10 Things I learned as a Mom.

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Hey there…I just had some things come to mind lately. Mostly about all the things I have learned since becoming a Mother twelve years ago. Boy have I lived and learned…..and continuing to do so. There is definitely no manual given when your first babe is born. 

I remember all the advice I was given and to be honest not much of it helped me. I think my Mother did the best with showing me. Mostly the small things. I would name a few but I may touch on that later.

I would like to say before I move on, that I do not think I know all about being a Mother. Rather, this is just to share what I have experienced along my journey.

1. Let them express their feelings:

This is a huge deal. We all have emotions/feelings. If adults can express their feelings why can’t children? Did your preschooler cry because there isn’t anymore peanut butter or maybe he had a bad day at school? Well what is wrong with that? Children have to learn how to express themselves as they grow and they need you to listen. It may be a small thing to you but it isn’t to them! If they know we care and we try to put ourselves in their shoes it helps them process and express. If us big people are aloud to do so and expect others to listen, then the same goes for them.

2
Apologize when you make a mistake:

Have you ever had one of those days where you were in such a terrible mood? Every little thing was just so annoying? Did you loose your cool when your little one spilled their food or fought with his siblings? Man that stuff is rough! It is so hard being patient and nice all of the time. I totally get it. It happens and it probably will again. BUT APOLOGIZE. Kids are so forgiving! They will forgive you even when you probably do not deserve it. I have had many of these bad days. When we apologize we teach our children forgiveness, kindness and we show them love.

3. Stop what you’re doing and HUG them:

Like how obvious is this!? You would be surprised at how we can forget this simple affection through the days of our week. Hugs are therapeutic! I was in the kitchen one day cooking and one of my children kept coming in asking me question after question. Most of it was not really important. I felt myself getting annoyed. So I stopped what I was doing and told him to come here. I bent down and held him and hugged him for a good 2 minutes. Do you know what he said? “Mommy, you’re the best!”….My mood was switched, my heart was warm and I knew in that moment that he knew I loved him! Hugs are a mood changer!


4. It is okay that not everything gets done:

I think this one is the hardest for me still. I have made a lot of progress in the last 5 years. I get really anxious if I can’t get those dishes done or fold the wrinkled laundry…which has been sitting there for days. We have to rewire our brains! Remind ourselves that it is okay! It isn’t going to make you a bad Mother for having a sink full of dishes and no one will catch a disease because of it. A little dramatic right? I am the type of person that cannot stand anything left undone. But I have learned that my children should not be left undone or last on my to do list. They will grow to remember your love and time that you spent with them. Not the house being a mess. Yes, I am still working on this one!

5. They are watching:

Almost every single moment…they are watching. What you say, how you react, how you behave and then some. They will mimic it all! So watch how you say and how you respond to them. If you are worried and are constantly talking about it, so will they. If you are happy and upbeat so will they in turn. When they come running to you all happy and excited about something they accomplished….you better be excited too! I have so much to say on this one but I am sure you all get my point.
6. Let them be dirty:

I am laughing at myself on this one! With my first baby I probably gave her too many baths. Now that I am on my fifth bundle of droolness, that isn’t the case. Dirt is good! Nothing a warm cloth can’t solve. When I was a kid my passion was mud pies haha. Let them get dirty!

7. Its okay to cry:

When you are upset it isn’t bad to cry in front of kids. If anything they will feel much closer to you because of it. You are teaching them that it is also okay for them to cry. It is showing them that adults are not invisible. That it is perfectly good to show emotions and we are in this life together. Holding it in is so unhealthy and can be destructive.

8. Have conversations:

Kids can have conversations too. Seriously, my kids are the most entertaining conversationalists I know! I love their perspective on things and life. They will teach you how to open your mind again. It also allows them to once again be expressive and they will gain so much knowledge from it. I believe my kids learn the most when we are talking about a subject together than studying it alone. So strike up a conversation with your baby, toddlers and big kids!

