Guest Post: Raising a Toddler by Chrissy Lyons

Guest Post: Raising a Toddler by Chrissy Lyons

Hi there. I’m Chrissy from www.lyonessandcub.com. Today, I’ll tell you about how I am raising a toddler. My Lyons Cub. He’ll be four in two months, so toddlerdom lies behind us now, and I congratulate myself on my preschooler.

All of you who have toddlers will know them—the terrible 2’s and even 3’s. I once had the faintest hope it would get better at the age of three, but no such luck… I had the chillest baby you could possibly imagine: Leander was so laid back; he hardly ever cried (maybe he didn’t have the strength, because he was born a preemie with IUGR, weighing only 3 lbs and spending the first three weeks of his life in the NICU). He didn’t suffer from colic or reflux, slept through the night most of the time, was friendly towards strangers, and smiled and giggled a lot. My friends told me back then that the sweetest babies make the wildest toddlers. They would be right…

Picky Eaters: Baking with Your Toddler to Stimulate Their Appetite

My son needed fortified breast milk to gain extra calories. So, I became an exclusive pumper, feeding him every three hours, including at night, for the first year of his life. This was tough, but we made it (and I rewarded myself with beautiful breast milk jewelry). I even used a pumping app to keep track of my daily output and his daily input. When my son turned five months old, we started with baby food. From the mom forums and blogs I was on, I heard about baby-led weaning and wanted to try it. However, my son mostly just smashed his food and played with it on his high chair. He seemed to enjoy the sensory play, but he also gagged and spat out a lot. So, I often wondered how much really went into his tummy. He gained a little weight, though, and reached the normal growth when he was nine months old.

Eventually, he developed into a picky eater, still loving his milk (we used Holle goat milk after he was one year of age). He preferred fruit and rice puffs to meat and veggies. I soon noticed when he was allowed to help prepare the food, he seemed hungrier and more eager to eat. Specifically, he liked to bake brownies, cookies, and cake. Although it was quite messy, I baked with my toddler whenever I got a chance. We used the floor to have a large space where he couldn’t fall or drop anything (no worries, I cleaned thoroughly before and after!). I remember the fun he had when he baked a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake with a mold I had found at ALDI’s. For Christmas, we build a gingerbread house every year, which is my German family’s tradition. He can hardly wait to pluck the candy off it!

Montessori Education: Child-Centered with Freedom of Choice

Although it was quite expensive, I chose Montessori education for my son. When he was 18 months old, he joined Amare Montessori. The children had “directresses” (you don’t call them “teachers” in Montessori language) who helped him help himself. That means he dressed himself proudly (and sometimes came home wearing his pants back to the front and his shoes on the wrong feet), harvested his own tomatoes, and prepared his own salad. The children flourish in a prepared environment with child-sized shelves full of beautiful Montessori materials they could choose from freely to satisfy their inner teacher. They also had a big garden to grow flowers and vegetables, with outdoor musical instruments hanging on a wooden fence, sticks for building tents, and mud kitchens.

Being outside in nature is emphasized strongly in Montessori education. Some kindergartens even have animals, so the children learn to care for them and cherish them (my son got to experience and to feed his aunt’s chickens). His little tasks were called “work.: Every day I received a short, written report with successes like, “he did the banana cutting work today,” or “he did the orange peeling work.” One day, I read, chuckling, “Leander painted a lot today, including himself.” That was true! I had a “Blue Boy” like the one from Picasso when I went to pick him up. He became very self-efficient as a consequence of this educational philosophy. However, the downside turned out to be that he doesn’t like my explaining and showing things to him; he wants to explore them by himself and doesn’t listen. We are still working on “following directions.”  

Since I had become widowed unexpectedly during the year I was pregnant after our IVF journey, I needed a nanny to have support with my baby while I was working full time. Luckily, I found a great nanny through care.com, who was on board with me to raise Leander the Montessori Way. Her husband helped me build a Montessori house bed for my son, and I got a Pikler triangle, arch, and ramp from Etsy. Initially behind with gross and fine motor skills and needing Early Intervention, my son developed into a fast, sportive, strong boy who loves hiking through the forest and going swimming.

