Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

My 6-year-old Skypes with friends in Italy. She knows the difference between Snapchat filters and Instagram stories; a Facebook post versus a blog post; a vlog for youtube versus a live stream video on Facebook or Periscope, and she doesn’t even have a cell phone. I guess this is just one of the new realities of millennial motherhood.

She likes to save fun ideas to her birthday party Pinterest board and she just started recording and editing her own videos on Final Cut Pro (I just gave her her first lesson this weekend and she’s hooked!).

Because of what I do, my children are well aware of many of the workings of social media. My daughter understands people read what I write and respond. She isn’t to the point of asking how people are responding to to her images or parts in the vlog. She’s more interested in watching the videos back, or listening to a story about herself.

As my children get older, their schedules get bigger and getting their own cell phones become more of a necessity… I’m becoming more aware of how I’m using my devices.

“We can’t be on our phones all evening in front of our kids,” I tell my husband. First of all, I don’t want their memories of family dinner time to be of us staring at our phones. And second of all, (and likely most concerning) I don’t want to set a bad precedent for when they have their own phones.

Responsibility starts with me. I need to demonstrate the behavior I want my kids to have.

Research shows that 60% of 10 years olds have a cell phone. Doctor Gilboa, who is on the Responsibility.org Advisory Board and also writes the blog Ask Doctor G has some good advice for parents as we learn to navigate this rocky terrain.

“Think about the where, when and what of cell phones,” she said.

If you feel your tween needs a phone, what about a “dumb” phone phone that doesn’t have internet access? If you feel that internet access is truly necessary, then set up clear boundaries for where and when phones can and can’t be used. Make sure those phones are charging from an hour before bedtime, in a parent’s bedroom. Keep a few spaces sacred, like the dinner table and bed. Don’t use a cell phone in a way that you don’t want your child to use a cell phone when they are an adult. And monitor content, even though it’s hard!

I’m trying to keep the lines of communication open so they feel comfortable coming to me with questions. As many as my daughter asks me on a daily basis right now, I’m hoping that won’t be a problem.

A method I use for tough questions right now is a “pre-test” approach. Where I answer my daughter’s questions with questions, to see how much she understands about a topic. From there I fill in the blanks honestly. I’d rather they get truthful information from me, then a hodgepodge of information from peers. We’ll use this in chats about things from race, movies, to alcohol to sex (my palms are sweaty just thinking about it though–yikes!)

My daughter may be getting a crash course in social media at the ripe age of 6. I’m either raising a genius or a monster. Only time will tell which one. But I’m working to be with her every step of the way, so when she’s old enough to take it on herself, she’s ready.


*I’m passionate about building strong relationships with our children and being there for the important conversations. That is why I partnered with #TalkEarly on this post. Stay tuned in the coming months for more on this important topic. 

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I received the included Carter’s clothing as compensation.

Sometimes I feel like my kids are magic. They sure believe in it. Their wild imaginations are a big reason why they both wind up crowding me in my bed at night.

Watching my children play is like magic. Raising biracial children. A millennial mom blog.

It’s not unusual to find my son creating funny dialog with a Barbie doll in his hand, or my daughter running around with a daddy dinosaur playing a game of prehistoric house. When it comes to playing, they’re happy to do it together no matter what it is. And yea, sometimes that means my son’s dinosaur is “eating” my daughter’s doll.

Their favorite kind of play however goes beyond dollhouse walls, even beyond the walls of our home.

“Let’s go for a walk,” I called after a long day inside homeschooling and reading lots and lots of books. We can travel far and wide through text on a book, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still get outside.

Watching my children play is like magic. Raising biracial children. A millennial mom blog.

Watching my children play is like magic. Raising biracial children. A millennial mom blog.

I told them to change their clothes (it was one of those days we opted to stay in PJs all day) and get their shoes on. They ran to their rooms. Lil’ J helped her brother pull on his new pair of shorts. They were both comfy in Carter’s clothes we racked up at a sale at Kohl’s. Lil’ J was in a skort because “I can’t ride a bike in a dress” but of course she can’t just wear plain shorts either. That’s not her style.

