get a puppy first

Are you preparing for a baby? Get a puppy first!

I grew up with my Mom jokingly (?) drawing a parallel between kids and pets. She always said that you had to feed, water, and walk both. Naturally, as a child who clearly didn’t see the problem with my constant desire for snacks, strange obsession with my water bottle, and buzzing energy that always needed to be released I failed to see the similarities. However, now that I have children and pets of my own the similarities are uncanny.

There’s this idea that welcoming a dog into your family before you have children will give you insight into what it’s like to have children. Some parents poo-poo this idea, but as a family who had children and then got a dog, I can tell you first hand that there is some merit to this suggestion.

get a puppy before having a baby

If you want a baby, get a puppy first!!

They both eat floor food.

While it’s slightly more acceptable to encourage your puppy to eat the rice off the floor your baby will do the same. In fact, there will be times where this is relieving when you get a 30-second reprieve from your constant snack making duties. Perhaps it’s their rapid growth in the first few years, or perhaps they have worms, but it seems that both puppies and babies have insatiable appetites.

They both poop on the floor

Babies are safely in diapers for the first while, but once they learn the ability to remove their poop catchers all bets are off. The main difference is that your lovely puppy will eat their feces while your lovely tot will simply smear it all over the wall. Which is worst? You take your pick.

They both require major energy exertion

Off-leash or on a leash these animals need to get out! Find a friend who also has a dog and big backyard. You can run them both at the same time, exhaust them at the same time, and hopefully enjoy the quiet as they flop down beside each other for a snooze.

(Ya, that actually really is a thing!)

prepare for kids by getting a puppy

They both whine when you leave the house

The main difference here is that you normally don’t leave a small child at home alone. However, if you’ve ever left a 2-year-old with your partner for the afternoon while you take some much-needed Mom time you know what I’m talking about. They give you those big huge “please don’t leave me” eyes and beg you not to go; once your partner is finished their pleading your two-year-old will start! As soon as you de-attach the screaming child from your leg and get out the door you’ll hear the dog whimpering by the door. A part of you will feel so grateful that there is so much love directed your way and your heart strings will be pulled as the guilt slowly sets in. Buuuuuuuut a bigger part of you will run to your car even faster. Have fun, Mom!

They both require a tremendous amount of your attention

If you don’t give a puppy enough of your attention they will eat your brand new pair of Tom shoes (ya, that’s a real friggin’ thing, too). If you don’t give your child enough of your attention, well, depending on the child, they may eat your brand new pair of Tom shoes, too. Either way, they both need a lot of attention. The best way to get past this is to sick your child on your dog. Encourage your child to give belly rubs and the dog will reciprocate the love in form of a wet tongue on their nose. It’s gross attention but it’s attention. This method will get you a few minutes of not having to give anyone a belly rub. Believe me, you’re going to need a break!

They both need to be groomed

It’s socially acceptable to not bathe a dog for three weeks, however, the same is not true for kids*.

*On a side note: no judgment from this lady. There have been times when I haven’t been able to remember the last time my children were bathed. It wasn’t until Grandma pointed out the felt pen marks on the children were still there from the last time she saw them that I realized the actual length between baths.

They both will take over your bed

prepare for a puppy

They will both wake you up so they can pee. They will both wake you up so they can have water. They will both wake you up just to say “I love you”.

You’ll love them both mostly equally-but you’ll tend to appreciate your canine friend a lot more when they don’t ask you for the keys to the car or roll their eyes at you!

myperiod is going around

Do you have Myperiod?

Imagine if you could see life through your child’s eyes. It would probably go something like this…

 

Mom’s SUPER grumpy today. Every little thing is setting her over the deep end.

For example, I was only on my 4th time asking for candy this morning when she freaked out. I’m not talking her average freak out (exasperated sigh, a moderate increase in the volume of her voice, shaking her head).

No. This was much scarier than that.

 

First she shouted “NO! STOP ASKING”. Then she threw a towel at the counter. Then she started crying.

I thought she was actually going to give in when I saw her reach for the chocolate but I quickly realized that it was for her. The look on Mom’s face and the protective hunkered stance she held made me too afraid to even think about asking for a share.

She continued on in this peculiar state for some time, occasionally grumbling about how much she “hates being a woman” sometimes.

I don’t get it! Women are awesome!! They get to wear make-up, they have boobs, they smell good, and they’re clearly the smartest beings on the planet!!

Now, I normally don’t ask Mom what’s wrong with her. The conversation usually results in her telling me how I’M driving her crazy, what I’M doing wrong and the things that I need to change. I don’t understand why it always ends up being about me…I’m asking what’s wrong with HER.

