Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Have you ever had someone say something to you that made your day? Maybe it was a compliment about your style, how you made them feel, or a job well done? What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said to you?

It used to be that compliments about my work made me feel best. When someone praises a photo I took, or tells me a story I wrote moved them to some emotion… Happiness, tears, action. I feel so grateful and appreciated.– Validated if you will.

As I’ve grown older, gotten married, and become a mother, compliments about my children feel like compliments to myself. Hey, I’ll take it. But lately, compliments about my mothering seem to be what brighten my day the most.

When we were on day two Disney World (are you tired of these stories yet?) Lil’ J had basically been scared of most of the rides. We canceled a fastpass for the popular new Mine Train roller coaster after the Peter Pan ride scared her to tears. (To her credit, she was fine until the ride stopped midway through and an announcement came on for us to stay in our seats. She wasn’t fooled, and thought we were trapped).

The best compliment every mom needs. Words every mother should make time to share with another.

We were at Epcot and I had another fastpass for the popular Soarin attraction, that takes you on a sensory ride with wind in your hair, and smells of the scenes around you. I didn’t want to force her on any scary rides, but I knew this would be something she’d enjoy if she gave it a try.

We waited in the fastpass line and were immediately brought up to get on with the next batch of riders since we were only a party of two.

I had a few moments to tell her we’d be pretend flying in the air like they did in the movie Rio.

“On a hang glider?” she asked me.
“Exactly like that!” I told her. “A pretend one!”

When we sat down in our seats she started to get a little nervous while I tried to adjust her seatbelt, and everyone was getting situated. I talked her through it, telling her to look at the big screen, and that we’d be watching a movie on it, and that she could hold my hand.

As the ride started and we began to lift up in the air she squeezed my hand, and I squeezed back, telling her how much fun we were about to have, and that she could look at me instead of the screen if she got scared. I told her we were about to pretend to be like birds and fly!

The screen lit up and we began flying over mountains, trees, the ocean and snow. I whispered to her the entire time. I stayed completely enthused and joyful, making her laugh as we tried to “kick” the surfers and snowboarders. I asked her if she could smell the California oranges and the pine trees. And I encouraged her to look for her Uncle Matt on the ski slopes, or Grandma’s house in what looked like Utah.

I watched her nearly as much as I watched the ride and saw her face change from nervousness to sheer glee.

She was having so much fun and started pointing out everything she saw. I was so proud of her conquering her fears. Right at the very end she saw Tinkerbell and got excited. Then that little fairy cued the fireworks–which we weren’t expecting–and the loud noise and sparks in our face sent her back into tears.

We were so close!

I tried to calm her down and reminded her of all the fun things we saw, and that we love fireworks, but man, we wish we had known those were coming! I was hoping that last tiny little surprise wouldn’t ruin her entire memory of the ride.

I was hugging her and consoling her as we walked out the exit. The older woman who was sitting next to us on the ride approached me. I wasn’t sure if she was going to make a remark about my talking during the experience or what. I didn’t expect what came out of her mouth.

“I just wanted to tell you that you are a great mother!” She smiled and glanced between me and my daughter.

Her words instantly touched me, warmed my heart. She continued.

“You were so great on that ride. She is so lucky to have such a good mom.”

Here I was feeling guilty for not making it through yet another ride without tears, feeling like I was probably being judged for bringing her (almost pushing her) on the ride with me, and this stranger (without a hint of sarcasm) went out of her way to give me the best compliment a mother can receive.

The best compliment every mom needs. Words every mother should make time to share with another.

I’ve thought about that moment several times since then. How it made me feel, and how it makes me want to be. When have I noticed a mother doing her best, maybe even clearly struggling to do so, and reached out to her with words of encouragement, or applause?

In a society with so much negativity and judgement, we need to offer more support and encouragement.

How can I make someone’s day? And I don’t mean by offering a backhanded acknowledgement of some sort like “my, you have your hands full!” I mean a genuine compliment on a stranger’s parenting.

Of course we are never seeing the full-picture in passing, but I think it would be safe to tell a mom she’s doing a great job, when we see a job well done. Especially if it can make her feel as good as I did, when I was feeling as bad as I was.

