October Update

So, incase you were wondering what’s been going on lately, like why I haven’t been posting as often – Things have been very hectic down here!

I’ve had a lot of Halloween-y stuff planned for the blog, but here it is the 31st, and none have been accomplished. But this month has been super busy – planing the launch (and move!) of this blog on my own domain, coming soon, and making sure my son has alots of fun with the Fall Festivities taking place around the area.

I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like to start projects unless I can absolutely finish them, within a reasonable time frame. if I feel like I can’t-I simply don’t even start them.

Which leads me to procrastination, which I recently did write about on Wisdom.Ninja, a site I will be contributing to occasionally, and you can read the full article here on why I feel like procrastination has made me into a better mother.

Just because I’m putting off the mountain of housework I need to complete before I start packing for our move to a new city, or I’m not even going to consider tackling the daunting task of moving to my own new website; don’t necessarily mean I’m resting on my laurels. The times you don’t see me so much on social media, is because I’m spending that time with my child, learning new things. Making memories with Bruce at a Trunk-or-Treat is a little more important than organizing the hall closet as well.

It’s important not to let the To-Do Lists and anxiety, over chores and errands (and even hobbies and goals) get in the way of being a parent. And sometimes you have to just put it all off for a while, and play with your child. The bonding experience and memories are so much more important than a pile of laundry on the floor.

But – I am getting back into the swing of things, so in the meantime, check out this post, and I will have more coming soon, and (eventually) the launch of a new site!!

Finding Pride In Your Birth Story

How does one cope with shameful comments directed at their choice of child-birthing methods?

Every mother has a birth story for each of her children.

Some of us have had Cesarean Sections. Some VBAC’s. Some mother’s gave birth naturally. About half of us, more than likely used some type of pain medication, while the other half didn’t.

No one way is any better than the other.

But one thing I’ve noticed in the melee of the Mommy Wars – shaming birthing methods.

As long as you were able to deliver your child (or children, for my friend’s with multiples), does it really matter how you did it?

Not every birth plan goes according to plan…

I always had the fantasy of relaxing at home to have my water break unexpectedly (just like the movies!) and everyone around me to go in a happy panic. My husband would start spinning around in circles while my Mom helps me get into the car, and with a happy glow I’m announced into the maternity ward via wheelchair as doves fly around and a band kicks in; the doctor’s and nursing staff are bustling about as my baby makes his grand appearance, his Father holding him triumphantly dressed in OR scrubs and crying…

Yeah, a little far fetched. And ultimately, entirely unrealistic and nothing even close to what really happened. I had to be induced at 41 weeks because little man was not planning on coming out, which was OB recommended. No doves, and I thought being wheeled upstairs was a little silly when I had already walked all over town the last week, trying to induce labor. My husband did run around in circles once my water broke…but didn’t wear scrubs or gloves.

They say always make a birth plan, but even my midwife and Doctor explained that, “9 times out of 10 if you make one, it won’t actually be used.” Because anything can happen! And as much as we sometimes plan that perfect birth, it doesn’t always work out to our expectations…and that’s ok.

What’s not ok, is criticism towards mothers for how they chose (or ended up having to quickly decide) to give birth.

Why don’t we support each other’s birth plans?

I’m seen some pretty negative memes, posts, and articles bashing Mothers who had C-Sections (“Taking the easy way out”), those who needed an epidural (“Artificial pain-management is NOT natural”), and even against those who chose to have their child in, God forbid, a hospital (“Just a place for Slice & Dice…not a baby”)!

It doesn’t matter how you do it-giving birth is a difficult thing to do. But no one way is any superior to another! Every birth has different circumstances surrounding it, and whether you’re pro-this or anti-that, in the end…as long as someone has a healthy baby, what’s the issue?

Does it really do any good to condemn the mother who had to have an emergency cesarean because the baby went breach? It’s definitely not easy having your abdomen cut open, or trying to hold your baby with stitches.

Is it really helpful when you correct someone of their birthing terminology? Most mother’s refer to their non-cesarean birth as ‘natural’…meaning they pushed their baby out their Vajay-jay…maybe they did need an epidural (remember, contractions hurt like a SOB) but how necessary is it to argue semantics?

Would it be anything other than shaming, to criticize someone for going to a hospital to have their child, rather than climbing into their bathtub? Some mothers have very legitimate reasons for choosing their local hospital, with all the technological advances modern medicine has to offer, over the garden tub or blow-up pool in the living room.

Your decision on how to deliver your child is yours, and yours alone. I’m not shaming anyone who has chosen any of these methods, but it honestly really burns me up to see the “one-up” game played here. What’s the goal here? Great, you had an all-natural delivery without anyone present but a Doula, in your bathtub of Gold Flakes, with a choir singing in the background, sans any medication other than angel kisses – with absolutely no labor pains. Do you want a medal? You had a healthy child, that should be enough. Just leave the mommies who delivered differently than you alone.