Anyways, I figured this time would possibly be an exception, and it was! I asked Mom: “what’s wrong?” and prepared myself for my usual half hour talking to. It didn’t happen. She simply said, “Oh, nothing honey, it’s just my period.”

What’s “Myperiod”?? I don’t want to catch it! It seems to make you miserable and tired, makes you look terrible and seems rather painful.

However, it seems that chocolate is a cure…..could it be all that bad??

I decided that the chocolate cure was not worth the symptoms so I maintained a decent distance from Mom for the duration of the day so as not to catch Myperiod.

I also told any women that we encountered during the day that Mom has Myperiod so that they could take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe.

Thoughtful, eh?!

 

I’m the smartest person in the world.

 

 

how you know you've met the mom love of your life

How you know you’ve met the Mom love of your life

It’s a lot more difficult to make friends when you’re an adult than it was when you were younger. Perhaps life experiences have caused us to be more cautious when choosing friends now. Maybe it’s that the criteria for choosing friends are more extensive than “I like your scrunchie”.

Ok, so that’s actually still a criterion as an adult, but it’s alongside a multitude of other ones that are just as important, like how kind they are and how good at making coffee they are.

While it’s more difficult to make these friends as an adult it’s always worth the extra effort you have to put in. The ladies you become friends with go through the hardest stage of your lives with you. You’ll be close. They need you and you need them.

You’ll meet a lot of different women in your journey through motherhood, but there are a few ways to know when you’ve met a true MILFF (Mom I’d Like to Friend on Facebook):

MILFF

Signs you’ve met the Mom love of your life

 

  1. You never feel you have to start a conversation with “I know this is TMI, but….”

  2. You know when your children are with her they’re in good hands. They’ll be sent outside to play with her kids while she happily watches Netflix and periodically checks on them from the window.

  3. She just seems to know when to invite you over for coffee.

  4. Her house is never clean when you go over. She wants to make you feel at home.

  5. She’s told you her full birth story and hasn’t left anything out.

  6. She never interferes when you’re parenting, unless she’s backing you up against your raging 3-year-old.

  7. You both drag your kids to the playground because playdates are entirely not always about them.

  8. She says she’s going to bring over a bottle of wine, but she doesn’t. She brings a MAGNUM bottle of wine.

  9. You know she loves your kids like her own.

  10. You love her kids like they’re your own.

  11. You tell her everything knowing she is judging nothing.

  12. She tells you secrets that she hasn’t even told her partner.

  13. She’s got your back when your innocent Facebook post gets bombarded by Sanctimommies.

  14. Her partner asks when you’ll see each other next because she’s always happier after spending time with you.

15. A week of not seeing each other feels like an eternity!

 

As adults, we can understand and appreciate a good friend when you’ve found one. Once you’ve found that Mom love of your life hang onto her. Momming is hard. You’re gonna need each other to tell your deepest darkest secrets to; like when you actually last bathed your children!

how to go on a mom date

How to go on a Mom date

Remember when we were kids and you could walk up to someone at the playground, ask if they wanted to be your best friend, and you’d run off and play together for hours?

It’s a little different now:

YOU: “Do you have any diapers? I forgot to bring some…”

LADY (Gives you a diaper): “Not a problem. I like your yoga pants.”

YOU: “Thanks, they’re the exact same ones you’re wearing. You have really good style.”

LADY: “Wanna have some of the mystery liquid in my thermos and chat while our children entertain each other?”

After a while, you realize that this lady is pretty darn cool. In fact, you think she might be your soulmate after she told her 3-year-old to just “go pee behind the tree”.

Right before you both hurriedly gather your children to get home before afternoon naps are no longer an option you make plans to meet the next day.

little adventures company advertisement

You’re officially going on a Mom date!

You don’t want to screw this one up, so you make sure you follow a few basic rules.

Dress to impress

Search for something….ANYTHING clean. Don’t put it on until right before you leave to meet her so that you might make it to your playdate unscathed or unsnotted on-not that it really matters if you do. She’s likely in the exact same boat.

*A mom date is not the place to wear anything that doesn’t scream “I’m a hot mess just like you”!

Don’t bring coffee

Yes, you saw her with a to-go cup yesterday, but that doesn’t mean she drinks coffee. It’s possible she’s one of those tea drinkers or prefers a gin latte. It’s highly likely that she drinks water, so bring a bottle or two of that instead.

Do bring snacks.

You know she’ll bring snacks that your kids will immediately flock to. Bring snacks that her children will immediately flock to. They’ll likely be identical options, but someone else’s food is always so much better.

go on a mom date

Bring up everything controversial

Mmmhmmm. Any and every topic that’s ever been posted in a Facebook Mom’s group and received at least 200 conflicting comments is what you need to talk about. You don’t need to agree on everything, but her response to you choosing to bottle feed your baby may reveal her hidden sanctimommy.