Outdoor Activities for Extremely Active Toddlers

This leads me to the next point—what to do with overactive, never tired toddlers, who seem to have everlasting energy? This is one tired mommy!! (Well, I have as excuse that I am “AMA,” or “advanced maternal age” or a “geriatric mom,” meaning a mommy over 35.) My son is now high maintenance, as he needs constant entertainment. When we are inside, we often play the piano, as I educate my son with classical music (his late daddy was a professional pianist and composer). He also loves to build with LEGOs and Duplos and to create elaborate race tracks for his battery-powered cars.

As nice as it is to play indoors with playdough, clay, marble runs, etc., he cannot stay cooped up for long. He gets cabin fever. I am a little hyperactive myself. The best thing for us is to get out of our four walls, breathe fresh air, run around on a green meadow, and play in the park. We are lucky to have great parks in our neighborhood. One has awesome climbing animals to explore with children, as well as a training parcours (developed for seniors, but enjoyed by the kids of the area) with lots of exercisers like a huge outdoor gym. We spent many summer afternoons there with grandma.  

One of the highlights for my son is the animal park, where he gets to pet and feed alpacas, deer, goats, sheep, and watch otters, porcupines, seagulls, owls, and plenty of other animals. There are vending machines for pelleted animal food, because the visitors are not allowed to bring their own food. My son has lots of fun letting the goats and sheep eat the pellets of his hand. There are educational boards everywhere that talk about the animals, what they eat, how they live, what sounds they make, and other curiosities. When it gets too much for my son, he enjoys the big playground with the tire swings and the climbing tower.  

We also have a zoo close by, where Leander got to admire pelicans, deer pigs, elephants, a brown bear, macaws, penguins, seals, etc. At home, we read up on those animals and answer his questions. We also watch them on YouTube, so he can learn more about them.

Bilingual Education

My son was born in Clarksville, TN. We moved to Germany in 2020 due to the pandemic, to be close to my relatives. If you are a mixed family like ours, use this wonderful opportunity to raise your child bilingually. It will be beneficial to him/her in school and later in the job market. My son speaks German and English, and for an almost four-year-old, he has a great vocabulary and sentence structure. I spoke German to him from the beginning, and his nanny and the directresses and kids in kindergarten spoke English, of course.

Additionally, we read a lot of books together. Reading to your child is so important! Every evening, he goes to bed with one German and one English book. His favorite books at the moment are those that deal with hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, or the solar system, and he also likes The Pout-Pout Fish series, Der Grüffelo (The Gruffalo), Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen (Where the Wild Things Are), Der Tag, an dem Louis gefressen wurde (The Day Louis Got Eaten), and Peter und der Wolf (Peter and the Wolf). Grandma speaks only German. We Skyped with her almost daily, so he got used to talking to her in German even before he met her in person. He grows up with songs and games in both languages. If you feel inclined to learn German from a toddler, check Leander out saying, “Stoffel stolpert über einen Stein.” That’s a tongue twister. Good luck!!!

The Best Gifts for Your ADHD Child

The Best Gifts for Your ADHD Child

Below is a list of what I believe will be wonderful gifts for an ADHD child. As a mom of two ADHD children, I know shopping for holiday presents can be overwhelming. I hope you find this gift guide helpful in narrowing down your search. This post contains affiliate links, which helps support my time and effort. Happy shopping!

This fidget set is great if your child likes variety, or you’re more sure what kind of fidget would be helpful for them. We have these set up as a fidget station in our homeschool room.

This vibrating cushion is wonderful for proprioception and sensory input. My kids really enjoyed it when they were feeling unregulated. I like this one because it is a little bit bigger than some of the others, and it is easy to clean.

Hoverboards are just plain fun. They are also helpful in developing coordination and balance. This particular hoverboard connects to bluetooth, so your child can enjoy music or audiobooks while they cruise around. It also comes in a variety of colors.

My kids LOVE soft blankets. This might be the coziest weighted blanket I could find, and I am definitely adding it to my cart. The stitching ensures equal weight distribution, which I appreciate. As a general rule, you want your weighted blanket to be about 10% of the users total weight.

