How to Help a New Mom

As a new mother, all I wanted was privacy. I wanted no one or nothing to come anywhere near me. Sure they could bring food, help around the house, but I didn’t want them to come into my bedroom, invade my personal space and feel like I had to let them hold my baby! If I could have had it my way, I wouldn’t have told anyone that I was in labor but my husband and midwife. I wouldn’t want anyone to see me or the baby for the first week (like literally no one! my husband, midwife and any other children are the only exceptions because…. ya, know… they live there, and well, it’s just smart to have your health care provider visits!)

That’s me, that’s how I work and what I would want. I know plenty of other people who want a lot of people around them right after their baby is born, even while their in labor (my brain can’t even explain this rationally to me! But hey, if it works for you, that’s great!)

Here’s another bloggers post on tips to help an new mother. It’s a Great list! So Much Truth in it! mamacamping.com

If I had anything to add to this list it would be:
1. Always be respectful of the mothers wishes and don’t take them personally.
2. If she asks for something, Anything, even if it seems weird or maybe even rude, be respectful of what she just did!
3. Ask if there’s any dietary restrictions or preferences she may need in any meal preparations.
4. Give her grace! She’s extremely hormonal! She may be in shock if her experience wasn’t as planned. She’s learning new skills, if she asks for privacy or space, give it!
5. If you’re not sure what she may need, ask! You can always just ask anyway and see if there’s anything else she might need.

If you know someone who is about to be a new or first time mother, this should be a great recourse for you if you are not sure how to be of help!
Enjoy!

What would you add to this list? Would you do anything differently?

Top 10 Baby Items for Small Budgets

Now that my little ones are past the 6 months stages and closing in on a year old, I have finally put together my top 10 baby items wish list I wish I had from the start. I felt like I had to have Everything to bring my first baby home. There were so many things out there that I was told were necessary that I felt overwhelmed (to say the least) and wondered how would we do this as a newly married, broke, couple?! And everything was So Expensive! I didn’t get everything I wanted or thought I Had to have and yet, my baby was fine and we somehow got through those first few months.

This is my wish list for parents-to-be on a budget, what you have to have to bring a baby home according to what I and my husband chose to do as parents:

  1. A car seat. You may think that’s a no brainer, but they won’t let you take that baby home if you don’t have it with you, so go ahead and just put it in the car as soon as you get it. And that will also help you get used to it being there. The reality didn’t really sink in for me until I saw that car seat back there that we were really about to have a baby.
  2. Bassenets that fold up when not in use are great for small spaces. I co-splet with my babies (gasp, shock, how could I, I know. I trusted myself as I am a light sleeper and was very aware of my child who actually slept on top of me. I became very accustomed to not moving while sleeping during pregnancy and with winter, I knew my baby would stay warm so I felt safe enough to do this. I do not recommend this with everyone. You know how you sleep and what you need.
  3. Diaper Bag. Now get this, those cute little back packs from Wal-Mart, those make great diaper bags. I like the idea of a back pack because it has more than one use once you don’t need one any more, which for me, I stop using a diaper bag around 7-8 months because I don’t like carrying around a lot of stuff (I’m kinda a minimalist. Well not kinda, I am a minimalist, or at least as much as you can be with kids!).
  4. Diapers/ Wipes and a trash can with a lid! ‘Cause them things stink! Even breastfed babies poop will smell bad in a few days. Is the trash can lid necessary, yes and no. It is very helpful though!
    This might be another no brainer, but if you’re budgeting, add it on there! ‘Cause those things add up. I chose to do cloth diapers which saved us a lot of money. In part of my research, I found that you can spend almost $3,000 on just diapers alone by the time your baby is two and half. I cloth diapered two kids at once for $200, that includes cloth wipes too (I will be uploading a video on how I do my diapers.)
  5. Clothes. Again, you have to budget for these if you’re not having a shower or you aren’t getting much. But you really don’t need that many clothes. They grow out of them so fast and you will do laundry often enough that if you had only 12-14 items in each months sizes then you should have enough. you won’t change their clothes twice a day every day so that is why I say that number, pajamas maybe 4. Just think how often you will be doing laundry and plan for that many days with at least 3-4 extra changes. I felt like I had to have a lot of clothes. I found that I tend to go back to my favorite ones and not touch others, so I can get away with less clothes.

