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Earnest Mom Squad Feature: Making Time for YOU

Here is a feature from our Earnest Mom Squad member, Kate.  This one is all about you, yes, you mama – we see you, tired, working hard, hustling everyday.  This feature contains some great tips on how to make time for you, which will help you have a better time with your family.  x. em.

When you have kids, making time for yourself is hard…how do you think of yourself when you’re kids need you 24/7? I always remind myself that in order for my kids to have me 100% I need me.  Even if that time is only 10 minutes of showering ALONE, or a bubble bath while my husband takes our son.  Sometimes I put our little man to bed, and as exhausted as I am wanting to sleep, I light some candles and draw a nice warm bath with my favorite country music.  Of course right next to the tub I have the video monitor, because lets face it as much as we say we want to unwind and step away we think about them constantly, what are they doing, are they sleeping, are they hungry, are they crying for me.

Then there are the nights that ME time is holding my son while I put him to sleep and instead of putting him in his crib right away I hold on tight for as long as I can. These cuddles to bed won’t last long so I will enjoy them as long as I can as much as I can.  My heart melts when my son knows it’s bedtime and he rests his head on my chest on his own and puts his arms around me, he doesn’t know but those are the moments I live for. In those moments, I flash back to every second with him, from his first cry, to the first time he rolled to when he learned to talk and say “momma” and “dadda.”  A lot of the time, my ‘me time’ is mostly with my son.  I am the person I am for my son it only makes sense for me to make my me time us time for as long as I can until the day he thinks spending time with his mommy isn’t cool anymore.

 

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Zika and Pregnant Women

Note: There is some sensitive nature in the content listed below, for medical purposes body parts have been referenced by their medical names for the sake of avoiding ambiguity about the Zika Virus and how it can be passed during pregnancy.

As a woman who is expecting my third child this fall, I had little to no concern about Zika even though I will have a summer pregnancy – that was until I joined a Twitter Party hosted by What to Expect and the CDC.  During the party, I realized that even though I am living in the Midwest, Zika is still a risk for me.

Here are some Zika facts from the CDC:

What We (The CDC) Know
1.  Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
2.  Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects
3.  Zika primarily spreads through infected mosquitoes. You can also get Zika through sex without a condom with someone infected by Zika, even if that person does not show symptoms of Zika.
4.  There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

What We (The CDC) Do Not Know
1.  If there’s a safe time during your pregnancy to travel to an area with risk of Zika.
2.  How likely it is that Zika infection will affect your pregnancy.
3.  If your baby will have birth defects if you are infected while pregnant.

CDC recommends these special precautions for pregnant women:

Do Not Travel to an Area with Risk of Zika
1.  Pregnant women should not travel to areas with risk of Zika (i.e., with documented or likely Zika virus transmission).
2.  Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to yellow cautionary areas in the United States. For information on domestic travel, see CDC’s guidance.
What to Do If You Live In or Travel to an Area with Risk of Zika
If you live in or must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and practice safe sex.

During travel or while living in an area with risk of Zika

1.  Take steps to prevent mosquito bites.
2.  Take steps to prevent getting Zika through sex by using condoms from start to finish every time you have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) or by not having sex during your entire pregnancy.

After travel

1.  Talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider after travel to an area with risk of Zika.
2.  If you develop a fever with a rash, headache, joint pain, red eyes, or muscle pain talk to your doctor immediately and tell him or her about your travel.
3.  Take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after returning.
4.  Take steps to prevent passing Zika through sex by using condoms from start to finish every time you have sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) or by not having sex.

NOTE: If your partner travels to areas with risk of Zika the CDC recommends, if you have vaginal, anal, or oral (mouth-to-penis) sex, use a condom from start to finish, every time you have sex during your pregnancy; OR don’t have sex with your partner
during the remainder of your pregnancy.  Even if your partner does not show any signs or symptoms of Zika or mosquito bites, Zika can still be passed on during sex; and Zika can remain longer in semen than any other body fluid.

