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    10 Practical Gifts for The New Mom

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    10 Practical Gifts for The New Mom

    You receive the invite to the baby shower. Or you just learned the news of an expectant friend or family member. And your first thought is:

    What do I buy?

    If you’re anything like me, your go-go is probably practical things like diapers, wipes, and some plain ol’ Johnson’s baby wash. The yellow one, not the new scented stuff.

    But it seems like, nowadays, so many people are having issues with baby being allergic to diapers. Or they choose to cloth diaper. And you’re left unsure of what to buy, or just want to buy something different this time. So, just for you, I’ve put together a list!

    ***This post contains affiliate links. What that means is if you click the link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra! And I only recommend what I think you’ll love!*** 

    10 Practical Gifts for The New Mom

    10 Practical Gifts for The New Mom {and baby!}

    Nursing cover

    Okay, but you aren’t sure if the mother is going to breastfeed… that’s fine! This nursing cover doubles as a carseat cover, buggy (NOT grocery cart, come on, y’all…) cover and a lot more. I have this exact one and cannot tell you how much I love it. Plus, it’s nice and affordable. Easy on any budget.

    Pacifier Clips

    You aren’t sure which pacifier the baby will take (if any) so buying those is pretty much out. But, most babies do use a paci at one point or another, and a set of universal clips makes the perfect gift.

    Breastmilk Storage Bags

    Obviously, if you know new mom won’t breastfeed then these aren’t practical. But, if she’s able and does they’re perfect. And if she tries and it doesn’t work out, that’s fine too. Because she can always use the bags for something else.

    CJ’s Tub of BUTTer (Diaper rash cream)

    My friend introduced me to this stuff, and it’s amazing. She found it when she was cloth diapering, so it’s fine no matter which method your gift recipient uses. The cream is also good for skin ailments, sunburns, and a lot more.

    Amber Teething Necklace

    I swear by these. For real. And yes, I know there are choking hazards and all that. So my suggestion is to buy one with knots between the beads, and watch baby closely. They aren’t for chewing, just for wearing and the beads help with inflammation.

    Humidifier

    Great for stuffy noses, and really so many other things. One of those items you don’t really realize you need. Until you need one that is.

    Training Toothbrush

    Another item people don’t really think about until they need. But these little bananas are great for getting babies used to having their teeth brushed.

    Swaddling blankets

    Swaddle. Wrap. Cover. Whatever you need to do, these blankets are a great go to. Perfect for new moms.

    Travel Dome

    Okay, maybe it’s just me but these things are so neat. Perfect for a little one when you need to put them down for a few minutes, but don’t have the luxury of all the gadgets of home.

    Stroller Hook

    This might seem simple, but when you’re a mom on the go a stroller hook is a MUST. Buy it now, she’ll thank you later. Trust me.

    What do you think are must-haves for a new mom?

    Do you want to give a book {or 2!} to encourage the new mommy? Here are my picks.

    December 11, 2017

    10 Books to Help When You Need Mommy Encouragement

    Posted in Parenting by
    10 Books to Help When You Need Mommy Encouragement

    *This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase I receive a commission on the sale. It does NOT cost you anything extra and I ONLY recommend products I love and think you could use!!*

    Do you ever feel “less than”?

    Those days when it seems like nothing you do is good enough. Your prayers aren’t enough, your physical appearance lacks, the feeling of inadequacy in just about everything?

    I certainly do. And it might not be all these feelings on the same day. If Husband and I argue I feel I’ve failed as a wife. Or if I lose it on my kids (like I did the day I failed my kids) I just know I’m a total failure as a mother. And I hate scales. We won’t even talk about my weight.

    “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6)

    Admittedly, I’ve never faced people stoning me. That I know of. But I have been around grieved people. So what we can glean from the verse is this: David encouraged himself in the Lord. 

    Note what this verse does not say, that God encouraged David. Why? Sometimes He leaves it up to us. Starting up a conversation with Him about how we need strength goes a long way. Or, we dig into the Bible searching for something to soothe the soul. But, when we know where our help comes from (Psalm 121:2) we know how to encourage ourselves.

    Sometimes, we also need the testimony of others. Knowing someone else knows our battle, even won the battle, helps encourage us. That’s why I came up with this list of my 10 favorite resources for mamas who need encouragement. 

    10 Books to Help When You Need Mommy Encouragement

    Books to Strengthen Your Prayer Life:

    Power of a Praying Wife

    While I love all her books, Stormie O’Martian does a fantastic job of explaining why we, as wives, have to pray for our husbands. And she does so in a very real way. She talks about what he faces on the job, the burden he feels as a man, etc. She offers real and practical advice for praying for yourself. And the first step: praying for your own attitude.

