Archive for motherhood

Do you know when to start potty training? My Case Study.

At first we didn’t know when to start potty training our daughter.

We could see some signs that she was ready…

  • Was walking and running steadily
  • Had regular, predictable bowel movements
  • Could pull her own pants up and down
  • Didn’t like having a dirty diaper
  • Was letting us know she did a potty
  • Demonstrated a desire for independence

We were still unsure about when to start potty training and if she was ready. We found a site called KnowWhentoStartPottyTraining.com

They have a brief survey that listed 20 or so things to look for that signal potty training readiness. Since our daughter had many of them, we committed to get started and felt confident.

We tried the trial and error method where we would just place her on the potty for long periods. We tried various rewards. We would spend time every day on the potty with no results. We let her go without diapers to get the point across to her that she could not rely on diapers any more. Our son was easy so we assumed she would be as well. We didn’t have a plan.

What I think caused the most issues was our lack of patience and not understanding why she was more difficult than her brother was. After 2 weeks of getting nowhere we went to the bookstore and looked at some of the books available. They had a bunch to choose from.

They were all over the place with their “advice”. Some of the books said to use rewards while others said don’t bribe the kid. Some of the books said to be flexible and some said to set clear boundaries. We left the book store uninspired and felt we should delay any further potty training for the time being.

A friend had come over with her 4 year old son and out of the blue the little guy told his mom he had to go potty. She walked him to the bathroom and he went like a big boy. We took the opportunity to open up to her about what we were going through with our daughter. She could tell we were frazzled about the subject and told us about a quick method she found at BeDiaperFree.com

When to start potty training

An effective potty training system uses the natural way children learn to teach them.

We checked it out and gave it a try. We thought, “With their Money Back Guarantee, what could it hurt.” It couldn’t have gone any better. We applied the techniques and got by all the issues that had stumped us before. Having a plan made a big difference. It kept us on track and calm. We were not “winging it” anymore.

Our daughter responded beautifully. In less than a week we went from defeated to victorious. The techniques we used have also improved our general parenting and communication with our daughter. We are now off diapers and couldn’t be happier.

It always bothered us that our diapers ended up in landfills. We thought about trying cloth diapers but that was not realistic. The money saved is a big help and we are thankful not to hurt the environment any more with her diapers.

When to start potty training. Landfill stats.

Please check out BeDiaperFree.com to get more information and get started. A welcome video will give you an overview and some valuable tips. Like us you have nothing to lose.

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Miranda dreams of Rving across the country with her family and her 2 crazy little dogs – unless she’s swamped being a working mother and helping other moms with practical wisdom she has learned from over 2 decades raising a family. A teen mom, single mom, stay at home mom, working mom, she’s been there done that.

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Can a parent afford to fail at self care?

Self care

As a parent, it’s a full time job making sure our kids are taken care of. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything in. What normally gets sacrificed is our own health and well being.

This is crazy.

How effective can we be as parents when we neglect ourselves and let our health suffer?

We need to find time and make sure we take care of ourselves. Even if it is just small moments to get a walk in, to listen to some music in peace, to meditate, or to just have a laugh.

We don’t realize how much we neglect since we are often so busy. It is easy to say, “I’ll take care of it tomorrow” concerning our own needs. One day becomes two and suddenly weeks pass by, sometimes years.

The message we give our kids is to eat right, get proper rest, and get some exercise. How many of us follow that advice?…

We don’t see the effects because we get used to putting ourselves last.

On airplanes, during the safety lecture, we are told to, “Secure our masks before trying to assist others.” It is just common sense that we are no good to others if we are compromised.

In the same way, we can’t be the type of parents our kids need if we are functioning at 50% or less.

What can we do to improve our self care?

  • We can prioritize our health. Nothing else will matter if we continue to neglect ourselves. Making sure we are healthy is not selfish. It is because we have people who rely on us, that we can get motivated.
  • We can forgive ourselves and quit the excuses. We can’t change why we have neglected ourselves but we can try to do something about it.
  • We can use technology to remind us daily to attend to our needs. Most people have smartphones which can be set to chime with notifications. For those without smartphones, sticky notes placed in key places could also do the job.
  • We can ask for help. For something as important as our health, others can buddy up with us to make us accountable. This can also serve as an outlet to discuss how we are doing.
  • We can stop bad habits. From our diet to harmful behaviors, we can take small steps to be better. Our families are worth the effort to change.
  • We can be creative. We can combine multiple needs into one activity. We can try new things and stick with what works.
  • We can start today. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Do something for yourself and your well being. Make sure you are able to give your family 100%.

