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motherhood

5 Time-saving Tips For Busy Moms

Becoming a mom is like taking a crash-course in organization, especially if you weren’t paying attention to it before. Very quickly, you learn to delegate tasks and the gentle art of time management. You learn to stretch minutes into hours and use every single moment of the day. But if you still feel like you are struggling with time – you’re not alone. Many moms do, and here are the time-saving tips they swear by:

Meal prep

Making a week’s worth of food in advance might seem like a huge task, but it actually only takes a few hours of uninterrupted work. So, chose a day when someone can take care of the little one and give you a few hours off and prepare everything. You can cook and then freeze the meals, so that you can simply reheat when you’re about to eat, or if you prefer freshly cooked food, you can chop, marinate and season everything, so that the only thing left to do is to put it all in a pan and let it cook. If you are making your own baby food, make it in bulk and freeze it.

Use technology

There are so many inventions that we can use to make our lives a little bit easier and save us some time. Start off with a good robotic vacuum cleaner. It will take the pressure of daily vacuuming off your shoulders and you will be at peace knowing that your house is clean. You can also use a slow cooker, which will cook perfectly tender food during the day, requiring you to simply dump in the ingredients, stir and turn it on. Thirdly, you can use an audio activated home device to coordinate your home hands-free while you are busy doing something else.

Free your hands

A mixture of motherly instincts, fear and their needs can make it really hard to put our baby down, and we simply want them by our side as often as possible. But being productive with a baby in your hands is not exactly an easy task, and this is where baby wraps come into play. They allow you to bond with your baby while keeping both hands free for doing anything you need. It’s often easier than taking a stroller or a baby carrier with you everywhere you go, and you will feel a lot closer to your child, because they are right by your chest. Make sure that the wrap is soft and comfortable for both you and your baby.

Have a schedule

If we don’t know exactly what we need to do and when, we can easily get lost in our tasks and forget about something important. You should have a family schedule, which should be somewhere visible and contain all the kids’ individual activities as well as family time. For yourself, you can either choose to go old-school and have a day planner or a bullet journal, or you can get an app on your phone that will synchronize all of your calendars and send you reminders for important events.

Prepare for tomorrow

 

Take the moments before you go to sleep to go over the upcoming day in your head. Think of all the errands you need to run and the places you need to go. Taking this time will let you develop a strategy, but it will also be a quiet moment of meditation, where you are not doing anything actively, but simply preparing. If you prefer to also have a visual aid, you can use this time to write down all the tasks for tomorrow in your planner.

Most importantly, remember to relax and enjoy life. Take it one day at a time and enjoy all the little moments, so you can not only be a well-organized mom, but a confident, relaxed one as well. And don’t forget to take a day off just for yourself every now and then!

 

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February 5, 2018
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Pregnancy and the Many Changes It Will Do To A Woman’s Body

 

A woman’s body is so resilient. It can transform into many roles in a woman’s life. One of that role is to be ready for child-bearing. And with that, a woman’s body will evolve in many ways to adjust to its new role.

Pregnancy or gestation is a beautiful change that a woman’s body go through during conception. A woman’s body will undergo plenty of transformation that are totally exciting, frightening, and even confusing for a pregnant woman especially the first time mommies to-be for 9 months.

Here are some of the physical (and even those that a woman does not see) changes a woman’s body will undergo during pregnancy:

 

Temporary cessation of  menstrual period during pregnancy

This is one of the few initial tell-tale signs of gestation. A woman’s monthly menstruation suddenly stops once the ovum is fertilized. This process lasts for 9 long months. Therefore, a pregnant woman will temporarily lose her period during the duration of her pregnancy.The menstrual cycle usually returns after few weeks to months after birth.

 

Enlargement of the breasts

During pregnancy, the breasts will enlarge and also become tender due to the increased estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body. The breasts will also become painful towards the end term of pregnancy as it gets ready for milk production.

 

(Photo credit: pexels.com)

 

Expanding abdomen

The belly is the major area that will show the most obvious physical change in a pregnant woman’s body. The abdomen will expand accordingly as the pregnancy progress. The skin will also stretch during this process causing stretch marks and itching.

