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How to Help Your Kids Enjoy Hygiene Routines for a Jump Start to Lifelong Health

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads.

 

Kids don’t like cleanliness. At least, not all of it.

One kid loves brushing teeth, but hates brushing her hair. Another kid refuses to wash his hands, but has no problem soaking in the shower for an hour at a time.

No two kids handle hygiene the same. The problem is- all kids have to do all of the steps to proper hygiene. There’s no skipping brushing teeth just because Jimmy doesn’t like it!

So how is a parent supposed to create a positive atmosphere around necessary activities… that the child detests???

Here are 6 “mom secrets” that help with any hygiene routine—- and stay tuned for specific ideas for hair brushing, tooth brushing, hand-washing, and bath time!  

1) Monkey See, Monkey Do

Usually parents get up and get ready before the kids do. That’s the only way to get them out the door, because they need you coaxing them along every step of the way as they get ready, right?

The problem with this is that young kids don’t see that you go through the exact same hygiene routine as the child is expected to go through. There’s no example, it’s not relatable. Mom is just magically clean all the time.

Look for opportunities to get ready alongside your child- especially on weekends when there is less of a time crunch- so that the child can see you doing all the same cleanliness tasks that they do.

2) Fake That Smile

long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

If you want your kid to be positive about the morning/evening routine, you’ve got to be positive about it too! Even if it’s not a real smile, this is a great time to “fake it til you make it.”

How could a child possibly get excited to go brush his teeth if he hears mom say things like, “Oh no, it’s time to brush teeth! I hate this time of night. It’s always so awful! Well, here we go…”

Compare that to, “Oh yay, it’s time to brush teeth! Woo hoo! Toothpaste tastes like candy. I love it.”  

3) Always, Always, Always

Never let up on the hygiene routine! First of all, it’s healthy to brush teeth, take baths, and wash hands.

Second of all, consistency creates structure for the child. If you break that structure, they are more likely to act out because the tasks seem optional. “Why should I have to wash my hands before dinner tonight when I didn’t have to yesterday?”

4) Your Turn!

clear glass flower vase near rolled grey mat

Take advantage of independent streaks or stages.

Yes, your toddler’s extreme independence can be a blessing! Some aversions to hygiene could be because mom usually helps with those things… a lot. If you have a strong willed child or a child who is going through an independent phase, that’s opposite of what that child is seeking.

Help them out by giving them lots of chances to try each part of the routine on their own. It might take a little longer, but it has a lot of potential to cut down on tantrums or frustration.

5) This or This?

Some kids might struggle with hygiene routines because they are mandatory. It’s not easy to be told that you HAVE to do something, no matter what. Nobody wants to be told what to do!

You can help out with this by offering as many little choices as you can within the tasks themselves.

IE- You must brush your teeth. That’s not a choice. But you can have a choice in what toothpaste you want to use today!

6) FUUUUUUUUUN!

portrait photography of baby laughing

Anything you can do to make hygiene routines more exciting will increase cooperation. That’s why Disney makes so much money off of Princess shampoo and Superhero toothbrushes. They’re fun, and kids are more likely to try something that is  fun.

Batman Themed Hygiene Kit (Click the image below!)

Minnie Mouse Themed Hygiene Kit (Click the image below!)

Here’s more creative ideas to increase the fun aspect of hygiene:

  • Talk It Up: Tell kids all of the good things that will happen when they are clean! They look pretty or handsome, kids like to play with clean kids, their body is healthy, etc.

Here’s some great children’s books to teach kids about the importance of hygiene.

Click on the images below!
Don’t Get Sick! How Kids Can Keep Healthy and Safe – Good Hygiene for Kids – Children’s Disease Books

Smelly Melly: Personal Hygiene for Kids and Little Monsters

Hygiene Heroes! My Personal Hygiene Book :: Kids Hygiene Book. WE CAN TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES! WE CAN DO IT! HOW ‘BOUT YOU?

  • Visual Aids: Make cute, brightly-colored charts to show the child what’s coming up next! It will help them stay on track, and they’re fun to use!

Click the images below! 

Hygiene Habits Play Set

Step-By-Step Potty Chart

Step-By-Step Hand Washing Chart

Step-By-Step Shower Chart

Step-By-Step Tooth Brushing Chart

  • Apps/Games: There are TONS of apps and games to engage kids in hygiene routines. Here’s a few great ones to try out!