My kids love figuring out how things work. I feel like a set of gears is a great way to do just that. I like this set because there are plenty of pieces for multiple children to play with at the same time, and it comes with its own storage container.

My kids found this ball in a Sunday school room at our church, and they are obsessed! This ball has some weight to it, but it is also soft and squishy. I plan to order 3, so each of my children has their own. 

An oldie but a goodie. Jump ropes are going into stockings at our house this year. 

Hues and Cues is a favorite board game in our house. It is designed to be played by the whole family, regardless of age. My favorite aspect is the game encourages the players to root for each other’s success. 

This book is actually part of our homeschool materials, but it is WONDERFUL. It has helped my four year old learn to take deep breaths when upset, which you know is an extremely helpful skill.

Legos. All the Legos. This is a great little starter set and includes an instruction booklet to make a variety of things. Plus you can use the container as storage.

This is a beginning chapter book series that my girls love. The illustrations are bright and colorful, which really helps keep their attention.

For your aspiring artist. This light up tracing pad is perfect for kids who are learning how to draw or who need some extra fine motor skills practice.

I loved this thing as a kid. This is a great gift for an ADHD child, because it gives some vestibular stimulation.

Tools AND dinosaurs? What more could a kid need? This is definitely on my four year old’s list.

Here are some other great websites to check out:

Kid Made Modern

Green Craft Kids

Montessorri Services

Epic!

You can also check out my gift guide from last year here.

There you have it! Great gifts for your ADHD child this holiday season. What toys and activities have your ADHD children loved? Tell us about them in the comments below. Happy Holidays!

Tea Time: A Time to Connect

Tea Time: A Time to Connect

Tea time is a pastime practiced all over the world. However, it is not very prevalent in the US. Even though I have always enjoyed an afternoon cup of tea (23andMe says I am 98% British, so I guess it’s in my blood), I never really thought about having an organized tea time. That is until I started homeschooling. Sitting around the table together, enjoying a treat and a cup of tea is definitely a thing in the homeschool community. And let me tell you, my heart soared when I learned tea time could be a part of our weekly routine.

What is Tea Time?

I know this is a basic question, but it is one I honestly had. When you are a new homeschooler, you have to learn the lingo. Terms like spines, morning basket, living books, etc are specific to the homeschool community. I spent more time than I like to admit googling this stuff, ha. So, what exactly is tea time? Honestly, it is what ever you want it to be. You don’t even have to drink tea! Seriously, my oldest drinks water during ours. I define tea time as coming together around the table to enjoy a yummy snack and each other’s company. That’s all. It doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy if you don’t want it to be.

Our Routine

One thing I learned about myself at the beginning of my intentional living journey is my ideal and my reality often do not match. That is okay! Learning, knowing, and accepting what my capacity is a gift from the Lord. Truly. I say this because, in a perfect world I want to have a beautiful tea time with made from scratch treats every school day. This is not reality. I plan for three days a week, but most of the time it is twice a week. Furthermore, store bought snacks often grace our table. Did you know I almost gave up on the idea of tea time because I knew I wouldn’t be able to have homemade baked good every time? Talk about legalistic thinking! (I am working on it) Store bought cookies are the unsung heroes for us.

Alright, here are the details you’re looking for. A few times a week, while my youngest is napping, I make a pot of tea for me and my middle child. I fill a little pitcher of water for my oldest, who, like I said, doesn’t like tea. I set out some tea cups, saucers, and a plate of cookies. I typically serve enough for each of us to have two treats. I call the girls over, pour the tea, and we all sit down together. Then I either read a story, devotion, poem, or we answer the fun table conversation cards. This is also a time to practice manners. My children love it. I am planning on including my youngest once he get a little bit older and no longer napping. On average, this special time lasts for about 15-20 minutes.

Make It Your Own

The beauty of tea time is that it can be whatever you’d like it to be. And you, of course, do not have to be a homeschooler. You can enjoy tea time before bed, on a Sunday afternoon, and any time in between. As long as you are making time to connect with your family, then you are doing it right.

