Exactly how to get Back in Shape after Pregnancy

Ready to break out of your comfort zone, blast fat and get back in shape after pregnancy?

Your baby is sweet, your home is warm with family love, but you feel you have been stuck in “survival mode” and you are ready to stop feeling big, right?

I know how that feels, I have done it, three times. We all struggle to get back in shape after pregnancy, but if you know what you want, you can make it happen!

In my last blog post, we discussed how you can slowly take steps to a more slender you, after childbirth. The baby has gotten bigger and you are probably getting more sleep. You may have started back to work and are busy as ever. Well, kick the excuses to the curb and be happy with your decision to get fit!

If you have made some small changes to your lifestyle habits, I bet you are ready to get going to really re-shape your body!

This is where your mindset plays the biggest part. Remember that “Why” we were talking about? I hope, by now, that you have it written out on a huge, bright poster board to remember daily. You will achieve your fitness goals with a great plan to follow.

First of all, the “magic” really happens in the kitchen. We talked a little about healthy choices in part 1 of this 2 part blog post and now I am going to explain to you what kind of diet you should be consuming daily. Remember that portion size plays a big part and that you should focus on being healthier, not “skinnier.” I want you to be sure that you eat at least three times a day with snacks in between meals.

back-in-shape-after-pregnancyDon’t over-indulge in your temptations, but don’t deny yourself, either. If you are taking the advice I gave you previously, you are not eating packaged, fake, foods. Just make sure you are not emotional eating either. Then, there will be room for your sweet tooth like a piece of dark chocolate once a week. Turn all your ambition into this action plan!

Keep it simple and don’t let your family’s eating habits deter you from your new meal plan. With each day, make sure you drink lots of water.

Keeping a diet consisting of mainly fruits and vegetables has huge health benefits, essential vitamins and can protect against disease. Depending on how busy you are, you may need a quick breakfast, but make sure you don’t skip it because this can help you feel fuel and give you energy through the day.

Here’s EXACTLY what to eat to get back in shape after pregnancy:

Morning: Eat a wholesome breakfast like wheat toast with eggs or a protein shake with fruit. Cereal or oatmeal are great options. You could even try a fruit salad to wake you up. The key is knowing what you like and there are many healthy options to choose from.

Mid-morning: Have a healthy snack like, nuts, apple, banana, grapefruit, or celery and peanut butter. Granola, or salt free pretzels can tide you over. Even a small salad with veggies like broccoli can give you the fiber you need.

Lunch: Have wheat bread or tortilla and lean meat with lots of broccoli, carrots, and other tasty vegetables. Salads with grilled chicken are perfect for filling you up so you can get back to work. Here are some fabulous ideas for lunch, enjoy.

Late afternoon snack: Make sure you have snacks to keep your energy level up, because if you don’t, you are likely to overeat later. For a late afternoon snack you could have a piece of fruit or nuts.

Dinner: To lose weight/stay fit you are going to want to eat things that are good for you. Try not to eat fast, junk meals. (If you have to have pizza, which I LOVE, make sure you only do this once a week and watch your portion) So for dinner, try these healthy chicken dinners. Fish is also a great protein to build a meal around and make sure your plate is mostly veggies and only a little starch like brown rice or Quinoa.

After dinner snack: Fruit salad with plain nonfat yogurt is an awesome option.

Keeping a food diary is a great way to keep up with how many calories you are consuming, but more importantly, its a great way to make sure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients per day.

A good way of knowing is this: You should be consuming 4 servings of whole grain, 2 servings of nuts (about ½ cup of nuts or seeds, unsalted), 2 to 3 oz. of meats and fish, 2-4 servings daily of fruit, 5 or more servings of vegetables, with at least one serving of vitamin C. Omega 3’s are very important as are healthy fats. Dairy is good for your bone strength, 2 to 4 servings could be very helpful to your health. A recommended amount of dietary fiber that you get from vegetables, grain, meats and fruit should be around 20 to 35 g.

When it comes to healthy diet decisions, substitution is key. Eat fruits and vegetables instead of some other higher-calorie foods.

Now that you have started a grocery list for your week, lets take a look at what kind of exercise can really kick your metabolism up and get you burning that baby fat off for good.

I recommend that you do at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week.

Here is a great article about cardio/aerobic exercise.

Tip: this could be anything that gets your heart pumping: jump-rope, running, bicycle, sports or even running around the yard with your kids.

We all should be doing these great basic exercises at least twice a week in a 15 min circuit like push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, jumping jacks and squats.

The most important thing about getting back in shape after pregnancy is to remember that your body is amazing and its now your time to reclaim it as your own.

how to get back in shape after a baby picWe are all different in body type and what works for our daily diet.