Dr. Panda Bath Time

Good Habits

Cute and Tiny Morning

Let’s Potty! Potty Training Board Game!

  • Earn Rewards: Create a rewards system. Maybe a child can earn a fun experience- like staying up one hour past bedtime, or choosing a special movie from Redbox, or feeding the ducks at the park.

Click on the images below!

Teeth Brushing Reward Coloring Book

Magnetic Reward Chart

 

There you have it- our tips for hygiene in general. It’s time to get more specific.

 

Making Hair Brushing Easier:

-Use detangler (Click image below)

-Use a Detangler Comb (Click on the image below)

-During bath time, put the conditioner in the child’s hair and use this as a chance to brush the child’s hair. Conditioner naturally detangles and softens hair, making it easier and less painful to brush.

-When brushing hair, start with the bottom inch of hair. Brush it out until there are no more tangles in the bottom inch. Then, move up another inch. When that section of hair has no tangles, move up another inch, and another inch, and another inch. This makes tangles less painful to brush through.

-Flip hair over your head and brush the underside of the hair first. This section of hair can be particularly tangled, so brushing it out first and then brushing the top layer of hair can decrease pain during brushing.

-For more amazing tips, check out The Secret to Brushing Your Little Girl’s Hair without Tears! 

 

Making Tooth brushing Easier:

-Choose the correct size of brush.

-Use child-safe toothpaste with fluoride(Click image below). It tastes better anyways.

-Sing a song like the ABC’s or Twinkle, Twinkle. The child has to brush as long as mom is singing. This is a good way to help the child learn to brush thoroughly instead of rushing through tooth brushing.

-Use this Baby Alive Teeth Brushing Doll (Click the image below!) to practice first. You can show the child how they will need to brush all of their teeth. Once the child has seen the baby doll do it, it is their turn!

-For more great tips, check out Make Teeth Brushing Fun with 6 Easy Tips!

 

Making Hand Washing Easier:

-Sing a song like the ABC’s or Happy Birthday. The child has to scrub his hands as long as mom is singing.

-Be silly- Use a crazy narrator voice to give a play-by-play of what the child is doing. “Tom is reaching for the soap, reaching, reaching…. He’s got the soap!! Now he’s scrubbing, But can he get those hands clean?? We’ll see- the anticipation is too much!”

-For more great ideas, check out Hand Washing 101! 

Making Bath Time Easier:

-Use child-friendly, tear-free, natural shampoo (Click the image below). It hurts a little less when it gets in their eyes.

-Try a face shield (click on image below) to keep soap and water out of eyes.

-Use this Little Mommy Bath Time Doll (Click on image below!) to practice first. You can show the child how they will need to put soap in their hair, then rinse out the soap. Once the child has seen the baby doll do it, it is their turn!

-Be silly- Use crazy voices to name all the parts of the body (hands, arms, elbows, armpits, tummy, legs, knees, feet….) as you wash them.

-For more tips, check out How to Make Bathtime Fun for Kids

 

I hope these tips make life a little easier for you mama!

Always remember that your efforts are worth it! If your little one can enjoy hygiene now, he’ll enjoy a long life of health.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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16 Rules of Parenting Etiquette That Will Make YOU One Popular Mama

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads.

Cheesy Mom Joke of the Day: Mom what’s it like to have the greatest daughter in the world?? 

Scroll to the bottom of the post for the answer! 

Just a few days ago, I had the worst experience. I was at a park. My kids were playing and I was sitting back on a bench enjoying their happy voices.

And then, another parent came to sit by me. I tried to be friendly and chat, but everything she did just rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t handle her! She didn’t handle her kids’ negative behavior when they needed it, she gave my kids food without asking me, she seemed to be digging into personal topics that I didn’t want to talk about, and through all that she kept correcting MY parenting!

By the time we went home, I was so frustrated! I complained in my head about that rude mom…. until I finally thought to myself… “What if I’m the same way? What do I do that frustrates other moms?”

I really didn’t want to be THAT mom, so I decided I’d better launch an in depth research frenzy to educate myself on how to be a socially appropriate mama.

Here’s what I learned about how to be a well-liked and polite parent. 

people laughing and talking outside during daytime

1) Don’t ring the doorbell when you visit a family with a newborn.