No matter what our situation we should strive to be better people, better to those we love, and constantly growing. I hope you find ways to do that today and going forward.

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Miranda dreams of Rving across the country with her family and her 2 crazy little dogs – unless she’s swamped being a working mother and helping other moms with practical wisdom she has learned from over 2 decades raising a family. A teen mom, single mom, stay at home mom, working mom, she’s been there done that.

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10 Ways to Combat Parenting Doubts.

Parenting doubts

It is often a thankless job, being a parent. Kids do not come with instruction books and often we are learning how to parent while parenting.

Are you someone who has ever asked yourself…

“Am I screwing up my child?”

“Is this the correct way?”

“Why can’t I get this right?”

Ignoring these parenting doubts isn’t always possible because they hit us at the oddest times. These doubts come from within and can be effective in getting us down.

At least once a week a doubt enters my mind concerning something with my kids. It comes out of the blue and hits me hard.

I am an experienced parent, on my third kid, and to combat the doubt, I have learned to remember to tell myself…

– We never have all the answers.

The more we think we know as parents the more life has to show us. We make the best decisions we can based on information we have at the time.

– We all make mistakes.

Screwing up is being human. We need to embrace the lessons we learn from our errors.

– Kids will remember our love.

The things we beat ourselves up about often don’t matter to our kids. As long as they know we love them, they will be ok.

– Not every parenting situation is the same.

We can’t always apply parenting techniques to all situations. Things may work in one case and not in another and we have to understand that.

– Most things will not matter years from now.

When we look back on our lives in the future, the stuff we fretted over we won’t even remember. The big decisions will seem small and the small stuff will be what mattered.

– Parenting is tough.

We are dealing with unpredictable, complicated people so we shouldn’t be surprised with struggles.

– It is not important for kids to have everything.

Common parenting doubts come from how our kids are being provided for. Stuff is just stuff and often they just want time with us.

– You are harder on yourself than your kids are.

Kids have their minds on being kids. Things that we worry about are not even on children’s radar.

– Conflict is part of human relationships.

We have doubt when we have arguments with our kids. We all see the world differently and this can spark disagreements. It can be a good learning moment when we address conflict.

– Tomorrow is a new day.

Do not dwell on doubts. The fact that you care enough to doubt is a sign you are doing a good job. Parenting is for life and there will be something else to doubt another day.

Parenting Doubts are not always logical.

Rather than allowing it to get you down, identify that you are experiencing doubt and use truth to combat it. We are emotional and complex, and weird, negative thoughts are part of life.

Be a loving parent, knowing you are not perfect, and be willing to learn from your mistakes. Everything else will take care of itself.

 

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About the Author:
Miranda dreams of Rving across the country with her family and her 2 crazy little dogs – unless she’s swamped being a working mother and helping other moms with practical wisdom she has learned from over 2 decades raising a family. A teen mom, single mom, stay at home mom, working mom, she’s been there done that.

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WHY ARE WE SO COMFORTABLE WITH BODY SHAMING WOMEN?

WHY ARE WE SO COMFORTABLE WITH BODY SHAMING WOMEN?

Everywhere there’s an ad for some product that promises to do something on a woman’s body.

“Are you fat? Take this and lose weight instantly.”

“Have stretch marks? Apply this and they are gone.”

“Don’t like something! Buy this miracle solution.”

I’m not surprised that marketing is preying on the fears and worries of women. I expect it as they are trying to sell products.

What gets me, is that the effectiveness of these tactics hasn’t gone down and that there isn’t more outrage.

WHY ARE WE SO COMFORTABLE WITH BODY SHAMING WOMEN?

Is it so ingrained in our thinking that beauty can only exist in perfection?

Is it that people feel entitled to JUDGE the appearance of another?

Do we project our own doubts and sensitivities onto others?

Why do we need others to approve of our appearance?

Who are we trying to impress?