Choose things that you like for healthy eating and exercise that you know will get you the results you want.

Take little steps every day in the right direction.

Simple changes to your diet and increasing your workouts by time or difficulty every week can make a big difference.

Print-outs are a big help when it comes to meal planning and scheduling. You will find what suits you best for your personal envisioned healthy lifestyle.

You owe it to yourself and your family to be healthy.

You are capable of more than you think!

I am so excited for you to get in the shape you always wanted! If this article helped you to determine a fitness plan, please share with your friends.

Leave me a comment below to tell me your thoughts and concerns about your plans.

About the Author: Lacricia Sanders is a 27 years old young mom of Jaylynn (12), Leah (7) and Lilyanna (4). She has been happily married to Jason for 12 ½ years. She loves to be with her family, help with local charity events, and enjoying social interaction.

She is a budding entrepreneur with health, fitness and anything else that catches her fancy. When she isn’t enjoying time with her family, she can be found working out, shopping, singing or helping people with fitness.

Read more about Lacricia and get more health and fitness tips here.

Exactly how to get Back in Shape after Pregnancy

 

 

10 Ways for Single Moms to have a Fun and Healthy dating life

I was in a relationship and married for 7 years. Though I got two beautiful sons out of it, the relationship was not healthy or happy for me.
From the time I was 19 till I was 26 I hadn’t dated… So this whole new dating life is like a roller coaster that freaks the hell out of me.

I recently had my first experience of dating. To say the least, we are obviously not together any longer. But I did learn a lot…

I learned that I always wear my heart on my sleeve and go to the moon and back for people I love. I’ve learned to slow the F— down and not to just jump in head first. I just felt that I wasn’t being true to myself if I wasn’t completely emerged into the person. Damn.
I was so confused. For me the hardest part is letting go. Mainly because I learned to cope in a bad relationship and just deal with all the negative stuff and work through it. It’s hard because its just like losing a friend.
I value all the people in my life and all my experiences. But I know that there just comes a point that if the other person isn’t willing to go the extra mile then I just have to move on.
I know I gave my all, which in my part is more painful…I was genuine and real. There are just so many rules and bullshit when it comes to dating.
I imagine that with the right person it won’t be this way. But the book “He’s just not that into you” was an absolute must read! It might sound silly but it gave me a whole new point of view. I’m just a fool to fall in love, That’s my curse: I love romance and love and relationships.

The best quote that can sum up my experience is..

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Click to tweet, if you love this quote, too)

I know this might seem a little harsh.. I use this only because there are so many men out there who will sweet talk your panties right off! Who will use you for whatever they want!
Just because you talk to someone for 6 months does NOT mean you know them. You just know what they want you to know.

You have to really spend time with a person before you start to see who they really are. That is why I stress on telling you to wait to introduce your kids to anyone too early. Building trust takes time and patience. And any man who is willing to rise up and help build that foundation is worth knowing. I’d say 85% of the men you are going to meet are all just “talkers”.

dating tips for single moms“Of course I want to be with you, I love you, I’m a good man,” Psssh! I’ve heard it ALL! Be choosey! Keep your standards high.

Don’t be fooled by the wolf bearing sheep’s clothing! Meaning, just because this guy has SOME of the qualities your looking for, DOES NOT mean he’s the right guy.
If even for a second you feel unsure, then its not right. “When in doubt, don’t”. This is your opportunity to really discover who you are and what you really want from life and a partner. Get down to the nitty-gritty. Make a list, keep a journal.

Just have fun and relax. The right guy will pop up when you are not even looking.

As a single mommy I want for us all to fall in love… with the right person, NOT just Mr. right now.

We can still have fun along the journey to the right guy, but just not with assholes!

You can always email me if you are feeling confused or are questioning yourself about the person you are dating. Trust me. I will tell you he’s an asshole. Just be prepared for the answer!

Here are 10 ways to ensure a Fun- and Healthy- dating life

1. Know your worth. I know what I deserve and how I should be treated.

2. NEVER settle. Not even a little bit. Stay true to what you really want in a partner. BE STRONG.

3. If it feels wrong, then IT IS! Don’t waste time on anyone that feels fake.

4. It’s OKAY to get hurt. As long as you know in your heart you were real then you win the good karma!

5. Go slow…WAIT to introduce your kids to someone for at least 6 months or MORE!

6. Make sure he is a GENTLEMAN! If he’s not paying for dinner or drinks, how could he ever support you or your kids?

7. Stay focused on your life and your kids! The right person will blend easy and you will stay on track!

8. “You can never make the same mistake twice because the second time you make it, it’s not a mistake. It’s a choice.” This quote means to me that if the guy is screwing up and making bad decisions, then you need to let him go. Don’t give him another chance to hurt you. You are worth more than that.