    Fervent

    You’ve probably seen a link to this book in another post. Or even on my Facebook. And that’s because I love it. It’s geared toward being a companion to the phenomenal War Room movie. She talks about our prayer lives and prayer strategies. And on those days when you just need to pray, this one really helps you focus and get those strategic prayers prayed.

    Resolution

    Another War Room companion, this one is specifically for women. It’s our resolution to follow Jesus Christ. And this one helps you set attainable, and spiritual goals to live a stronger life in Christ.

    When You Need Encouragement:

    Uninvited

    Having a dark past, Lysa Terkeurst explains how to move past your past. To push through those feelings of insecurity and doubt, and replace those with God’s love. Excellent book.

    Chasing God

    Angie Smith talks about how we chase God. How we think we can do something, or a lot of things, to please Him. But what we have to remember is He loves us, and that’s it. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less. We can stop chasing Him.

    Bible Studies:

    Armor of God Bible Study

    Again, a Priscilla Shirer book. Can you tell I like her? This one is a study mainly in Ephesians. She talks about how we are to take up the armor, and what that means in a practical, Biblical way.

    A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit

    I’m sure you’d never guess, but this is a study in Ruth. No matter the diversity, or what she faced, she didn’t quit. And in today’s society, that’s not a readily accepted message.

    Seamless

    The study that helps you connect the whole Bible as one thread – making the whole book seamless. This was my favorite study and I highly recommend it for when you feel like the Bible doesn’t “make sense”.

    When You Struggle With Weight:

    Reshaping it All

    Candace Cameron talks about her struggle with weight. And while I don’t necessarily agree with her super strict calorie intake, there’s a lot about helping your spiritual man to be healthier, too.

    Made to Crave

    I’m a stress eater. While I wish I could tell you that wasn’t the case, it is. But this book was a wonderful reminder that God made us to crave one thing: Him. We have to stop trying to fill that void with food, or material possessions, or whatever else.

    Do you have a favorite resource for mommy encouragement?

    10 Books to Help When You Need Mommy Encouragement

    September 11, 2017

    When You Don’t Think You’re a Good Enough Mommy

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    When You Don't Think You're a Good Enough Mommy

    Few people argue that being a mom is hard.

    No matter what your idea of a good mom, chances are you know it’s tough. Moms know it’s hard, Dads know, most days the kids know they make our lives hard (yes, I believe it’s on purpose. Sometimes.) Social media makes us compare ourselves to these incredibly high standards. This is not unlike advertisements of old, reminding moms to have a sparkling home and supper on the table when your man gets home. But, Mommy, I give you permission to let go of perfect. Perfect and successful are not the same thing, and you don’t have to be perfect to be good enough.

    When You Don't Think You're a Good Enough Mommy

    Successful parenting is not perfect parenting.

    Who am I kidding? There is no perfect parent. If you’re a mommy reading this and you think you’re a perfect mommy then this blog probably isn’t for you. Just being real. If you have life figured out then you could start your own blog and teach the rest of us a thing or two.

    Success stories don’t always come from the place of perfect. Sometimes it’s the mistakes that teach us what not to do. We learn and grow as our children learn and grow. And what works for babies (obviously) doesn’t work for teenagers. The bad days help us learn and have great days. At the end of the day, being a good parent is about loving your child, correcting them when they need it, and providing them with a solid foundation.

    There are too many choices to get it right 100% of the time.

    • breastmilk or formula
    • vaccinate or anti-vax
    • circumcise or all-natural
    • pierce ears or give the choice
    • organic food or pesticides
    • underwear or pull-ups
    • homeschool or public (private school?!)
    • scream or peaceful parenting
    • helicopter parent or hands free
    • discipline techniques…

    If you’re a mom, you know these are not the only choices you have to make. Every day you make choices that could affect your kids forever. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. And what makes that worse is you don’t know if you got it right or not until they’re grown. Sometimes, the way they were raised has little effect on their outcome and they become serial killers even after all your best efforts (again with the drama, I know).

    Here’s the thing, Mama: you will make wrong choices. Not every decision you make will be the right one. And it doesn’t matter the type of parenting you do, not every day is a good one.

    Stop trying to live up to the hype.

    I’m not the first to talk about this. I can assure you I won’t be the last. But I think it needs to be repeated until we all hear it: stop comparing yourself to every other mom out there. More importantly, stop comparing yourself to the images of perfection. The women with perfect bodies after giving birth are either super blessed or spend insane amounts of time (and money) on maintaining their appearance. They’re probably hungry, too. Stretch marks are ok. No, I don’t “love” my stretch marks, but when I see my belly I’m reminded what it went through to carry my babies and I deal with it. I don’t wear bikinis anyway. It’s okay to not have a rock solid body. And, hey, a couple hundred years ago chubby meant healthy. Let’s go back to that.