 

Bleeding gums and loose teeth

This period requires extra calcium for the baby as well and the mother has to provide much needed supplement to ensure baby is meeting the required nutrients. During this time, the mother (although not all) will experience bleeding gums and loosening of teeth. The levels of hormones are also contributing factors to these; hence, it is advisable for pregnant women to consult their doctor in the early onset of pregnancy to check their oral health as well.

 

Frequent urination

Pregnancy puts pressure in the kidneys and bladder making a pregnant woman urinate frequently. This is because the weight of the baby is pushing back the kidneys and bladder, making it difficult for the mother to-be to hold off urination.

 

Leg cramps

Due to the weight of bearing a child, hormonal changes, and low levels of potassium and iron in the body. Stretching and light exercise can help relieve cramps. The pregnant woman may be tested for her iron levels and the doctor may also prescribe supplements with iron if required.

 

(Photo credit: shutterstock.com)

 

Swelling on the face, arms, and legs

The face, arms, legs, and even feet will get swollen due to the extra fluids being retained in the body.

 

Aches and pains

A pregnant woman’s body will feel pain throughout the pregnancy period because the ligaments and tendons are getting stretched to allow a baby to grow inside the belly. The spinal curvature gets realigned as well to give balance. There will be changes in the posture of a pregnant woman.

 

Widening of the hips

The pelvic bones in our hips gets prepared towards the end of the term of pregnancy when the ligaments holding them together loosens in preparation for labor and child birth.

 

Hormonal changes

This is the time when a woman’s hormones go not just a little loco, but a lot. Hormone levels shift and the placenta becomes an endocrine gland temporarily. It produces large amounts of estrogen and progesterone. The body will experience many things due to these hormonal changes such as hot flushes, skin blemishes, production of milk or lactation towards the later part of pregnancy, and skin discoloration due to the increased melanin.

 

(Photo credit: shutterstock.com)

Constipation

Hormonal changes and pressure on the rectum can cause a pregnant woman to constipate or have difficulty passing stool.

 

Change in body weight

Being pregnant will also entail a change in a woman’s body weight as the body carries a baby that will grow and develop to full term weighing as much as 6-9 kilos.

 

These changes are part of a woman’s reproductive evolution and they can be exciting and scary at the same time. If this is your first time getting pregnant, do not get overwhelmed with these changes as they do not happen all in one go.  There are plenty of resources in the world wide web such as checkpregnancy.com to guide you through your monthly progress during the duration of your pregnancy. You can also pick up more information about your and your baby’s health and what to expect after delivery.

Pregnancy may be a daunting experience especially to those who are just planning or in their first pregnancy. Do not underestimate a woman’s body because it is tougher than what you think you know.

 

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April 1, 2017
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Parents’ Tough Love

It is every parents’ desire to see their kids grow up to be responsible, respectful, loving, compassionate, grateful, and God-fearing people. If they fail, we, as parents feel the pain too. Do we start loving them less when they stray? The answer is NO. But we need to let them figure things out when they trip and fall. We have to let them know the consequences of their actions when they compromise with their judgment. And as good parents, we need to let our children pick up the pieces, figure things out, and learn on their own on how it is to live in the real world, away from the protective cloak we have covered them while they were young.

We call it “tough love” but it is LOVE, nonetheless.

Some parents go easy with their kids when they stray. Some are strict and disciplinarians only because they want to correct and address the bad behaviour, the wrong doings, the untoward character that could blossom if left unattended. Does that make them bad parents?

Kids these days think they have everything figured out. I appreciate the younger generation’s point of view, and logical approach to situations in life. I respect them for that. But when someone questions our authority as parents, our expectations, our aspirations for our children’s future and well-being, and when someone tells us how we should be as parents, then you have definitely crossed the LINE.

This is for the younger generation of this millennia who think, talk, and feel that they know it all, “UNTIL YOU ARE NOT A PARENT, DO NOT LECTURE US ON HOW TO BE ONE.”

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July 31, 2016
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A Mother’s Broken Heart

My emotions have been going up and down, spiralling out of control at times, and I honestly don’t know why I am in this kind of situation. Generally speaking, I am ok in the other aspects of my life. However, there are things that get to me that really hit me in the core.

My family and friends who know me so much will attest to my emotional state right now. I am still reeling from my dear mother and Millie’s demise. I am still raw with sadness and the feeling of defeat. And when you are in that kind of emotional anguish, you cling on to the ones whom you think will be there for you. This is when I remember Millie the most… She would always be there to see me through my bouts of loneliness.