Have you ever been jolted out of a deep postpartum nap by a ring of the doorbell, only to hear a high-pitched scream from the baby monitor immediately after?? NOOOOOOOO!

Babies need a lot of sleep! And so do their mamas. When you visit a family with a newborn, you never know who is napping. To avoid waking the baby or mom unnecessarily, knock on the door instead of ringing the doorbell.

It’s also a great idea to call or text in advance to make sure you are visiting at a good time.

2) Don’t feed other children without asking the parent first.

girl liking candy lollipop

It’s so kind when a well-meaning person offers my little one a snack or a treat. They always seem so excited to share with her and make her smile by giving her something yummy.

But it’s important to check in with the parent first. You never know if the child has an allergy, a food intolerance, if the family is vegan or vegetarian, or a million other situations. Not to mention that it’s not always safe to accept food from strangers…. 

I remember trying to help my child calm down in the grocery store once. We were trying to work through her feelings and talk about the problem we had. A sweet gentleman walked by and gave her some gummy worms. She calmed right down, but I felt like I missed a chance to teach her important calming skills.

3) Clean up at restaurants.

My dad used to call my brothers and sisters and I “vultures”. Now that I’m a parent, I really understand that reference. The food comes out, and it’s gone within seconds. I say “gone”…. What I mean is the dishes are empty. But the food isn’t completely gone- it’s just everywhere it’s not supposed to be! Like on the floor, the table, the benches.

It’s ok, just sit back and have fun on your night out. It’s not worth it to try to avoid the mess or clean it up as you go. You’ll never enjoy a meal if you’re stressing trying to prevent the unpreventable.

Just make sure to clean up what you can at the end. Pile the dishes, use napkins to wipe up any spills, and pick up pieces of food that might have (and certainly did) fall to the ground.

Or if you don’t want to clean up, at least live a nice tip.

4) When you catch yourself talking too much about your own children, take a break and ask other parents about their kids.

The other day, I was going on and on about my little girl and how smart she is, and how perfect her teeth are, and how cute she looks in pigtails, and how excited she gets when she sees pictures of cows, and how much she loves chocolate, and how well she’s talking, and how she loves to read books, and how she dances to Daniel Tiger songs….. And then I realized, “Oh crap, I’m that crazy mom!” 

I love my little ones, but nobody likes a blabbermouth. Yes, be proud of your kids’ accomplishments- but don’t dominate the conversation. Make sure you’re asking questions about the other parents’ kids and lives.

5) RSVP when your child is invited to birthdays or other parties.

round chocolate cake with candles on top

Have you ever planned a cute and fun birthday party for your cutie pie? You spend money, you arrange for food, you plan out games and activities. And then only two kids show up??? Or on the other extreme, every other kid brings a plus one that you were not aware of?? Now how are we going to decide who gets cake and who doesn’t, cause there’s for sure not enough for everyone!!

It’s important for the party planner to know how many people to expect so that they can make arrangements in advance. RSVP’s are the only way they know what quantities to order.

Always RSVP- and do it as quickly as you can.

6) If your child accidentally breaks something, make sure to replace it.

This seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised. How would you like it if this happened to you??

Make sure you either pay for it or purchase a similar replacement item to replace whatever got broken.

Better yet, involve the child so that they can have the experience of fixing their mistake. It doesn’t need to be a negative or a punishing experience- just explain to the child that there are things we can do to make it right and help them carry out those solutions. Now, an unfortunate accident has become a great teaching moment! 

7) When your kids are sick, keep them at home to avoid spreading illness.

person lying on gray sofa

When I see a kid sniffle, and wipe their nose on their hands, and then reach for my child’s toys…. I want to dive at them screaming “NOOOOOOOO” before the little snotty hand reaches it’s target! It’s nothing personal, I just need to save my house from those icky germs! 

If you know your kids are sick, keep them home. They will be more comfortable, they won’t spread germs, and they can heal quicker.

Think of the problems sickness causes for other families– parents might miss work, the children could miss school, and everyone’s miserable for a solid month while the illness slowly circulates to each person- twice. Then they’re finally freed from the clutches of that nasty flu or cold.

Let’s just avoid this, shall we?

8) Don’t allow yourself to get upset when other moms make critical or judgmental comments.

Did anyone say, pull your hair out? Bite your tongue in half to keep the words in?? Break out in sudden and devastating violence because you just can’t contain the rage anymore???