My son in pink because she likes to have her brother match her, and because he’s totally cool in pink.

They hopped on their bikes and I jogged close behind them, enjoying their smiles and the fresh air.

Watching my children play is like magic. Raising biracial children. A millennial mom blog.

“Have you ever played Freeze Tag?” I asked as we reached the park.

“No, what’s that?” My daughter asked. My 11-year-old sister was there to help break it down.

“It’s like regular tag but when the person who is it tags you, you have to freeze in place,” she explained.

I was it first, and the evening was full of belly laughs and side aches.

I’m constantly amazed by their imaginations. I mean, I have a pretty big imagination but they are something else. Climbing on a simple rock wall isn’t just that… It is a castle they’re climbing and jumping off of and onto their dragons so they can fly away and escape the bad guys.

playful-biracial-children-blog

Watching my children play is like magic. Raising biracial children. A millennial mom blog.

It’s a magic of youth I wish I could conjure up more myself. A magic I love soaking in as I watch them. A magic I hope they never completely lose grip of. A beautiful magic.


We are big believers in having fun and being comfortable while doing it, which is why we partnered with Kohl’s on this post. Kohl’s is having a sale on Carter’s clothing from 3/17 – 4/2 $10 off a $40 purchase with promo code KIDSALE10!

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies. These affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.All opinions are my own.

Teaching children to dream big and use their imaginations.

So I’m not exactly the best at emergency preparedness. We have some food storage that we rotate, and I’m trying to stockpile on water. I could definitely do a lot better. A few things you’ll always find on hand with me though is my phone my camera and something to write on.

When it comes to my car I am sure to keep a special kind of emergency stash there too. Besides crumbs and my kids’ junk, there are five things you can almost always find in my car.

If you need help choosing a new car hopefully these four tips can get you going.

1. Lipstick: This can be dangerous in Texas with the heat. Usually I try to keep something liquidy that doesn’t melt like a lip stain, or even just a gloss or chapstick. I rarely wear makeup these days but when I want a quick pickmeup to look like I at least attempted to get ready, the lipstick helps.

2. A trash bag: Every other week we say “no more eating in the car” then 5 minutes later we cave. I find when I keep a trash bag in the car I’m much more likely to do a quick sweep and clean while getting out. Then just toss the bag in the trash and done!

3. Gum: I don’t know why but it seems like the one place I’m always craving or needing a piece of gum is when I’m in the car. It helps keeps me awake when I’m sleepy.

4. Deodorant: You never know when I may need to add another layer. I nervous sweat a lot so I always try to keep a stick of deodorant in my center console. Dove® Invisible Advanced Care Antiperspirant products are tough on sweat, not on skin, and care for underarm skin with the brand’s signature 1/4 moisturizers. They also do it without leaving yellow stains or white marks.

5. Wipies: We may be out of the baby stage but I don’t know if you ever really grow out of the need for wipies. Sticky hands, spills, wiping mouths, runny noses. Wipies are a lifesaver when you need them.

What is something you always keep on your or in your car?


Dove and Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant and Deodorant: These products are tough on sweat, but sensitive on skin, and offer the brand’s signature 1/4 moisturizers. Special coupon: Buy 1, Get 1 50% OFF WITH CARD AXE®, Dove® or Degree® Dry Spray Antiperspirant products.

Disclosure: I love sharing some of the little tidbits and random facts about my life here on my blog, which is why I teamed up with Mirum Shopper for this story.

So we’re a week into the new year and I’m just now narrowing down my goals. Usually I have them set and ready to go day one, but this year I really spent some time thinking about these and what I want out of 2017.

Do you set goals for the new year? Or resolutions? I don’t really call my new year list a list of resolutions because that sort of has an air of “I wasn’t doing things right before but I’m going to change” to me. I like to call list simply a list of goals for the new year. And they usually involve a fun challenge of some sort.

My priorities this year surround learning and health. I wrote down a list of goals with Lil’ J, but then I went back and re-worked some of them to be more specific after reading these New Year’s resolution-keeping tips from Allstate.