 

*This post was written as a part of a the #SisterhoodUnited campaign by Similac. Here’s my thoughts on mother’s supporting one another no matter how they feed their babies. All opinions are my own.

I generally don’t like to publicly admit to things I do that I shouldn’t do. I mean, you know I’m not perfect, but I try not to let you in on exactly how imperfect I am. But today, I’m going to make a confession. Not a silly one, but something serious that I’m committing to change.

See, I don’t smoke, so I’ve never had a smoking habit. And I don’t drink, so I’ve never had a drinking problem, or ever been tempted to drink and drive. Drunk drivers are actually one of my biggest pet peeves. Why it’s so socially acceptable to do this, I don’t know. But you know what? I do something that is arguably worse, and until I stop, I really can’t talk.

Tips for ending the urge to text while driving.

I text while driving.

Not just text. I’ll check an email, send a response. I’ll start responding to an email at a red light and try to quickly finish it as I start driving on green.

It’s a terrible habit, and I’m going to stop. Now.

The funny thing is it really annoys me when I’m in the car with someone else who is using their phone while driving with me in the passenger seat. I’m thinking really? And trying my best to watch the road for them.

“It’s never worth it.  If there’s a phone call so important or a text so crucial that you need to address it right now, then it’s probably important enough to pull to the side of the road for,” the Allstate Information Team told me in an interview. “I always try to think about how awful I would feel if I caused an accident and injured myself, my passengers (especially kids) or another driver while checking Instagram or responding to some meaningless text. It can wait!”

Tips for ending the urge to text while driving.

My husband deals with a lot of accidents at work, and he says people don’t readily admit to using their phones at the time of the crash. However 71% of drivers admitted to Oprah, that they read, send texts, or email while driving.

I’m willing to admit that I’ve done it. More often than I’m proud of. Though not when my kids are in the car, it should have been never.

I’ve been turning my phone to silent or putting it in the back seat where I can’t get to it, but the Allstate Information Team has other ideas too.

“Turn email & text alerts off or silent them,” they said. “You can also turn on the “Do Not Disturb” option on your iPhone. You can also overcome temptation by keeping your cell phone out of reach. Place you cell phone in your purse or briefcase, away from the front seat so you’re not tempted to use it while driving.  If you don’t feel the buzz of a new text or hear the ping of a new email, you won’t be as tempted to check them.”

We don’t have fancy new cars with Bluetooth but it may be something we consider after we drive our cars into the ground and look for newer ones. Or maybe in the mean time I will look into a headset. But I don’t ever have phone calls that are so crucial I need to take them while driving.

It’s a LOOONG way away, and who knows what technology we’ll have then, but I wouldn’t want my kids to be using their phones while driving. I’d be devastated if something happened to them.

Remember how things were 20 years ago? Wow. A lot has changed.

Tips for ending the urge to text while driving.

Thousands of people are killed every year because of distracted drivers. And hundreds of thousands are injured. It’s a serious problem. And I don’t want to be a statistic.

“Distracted drivers are the biggest threat on the road,” the Allstate Information Team told me. “It’s hard enough to maneuver intersections, potholes, construction, and normal traffic without ‘normal traffic’ updating their Facebook status. It is important that we drive defensively and be watchful for those we share the road with. We might practice every precaution to avoid cell phone usage while operating OUR vehicle, but our fellow drivers might not be so cautious.”

I’m only five years late, but I’m taking the Oprah pledge, heck–My own pledge–to stop checking my phone while driving. For real this time because seriously, it’s not worth it.

Are you with me? Or WAY ahead of me?

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.

Allstate logo Tips for ending the urge to text while driving.

I compiled a list of every local story time within a 10-mile radius of my house, and logged all of the weekly free fun activities nearby. They’re saved in my phone just dying for me to venture to.

So far we haven’t made it past our neighborhood playground and visiting our new home site (and friend’s houses along the way). But they don’t seem to mind.

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My little big guy is sitting up now, and he has two teeth… I’ve been in denial for weeks about this–I don’t know why–I guess hoping they’d disappear. Can my kids please stop growing up.