    close up of pink indoors
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  6. Sling. I would definitely chose a sling over any other baby wearing device out there.  My reason, you can carry in almost any position. My first baby wanted to be held by only me for the first 5-6 months. I wore her a lot, like a lot, a lot! My second baby is a hip baby! A sling can be worn on the front, back side. Baby facing in, out or lying down. Definitely recommend a sling.
  7. Nursing cover! I breast fed my babies, and there were times people wondered what I was doing and would lift up the cover… to the embarrassment of us both. It happened at my friends wedding. In line for food. In front of almost EVERYONE. I switched to a different cover after that! (Links will be included below)
  8. Sports bras and nursing pads were my best friend! I never found nursing bras to be comfortable for me, I found the ease of sports bras to be more functional for me. Moment of reality: your boobs will constantly be fluctuating in shape and size. The sports bra allows for no gapping, hooks to come undone, or spillage. You simply lift up the bottom of the bra, and tuck everything back in once you’re done.
  9. A Stroller. This is at the bottom of the list because you can get away without having one, but they are very helpful if you do have one and want to go for walks and get out of the house.
  10. Bottles and pump. If you’re breast feeding, you can get away with as little as 4-5 bottles for date nights or baby sitters. I used a new tooth brush to clean mine and it worked pretty well. As for a pump, there are some very small inexpensive manual pumps which work and can be small enough to fit in your diaper bag.

This is my list of top 10 items you really should try to have for your first baby for the first 6 months. Once that mile marker is reached, there are definitely other items you will need but those are for another list.

shoes child clothing pregnancy
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Links for all my favorite items are included below:
Let’s remember that we can all act like adults and even though we may not agree with everything above, there is no need for negative comments. I would like to know if there are any other items you would think are necessary for new parents on a budget, so please leave all positive comments below!

A great place to hava regisry is Babylist.com. I was very satified with it!
2. Bed/Bassinet Pack N Plays work well instead of buy a crib and then if you go on vacation you can take baby bed with you!Smart and Simple Playard – Ridgedale
3. Diaper Bag BackpackLeaper Casual Style Lightweight Canvas Laptop Bag Cute School Backpack Shoulder Bag Pencil Case 3PCS Set (Water Blue)
4. Diapers and WipesPampers Baby Wipes Sensitive 6X Pop-Top Packs, 336 CountPampers Swaddlers Disposable Diapers Newborn Size N (<10 lb), 128 Count, GIANT
5. Clothes
6. Slings Moby Sling
7. Nursing covers like these work great for multipurpose Hicoco baby car seat cover, nursing covers breastfeeding cover carseat canopy (feather)
8. If you don’t have some, find a cheap pair or two.
1. and 9. Stroller and CarseatEvenflo Vive Travel System with Embrace, Spearmint Spree
10. BottlesDr. Brown's Original Bottle, 8 ounce, 4-Pack
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The Number 1 Way to Feel Better and Regain Control Over Your Life


“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!”…”

Middlemarch, George Eliot

This world is full of disappointments. Our entire lives can be shaped and directed by regrets, sorrow, heartache. It can hold you back from following your dreams, destroy your confidence, make you fearful of the future, change the way you think about yourself. You’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough. You’ve waisted too much of your life already so why try now? How does one live in a world full of such pain, harm and fear? How does one not let past wrongs hold them captive to a life they did not dream of? One simple action.

Forgivness.

The practice of forgiveness can have many physical and mental benefits; it improves the quality of relationships, decreases anxiety and stress, lowers blood pressure and risk of depression, it can create a stronger immune system and heart health.