It’s so difficult to stay calm when someone is being judgy of your parenting, but you can do it! You’re the bigger person. They’re acting like a 5-year old, but you can be the adult.

You DO NOT have to accept their advice or change what you’re doing. Just say, “Thanks for the ideas!” in a kind way (try to swallow the sarcasm if you can), and then do what works for your kids and your family.

9) Keep comments positive and encouraging and sporting events.

man tying boy's shoes on field

I don’t know what it is about kids’ sporting events that brings out insane competition in the parents. For all that’s Holy, it’s a game! For little kids! It’s about having fun, teaching the kids cooperation and teamwork, and building great memories.

Have you seen those crazy parents who treat it like they’re reliving their forgotten dreams and their own success or failure depends on the performance of a twelve-year old? I just want to slap them back to reality and tell them, “Today’s not about you!”

Always remember to speak kindly to members of other teams, other parents, coaches, refs, and basically everyone there.

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Other Great Reads: 

27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

Perspective of a Child

The Secret to Foolproof Goals- How to Become the Parent You’ve Always Wanted to Be

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

10) Avoid personal comments or questions.

There are lots of topics that can be hurtful if approached in the wrong way. When to have children, how many children to have, discipline decisions, adoption, etc. can be touchy to discuss.

Let parents bring these topics up on their own or ask in advance, “Are you comfortable if I ask you about this?”

11) When a child cries in public take them out of the main area of the restaurant, theater, or store.

selective focus photography of girl crying

No parent should be embarrassed when their kids struggle in public. It’s ok, it happens to every parent. We all get it. Our heart and our loving thoughts go out to you, sister.

But there is a polite way to handle it, and it’s best for the child too. Find a calming, quiet place to bring your child while they calm down. This helps others enjoy their experience and helps your child have a safe place to work through his feelings with your help. 

12) Always send your child with money when they are invited to an event, on a trip, etc.

Don’t assume that the child will be paid for! Just because I’m driving all the kids to the movies doesn’t mean I have $70 to buy 6 tickets for all of my son’s friends!

An invite doesn’t mean that the other family is planning to cover everything. Send your child with some cash so that they can purchase food, tickets, or whatever else they need.

13) Clean up the toys after a play date.

assorted-color interlocking blocks on floor

Kids make messes when they have fun. It’s ok. But if you want to be invited for future play dates, make sure you spend a few minutes to pick up the toys after the fun is over.

14) Behave the way you want your child to behave.

We’ve talked a lot about kids’ behavior, but let’s remember that parenting etiquette is mostly the parent’s job. It’s about how you respond to your children in a positive and socially appropriate way.

It’s your job as a parent to set an example for your child’s behavior. If you want your child to be responsible and kind and polite, you have to be responsible and kind and polite too.

15) Don’t discipline other people’s kids. Offer guidance.

It’s never ok to physically punish another person’s child. No grabbing their arm, no spanking, no flicking them on the nose, or whatever else you do.

There are times when it falls on your shoulders to set appropriate guidelines for other kids, especially when they are at your house, when you are babysitting, or even if the other parent just won’t do it. I know, shoot me now. I hate having to deal with other people’s kids. I just have more patience for my own kids because, you know, I love them and stuff. But it has to be done.

If you find yourself in this situation, follow this recipe:

-If the other parent is present, politely ask, “Do you want to handle this one, or would you like me to?”

-Begin by explaining the problem to the child and let them know what you expect from them instead. Example: “At our house, we don’t hit. Next time, you can come get me if you feel upset and I’ll help you work it out.”

-If the problem continues, remind the child of the natural consequences of his actions. “When we hit, other friends don’t want to play. If you’re kind, we can keep having lots of fun!”

-Follow through with appropriate consequences. Make sure you don’t threaten anything you aren’t willing to carry out. If you say the play date will be over the next time the problem happens, then follow through.

-When you see the parent next, explain exactly what happened and ask if you crossed any lines. This will give them a chance to explain to you how they would prefer for you to handle similar situations if they come up again.

16) Keep every child safe.

Moms and dads work together to make sure kids stay safe. If parents watch out for each other, there will be fewer child abductions, fewer accidents, fewer injuries.

If you see a kid walking toward the road, no matter whose child it is, safety is everyone’s job. You get a free pass to intervene if it means keeping a child safe. 

man carrying boy both smiling

 

There you have it! 16 rules for being a polite parent. Do these things, and you’ll be welcomed in mom circles and parent hangouts.