Why can’t we be happy with ourselves and our inherent beauty?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

WHY ARE WE SO COMFORTABLE WITH BODY SHAMING WOMEN?

I think this issue begins and ends with each one of us. Marketing is just speaking to people willing to listen. If it didn’t cause us to go out and buy their products, it wouldn’t be there.

The solutions have to center around becoming more confident in ourselves and our value. We can’t allow others to define this for us. They can’t be the judge and jury for how we feel about ourselves. We can’t give away that kind of power.

HOW DO WE FIGHT THIS BATTLE?

  • Be comfortable with your imperfections.
  • Realize that doubt is ok. A temporary doubt should not cause a permanent change in how we look at ourselves.
  • Stop comparing your appearance to others.
  • Don’t judge other women’s bodies.
  • Focus on being healthy instead of a certain look.
  • See the beauty in others.
  • Don’t tolerate those engaging in body shaming.
  • Ignore marketing that objectifies and shames women.

Progress can only be made one person at a time. Each of us has to commit to having a stronger self image. This has to bear fruit in the decisions we make, the products we buy, and how we relate to others.

Then and only then can we stop BODY SHAMING WOMEN.

Body Shaming

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Miranda dreams of Rving across the country with her family and her 2 crazy little dogs – unless she’s swamped being a working mother and helping other moms with practical wisdom she has learned from over 2 decades raising a family. A teen mom, single mom, stay at home mom, working mom, she’s been there done that.

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How to build a strong relationship with your child?

You can’t be an effective parent if you don’t have a good relationship with your child…

Parenting is more than just providing for and taking care of your children in the physical sense. We are raising people, not animals. These people have emotions, ideas, dreams, fears, etc. and we need to connect with them if we are to guide them.

Our parenting must include building a relationship with our children so that we know what is going on with them. We can’t parent virtually or expect inaction to get the job done.

In cleaning out my nightstand, I found a book I had long forgotten about. It was a good discovery. In thumbing through it, I was reminded of lessons that are very applicable today.

Build a strong relationship with your child.

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie can teach us a lot about developing relationships with our children. Selling over 15 million copies, it is one of the best selling books of all time. His 30 principles can be applied to parenting to help us build strong relationships with our children…

Dale Carnegie’s 30 Principles To Win Friends & Influence People as applied to parenting.

1. Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain – The fear of a parent being negative and grilling them will prevent kids from being open. Listen to what they have to say FIRST. Most kids know when they do something wrong and having a parent harp on it doesn’t help.

2. Give Honest, Sincere, Appreciation – Be thankful for them and things that they do. This will show them that you value them and it will build their confidence.

3. Arouse In Your Children An Eager Want – Understand your children’s likes and dislikes. They look at the world from THEIR perspective and we better know what that is.

4. Become Genuinely Interested In Them – Take time to get to know them. These can’t be passing, quick interactions. If your children see their interests are important to you, it will open up more opportunities for discussion.

5. Smile – Let them see that you find joy in being with them. Even when you don’t feel up to it or have other things going on, smiling can help. Your kids can’t see what is going on in your head. They can only observe what you show them.

6. Remember That A Person’s Name Is To That Person The Sweetest And Most Important Sound In Any Language – Speak TO them rather than AT them. You are speaking to someone you love and wish to grow a relationship with. TONE is everything.

7. Be A Good Listener. Encourage Them To Talk About Themselves – Let them talk about all the little things in their lives. Those are the things that are important to THEM. Ask questions and show enthusiasm.

8. Talk In Terms Of Their Interests – Use language that they can understand. Use examples of things going on in their lives. It will show you have been listening to them.

9. Make Them Feel Important – And Do It Sincerely – Acknowledge how proud you are of them and that they have value in the family. Pay them compliments on things they do well.

10. The Only Way To Get The Best Of An Argument Is To Avoid It – Getting into a battle with your children does more harm than is necessary. A patient discussion about the disagreement will go further.

11. Show Respect For Their Opinion. Never Say, “You’re Wrong.” – Try to see things from their point of view. How you disagree with them can set the stage for other interactions.

12. If You Are Wrong Admit It Quickly And Emphatically – Learn to say “I’m sorry”. Let your children understand that you make mistakes as well and give them an example of humility to follow.