1. Drink more water. Specifically about 65-75 ounces a day. I haven’t been drinking nearly that much. But I have a 25oz water bottle and I’m trying to fill it up and empty it at least three times a day.

Learning piano at 30

2. Practice piano every single day. In my 30s I want to learn both piano and Spanish. I wanted to get Rosetta Stone this birthday (next week), but I’ve decided to hold off and really focus on piano this year. I’ve posted a few shares on Instagram and Snapchat, maybe I’ll upload a monthly video on my blog of my progress. I’m really excited about this.

3. Workout more Lose 20 pounds. I was debating some sort of healthier eating/fitness goals of working out a certain amount a week, but the truth is I just want to lose about 20lbs. I’ve done it before, I can do it again, and by cutting out some evening ice cream indulgence and a few less helpings of fries every week I don’t think this should be too hard to achieve.

4. Volunteer at least once a month. At the end of the year we had so much fun doing acts of kindness and volunteering around the city. I’d like to keep it up all year. At least once a month my kids and I will give back. Whether it’s our time at a nursing home, or a donation of some sort, we’ll lend a hand.

5. Read 365 Books. This was another goal that started out vague: “read to my kids every day.” But I’ve decided to go a step beyond that and read 365 books. I know this won’t be a cake walk. We don’t own that many books so we’ll be spending a lot of time at the library. I’ll start another post soon with a link to all of the books we read (we read 6 today and more of 2 novels we are working on).My 2017 goals

A few other goals that don’t need as much explaining:

6. Wake up by 6am 2-3 days a week for some “me” time and/or work.

7. Plan and cook a family dinner at least once a week.

8. Teach Lil’ J how to sew and sew at least 7 things in 2017.

And there you have it. My 2017 goals–Probably my most boring list ever. Last year I met The Rock and next year I hope to meet Oprah. This year I want to drink water and learn piano… Snore. Maybe I’ll come up with something more exciting in another week or so, but for now I’m going to enjoy working on my old lady goals of 2017.

What are your goals for this year? If you’re having trouble setting or keeping them, be sure to check out this handy list by Allstate.


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 personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.

 

 

“Please don’t do that. My brother doesn’t like it,” my daughter’s words to her friend filled me with more pride than anything I’d ever accomplished on my own.

Sure my son and daughter argue, they’re siblings, but they’re also friends. I’m always reminding my daughter that her brother is her only brother, her only sibling, so she should appreciate him and treat him like the special person he is.

I explain as much to my son too but in much simpler terms.

Lil’ J is getting older and making her own friends and coming into her own personality. Making friends isn’t always easy, dare I say especially for little girls. We can get in our heads a lot wondering what she’s thinking about us, if we said something wrong, if they like their other friends more than us. We can really complicate things in our minds.

As I talk to my daughter about friendship there are lessons I want her to remember.

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover: Don’t ever decide you immediately don’t want to like or be someone’s friend because of the way they look or dress. I’d even go a little further and say that if someone comes across as mean or harsh at first, not to take it personally or hold it against them. You don’t know what is going on in their lives.

Kindness

2. Be kind: It seems simple enough but sometimes this can be hard. Be king. No matter a person’s beliefs, their religion or background. Be kind. In the words of Aesop “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

3. Don’t compare: There is no one in the world who is just like you, so don’t compare yourself to others. Jealousy won’t get you anywhere. Comparison is the thief of joy. Love your friends for who they are, and love and appreciate your own traits and talents.

4. Compassion is key: Another quote from another wise woman, Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So have compassion for others. If you notice a friend seems down, lend a helping hand.

5. Empathy: It’s one thing to feel bad for a friend who is having a tough time. It’s an entirely different thing to climb down into that space with them, listen to them, hug them, and put yourself in their shoes. When you are empathetic you truly try to understand what they’re going through, even when and especially when that may be difficult for you. You don’t have to understand everything, but listening, caring and truly trying to understand can go a long way.

I consider myself so lucky to have many people I call my friends and I know you will too. Keep these important lessons in mind when building friendships and others will be blessed to call you a friend.

