June 11, 2018

15 Feeding Must Haves For Babies & Toddlers

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. 

Somewhere between 4-6 months, or even later, your baby will be ready to start solids. Here is a list of items we loved and you will need when that time comes! You can find most of these products in my Amazon shop.

1 Baby Cereal or Oatmeal

Our pediatrician recommended starting with baby cereal or oatmeal as it is bland so baby is more so getting used to the texture at this time and not worrying about the taste. Our favorites were Happy Baby and Earth's Best.

2. Puffs

While doing the oatmeal, you can also introduce puffs as they are also pretty flavorless (despite having different flavors, we tried them ourselves, haha!) and will allow your baby to practice feeding themselves!

3. Blender

A blender will be necessary if you plan on making your own baby food. We love our Ninja blender and highly recommend it!

4. Silicone Icecube Trays or Glass Jars

We used both but could have probably gotten away with just glass jars. I would personally skip the icecube trays and go for the jars as you can freeze them and heat them up in the microwave. However, if you do want to do the icecube trays, definitely go with silicone as they pop out so much easier!

5. Spoons

You will have to start with spoon-feeding your baby, but eventually, they will be the ones playing with the spoons and learning how to use them! We love the Munchkin spoons!

6. Sippy Cup

Sippy cups are going to be a lot like pacifiers, you may get lucky and the first one you picks works, or you may have to try many different ones until you find one your baby likes. We went through so many sippy cups and even though sites claimed the straws are harder, our daughter only likes the straw sippy cups. The Playtex ones are our favorite as they don't leak and the straw stays in place. Avoid The First Years brand, those straws pop out so easily, it's a pain, as your baby will throw it on the floor over and over again.

7. Bowls

These are more for you, in the beginning, to mix oatmeal in, as if you give it to the baby, it'll just end up on the floor. We found it was easier to serve food right on the high chair tray and let her just mess around with it with her hands and spoon. We liked these Munchkin ones as they came with a lid, so when your baby is older, you can save what they don't eat for later. 

8. Food Tray or Plate

We mostly use our daughter's high chair tray, but if you want a little less mess, you can get a food tray or plate to put food on. Just know that it may end up on the floor. We got these kiddie bite trays back when I was a brand enthusiast for the company and they were awesome! Our daughter, of course, would play with the tray, but only after she was done eating, so we got lucky. There are some toddlers who will just toss it food and all onto the floor so you may want to look for something with suction, though I've heard some toddlers are strong enough to remove those!


9. Food Pouches or Jars

Food pouches are not recommended by the pediatricians we talked to as they can inhibit a child's ability to learn to feed themselves. You can, however, still use them occasionally or simply just squeeze the food out onto a tray or bowl for your child to mess with. We use pouches when traveling or out and about and avoid them at home. 

Jar food is actually really hard to find now, so I mostly bought pouches and just squeezed them out for our daughter. Beech-Nut was the only jar brand we bought.

10. Toothbrush

Your baby may not have teeth at first, but once they start solids you should try an wipe their mouth with a warm washcloth once a day, usually after dinner or their last solid feeding of the day. You can also get a finger brush, which our daughter loved during teething as it was like a nice massage on her gums. Later on, once your baby has more teeth, you can switch to the bristle brush.


11. Bibs

Babies are messy so you will need bibs and lots of them! My favorite ones are actually the ones my aunt and cousin made for us out of what appeared to be dishtowels. They are so long and cover the entire body! Here are some bigger ones I found on Amazon. There are also these full coverage apron ones that seem a bit extreme to me, but if you don't like a mess at all, then it may be for you!

12. High Chair

You will need something to feed your baby in! We have a Graco 2 in one so it can switch into a booster seat for later.

13. Washcloths or Baby Wipes

Feeding time is very messy so you will need a washcloth to wipe your baby clean or you can use baby wipes. A washcloth is more eco-friendly as it is reusable, but baby wipes are great when traveling.

14. Handheld Food Chopper

This little food chopper made cutting up veggies and fruits a breeze when our baby was ready to move on to table food! You will definitely want one if baby led weaning is your thing or once you're ready to switch to table food, as cutting everything up with a fork or knife takes so much work.


15. Teething Biscuits

Our daughter loved teething biscuits. They are great for teething and is great practice for learning to feed themselves.

Did I miss anything? Feel free to share your must haves in the comments!

June 4, 2018

Bath Time Fun Giveaway

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Giveaway disclosure located at the bottom of this post.