Here is an article that goes into greater depth on the health benefits of forgiveness.

So why do we hold on to the hurt, bitterness and pain if there are so many benefits to let it go? It can give us a sense of power, and righteousness. It also is familiar and can feel safer. Victimization can also cause others to feel sorry for us giving us a feeling of self-importance; the “my life is harder than your life”, “you haven’t had the hardships and set backs I have” can give us an excuse not to live up to our full potential, so if we fail, we have something to blame.

“forgivness is the fragrance that the Violet sheds on the heal that crushed it.”

Mark Twain

     People are taught about forgiveness and maybe its importance, but very few are actually taught How to forgive. Most are taught to simply say the words “I forgive you” and they are forgiven. I find this to be a very poor teaching. Probably the best teaching I have heard on forgiveness comes from Dennis, and Dr. Jennifer Clark. Their ministry, Kingdom Life Church, in Fort Mill SC, has a very simple, effective way of teaching about forgiveness. Its simple enough for a child to understand and is effective immediately. forgive123.com

Now for those of you who are Believers,

cross jesus summit cross
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Someone once told me that not forgiving someone is like saying what Jesus did on the cross wasn’t enough and it is not finished, he needs to stay there longer to pay for what happened. Would you want your best friend, the best thing to ever happen to you to continue to suffer the most excruciating form of torture? Who am I to say “It is not enough.”?

Ephesians 4:32 says: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.” How did God in Christ forgive you? “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The most precious and pure example of forgiveness. Jesus asked His Father to forgive those who were killing him.

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” 

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

 

 

Here is more information about the Clarks: kingdomelifechurch.us

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Perspective

“Its a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

     In todays world, it’s a dangerous business opening up your computer or web browser. But here I am, venturing out my door, trusting my feet to a Path I don’t know.  But the one who made the path is my friend, so I think I’ll be ok. And if I get lost, I’ll just ask for directions!

house on green landscape against sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”

     There is so much truth to this quote. There is indeed so much peril in the world. It seems as though everything you do is followed by some warning of how this may cause serious harm or potential life threats. What we choose to focus on is that which we will see. If we spend so much time watching the news, reading articles about how this or that is bad for you, and you’re slowly dying if you use or do this thing, then of corse you’re going to see and even experience a lot of danger and grief. But when we focus on the good, that which is wholesome (and for Christians, even things that are not “spiritual”), there are good, wholesome things out there. Come on! there is So MUCH More good than there is anything else.

Let’s take it from a biblical perspective. Revelation 12:9 says: “This great dragon-the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Statin, the one deceiving the whole world was thrown down to the earth [in the garden] with all his angles”. Only 1/3 of the angles fell, that means 2/3 are left. Which means theres still more good!

Interesting side thought of mine; Satin was thrown down to earth, in the garden. So while God was creating the world in Gen. 1:1, this happened in Gen. 1:2. It seems to me that the amount of time between the first day and the second day is a lot of time as we think of it. I think it is very possible the earth is billions years old and when God spoke, there was indeed a Big Bang. Can I prove it all in hard factual evidence? No, not really, other than some scriptures that some might say are too vague to support this belief. However, as I find to be the case, you will usually find what you’re looking for, and if not, you will find something.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

Bits and Pieces

Thanks for returning to my sappy blog thus far. If you have read my previous blogs, first of all, thank you! Secondly, I thought I would share some of who I am because it’s pretty hard to have trust with someone you don’t know. And since I hope to build a strong community and dialogue, that might, just might be an important part of the foundation. So here we go…

My name is Ashley. 