Tell me your thoughts! Would you like to start a tea time with your children? What treats would you serve? What do you want it to look like? Tell me all about it in the comments below. And, as always, if this post encouraged your, share it with your friends.

Learn about Christian Missions in Your Homeschool

Learn about Christian Missions in Your Homeschool

Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with this product.

Modern Day Missionaries

I was thrilled to discover Growing Up Wild by Wild Brothers Productions. This Christian missions focused curriculum shows the daily life of the Wild family. Mom, Dad, and four brothers (Morgan, Hudson, Kian, and Asher) live in the remote jungle of Papua, Indonesia with the hope of spreading the Gospel. We spend a lot of time learning about different counties and cultures around the world in our homeschool. I want my children to have a vast knowledge of God’s creation. You can read more about our goal of having a world view in our homeschool here.

The Curriculum

Growing Up Wild consists on five DVDs and Activity CDs. Each DVD contains 3 episodes of various aspects of daily life living deep in the jungle of Papua. We learned how the Wild family built their circular home, gather water, harness solar energy, and so much more! The narrator then offers several activity suggestions to connect your learner to the life of a missionary living in a remote area. Each episode speaks to the wonder of God and encourages learners to go out an explore God’s creation for themselves. I really appreciated all the activity suggestions to connect the life of the Wild family to our family living here in America. Sometimes it is hard for children to visualize people living differently from themselves. Growing Up Wild does a great job to overcoming this challenge. Also, my own children really enjoyed seeing the life of another homeschool family.

Mama Wild holding baby in Papua

Why Learn About Christian Missions

I fundamentally believe it is of utmost importance to expose children to people and places that are different than their every day norm. Furthermore, when we are exposed to people and places whom we consider “other,” we automatically fall in love with the entirety of God’s creation. Both people and places. Therefore, we can’t help but become Kingdom focused when we take this approach. I love how the Growing Up Wild curriculum brings these morals right into my own living room. Furthermore, children seeing others actively spreading the Gospel empowers them to do the same. This curriculum does a wonderful job of showing day to day life of being involved with christian missions. However, I do with the family went into even more detail on the specifics of their work.

Wild family engaged in a family Bible reading in their circular home.

Seeing Christian missions through the work of the Wild family has blessed and enriched our family and homeschool. Additionally, I hope their story encourages you and your children as well. Please click on any link in this post to learn more about Growing Up Wild and the Wild Brothers Productions.

Road Trip with Kids: Surviving to Thriving

Road Trip with Kids: Surviving to Thriving

Intentionally Well: Striving for present intentionality every day.

Going on a road trip with kids isn’t something that conjures feelings of rainbows and sunshine. I get it. Having your whole family crammed in the car for an extended amount of time feels overwhelming. As you probably know (or maybe not), we live in Indianapolis. Our entire family lives in Alabama. So, over the last three years, we have become accustomed to long road trips with our kids. I am here to share with you all the things we do to make these trips not only bearable but also fun.

Prep Expectations in Advance

If you are familiar with Intentionally Well, it shouldn’t surprise you to see preparation at the top of the list. Ha! I like to plan. Here is what I do. First, I talk often about the trip with my kids. I mark the dates of the vacation on my children’s monthly calendar which is always posted on our refrigerator. They really love counting down the days until we leave. I remind them the travel days will be spent in the car. I tell them over and over again that we will be driving all day. This helps manage their expectations. It takes about eight hours to our house to my parents house according to Maps without stopping. However, we know that stopping often is a given when traveling with kids. Last time, it took us about eleven hours to make that drive. Eleven.

Snacks

We usually keep pretty basic snacks in our house. Fruit, Larabars, raisins, etc.. But when we go on a road trip with kids, we go all out with the snacks. Gummies…you got it. Chips…you got it. Literally, whatever the kids want, I will pack it. I promise having favorite snacks on a long car ride is worth it. I mean, I love the strawberry sour straws like there is no tomorrow on a road trip. Treat yourself and your kids, mama.

