Motherhood: This Is Harder Than I Thought

This is basically a before and after photo.

I have always been a dog person.

Like dog people, there are also “cat people,” “baby people,” etc. I was never a baby person; babies cried all the time, they were ticking puke bombs, and the fresh ones kind of looked like dehydrated rats. Ok, I wasn’t quite that cynical, but I was just fine looking at your adorable bundle from a safe distance.

And then I got pregnant.

Bringing home my new baby was like the first day of high school, defending a dissertation, and starting a new job, all rolled into one. “Can I handle it?” “Have I done the research?” “Will the baby even like me?”

During my pregnancy, I never had time to take birthing or child care classes, and honestly, I really had no particular desire to do so. Up until B-Day, I worked six days a week at two jobs. Believe me, by the time my cherished day off rolled around, the last thing I wanted to do was sit on a birthing ball and watch three hours of ancient Lamaze videos. (Also, ew. The 70s were not kind.)

Pictured: Women Not Working Two Jobs

So when my water broke just before a shift one night, I calmly excused myself to the manager, saying, “I am so sorry, but I think I’m about to go into labor. I should probably leave for the hospital now.” And off I was on my journey to motherhood.

Therefore, all of my knowledge and observations are from on-the-job experience.

What I’ve learned is this: Being a mom is hard. Being a mom is gross. Being a mom can produce some of the most rewarding and emotional moments you will ever experience in a lifetime. But most of all, being a mom takes a sense of humor. This series is a look into my life as a new mommy, and a collection of the things I’ve learned on my ongoing odyssey of parenthood.

 

This is the first of a series of posts offering a candid first-person depiction of motherhood in all its wonderful/horrible glory. Check out part two, “This is Harder Than I Thought: Lactation or the Art of Milking One’s Self in Public.” 


4 Best Pets for Kids

Best Pets for Kids - Dogs that are good with kidsWhen it’s time to introduce a new four-legged friend to your family, you may be wondering what would be the right choice for your kids. There is a wide range of pets available, but some are more child-friendly than others. Here is a list of our top 4 favorite pets for kids.

1. Dogs

Everybody loves the family dog. Breeds such as golden retrievers, labradors, and Irish setters are traditional family favorites due to their high energy and mild temperament. If your space requires a smaller breed, pugs, bull terriers, and beagles make great kid-friendly choices. If allergies are a problem, choose a breed such as the poodle that has minimal shedding, or you can even find breeds such as the labradoodle that are considered hypoallergenic!

2. Rodents

Small rodents like rats, gerbils, and hamsters make great pets for children. They are very low maintenance and require only a little space, making them a perfect choice for a child’s first pet. Rats, especially, have earned a bad rap from their wild relatives—domesticated rats are actually very affectionate and smart enough to learn their name and even a few simple tricks. However, while their size is convenient for housing, it does make these animals susceptible to being dropped and lost or injured by rough play, so smaller children should always be supervised when handling their pet.

3. Snakes

While they may not be traditionally cute or cuddly, many types of snakes make excellent pets for children. Breeds such as the corn snake are very docile, and only need to be fed once a week! These pets are gaining in popularity and can be found in most pet stores, or you can visit a local reptile show for a wide variety of species at lower costs. Look for breeds such as the corn snake, king snake, or ball python, as these stay relatively small, and are easily tamed with a little handling.

4. Fish

 Fish are a great staple for childhood pet. Every member of the family can enjoy a fish tank, and a simple goldfish can teach even a young child the responsibilities of caring for an animal. Small koi or beta fish can be purchased for only a few dollars at a local pet store and will live quite comfortably in a small tank for many years.


3 Questions You Should Never Ask A New Mom

Lioness and Cub

Lioness not eating her cub....yet.

Being a new mom is one of the toughest jobs around. Sleepless nights, crashing hormones, and frayed nerves can quickly take their toll on even the hardiest of women. Unfortunately, when it comes to motherhood, everyone has their own opinion as to how it should be going, and they are never afraid to share it. Here is a list of the top three questions to avoid when talking to a new mom.