I’ll say no more…

mothersheart

(credit to the owner of this graphic, taken from Pinterest)

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May 12, 2016
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So Long Millie

I can’t describe the heaviness of my heart today. It’s like an elephant is stepping on it. I am in so much pain, my heart is heavy, my head is spinning, and I am very, very lonely.

I know, some people might not understand why dog lovers like myself can be so affected by the passing of their pet. For one, Millie is not a pet. She is a family member. And she is gone.


ariceandmillie

The “sisters”

milliebabyko

Millie loved being carried like a baby

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Papa and Millie’s stare fest

 

We have her for more than 6 years and in all those years, all she gave was happiness, unconditional love, and her extreme loyalty. We fell in love with her the moment we adopted her from the previous owners. We knew, right there and then, she was the one who would fill the void of not having another child at home.

I didn’t consider Millie as a pet. She was more like a child to me. Since I was not able to conceive again after my first born, Millie filled that void, that longing for another child. So yes, Millie has wrapped our hearts in her furry paw. And we couldn’t complain.

The decision we had made was a very painful and difficult one. We didn’t wish to be put in the position to play God on her fate. Who were we to say “it’s time?” But she was starting to suffer. Her vomits were becoming aplenty and laboured. I know she was starting to feel pain because when I lightly brushed her body, she winced. It wasn’t a good sight and I didn’t want to see more of how Millie would lose all her vigour.

We had to take her back today. I hugged her for the last time and whispered how much we all loved her and we will always do. It wasn’t easy to leave her there but we couldn’t bear to watch the procedure. We were assured that she would be in deep sleep and would not feel anything. And so with that, we held Millie for the last time.


solongmillie

Saying good bye


Coming home to an empty room, bereft of the pitter patter of my furry baby is unusual and awfully sad. Millie’s food and water bowls are still on the floor where she regularly had her chow time. Her bed is still near my night stand where I could hold her paw before we went to sleep. Her doggie blanket still has her scent. I see all her stuff, but I won’t be able to hug her anymore.

milliestuff

I suddenly feel the emptiness in our house…

 

I will terribly miss those beady eyes that stare lovingly to mine. I will miss that small scratch on the bathroom door when she wants to get in. I will miss her wet nose nudging my arms and hand when she wants a pat on the head and a good belly rub. I will miss the sniffing on the door when “Papa” is about to come in. I will miss the excited and perky Millie who loved to run towards the door to greet us. And most especially, I will really miss the love, devotion, the time she spent helping me recover from my depression last year. She showed me all the love I need when sometimes I felt I didn’t feel it from the people I love. But Millie was there, all the time.

They said, losing a precious fur baby is not easy. They take so much from you and how you wish they just live forever so you won’t miss them.

It won’t be the same anymore. Some people already asked if I wanted another dog, my reply, “not this time.” There can never be another Millie. There’s only one Millie in our lives. And she’s gone…

Good bye my very best friend. I am sorry that I am not brave enough to hold your paw as you draw your last breath. I am really sorry if I failed you somehow. I hope you forgive me baby. We will be reunited someday. And when that time comes, please welcome me the way you did here on Earth. I love you Millie. We ALL love you. You’re the best dog one can ever have. Run free now…

 

And this is how I want to remember you Millie – happy, playful, diva, barkaholic, loving, and loyal…


Photo credit: themommalogues.com

Photo credit: themommalogues.com

 

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February 9, 2016
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Boy Talk


Photo credit: marketingtechblog.com

Photo credit: marketingtechblog.com

 

I never thought the day would actually come when it’s time to talk about “boys” with my daughter. She’s turning 18 in “few” days so technically, she will be a part of society’s young adults.

I always pride myself for raising a kid who is not shy to ask questions even the sensitive topics because in our family, we make it a point to discuss things as rational as possible and as truthful as it can be. We’ve discussed many things already before about infatuation but none prepared me for the moment when we are elevating our discussion to the topic of “courtship.” Yes, the word has been dropped – courtship or in the Philippines, we call this “panliligaw.”