9. Birth control…

10. ENJOY yourself! If you’re dating someone who makes you feel insecure with yourself or him, then screw him! There are so many other guys who will make you feel happy and secure!

About the Author: Michelle King is a single mommy of two living in Las Vegas. She works from home freelance writing and sharpening her day trading skills. She’s committed to fitness and devoted to her children. Life is big to her and she lives life to the fullest. For more info on Michelle click here.

10 Ways for Single Moms to have a Fun and Healthy dating life

Breast Feeding vs Formula and Everything in Between!

It’s the first decision you will make as a parent. Breast feeding vs Formula.. what’s the best choice for me?

For some parents, its a no-brainer kind of decision.

For others there is a lot of thought that needs to go into that decision.

Here are 3 questions parents should ask before they choose which is right for them.

breast feeding vs formulaBreast feeding vs formula
1) What is better?
2) What is easier?
3) What is cheaper?

The answers to these questions are different in every situation.

What may be better for you may not be better for another family. That goes for the rest of the questions. Every family is different. They have a different income, they may do well with something where as someone else doesn’t.

 

I am going to answer these questions as it were my situation.
1) Breast is best. It is likely the healthier choice and it gives your new baby a lot of antibodies to fight off infections they are vulnerable to in their early life.
2) For me, breastfeeding is a lot easier than formula feeding. I do not have to get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle. I do not have to worry about sterilizing bottles. I do not have to worry about bringing formula with me everywhere I go, because I have what my baby needs with me at all times. At the right temperature and always clean.
3) Breastfeeding is over a thousand dollars cheaper than formula feeding. I figured this out when my first son was born. He breastfed for 7 weeks until my supply stopped. We switched to formula and spent over $1200 dollars in the first year alone on formula and that was the generic brand. The only things you have to worry about buying while breastfeeding are bottles (if you decide to pump), a pump, supplies for the pump and maybe a cover, if you decide to use one.

Not only is breast milk the best choice, health-wise for your baby, but it also has beneficial outcomes for the mom.

Here are 3 more reasons why Breast Feeding is the clear winner in the Breast Feeding vs Formula debate

4) When a mother breastfeeds, the body releases bursts of oxytocin, and that release causes the uterus to contract protecting the mom from postpartum hemorrhage.

5) Milk production also helps burn 200-500 calories a day, so some mothers may find they get their pre-pregnancy body back quicker.

6) One British study has shown that for each child carried, the risk of developing breast cancer by the age of 70 was reduced by 7 percent. For every year a woman breastfed, the risk of breast cancer fell by an additional 4.3 percent.

There are many pros and cons that come with everything, even breastfeeding. It’s up to you to figure out which is best for you. Sometimes the cons can outweigh the pros for someone, and vise-versa. No one can tell you what is best for you. Only you can decide what you want and what is best for you and your baby.

I decided that breastfeeding is best for my family. It leaves us with a lot more money in our pockets and my son and I are very happy with the choice.

So if you want to save over a thousand dollars then breastfeeding is the way to go.

Tell me below what was the best choice for your family, how you made that decision and if you’re happy with it!

About the Author

Kaitlan Lavoie is a 20 year old young mom to two little boys, Kade(3years) and Spencer(1year). She has been with her husband Ryan since August of 2008 and couldn’t be happier.

She loves to spend time with her friends and family doing things around the community which include going to family expos, the local museum, consignment sales and to the park with her kids. She is a breastfeeding advocate and is still breastfeeding her 13 month old son Spencer and wishes to do so until he is at least 2 years old.

Read more about Kaitlan and get updates about her posts here.

Breast Feeding vs Formula and Everything in Between!

5 Tips to make Losing Weight after Giving Birth Super Easy

So, you want your pre-baby body back and to fit into your clothes again but you’re having trouble losing weight after giving birth?

I know the feeling.

When you have a new baby you feel as though you can only spend quality time on them.

There just isn’t enough time in the day,” I have heard myself say so many times. Especially when you feel so tired, you feel as though you will never slim back down. We, as women know how it can make you feel so stuck and unable to improve your image. It’s no fun being in that place of dissatisfaction in ourselves. You may be having a hard time knowing who this person is that you are looking at in the mirror.

losing weight after giving birthDon’t make the mistake that most of us make, consider yourself  “too mommy” to be physically fit. Never give up on improving because mothers can be hot too!

And successful..

..and just as totally awesome as anyone else.

We women are diverse. This may be hard to believe right now, because of your dirty hair, spit up stained lounge wear and no makeup, but you can be glamourous! This is all about your mindset and seeing yourself how you want to be. The can do, positive attitude is what will make your goals a reality.