13. Begin In A Friendly Manner – If you have had a bad day, don’t take it out on your kids. Make sure to give them your best, even when you are at your worst.

14. Get Them Saying “Yes, Yes” – Focus on areas where there is agreement. Not everyone is going to see eye to eye all the time. Find common ground and work together.

15. Let Them Do A Great Deal Of The Talking – Let them get things out. You will find out more about them and they will be more eager to share.

16. Let Them Feel That The Idea Is Theirs – Let them take credit for things you do together. Give them the chance to feel good about themselves and the contributions they make.

17. Try Honestly To See Things From Their Point Of View – When there is difficulty, try to walk in their shoes. Try to see WHY they have a specific opinion or reaction.

18. Be Sympathetic With Their Ideas And Desires – Not every idea or desire we have is a good one. Be open to where they are at in their lives and be understanding. You were once a child as well.

19. Appeal To The Nobler Motives – Let them know they are good and valuable. Encourage what they do well and trust they will tend to make good decisions.

20. Dramatize Your Ideas – Use stories and examples with them. They haven’t had the experiences you have had and may need help relating to what you are trying to say.

21. Throw Down A Challenge – Give them a goal and reward them for completing it.

22. Begin With Praise And Honest Appreciation – When you do have to correct them, start with positive things first.

23. Call Attention To Their Mistakes Indirectly – Let them figure out their mistakes on their own. Give them some direction but let the lesson be theirs.

24. Talk About Your Own Mistakes Before Criticizing Them – Let your life lessons also teach them. It will be easier for them to handle your evaluation if they feel you have also been there.

25. Ask Questions Instead Of Giving Direct Orders – You are more likely to get things done when your kids do not see you as a task master. It will also improve you relationship with them.

26. Let Them Save Face – Do not be quick to rub things in and show your children that they are wrong. You want them to learn from their mistakes and putting them on the defensive will not help.

27. Praise The Slightest Improvement And Praise Every Improvement. – Encourage them in their growth. Reward their effort and their accomplishments.

28. Give Them A Fine Reputation To Live Up To – Speak highly of them to others and let them hear you do it. You will be building their confidence and this will improve how they view themselves.

29. Use Encouragement. Make The Fault Seem Easy To Correct – Do not make big productions out of mistakes. You want them to tell you when they screw up. Show them what they can do to make improvements and let them take action.

30. Make Them Happy About Doing The Thing You Suggest – Let them take ownership over their ideas. They have to learn from experience and be willing to take chances.

Relationships are not built overnight, but applying these principles to your parenting will make a massive difference. This quote by Frederick Douglass shows what is at stake…

Building a relationship with your child

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About the Author:
Miranda dreams of Rving across the country with her family and her 2 crazy little dogs – unless she’s swamped being a working mother and helping other moms with practical wisdom she has learned from over 2 decades raising a family. A teen mom, single mom, stay at home mom, working mom, she’s been there done that.

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An Outstanding Life is not living in the past! #BehindTheBlogger

Living in the past

I have heard people say that “It was the worst of times” in talking about a tragedy or event in their lives. I don’t think I have ever uttered or thought those words.

I try to not spend time looking back or living in the past. I have always felt that the past is the past and I don’t live there anymore. I have also believed that giving more or less importance to an event in my life gives it power over me.

The reality is I am here today because of a lifetime of events and experiences. Whether in the big scheme of things or at the moment, weighing them requires perspective we almost never have. Time during some experiences seems to rush quickly and at at other points seems to drag on. Some things I remember vividly and others barely.

An event that seemed bleak and hopeless at the time, may have steered me on a path I would not have otherwise taken. Something that appeared great may have prevented me from making another decision that I should have made.

How an experience in my life ends up affecting my journey, I don’t believe can ever actually be known. For every action there is a reaction and nothing happens in a vacuum. Life is full of good and bad and they are not always easy to distinguish even after years pass by.

I have a strong faith that teaches me that “All things God works for the good.” Because of that, even things that I might classify as “the worst”, had a hand in making me who I am and brought me to this point in my life.

I try to pass this perspective onto my children so they may learn to always move forward and use whatever life throws at them as a lesson. I don’t want them paralyzed in reflection, dwelling on the past. They are told to make the best decisions they can based on the information they have. They know that I love them and we will deal with whatever happens in our lives.