Sure, sometimes the craziness and 3-year-old tantrums drive me mad, but their smiles keep me coming back for more. I need to start writing down the funny things my daughter says and putting them in a quote book.

little girl playing on playground

Currently she’s a little bit obsessed with death, but not just any death… The death of Jesus Christ. Let me explain…

I was reading her the preface of a New Testament children’s book and it explained Jesus dying on the cross. She was really into this and kept asking questions like “why” and “who didn’t like him?” I tried my best to explain and move on to the beginning of the story about when He was born but it keeps coming back to “And Jesus died?” In her sad little voice.

Now at any mention of Jesus or something dying it comes back to this. Like at church…

“Time to go to Sunday school and learn about Jesus,” we’ll tell her.
“Yea, but Jesus died,” she’ll explain to us.

I just got her a new flashlight of her own, and my husband tucked her in with it last night. He told her not to keep it on all night or the batteries might die.

“Like Jesus?” She asked. I don’t even know what he said to that, but I laughed in the living room.

These kids are my everything.

I’m putty in their little hands. And I think they know it too.

baby boy on slide

And I just want to add something about little boys… I had no idea they could be so sweet, loving and adorable. Maybe it’s just a phase? I hope not. I always wanted a little girl and was indifferent about having a little boy. I don’t know if it’s just my son or what, but I’m pretty sure that my little guy is the most awesome baby in the entire world. I could take six more just like him.

That’s all.
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What happened to my patience?

I’m finding I keep asking myself that question a lot lately. I’m an extremely tolerant person who happens to pride herself with the ability to stay as cool as a cucumber.

I’ll never forget when  a friend’s mom complimented me on my patience with my two year old following her baby shower. I was about four months pregnant, and I don’t even remember my daughter giving me a hard time at the party. I’m aware of when she’s being unruly, and I keep her under control. But I answered her every question, request, pondering and plea. Most times down at her level, and with poise.

She was my main focus, the center of my attention. For her, I have impeccable patience–Or use to. Since having a second child I’m finding less and less gentle responses to my children’s never-ending desires.

silly girlMaybe it’s because my daughter is now a threenager. That could be it. She’s a walking, talking ball of sass that seems to always have me on the verge of tears–either from laughter or anger. But another part of me feels like balancing TWO kids is what’s sending me over the edge. Let me explain…

First of all, I’m not sure what kind of alternate universe I’ve been in, but I pictured my two kids blissfully entertaining each other while I did things like used the bathroom in peace. Boy was I wrong! Now, the only difference is there are playmats, toys next and a baby crammed in with me, in addition to the preschooler making water experiments in the sink. Surely the quiet bathroom scene must come after three kids, right?

With one–Just my daughter–I was focused on her, all the time. My attention wasn’t divided nearly as much. If she needed to wait a few moments while I did something it usually wasn’t for long, and overall, I think I just had a little more energy back then.

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(Lil J’s Top and Jeggings: Target; Bow and Bowtie: Amazing Grace Bowtique; Big T’s Top: JC Penny; Shorts: Thrifted)

Now with a little brother, she has to wait more often and her patience too, seems to be wearing thin. Sometimes she asks a dozen times before she gets what she wants (granted, it’s in the space of 60 seconds). Just yesterday morning she wailed in frustration because she wanted me to turn on a TV show for her. Her brother was in the other room with her dad, and I was just sitting with her, listening to her, I didn’t understand the hysterics.

“You don’t need to talk to me that way, that is not how you ask for something you want,” I explained, my composure still in tact. After all, it was only 8am.

She took a moment, accessing my expression (which was much more firm than my words) and apologized.

“Ok, I’ll try again,” she said. And she proceeded to do one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen her do.

As if she pushed a personal reset button, she turned to face a different direction “I’ll start over… I look this way,” she said away from me, rewinding the clock ten seconds in her mind. Then she turned to face me and started again slowly in a soft voice with puppy dog eyes “Mommy, can you please turn on Dora for me?”

I can’t get enough of moments like those (after the drama reboot), yet I feel like I’m missing some due to split attention.