Taking care of a new baby is one of the most rewarding, but challenging, life-changing experiences that you will ever face.  At the beginning, you should take your time and connect with your newborn. Exercising with your newborn can help with postpartum depression. Be sure to wait at least six weeks after delivery and talk to your doctor before beginning your workout regimen.

There is a way to reshape your figure. With a few small steps each day, you can slowly regain your body strength and fitness. You can do it! If you have the desire, I will show you why it’s not so hard losing weight after giving birth. We will take it one step at a time. Now is the time to focus on your plan of action.

Your well-being is just as important as your baby’s. I know it seems as though there is absolutely no time for you, but you will start losing waist inches with these tips for losing weight after giving birth.

Make sure you know your “Why” for getting healthy. That’s what you should focus on. These reasons could include: having more energy, being more calm, a good example for your children and getting the confidence you deserve.

Hang this “Why” on a wall or somewhere you will see it everyday!

The 5 tips to losing weight after giving birth are….

1. Take 15 minutes for yourself each day, preferably in the morning, to stretch and relax, yoga is a way to do just that.
Tip: Try green tea to soothe and use an obtainable goal and plan to get fit slowly.
2. Drink lots of water

Tip: about 8(8oz.)  glasses or more a day

3. Eat healthy meals throughout the day as well as snacks.

Tip: stock your fridge with easy to grab items, Nutrition goes a long way.Cut out sugar and processed foods. This is anything packaged and soda drinks. Try fruit instead of sweets. Eat veggies with low-fat dressing instead of chips.

4. Get moving! Take baby for a walk, climb stairs, do 10-15 minute workouts at a time, because with your new baby that’s all you will have time for. It will work and you can gradually add more.

Tip: use household items to do your own workouts at home.

5. Get enough sleep!

Tip: you may need help to make this happen. Ask a friend or loved one to watch your baby so you can get rest. Hopefully, the child can be put on some sort of schedule. Try sleeping when baby is.

Stick to your plan, write a schedule, pin notes and don’t give up!

I have personally had to schedule my phone to tell me to wake up and do my workout! If you have to change your schedule to fit the kids, that’s ok. Just make sure you follow this through and get help with the baby. In fact, you can include your little one and she/he will be grateful that you did because you will be a happy, fit, more serene mom!

Baby benefits from exercise time, too.

Imagine the bond baby is developing with mom through interaction,” Maltbie says in this BabyZone article. “You are building confidence, self-awareness, human connection, love. Babies need these intimate interactions to adjust, to develop and grow. Also, the activities are exercise for Baby too, so he/she is developing cognitive and physical abilities.Click to Tweet this wisdom out!

Also, don’t forget that breastfeeding can also help you get back in shape!  Don’t go on a reduced calorie diet, this will hurt the nutrients in your supply.

Be sure to tell yourself everyday that you will achieve your goals. Surround yourself with positive people and recite daily affirmations.

You are a work in progress, but love yourself along the way. Treat yourself when possible, like mani/pedi or shopping. Just remember that weight loss doesn’t take tons of money or lots of skill, just commitment and it takes time. Be confident in yourself and love your body! Confidence is sexy and you will get addicted to improving that sexiness. Soon, this will all be habit and you will have formed long-lasting lifestyle changes.

Start today by writing your schedule and lists. To find out more details how to make your goals a reality, follow this series and fill in your email address to get updated when new material is added.

I hope this article about losing weight after giving birth was beneficial to you and would like for you to share what struggles you faced, in the comments below.

Share with your friends who can relate!

Coming soon: Part 2: Taking mom fitness to the next level.

About the Author: Lacricia Sanders is a 27 years old young mom of Jaylynn (12), Leah (7) and Lilyanna (4). She has been happily married to Jason for 12 ½ years. She loves to be with her family, help with local charity events, and enjoying social interaction.

She is a budding entrepreneur with health, fitness and anything else that catches her fancy. When she isn’t enjoying time with her family, she can be found working out, shopping, singing or helping people with fitness.

Read more about Lacricia and get more health and fitness tips here.

5 Tips to make Losing Weight after Giving Birth Super Easy

The Spotlight is on: Anyssa Marie Ruiz

She’s not your average 19 year old Cali girl- Anyssa is also a young mom, figuring it out day by day, with her baby girl, Mia.

Tell us about yourself and your family:

I’m a young mom at 19. I’m struggling but holding on. Making my little girl happy is my priority.

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?teenage mom and baby

I thought that I wouldn’t have enough money. My boyfriend got a second job to handle it and then my mom and his mom started to help out.

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?

I never treat myself on anything. For fun I dance because its what I do and to stay relaxed I just watch TV.