Sponsored By: 

QueBébé / Baby Tooshy / Coconut Essentials / BabyDam


Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy


Winner Will Receive:

a variety of Bath Time Fun products from 4 sponsors! 

A $163+ TRV Giveaway! 

** Prize List Includes:**

QueBébé

A QueBébé Bath Kneeler and Elbow Cushion ($46.95 RV)! 

BabyDam

BabyDam will customize your tub so you only have to fill it with the water you need to bathe your baby! ($44.99 RV!)

Baby Tooshy

Set of (6) - 10x10 Baby Tooshy Bamboo Velour Baby Washcloths! Winner's Choice of in-stock color! ($17.97 RV!)

Coconut Essentials

Open To US entries and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 6/4 9:00 AM EST through 7/4 11:59PM EST

Good luck everyone!

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 winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 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.

May 25, 2018

Pop-Oh-Ver Giveaway

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Hosted By
~ 1 Winner~
Open to US
5/25 12am ~ 6/ 8 11:59pm

~Prize~
Winners Choice of Pop-oh-ver Set


The Pop-oh-ver Stove Set

The Pop-oh-ver Counter Top Set

RV $39.99

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Thank you to all of the bloggers promoting this giveaway! I appreciate all of you for your hard work and helping our readers get really awesome prizes!

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May 21, 2018

Should You Ban Your Kids From Social Media?

The short answer is no, for the long answer, please continue reading.

Banning = Secret Accounts


Now hear me out. I am not saying you shouldn't limit their access or moderate them. You should do those things, but not allowing it at all is just asking for trouble in the long run.

Banning social media is a lot like abstinence-only education. They are not going to listen to you, so why not give them the resources needed to prevent unwanted outcomes? Talk to them about what is safe and not safe.

Get the apps yourself! Try them out, see what it does and learn how to use it. Read the terms and learn how to change the privacy settings. The more familiar you are with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and whatever new crazy app there is, the less scary it becomes.

I still don't agree with going the ban route even if you talk to them because they will just create secret accounts you have no knowledge of and if something they aren't sure about pops up, they aren't going to be able to go to you for help as they will fear being punished, which could potentially put them in danger.

Secret accounts may still happen if you let them have social media as kids want to hide things from their parents. Think back when you were a kid, I bet there was a lot you did that your parents don't' know about to this day! However, I like to believe that if something super uncomfortable popped up, like that suicide YouTube video that happened awhile back, a child would be more inclined to talk to their parent who is open to social media rather than one who is not, as they would be more afraid of the repercussions for not following the rules.

Child Grooming


If you are afraid of child grooming or predators, educate your child about these things and teach them to never give out personal information to people they don't know. I wouldn't go as far as to say they can't talk to strangers at all, some of the best friends I have made were over the internet! I was an introvert growing up and making friends was difficult, having that online community really helped me and without it, I probably would have been a depressed teen.

I'm going to share an embarrassing story now of what happened to me as a young teen, one that only a select few know. I actually did have an internet crush and found out we lived in the same state. I don't know if my parents were really open to social media as it just started popping up when I was a teen, but they weren't strict about it so I felt comfortable enough to talk to them about meeting my online friend at a park (with my parents present of course). They agreed, but it fell through as he made up some story that may or may not have been true.

My parents then explained to me the dangers of talking to strangers online and so I deleted him (or it could have been a woman, who knows?) and we never spoke again, and I never tried to meet anyone I met online again. I did still talk to people online because my friends didn't share all the same interests as me. I needed that social interaction, but I knew to only keep it online from that point on and to never share personal information.

If my parents had just decided to ban social media, I may have tried to sneak off to meet him alone, which is what happens in a lot of those child abductions and pedophile cases. Don't let that happen to your child. Talk to them about the dangers, don't just ban social media and think that will be the solution.

I would have loved for someone to have told me the dangers before I started chatting with people online, but unfortunately, I was part of the guinea pig generation and didn't get the talk until after the fact. At least my experience will help me when it comes to raising my daughter in this internet age.

Cyberbullying


If you are worried about cyberbullying, then you need to focus on bullying in the real world. Online bullying is just schoolyard bullying taken to the internet. These are people your child already knows! It is very rare and uncommon for someone to just randomly bully a stranger online, and if so, it is easier to block a random person than someone you see every day in school. Just because your child isn't on social media, doesn't mean they won't get bullied (source). I was actually bullied in school, but never online. By the time I was on social media, I was a teen and already avoiding those people.

