Mommy Wars…..

I know I have discussed the Mommy Wars here and here, but I feel once again to touch on this point.

A little history, as you may know I had severe Postpartum Depression after the birth of my daughter in April 2012.  It is now 2 years later and I can honestly look back and see that it was a lot worse than what I even thought!  During that time I know that other moms didn’t mean to say something that I took so deeply, but in some cases I couldn’t help it and in other cases it could have been said better.

Recently a friend on Facebook posted  “Me: “I used a great practice of midwives for my son’s birth.” Other mom: “oh, I couldn’t do that. I really cared about my baby.”” as her status.  I was appalled.  I know that 2 years ago and even 1 year ago a comment like that would have sent me into a spiral of self-doubt and would have been hard to get out of.

Now that comment was outright rude and judgmental, what about the comments that aren’t so outright.  The ones that are like Do YOU discipline your child? as the child is running around in a fit.  Or how about the comments like Do YOU EVER give your kids a bath because they always seem to have something all over their face.  Those questions were not meant to be hurtful, but to someone who is battling with themselves, they can be even more hurtful.

Please understand that what you say to people can have a good effect and a bad effect on that person.  You never really know what people are going through.  They only show you what they want you to see.

My suggestion is to be supportive, really try to read the situation.  Understand that not everyone does it the same way and what works for you may not work for them.  Encourage them to do their own research and not just go based off of what you said.

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Climb out of the Darkness

So June 21, 2014 is Climb out of the Darkness which is where people all across the world are walking, hiking and more in promoting perinatal and postpartum depression and anxiety.  I will be participating in this absolutely wonderful event.

Please support me through this wonderful event either by walking or hiking or through here.

Featured on Fearless Formula Feeder!

I had the wonderful opportunity to write about my birth experience with my daughter for The Fearless Formula Feeder Friday post.

Here is a portion of the post. To read the whole entry please go here.

Punished because I Formula Feed

I have read so many stories about hospitals that push women to formula feed their babies and how nurses/hospitals need to be more supportive of women and breastfeeding.  My personal experience is a little different from that with the birth of my second child…….

Please take a minute to check it out!

 

Positive Parenting

Positive Parenting is not something that you can fake, it is something that parents have to believe in.  You discipline in a gentle and respectful way as opposed to disciplining out of fear.  You encourage your children.  Parents believe in every opportunity to teach their children instead of punishing them.  By teaching them you are helping them develop responsibility, honesty, respect, and confidence.  You are able to work with them for a solution to the problem, instead of just telling them what to do.

“Positive parenting, at the very core of it, isn’t about what you can and can’t do in terms of disciplining, teaching, and guiding your kids. It isn’t even about having the perfect relationship (as there will always be breaks and repairs; such is life). It’s not about techniques or tools, whether or not to use time outs or time ins, consequences or problem-solving. All of those things stem from the practice of what is at the very core of this philosophy, but they are not THE philosophy itself. What it’s really about is the way we view children, their emotions, their needs, their motives. It’s about seeing them as human beings, worthy of respect and unconditional love, delicate, impressionable, who have as much to teach us as we have to teach them. When THIS sinks into your heart, the practice of positive parenting naturally flows from it. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  (Positive Parents.org)

My mother believed in positive parenting.  She believed that children are human and deserve respect.  You can discipline a child without putting fear into them.  We never had the “Do you want me to get the belt?” question, where we do what she wants out of fear of getting hit.  We had an encouraging house where my mother would say, “If you tell me the truth, then I won’t be mad.” and truthfully she wouldn’t.  She would be mad if we lied on top of whatever we did.  She understood that children are learning and make mistakes.  They are testing boundaries and seeing how far they can go.

Children only know what we, as adults, are teaching them.  They learn through hearing, seeing and doing.  As parents, we need to model the behavior that we expect from our children.  We can not expect them to be perfect all the time, even we as adults aren’t.  So when we talk to them about the behavior we want, it is just reinforcing the actions we are already taking.  For example, have you ever heard the saying “Do as I say, not as I do”?  This is a classic example of adults expecting their children to do something that they themselves don’t.

Positive Parents.org is a wonderful website that has great information on positive parenting.  I know, I found some great information and some better ways to execute my beliefs!

Mom vs. Mom

Do you think that fathers sit around and gloat about whether or not their child is breast fed or formula fed?  Do you think that they are commenting to each other whether they let their child cry-it-out or not?  Or what about how they disciple their child?  Most likely not.  So why do mothers sit around and judge one another about how they raise their child?  The answer is still unknown to me.