I was born and raised in the south. I was brought up in church, in a (Methodist) Non-denominational church (this will be important to know later).  One of my secret prayers was that God would make me able to fly like Peter Pan and when I did my body temperature would regulate to 72F (I was 12. I didn’t know that I would die ok!) I may have even tried to fly a couple times. I am the youngest of three kids, having two older brothers. I always wanted to be a dancer, ride horses, do some form of art, become a famous actress, live in other countries for at least two years each, speak 6-7 different languages and graduate from college. When I was in high school I was officially diagnosed with dyslexia ( I’m actually rather proud I can spell that word!) in reading, writing (why am I Writing a blog again?!) and comprehension. This meant school was not easy at all. I would study twice as long to make average grades. There were some teachers though who were amazing! They knew I understood the material based on the questions I would ask and even answering the students questions in class (Mrs. Graham, you’re the best). The professional who diagnosed my dyslexia informed my mother and myself that I would never be able to learn a second language or survive college. Therein came my determination to prove her and everyone else wrong. With the help of my therapist, Mrs. Helms, and others over the next two years, I was able to graduate on time and was accepted to a liberal arts college. I was ecstatic! I remember I got the acceptance letter the day before my 18th birthday. My college experience was rocky. With bad roommates (all but one), commuter systems not knowing I was even there, classes I didn’t sign up for appearing on my schedule, I had a rough time catching up. Eventually I ran out of money and had to drop out. I was crushed, my dreams seemed to be utterly destroyed. I had no hope of ever becoming anything. Through different events I ended up going to a ministry school where I met a Really cute guy. But he was so immature I decided there were probably better options. I kept one eye on him thought, just in case. By the second year of ministry school, something changed in him and we actually became friends over the game of Life. A few months later we were getting married and moving to England. After 6 months, we returned home and started a family. I decided I couldn’t let someone else raise my kids even if they payed me. So I joined the ranks of stay at home moms and watched my friends continue to live their lives from a distance. It was hard. Very hard. But thats a whole different story for another time. 

Now I am rejoining the ranks of at home working mothers and with your help I will succeed. 

Motivation

Lets be real for a minute. I have no idea what I’m doing. Creating this blog was done in an effort to increase our income while staying home with the kids (maybe that’s something you’re not supposed to say on a blog, but I did, it’s there in the open now). I have not had a “real” job in more years than care to count, so to say my confidence level is low is perhaps being nice! 

But I have a lot of motivation. These two beautiful kids, and my wonderful husband. 

My dreams and hopes for our future as a family. Our desire to travel, to be self supported missionaries.

Ensuring the wellbeing of my children is a great motivation but probably my biggest motivation would be my husband (caution: PDA alert!). Over the past 10 months I have watched my husband work hard. Very hard. Often overworked and exhausted, he continues to get up every morning between 5:00am and 5:30am to drive 45 minutes to a job where he works in the heat, the rain, the wind, the cold and the dirt or mud for 10+ hours Monday through every Friday. He is gone almost 13 hours a day and 10 hours on Saturdays. And yet, he still comes home and plays with the kids and helps me around the house. How could I be more proud of him? I feel so honored to be his wife and stand by his side, having the privilege of watching him grow and mature in some inspiring ways. But I miss him and I want him home. 

And so it is for these reasons I have chosen to embark on this journey blog. So please stay tuned for more posts and thank you for joining me on this journey of learning. 

Trial and Error

How many times have you tried something only to have it fail. I have, I tried several small business endeavors. They all failed. Miserably.

How many times have have you wanted to try something new but did not know where to start or what would work best for you? Beauty products, baby products, workouts, cleaning hacks, recipes. This blog for one!

How many times have you been given advice that did not work, like dating “how to’s”, what job you should have, what you should do with you life? Just small things, nothing major.

How many times do you wish someone had told you something that could have prevented unnecessary pain, stress, loss of time and money? My husband and I could name a few!

I will be addressing some of these topics and more in future posts as a source for practical and informative life skills and tips, stories of my own experiences as well as others to equip you and hopefully give you successful tools in your Life belt to make you successful by learning from trusted, tested individuals such as myself and those who ave influenced my life. I will base my research from a biblical world view and hope to hear from you in this dialogue!