It’s totally worth it to live by the rules of parenting etiquette.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Cheesy Mom Joke of the Day Answer: I don’t know, go ask your grandmother!

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27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

Photo by Nadi Whatisdelirium on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. 

Life is wonderful, but hard. There’s so many bad, scary things out there- death, abuse, addiction, conflict, war, deceit, divorce, abandonment, and more.

How is a person to live happily in a troubled world?

Here are 27 tips to help you keep your chin up and find the beauty within the chaos.

1. Have gratitude.

When we focus on the bad things, we often forget about the amazing blessings all around us. If we stop to notice the good things in our life, we can be surprised by how much we have!

The first step to living a happy life is to realize that you already have it- you just need to appreciate it for what it is.

2. Put on a Smile!

Smiles make people feel happy. That’s not just me talking. Research has proven that smiling triggers endorphins to be released in your brain, causing you to be happier!

Ding Li shared on the British Council, “When our brain feels happy, endorphins are produced and neuronal signals are transmitted to your facial muscles to trigger a smile. This is the start of the positive feedback loop of happiness. When our smiling muscles contract, they fire a signal back to the brain, stimulating our reward system, and further increasing our level of happy hormones, or endorphins. In short, when our brain feels happy, we smile; when we smile, our brain feels happier.”

So smile, even if it’s fake. Since smiles spread like wildfire, you might help someone else feel happier too!

3. Love yourself.

Everyone has amazing qualities.

What are yours? Write them down, congratulate yourself for them, repeat your positive qualities to yourself often, and reward yourself when you develop new ones.

Be proud of who you are and who you are becoming.

person standing on hill

4. Remember that other people’s opinions of you don’t matter.

We all know that we shouldn’t listen to peer pressure. That’s much easier said than done. The interesting thing is that these fears are usually our own construction. People usually aren’t actually thinking those things about us- we just think they’re thinking those things about us.

It’s our problem- not theirs.

Honestly letting go of those unnecessary cares lifts a burden from your shoulders. It makes your life feel free.

5. Live by the Golden Rule.

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Being nice is important. A life full of malice, backstabbing, anger, and broken relationships isn’t fun. It’s just lonely and sad. Whatever people think they have to gain from being rude, it’s never as good as what they can lose.

Choose to be nice.

6. Hug your kids, your spouse, your friends, and your parents often.

People are all that matter in life.

Jobs come and go, houses eventually fall down, money can be lost. All that we can count on are the people that we value. Build those relationships by putting the people in your life first. Create memories together.

“Love is spelled TIME.” -Zig Ziglar

man and woman hugging each other photography

7. Live in the real world.

When you look back after one, or two, or three hours of TV/video games/cell phone use/social media, what did you gain from that time?

Did you learn something new? Did you connect with friends? Did you build yourself into a better person?

Sometimes technology can help us do those things, but sometimes it can distract us and be a huge time-waster. Pay attention in your own life so that you don’t miss out on quality experiences in exchange for an hour of Candy Crush or Angry Birds.

8. Stop being afraid.

Let go of fear by accepting that growth comes with repetitive (but temporary!) setbacks.

Fear of those setbacks holds us back. Don’t be afraid of failure!

Let yourself try something new, even if you’re no good at it at first. Don’t be afraid to put in the time and effort necessary to excel at a new skill.

9. Manage your finances using a budget.

Finances are an important part of our daily lives. They can cause enormous amounts of stress, or they can provide freedom and amazing opportunities.

Take control of your finances by using a budget in order to improve your quality of life.

focus photography of person counting dollar banknotes

10. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Parents, this is especially a challenge for you.

You’ve got to take care of yourselves! You’re in charge of keeping your household running, your kids cared for, food on the table and money in the bank. If you drive yourself crazy because you never had a break, who’s going to do all that for your family? No one!

Make sure your needs are being met, for the sake of your family.

11. Grow what you have.

Life is full of chances to grow exponentially.

Watch for opportunities to invest. This could be money, but it could also be time savers, work opportunities, learning a new skill, or mastering a current skill.

Invest in yourself and invest in the stock market.

12. Be prepared for emergencies.

I’ve realized that everyone I know is going through something big. Constantly. I was surprised when I finally put that together. It seems like some people are cozy and happy and live a perfect life, but I just don’t know them well enough to know what their current challenge is.