9. Try not to say No too often:

I know how this sounds. I am not saying to never say no and let them have whatever they want. I am saying give choices. “Mom can I have Ice cream?” How about a Popsicle instead?You are not saying yes but you aren’t saying no either. And this mainly goes for those little bitty cuties learning new words. No is usually one of their first words right? Well, if we give them a choice….choose this or that, then they aren’t hearing no so often. The results? Less back talk 🙂

10. Be spontaneous:

I am or was one of those people who had to plan everything. If not I would seriously panic. With kids that isn’t always easy to accomplish. I had to make many changes within myself as a Mother. Sometimes I didn’t mind and other times it sucked! But hey, they are totally worth it. So learn to be spontaneous. It is really more exciting for the kids. My favorite thing to do that makes my kids happy is dancing. I do not do it very often. I am not too confident there but I will for them. So dance in the kitchen while you’re cooking or cancel housework and play in the rain instead. Those are the kinds of things that make the most precious memories. Memories children are sure not to forget….and neither will you.

Well that is all I have for today! I am sure I could list 10 more. These are at the top of my list! DO you have something to add to my list? If so, I would love to hear it. Leave me a comment and I will respond in kind.

Jessica ❤ xox

5 Things You Should Learn Before Giving Birth

Today, I wanted to talk with you all about a few things that I believe are very important to know about and to research before giving birth.

Trust me, these are things I wished I had done more research on before I had my son. I did not do my research until afterwards. I am very disappointed in some decisions that I made in the beginning.

When having a child we want to do whatever possible to protect that little bundle of joy. Sometimes though, we listen to people and just do what everyone else is doing because it seems like the logical thing to do right? Not always. Please, please, please do your own research and then decide what you feel is best for your baby.

Breastfeeding/Formula

I highly recommend breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk is a great nutritional source that is easy for baby to digest and has just the right amount of fats, carbohydrates, protein, and nutrients to promote growth and development. Your body knows exactly what the baby needs and will adjust accordingly.

Breastfeeding is beneficial to your baby’s long term health also.It is so much easier for a baby to digest breast milk than formula. Their little bodies do not have to break the breast milk down where as they do the formula. Resulting in formula fed babies sometimes being constipated. 

My plan was to breastfeed, but when the time came my milk wasn’t in and my little one just wasn’t having it. I cried, because he was crying, because he was hungry. I could not stand to see this so I ended up having to use formula. 

I wished at that time I had done my research on formula. So that I would of had a back up plan. I was not prepared for the formula route at all.There are many formulas out there to choose from. I would suggest looking into organic, non gmo formulas. Always read the ingredients labels.

A List of breastfeeding benefits.

Eye Goop

This is the medicine that they put in your babies eyes right after they are born. It is for neonatal conjunctivitis(pink eye). Eye Goop helps to prevent your baby from getting pink eye due to chlamydia, gonorrhea, and less severe infections with common bacteria like E. coli. If you do not have any of these conditions then I see no point in your baby receiving it. 

You would know if you have these and so would your doctor, because they test you. Also if you deliver by c-section your baby does not come in contact with the vaginal or rectal area where these STDs and bacteria can be.If you do not plan on letting your baby get the eye goop you need to make it very clear to the nurses, because they will have it on/in your babies eyes before you will know it.

More thoughts on why your newborn doesn’t need that eye ointment.

Vitamin K (Is not a vitamin or vaccine!)

The vitamin k shot is given at birth to help clot the babies blood and prevent a rare, but fatal bleeding disorder called Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding.That all sounds very scary right? What is scarier to me is the fact that it is synthetic vitamin K which in turn when taking any synthetic vitamin it can have the opposite effect. 

When taking any vitamin you never want it to be synthetic. Also the first few days after birth a baby’s liver does not function so the synthetic vitamin k that makes it to the liver the liver will not be able to filter it out.There are other options other than the shot.There is an oral vitamin k available. 

Which is a good alternative to the shot.Then, there is my favorite the natural way. The weeks leading up to delivery make sure to pack your diet full of vitamin k rich foods. Dive into eating all those leafy greens.