I understand that mothers are always looking to do what is best for their child, but why does it matter what the mother next to us is doing?  From topics such as breast feeding vs. formula feeding to what carseat to buy,  mothers tend to become very passionate about the choices they make and even if they don’t mean to, sometimes they need a validation from other mothers that they are doing something right.  So what happens when the mother don’t get that validation? She feels like she is doing something wrong.  When in reality she isn’t doing anything wrong, she is doing something different.

I have noticed more lately how cruel some mothers can be.  Sometimes intentional and other times not, either way it hurts just the same.  Why can’t we support and encourage each other?  Why does it need to be a competition?  I know what a lot of you are thinking….”I don’t care what other mothers are doing.”  but in reality you do.  You may not even realize that you do care, but you do.  One of the common topics that mothers are very passionate about is breast feeding vs. formula feeding.  I have heard many times over the slander towards women who CHOOSE to formula feed their baby from breast feeding moms.  The comments go something like breast is best why wouldn’t you want to give your baby what is best or if it is necessary to use formula that is fine, but not breast feeding because it is hard or you don’t want to is not a good enough reason.  Why does it matter how we feed our children?  If formula works for me then I shouldn’t have to explain or feel less like I mother because I do that.

There was even one mother who went as far to say that I didn’t birth my son because I had a c-section.  Her reasoning was that I didn’t do any work that the doctor did all the work.  Why does it matter how my son came into this world?  Why does it matter if it was necessary or not?  My right as a mother is to choose what I want to do with my body and if I want to have a c-section just because I want to have the baby on a certain day, that is between my doctor and me.

Instead of trying to get other mothers to do what you think is right, wouldn’t it be better to encourage other mothers to do research themselves to find out what is best for their own family.  Each family is different and what works for one family may not work for another, just like what worked for one child may not work for the next.  So instead of making condescending comments or judging others for doing something different, encourage the mother to make the right decision for them.

Ashley

Punishments: What They Really Teach Children

Positive parenting is the belief that a child can be disciplined in a positive encouraging way without punishments.  Punishments, like time-out, spanking,  only show children unnatural consequences to their behavior, it does not tell them why it is wrong, nor does it allow them to figure it out themselves.  Punishments only stop the immediate behavior, they do not teach what behavior you want.  Below are some common punishments and what they teach children.

  • If they hit another child, do not hit them as punishment.  This only teaches them that it is ok if you are bigger than they are.
  • If they hurt another child, do not force them to hug/kiss, say “I am sorry”, it isn’t genuine and it only teaches them that it is ok to lie.
  • If they are bothering you, do not send them to someone else.  They learn that you can’t handle them.
  • Do not compare them to another child, they will then compare themselves to others.
  • Don’t tell them to “be nice,” or “be gentle”, it is too vague. They may think they are being nice.
  • If two children are fighting over a toy, don’t take it away.  They will never learn how to negotiate that way.
  • Do not use food for anything other than nourishing their bodies.  This puts value to food and could cause eating disorders.
  • Do not use any physical punishment, it only shows them that violence is ok.

So what are you suppose to do?  Come back next week for tips for each of these!

Ashley

Pregnancy: 25 Stress-Busting Strategies

Pregnancy can be very tough on a mother’s body, mind, and soul.  Below is a list of 25 strategies for lowering your stress.  Some of these can be used even when you’re not pregnant.

  1. Write in a journal
  2. Enjoy a prenatal message
  3. Go for a relaxing swim
  4. Join a support group
  5. Follow a healthy diet
  6. Cuddle with your pet
  7. Set manageable goals
  8. Plan a date night out
  9. Take a walk
  10. Hire a home cleaning service
  11. Hydrate often
  12. Laugh with a friend
  13. Meditate or pray
  14. Rock out to upbeat tunes
  15. Catch a funny movie
  16. Read a favorite book
  17. Get some shut-eye
  18. Take a warm, calming shower
  19. Go out with some friends
  20. Enjoy your favorite drink
  21. Talk it out
  22. Enroll in childbirth class
  23. Breathe in fresh air
  24. Follow a healthy diet
  25. Meet with a therapist

 

Another Tip: Write a list of things that cause you stress.  Separate them into two groups, things you can control and things that you can’t.  Work on the stressors that you have control over and see how you can lower the stress they cause you.  For the things you don’t have control over, you attitude is what makes the difference!