So if life is constantly throwing curve balls our way, why don’t I prepare for them?

Have an emergency fund, have safety plans, have backup supplies. Be ready, because life’s struggles are constant.

13. Make your goals happen!

I have always appreciated a person who does what he says. Even when it’s just a personal commitment that doesn’t impact other people.

When you set goals, consider them a binding covenant with yourself to complete something you started.

If you need help writing effective goals, check out this post: The Secret to Foolproof Goals.

boy standing on ladder reaching for the clouds

14. Read.

Books are amazing. They are cheap fun, they help you see other perspectives, increase your vocabulary, they teach you new things, they build your memory skills, they encourage you to think critically, they teach moral principles.

In today’s world, you can even listen to audio books while you clean the house, nurse the baby, or eat dinner. Enjoy books to build yourself.


Other Great Reads: 

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

AMAZING Miracle of Moms- Let’s All Be That Mom Every Day

Shut Down the Mommy Guilt by Teaching Kids Through Your Own Failures

What About Me? Parents- Take Care of Yourselves!


15. Learn something new.

I firmly believe that every bit of knowledge a person can gain will have some important use someday.

You never run out of storage space for more knowledge, it’s easily accessible online through blog posts like this one and YouTube… there are literally no downsides- knowledge can only help you. The world is at your fingertips!

Learn something new today!

16. Have a positive outlook on life.

Don’t give up on people who disappoint you. They’ll come around.

Don’t fret about the small things because there’s always more good than bad.

Don’t neglect the good things that are happening around you.

Do look forward to what’s coming next, because it will be an exciting adventure!

17. Smell the roses.

Live intentionally. Know what you’re about. Know what you like, what you dislike, what you want, what you are becoming.

Notice the small things around you that are part of daily life that bring you happiness. After all, they can only make you happy if you are paying attention.

macro shot of yellow flowers

18. Keep your body healthy.

Drink water, eat healthy (but allow yourself some treats), be active by going outside and playing with your kids, eat until you’re full and then stop eating.

Learn to listen to your body’s cues and respect them.

19. Don’t worry about keeping up with the newest and best.

The drive to be better can be consuming. It is a good thing to want to be better as a person, but it is unhealthy to focus on constantly upgrading things.

Life isn’t about things. Things don’t bring joy- people do. So get out of the rat race. Let go of the things.

Fix it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

20. Get out of the comfort zone.

Growth and achievement don’t happen in the comfort zone. They happen when you get uncomfortable, when things change, when life hurts, when you work hard.

21. Have fun without spending a ton of money.

There are so many ways to enjoy leisure without breaking the bank. I can hardly afford to go to the movies anymore. I pay $8 per person to get in, $12 for snacks, $10 for sodas, and now I’ve spent my play money for the whole month.

Learn to have fun right where you are, with the people who are always there, without any extra planning or preparation. Need some ideas? Click here!

photo of three men jumping on ground near bare trees during daytime

22. Sleep!

Our bodies and minds need sleep. If we can’t function, how are we supposed to enjoy our day?

Take care of your sleep needs and you’ll feel happier and more efficient.

23. Have new experiences.

Sometimes, the hardest part of life is monotony. It can just drag on. You do the same thing day in and day out.

People need a little excitement! Switch it up for yourself by trying something new.

24. Organize your home, your schedule, and your life.

Just the opposite of monotony- People are creatures of habit. We like routine. Creating predictability can be comforting. We know what to expect, we feel secure.

Make a schedule for yourself, or a more organized home, or plan your week to give yourself more security.

space gray MacBook Pro, Calendar chart, and Business magazine on table

25. Write down all the details of your amazing life!

Even if your life seems boring or routine to you, other people are going to want to know what you were all about. Especially your kids and grandkids.

People don’t journal anymore, but we should! It’s a way to be immortal, a way to be involved in your family for generations, a way to teach life lessons so others don’t have to learn them the hard way.

And it gives perspective to your life now. Instead of getting swallowed up in the day to day, writing in a journal reminds me of my end goals and refocuses me on how to get there.

26. Discuss important topics as a family.

Families should hold regular “meetings” with each other. This is an important time for

  • every individual to speak their mind,
  • discuss important topics that affect the family,
  • gather ideas to solve problems,
  • address the family’s needs, and
  • connect with each other.

Having regular family time like this will increase your family closeness.