Activities

I did a pole in Instagram, and it was about 60/40 as to families preferring activity books to screens for road trips. We utilize both. My three year old also plays with his favorite toys really well in the car, so those always get packed. As far as what my children do to occupy themselves in the car, I let them choose. I don’t limit the screens or a toy or a book. They can to do whatever they like as long as they are being respectful of others (use headphones, share, etc). I am also a fan of listening to audiobooks during long car trips. I’ve included some links to a few of our favorite car activities below.

Potty Breaks

It’s inevitable that you will have to stop multiple times during your trip. We usually end up stopping for one reason or another about every one and a half to two hours. If your kids are younger, you might be stopping every hour. It is what it is. However, I have found some tricks to get the most out of each stop. First, stop at the big truck stops if you can (Love’s, Pilot…). I find that the bathrooms at these establishments are bigger and cleaner than most of the regular gas stations. They offer more snack choices, and they are usually situated at exits with several food options. Next on the list is rest stops. These are great if you don’t need food. Rest stops almost always have some sort of green space. Kids are able to run around and really get those wiggles out. Lastly, we enjoy stopping at the restaurant Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel has the little store you can explore and you can also order a drink to go from the register. The facilities are clean, and it’s just something a little different and unexpected for the kids.

I hope these tips and tricks help you thrive on your next road trip with your kids. Have any other tips to share with others? Post them in the comments below. As always, please share this post with your friends if you enjoyed it!

Entertain kids wherever you go with On-The-Go Craft Kits from Kid Made Modern.

Simple Self Care Tips for Busy Moms

Simple Self Care Tips for Busy Moms

Hey there, mama. I am so glad you’re here. Today, I am excited to share with you some really easy and simple self care tips for you to incorporate into your daily life. I have been a stay at home mom for nearly eight and a half years now. With three kids under my care, I can tell you that there are seasons of thriving and seasons of surviving. You can read here on why I am passionate about self care, as well as why I feel so strongly about having appropriate and realistic expectations of ourselves. But now I want to give you some simple tips on how to implement self care into your daily routine. And no, I’m not going to tell you to wake up an hour early every day. Sleep wins in my house, always and forever.

Drink Your Coffee Hot

I know you’re rolling your eyes right now. I know how hard it is to finish a cup of coffee with littles running around, especially while it’s still hot. Reheat that cup, mama. Reheat it as many times as you need to. Make a fresh pot even. Drink your coffee hot. There is something comforting about a hot cup of coffee. Drinking lukewarm coffee makes you feel blah, and no one wants to start the day off felling blah. To level up, drink that morning happy bean juice from a special mug. I really like this one with a verse from the book of Proverbs. Whatever mug you use, let it be one that inspires you and motivates you.

Get Dressed

I know. Pandemic life made daily pajamas socially acceptable. But think about how you feel when you put on real clothes versus your sweats. I know for me, I always have a little more pep in my step if I’ve gotten dressed for the day. I’m not saying get glammed up when you’re spending your day at home with a baby and toddler. My point is to make an effort. Sometimes I prefer a hoodie to a sweater. I really enjoy make up, so I wear it just about every day. You might be more of a moisturizer and mascara only girl, and that is okay. But spending ten minutes in the morning tending to yourself can really help you feel refreshed for your day.

A Special Afternoon Snack

The house is finally quiet, and the babies are napping. I know you have a never ending list of chores to get done before they wake up. But hear me on this, that never ending chore list will actually never end. There will always be something else to do. Take 30 minutes. Fix a favorite snack, you know, the snack you keep hidden from the kids in the back of the pantry or that random cabinet. Then, put on a show that doesn’t have J.J. or Mickey Mouse as a main character, and just relax. I promise the day will not fall apart while you take these 30 minutes for yourself. My favorite afternoon snack when my middle child was a baby was a glass of Prosecco and chocolate chips. Yep, it sure was. And while, of course, I’m not advocating for being irresponsible, and I really don’t like this wine mom culture that has become prevalent over the last couple of years – that glass of bubbly and chocolate made me feel fancy and fun when my days felt pretty mundane. My go to afternoon snack these days is a cup of black tea and (again) some sort of chocolate.

