Jan 17, 2019

,

I wrote a letter to my future self about a promise I have made since my daughter was a baby and I intend to keep it. I suffer from anxiety, so I worry almost every day that I won't be able to keep this promise. I thought if I wrote it down, then I wouldn't have to worry as much because I will have this reminder to turn to. Plus, writing things down tends to help us remember things better (source).

I am sharing this personal letter on my blog as I think this is a promise every parent should make to their child, and maybe some parent out there could use this letter right now.

Or maybe not even a parent, but maybe someone who wishes they had a letter like this from their own mom, dad, caregiver, etc. I personally know it's not the same if you can't hear it from your own parent, but it may still help with healing.


Dear Future Self


Dear Future Self,

I am writing this letter to you as a reminder of a promise you had made to yourself and to your child, and to remind you to keep it. This may be hard to hear as we humans have this defensive instinct that kicks in when we hear something negative or bad about us, and you may have already said things you regret before you remembered your promise or to read this letter, but it's not too late. It is never too late to say you're sorry.

You promised yourself that if your child ever came to you and told you that something you did hurt him or her, that you abused him or her, you would own it. You wouldn't deny it or try to make yourself feel better by claiming others have it worse or that you had it worse. Your pain does not belittle his or her pain. He or she has every right to feel hurt and you will listen, you will fight the urges to defend yourself, to make excuses. You will hear what he or she has to say. You will acknowledge his or her pain, own your mistakes, and you will apologize.

If you have already forgotten this promise and didn't remember or read this letter in time, you can still make it right. Depending on how things went down, you could call him or her and tell him or her you are sorry and that you want to truly listen to him or her this time, or you could send him or her an email or write a letter, or whatever form of communication his or her generation may be using at the time.

The important thing is that you acknowledge you hurt him or her, that you admit what you did was harmful. You didn't have a perfect childhood, and though your child may have had a better one, it is still not going to be perfect. You did your best, you were and are an amazing mother, but you messed up. We all make mistakes, but you have to own those mistakes, and you have to apologize should anyone have gotten hurt in the process, especially to your child.

I hope you never have to read this letter. I hope you never forget the promise you made yourself. However, if you do, I also hope you don't beat yourself up and understand it is okay to make mistakes. I hope you take action to make things right, and I hope things work out between you and your child in the end.

With love, 
Your Past Self

Jan 10, 2019

,
Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read full disclosure here.


You can see what our must-haves were for 0-12 months in my previous post here.  Now that our daughter is 2, I thought I would share what our must-haves were for 12-24 months.

1. Diapers & Baby Wipes

The earliest I have ever heard of potty training happening is 18 months. Our pediatrician claims the best time is somewhere between 20 - 30 months, so you will most likely be using diapers still for a while. Our daughter just turned 2 and is still in diapers, but showing interest in the potty, so I think we may be there soon!

Besides wiping bottoms, baby wipes are great for cleaning messy faces, so you will probably be carrying these for a long time!


2. Changing Pad

You will still want a changing pad for using while on the go! We have this JJ Cole one and I love it! So easy to fold up and go. It has an inner pocket too so you can stick a pack of wipes and a couple of diapers in it for quick trips.

3. Food Pouches

Instead of a bottle, you will now need food pouches, and other on the go treats as your 1-year-old should be on solids by now. We love food pouches as they are less messy. The downside is many are full of sugars, so they aren't exactly healthy. We love Serenity Kids baby food as it has only 3g of sugar per pouch! It's also one of the few paleo baby foods available for purchase!

However, food pouches should be used sparingly as in order for your child to learn how to eat, they need to get messy and use their hands. We only use them when traveling.

4. Spare Clothes + Wet Bag

I recommend keeping at least 1 extra outfit in your diaper bag, but never hurts to have 2! You'll also want a wet bag to store the messy outfit in!

5. Bibs

Even with food pouches, toddlers can make messes, especially if they squeeze the pouch when it's not in their mouth, so having a bib will save their shirt. It's also great for if you do choose to eat out or offer a messy snack, like yogurt, while on the go. We usually carry around disposable bibs so we can just toss them too. If using cloth, you may want a wet bag to store the mess in.