27. Forgive.

Grudges weigh people down. They are unproductive, unnecessary baggage in an already difficult journey. Just get rid of them!

They aren’t helping you, or anyone else. It’s time to forgive.

long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

These 27 tips are all things I have tried in my life, and they all work. Give them a try, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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11 Steps to Delivering a Baby Alone- Be Prepared For Those Crazy Times When Sh*# Like That Happens

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. 

Hey Moms,

Do you have crazy pregnancy nightmares?

Comment Below- What is your craziest pregnancy dream or nightmare??

I get those… and a reoccurring one for me is that I’m going into labor in random places.

I’ve dreamed that I went into labor in a grocery store, in an amusement park, traveling to visit family in another state… But by far the worst reoccurring labor dream is when I go into labor in the car in the middle of nowhere.

There’s no hospitals, no doctors or nurses…

Just me and my husband, who is always freaking out even worse than I am.

I usually end up yelling my best guesses of what to do at him as he ignores me and races down the road looking for a hospital. I’m much more profane in my dreams than I am in real life.

I usually have the babies (it’s always twins!!) in the passenger seat, and he finally pulls up at a hospital right after they are both born.

And then he sells our car because he can’t stand looking at it anymore.

Those nightmares are terrifying enough to motivate me to do some research. If something crazy were to happen, I wanted to know what to do! That goes for if I was the one in labor or if another poor mom needed help delivering a baby.

Dads- you should all read this! You can’t just drive and hope you find a hospital!

Moms- you too! For your sake and the sake of other women who might need you in some freak emergency situation, or a zombie raid, or whatever weird reason you might be stuck playing doctor for real.

It never hurts to be prepared, and a little prior knowledge might be just what you need to stay calm.

Let’s dive in!

 

1. Keep Your Head On

If you ever need to deliver a child, I’m sure it will be terrifying and crazy and freaky! Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Women all over the world have labor at home– without meds, without intervention.
  • Women’s bodies are tailor made for labor and delivery.
  • Most births aren’t complicated.
  • Nature knows its stuff! 

Remember that fact and stay calm! After all, if you’re freaking out, that poor mom is going to be losing it.

and breathe neon sign on tre

A woman once described her labor to me. This isn’t one of the crazy stories where someone delivers a baby in the jungle. She was in a hospital, safe with nurses, but she was having a natural birth.

She told me, “I’ve always been a screamer during labor.”

The nurse was repeatedly coming in and trying to calm her or make her more comfortable or offering her ways to help with the pain. But she wanted a natural labor, the screaming was more of a coping mechanism for her.

Finally, the nurse came in and said, “I’m so sorry, I really need you to stop screaming. There’s a 13-year-old down the hall in labor and you’re scaring her.”

So yeah, keep it relaxing for the poor mother’s sake.

2. Make Sure Help Is On It’s Way

Labor can go fast, and with all the fear and emotions floating around, things might slip your mind.

Above all else, make sure help is coming!

police car at street

Dial 911, call a hospital, call the midwife (love that show!), light signal fires, or whatever- but make sure someone is coming.

(Side note- if you’re pregnant and close to delivery, keep yourself safely near cell phone service. Save long hikes into the backwoods for you until after baby comes. Who would want to do that with swollen feet anyways?? 😊)

This step is the part that might save you from having to deliver a baby at all. Cross your fingers for that! But just in case, let’s continue so that you know what to do in all cases.

3. Make Sure Help Can Find You

You might not think about small things that will slow down the help that’s coming.

Are your doors locked?? Then they can’t get in! Unlock everything!

Are you still driving?? Then they don’t know where to go to find you! Anyways, I can’t imagine delivering a baby without meds while strapped in a seat belt. If it were me, that seat-belt would have to come off, and that means it’s not safe to be flying down the road anyways.

Are you on a main road or trail? What landmarks are around? How can you make yourself more visible?

It’s natural to try to hide away, after all, labor isn’t pretty and it’s a private event. But make sure that you can be found so that you can get help.

4. Sanitize

Find the cleanest space possible. Best case scenario, you have a bed with clean sheets and blankets. For easier cleanup, put a shower curtain down on the bed. You might want to put towels over the curtain to make it more comfortable and absorbent.

The floor is a good choice because the baby won’t fall or get dropped accidentally. Babies are slimy and slippery after all.