Move Your Body

I will confess that exercise was not something I was very good at maintaining during the years when my kids were babies. However, having a fulfilling exercise routine now, it makes me wish that I had made my physical fitness more of a priority sooner. It’s one of my regrets of those early years. Mama, you are worth it. Even if you are taking five minutes at the end of the day to just stretch, it will help you to unwind and recharge. Now that the weather is turning, I really encourage you to get outside and move your body. Maybe that means going for a walk or playing with your kids in the backyard. What ever it is, work up a sweat every now and then. I promise you will be glad you did. And if you’re looking for great at home workouts, I really like Blogilates.

Write It Down

Journaling has so many benefits. For me, I find journaling really helpful for processing life. It’s not something I consistently do, but whenever I am in a season of survival mode, journaling is what gets me through. Writing out all the things gets them out of your head and on to the paper instead. It helps you think and process those challenging times in a more objective manner. Journaling is also a wonderful way to keep track of your prayers and/or meditations. If you want to explore journaling from a Christian perspective, I love these Write the Word journals. I am currently working through the one on worship.

End Your Day With a Hot Bath

I am convinced that people who say they are not “bath people” haven’t actually given daily baths a chance. If you know me in real life, you know that I deem my nightly bath essential to my mental health. I say that with all sincerity. Soaking in that magnificent hot water relaxes my body and allows the daily stressors to melt away. Sometimes I make it a fancy bath with bubbles and a candle. But most of the time it’s not. My husband and children know not to come near the bathroom door while I’m taking my bath. A quiet bath centers my introverted and often touched out self. Give it a chance. I even turn my husband into a bath person.

Often when we think of self care, we think of these grand excursions like spa day or girls’ trip. However, I have found self care to be more effective when you can do little things for yourself throughout the day. It’s also important to communicate with your person about what your needs are. Having a self care routine reminds yourself that you are worthy, lovely, and called to the season you’re in. That season might feel like thriving or it might feel like you’re barely surviving. Either way, I hope these self care tips help you feel loved, because you are!

If you’re looking for some extra pampering, check out these products.

The Best Advice for Raising Well-Adjusted Children

The Best Advice for Raising Well-Adjusted Children

This post is by guest contributor Kristin Louis from Parenting with Kris

Parenting advice is everywhere these days, and shaping children into happy, well-adjusted members of society is a tough job. It’s easy to get caught up on particular facets of parenting, such as discipline, and lose sight of all the other ways you can raise children who thrive in school, work, and life. Whether your kids are toddlers, teens, or any age in between, check out the following resources for help raising children who are well-behaved, emotionally stable, and equipped with the skills they need for success.

Advice on The Importance of Routines

Routines help children feel grounded and in control. Set a schedule for your mornings, mealtimes, and bedtimes so your kids know what to expect.

12 Tips to Master Your Kids’ Morning Routine and Eliminate Stress by Nicole Spector

Best Ways to Help Children Fall Asleep at Nap Time

Creating a Night Routine for Your Family

Advice on Setting Boundaries

Establishing firm rules and boundaries—without sacrificing respect—can help your children learn to self-regulate their behavior.

How to Set Limits for Kids Without Harshness, Fear or Shame by Sarah MacLaughlin, LSW

Using Praise to Encourage Good Behaviors by Amy Morin, LCSW

Rules For Kids That Parents Should Follow by Sherry Parnell

Advice on How to Support Learning

As a parent, your actions have a significant influence on your children’s academic progress. There are plenty of ways to support learning at home!

Strategic Ways to Use YouTube in Your Homeschooling by Emily Sewell

7 Educational and Entertaining Activities for Young Kids

101 Reasons That Video Games Can Be Educational

Upgrade Your Internet for the Best Game-Playing Experience

Advice for Building Problem-Solving Skills

Raise confident, problem-solving kids by giving them the tools they need to figure things out on their own.

5 Reasons to Let Children Make Their Own Decisions by Ken Myers

Why You Should Let Your Child Fail: The Benefits of Natural Consequences by James Lehman, MSW

It’s common for parents to worry about whether they’re doing everything right. Just remember, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent! The most important thing is to be there for your children through every age and stage of development, offering gentle guidance and allowing your kids to take the reins once in a while. Do what you can to provide a happy and supportive home environment, and your kids are sure to thrive.