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

My favorite thing would be making her laugh, watching her grow and learning how to do this right.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?

I see myself as a professional dancer, it’s my wish since i was little, with maybe 2 kids a husband and a life that makes me and everyone else happy.

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?

Take care of yourself. Don’t let others let you down. Stay positive. Things will be okay. Good luck.

 

Do you have any love or words of wisdom for Anyssa? Share them in the comments!

The Spotlight is on: Anyssa Marie Ruiz

Let’s talk about SEX- and 50 Shades of Grey

I wanted desperately to not be like all the other girls. I try so hard to avoid the bandwagon of the hippest new thing..

But I just couldn’t help it!

The peer pressure finally got to me. I broke down. And I bought it.

Yes, I purchased my own copy of 50 Shades of Grey.50 shades of grey

(Hangs head in shame)

Luckily, we had a 4 day weekend in which I’ve done a lot of hanging around the house with the kids because I seriously can’t put the book down- I’m not done with it yet but still felt driven to write this post about 50 Shades of Grey.

Alert! If you haven’t read the book yet, the following may be a bit of a spoiler..

I’m going to tell my true feelings about this S&M, as-close-to-porn-as-you-can-get-in-a-book novel, 50 Shades of Grey and it might be a little TMI.. oh well.

Honestly, if I was totally single and had this unexplained romantic chemistry with a handsome, philanthropic, young, self-made billionaire who offered me a contract to be in a faithful relationship as his sex slave, I’d be like, “Hell. Yes. Where do I sign.. and how soon can I start?”

Seriously.

It’s a really great book so far and I’m really surprised (shocked) by the amount of graphic detail it goes into. And I’m also shocked by how many people (women) are in love with it and sharing all about it on the internet considering what a taboo subject sex is in general.. and the types of sex (bondage, slave and master, toys, etc) that happen in 50 Shades of Grey are usually so frowned upon being discussed in society.

I personally don’t find anything weird about discussing sex, which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now.

But what I’m wondering is: If so many women are drawn to this book and eager to share it, doesn’t that mean women are probably yearning for more sex info and for a place to talk about it?

So my question is: Is sex something you’d like to see discussed on Young Moms Club? After reading 50 Shades of Grey, I’m really feeling like bringing on some sex experts (sexperts?) to discuss further.

Comment below and let me know if that’s something you’d be interested to hear more about. Just type “Yes” or let me know what specific questions you’d like to discuss. Don’t be shy!! 🙂

And also, let me know if you’ve read the book and what your thoughts are!!

Click here for the lowest price for 50 Shades of Grey on Amazon.

 

Let’s talk about SEX- and 50 Shades of Grey

 

danielle ford assistant

Looking for an Intern

I’m super excited to announce that I’m offering a 6 month internship where I will take a young mom under my wing and teach step by step EXACTLY how to work from home and make money online. After the internship is over, you’ll be offered a permanent position with Young Moms Club.

I will teach you how to:

Blog

Build websites

Get in front of your market

Research what your market is searching for

Create content

Get blog posts to the top of Google

Create videos and get views

Utilize social media (the right way)

Make money online

..and more!danielle ford assistant

This will be a very valuable experience because I will be sharing everything I’ve spent the last few years (and THOUSANDS of dollars) to learn. I’ve self studied, purchased expensive programs and worked under some of the best online marketers around, gaining valuable information from them.

I wish I’d had someone to just teach me exactly WHAT TO DO to start making money online from home, though, it could’ve saved me a lot of time, money and stress.. and that is exactly what I plan on doing with this new internship.

This program will be split into 6 4-week modules. Each month you’ll be learning a new skill and implementing it on the Young Moms Club main website and social sites. The only set-in-stone time commitment will be weekly Skype phone calls where we’ll go over details for the following week. I’ll always be available to you though, if you need anything. All of your training will be from pre-recorded videos I’ve created, so you’ll be able to watch, study and work around your schedule.

When the internship is over, we’ll discuss whether you want to become a permanent paid employee of Young Moms Club or if you would rather take the valuable skills you’ve learned in the internship and branch off on your own to create something new.

Needs: Access to internet. Computer with a webcam.

This is for you if:

Your goal is to be able to work from home. You have an extra 10-15 hours per week to commit. You are self motivated and don’t need someone looking over your shoulder all the time to get work done. You are a quick learner. You enjoy the internet, social media and are excited to learn new things. You know that anything worth having takes work. You are patient. You love to write and your grammar and writing skills are top notch. Your friends and family use these words to describe you: honest to a fault, sweet, sincere, trustworthy, hard working, compassionate, and 10,000% reliable.

