Mar 31

Why I Agree With Jennifer Campbell

If you’re a parent, you have read this post, and you empathize, then you understand what parenting really is.

I’ve been a parent of two kids myself and Jennifer Campbell is right in saying we’re imperfect people.

What does society expect of a parent? Or a single parent perhaps?

Parents are supposed to guard their children. People are angry at parents who seem to neglect their children because they themselves may have or not have been neglected in the same manner.

Let me assure you that parents are not God. We try our best. But sometimes, that ends up in bitter failure.

In a world where judgments and a lack of information is abound, people can judge you and induce ‘social media justice’, which is similar to how witches were burned in the United States during a time of ignorance.

Jennifer had to take care of two children on her own. One was still an infant and while her child had been lost countless times, she tried. I know she did. Eyebags speak for themselves.

It’s easy to say that if you had planned before this happened, these kids would have a better life. I wouldn’t say so myself. Plans are set to fail at some point and one needs to improvise.

Every parent tries his or her best to improvise. And we can fail.

We’re sorry if we look like bad parents. But do know we try our best.

One day hopefully, you can understand.

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Jan 26

Why We Shouldn’t Dismiss Our Kids By Having Them “Walk It Off”

Britons are well-known for having their children become independent. Apparently, all western families expect their children at some point to be independent. Compared to Asians, we let go of our children by the age of 18 to college, where they spend their life independent, budgeting daily expenses and managing their time for fun.

It would seem we would only see our kids until they reach the age of 18.

And at this time, we become British to our children by dismissing their excuses for certain troubles by ordering them to “walk it off”.

When children are hurt, they want comfort. While tough love works in certain ways, it may also encourage hatred and the lack of empathy to the struggle of other people.

This is actually why most adults nowadays mind their own business and never attempt to do anything even if they see something wrong right in front of them. Unless it’s already a big foul, they would never jump in a physically-abusive boyfriend’s issue with his girlfriend in public, or sensitivity to the homeless, who just need someone to talk to.

Negativity never taught any kid to be nice to other kids. While it encourages great competition that increases the level of skill and technicality every child has against each other, not everything in life is a competition. Most of it is made of experience. And a positive experience makes for a better person.

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Nov 26

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hiring Household Help

During my early days of motherhood, my elder child Stephanie would cry almost every four hours and little Jacques. If you’re not parents yet, well, most little babies sleep around two to four hours during their first three months.

Both kids paralysed me from working. I had to ask my neighbour Chantal to take care of my babies while I was gone. While she would do it for free, I considered hiring household help.

Well, should you?

Advantages

More Time To Use

Obviously, once you hire household help, you have more time to create your daily budget spending at home and for work, plan your baby’s future, understand the risks involved in your daily life and which kind of insurance policies should you take out. It’s not an easy task to think about while feeding or putting a child to sleep.

Have Clearer Thought

You can also think about how to reduce your debt or how to assert yourself during a business proposition. Having a child is quite great, to be honest, but you’ll concentrate more on making your child smile or making sure all their needs are addressed instead of focusing on what truly matters; how to prepare for the future.

Disadvantages

Quality Of Work

Of course, having household help can guarantee you couldn’t find some things you want in your house found immediately. Also, they may not treat your kids right.

Not to terrify you or anything, but I’ve heard stories of abusive, hurtful nannies who can’t keep their temper.

Lesson here? Find the right kind of nanny and fast.

Strained Relationships

A single mother or a single parent for that matter will have tons of responsibilities mounted on their shoulders. This would mean the Nanny is closer with your children with regards to her relationship with them than you are. I know this hurts lots, but you might have some luck, like I did.

Both kids still recognise me as their mother after they grew up, which is nice for me, to be honest.

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Sep 29

Three Ways To Make Single-Mom Parenting More Convenient

Being a single parent can be a huge pain. If you’re taking care of your newborn by yourself, don’t take the responsibility all by yourself. You could invest responsibility with your young one. Ask friends and your own parents for help.  Also do the following!

Buy The Gadgets You Need

Why do you need a new Pad or Smartphone for? You need a multitool to access information quickly without having to turn on your laptop. Should you invest in an expensive electric breast pump for yourself? Surely! It’s expensive for a reason.

In my experience, using a breast pump allowed me to leave Jacques with my mother with some breastmilk. He grew up healthy drinking from my source and I don’t regret owning that pump.

Besides, these pumps cost as much as what you’d spend for formula milk per year.

Make Time For Yourself

Self-time is also important. It does not mean you’re a mother you have to spend all your days with your child. You are your own person. Ask your family to allow you to chase after your dreams. I know, it could be troublesome to ask for help, but life is not worth living if one will not take the risk.

Trust me, I’ve taken my own share of risks and this is one of the best things to do when you’re alive.

Ask Help From Friends

True friends will find ways to help you. If you need them to babysit your child or at least teach them values that you believe will be helpful, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Most single-parents I know wouldn’t do it. I was hesitant to do it at first myself. But I saw the benefits of my child learning values and seeing new people in his life. Jacques had many trade skills as soon as he was seven-years-old because of my friends.

 

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Jul 27

How Do You Adjust Your Life When You Get Newborn Twins?

My Jacques and Stephanie aren’t twins. Jacques was born a few years after Stephanie came out. While they’re the best of friends (and sometimes the best of enemies), sometimes it bugs me to think that what if they were twins when they came out.

A friend of mine last week told me her story about her ‘twinvasion’ as she called it. She said she was both happy and almost petrified that she had twins growing inside of her because one: she didn’t know if her baby-house could handle it and two: the financial side of things will always cradle your head when you sleep.