Also, if you breastfeed the probiotics in breast milk will seed the babies digestive tract with good bacteria which will produce naturally occurring vitamin k immediately after birth. I don’t know about you all, but the natural way sounds like the best way.

Learn more about Vitamin K shot on Vaxxter and The Vaccine Reaction.

Vaccines

Whether or not to vaccinate is an ongoing debate.I won’t open up this can of worms to much. I just want to give you some things to think about.Whenever you are injected with anything whether it is a vaccine, antibiotic, steroid, etc… your body is not necessarily able to filter it out. 

“All vaccines cause brain swelling (inflammation) in babies or the technical term encephalitis. Babies do not have their blood brain barrier developed until age two or older. For a better explanation please go to the Vaccination Council website here.”-Jessica

Doctors will argue that when it makes it into the blood stream then the organs can filter it out. Yes, I agree there, but there is no guarantee that, that’s what will happen. Once injected that substance can travel wherever it wants inside your body. Is that something that sounds safe to you? Educate Before You Vaccinate!!!

“A great website to start reading up on is Dr. Joseph Mercola’s. I highly recommend his and Dr. Tenpenny. You can find her on Facebook.”-Jessica
Do a little research before you decide. Even if it is just getting on the CDC website and reading up on the vaccines and their ingredients. Research what the ingredients are. Then, you decide what you believe is best for your child.

I asked my Facebook friends what their vax story was. Check out their answers here on my personal Facebook account: Real Vax stories.Jessica


Pediatrician

Choosing a pediatrician is very important. I am all about natural ways of living including natural remedies, but sometimes there are things that call for medical attention.Research these doctors just like you would research a new product you want to buy.My son is on his 3rd Doctor and I have finally found the one. I chose his first doctor from recommendations on Facebook. 

The one we use now I found by doing my own research.So if you do not like the first one move on to the next. Remember these doctors work for you. Do not let a doctor talk you into doing something you do not believe is right.In conclusion if you learned anything from this read I hope that it is to educate yourself as much as possible before making decisions pertaining to that little life that depends on you.

Please taken the time to read this article by Health Freedom Alliance on Pinterest.

Sunday Funday

The weekends come and go so quickly in our house. Since I work from home, I rarely take a day off. My husband works seven days a week, and is rarely home. This weekend someone very special reminded me why it’s so important to take a day off.
Saturday night at bedtime, my 8 year old tells me she is sad. Concerned, I laid down beside her to try to figure out what was wrong. My girl was very reluctant to talk. I asked her if she would like to have a Mommy/daughter day the following day. To my surprise my daughters response was “but you’ll be working”. I reassured her that Mommy would take the day off and she kept responding with “but you never do.” I promised her that I meant it and she fell asleep with a smile on her face.

With a heavy heart I cuddled with her for a little longer that night. This parenting job can be so hard. I made a plan in my head for the next day. I’m happy to say that I woke up and actually followed my plan all the way through.

Waking up and having my main focus just on my daughter, and coffee, was a great start to the day. My mind was so open and not thinking about work was so refreshing! I wanted to give Leah my full attention. I couldn’t believe how free I felt! We had a lazy morning in our pajamas.

Playing barbies and actually organizing her dream house which turned into moving her room around! All while watching Christmas movies. She loved it and it opened up her room so much. I also found that I was barely on my phone, as everything I do is based online. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.

Around noon we got ourselves ready and headed out for lunch and a little shopping. Leah wanted to spend her birthday money from last weekend. While shopping, Leah picked out exactly what she wanted. She’s a shopper like her Mama, she knew what she wanted! We were about to leave when Leah asked to pick out some Christmas presents for Rocco, our beloved dog. How could I say no!?

We got home and opened up her new toys! Leah begged me to let her give Rocco 1 present now. Rocco is getting older so I thought why not? Leah picked out a squeaky hedgehog and gave it to him. Our dog was in heaven, he had a new buddy. He always picks one toy, and we call it his buddy. He sleeps with it and takes it everywhere! 


Leahs favorite toy was a big princess Tent! She could actually stand up in it! After trying everything out, Leah asked me to put the tent on her bed, where she continued to tuck herself in with her tablet to relax. It was a good feeling seeing her so tired from playing with me all day. She was genuinely happy!