Most nights I’m getting the kids in bed by myself. My current routine is so put Lil’ J to bed first, after her own set of stories, songs and prayer, then nurse her brother to sleep. But I’m thinking of reversing that to give us a little more one-on-one time.

I’m trying to carve out special big sister time, but Big T doesn’t have a regular nap time yet, so we’re still sorta playing it by ear. Thank goodness she loves her brother and doesn’t get jealous.

sleeping-preschooler

This may sound ridiculous, but when they’re both asleep, I find myself wondering why I ever lose it in the first place. I have a clear head, and get to hit my own “reboot” button as I watch them peacefully snooze. A few Zzzzs seems to put everything back in perspective.

So admittedly, I’m losing my temper, when before I could almost always keep it contained. I expect my daughter to know better because she can go to the bathroom by herself and speak in complete sentences–In English no less. But I also need to remember she’s three. Just six months ago she was the sole center of my world and now she’s sharing that spotlight with a little guy equally as wonderful. In the end, tantrums to tantrums, meltdowns to meltdowns, I’d say she’s handling it better than I am. But I’ll get there. I’ll learn, readjust, and hopefully soon I’ll be that mom again that gets people asking “How do you stay so calm?”

I organized more of the nursery yesterday, and fumbled around with a CD player that’s attached to the crib. I got it as a gift at my baby shower. I’m excited to share the gift of music with my baby girl. I pretty much immediately began searching for good lullabys to buy and save to CD to play for her at night.

Eager to start a new tradition, I bought some church primary songs off iTunes. Primary songs are children’s songs kids sing at my church during the third hour… Yes, third hour of church. After Sacrament meeting and Sunday School.

My family joined the LDS church and became active when I was about 11-years-old. I’ve always felt “behind” compared to everyone else my age. I didn’t know the songs the kids would all sing in primary, and since you graduate at 12, I didn’t have much time to learn them.

I’ve always been a very outgoing girl. My whole life, I’ve never been regarded as a “shy” one. But the one place you’re likely to find me out of my element is church.
When I was younger I’d always avoid eye contact with the teacher who would surely call on me to say the prayer if I looked him in the eye. I was always too afraid to answer a question about the Bible… Afraid I’d give the wrong answer and people would laugh at me. No one ever laughed at anyone, but I feared I’d be the first.
The question could be as simple as: “Who built the giant ark to hold all of the animals before the flood?” Of course I knew it was Noah, but I was to scared to answer wrong anyway… Thinking maybe there was a second guy I somehow missed reading about.
I guess religion is one of those subjects that’s so serious, and important, I felt bad that I didn’t know all of the answers.
As I’ve gotten older, much of my spirituality has grown from life’s experiences, prayer, and just going to church. I still haven’t overcome my anxiety with public prayers, or answering a class question, but I’ve gotten better. One thing I know will help me is just learning the stories better.
I’ve read and heard scripture stories over and over but it’s so easy for me to mix people and places up. I’ve learn to forgive myself for this too, and just realize the only way to get better is to keep reading.
I don’t want my daughter to have the same worries I do. I want her to feel confidant in knowing her scripture stories, and sing her primary songs loud and proud. I hope she’ll be eager to say a prayer before our family, or in front of her Sunday school class, and be unapologetic about it.
It’s never too late to build upon your spirituality, and learn more about the Gospel. I feel like having a child kind of gives me a chance to re-learn everything myself, but have a study buddy in the process.
From primary songs, to scripture stories, it’ll give me a chance to learn about the gospel starting at a level I never had a chance to experience. It’s an opportunity I’m so blessed to have.
If you know of any good children’s Bible or Book of Mormon books? I’m not even sure how many of my readers are Christian or LDS, but this would really help me narrow down my search! The more stories in them, the better!

I’ve been debating this for a little while so I decided to write about it for my Parenting.com Project Pregnancy Blog and apparently it’s a hot topic!

Here’s an excerpt:

“Go ahead; call me a crazy lady, gross, or a bad mom. Everyone differs in opinions on every little parenting choice and I know pre-washing is just one of many things I’ll encounter.