She said the first few weeks were terrible. She had to mentally prepare herself for the possible troubles ahead. This includes a new routine and new budgeting. My friend also has a five-year-old son and a two-year-old girl, which spells much doom.

But she said every fear and worry washed away after they looked at the two kids who just came out. She came to know them and she loved them. Of course, you don’t get much sleep when it’s the first night you go with your babies.

Twins need lots of feeding, diapering and cuddling, which babies and mommies really like. Also daddies.

No new baby is really easy, mind you. But it’s always worth the time and love when you spend time with them. I could say that is true for myself. I love babies, I love them even if they’re older now.

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May 27

Is This You: The Modern Day Mom’s Expenses

Most Moms (and Dads) of the modern world will cut back from their budget to buy items for their baby. However, plenty are still thinking of the things they want to buy for their child.

Today’s mothers are faced with the prospect that you would need $200,000 to raise a child effectively. However, plenty of mothers, about 97.2 give advice to other moms about the products and services they have purchased.

Check out this infographic for more information.

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Mar 25

The ROI of Your Mom [Infographic]

In all honesty, I am against putting a price against people. But at some point, when you budget your resources, you have to deal with placing values on people, even those you love. A return of investment or ROI is a business term that gives value to things based on their capability to give back more than what you provide.

So, is it possible to measure your Mom’s ROI? Do you agree with this? As a mom, I’d like to retain an open mind. Putting this out there for information’s sake!

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Jan 25

Three Ways How to Speedily Recover From Your Sleep-Deprived Days After Childbirth

It’s the most anticipated day after nine months of carrying your child. You’re about to become a mother. You’ve just met him or her and you couldn’t be happier to see a little you looking up at you.

However, in my own experience, after two months would be your sleepless nights trying to take care of your little one. You’ll become a “zombie mom” after three months of trying to take care of your little baby. However, there’s a way to ensure that you don’t get deprived of sleep.

  1. Delegation of Work

Your husband is a busy man. My husband was a busy man. But you may not know it, but he’s really willing to help take care of your newborn. However, during the best days of our childbearing years, he took the morning shift for me while I was sleeping. He would take my little son Jacques and move him around to ensure that he gets sleep and the nourishment he needs at an unholy time during the night.

  1. Pump Your Bottles

I know how it hurts when your breasts become sore due to being too full. However, if you fill up enough bottles with milk from yourself, you’ll be able to have your husband to the task for you. Many husbands would be willing to do that for their wives, if they really love them that is.

  1. Take Naps

It would be best if you go along the route your baby’s sleeping pattern goes. When you get to sleep together, chances are you’ll get a good rest together. In that way, you reduce the stress of being a mother.

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Nov 27

Encourage Your Children To Be Better Learners, Not Students.

I once met the biggest challenge to parenting I’ve ever faced. When Stefan and Jacques got home with bad grades, they feared I would scold them. Apparently, they saw a child’s parent scolding him for having lacklustre grades.

I was taken aback myself. I was a bit disappointed because our genes were supposed to have above-level intelligence quotients. Instead, I composed myself and asked them.

“Are you interested in what you’re learning?”

To which replies were two headshakes.

Formal education is needed because it affords a person an employment opportunity in a business. But I was looking to see my children learn the things they want, not the things they couldn’t use in the future.

Instead of scolding them, I told them.

“You know, you will need good grades for your future employment. Right now, your focus might be pleasing yourself and your friends first.

“I wouldn’t scold you for bad grades. I know you’re both trying your best. I will not have any control over how you take your education. However, I encourage that you two become better learners. You don’t need to be a better student. All I want is for you to learn things that you’ll need once you get out of school.”

They realised that I will never scold them and that I would just encourage them to do better next time.

Violent resolutions are a big no for me following this little challenge. I am thankful that it happened.

How would you have handled the situation?

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Oct 28

Three Things To Know About Surviving As a Single Mother

Raising two kids isn’t a joke. I have metaphorically broken my back just to get my kids in school with a low-paying job. There are upsides to being a single parent, but if the downsides get to you first, you might fear being one. Here are a few things I learned on the way to becoming a good and successful single mother.

 

1.  Pay Attention To Yourself

 

I had a eating problem when I first learned that my body carried Jacques right after their father left me. This eating problem worsened following the news. I didn’t eat too much. At most days, I would never get enough sleep. I was so worried about the kind of future I could give them on my own. It is essential to pay attention to yourself. It is truly a disaster to manage one’s self, but it is the best way to manage any situation effectively.

 

2. Find People Who Could Help You.

 

A neighbourhood without an old or middle-aged couple is not a normal neighbourhood. I had Aunt Tessa for my own advisor when I bore Jacques to the world. Aunt Tessa told me that taking care of kids is more than just love and work. It means sharing time together whenever possible and advising them on their behaviour. Then, I met Sarah, a new neighbour who was also a single mother raising a kid my Jacques’ age during that time. Being with them helped me because it felt that I wasn’t alone with my predicament and I had people to help me.

 

3. Don’t Envy Entire Families

 

At one point, I couldn’t help yearning for help from the father of my children. It was difficult to manage two kids on my own. I often saw couples walking together, their child in a crib bashful with the way things are going. But for me, I was to endure all of it alone. However, I don’t envy them anymore. Upon realisation, handling two kids isn’t too bad because I could decide what to do with them by myself without arguing with anybody else. Crucial home decisions are easier to manage too.

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