My husband returned from work at 5:00 to find Leah in bed. Daddy promised Leah that we’d go out to dinner that night because we never got to on her birthday. Leah actually said she didn’t want to go anymore. My husband went into the bedroom and passed out from exhaustion within 5 minutes. 

Poor Leah runs out of her room about 10 minutes later to inform me that she’s changed her mind and wants to go. After finally waking Daddy up we get to Texas Roadhouse and have an awesome dinner. Then Leah got what she wanted. They brought out the horse saddle for her to sit on and everyone sang Happy Birthday! She was in heaven.

By the time we get home it was time to get ready for bed. Best part of the day was when I tucked her in she wrapped her arms around me and said “you really are the best Mommy ever, thank you for not working.” My heart melted. I realized it was the first day in a long time where we didn’t argue and I’ve realized that I need better time management when it comes to work and my daughter. 


I didn’t realize she needed more of me. She always seems content but she is at that age where she tests me daily. It’s a challenge I wouldn’t trade her for anything in this world though. When I look at Leah I see myself at that age. She is pure, beautiful, unbroken, happy, loving, respectful and has the biggest imagination. Being an only child must be hard, I’ve never thought about it before because I have 2 brothers.

Now, I realize that she needs more of me now than ever. I refuse to look back and say, “I wish I had done it differently”. Today has opened my eyes to what I hope is the beginning of understanding. I promise to never let those words come out of my daughters mouth again. Tomorrow’s agenda will be creating a schedule around Leah. She will always come first, always.
Check out my website –> Fairytale Pillows by Amy

Mom Guilt

I’m sure many of you can relate to the story I’m about to share. I’ve gone through a tough year with my soon to be 8 year old daughter. I don’t know where her attitude, disrespect and anger have come from. Am I getting a sneak preview of what’s it’s like to have a pre-teen? I have noticed one common thread though. She only treats me like this, which unfortunately means there is a reason for this. Which I will share at the end.

I am a stay at home Mom who’s main job is to raise a good hearted person. My daughter practiced Martial Arts from 3 years old up till right before her 7th birthday, when a tragic event happened (that story will be told in another post). Joining martial arts was the best decision we could have made for our daughter as it has taught her respect, discipline, communication, honesty, self defense among many other things. I was so proud of my little girls behavior in and out of the house.

Unfortunately, after a personal family tragedy last November, my daughter could no longer walk through the doors of our second home. We decided to give Leah a break, as she had been dedicated for so many years, and we had both earned our green belts and had just moved into advanced classes. We say to this day that we will never give up, some things take time. I’m sad to report that my daughter is still not ready and we have not been able to return yet.

“Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a Mother.” @whw_jessica -Click to Tweet

Back to my original post! My daughters behavior has been unacceptable recently as her father works 2 jobs and is never home. I am left to try to be Mom and Dad, and today I feel like a failure. I told my husband the story I’m about to tell you last night, through tears. He listened silently then told me that I should never feel like a failure, and that I am doing an amazing job. He gave me the reassurance I so needed. I honestly don’t hear those words too much. Lately it’s been “I hate you” or “you’re the meanest mom ever”. It felt very good to hear even though I couldn’t stop crying.

It started yesterday after school, the second I picked my daughter up. She was ignoring me, not listening and being extremely disrespectful. Once home from school it got worse. My 7 year old told me to “shut up” and didn’t care how hurtful she was being. She threw one fit after another. It was seriously ridiculous. It was definitely one of those nights. Nothing was going right and my patience was breaking. I couldn’t believe I was arguing with a 7 year old! The afternoon hit its peak after homework was completed, my daughter turned into a complete monster. It’s like she is so good at school all day and when she gets home she lets everything out. She ended up getting her tablet taken away (until her behavior changes), and was given dinner, a shower and put to bed.