It’s not that I’m all out against the process, or that I think people who do it are strange; I just never really thought anything of it. But I want you to understand my point of view… This is coming from a girl who wasn’t even pre-rinsing her fruit until a few years ago.

I was at my mother-in-law’s house and I had pulled a bag of grapes from the fridge and started munching. “Did you rinse those off honey?” She asked me. No… I thought.

I mean, I knew I was SUPPOSED to rinse them off but I just never thought much of it. I never got sick before, and they taste the same.
I mean really, am I suppose to run this bag of grapes under the running faucet for a few seconds and all of the oh so dangerous chemicals and pesticides would magically seep right out through every grape, drip down out of the bag, and disappear down the drain. I guess I just don’t get all of the hype.

I’ve never really considered washing my new clothes before I wear them. Do people do that? Ok, some do, I’ve heard. Other people can try on the clothes before me, or return them and who knows, there could be something like stranger sweat on it. My goodness. Or worse… The chemicals used to preserve the clothes and keep them looking nice on the rack.

I’m not trying to mock the situation here, I do understand for some people it’s comforting knowing your clothes are REALLY clean before wearing them, but I guess I kinda like the “brand new” look and smell of clothes before they lose their new clothes virginity in my washing machine.

When it comes to baby clothes, I guess the issue is some babies have allergic reactions or skin irritation from wearing new clothes. My theory is I won’t know until I try. If I put one of her adorable, still-creased Gerber onesies on her and she breaks out in a rash, ok, sure, I’ll wash the rest of them before the first wear. But if she does just fine, is it so bad for her to wear something brand new ONCE?”

That’s not all… I go on, so you can read the rest of my pre-washing debate here. A penny for your thoughts!?

Oh, and a side note that I didn’t write in the post but I notice in a lot of people tell me: They pre-wash the FIRST baby’s clothes but then don’t with the rest. What’s up with that? … And we wonder why kids suffer from “middle child syndrome.”

Another someone mentioned a friend pre-washing EVERYTHING then her baby was a different sex than expected *dies*.

My baby shower was Saturday and it was a blast! It was a nice mix of friends from work, church, and even online. My friend Raquel, who I originally met on Twitter came and I was so happy to finally meet her face to face!

I had a couple of sets of baby shower invites for work friends, then family and church friends. Here’s one I had made by Storkie. It was fun creating it cause it started out totally different but I was able to select the girl’s skin tone, hair color, the balloon color. It was a fun, and I have to give Storkie a big thanks for sponsoring the printing costs! Everyone loved them, they came in the mail SUPER fast, and the process was easy peasy! I recommend them for sure!

When it came to what to wear, I had a big dress dilemma. Remember how I was asking advice for choosing one? Well that dress didn’t make it in time, I actually still don’t have it. But that’s what I get for trying to do it as a review instead of just buying it and getting it in three days. I ended up squeezing into one of my pre-pregnancy dresses, but because of the cut my tummy was able to fit under it just fine.

I got lost of the way to the party, and caught in the rain, but once I got there it was so fun to sit back and enjoy.

My husband was a trooper too. He didn’t want to be showered but when I got home I put all of our gifts back in the bags and put the tissue paper over them, then I had him open them up all over again so I could see his reaction.

I have to admit, his reaction wasn’t what I was expecting. He was more like “oh, cool” where as I was like “OMG THIS IS SO FREAKING CUTE!!” He asked me why I didn’t just show him the stuff, but he was a trooper and played along with my demands request.

Later when I was putting our gifts away I had the strangest feeling come over me… Almost a panic about my daughter surviving. I’m not sure if it’s because of all of the sad stories I’ve read or heard about or what triggered it, or what. I hate feeling like I’m being negative but I can’t help it, it’s hard to describe.

I wrote a post with a shower summary and explaining more of this feeling on my Parenting blog today, here’s a part of it:

Friends threw me a baby shower last weekend, and it was amazing. Friends from different spectrums of my life came to shower me with love and advice. Since we live about a thousand miles from both sides of our family, I didn’t have any kin there, but that didn’t mean they weren’t thinking about us.

Friends from work, friends from church, even a friend I’d made on Twitter celebrated my baby with me.