Make sure your kids get along

It’s a major bummer when you’ve potentially met the Mom love of your life and the only thing that’s killing your Mom date is your kids. Be a peacekeeper. Whenever there’s an inclination that a fight may ensue between her little Johnny and your little Johnny bring out the candy, bubbles, new toys. Whatever you need to distract the little Johnny’s so that they are happy together again and you can get back to your discussion about the worst meals you’ve ever fed your kids.

 

If you make it through this first date you can take the next step of becoming Facebook friends. You will probably communicate more on messenger than in person, especially during those cold and flu season months, but that will be ok. You can tag each other in hilarious Mom memes and special giveaways the require you to “share with a friend”. You can share videos on each other’s Timelines, send one another invites to play CandyCrush and even poke each other late at night.

Go on. Enjoy your Mom date. Don’t stress too much about it. You’ve got other worries-like why your kids are being so quiet right now…

mothers need a village

Raising mothers raising children

It takes a village to raise a child.

It takes a village to keep a child safe. It takes a village to keep a child supported. It takes a village to keep a child healthy. It takes a village to keep a child educated, confident, and optimistic.

It takes a village to help a child grow.

There is no doubt that this is a principle that is understood and followed by many. Community programs, extra-curricular school activities, and sports campaigns alike are facilitated with one goal in mind: to help with the raising of a child in a positive way through experiences, examples, and education. Communities band together to ensure that their children are receiving everything that they need. Our society is becoming more and more conscious of delivering to our children the tools that will enable them to be positive, productive adults.

Taking care of children is a massive job, and should never be intended for one or two people solely. Having support from people other than the child’s other immediate caregiver is crucial to their development. It allows them to see the world from perspectives that the parents cannot necessarily offer them.

Society has proven to have an invested interest in taking care of our future generations. There is constantly new research focusing on how we can raise our children better; to help them reach their full potential by utilizing parental skills and abilities, as well as seeking out skills and abilities from members of the community. The passion that is being shown towards our children is incredibly heartening. Parents can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they aren’t the only ones who feel as strongly about the care of their child as they do.

It is simple to reach out and look for assistance when it comes to seeking what’s best for your child, as programs are advertised and easily accessible for the most part. However, what happens when it isn’t the child who needs to find support. What happens when it’s the mother? Who is responsible for her? Where is her village?

The transition into motherhood is quite possibly the most difficult transformation a woman will ever experience.  From the moment she discovers that she is growing life inside of her she becomes forever changed. Her physical self experiences a change that is beautifully, awesomely incredible. Her emotional self shifts into the beginning of her role as a nurturer. Her mental self shifts and prepares to say goodbye to the woman she formerly knew as herself, for once she becomes a mother she can never go back.

a village raising a mother

The journey of motherhood is a challenging one. It is one that requires that a mother feels safe. It requires that a mother feels supported. It requires that a mother feels healthy. It requires that a mother feels educated, confident, and optimistic.

A woman cannot provide all of these things for herself.

It’s presumptuous to say that a woman will have the support of her partner and family when she has a baby. Difficult circumstances can dictate the help that a woman will receive from the people who theoretically should be closest to her, although that doesn’t diminish the necessity of her needing to find her foundation of support. Being a mother is a tough job. Actually, it’s a really, really, REALLY tough job that nobody should be doing single-handedly.

Children don’t come with any sort of manual. There is no one parenting book that has all the answers. What worked for one child may not work for the next. For a mother to effectively parent, and to be able to find the things that work best for her and her child she needs to be rested and healthy. This isn’t always as easy as that sounds. Mothers tend to be workhorses. They get up at night with the children. They wake up with them in the morning. They cater to their demands and needs throughout the day. They take care of the housework. They cook the meals for the family. They take care of the things on to-do lists. They take care of everything else but themselves, even though self-care should be high on their list of priorities. Eventually, she may begin to feel run down and overwhelmed. She may begin to feel alone, perhaps even hopeless. She might begin to think that feeling this way is the norm. She may even begin to question her abilities as a mother.

That’s when she needs her village.

Finding a village as a grown woman can be tricky. As kids it’s easy enough to find someone on the playground, go up to them, and ask them if they wanted to be your friend. Adults don’t have the luxury of such carefreeness. Our insecurities and fear of judgment keep us reserved. Fortunately, there are many options around simply approaching someone and asking them to be your new best friend. Just as there are many community programs oriented towards the development of children, there are also many community programs oriented towards the development of parents. Checking in with local elementary schools or a downtown association for community living (or the alternative in each city) can give insight into where one may find these programs. Joining social media groups that are set up for each city can help provide not only information regarding where some of these programs are available but also a sense of community in an online forum.