Instead of trying to shield your child, teach them how to handle a bully and better yet, teach them how not to be a bully. Bullies are often a result of a bad home life. Their actions are actually more of a cry for help. If you want to raise kind kids, then you need to show them how to be a kind person. I believe that children are a reflection of their parents, so be the best role model you can be.

You can read more about bullying my previous post here.

Education is Key


Banning social media or even more extreme, the internet, will also severely limit your kid in our technology-driven world. They won't know how to navigate or use the online world like their peers, which may put them at a disadvantage depending on what career path they take. Many jobs now also only have applications available online as it saves, money, time and paper.

I also feel a lot of people, especially parents, just have this huge fear of the internet and social media. As a blogger, I am on these daily. I use almost all the sites so I know all the rules, which ones have more privacy, which ones are safer, and I have seen what is on there, which for the most part, is not all that bad. Maybe that is why I am more comfortable with the idea of my daughter being on social media in the future?

I think more parents would feel more comfortable with social media as well if they used it, so I highly encourage you, if you aren't already, to get on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and whatever apps kids are using today and learn how to use them. The more informed you are, the better you will feel about your child being on them and be able to educate them on how to use them safely and properly.

I will agree that not all apps are safe, Snapchat crosses the line with its "disappearing" pictures, but I think your best bet is to just educate your child that those pictures don't actually just "disappear." However, the moment you tell them not to use it is the moment they will start finding a way to get on it, so you just kind of have to hope you can teach your child the dangers and have faith that they are intelligent enough to use it in a safe way.

Final Thoughts


I do believe in age limits, but I think you are pushing it once your child becomes a teenager. I also think if you are really adamant about your child not using social media, then you shouldn't be on it either as it comes across as hypocritical. If it is as bad as you make it out to be, why are you on it? It could also be seen as you don't trust your child, which further distances them from you.

In the end, it is your decision, but as someone who grew up just when social media started popping up, I somehow managed to learn how to play it safe. Sure I made a mistake, we all do, but luckily I had parents I could turn to.

Kids today don't have to be the guinea pigs as most will have parents who have used social media, so they will have plenty of guidance, which will help them make safer and better choices online.


More Sources


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May 10, 2018

$100 Splash Into Cash Summer Break Giveaway

$100 Splash Into Cash Summer Break Giveaway


Sponsored & Hosted by 
~ 1 Winner~
Open to US
5/10 12am ~ 6/07 11:59pm
~Prize~
$100 PayPal Cash


Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews has been having a blast working with so many amazing people. We love all of our sponsors, readers, and blogger buddies. This giveaway is to show our appreciation to every one of you. I hope you have fun entering in the giveaway. 

If you have any ideas of what you would like to see featured on Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews- tell us on the entry form and we will be happy to try to make it happen! I will be personally reading every single one of the suggestions so get creative! 

Thanks for being such an amazing inspiration! 

Find your host
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Thank you to all of the bloggers promoting this giveaway! I appreciate all of you for your hard work and helping our readers get really awesome prizes!

Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries so please check back tomorrow. Share it with your family and friends, they'll want to enter to win too!!

I can't ask you to "Like" our pages but, if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it.
We LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.

Good Luck Everyone!

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If you have any questions about this giveaway,  reviews, or any of our other giveaways, please feel free to email us directly at grovesamy81@gmail.com or amy@aarlreviews.com

May 4, 2018

Anxiety Mindtraps & Tips To Counter Them

May is Mental Health Awareness month so I felt it was time to share a post on anxiety as this is something I personally struggle with and I do see a therapist for my anxiety.

I hesitated to share these tips before as I believe that if you think you have a problem, you should seek medical help and not rely on advice on the internet. However, I also feel that some people have anxiety and may not realize it.

I am sharing this information in hopes that if any of these strongly resonate with you that you do seek out a medical professional. Also, keep in mind, what worked for me, may not work for you. There are many levels of anxiety and many different types of anxiety. Sometimes medication is necessary and just changing your thought process may not work.

Common Mindtraps Associated With Anxiety


Catastrophising


This is when you make a situation worse than it actually is. You imagine the worst possible outcome and are constantly thinking "what if." 

This can be in the present moment. For example, your child is climbing up the ladder to go down the slide, and the whole time you are thinking: "what if he falls?" "what if he breaks an arm?" "what if he dies?" when the reality is they design playground equipment so it is safe for kids and he has probably done the same thing many times before without a problem, so the chance of him falling is very low. 