Daddy got home a little early and caught me crying in our room. I try so hard to be a good mom and I absolutely hate losing my cool on her. I let her see that she got to me but I was extremely disrespected. I could not let it go. I’m not a spanker, I believe that words and explanations work better. And taking away an electronic is always the end of the world at our house. My husband had a very long talk with her. He is so good at this stuff, I believe it would be so different if he was around more often.

As another part of her punishment we decided her 2 elves on the shelf would be staying at the north pole until her behavior changes (she has 2 elves, a boy and a girl. This will be explained in the next post). They left a letter behind telling Leah why they wouldn’t be back. My daughter is extremely attached to these elves. I’ve never seen a kid so crushed the next morning. So much, that it broke my heart. She couldn’t believe her Elves were really gone. She just cried. Great start to a day. I drop her off at school still feeling horrible. I don’t think the feeling will go away but I’m learning this comes with being a Mom.

When I picked her up this afternoon she had gone shopping at a holiday bazaar at her school and had bought Christmas presents for everyone she loves with all her Toothfairy money. Then we headed into the school for parent/teacher conferences and I was blown away by what her teacher said about her. It brought tears to my eyes. I thought to myself that maybe I am doing something right. I don’t know how but just maybe.

After the meeting, I kneeled down and gave Leah the biggest hug ever and told her how proud I was of her. Then I took her out for pancakes and we ended up having a really good night. As we pull up to our house I look back at Leah and she is silently crying. She said she missed her elves really bad. Ouch, it stings seeing her reaction.

Even though it hurts, I’m proud of myself for not caving in today and giving her tablet back, because she definitely asked. I told her not until the elves come back. Leah’s birthday is Monday and she will be crushed if her elves aren’t back by then. I’m going to hold out as long as I can because the magic these elves hold over my daughter really is magical. I hate having to use them against her but honestly I didn’t know what else to do.

Which brings me back to my statement about Leah only treating me badly and everyone else just fine. It’s because we are together almost 24/7, she is most comfortable with me and she knows my love for her has no end. Therefore she feels she can act any way she wants and I will forgive her because I am her Mom and I will always love her. At 7, she realizes that my love for her will never change, but there are going to be more consequences for bad behavior.

As a Mom, who suffers from an invisible illness, sometimes my guilt gets the best of me as I understand how short life can be. I honestly don’t want my daughter to remember her Mama as being strict and mean. I am more about making the best memories for her. I’m finally finding a balance and we all know these phases change daily. Just trying to make it through one day at a time with this one. She is definitely a challenge but I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

Becoming A Mom

I always pictured having children but honestly never gave it too much thought. I had been dating my husband for 5 years before he proposed. We had a 2 year engagement as we wanted to take our time. Just about a year into living in wedding bliss my husband brought up the topic of starting a family. I was elated!

This honestly came as a huge shock to me as my husband had said several times in the past that he did NOT want kids. We were young and I figured one day he’d change his mind! Well, he did and on April 1, 2009 we found out that I was 8 weeks pregnant!

After 9 long months of what may have been the worst pregnancy ever, I gave birth to our little angel Leah May. Who stole our hearts from the second we laid our eyes on her. I watched my strong, tough, not emotional husband brought to tears the second Leah was placed in his arms. I don’t think I even have the words to describe the feeling of becoming a parent for the first time. It was literally the best day of my life.

For the next 2 weeks my husband and I slept in the living room, each on a couch. Leah was in her bassinet in between us and we took turns getting up with her. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing but somehow we did it!

I don’t think I could even come close to writing the “Parenting Manual”. It’s all trial and error and trying to remember that the days may seem extremely long but the years pass so fast. Cherish every second, say yes to extra hugs and kisses! Try to let the little things go, otherwise you’ll be upset 24/7. 

I’ve learned to laugh, even when I want to reprimand, yell or cry! My little Leah is turning 8 years old next week and she has grown up so much. She is so different from the little toddler I still see her as. I’m in awe of her sometimes and the things she knows and says. 

She is my favorite person to have a conversation with. My husband and I have decided a long time ago that she was the best decision we’ve ever made. He says she is a mini me! The best present I could ever give him. ❤️ That melts my heart! She is the reason I breathe.