I hope you found this parenting advice round up helpful. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given since becoming a parent? What’s the worst? Let me know in the comments below. If you found this post helpful, share it with your friends!

Let’s Review a Book

Let’s Review a Book

I am so honored to have the opportunity to review a new book for expecting and new mothers. 15 Ways to Manage Stress and Stay Sane: The Actually Useful New Mom Care Package by Kelly Mager is the book I wish I had when I had my first child 8 years ago. Kelly’s writing is concise and straight forward. This book is an easy read, which is refreshing when you’re running off little to no sleep.

What It Says

15 Ways to Manage Stress and Stay Sane is not like other new mom books. The author is an experienced mom of three. She anticipates the struggles new moms will have and provides easy and actionable steps to combat them. Things like the need for community, meal planning, money management, and even discipline. These are things that I, as a new mom, didn’t realize I would need help with. I didn’t know how to find mom friends when I had my first child, but man, I’m so glad I did! This book gives you ideas on how to meet other women in the same season of life as you are now in. I can promise you, that the friends you have when your babies are little will be friends for life. I don’t think I’ve seen another book address this need before.

How to Read It

The structure of Kelly’s book is a breath of fresh air to say the least. Sitting down to read a book comes in low on the list of things to do when you’re a new mom. How do you find the time? But this book is SUCH an easy read. The chapters are clear and concise. Each chapter ends with a list of actionable items in reference to the topic discussed. If you are struggling in a particular area, all you need to do is find the related chapter. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out this post all about self care.

Self Care is Basic

Self Care is Basic

It is time that we stop apologizing for being actual humans. We are not machines, people! We need rest. We need a break. When I say self care is basic, I mean self care is a basic human need. It is not indulgent. It is not spoiling yourself. It is taking time for your mental, physical, and spiritual health intentionally. Of course, anything can be twisted and warped into something its not supposed to be, and self care isn’t any different. But I am not talking about that here. I am talking about intentionally taking time for yourself, so you can be the best you.

Perspective

I remember when I first became a stay at home mom. I had visions of a 1950’s housewife, who spent her days cooking three meals a day for her family in her always immaculate house. You know what those moms did? They put their babies either in a play pin, propped in front of the TV, or being watched by hired help. When I realized my vision was a fallacy, I realized what undue pressure I was putting on myself. I drove myself mad trying to live up to these lofty expectations that were completely self imposed. Hear me, sweet friend. It is not a thing to have a perfect house and perfect peaceful children all the time. It’s just not. And that is okay! It’s time that we look at our selves and our lives through a realistic lens.

Healthy Expectations

What am I reasonably capable of in a given day? What would be nice to accomplish but isn’t a necessity? What do I need to do to take care of myself today, so I am starting with a full cup tomorrow. There is nothing worse than feeling like we are running on empty. I see this all the time, especially with new moms. We have visions of what we will be like as mothers, and sometimes reality doesn’t match. For example, I did not know that I get overstimulated by noise until I had my own children. When I am overstimulated, I get short tempered and shouty (I may have just made up that word). I know that is something I need to mitigate. If my kids are being loud, I might need to take a few minutes and go upstairs where it’s quiet. I might (*gasp*) even need to scroll on my phone for a few minutes to feel like I’ve separated a little. Then, I am better able to come back to reality and not be frustrated and shouty with my kids.

Prevent the Burn Out

Here me, mama. Taking time for yourself is not detracting something from you family. It is investing in them. A better you is a better wife and a better mother. If you’re looking for permission to take that break, I am giving it to you. If you are needing someone to tell you to let the laundry sit there this time, so you can take a much needed nap, I’m telling you. There will ALWAYS be something that needs to be done. Our lists are never completely checked off. There will always be something else to do. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in to this pressure of getting it all done perfectly. Take a beat. Take a breath. Take a nap. And if you are looking for some extra pampering, check out these products. Also, here are my best tips and tricks on incorporating a self care routine into your day.