Or this could be worrying about the future. For example, your kid failed a test and suddenly your thinking "what if he never gets into college?" "If he doesn't go to college, he won't get a job" "If he doesn't get a job, then what?" When the reality is it is just one test and he can make up for it, maybe he just needs a little extra help. 

This was something I struggled with and I still do, but I am now able to catch myself when it happens. Just noticing when you are beginning to "what if" can help counter the anxiety. Another tip is to grab a piece of paper and start writing down all your fears, then you can physically look at them and realize that you are worrying too much. Sometimes just hearing myself say it out loud makes me realize how ridiculous I am being. I highly recommend you talk to your therapist about your "what ifs" and they can help you work around them.

Polarised (Black and White) Thinking


Sometimes also known as "All or Nothing" thinking. This is when you believe there are only right or wrong outcomes. Either something is really good or really bad, there is no "gray" or in-between area. For example, you entered a race and got second place, which is still great, but since it is not first, you see it as failing.

This kind of thinking affected me more so growing up as I had the classic "Tiger Mom" who wanted straight As and if we didn't get that, there was a lot of verbal abuse, so even seeing a B made me feel worthless and not good enough, getting a C was basically failing.

Just graduating college and no longer living with my parents helped me overcome this thinking, as those were what caused my anxiety. If you, however, find yourself thinking this way, take the time to make a chart, write the good thing on one side and the bad thing on the other, then force yourself to find something you can put in between. This will help you realize that there are a lot of "levels" between black and white. You could even get out a crayon box and pick out all the shades of white, gray, and black as a visual. Talk to your therapist if you feel you can't find the "gray" area and they can help. Also, if you can, remove the people or things in your life that are causing you to think this way. You don't need that negativity in your life.

Filtering


This is when you focus on all the negatives in a situation while filtering out the positives. For example, you and your husband are preparing for a date night and all is going well. You're having your wine and salad, then you smell something burning. The chicken is ruined. Suddenly your perfect night becomes awful as you focus on the burnt chicken. You forget about the lovely conversation you were having, and the whole night is about how the chicken was ruined.

Tips to help with filtering or tunnel vision is to stop and try and find at least one positive in the situation. Sure the chicken is ruined, but the time with your spouse was still great and the most important part right? If you make everything negative, then, of course, you are going to have negative feelings. Once you find the positive, you can laugh it off, and find another solution or let it go. If you have difficulty finding a positive to a situation, talk to your therapist.

Personalization


This is when you basically blame yourself or believe everything someone else says or does is a reaction to you. You frequently compare yourself to others. If you think you are better than someone, you feel relieved, but if you don't match up, you feel worthless.

When this happens, write down what you feel is your fault, and look for external factors. For example, instead of thinking you are at fault for your child's bad grade because you didn't make them study harder, consider that maybe your child was just having a bad day or maybe the subject is just a little too hard and he may need some extra help, or maybe the questions on the test were poorly written. You still may be at fault in some situations, but it is not solely your fault.

As for comparing yourself, this can be tough as a society this is all we do. I see it a lot as a mom now, parents comparing themselves to other parents, moms judgings moms, etc. Talk to your therapist if you need help overcoming these feelings.

Overgeneralization


This is the belief that if something happens once it will happen again. Words often used in this kind of thinking are "all," "always," "never," and "every." For example, you asked your husband to take out the garbage for the fifth time today and he didn't. You react by thinking or even voicing: "You never do anything" or "I always have to do it." This leaves you feeling frustrated, helpless, annoyed, etc. 

Not only does this kind of thinking hurt you, but it hurts the person whom your anxiety is directed at. It may be hard in the moment to stop and think about which words to use, so instead think of a moment where you thought this way and evaluate it: "Yes, my husband didn't take out the garbage today, but he does do other things. He mowed the grass yesterday." This helps you stay positive and remember to apologize for your overreaction. It is okay to let him know it annoyed you that he didn't do it right when you asked, but it is not okay for you to say "you never help" when that is not true and only puts him down. 

Jumping to Conclusions (Mindreading)


This is when you make your own assumptions as to how someone is acting the way they do towards you. For example, your friend said she would meet your for dinner, but then she didn't show up. You automatically jump to the conclusion that she is mad at you and doesn't want to be your friend anymore.  