I hope you realize you are loved as well and you’re also on a journey.

Living in the past

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Thank you for reading a story from #BehindTheBlogger Hop. Every 2 weeks a group of bloggers is given a writing prompt. These prompts are very open ended, so our bloggers can write about whatever they desire. The main rule is that their blog post directly relates to the topic of that week. The point of this hop is for our readers to get to know us on a personal level.
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About the Author:
Miranda dreams of Rving across the country with her family and her 2 crazy little dogs – unless she’s swamped being a working mother and helping other moms with practical wisdom she has learned from over 2 decades raising a family. A teen mom, single mom, stay at home mom, working mom, she’s been there done that.

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How to Defeat Procrastination Once and For All!

Defeat Procrastination

Procrastination is a formidable foe that defeats many mothers. We allow fear, doubt, and excuses to keep us from getting projects done. Often the go to remedy is waiting till the last minute, when delay is no longer an option. The stress and anxiety are not worth it, and the result is crappy work. The victims tend to be our families and those closest to us. While there is no secret formula or spell that will magically get things done, the below tips will help you defeat procrastination:

Just get started

Ironically enough the best tactic for beating procrastination is to begin working. The smallest step, followed by another, can put you on the path towards getting the project done.

Listen to music

Music you enjoy can take your mind off the task and should allow you to get moving and make progress.

Think about being done

Thinking of the finish line can create motivation and drive enough to get you going.

Do the easiest part first

Worrying about the hardest pieces won’t help, so start small and work your way through.

Talk yourself through each step

Often the inner voice in us keeps us from doing anything. Turn that inner voice around and have it narrate what you are doing. Before you know it you are well on your way.

Have a reward in mind for finishing

Give yourself extra incentive. A desert food, desired item, or some entertainment can serve as motivation.

The worst thing you can do is allow procrastination to rule over you. You will find a large weight lifted as you get tasks done. The key is to get started today.

If you want to know more about the study of Procrastination, take a look at the informative article by Shirley S. Wang from the Wall Street Journal or the thought provoking article by Olga Khazan from the Atlantic. Don’t use them as another form of procrastination, though.

To help you defeat procrastination I’m going to send you a handy, easy to carry Infographic, the same one I use to help me everyday. Make multiple copies and refer to it when you need a little push. It will also appear below so you can print a copy immediately (Make sure to also check your email).

P.S. If you want some other quotes to reference please check out this great list by Duccio Manfredi

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About the Author:
Miranda dreams of Rving across the country with her family and her 2 crazy little dogs – unless she’s swamped being a working mother and helping other moms with practical wisdom she has learned from over 2 decades raising a family. A teen mom, single mom, stay at home mom, working mom, she’s been there done that.

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What are WE doing with American Education?

What are WE preparing our kids for with our American Education System????????

Education in America

 

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Lies, Lies, Lies! 3 Lies Told to New Moms!

Lies!

I came across a blog post on ParentingInMotion.com about 5 Lies told to new moms:

Lies Told to New Moms!

  • “You won’t have time to shower for days.”
  • “Sleep when the baby sleeps.”
  • “Just let the laundry and dishes pile up, they can wait”
  • “You will never eat a warm meal again.”
  • “If you learn to do it right, breastfeeding won’t hurt.”

While there are many crappy lies we tell new moms, 3 important ones that were missed in that list were:

  • Always follow instincts. A new mom will have a lot on her mind as she attends to the day to day care of her new baby. She will also be tired and sometimes aggravated. Not every idea that pops into her head will be right or make sense.
  • Friends and family will be a lot of help. While they mean well, most offers of assistance are hollow gestures. They sound great and polite but most parents are on their own.
  • All these products are needed. Everyone will recommend all the stuff the baby will NEED. Many of the items will offer convenience and help make things easier but rarely are they necessary.
Rather than giving advice to a new mom, how about actually helping her with something. Offering to help with a meal, run needed errands, or take some of the load off will provide more benefits and make more of an impact.

What other lies are needlessly told to new moms?
What help would you have rather received instead of crappy advice you were given?
Please let me know in the comments.

P.S. If this topic interests you, please check out the very popular and helpful book by Claudine Wolk called It Gets Easier!…And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers: A Fun, Practical Guide to Becoming a Mom.

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