Or maybe the cleanest area around is in the car or maybe it’s a patch of grass… Or just a zombie free warehouse, I don’t know.

Wherever you are, wash your hands or use sanitizer if you have it.

person washing hands over sink


Other Great Reads: 

5 Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

What is a “Good Parent”?

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!


 

5. Listen to the Mother

From here, follow mom’s direction.

What position is comfortable for her? Lying down, sitting, squatting, standing, walking, whatever.

Do that.

She might want you to push her knees towards her chest (this can relieve pain) or help her breathe or say calming words of encouragement or just shut up.

Whatever she needs, do it.

And by all means, don’t cry about the mess in your car, in your house, wherever. You’re going to need new stuff. Accept that fact and help the poor woman.

man wiping his tears

Pray that the medics get there before you have to actually deliver. It’s normal for labor to go on for several hours, so hopefully you made it to the hospital before then or someone can come help you before then.

But labor can also be very fast in some cases… Again, just in case, let’s chat about what to do if you don’t.

6. Support Baby’s Head

You’ll see the baby’s head first.

Things often move slow in labor- so don’t try to rush it. Don’t pull or force anything. Just be patient.

Keep the head and neck supported by putting your hand under the baby’s head. It’s normal for the baby to turn as he is born.

7. Breathing

Even before the baby fully emerges, you can help make sure he is breathing.

Use a clean towel to wipe the baby’s face clean. Just wipe the towel downwards across the baby’s mouth and nose to open the airways.

Don’t mess with the umbilical cord. You won’t be cutting it or messing with it at all unless it’s tangled around the baby’s neck. Don’t freak out, just hold the baby with its head closer to mom to avoid pulling on the cord. Then untangle it from the baby as the baby is born.

8. Catch!

Watch out- once the shoulders come out, the whole baby’s comin. No more slow and steady wins the race- It’s fast and easy to drop the baby.

This is no time for selfies or a quick snack or a 5-minute break.

Just focus and be ready to catch. Expect slippery. It’s best to catch the baby in something- like a towel, a shirt, a coat, or whatever you have around- so that you don’t drop her.

Softly dab the baby to dry them, make sure they are breathing (if they are making any sound, they are breathing so no need to hit their butt. That’s a thing anymore.), and lay baby skin-to-skin on mom to warm up.

woman holding baby

Don’t be worried if there is blood. Blood and fluid is part of this process.

9. Afterbirth

Yes, there’s more.

I know, where does it end??

Soon… ish…

We can really really hope that help has arrived by now. In most cases it would have.

But AGAIN… Just in case… Let’s chat about the placenta.

This is the organ that a woman’s body creates when she’s pregnant to keep the baby alive. It’s not needed after the baby is born, so it comes out after delivery.

This usually happens about 10-15 minutes after baby comes. It’s important to let the afterbirth come at its own time. Don’t pull on it because it can tear and it’s important for the whole thing to be delivered. Any pieces that break off could cause problems for mom later.

Wrap the placenta up in a towel or something. The doctor might want to check to make sure that there are no broken off pieces on the placenta, just to be safe, so keep it around.

10. Keep Mom and Baby Warm and Comfortable

You can sit back and relax now!

baby covered with white blanket

If you’re in a safe place, just wait for help to come and they can handle it from here.

Pat yourself on the back and make a plan for a big reward/treat for yourself. You earned it.

11. Turn Things Over to the Professionals

Finally, they’re here! Just listen and do whatever they ask you to do. They know what they’re talking about.

 

Now you’re ready moms, and dads.

Knowing all this has stopped the nightmares and helped me sleep easy. If there were some crazy situation, I could handle it, and so could you!

The biggest thing is to trust nature. Trust a woman’s body to know what it’s doing. Don’t assume you know more and try to intervene more than you should.

Just support what’s naturally happening.

And get ready to tell all your friends, cause this is going to be the story of the century!

Have you ever had to deliver a baby on your own… Or known someone who did? Tell us about it in the comments below! And please share any additional advice!

 

For more resources on how to deliver a baby, check out theartofmanliness.com. 

If you’re worried about complications during delivery, check this doctor approved resource. 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Share this post with all parents who need to feel prepared!

Please comment and “like” if you enjoyed this post!

Subscribe to my email list for weekly updates in the world of parenting! Nobody needs to do this alone- parenting is just too hard for that. Join a wonderful community and have access to exclusive resources!

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