On the invitation to the party guests were asked to bring a book instead of a card with a cute poem:

“One small request that won’t be too hard Please bring a book instead of a card Whether Cat in the Hat or Winnie the Pooh, you can sign the inside cover with a note from you. Baby will become very smart, if my advice you do heed, if we begin early, she’ll soon love to read.”

I guess my friends thought it was as cute as I did because Baby Girl now has SO many books as a start to her collection. Originally I had planned to put all of the books downstairs on our bookshelf but now I don’t have the heart to take them from her room. I’m going to get some new wall bookshelves this week.We played the classic baby shower games: Deciphering melted chocolate from baby diapers, and guessing the size of my belly.One thing I really enjoyed was the advice cards women filled out for me. I smiled as I opened them all later and silently stored the tips one by one in my mind.But as I got home and started unpacking my gifts and organizing Baby Girl’s room, the strangest, scariest thought came into my mind: What if she never gets to use these?

A sick feeling swelled in my stomach. I didn’t want to think about it.

I’ve heard of women experiencing postpartum depression and having extreme fear of something bad happening to their child. I all of a sudden am questioning myself for taking gifts out of the box, or pulling the tags off of her clothing items, terrified something bad will happen to her before she ever gets to use it…

This was a part of a post I wrote for my Parenting Magazine Blog on Project Pregnancy. You can read the rest of it here.

I’m really enjoying blogging with them and I’m hoping they keep me on after Spawnie’s born so I’d love it if you showed some comment love over there! Thank you!

Thanks to The Oprah Show and you as well as a lot of my Twitter friends my list has grown so much I’ve made a second list of “The Things They Don’t Tell You”. These things aren’t meant to scare me, or any other Future Mamas out there who are thinking of having kids, yet beware… They may. My commentary is in color.

Hemroids- Pregnancy can give them to ya. I wasn’t exactly sure what they were but I googled it and ew.


You’ll get use to feeling your boob on the side of your stomach… I’m not looking forward to loosing the perkiness 🙁


Little boys get woodies too– Saw this one on Oprah… TMI if you ask me.

Lice is hard to get to go away.–I’m not sure I’ll have to deal with this one cause I’ve never had lice and I hear black people don’t get it. I hope that’s the case for half-black kids too!

I’ll hate my husband for knocking me up– This one I also saw on Oprah, it’s believable, but I REALLY hope we can make it an enjoyable experience for all of us.

I may not like my baby right away– This is a sad one for me. But I guess it’s good to know that may happen. But I love everyone elses baby so I can’t imagine not liking my own!

A woman on Oprah said she felt like she had made a bad mistake– Once again, possible, however I’m thinking I’ll not let myself feel that way (I try to live life without regret).

Pump, or explode

You loose your choices- This is another complain from a mom on Oprah. I suppose if you go into motherhood expecting things to be easy and the same as before plus having a child on your hip you’re going to have a rude awakening. I’m not afraid to make sacrifices and giving up “me time” when the time is right.

Some women say you “loose yourself”– but I’m assuming that’s a problem you run into if you don’t already know yourself. I don’t think it’s “Loosing yourself” but gaining another part of yourself…But I’m not a mom so what do I know?

It’s “Freaking’ hard work”- (no commentary needed)

Days where I would hate my kids– If my kids are anything like some of the kids I see screaming and acting wild out at the store I guess I can believe this, however I don’t like to use the work “hate.”

You can be constantly constipated while pregnant?! —Waaah?

…And going with that : Milk of magnesia will help you poop (thanks for the tip)

The term “Letdown” is exactly what it says.

Labor stinks… LITERALLY… eew.

Your period is gone for your entire period but then you have it for like a MONTH after the baby is born… Boo!

You can have contractions weeks before you’re really in labor… Good to know now so I don’t freak out too bad if that happens to me!

And what freaked me out the most and came as the biggest surprise to me: In labor doctors have to cut that piece of skin between where the baby is coming out and your butt hole to keep it from tearing…. OUCH!

***
And I’m always excited to learn more, so let me know if I’ve left anything out! Anything you wish you had known before getting pregnant/ becoming a parent?

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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