Coping with Sickness as a Parent

  Being sick is never fun. Being sick when you have a small child is extra not fun.  You can not just crawl into bed all day or sit on the couch and watch Netflix.  You have to feed your child, play with them, make sure they have naps, do nappy changes, and do all of the normal parenting things.   We have just sent Mary to daycare twice a week, so we are getting hit with all the daycare illnesses here.  I’m going to walk you through a few strategies that we have been using to cope while sick.  Sleep as much as possible. Which I know is easier said than done.  But I do have suggestions to help.  I highly recommend going to bed at the same time as your child. Don’t worry about staying up to do the dishes or laundry.  As long as you have something clean resting so you can heal is more important.  When your child goes down for a nap, nap as well.  Even if you do not sleep, do not try to get chores done.  Now is a  time to rest.  If your child does not nap, implement a quiet period.   Forge

What to do With an 11 Month Old All Day

  Entertaining a small child all day can be difficult. There is only so much sitting on the floor and playing with toys that you and your child can take. Here are some of the ways I entertain my daughter all day.   Painting. I put paint on a piece of paper and slide it inside a Ziploc bag. That way she gets to paint with no mess. Another option with painting is getting washable paint and putting baby and paint in the bathtub. It's a contained mess and easy to clean up. Just run the bath.  Laundry. I let Mary pull the clean clothes out of the washing machine. She loves it. I also let her help me fold it. It takes twice as long since she unfolds half of it, but we are sitting on the floor chatting so it's good bonding time. A game we play with the laundry is I will throw something like a t-shirt over her face and let her pull it off. It is a version of peekaboo and Mary adores it.  Exercise. Mary loves watching me jump rope. If I am doing push-ups I'll often kiss or bite at h

Dressing Fashinable as a New Parent

  As a new parent, you don't have a lot of spare time. Everything you are doing you probably have your baby with you or you are listening for their cries. When you are trying to get out of the house it can be even worse since you are trying to remember to pack the nappy bag and everything you and baby might need. But there are ways you can dress to look put together without a lot of time or thought. A lot of this is determined by your closet.  I often have my closet organized into sections so I can grab anything from a section and know it goes with anything in another section.  This doesn’t have to be difficult, just slowly move clothes when you are putting them away from the laundry. Most of my advice is feminine because that is how I dress.  However, you can adjust the advice to fit your style.  I went through a phase a couple of years ago when I tried to dress more put together. I hadn't realized it had rubbed off on me even when I’m not trying, until a recent conversation w

How to Find a Village to Raise Your Children

Everyone talks about how it takes a village to raise children.  No one talks about how to find a village.  There are all kinds of reasons why people are not surrounded by people who can be their village.  We moved internationally one year before my daughter was born.  We are naturally introverts and made a few casual friends, but it was only right before Mary was born that we made some close friends.  Our family is overseas and has not been able to visit because of Covid. So we knew people here but didn’t have what I would call a village.  Until I had a very scary experience that made me realize how important it is to have a village you can rely on. I came very close to passing out while home alone with Mary one day. We just finished eating lunch and I was starting to putter in the kitchen when I started to get extremely light-headed. I lay down on the floor for a minute then decided to get my water bottle.  When I came back into the kitchen, Mary was on the floor. Safely on the floor,

Earning Money From Home With a Baby

  I have a Pinterest habit.  I’ve had it for quite a few years. Anyone else? One of the things I keep seeing over and over is the Work at Home Mom. WAHM is a common acronym for it in the Australian cloth nappy groups. The "How I earn money as a Stay at Home Mom'' posts.  I hadn’t realized until recently that I had really internalized it.  I felt like that was who I should be.  I’ve tried a few methods, but nothing has really worked for me in the past.  I’m going to talk about the things I have tried.  After doing some real reflection I have decided there are some methods that I am passionate about that I hope to use to make money from home in the future.   Some methods that did not work for me: Crochet. Probably the first thing I thought about since I was doing a lot of crocheting in college. I did a lot of research about selling crochet and Esty stores but decided I could not crochet fast enough and the profit wasn’t worth the commitment it would take.   Prints on Etsy. I

11 Month Bedtime Routine

B edtime for Mary normally starts around 7:00 with bedtime being around 7:30. We are normally all hanging out in the living room after dinner at this point.  We try to make a point to clean the living room every evening before Mary goes to bed.  I want her to see us cleaning and that it is not just a magic thing that happens. After we tidy the room, I breastfeed Mary, and then that's it.  She just goes to bed and I sit on the couch on my phone or reading, or I work on my writing.  Haha, not quite. But my husband does normally do the bedtime routine.  We find it is great for me to have a rest and for him to have time with Mary especially now that he is working in the office.  After the feed, Nick does a nappy change.  We put on a night nappy, which just has several more layers than the day nappies.  After the night nappy, Mary gets her teeth brushed.  Not her favorite part of the process, but it gets done.  Next, she gets put in her sleeping sack. Since it's winter we use two sl

Maintaining My Mental Health as a Parent

I have had a long history of anxiety as mentioned before and a couple of bouts of severe depression as well. So maintaining my mental health is very important to me. I believe mental and physical health are tied closely together. So while I don’t believe that there is a 100% correlation, you can have one without the other, I think it's important to maintain both. Especially for me.  Both can be tricky to manage as a parent so here is what I am currently doing.  For my mental health, I am on medication. It is safe for breastfeeding, but I am remaining on my medication and have actually increased the dose since Mary was born. I hope to wean off of it at some point but now is not the time. I also have therapy sessions every other week. I try to have Nick or a friend watch Mary, but the clinic I go to is aimed at young families and maternal mental health so they will accommodate me bringing Mary in if I need to. I’ve brought her with me a few times and it worked pretty well.  I've