Jumping to these conclusions often happens because you feel poorly about yourself ("Who would want to be friends with someone like me?"). The truth is your friend may have just been sick and forgot to call, or maybe she was in an accident. 

Another form of jumping to conclusions is believing something will happen when it has never happened before (overprediction). For example, you have to give a public speech, something you have never done before, and you think: "I can't go up there, I'll faint!" You have never done it before, so you can't possibly know that you are going to faint, but you believe you will anyway. 

This is one of those where I think you have to catch yourself in the moment and realize you are making conclusions when you have no hard evidence. This one can also be short lived as you may think your friend is angry at you, but then later that night she calls and lets you know that her dog got loose and she spent the whole day looking for him. Your anxiety goes away, but you basically wasted the whole day worrying about nothing. 

This is the worst mindtrap, in my opinion, because it is hard to get anything done when you are anxious and then when you find out the real reason, you are mad at yourself for being worried over nothing. I often catch myself saying "I should've..." I still struggle with this one, but I am getting better at redirecting my thoughts. Like with all of these, it got easier once I realized what I was doing. Again, these may not work for you. Please talk to a medical professional if you need help.

Attribution Error 


This is when you believe you know the reason why a person behaves the way they do when their actions may or may not be deliberate. For example, your child is hitting you, so you think "my child hates me." You are focusing on the behavior and giving it a negative attribute instead of considering what may have caused it. The reality is your child does not hate you. He just has a hard time communicating and shows his frustration by hitting you. He just wants a snack but doesn't know how to ask. 

Another form of this thinking is when you give yourself negative attributes. For example, someone gives you a compliment, but instead, you think "They are just saying that. They don't mean it." You basically just turned what should have been a positive thing into a negative thing. This also gives the person who gave you a compliment a negative attribute. You turned their kindness into spite.

You can try and counter these thoughts by asking "What may have caused that behavior or reaction?" or "What evidence is there to make me think this?" Sometimes this can be difficult as you can't always know what the cause is, especially with young kids, but try and make an effort to look for unseen causes instead of coming up with your own conclusion. If you struggle with this, talk to your therapist.

Shoulding and Musting


This is when you often think "I should," "I shouldn't," "I must," etc. You put unreasonable demands or unrealistic expectations on yourself and others. 

This is the one I am most guilty of and was the main reason I sought help after having my daughter. I constantly found myself thinking "I shouldn't feel this way, a good mom wouldn't feel this way" or "I shouldn't get angry. I shouldn't be mad." 

I struggle with the anger emotion as my mom was not good at controlling hers and it scared me growing up, and still causes my anxiety to spike to this day. I had a hard time expressing anger growing up for that reason and often kept feelings bottled up, but eventually, I would reach a tipping point. The problem was because I had no good role model for expressing anger when it did come out, it wasn't always the best way. This frustrated my husband and he would often say "If you had just told me..." 

My therapist helped me realize that it is okay to feel angry, to feel upset, everyone gets angry, it's a normal emotion. It is how we act on that anger that matters.

I still struggle with this and probably always will, but I have gotten a lot better at just letting my husband know when I am upset. I have also gotten better at managing my anxiety by reminding myself that everyone gets angry.

None of the tips I provided are "cure-alls." They are just ways to help manage your anxiety, a way for you to control it so it doesn't control you. Again, if you are struggling with any of these, please seek help from a medical professional.


Bonus Resource


The Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI) actually has a really good activity worksheet that goes over these and a few more mind traps, which you can check out here

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April 28, 2018

Partzilla OEM Parts $100 AMEX Gift Card Giveaway

~ 1 Winner~
Open to US
4/28 12am ~ 5/12 11:59pm

~Prize~
$100 Am Ex Gift Card

  
Partzilla OEM Parts $100 AMEX Gift Card Giveaway

Partzilla is a premier OEM parts dealer and distributor and we are very excited to announce our first ever Partzilla OEM Parts Giveaway!

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Visit our sponsor, Partzilla at https://www.partzilla.com also on 
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Thank you to all of the bloggers promoting this giveaway! I appreciate all of you for your hard work and helping our readers get really awesome prizes!

Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to US. There are daily bonus entries so please check back tomorrow. Share it with your family and friends, they will want to enter to win too!

I can't ask you to "Like" our pages, but if you see something you like, let us know so we can bring you more of it.
We also LOVE it when you "LIKE" our pages.

Good luck everyone!

