Take it from there and add flair only as time and opportunity allow.

 

2.       One Pot Meals are Your Friend

Crock Pots, Big Pots of Soup, Stews and Pasta/Rice Bakes are seriously life savers when you have a baby. Okay, I know I’m referring to the dreaded ‘casserole’ here. But seriously, make one big one when you have 30 minutes and eat out of it all week, on the days you have zero energy for anything, on the nights you need a break. Best part,  you might even grow to love this meal. There are some really fantastic and easy recipes out there.

 

3.       Cook the Main Dish- Buy the Sides

This is probably the best, most overlooked tip. You absolutely do not lose brownie points for not being superwoman here. This tip gets you back down to one pot to sauté your chicken, or veggie burger patties or whatever your Main Dish is that night, and that’s it- you are done! Warm up or dole out premade sides and enjoy the freedom of ease.

4.       Stick to Recipes with Five Ingredients

This goes back to keeping it simple. You really can do amazing things with only 5 ingredients. The kids are young and their palette prefers simple tastes as well. This is actually scientifically proven. So this tip carries over to the table where you eliminate (or reduce) food battles. Less ingredients makes it easy to puree food for the baby too. Since you are sticking to nutritious basics and that’s what you will want to feed an infant.

5.       Trader Joes/Adams is your friend

These guys are amazing resource’s when you are looking for those store bought sides, they provide recipe cards and meal ideas, healthy and organic pre-made frozen foods and precooked soups, chickens and other meals. In some locations you can order your meats and actually have them marinated or cooked while you shop for no extra charge, yet most people do not even know that!

6.       Cash in on screen time or dinner time toys

If you wait until you are cooking to hand your older ones some screen time, or keep a box of mealtime toys (I use playdough) in your kitchen pantry that ONLY (this is the KEY to this trick) comes out while mommy is cooking, you are freeing yourself up to cook while they play happily with the coveted “new” goodies.

7.       Activity Placemats

Another lifesaver for waiting time. One of the most difficult parts of cooking and serving dinner is that you cannot simultaneously entertain. Activity placemats keep the kids sitting and focused for a few precious minutes while you finish up cooking and get it all on the table. You can even make you own printables and have them laminated at a local copy store, give the kids a dry erase marker and switch them up periodically (pumpkin maze in October, wish list in December) to keep things interesting.

8.       Whipped Cream and Jello (its not what you think)

Okay this is for you brave souls who will bare a little extra mess and you strong mamma’s that have kids (every toddler) who need sensory stimulation. Sit them at the table and clean off the surface really well, or use a big clean tray. Cover it with whipped crème and sprinkle various color jello packets (before its made)into it. Give them a few wooden spoons and just let them use their fingers to swirl it all around, make shapes, write letters, whatever keeps them happy! This is an awesome sensory game and if they happen to taste along the way, no harm.

 

9.       Involve your children

When your kids are a little older allowing them to “help” by sorting chopped veggies into bowls by color or shape, or just stir something for you while you do the rest goes a long way. After all, most “ off behavior” is just a cry for attention and this way they feel empowered and included.

 

10.   Timing is Everything

This one took me four kids to learn. The actual BEST time to cook dinner, is NOT dinnertime. Shocker, by when you have babies this is a total game changer. I now cook dinner in the morning whenever possible- when my kids and I are both still fresh and energetic and able to function with joy. Nap time is also golden (I know your really want to rest too and on those day-rest) As I said, whenever possible. Life with infants by definition is changeable by the second and highly unpredictable. Do your best.

11.   Prep Every Possible Thing During a Better Time

So, this tip is another game changer. Take some time during naps or while the little ones are otherwise content, when your husband is home, when you have another adult around to help-to prep anything and everything. Do this in small chunks. Take 10 minutes to chop your veggies. Take 15 to grill your chicken and leave it in the fridge for later. Make and freeze things like broth, stews and casseroles to use another day when you have larger chunks of time

 

All in all, the main takeaway here is this. Dinner with an infant or young kid’s aint’ easy. It’s not going to be pretty or perfect and your main goal is to just try your best and get it on the table. And take care of you. Listen to music or sip a little chamomile tea or white wine while you cook and allow yourself to relax into the chaos. Believe it or not, it’s the best way to turn the mayhem into a tiny bit of joy.

