A few weeks ago I decided to take the little one to feed the ducks. Geechi in her true nature of wanting to minister to the ducks suggested that I feed them the stale raisin break that we had left. Remembering that raisins are toxic to dogs I hopped onto Google to make sure that raisins wouldn’t be toxic to ducks and geese. Well to my surprise I learned something—DON’T FEED BREAD TO DUCKS!
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT! Had all the movies showing people feeding bread to ducks lied to me?!? YES. Apparently bread provides no nutritional value to ducks the same as soda water (it’s the southern in me) to humans. If you were lied to like I was here is a list of things you can feed to ducks and geese.
The movies lied but the internet never will ???. Leave the ? at home and bring some ???????
While I aim to be my son’s friend I also realize that my job as a parent is to love him, affirm him, and discipline him. Bell Hooks, in All About Love, states that “Abuse and neglect negate love”. Earlier in the same chapter she denounced hitting and draws no differentiation between disciplining and punishing. However, there is a difference. Punishment is focused on the past and is rooted in anger. Discipline however is focused on the future and is rooted in love and care. Even God disciplines.
“At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”
Hebrews 12:11 MSG
I write this not to change your mind but to be a voice of those who spank our children but in the current climate feel that we must hide in the shadows for fear of judgment. I speak out to voice that there is a difference between spanking and abuse and when we really honestly and openly talk about it we know the difference.
As with anything that centers around children trial an error is essential. I hope these tools help. If you have any other tools or suggestions please share them in the comments below 👇🏾 to help others.
Overall one must be intentional. Intentional with how you start and end your day. Intentional with your inner circle of friends and what you allow to influence your sphere. Intentional in seeking out opportunities for growth and new experiences. Intentional in spreading positivity towards others.
Step 1: Naked Baby—I let my little one run around and play naked while I intently and purposefully played with him and watched him for his signs and tells that he needed to potty. This was the hardest part for me because messes will happen. He pooped on the floor; he peed on the floor. He did it over and over again until I learned his signs and began to anticipate his pattern.
Step 2: Commando Baby—Then I had to put him in pants with not diaper and no underwear. The washing machine became my best friend. I contemplated buying more clothes for him because I felt like I couldn’t keep up, but I remained strong and focused that this time would pass. We stayed at home initially most of the time because I was afraid of what would happen outside. But I learned that we couldn’t stay locked in the house forever. I learned to pack extra clothes, and to monitor and time his fluids if we had a planned outing. I learned how to pull over on the side of the road and help him pee outside.
Step 3: Emerging Independence—it was so cute how after he started getting the hang of things he started wanting to help empty his own potty and wanted to flush the big commode. I eventually learned to let go while he carried the bowl to the bathroom. I learned to move the potty further away from me and allow him dignity and privacy (though he often calls me into the bathroom and often sits in the bathroom with me ??♀️)
Step 4: Growing in Steps—we tried moving his step stool to the big commode however with no handles I got worried about his turns and transitioning so I went to Amazon and bought Potty Toilet Trainer Seat with Step Stool Ladder. This has him using the adult commode like a champ!
I know that eventually I will need to teach him how to potty standing up and will need to work on night time potty training but as this process has taught me. Everything in its season! ?
As a parent and a single mom my life significantly changed with the arrival of my son but I will say I NEVER thought I’d have to change my face cleansing routine!
BONUS:::LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask:::
I love this sleep mask for my lips. I don’t know where it’s been all my life!!! I put it on at night and in the morning my lips as so kissably ? smooth.
As I go through the process of trying to rid my life of things that I no longer need I am surrounded by lots of things that I purchased in anticipation of my newborn that looking back almost 3 years later I never used or hardly used.
Here are my 5 top purchase regrets:
Hope this list is helpful on saving you from traveling down the road I did but if you are anything like me you might just do what I did. Read them, chuckle, and say…”I’ll be different she just didn’t know what she was doing” LOL! 😂🤦🏾♀️😂
What the heck! No wonder I went into a slight depression when I took my newborn son home. Here I am charged with raising a child on my own. Which I was all fire ready and prepared to do and now I have a son the the haunting sound in the back of my mind was that you “cannot raise a man on your own”. I prayed nightly and daily for strength. Finally my prayers were answered through a conversation that I had with another mother. She asked me to write down what attributes that I looked for in a good man.
So let me start off by saying that I am not your doctor. I am not advocating that you follow what I do. Let me also state that as parents our job is hard, the decisions we make for our family is even harder and while you may not agree with my decision I ask that you respect my choice to make it...if you can’t do that then this blog post is not for you so you may just want to skip this one but hopefully you’ll come back for my other content 😃
I stopped putting him in the bassinet and put him in the bed with me and my mother—she was sleeping with me at the time to help me🤦🏾♀️. In an effort to try to be as safe as possible in my decision my mother suggested that I buy an Owlet. For those who have not heard of this product let me give you a quick rundown. It’s a device that goes on your little ones foot that tracks their oxygen saturation and heart rate. If there is abnormal readings based on set parameters it will alert you and it will also alarm on your cell phone if you have it programmed. While this device is not intended to be used in the manner that I did; it did bring me peace of mind and helped me rest a bit easier with my little on by my side.