Well, my heart started beating fast and my gut must have been in a knot when my daughter asked if it was ok if someone starts courting her since she is turning 18 in few days. I had to pause for a while and re-read her question over and over for what seems like an eternity. Courtship. That word floated in my head again. I panicked a bit because I remember all the stuff I did when I was barely 18. No, I wasn’t a goody-goody two shoes girl. I had a bit of naughtiness too BUT (in my defence!), I certainly knew my priorities. I knew my studies was at the top of the list of my goals. I knew I couldn’t do any hanky-panky. There was no kissing nor holding hands. It was just plain, young and innocent love. I was aware that if my parents caught me about this “dating thing at 3rd year HS,” I was almost certain that my parents would hang me upside down. Would I want my daughter to hide something from me the way I did with my parents? Of course not.

I have been open to my daughter about the things I had done in the past and those included the mistakes, the wrong decisions, the pain of breaking up, being betrayed and hurt, and the secrets I have kept from my parents only to find out later in life that my parents knew all along that I was lying. It hurt them and I certainly wouldn’t like to feel that way especially from my daughter. So, I asked myself, “is it really okay to let her enter the stage of courtship in her young adult life?” Honestly and as a mother, I hope I won’t be thought as a consenting parent but I can’t be a hypocrite. I had a boyfriend when I was only 17 so who am I to talk? I should be able to talk the talk and walk the walk but I can’t. So, to answer her question, “I leave the decision to you anak.” That’s  what I told her. But I did ask her to tell her Papa too. We wouldn’t want her dad to be left out on this milestone. And looking at how my husband is taking all these, I think he also knew that he couldn’t preach like a preacher. My husband and I were sweethearts when I was 19 and he was 21. So, I guess we just have to pray that our daughter is sensible, knows her values, and will not hide anything from us.

The moment my daughter told me about this young fellow who is courting her enabled my protective maternal instinct on. I asked plenty of questions about the guy, his background, what his parents do, where is he from, etc. etc. I guess that is just normal. I remember my dad asking me the same thing when my husband officially courted and visited me at home. It’s a “parent-thing” to be fussy about this dating thing because we all have been there. We know how it goes. And most certainly, we only want the best for our daughter.

I am happy in a way that my daughter respects us enough to include us in her young adult life. I am glad she opened up about this courtship thing because at least, I know she is blooming into a fine young lady. I just pray that she will be true to herself and never let crazy, young love get in the way of her studies. I think it is fair for us parents to ask her to focus on her studies while being courted. For one, she is very young and the world is her oyster.

So, the inevitable topic of courtship has sprung. I thought I will never have to hear it until she graduates but hey, I gave birth to a lovely kid so, it’s just natural for young guys to fall in “like or love” with her. 🙂

Ah, to be young…

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February 5, 2016
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Debut Is Coming Soon!

I’m a bit relieved that the planned “formal debut” party has been changed to a dinner/get-together of sorts because that is what the birthday girl is asking for. Money wise, it saved us a chunk and the logistics required to pull a formal debutante’s ball has been lessened to mere coordination with souvenir suppliers and venue.

I have been busy these past few days tying up loose ends in the planning. Well, practically, everything is already set. I’ve made the e-invites and sent them out to close family and friends of my daughter. I have prepared the souvenirs for her close friends and other guests. There’s actually 2 kinds of souvenirs. I will just post them when the party is over. My daughter’s dress is just a simple cocktail dress we bought sometime back but never really worn. The venue has been paid (I think). My husband is in charge of the finances so I’m not sure about the venue but all in all, everything is taken cared of. W’ere just waiting for February so my hubby and I can board the plane and head home.

I have been thinking if my daughter really wanted a small gathering or she’s just being considerate of all the expenses we have in the family. Whatever the case is for her change of mind (and heart), I hope it’s nothing because she wants to sacrifice the “money” part just so we don’t worry much on the finances.

At any rate, the birthday will be simple but I want her to enjoy and have fun with her close pals. It’s nothing like the grand ballroom type of debut we initially planned for her. But if she’s happy with a small event to commemorate her “being introduced to the society as an adult” then her wish is our command.

We’ll definitely make up for it on her graduation. I have already set the plan and will save up for that. I even told my husband that we’ll throw our daughter a grand “congratulatory ball” to celebrate the completion of her studies then we will travel the US and Europe for a month. I am planning to go on leave without pay to make that happen. So, I practically have (barely) 2 years to save for that! 😉 Bring it on!

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January 23, 2016
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