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If you have any questions about this giveaway,  reviews, or any of our other giveaways, please feel free to email us directly at grovesamy81@gmail.com or amy@aarlreviews.com

April 27, 2018

5 Things Stay At Home Moms Want For Mother's Day That Aren't Gifts

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Read full disclosure here.

I know I titled this post "5 Things Stay At Home Moms Really Want For Mother's Day," but I think the majority of these could apply to any mom! These are just things I, as a stay home mom, would really want for Mother's Day (most don't cost a dime!) and I think many stay at home moms would appreciate them as well because often the parent that stays home rarely gets a break from their daily duties.

1. Sleep


Let your wife or mom sleep in! Serve her breakfast in bed so she doesn't have to get up, but make sure she's awake first! Moms hardly ever get to sleep in and often are up late as those few hours after the kid is asleep are the only hours we really get to ourselves.

If you have a newborn, offer to get up in the middle of the night to check on the baby instead so she can sleep, that is if you aren't exclusively breastfeeding.

You can also offer her some quiet time in the middle of the day to take a much-needed nap!

2. A Clean House


Clean the house for her or pay someone else to come clean. If you have older kids, you could even get them to help out! If you do hire a maid, make sure they come at a time your wife/mom is not home. You could send her out for a spa day as an added bonus!

3. An Uninterrupted Bath


This is an easy one, just let your mom or wife have 1-2 hours to herself to take a nice long, relaxing bubble bath (Bath &Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint Foam Bath is my favorite). No interruptions!

I think any stay at home mom would appreciate this as it can be hard to even get 5 minutes for a quick shower! You could even decorate the room with candles and/or get rose petals to sprinkle in the tub. You could also buy a nice relaxing CD she could listen to while she's in the bath or buy that book she's been wanting to read and now has some time to!

4. Cook Dinner


Stay at home moms are often the meal preppers, so give her the night off! Cook her a meal for a change, but make sure you practice because the last thing she wants is something burned. You could also order food, but do avoid pizza unless that just happens to be the food she loves!

5. Take The Kids Out or Watch The Kids


Take the kids to the park, or the zoo, or maybe brave the store and do grocery shopping. Let mom have the house to herself for once so she can do whatever she wants. She would appreciate the quiet time to read, watch Netflix, work on a craft or hobby, etc.

Or maybe your mom would prefer to get out of the house and have some alone time at the mall, or at the spa, so instead, you could watch the kids while she goes out.

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April 20, 2018

Bullying Begins at Home

Every time a school shooting occurs, the subject of bullying is brought up. A lot of people want schools to do more to stop bullying and some schools do have bullying programs, but they often fail or don't do as much as we would hope (source). Why? Because bullying starts at home and only when the bullying at home stops can the bullying at school end.

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Bullying is a Learned Behavior  

"Research shows that parents with bully behavior are most likely to raise bully kids. Parents who are overbearing, controlling and aggressive at home are likely to instill this behavior in their kids." (source)
Kids are sponges, they soak up everything you say and do. They watch you like hawks, every move you make determines their fate (source). The moment you call someone "fat" on TV sets them up to call someone "fat" at school (source). This is why racism still persists in our society to this day, because those who demean people of a different race, culture, sexuality, etc, are raising kids to do the same.

Spanking Is a Problem


Have you ever uttered the phrases "Sit down before I smack you" or "Stop that or you'll get a spanking!" or "Don't make me hurt you!" Well if you did, you are bullying your child.
"Parents and adults who use threats and violent intimidation to get what they want out of their children are bullies." (source)
You are threatening to hurt your child for doing something that you don't want them to do, which is basically what a schoolyard bully does. Does "Give me your lunch money or I'll punch you." sound familiar or "If you don't get out of my way, I'll hurt you."