As Jeremy got better with latching it made breastfeeding easier. As he got older he would find the nipple all on his own and I would wake up to his suckling 🤱🏽. Now that he’s weaned from breastfeeding we co-sleep for necessity due to out inter generational living situation (i.e. I’m staying with my parents house—stay tuned for a vlog about that 🤣).
However, I also continue to co-sleep because it gave me a bit more time with him as a working mother with late hours. The freedom to hug, kiss, and pray over him during the night all from the comfort of my bed is a joy. For me waking up to hear him laugh in his sleep is reward from the months of being awakened by him crying needing to be fed and changed and cuddled. Laying in the bed with my eyes clothes while he stirs is such s joy. It’s so cute to experience all the different moods and ways he wakes up. Sometimes he wakes up because of a bad dream. Other times he wakes up with a “Hello! How are you?” as he turns uses his hands to force my eyelids open.
Now of course I miss being able to sprawl and sleep all over the king sized bed by myself. I miss relaxing and sleeping in lazily. I miss getting up and going to the bathroom without fear of arousing him (he’s a light sleeper at times). I miss having the pillows and covers to myself. I definitely could do without the intermittent foot kicks to my belly and occasionally my face when he turns to lay perpendicular to me 👣👶🏾. I miss watching the news first thing in the morning in favor of watching Paw Patrol and learning all about what is going on in Afventure Bay 🤦🏾♀️.
While I would not recommend co-sleeping for everyone I will say that it was the best decisions for me and my family. I would advocate for always operating in what’s best for your family mode, taking care to try and mitigate possible pitfalls with decisions that go against the grain and always be prepared and educated in regards to the risks that you are taking. While I’m sure I’m making some cringe I hope I empower and support others who have made this difficult choice and feel judged by others for their decisions.
It’s fast approaching…Mother’s Day. I used to think that it was over commercialized and not necessary because isn’t every day a day for a mother???!!!! Heck no!!! After having my little one I realized that there are very few days that are for mothers and sometimes even Mother’s Day is not for mothers.
A lot of us are hoping to be asked what we want for Mother’s Day because we know that the people in our lives have no clue about what we want or really need for Mother’s Day because if they did—Mother’s Day would be more a frequent occurrence than just once a year.
However, I know some are still not going to ask because then there would be no “surprise”. So here are some suggestions I have based on some of the mothers that are in my life. While mothers are typically a great meld of many different strengths hopefully this will spark inspiration depending on the “type” of mother you are celebrating:
THE TIRED MOTHER:
For this mother I would suggest a dinner out at her favorite restaurant (NOT ON MOTHER’S DAY) because as we all know service on Mother’s Day tends to suck and the restaurants are packed. Another option if she has expressed interest (that’s where it pays to listen) is a cooking class. If funds are a factor try cooking her favorite meal—just make sure you clean up the kitchen after you wine and dine her. 😉 Another present that’s is sure to please would be a coupon book (yep it’s been done before) but this would be coupons for free cleanup of the kitchen, free help in the kitchen, or even a coupon for breakfast or dinner in bed.
THE CREATIVE/ARTISTIC MOTHER:
Creativity is a must for most mothers, as we creatively juggle a 36 hour day worth of activities into a 24 hour day. This mother however had a penchant for making things, or repurposing items and making arts projects. She may even have a side business centered around something she makes or does-like a blog, book, bath salt bombs, soaps, lotions , or hair products. She is always ready to see the potential in mess and clutter. She is the one that the kids run to for last minute projects that are due and she is always able to make something work.
THE SINGLE MOTHER:
Time alone is typically at the top of this mom’s list. Just a moment to void in peace, actually take a bath/shower without racing through to beat the little ones from destroying the house or fighting with each other. A night out with the friends, time to curl up with one of the many good books on her nightstand table that she has every good intention of reading but can’t stay awake long enough to get past page 3. This mother would probably like most mothers love the gift of a photoshoot with her children as she is typically found behind the camera and rarely in front of the camera during memorable times.
THE ORGANIZED MOTHER:
Whatever you do...DO NOT buy her an organizer! You will likely get the wrong kind. With all the things she juggles in the air she is likely putting herself last as most mothers/parents due. Giving her an opportunity to put herself first would be a great gift. Shuttling the little ones to play dates, the library, sleep overs, etc would be an awesome gift. This mom also might love a massage, pedicure, manicure, or all-in-one spa day.
I hope you found inspiration in the paragraphs above for gift giving to that special mother in your life. Good luck and give your mother a hug for me on her special day!
Embracing my imperfection and striving for perfection through grace.