Be safe.  Be informed.  Please see more information at https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/protect-yourself.html

Also, a map of the current areas that have risk of Zika can be found at the link below. Note, Zika has been reported in the USA in both Texas and Florida. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/world-map-areas-with-zika

x. earnest mom.

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An Earnest Postpartum Recovery Kit. 

Have a friend or family member who is due to give birth and looking for something to get her that will help in those first few weeks of recovery?  Try a PP Recovery Kit. 

Here is a gift I recently put together for a new mama in my neighborhood. 


Some essentials for a new mom those first few days: DIY padsicles because swelling and soreness are REAL. Soothing breast pad application and an all natural (non lanolin) nipple cream, because nursing may not always be easy. Water and some snacks because I know that I have NEVER experienced thirst and hunger like breastfeeding thirst and hunger.  Then add any other mommy pampering you think a new mom may like. Pop then into a basket or gift bag (I used a $3 wire waste basket from Target) and there you go! A great, useful and thoughtful gift to help any new mom get through recovery after delivery.  

Any other items you may add to a Postpartum Kit? Please comment below and let us know!

x. earnest mom. 

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Earnest Mom Squad Feature: Motherhood to Me.

Here is a look into motherhood as seen by our Mom Squad member, Kahentiiosta.  I am hoping to help each mama see, there is no perfect way to be a mom, but a million ways to be the mom your kids need.  Please feel free to comment and keep the conversation going about your journey into motherhood.  x.  em.

Motherhood to me is not exactly how I thought. I think we all have preconceived assumptions of what we expect and know.  However, when you’re an actual parent a majority of the ideas I had, are completely different.  One so far has been the busy life and all the small details I am accountable for.  I had my first daughter and I loved her beyond anything I have ever felt before.  The first few weeks were a complete blur, and I honestly still vaguely remember large parts of the first few weeks. I was now entrusted to take care of this newborn all on my own.  I had lots of experience caring for infants, toddlers and children, so I wasn’t apprehensive about that.  My main issue was the amount of time it took to care for a baby! Day in and day out I was not responsible for every aspect of this new baby.

Prior to having children, I was against  co-sleeping based on what I was told. Then my daughter was born and I soon realized that the only way she would continue to sleep for more than 30 minute stretches is if she was wrapped and lying on my chest on her back.  The eventually I figured a way that was easier for her and I.  I was filled with guilt that I allowed this to happen, but being a full time breastfeeding Mama, the thought of having to place her in the crib each time after a feeding was too tiring to think about.  I eventually transitioned her into the bassinet and we both learned to sleep for longer periods at a time.

I chose to breastfeed with all my children and had it in my mind I would only go until twelve months for each one.  With my eldest she was almost seventeen months! I never expected to even have enough milk or the energy to continue, but as the months passed it was something we both enjoyed and I did not find it difficult to continue.

After having children, I realized that what works for my family may not work for another family.  We must find what works best for our situations, family life, and even circumstances.  The main thing is being adaptable to each child, learning ways to ensure you are taking care of your child the best to your knowledge and constantly being open to new ideas.  Children are completely different from each other and I have come to see that with each child I have had.  What works for one didn’t always work for the other one, and I had to be more accepting of the challenges and how I could change with that child.

As my girls grow older, I am becoming more aware of the ideas I had before and how I am open to accepting the changes, and learning from them.  Guiding them based on what is currently working not what I was expecting to work.

– Kahentiiosta

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World Autism Month

In honor of World Autism Month, let’s talk about autism and The Light It Up Blue campaign this month.  Having been touched by personal friends and family who  individuals with autism in their lives, I am earnestly hoping to help spread awareness and education about autism.

What is autism spectrum disorder?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.

Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Autism Speaks urges parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.