 This is NOT for you if:

You get easily flustered by a lot of things going on at the same time. You’re defensive, argumentative, and blame others when things go wrong. You have personal drama that always negatively affects your life. You are not willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

To apply, copy the questions below and respond in an e-mail to youngmomsclub @ gmail.com (with no spaces) by January 31st, 2013.

 

Young Moms Club Internship Application

Name:
Location:
Facebook:
Twitter:

What is a typical day like for you?

Do you have any computer, social media or marketing experience? Explain.

Are you a more right or left brained person? (Right brain is more creative, left brain does better with numbers and logic)

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, tell me 5 of your strengths and 3 of your weaknesses.

Tell me about any previous work experience and your favorites and least favorites parts of your job.

What do you think you could bring to Young Moms Club?

What are you looking most forward to learning in this internship?

What are your goals for the future?

What do you do for fun? (hobbies, interests)

Tell me something about you that not a lot of people know.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Remember to send your answers in an e-mail to youngmomsclub @ gmail.com (with no spaces) by January 31st, 2013.

I look forward to hearing from you and maybe working together very soon! 🙂

-Danielle

10 Best Books for Parenting- 7 Mom Bloggers share their Favorites

Never-ending crying all night long.

Saying “No!” to every request you give.

Embarrassing temper tantrums in the grocery store.

Throwing “yucky” food across a restaurant.

Biting your friends’ kids on play dates.

If you have a toddler or school aged child, I know you’ve experienced a few of the above situations. If you’re pregnant or have a newborn, you’re in for quite a treat.  🙂

These are the times when you question whether that miniature person following you around, who resembles you an awful lot, is really your child- Or if it’s actually the Devil himself, disguised as your mini-me.

What’s the secret to stop your devil child from emerging? Being prepared!

Having a small library of books for parenting is sooo important! There are so many unforeseeable situations that happen with children and having a go to book handy on the subject can be a life saver.

 

I asked these 7 mom bloggers what their favorite books for parenting are and I got some great responses. I already placed an order myself 🙂

 

kathy hajduk stowellHere are a few: “The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two”, “You Are Your Child’s First Teacher” by Rahima Baldwin has a nice introduction to some of the basic principles of Waldorf education and the importance of guarding a young child’s senses.
 “Toymaking With Children shows simple toys to make instead of buying value empty plastic junk.
 “Simplicity Parenting” by Kim John Payne is more than a parenting book, it’s a lifestyle book! It changed my life so much I got certified to teach workshops on it and am now offering them online at www.blissbeyondnaptime.com  -Kathy Hajduk Stowell

 

natanya lara helak“The one that comes to mind right now that I’d recommend is “The Whole-Brain Child” by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.It’s an awesome, totally readable book that gives practical advice on how to handle stressful situations with your child. The book is based on brain research, and the strategies support a child’s healthy emotional growth while helping parents understand why their kids act the way they do. Highly recommended!” -Natanya Lara Helak of www.growtogetherparenting.com.

 

 

If you are wondering if there’s another mom in the world who feels like you do right now; if you want to find out how other moms are coping with their relationships, expectations, bodies, sex lives and more; if you want support in early motherhood; then reach out for the award-winning book, “Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal & Toolkit. “A must read for new mothers.” – SheKnows More on the book at http://purpleleavesredcherries.com

 

dawn kenroy gibson“CALMS: A Guide to Soothing Your Baby” by Carrie Contey. This is a simple, yet powerful little book of step-by-step instructions on how to calm your baby. I highly recommend this for those of you with newborns and up. I used this book with my own babies and continue to teach my clients about the importance of self-regulation and the impact you have on your baby’s nervous system. This book is super easy and quick to read and even easier to implement. -Dawn Kenroy Gibson of www.mindfulmotheringaustin.com

 

 

ursula markgraf

“The Fussy Baby How to Bring Out the Best in Your High-Need Child” was a life-safer when I had my second baby! Even though I already had a child I was in no way prepared for what happened. This book did not change what I had to deal with but it changed my mind and how I felt about the situation. I felt so empowered by this book and for the first time in my life started to listen to my instincts and trust them. It honestly changed my life and how I think about parenting!
-Ursula Markgraf of www.ursulamarkgraf.com

 

 

vari-x-buttercup-ink

 

“Buddhism for Mothers” by Sarah Napthali is a great book to help you get through those days of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. I go back to it time and time again when I’m feeling a little frazzled. -Vari X of http://www.buttercupink.com

 

jo ebisujima

 

“How To Raise An Amazing Child” by Time Seldom is a good intro to Montessori in the home. As a Montessori mom, I would also recommend Maria Montessori’s books. -Jo Ebisujima of www.myorganizedchaos.com

 

Have you read any of the above? Do you agree that these are the best books for parenting?