Bon Appetite Mamma

 

Post Natal Yoga or Yoga after Baby; may be the stretch back to sanity you need

You just gave birth! Along with the brand new life you are now eternally grateful for, and equally terrified of; your own body has become a brand new form of the former you. You might hear a lot of talk about self-love and self-care. And if you are like most mamma’s, you shrug it off with a small ping of guilt for even considering such an atrocity. But, here is a case for it. And here is a specific way to get it done. Whether or not you want to believe YOU MATTER; You. Matter. A therapist once said to me, if you care for your children more than life itself, what do you think of their mother? That one sunk in. Resonating because, if we go around believing that we are doing our children even an iota of goodness by ignoring ourselves, we are ignoring THEIR primary care taker, THEIR number one source of love, affection, safety, care and life. Is that okay?

We gave them life. We recently allowed them to cultivate and grow inside of our very own bodies. That body is now very different. Pregnancy changes your body, mind, hormones, your spirit, your emotions. It’s a transformative process. That body, that soul and that mental state needs TLC. I might even dare to say, every day! Post Natal Yoga, doing yoga after you have your baby is a 1,2 punch that takes care of Mamma in every way.

Mind: Yoga is meditative, therapeutic and focused. Nowhere else in the busy day of wiping, enrapturing and coddling do you get a second to breathe with intention? Not just to breathe, but to catch the moments in between breathes. To exhale slooowwly and send the negativity to the universe. To mindfully inhale while drawing your focus to your stretching arms, your intentions, your heart.

Body: This is a no brainer right? Here is the thing about Post Natal Yoga, it’s not just any workout. It is DESIGNED for a mother’s body after delivering a baby. For example, consider a few things your body might be experiencing right now.

-Weakened pelvic floor; caused by pregnancy and birth; resulting in urine leakage, loss of sexual desire, even organ prolapse in serious cases. This can be resolved through yoga moves such as Kegal Exercises.

-Neck and shoulder pain; caused by hours bending forward nursing or bottle feeding and/or carrying around baby.

-Weakened core and abs; your abdominal muscles are no doubt stretched and weaker, all for a good cause; but nevertheless a consequence. After getting physician clearance, many poses focus on core strength and abdominal work.

-Limited endurance; You’ve spent at least 9 months, if not more by now slowing down, exercising less yet at the same time creating life. You will adore easy to master poses that bring you almost instant feelings of strength and stamina in as little as 5 breaths.

-Fatigue; Maybe this should be number one. Fatigue rocks you and knock you after having a baby. Sleepless nights, hormonal changes, new worries and more all lead new mammas to feel over tired. Certain Yoga poses truly help bring back some energy. For example (from Yogajournal.com) Viparita Karani ( Legs-Up-The Wall Pose) helps to open your chest and deepen your breathing, leading to rejuvenation.

Soul: you do not need to ascribe to any certain religion to understand that Yoga and Meditation is good for you on a spiritual level. Yoga helps you to sift through your thoughts, beyond your limitations and pushes through your own boundaries. It literally brings you into new positions, stretches you to feel, to pause, to find your breath. Yoga creates an open space within you, where you can become mindful and still. Yoga leaves you with calm feelings and a sense of stability, strength and self.

Need more motivation for Yoga Post Baby, spend a little time over at http://rachelbrathen.com/  find an amazing resource from an honest and inspirational mom, YogaGirl. She has 87970 followers for a reason. See for yourself!

 

 

Written By: 

 Olivia Treubig ©  www.mrandmrswrite.net

Mindfulness/Child Development Poetry 

Parenting Newsletter 

A Free and Amazing Pediatric Resource All Parents Need to Know About

The plethora of information available to today’s parent is abundant. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, we can quickly google, Siri or echo just about any request. On the other hand, sometimes it can be difficult and too vast to easily receive and decode. This does not include the endless advice streamed into our consciousness through social media, hovering in our sub conscious plane through magazines and marketing and drawing in our attention; from playground hearsay to a well-intentioned MIL.