6. Toys & Books

Toddlers get bored easily, so having toys to preoccupy them or a book to page through while you are shopping or running errands will keep them busy.

I highly recommend Indestructibles for books as they can't be destroyed! Plus they are light and easy to shove into a diaper bag.

Toy links are a great travel toy as you can attach them to shopping carts, strollers, etc, so you don't have to worry about losing them. You can also use them to attach other toys as well.


7. Disinfecting Wipes 

These are great for wiping down public high chairs, shopping carts, airplane seats, etc. You can find the travel packages in the travel section at Target or on Amazon.

8. Hand Sanitizer

This is mostly for you. Perfect for after diaper changes or before eating. Way faster than trying to find a bathroom to wash your hands. Hand sanitizer is not recommended for babies or toddlers as they put their hands in their mouth and the alcohol in hand sanitizer should not be ingested. However, as long as you are monitoring your child, you can use a small amount. What I usually do is rub a little on my daughter's hands till her hands are dry, then use a baby wipe to wipe her hands.

9. Diaper Rash Cream

Our favorite is Pinxav, but you can see all 5 we tried and reviewed in this previous post.


10. Sippy Cup

Always carry a sippy cup. I usually carry a full one with water, but you could also carry an empty one and fill it at a water fountain should your child get thirsty. 


Jan 3, 2019

,
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy, and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sponsored By: Stamped Canvas

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

** 3 Winners **

Will Receive a Stamped Canvas Kit of Their Choice! 

(Choose Any $29.99 Kit. Excluded is the Family Tree Kit)
 

Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy's Stamped Canvas review!

About Stamped Canvas:
Stamped Canvas was created by four moms, for all parents. And when we say all parents...we mean ALL parents. Before we were moms to our precious two-legged babies, we were moms to our rambunctious four-legged babies. Fur and human alike, our love was universal. Stamped Canvas was the result of failed attempts at arts and crafts, and a desire to capture early moments of life and love. So here's to the simplicity of stamping, the ease of a ready-made canvas, and the love that makes it all come together. Life is messy; your memories don't have to be! Our kits come with everything you need to create your own sweet memento with your child or fur baby's actual footprint; pre-printed 8x8 canvas, ink pad, full directions and wipes for a quick and easy clean-up.

GIVEAWAY

Open To US entries and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 1/3 9:00 AM EST through 1/31 11:59PM EST

Good luck everyone!
Remember you can subscribe here to never miss a giveaway!

Dec 22, 2018

,
I did a post earlier listing 5 reasons why we don't do Santa Claus, but here is another reason why we don't do Santa and I felt it deserved a post of its own.


Santa's Message of Giving is Misguided

Santa Claus only gives toys to children who are "good" or "nice." This is manipulation, using a toy to get kids to be good. His toys aren't presents, but rewards or prizes. This is not what gifting is about.

Scary Mommy shared a post on their Facebook about why threatening your child with Santa isn't okay, and I was appalled at some of the comments. So many parents were actually for threatening their children and some even claimed they went as far as taking away Santa Claus or having him bring a lump of coal.

I've been called a Grinch because we don't do Santa, but these people take the cake! It's like the whole reason these parents even do Santa is just so they have an excuse to bully their children. If I had a dime for every time I heard "Don't make me call Santa," I would be rich!

Many were also arguing "well that's how Santa works." Admitting that he only gives gifts to "nice" children, so why should they give their kids gifts from Santa if they have been "naughty?"

This is just so toxic. They are showing their children that presents are only given if the person does what they want. This isn't in the spirit of giving at all. This is manipulation. It's also setting your child up with unrealistic expectations. Sometimes people do good things and aren't rewarded. You should want to do good deeds without getting something in return. We need more Phoebe Buffay's in the world.


So what to do instead?

If you still want to do Santa, then don't threaten your child. Don't tell or scream at them that you are going to call Santa. Don't even talk about them being naughty or nice. Simply tell them Santa will bring them a gift because he is a nice guy and he wants every boy and girl to have a toy. That is the true meaning of giving. That is the spirit of Christmas!

Remember, Santa isn't real. He's fictional. You can play him however you like, that means you can make him a nice guy. You can change his toxic message of giving to a better one and teach your child that gifts are given out of kindness and love with no strings attached.