Offering advice to an expectant mother who is exploring options is one thing, but when you’re commenting on one birth plan being “superior” to another, it’s a whole other ballpark.

Every pregnancy is an unique as the Mother who is having it.

And we should all be proud of the fact we birthed life into this world-regardless of how we chose to do it. Really, no matter what they try to say; only you can devalue your birth story. No one else can. You are the only one who can take negative comments, and turn into something that disappoints you. Or, you can laugh, and say, “Yes-I had a cesarean. I fell in love with blissful epidurals. And my L&D staff was amazeballs!”

So what do you do when someone criticizes your birth plan?
Take a deep breath and remember: it is (or was) ultimately up to you. Until you have emergency procedures taking over (hopefully not!), however you wish to have your baby is, pretty much, just your decision. So if you feel that epidurals, bath tubs, hospital rooms, whatever, is the best thing; consult with your Doctor (or Doula) and make the best choice. Take anyone else’s opinion with a big grain of salt.

And if you’ve already had your children, and that Sanctimonious Mommy is trying to bring you down because she thinks you “Didn’t have an (insert whatever alternative method of birth here)”, then try to remember this: their “opinions” really don’t mean anything. Don’t let their negative thoughts or words, ruin the memories you have with your children. They are yours, just as the decision was.

Don’t let anyone tell you your birth, no matter how it was accomplished, is anything less than amazing.

How to cope with criticism towards your birth plan

KidloLand App Review & Giveaway

This review is in exchange for a free app paid for by the app company. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and aren’t swayed by the compensation of the free app.

Sometimes, when you need to distract your little one in any way possible, you have to turn to your phone.

I’m not one to leave any electronic devices with my 15 month old. For one, screen time isn’t good for them at such a young age. Two, I don’t need him downloading more seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on my Google Play account (it’s on Netflix!) or sending random selfies of his nostrils to anyone. And then lastly, do you know how expensive a good smartphone is? He already got away with dropping my Samsung on concrete, let’s not push our luck with anything more than a small scratch in the corner of the glass.

But for those moments, like waiting at the Doctor’s office, where he needs to be quietly distracted, it can be a lifesaver. So for the few apps that I do have for him, when I don’t feel like burning data on Youtube, I make sure they are at least educational. Then I don’t have to feel too bad about letting my toddler play with my phone.

When KidloLand reached out to have me review their new app, I thought it would be a good experience for the both of us. Bruce has a new app to play with for a few minutes at a time, and I can listen to different nursery songs that I haven’t heard renditions of before.

The app is more than just nursery rhymes. There’s songs and games about numbers, the alphabet, colors, shapes, animals, dinosaurs, and a LOT more! And the songs do have the lyrics across the screen. Which I know, doesn’t do much for him now. But it’s early steps towards recognizing his letters, and then much later down the road, reading.

The app is incredibly interactive as well. Granted, his swiping and tapping skills aren’t very good yet (he mostly chews on the edges of the phone and drools if the content has him bored) so he needs Mommy’s help. I oblige, because again – I don’t want 100 selfies of his eyeball – but within each song and game, there’s actually so much you can click on, even I wasn’t entirely bored with it.

For example; “Old MacDonald” is set on a farm (Duh) and the scene opens with the barn itself. You click different areas of the barn to open scenes, with dancing and singing animals, who each do their own cute and quirky thing when also clicked. Each song had different interactive features that kept Bruce locked in. And if something isn’t entirely interesting to him, he’s immediately bored and moves on to other means of destruction, like hiding the coffee table coasters. What’s awesome is that Old Macdonald has other entrepreneurial endeavors, like a Zoo & Aquarium, so we don’t too easily get burned out on the same, familiar rhymes.

If I allowed him, he’d probably spend all day with my phone playing with this app. Since I don’t let him use it but for a few minutes at a time, there’s so many songs that he couldn’t possibly get bored of them all. So I believe this is something we will end up using for years (which when it is time to learn reading, the phonics portion of the app will be really handy!).

Best things about this app? No data or wifi needed once you’ve downloaded the songs you want, and no ads! None!

There’s over 300 stories, rhymes and songs, and more than 200 games and activities. So trust me, with all the different renditions of your favorite songs, plus original content, you won’t get bored either.  With a subscription, you are able to receive new content as it’s updated to the app. There’s two subscription options: Monthly or Yearly. But if you aren’t ready to just dive in with a subscription, there’s a free trial (but not all songs and games are accessible.)

You can downloads the app via iOS here, or on Google Play Store and Amazon.

Now for the fun part…

KidloLand is allowing us to do our first International Giveaway! There are 3 opportunities to win a free three-month subscription! So yes, even if you aren’t in the USA, you have the opportunity to try this great app out!

Enter below: Entries will be collected and a winner randomly picked via RaffleCopter. Bookmark this page, as it will end in two weeks! May the odds ever be in your favor!

Have you tried the KidloLand App? Let me know below!