Within Infancy and childhood, the majority of issues parents find themselves floundering with, are health related. The majority of concerns entail physical, behavioral, emotional health. In these cases, it is advisable to turn to experts for advice, facts and even opinions. Although, having a pediatrician waiting with a hot cup of coffee at our kitchen table sounds nice, each time we have a question; it is not exactly practical. So, what is a viable alternative? The American Academy of Pediatrics is a very trust-worthy resource.  

The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults. To accomplish this, AAP shall support the professional needs of its members. (AAP.org)

The AAP is a professional organization, yet also provides amble knowledge directly to parents. It is a very viable go-to source for parents in-the-know. They provide professional opinions on breaking news, like the recent events in Manchester to the newest recommendations and research on drinking fruit juice. They break information down into searchable stages from infancy to young adult. You can search for a pediatrician in your area. You can find CPR training information and many community based initiatives. They have a great feature that allows you to register your own Family Health Center on your homepage and receive important information precisely for your family. If you are interested in the latest on Immunizations, or prenatal health issues, such as preparing sibling for a new baby, you will find it all and considerably more here or look for publications by the AAP the next time you are looking for a new parenting book.

According to Wikipedia, the academy was founded in 1930 by 35 pediatricians to address pediatric healthcare standards. It has 64,000 members in primary care and sub-specialist areas.

The academy has approximately 390 employees, and it runs continuing medical education programs for pediatricians and sub-specialists. The academy is divided into 14 departments and 26 divisions that assist with carrying out its mission.

It has the largest pediatric publishing program in the world, with more than 300 titles for consumers and over 500 titles for physicians and other health-care professionals. These publications include electronic products, professional references/textbooks, practice management publications, patient education materials and parenting books.

Further resources for AAP

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org

https://www.aap.org/en-us/Pages/Default.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/Pages/default.aspx

 

Written By: 

 Olivia Treubig ©  www.mrandmrswrite.net

Mindfulness/Child Development Poetry 

Parenting Newsletter 

Why Acupuncture is My Favorite Parenting Tool

As a parent to two young girls (ages four and one) I am all too familiar with the stresses of parenthood. The sleepless nights, the juggling of scheduls and childcare, the constant awareness of safety, and the dreams of a bottomless supply of patience, I am LIVING it! The struggles are more than worth it and the joy that these two little people have added to my life is immeasurable, but there are days when it can be really tough.

As a licensed acupuncturist and board certified Chinese herbalist with a busy part-time practice in downtown Stamford, CT, I am constantly reminding my patients that self-care is NOT a luxury, it is a necessity. One of my resolutions this year was to commit to following my own advice.

What I love so much about Chinese Medicine is that it takes all of the systems of the body into consideration- from digestion to sleep to mood-and allows us to look at the interconnectivity of it all. Using acupuncture, herbal formulas, dietary and lifestyle modifications, we work towards restoring the balance of qi (loosely translated as energy or function) in the body. From a biomedical perspective, this is the balance of the physiological processes of all of our organ systems called homeostasis. Amazing research in the last decade has proven that acupuncture helps to regulate the body by accessing neuro-hormonal pathways by stimulation our bodies’ powerful self-healing mechanisms and by promoting production of neurotransmitters and natural painkilling substances, and can help to gently pull us out of the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system mode and back into the “rest and digest” parasympathetic mode- where our body does all it’s healing.

Many people know about the proven benefits that acupuncture has for general wellness, illness prevention, pain management, fertility support, insomnia, anxiety, digestion… the list goes on (and if you are curious- please ask!) But acupuncture as parenting tool? That’s probably a new one! In my clinical experience as an acupuncturist AND as a regular patient, I can confidently say that regular treatments can make a huge difference in managing all the stresses of modern parenting. I know that I am a better, happier, more energetic, patient and calm parent in the days following an acupuncture treatment. I sleep better and am better able to handle the curveballs that life throws when I am more rested. It is easier to keep my irritability in check when my body is producing proper endorphins (our feel good hormones) . I am happier and more energetic when my digestion is moving properly. I bounce back WAY quicker from the inevitable bugs that my little buddies bring home from daycare when my immune system is functioning at its best. And most importantly, I just feel great and that rubs off on my family.

