Children

Getting Ready For Baby (part 1)

things to get ready for baby part 1

My daughter is due for her first baby next month. As a grandma, I am excited and I love when my girls call with parenting questions. Here are some things to do for getting ready for baby  before the birth.  In part 2 we’ll talk about the after.

Take Care of Yourself

While there are a multitude of things to get done; take frequent naps. Getting sleep the last few weeks is hard. Taking naps can help, a lot. A tired mommy is usually a crabby mommy too. Everything always looks worse when you’re tired so getting enough rest before baby comes is crucial. You sure won’t make it up later.

Get a haircut, a mani-pedi or whatever you like to do to look your best. If your anything like I was, you probably feel fat and totally uncomfortable. A new look help perk you up and makes you feel better about those soon to be new baby photo shots.

 

Pack your Bag Early

Make sure you have roomy, comfy clothes to go home in that make you feel good. Your skinny jeans won’t fit for a while and with everything leaking you’ll be glad for that pretty top that makes you feel good. A few things not on most list I learned were helpful. I packed a diffuser,  You can’t bring candles and that hospital smell is blech! Music, tinted lip balm- I love Burts Bees,  face wipes and moisturizer. Don’t forget your favorite shower gel just keep odors light for baby. Remember a few things for dad too. A clean shirt, non-smelly snacks and change for the vending machine.

Home and Food

Get your home ready. I know nesting comes in the last couple of months so use the time wisely. Pace yourself. Don’t empty all the cupboards or closets at once. You’ll get tired and sit down and cry looking at all the mess. Do one small area at a time.

Cook ahead and stock up. I tried to plan out the first 2 months of meals for when I was home with the new baby. You don’t need to spend as much time in the kitchen when you could be cuddling or napping.  I love New Leaf Wellness for her great meals that are crockpot ready.  I still do these now, when a cut of meat goes on sale I make 4 usually, one  for dinner 3 for the freezer. That keeps a variety and since I’m always buying at sale prices it’s reasonable.

At the Hospital

Ask the nurses. They’ve heard everything.  They’ll be able to give you all kinds of tips.  Move around, you can get achy staying in one spot and hospital beds are not really comfortable. Don’t expect everything on your birthing plan to go just right. It won’t. Expect some change up. Tomorrow I’ll have part 2.

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Siblings as Best Friends

sisters-as-best-friends

Every sitcom you’ve ever seen has a stereotype as brothers and sisters as rivals, to be made fun of, laughed at or a scapegoat. I say this is untrue. Your children can be each others best friends. That’s not to say that they’ll always like each other or never fight. But they’ll always have each others back and know they can count on each other.  There are things you as a mom can do to help encourage this.

 

Encourage Them to be Best Friends

You can encourage them to be closer. I tell my children they are the only ones who will know them their entire life and will be there for them. They are someone you can always call and they’ll be there for you. They back each other up. They’ll still tease one another, but no one else better. If there’s a crisis or a move, they’re there.  If one sibling says a mean thing to another, I make them say 3 nice things to them. When  they have a bad day, I ask the others to cheer them up.

 

Spend Time  Together

My older children stop by often, especially at mealtime. After they move out, they miss mom’s cooking.  But they also spend time with their siblings. Our oldest son has been rotating his Saturday’s spending one on one time. Some he has more in common with than others but, they still get time together.  The older girls often get together for lunch, sometimes I go too. They talk hours on the phone. We celebrate together. Last Saturday the other 6 sisters gave their very pregnant sister a baby shower. Last year it was the same thing for a different sister. We’ve mourned together. Funerals, sickness, house fires, miscarries,  and disappointments.  Knowing they have someone and call in times of trouble is huge.

 

besties

Have Fun

 

Best Friends have fun together. Play games, karaoke, laugh, sing. I drove to Florida with our children and we sang most of the way. Ran at every rest stop and told stories. When we get together they often tell embarrassing  funny  stories about what they did as younger children. They remember. Make as many memories as possible. Time goes by so fast. Tell me how you encourage your children to be best friends.

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Spending Time Alone with Each Child

time-alone-with-child

Schedule It

With 10 children it was hard to spend time alone with each one but it can be done. (Okay, we didn’t have all 10 at home at once, but 8 was common.) So what’s a mom to do to make each one feel special? Right now it’s pretty easy, we only have 3 at home. I know, some of you are saying only! In  4 Tips for School Days I told you how all my children got up at the same time and yet left at different times. That’s when  I spend time with my youngest daughter. We have a bout 40 minutes all to ourselves. My oldest daughter at home gets home an hour earlier than the others and we have some time then, most days.