Leave a comment with reviews of what YOU think are the best books for parenting below!

10 Best Books for Parenting- 7 Mom Bloggers share their Favorites

4 reasons why New Years Resolutions don’t work

Having trouble sticking to your new years resolution? You aren’t alone.

In October of 2009, I decided that I wanted to learn Spanish for a few reasons.danielle ford new years eve

1) I’ve always been kind of ashamed of being a Mexican who doesn’t know how to speak Spanish. A lot of the time, after I meet someone new, during that initial slew of awkward questions we exchange to break the ice, I get asked, “What nationality are you?” I answer with “English and Mexican.” The next question is always “Oh! Do you speak Spanish?” And that’s when I lower my head a tad, drop my eyes to floor and shamefully respond with “No, I don’t.” I feel like, being Mexican, I should know Spanish.

2) I really hate being out of the loop. When I’m at a restaurant or shopping or anywhere and people around me are speaking Spanish, it drives me crazy because I want to know what they’re saying! It’s not that I want to listen in on other people’s conversations. (Ok, maybe I want to a little.) But it’s mostly that I don’t know if they’re talking about ME. Or if they’re discussing something that I might want to know or something that could be of importance, like maybe they’re sharing the cure for Cancer. (That’s totally possible.) I really just like to always know what’s going on.

3) I’ve dreamed up these highly-unlikely-to-ever-happen situations in my head where I would NEED to know how to speak Spanish. For instance, I could be driving on a dark, lonely highway in the middle of the night and my car could just stall out of nowhere and I would have to wait and hope that someone comes by soon to help me. Well, what if that person only spoke Spanish? They could be talking to me and motioning for me to get in their car and I wouldn’t know if they were saying, “Please get in my car so I can drive you to safety” or “Please get in my car so I can murder you and dismantle your body.” Or what if I was visiting Mexico with my family and we got arrested by the Mexican government because someone tipped them off that we were American drug lords. They could be questioning us about our involvement in the war on drugs and if I knew how to speak Spanish, I could tell them, “We aren’t American drug lords.” And save the day.

(I’ve played out another “save the day” story in my head: I’m on an airplane and mid-flight, the pilot has a seizure or heart attack and a stewardess shouts frantically, “Does anyone know how to fly this plane?!” – And that’s why “Learn how to fly a plane” is on my bucket list.)

Anyway, I had decided that I wanted to learn how to speak Spanish.

I went Barnes and Noble and bought this huge box set with 20+ CDs to listen to. I could have started the 1st CD in October, when I got it, but I started thinking that the holidays were coming and I might not have enough time and then *LIGHTBULB* I realized that I could make “Learn Spanish” my New Years resolution. Brilliant!

On January 1st, I followed through and popped the CD in. It started off OK. I began listening to and repeating about 10 simple, common phrases like “Nice to meet you.” “Where is the bathroom?” “What is your name?” By the end of that session, I had those phrases down perfect and I was thinking that at the rate I was going, I’d know Spanish within a month. The next day, there was a new set of phrases. “I’m happy to meet you as well.” “The girl’s bathroom is there.” “My name is Danielle.”  I memorized them all and was feeling like a Mexican Rock Star. The third day, the CD explained that I was supposed to match the phrases from the first day with the phrases from the 2nd and that’s when I realized that I couldn’t remember anything at all from the first day!

So, I got really pissed off and QUIT.

That was the end of my Spanish education. After looking forward to cracking open my Spanish course for almost 3 months, I was over it in 3 days.

And that’s why I don’t like New Years resolutions and will never make one again.

Looking back, I realized that I made 4 mistakes on my quest to learn Spanish.

1) I shouldn’t have waited until the New Year to start. If I wanted to do something, I should’ve just done it. Waiting for a significant date to start is just fancy procrastination.

2) I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry. If I had taken a week to consume each segment, instead of just 1 day, the information would’ve soaked in better.

3) I didn’t tell anyone about it. I wanted to keep it a secret until I was totally fluent and then, at the right moment- perhaps at a family gathering- I would shock and impress everyone with my mad Spanish skills. That was dumb, though. If I had told others about my goals, they could’ve helped to hold me accountable.

4) I didn’t allow for failure. Of course I never plan to fail, but I hadn’t even considered that I might have some trouble learning Spanish so when I failed at first, there was no plan B. If I had been logical and anticipated it being difficult, I wouldn’t have been so discouraged when I didn’t remember all the information on the third day.

The reason why New Years resolutions don’t work is that they’re usually not attainable.

Change takes time. It takes about 21 days to change a habit. And you have to change it little by little so that you get used to it.