Adapted from Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine April 2012

Do you have any suggestions to relieve stress?

Tips for Parents to Prepare for Second Baby

When we are pregnant with our first we prepare ourselves for the addition to the family.  We may have a baby shower, or read tons of books, but we seem to not prepare so much for the second.  The second is usually wrapped up with taking care of the household and an active toddler, preparing is something that gets put on the back burner.  Of course, we get the room ready and pull out all the necessities for the addition, but do we prepare like we did for the first?  Some do, but most don’t.  For some reason we think we remember everything from our first, whether we just had them a few months ago or it has been 3+ years.  Below are some tips for parents to prepare themselves for the addition of one more!

Tour the hospital you are going to deliver at:  Remember how exciting it was with your first?  Why not have that same excitement with your second, plus it will help refresh all the small details you forgot, like how many visitors you can have in the delivery room!

Discuss with your spouse about the responsibilities you will have when the baby comes home:  There is nothing worse than coming home and thinking that your spouse will help out with x and he/she doesn’t do it.  All it adds is unnecessary stress.  Communicate what each person’s responsibilities will be.

Figure out who will be watching your old child while you are in the hospital:  This discussion needs to happen a few weeks before the second is due.  Prepare your older child to be away from you, or decide who will be taking care of them during the day if you are planning to be with them at night.

Food: We all know that caring for a newborn was hard, but now we have a toddler running around too.  Prepare food before the birth, whether it be snacks for a quick grab, frozen dinners, or food to grab for the toddler.  Not having to worry about what to feed your family is one less thing to worry about.

Relearn on delivery: Things may have changed since your last pregnancy and delivery, so do a little research as to what has changed or what you may have forgot!

Check safety guidelines: You never know if your infant car seat or crib from your older child has been recalled.  Do a little research and just make sure.  Can’t find any info online?  Call the company!

Laundry: Decide how you are going to organize or complete it.  Are you going to add the new baby’s clothes to your older?  If you are using cloth diapers are you washing both sizes together?  Having a plan will help you stay on top of it, if the plan doesn’t work try something else.

Get Help: There is nothing wrong with asking or getting help.  There is an adjustment period for everyone and use whatever help you need to make it easier.

Do you have some tips for preparing yourself for your second or third child?  Please share!

Ashley Myers

Dealing with Post Partum Depression

Post Partum Depression(PPD) affects between 11 and 20 percent of women.  It can be a mild case or a severe case, but usually goes away on its own over time.  PPD is a disorder that occurs after the birth of a child, usually due to hormone imbalances.

Some symptoms of PPD are loss of appetite, sadness, feeling worthless, feeling rejected, loss of interest in the baby, loss of interest in yourself and others, etc.

Here is a test to see if you may have PPD.

Personally I knew that something was not right when I wanted to “return” my baby.  I was having feelings like I was not a good mother, that I could not do anything right, and that my son would be better off without me.  I did not have these feelings all the time, just when my son would be screaming at the top of his lungs and nothing I did calmed him down.  I knew that I really needed help.  I knew that there was a chemical imbalance with me and I knew I could not kick it on my own.

After talking with my mother and doing my own research I started on the herbal supplement St John’s Wart. I also consulted my Dr. about the supplement and she agreed that I should try it and if it worked great, but if it didn’t work I needed to try another medication. The supplement was just what I needed to create that balance.  Once I started the supplement I was a different person.  I felt like I was back to my old self.

If you are having the thought that you might have PPD please contact your doctor to figure out the right treatment for you and know that you are not alone.

 

References:

NIH

EMedicinHealth

Bookshelf: Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B Curtis

Your Pregnancy Week by Week is a great book to read through your pregnancy.  This book starts off before you even get pregnant.  Each chapter goes by the week you are pregnant and has the same sections , so you are able to follow throughout your pregnancy.  It starts each week with how big your baby is and how big the mom is.  There is a section on how your baby is growing and developing  each week.  There are also sections at the end of each week explaining what tests maybe preformed during that week.

For me personally this book was a lot easier to read than any other pregnancy book.  It is a quick read and the writing style is more talking to you than scientific talk.  I have enjoyed reading it through both my pregnancies.  They also have books to cater to fathers-to-be, weight and nutrition, and fitness.

This is a nice easy book to follow throughout your entire pregnancy

Ashley Myers