I know I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. What lessons do you want your children to know about kindness and friendship?

american-girl-1

Teaching my children about kindness and building valuable friendships is something that’s important to me, which is why I partnered with American Girl® on this post. Their new line of WellieWishersTM dolls have a focus on empathy, kindness, and the importance of being a good friend. Thank you to American Girl for providing product to me for free for my review and for sparking a great conversation about friendships.

How to teach our kids about kindness and friendship.

“Will you play dress-up with me?”

A question that would make me cringe. Not wanting to say no but not wanting to say yes to my little girl’s request. I loved the game as a kid but it’s just not something I look forward to anymore. So I’d make an excuse to pass on this favorite pastime of hers.

Months have gone by and though the amount of Disney Princess dress is hanging in her closet has gone up, the number of daily outfit changes and requests for me to play with has gone down.

I can sense my baby is ever so slowly growing up and out of this phase.

Part of me thought I would welcome these days with open arms but instead I feel the opposite. I’m clenching on for dear life, not ready for this to end.

“Will you play dress-up with me?” My daughter asked as she ooo’d and ahh’d over some dresses in my closet.

Chores, work, and closet organization–It can wait.

I turned to her and said yes.

She smiled. I smiled. And together we became queens.

Why is it so difficult to keep things in perspective?

I think there’s an exception when you’re a young child. Things don’t seem as dire when you’re five and your attention span is shorter than a puppy’s at a park.

But once you hit the teenage years it’s all over. Prom feels like life’s be-all-end-all, and sometimes it’s just hard to remember there’s life after high school.

Same thing goes for college. Sort of. Except we think we are SOOOO smart, and we are making plans for the future, but we actually think those plans are going to play out exactly the way we say they will.

motherhood-coloring-mommy-and-me

Enter marriage and motherhood. When I was pregnant, I thought deciding whether or not I was going to have an epidural was the biggest decision of my life up until that point. As was breastfeeding, and what kind of diapers I used.

Now that I’m out of a haze of delusion I understand those first kid, second kid, third kid jokes. You just ease up and chill out more with each subsequent kid. You gain perspective.

To the teen who worries about having a date to prom–Go, have fun, enjoy yourself. Enjoy yourself and not what others think of you. Because in 10 years, you’ll look back and realize you’d only kept in touch with one or two of the people in your group.

To the growing pregnant woman first off–You look amazing!– Secondly, take a deep breath. You have people’s opinions flying at you like bugs on a windshield but the only one that really matters when it comes to you and your baby is your own. Trust your gut. You can do this!

To the tired new mom who feels like she doesn’t know up from down. You rock! Motherhood isn’t as easy as we thought, but it’s a beautiful challenge. I wish someone had told me they also went to work with two different shoes on and didn’t sleep much when their baby was young.

How to photograph your newborn

To the mom struggling at bedtime. You’ve got this! I wish someone had told me the beauty of a night time routine; a walk outside, a bath, some gentle baby massage, and “brushing” those little baby gums with Baby Orajel™ Tooth and Gum Cleanser can calm everyone down and help prepare both you and baby for a more peaceful night.

To the mom who feels like her kid is never going to get the hang of potty training– I’ve been there. They’ll get there. Your child won’t forever be in diapers.

To moms like myself who are striving to teach our little ones to read without losing our ever loving minds.–We will get there. They will get there. In their own time.

In a century we may not be on this earth (unless someone discovers the fountain of youth before then). So let’s not spend too much time worrying.

I’ve got this.

You’ve got this.

We’ve got this!

This post has been sponsored by Baby Orajel™, however all opinions are my own.

I love taking a walk down memory lane and seeing the crazy things I used to say on this here blog. Oh man, if I could time travel–Wait, I think I wrote about that already.

But really, if I could go back in time at this very moment to the day I was writing these posts about raising multiracial babies, I’d have a lot to say to her–me–myself. But mostly it would be: SIT DOWN!

first 48 birth photography

Let’s start with #1.