Those basically mirror statements from what their parents are doing to them. If your kid is a bully, then you are most likely a bully, but disguise it as "good parenting." This is the reason why spankings do more harm than good. You are basically teaching your child that it is okay to make threats and hit people when they aren't doing something you like.
“Parents are very powerful role models and children will mimic the behavior of parents, wanting to be like them. They may believe violence is OK and they can use it with peers. After all, they may think, ‘If Daddy can do this, perhaps I can hit this kid to get my way.’ When parents engage in violence, children may assume violence is the right way to do things..." (source)
Spankings have been proven time and time again by many studies to do more harm than good. Many countries have even banned the abusive practice, but sadly the US still allows parents to hit their children. I believe this is one of the reasons there is so much bullying in America.
"A study by researchers at Tulane University found that children who were spanked more often at age 3 were 50 percent more likely to be aggressive by age 5. The children who had been spanked were more likely to throw tantrums, be defiant, get easily frustrated, demand immediate gratification and show aggression toward others." (source)
I won't get more into spanking as I have covered that in an older post, which you can feel free to read here, but I do believe it is abusive and harmful as I was a victim of it in my younger years. I believe you should treat others how you want to be treated, and that goes for children. You wouldn't appreciate someone hitting you, so why would you think it's okay to hit your kid? If you want to raise kind children, then you have to be a kind person.
"Home is where empathy is learned or not learned, and school is where the lessons learned at home get played out. If relationships at home are based on fear and intimidation, children are more likely to use the same tactics with their peers. School bullies and victims are significantly more likely to report being physically hurt by a family member or witnessing violence at home than children who had not been bullied." (source)  

How You Treat Your Spouse Matters


Also, how you treat your spouse can affect your child's likelihood to become a bully. If they are constantly watching you mock, yell, and disrespect your spouse then they will likely pick up that this is an okay behavior and do it to their classmates (source).

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't argue in front of your children. You should, as long as it's healthy, as this helps them learn how to handle confrontation later on. However, don't go screaming, cussing and calling each other names (which is bullying by the way) in front of them because your child is going to see that and bring it to the playground.

If you have problems communicating with your spouse now, please seek help from a counselor or therapist before your behavior rubs off on your children.


Siblings are a Training Ground for Bullying


Conflicts among siblings are common, but can actually be harmful to their mental health if parents choose not to intervene.
"Sibling bullying is not relationship-building or training for the real world, as some parents think. It can have the same effects as school bullying by peers, including depression, anxiety and anger, even after just one incident." (source)
Bloodshed or physical violence should not be the only time a parent intervenes when their children fight. They should step in anytime something sounds like bullying such as name calling and mediate the argument. Let their child know certain words are off limits or not nice (source).
"If siblings get along at home and interact with some sense of respect and kindness, it is more likely they will mix well in social settings. If they don’t and are, instead, combative, they may be bullies or victims at school. Children often maintain their home roles outside the home, Menesini points out." (source)
Parents need to pay close attention to how their children are treating each other because this will reflect how they treat their peers in school. Don't just ignore your children when they are fighting because you are then just enforcing their roles as bully and victim.


Don't Be a Bully if you Don't Want to Raise a Bully


I live by the rule: "if you wouldn't do it to your spouse or best friend, then you shouldn't do it to your child." You wouldn't slap your wife if she talked sassy to you and you certainly wouldn't spank your best friend if they refused to take off their shoes. You would talk to them about it and work it out. 

Kids minds are of course growing, so they won't understand the first time and it won't be until they are 4 or even older before they develop an understanding of self-control, and even then they are going to make mistakes, we all do (source)! But here's the thing, if they don't understand words, they won't understand being spanked either. Spanking just causes them to fear you and the moment you hit your child is the moment they may begin to think it is okay to do the same to others.

If you want your child to respect you, you have to respect them. You are the adult, you are older, you know more than they do, so you have to be the one to control your emotions. As I said in the beginning, kids are sponges, how you act is how they act. They are reflections of you, so be the kindest, nicest, politest, and best person you can be, because it will rub off on them and instead of raising bullies, you'll be raising kind, loving human beings.

Sources & Resources

April 13, 2018

Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox Giveaway

Disclosure: Affliliate links are used in this post (full disclosure located at bottom of post).


Sponsored By: Best of Machinery

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

BestofMachinery.com is running a fantastic giveaway that appeals to Moms and Dad’s, Uncles and Aunts, and of course... Grandparents! The prize is a functioning Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox! This is no ordinary sandbox. It features a sand area with molded ramps and roadways, and a real working excavator to dig the sand and load up the toy dumpster truck! It includes all the accessories, too!


Winner Will Receive:


Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox! (a $50+ RV)


Product Details:
Sand area features molded in ramps and roadways
Use the real working excavator to dig in the sand and load up the dump truck
Truck ramp doubles as lid to keep sand dry
Accessories included: 2 characters, sand cup, sand sifter, shovel, rake, dump truck


Open To US & Canada entries and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 4/13 9:00 AM EST through 5/4 11:59PM EST

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 winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 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.