    Moms who say their children never act out? Well, I don’t believe them. Every child acts out from time to time and for various reasons. Don’t think your child is the only one. And why on earth do they think restaurants are a good place to throw down? Like, really, kid? You want to pitch a fit when people are trying to enjoy their food? Gimme a break.

    No one said you have to feed your children home cooked, from scratch, organic meals every time they eat. Sorry. If you do that I think it’s AWESOME and I am glad someone can. I just find that being on one income makes organic almost impossible. Not to mention when I’m trying to prepare perfect meals I get super frustrated when my kids “don’t like it” and shove the plate back at me. Sometimes kids just need french fries. And sometimes mommy just needs french fries.

    The bottom line is this:

    if you even care enough to think you’re failing as a mom, chances are you’re doing just fine. If you think you mess up, then you probably do. But we need to start changing our perspective. Furthermore, we need to change our base line. Stop comparing yourself to what social media calls good. Every family is different, and every family has a different way of raising their children. Your parenting techniques might be different from mine, and that’s okay. I parent differently than my sister or my best friend, but we can agree that we are doing the best we can and just hope we do right by our kids. When it’s all said and done, I just want mine to know I love Jesus and I tried my best to instill Christian values into them. My goal is raising my kids to be responsible adults.

    If you feel like you aren’t good enough, then stop. Being a good mommy is more than how many toys you buy your kids. It’s how much you care, how much quality time you spend with them, and what values you instill in them. Chances are, Mommy, you’re doing just fine.

    When You Don't Think You're a Good Enough Mommy

    June 22, 2017

    The Time Mommy Failed and What I Learned That Day

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    The Time Mommy Failed and What I Learned That Day

    I failed.

    Total. Mom. Fail.

    I completely lost my cool with my kids. I have a 5-year-old boy who has the mouth of a teenager, and a 2-year-old boy who embodies the very essence of “Terrible Twos”. Has since he started walking. At 9 months old. I stay home with my children (I haven’t always, this is fairly recent and a huge adjustment for all of us). And, I would love to tell you I love every minute and I’m so happy to stay home and I just enjoy being with my kids 24/7. But the truth is that’s not true. The truth is, while I love my children with every fiber of my being, I do not enjoy every day. Some days they drive me to the brink of insanity.

    This was one of those days. The oldest one could not keep his mouth shut. The little one was destroying everything in sight. My house was a complete disaster. I’m talking hurricane aftermath level of destroyed. And they just would not clean it up. I asked them to pick up toys and they looked at me. I asked them to put their shoes away and received a blank stare. Asking them to move at all was an assault on their character and they reached a level of crazy I had not experienced.

    The Time Mommy Failed and What I Learned That Day

    What happened?

    I went psycho mom. So much so that my husband heard me yelling (he was outside) and came inside to see what the problem was. I yelled. Screamed. Cried. I was, simply put done. Done with kids, done with my house. Done.

    My husband (bless him) was somehow able to make them pick up their things and do whatever else it was I couldn’t make them do. Meanwhile, I went into my bedroom and cried. Why can’t I be one of those moms who does Bible studies with their kids? I want to be the mom who gets it right, at least 5 days a week, and who loves staying home. I’d love to practice peaceful parenting and never yell at my kids. They hate me. I ruined them. This is literally my internal dialogue as I sit and think of all the ways I failed my kids. Of all the times I messed up as a mom. And, sadly, how broken they would be as adults because I stink at being a mom. (I like to keep it real, y’all).

    After my pity party, I finally went back to the real world. I calmed down, the kids calmed down. Baths, pajamas, and a couple hours later my little one comes up to me and says, “hold me, mama”. So sweet, that one, when he wants to be. Then, as I’m tucking the older one in he says, “I love you, Mommy. You’re the greatest Mommy in the whole wide world.” I quickly kissed him good night and rushed out of the room to hide the tears. The happy tears. Tears that let me know my kids didn’t hate me.

    I learned an important lesson that day.

    I’m going to fail as a mom. A lot. But, if we are honest, we know we aren’t perfect. I also know that, at the end of the day, if my kids are fed and provided for, that’s a lot more than most kids get. And if I do my best to show them every day how much I love them, they’ll be alright. It’s not about never yelling, or never crying, but it’s about showing them they’re important. Letting them know you care. I learned that my kids know I’m not perfect, but somehow I’m the best, and that’s good enough for me.

    The Time Mommy Failed and What I Learned That Day

    June 21, 2017