So, if your goal is to lose weight and you’ve been pretty unhealthy in the past, you shouldn’t make your New Years Resolution to eat healthy and go to the gym every single day. Instead, you should change 1 thing at a time. For instance, you could say for the 1st week, you are going to change what you eat for breakfast. Then spend that week trying different healthy breakfast options until you have enough that you are used to making and that you like. Then another week, you change your lunch, and so on..

If your goal is to get your whole house organized, you don’t want to just jump in and spend 5 days straight cleaning out your garage and organizing your closets and junk drawers because you will get burnt out, put off other responsibilities, not be able to keep up with the regular housework and then you’ll get discouraged. Instead, you should write a list of every area in your home that needs to be organized, then put 1 area from your list into each week of your yearly calendar. And stick to it!

The only way to accomplish a goal is to break it down into the smallest possible tasks and do them 1 by 1 at a steady pace. <—Click to tweet this quote!

I’ve personally given up on New Years resolutions. I always create 30, 60 or 90 day goals for myself. I focus on things I want to change or get better at and at the end of the year, I didn’t accomplish just one thing, I accomplished many and it doesn’t feel like it was very hard because I allowed myself to take it all step by step and not be too hard on myself if I sucked at something.

So tell me in the comments below.. What is your New Years resolution? How are you doing with it so far?

If you’d like help breaking it into segments and specific tasks, leave a little more detail and I’ll help you make a plan.

4 reasons why New Years Resolutions don’t work

Top 5 Toys Worth Spending Your Money On

Top 5 Toys Worth Spending Your Money On

It is hard this time of year, when the TV is blasting commercials of the latest all singing-all dancing gizmo or toys that your child really can’t live without, to try and pick out something that

  • Your child will love

  • Is worth your hard earned dollars

  • Is something that your child will play with for years to come, not for a week or maybe two

  • Will benefit your child in an educational way as well as entertain them.

These are my top 5, tried and tested toys that I think all children should have in their arsenal..

1. Mini People.

mini people dolls for kids

Mini People

Pocket sized people are great toys. Not only is it handy to have one or two in your bag when you go out but they are perfect for role playing and story-telling. They come in a great array of styles, we have some plastic ones that often find their way into the bath or the yard (easily washable) and some wooden ones that tend to hang about fighting dragons and rescuing princesses. Often these sets come with pets too – perfect if you are not in the position to get a real puppy, and much easier to look after!

 

 

 

 

2. Stacking Cups.

stacking cups

Stacking Cups

These a brilliant, no really. Simple as them may seem, I could write a whole blog post or more on stacking cups alone. Some of the skills and activities a child can learn and use these for…
+ Learning how to stack in the correct order (OK that one was obvious)
+ Perception of size and depth
+ Colours
+ Pouring and measuring
+ Sorting
+ Play cooking
+ Making mud pies outside
+ Use as boats in the bath

Not only that, you can pick up a basic set for next to nothing.

3. Play Food.

play food

Play Food

Again this comes in all shapes and sizes, plastic, wooden, felt. You can make your own with simple sewing skills, check out this pinterest board for free patterns and ideas. A cardboard box can be turned into a stove with a sharpie and a bit of imagination and it can double as a storage box too. Add a small milk pan and a wooden spoon and your little chef will be kept happy for hours. The great thing with play food is that it is easy to build on, once you have a basic set you can easily add something here and something there when you can. When your child is getting to reading age, you can make it more advanced and write up a menu and teach them how to use money when they go ‘shopping’

 

4. Wooden Bricks.

building bricks

Building Bricks

For a long time these were very expensive but the price has come down recently as wooden toys have become fashionable again. Loved by both girls and boys and they can be used for so many things. I recommend getting a set that is either stained or just plain as painted blocks tend to chip easily and soon start to look shabby.

 

 

 

5. Play Silks.

play silks

Play Silks

These are great to build the imagination, turn your little one into a butterfly, a princess, a pirate or a ninja. Maybe it is a picnic cloth for an impromptu teddy bears picnic or perhaps a magic carpet ready to whisk you away on an adventure. No matter how many ideas I might have for these, your child can probably come up with 101 more!

We have all of the above toys, from when my son was a toddler and at 7 and a half, they still get used on a regular basis. I often have to share the bath with a workman, a doctor and a fireman sailing a round in a stacking cup! So, although none of these toys have the latest character on them and non are battery operated, they are all toys that are worth the investment as they will help your child become and imaginative, creative thinker.

 

 

jo ebisujima my organized chaos

About the author:

Jo Ebisujima is a Brit living in Japan. She loves creating for children and helping parents to organize themselves and their children so that they can spend more quality time together. She writes about her work at My Organized Chaos. She can also be found at her personal blog jojoebi designs where she shares about her everyday life, Montessori, crafting, and raising a bilingual child in Japan.