1. Are you breastfeeding?

Just the word “breastfeeding” can quickly become a source of stress or embarrassment to a new mother. We all know the adage, “Breast is Best,” but how a woman decides to feed her child is a personal choice, and one in which she sometimes has no control. Some women struggle with breastfeeding, so making remarks such as, “If you love your baby you will breastfeed her,” “Breastfed babies are smarter,” and “If you feed your baby formula, she will be fat later in life,” will only add to the anxiety. After all, it really is none of your business anyway.

2. When are you going back to work?

In the first few weeks of motherhood, a mom is only concerned about when her next meal/shower/nap will be. The last thing she wants to do is think ahead to a prospect of juggling even more stress into her already overwhelming life. So give these ladies a break, and let them enjoy a little time off. And be grateful you aren’t the one up at 3 a.m. changing diapers or soothing a screaming infant.

3. Are you enjoying being a mom?

Questions like this amaze me. One that often goes along with this is, “Are your mothering instincts coming in yet?” I’m not sure what the expected answer is: “No, it’s miserable, I wish I could just eat my infant like a lion and be done with it.” Of course, I enjoy it! Of course, it’s also miserable! No matter how much you love your child, no first-time mom can ever be prepared for the challenges or the emotional rollercoaster bringing your baby home will invoke. So a simple, “How are you?” will do just fine, especially if you are just a casual acquaintance. After all, you might not like what you hear if you ask a sleep-deprived, stressed-out mother an intimate question.


Top Five Pins of the Week

Pinterest Top 5 PinsHere are our DIY-themed Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) These adorable DIY Superhero Masks will transform your little sidekick into the hero of the day!

2) Give your little one a treat and a silly disguise with these super simple lollipop mustaches and lips.

3) This colorful homemade bandana skirt is just too cute!

4) Make your own silly putty with this easy recipe.

5) Let the kids paint the town red, or at least the sidewalk, with this homemade sidewalk paint.

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our back to school-themed Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) This Panera Bread copy cat Thai chopped chicken salad recipe looks absolutely delicious.

2) Here’s a great guide to baby shower gifts.

3) These decorations would be great for an ice cream-themed party.

4) Lemons are good for more than just squeezing into your water. We can’t wait to try this lemon rosemary bath salt.

5) Speaking of lemons, we’re also adding this chai-spiced triple citrus tea recipe to our “To Try” list!

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our back to school-themed Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) Have an official back to school breakfast for your kids to help them start the day off right.

2) Heading back to school? Pick the right backpack for your kids.

3) Boring bags begone! Check out these fun kids’ lunch boxes.

4) Your child’s teacher is sure to love this back to school survival kit.

5) We love this free, printable back to school checklist.

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) Keep your house clean with these stylish doormats.

2) Check out these beautiful plates for your little ones.

3) Want to create a more organized kitchen? Try these magnetic boards and shelves!

4) If you’re looking for a fun beauty activity, try these 45 nail design ideas!

5) Maternity shopping can be stressful, but these tips are super helpful.

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) This fun guide is a great way to track your baby’s growth.

2) Decorating on a budget? Try these 4 easy-to-make lamp ideas!

3) Do you enjoy reading to your little one? We love these books for babies.

4) Do you have picky eaters? Try these creative lunch ideas!

5) Hosting an event, but short on time? Check out these 19 easy party appetizers.

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) Stuck indoors? Try these 10 rainy day activities.

2) If you’re decorating your child’s room on a budget, you’ll love these ideas.

3) Is your little guy a difficult reader? Try these books for boys.

4) Try these simple, nutritious finger foods for your baby.

5) We love these easy skin care tips for busy moms!

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!


Top Five Pins of the Week

Here are our Top Five Pins of the Week!

1) Headed for some fun in the sun? We love these 11 flattering maternity beach dresses.

2) We love these ideas for summer veggies!

3) Make a delicious dessert in only 30 minutes with these great recipes.

4) Who said bagged lunches were just for kids? Try these delicious packed lunches for grownups.

5) Help your child improve their reading skills with these helpful tips.

For more great craft ideas, recipes, and exercise tips, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!

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