I feel so fortunate to be one of the people who LOVES their work. I am so passionate about Chinese medicine and I love introducing people to a new way to look at their health. Nothing makes me happier than the emails I receive from new patients exclaiming things like “I slept like a baby every night this week!” or “I prepared myself for my normal painful menstrual cramps- but they never came!” or “I can’t believe it but my hands and feet are definitely not as cold.” (And that’s just a few I’ve received this week alone.)

Acupuncture is being covered by more and more health insurance plans now, and is very affordable when compared to conventional medical interventions and medications. The idea of being stuck full of needles may not sound relaxing, but it really is- most people say it’s the most zen they have ever felt. And while many people come to me as a “last resort” when their other treatments haven’t helped, I like to teach my patients about the strength of acupuncture as a preventative tool, to keep you healthy and strong. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to contact me at sarah@fairfieldfamilyacu.com or 203-658-7850.

Written By: 

Sarah Swanberg, M.S. L.Ac. Dipl. O.M, a board certified diplomate in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and is licensed to practice in CT. She holds a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in NYC. Sarah is passionate about using the time-honored traditions of Chinese Medicine to help people of all ages, from infancy through adulthood, regain and maintain optimal health. She holds advanced certificates in Pediatrics, Pain Management, Fertility, and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture. Sarah lives in North Stamford with her husband and two daughters.
Fairfield Family Acupuncture, LLC

 

Infant Stomach Sleeping

I have seen and heard the subject of infant stomach sleeping popup online, in personal conversations and even in yoga class recently. Looking through online threads, researching and as part of real life conversations it is clear there is no "answer." I often wonder when an infants rolls over in their sleep if it is a sort of early instinct to protect the most vulnerable part of their bodies? Infant stomach sleeping became a big no no in the early 90s and since that time we have seen a drop in SIDS. However, there is no direct scientific explanation only that stomach sleeping can be a factor in SIDS.
According to babycenter.com, Babies between 1 and 4 months old are most at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and 90 percent of cases occur in babies under the age of 6 months. By definition, SIDS doesn't happen after a child's first birthday. ... Another cause of sleep-related deaths in babies is accidental suffocation.
What are parents to do? It looks like a quiet questioning and revolt to the stomach sleeping guidelines has been happening since the early 2000s. Often parents make choices based somewhere between science, knowing their baby and myth. Ultimately it comes down to doing your research, talking to pediatrician and having sleepless nights.
 

Knowing CPR & Heimlich Changed My Life

baby.jpg

Late in pregnancy my googling changed from wanting to know what the gestation of my baby looked like to the health and safety queries. Upon asking around we found a certified CPR trainer who came to our home. I gathered my husband and our pending nanny/babysitter in our living room for CPR and Heimlich training. Time moved along, my newborn became a healthy baby, we moved cautiously to solids and followed the latest recommendations on peanut allergies. My brother, a nurse, offered to give me a AHA family and friends refresher and I would sort of shrug it off, thinking we got this. It was late winter/early spring of 2016 I came across an article regarding a toddler chocking. It terrified me. Then life went on... one day I cut some cheese up to feed to my daughter. The next thing I knew- the Huffington Post article is flashing across my mind as I am trying to preform Heimlich on my daughter and thinking I am going to have call 911. Nothing short of a miracle the cheese popped out. My daughter hugged and pinched me (fair enough). It was in the moments after I calmed, I realized I never wanted another parent to be unprepared on how to give Infant and child CPR & Heimlich again. At first I did not teach classes I had a certified instructor come to my home and teach small private American Heart Association Heart Saver certification -CPR & Heimlich. Gathering training experience I learned not only did I want to become a certified CPR & BLS instructor, but I learned the importance of knowing CPR for adults as well as Infant and children. Through Design Motherhood we are able to offer private and group American Heart Association certification. Certification on your schedule in a setting you are comfortable with.