Dec 12, 2018

,
Disclosure: I received a copy of the "The Emotionally Healthy Child" by Maureen Healy for free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.



I personally feel our society would really benefit from having required child psychology classes in high school and maybe a refresher course before having kids, like how they have birth classes, they should have parenting classes. However, as adults, most of us know how to read, and so we can and should educate ourselves, ideally before having children, and continue to learn along the way. One book I highly recommend reading is "The Emotionally Healthy Child" by Maureen Healy.

My Own Struggle With Emotions

I grew up in a house with a parent who did not know healthy ways to express their anger. I was screamed at, yelled at, and even physically assaulted (spanking).

Because of this, I grew up without knowing how to express my anger in a healthy way and actually feared to feel the emotion because of how I have seen it play out. When I felt mad, I often chose the silent treatment, or would keep things bottled up until I was shaken so much, it all came out and not very pretty. I never yelled as I did not want to be like my parent, but I often resorted to slamming doors, cabinets, etc. Basically, I let other things do the yelling for me.

My husband threw me for a loop when he said back when we were dating: "I wish you would have just told me." You see, my upbringing made me afraid to say when I was upset because I wasn't allowed to be upset, or if I was upset and expressed it, I was treated wrongly so. Plus when my parent was mad, it was very scary and so I feared the emotion altogether and did my best to hide my anger.

With my partner's help, I got better at communicating when I felt upset before things would spiral out of control. It helped that he was always so calm. He had a gentler upbringing than I did, so I definitely think that's why he handles his anger so much better.

Flash forward a few years. 

I started seeing a therapist shortly after our daughter was born because I was experiencing anger inside of me, probably a combination of being tired and first a time mom with no idea what to do, and I was afraid of unleashing it on her, which lead to me keeping things bottled up again. I was diagnosed with anxiety, which I likely had since I was a kid due to my upbringing.

My therapist helped me learn ways to calm my anxiety, which in turn, calmed my anger. I slipped up every now and then and raised my voice, and I would apologize to my daughter, often in tears.

It was a hard first few months as I had to learn how to safely express my feelings and also had to realize that as humans, we all make mistakes, and there is no way I will ever be 100% on top of my emotions, but I can at least aim for 99%.

The cool thing I realized while writing this is that I haven't yelled at my daughter in months! Of course, I shout her name, to try to get her to come to me, but I haven't yelled at her out of anger.

I actually hardly ever feel angry with her because I have also educated myself in child psychology (which is why I wish classes where required before becoming parents because I feel so many adults go into parenting without the proper knowledge on how a child's mind works). Sure there are moments she frustrates me, like when she throws her food on the floor, but I instantly remind myself "she's just a child, she doesn't know better, she's only acting on impulses" and boom! Suddenly I'm calm again and hey we have a dog, so I don't really have to clean anything!

Being mindful is so important when it comes to emotions as if you can feel them happening, you can prevent them from escalating. Healy dedicates a whole chapter to mindfulness (Chapter 5: Insight) in her book, "The Emotionally Healthy Child." She provides excellent tips and activities to help develop and practice mindfulness.


"The Emotionally Healthy Child" Book Review


Reading "The Emotionally Healthy Child," by Maureen Healy brought me back to my childhood, to a time where feelings weren't encouraged as much as they are today. She even mentions in her introductory chapter that the tools in her book were ones she wished she had access to as a child, and I feel very much the same way. 

So many of us were raised in settings where we weren't allowed to have emotions, which is why I believe we have so many aggressive and angry adults in the world today, especially men. We grew up without the tools to manage those emotions, and that's how you end up with adult tantrums (I've seen my share working retail. The elderly women are the worst!).

We aren't born knowing how to regulate our emotions. It's something we have to learn. Healy provides many great activities/tools in her book to help you and your child recognize their emotions and find safer and more productive ways to release those feelings.

Her final chapter is actually a "toolbox" with tips on how to handle almost every emotion from anger to sadness.

Though this book is geared towards parents and kids, I feel all adults could benefit from it. Many of these techniques were ones that my therapist recommended to me for helping with my anxiety, such as deep breathing (called bubble breathing in the book) or making a checklist of smarter choices.

You can find her book on Amazon