Some facts about autism 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

To test your knowledge of autism, click this link and the Light It Up Blue take the quiz to learn more about people with autism.  Also, join us in sharing in the #LightItUpBlue campaign in the month of April on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  http://bit.ly/ASDquiz

x. em.

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The Earnest Mom Squad

As you may know, earnest mom held an open application on Earnest Mom’s Facebook Page to bring some fresh new mamas on board as regular contributors. I am so thankful for all of the applicants who were willing to reach out and share their stories with me. As I am just starting out, I kept the squad to a small number of mamas so we could stay personal and grow together. I am over the moon excited to have introduced you to the three newest members of the Earnest Mom Squad to you over the last few weeks and felt I better give a better introduction to myself, Earnest Mom. 

My name is Rebecca and my husband and I have been happily married for 8.5 years. We have two children, Earnest Boy who is turning 7 and Earnest Baby who is no longer a baby but a busy, happy 2.5 year old. I am a stay at home mom to Earnest Baby and our newest addition Holly Golightly our Jack Russel mix. We go to church on Sundays and make all the effort we can to sit together to have supper every night, a value my parents instilled in my as a young girl. Saturdays are for cleaning and adventuring, and I love finding DIY projects for the hubs and I, plus trying to make my home more green. 

I am very passionate about this thing called motherhood and feel all moms, not matter parenting choices or preferences should feel welcomed. I strive to keep an open mind, have a blog where all mamas can feel connected and can be mamas who support mamas. Given a lot of today’s politics, news and opinions, I do not blog my personal political stances as I want all to feel welcomed and supported in their choices; the passion from all sides being as strong as can be, tend to fog this up and I am looking to build bridges not walls. Please know that I support you mamas, breastfeeding or formula – fed is best. Co-sleeping or crib sleeping – rest is best. Organic or non-organic, working moms or stay home mom, fashionistas or yoga pants are fancy moms – what works for every family is what is best for every family. This mommying gig can be exhausting, exhilirating and truthfully some of the most frustrating and joyous experiences I have ever known. When we are all working so hard to do what we know to be best for our families, a little kindness can go a long way.  

I am interested in connecting with moms of all walks and have a safe forum for us all to connect. The Earnest Mom Squad is assembled of mamas that are from completely different walks than me, we have a mom of multiples, a mom with experience with PPD and PPA, a mom with an experience with g-tubes, and much more. I am so excited for you to start hearing their journeys!

I have had a lot of requests about when the next application round will be available, there will be more as I hope to grow this little squad in support and numbers to share mamas from everywhere; so keep a look out this summer!
x. earnest mom. 

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Welcome to the Earnest Mom Squad. Part Three.

Our final addition to the Earnest Mom Squad is the one and only Kate!  Here is an introduction below, please join me in welcoming her.

My name is Kate M…I am a 22-year-old wife and a mom of 2 babies but only 1 of which I get to hold in my arms. My husband and I met in 2012 and were engaged by 2013 6 months into dating, quick I know but when you know he’s your best friend why wait? In 2015 just before our wedding we found out we were pregnant however we unfortunately lost the baby at 9 weeks 4 days pregnant for unknown causes. We were married in October of 2015 and by December we were pregnant again only 6 months after loosing our first baby. That was the hardest transition ever but the most amazing feeling to know I had another chance so quickly. Now our baby is almost 6 months old and growing so quickly.

Everyday is a struggle, I never forget my first baby however I have to stay strong for my son. I am definitely a lucky mommy; he has slept through the night since a month old and now with teething, he barely fusses just sucks his bottom lip and loves his teething toys. I am also very blessed with my husband as he is the most supportive through everything and our son absolutely loves his daddy. Since day one he has had a bond with both of us no one could ever take away. I am blessed beyond words with my family and I don’t know where I would be without them.

We look forward to hearing more from Kate as well as the rest of our new members, A. and Kahentiiosta. Stay tuned for some great articles coming your way!

x. earnest mom.