The relationships that come of either physical or digital interaction can become invaluable. For a woman who is trying to navigate her way through the day to day rollercoaster ride that is raising children, the relationships that she builds with other women experiencing the same struggles, joys, fears, excitement, and every other emotion imaginable, can be her saving grace. Having the support of other women who have advice to offer or can lend a helping hand or listening ear can be the driving force behind a very effective mother. Having a village can help a mother in learning the skills necessary to take care of her children the way she wants to. A village can provide childcare when that mother needs a break; whether it’s for a personal doctor appointment or some much needed time at the spa. A village can help a woman when she’s dealing with a hardship and needs a helping hand to get through it.  A village can offer friendship, guidance, and, most importantly, long-lasting memories.

A village can raise a mother.

Raising our mothers. Helping them grow. Supporting them. That will cycle back to our children. Ensuring that the best care that they receive is coming from their own homes is the best thing that our society can do for the smallest members of our communities. Supporting mothers and  their children establishes a foundation of love and nurturing throughout homes and communities. A foundation will develop over the years to come and will help strengthen the smallest members of our communities when some of them grow up and become mothers themselves.

A village can raise a mother, to raise a child, to raise a mother, to raise a child.

Find your village.

Cherish your village.

 

mala necklace

Reasons why you need a mala necklace!

Wall hanging: Pretty

Coffee maker: Purposeful (and so freakin’ necessary)

Trinket on the mantle: Pretty

Washing machine: Purposeful

Mala necklace: Pretty and purposeful

What is a Mala necklace?

Prayer/meditation beads.

A majority of the world’s population uses prayer beads in their spiritual practice in some form.

Mala necklaces stem from Buddhism and Hinduism, and are known as “Japa Malas”. They are used as means of meditation to help guide you as a spiritual person. They have a guru bead in the middle and then 108 beads that are either knotted in between or spaced with a smaller bead. The beads can be made of any material or size as long as there are 54 on either side of the guru bead.

Why 108 beads?

In the parenting world, “3” seems to be the magic number (although, can someone please explain to me what I’m supposed to do once I get to 3??) .

However, in the physical and spiritual world, 108 is the magic number. Here’s why:

 

-There are 108 sacred sites on our bodies.

-There are 108 lines of energy connected to our hearts.

-The sun’s diameter is 108 times that of the earth

-It is said there are 108 human feelings

-There are 108 stages in the journey of the soul

These are just a few of the beliefs of cultures and religions around the world.

What do I do with a Mala necklace?

You can choose an intention to go with your mala necklace. An intention is a statement of a positive goal you want to experience, and the benefits are huge! Read about that here.

For example, some intentions could be:

-I intend to love myself

-I intend to be calm

-I intend to smile more

-I intend to allow myself to pursue my dreams

Your Mala necklace can serve you as a reminder of your intention. You can wear it or simply hang it somewhere you will see it often. Each time you look at it or feel it, it will take you back to the intention you set for it.

You can also use it during meditation to keep track of how many times you recite your intention. As you sit to meditate, touch each bead as a guide to how many times you’ve said aloud or thought of your intention. Yes, 108 times may seem like a lot of times, but it’s entirely worth it. How many times did you have to tell your children to clean their room before they did it? How many times do you have to tell yourself to love you before you’ll do it? Reciting the same thing repeatedly is going to result in you understanding the importance of the intention you set.

Why do I need a Mala necklace?

reasons you need a mala necklace

Here’s the thing: you spend so much energy giving your family what they want and need. You give from your cup and have a hard time finding the time to fill ‘er back up. Having a Mala necklace as a physical reminder of the self-growth that you want to participate in will remind you that YOU ARE WORTHY of taking that time for yourself. You still have hopes, dreams, and desires, Mama.  Putting some of that positive energy into setting an intention into a tangible item will remind you of that.

A Mala necklace is fully customizable. You can have them handmade to your preferences or you can choose from a pre-made one that speaks to you. You can choose from ones that have set intentions or you can give it your own. It’s entirely up to you how you go about choosing and using your Mala necklace. It immediately gives you power and control over your own destiny.

Plus, they’re so darn pretty!

Where do I get a Mala necklace?

There are affiliate links in here. That means I’ll receive a commission on your purchase at no extra cost to you. 

Finding a Mala necklace is easy. Finding a Mala necklace that you know for a fact has been made with love and care, however, is a little more tricky.

HelloDaffodil and I Am Blessed are examples of Mala necklace makers who put loving energy into your piece. Each Mala necklace is handmade and designed by these amazing women who  are skilled and knowledgeable in making your Mala necklace to suit you best.

 

What do you think? Do you have a Mala necklace? Has it changed your life?