#1 My baby face generator obsession

I spent way too much time playing with online tools that left me worrying my baby might come out looking nothing like me and more like someone from the Addams family.

make-me-babies-baby-face-generator

And I quote myself from seven years ago “I’m going to be honest here… I would like a baby girl but really all I want is 1. A healthy baby and 2. A cute baby. Boy or girl, if Spawnie is cute (not just to me, but like to everyone) I’ll be happy!”

I’m not sure if I was really being as honest as I said I was. I kind of don’t doubt her… That silly young girl who thought how her baby looked would affect her love for her child.

Reality: Your kids are cute to you. No matter if they’re 10 shades darker or 10 shades lighter than yourself, have brown, blond or red hair, you are going to love that child of yours with all your heart.

#2: Nanny mixups

“My friend mentioned earlier said people have mistaken her as the nanny before and see — I’m not sure I’d be able to handle that in a nice way. Or what if our daughter takes more of my complexion, and when my husband’s out he’s asked where he got our daughter from, implying she’s adopted.”

mommy-and-me-yoga

Reality: Been there, done that, we survived. I think there’s a little bit of shock the first time it happens when your baby is tiny and sitting still and you’re more aware of glances and whatnot. Now? Goodness gracious I can make it through an entire shopping trip without making eye contact with anyone, much less notice if anyone gives us awkward glances. And when someone does flat out ask what’s up, we usually laugh it off. Because honestly? We pick our battles.

Now when someone says this … That’s a different story.

#3: Will our kids drive us further apart?

“I’ve heard children can bring you closer together but I’ve also heard they can drive you further apart… I hope our love for the Lord can keep us from driving each other crazy after kids!”

Reality: This was something on my mind before kids and from time to time it creeps back up. In fact, out of all of handful of pre-baby worries I’m re-living today, this one is probably the most valid. Funny enough, this one has nothing specifically to do with raising multiracial babies, it is a fear any parent could find on their mind.

Valentines photo shoot with biracial siblings

Kids DEFINITELY change things. We don’t get nearly enough alone time to have adult conversations much less date nights. Our kids are both finally sleeping in their own rooms for most of the night–That’s something. But our children haven’t gotten between us emotionally. In that regard they’ve brought us closer together.

I’d tell my younger self to enjoy those pre-kid moments together. As insanely boring as they seem, they’re the last boring moments we’ll share together in the foreseeable future.

#4: My multiracial kid won’t have anyone to date

“I worry especially that my daughters will face the same [dating] challenges I faced growing up, but won’t deal with it as I did…I worry my sons will have a hard time finding women to date because their parents don’t want their daughter child “dating a black boy.”

Reality: HA HA HA. My kids are never dating, and I like it that way. Seriously, this was a non-issue. Next!

#5: A desire for open-minded friends

“I hope as my children grow up they meet other children who are taught to have friends of all races, and date people of all nationalities.”

Reality: Right now, this actually falls a lot more on me than I expected. I’m with my kids way more than I imagined I’d be (I don’t know why in my mind I imagined them schlepping off to slumber parties with acquaintances at the mere age of 3). I meet the other kids’ parents and 99% of the time, I’m talking to mom and/or dad while my kids are playing with their friends. You can tell pretty quick if someone is going to have a problem with you or your relationship and I can choose to distance ourselves from those people. We have been blessed with amazing neighbors, church friends and now homeschool friends from all backgrounds. Beyond that, we are branching out of our own bubbles as well. Consuming books and literature about people and places that are different from us.

juicing-with-friends

I think like tends to attract like and we’ll keep meeting families and friends who have the same wish for their children.

Many of these worries have deescalated or dissolved since having my kids, and others have had new ones take their place.

For us, parenting has been much less about bracing ourselves for the hardships that can come from raising multiracial children, and much more about raising children to become compassionate members of society who know where they come from and where they want to go.

Were your pre-baby expectations different than your reality?

Multiracial Multicultural mom bloggers

Today I’m linking up with some other wonderful mamas who are sharing their stories of multicultural motherhood.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Multiracial Babies/ De Su Mama

Will My Child Look Like Me? Thoughts from a Multicultural Mom /Raising Whasians

How to Prepare for a Multicultural Family / Almost Indian Wife

Books for the Multicultural Family / Are Those Your Kids

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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