You can’t make your teens talk to you but you can make yourself available so when they’re ready they know you’re there for them. It takes a lot of time of small talk for them to open their heart to you. My son’s time is doing homework together. He rarely needs help now at 10 but he does like the one on one and talks about a lot of things besides homework. Some days he’ll even cuddle.

Rotate

When we did have many more children, errands were a good time time for time alone. I know errands right, how wants to do those? But they had to be done and there’s always a time to sit in the food court (unless you’re at Aldi’s) and have a Coke and listen. I’ve  rotated whose turn it was and so dod my husband so each had alone time with each of us.

Be Open

I get up early and sometimes someone will come in and talk. I could guard this as “my time” and shoo them away but sometimes they want to talk then. With teens and young adults it’s usually late at night. I really like to get up early and my husband gets up at 4 to go to work so we don’t usually stay up late but there are times we give up sleep to be available for late night chats.

Adult Children

Now with most of my children grown I get a lot of phone calls. Some late night texts.  I try to listen without stepping on toes.  We meet for lunch at times, sometimes all of us girls.  My 5 oldest are all girls. What fun! I have told them I’d love for them to ask for advice any time but I’ll do my best not to give it if they don’t. Most times all they need is a sounding board. I do love it when they call and ask for help, advice, even just a recipe.

Be There

The most important thing is that your child know you’ll be there. We have an open door  policy for the most part. There are times we really don’t want the entire neighborhood here but most times I’d rather have them here than somewhere I don’t know. A lot of teens have talked and said they don’t talk with their parents. I’ve gotten calls from them asking advice, I do give some but always try and turn them back to their own parents.

I know it takes time, I know you’re tired, I know sometimes you have other plans or would rather sleep. But this is important! If they can’t talk to you,  they will talk to some else!  I have failed at times, we all do.  Just start over. Children want  to know you want to spend time with them. Do you have ways to spend time alone with your child?

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4 Tips for School Day Mornings

 

4-tips-for-school-day-morningsWhile at my physical therapy appointment, we were talking about about school day mornings. She was saying about how difficult is was to serve breakfast at 2 separate times and get herself and the kids out the door on time.  I have children in 3 different schools, all with separate times.  We do not serve 3 separate breakfasts.

The Night Before

All great morning routines start with a great night time routine in place. At least a little. Backpacks and shoes need to be in their proper places. My son hangs both his backpack and jacket on hooks on the side of the shelves in his room. The girls stow theirs in their closet. All papers need to be signed the night before and any thing needed in their back packs. Clothes need to be laid out for the next day. Bedtimes need to be observed. We have 2 times we count down to. Each of them have separate times based on age but all of them have 1 time to be in bed and they get an additional 1/2 hour to read before lights out. This keeps them reading, because what child doesn’t want a later bedtime. It also gives them time to slow down.

Rise and Shine

All the children get up at the same time.  No matter what time they go to school they all get up at the same time. I usually get up at least an hour before the children. (Unless sick or recuperating.)  I have time to dress, quiet time and make my bed before they even get up. I can get them ready without it but I am not nearly as cheerful. My children all have their own alarms and get themselves up. Toward the end of the week I sometimes hear the alarm go off a little    lot longer than normal and I have to go in and prod    encourage them to get out of bed.  Then they have to get dressed, brush teeth and hopefully make their bed. I’ll be honest, their beds don’t get  made nearly as much as I would like.

Plan Ahead for Breakfast

Then they need a good healthy breakfast to eat. I try to freezer cook ahead of time so the days that are busy, I’ve fallen behind or just chaotic are covered. Mornings fit all 3. This is not to say I never cook breakfast but I try to prepare for the mornings I don’t want to.  I have made quiche (or any other breakfast casserole)  in the freezer and I put it in the oven as soon as I wake up, then get ready. I have assorted muffins, (pancake, blueberry, egg, banana, etc) that they can pull out and are microwaved. Waffles can be put in the toaster or boiled eggs in the fridge. I also have mini mixes that just feed one that you can make in under a minute. I have also done crock pot meals for breakfast. Egg casseroles, different flavors of oatmeal, tapioca, “fried potatoes” with eggs. Preparing ahead makes breakfast a snap.

Out the Door

Watch the clock to make sure no one is late to school. We also have an app at our school and it emails you when the bus is near. Have everything together to make getting to the bus stop easy. Then I have time for a cup of tea and a chat with my youngest daughter whose bus is later than the rest. What have you done to make school mornings easier?

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