You know those days that bring you to your knees and you just say “I quit. I’m done.” Well, being a parent you are probably going to have them often, sometimes even multiple days in a row. Its a hard pill to swallow yet you still love those tiny people at the end of the day regardless of how many hairs they have made you want to rip out of your head. I’m sorry if actual hair was lost in your case and it no longer is a metaphor.
Just yesterday I sent a text to my husband telling him I wasn’t sure if I could do it anymore. “It” being a stay at home mom. This is a tough gig you guys. I know there are SO many mom’s that would love to stay home with their kids and may be reading this thinking “are you serious right now? You are complaining about getting the opportunity to stay at home and be with your kids all day long?” Actually, yes I am, because its hard! As a matter of fact I may envy you for getting to go to work all day and have adult conversations, unless you work with kids, then I don’t know how I feel about your job. Bless your heart though.
As a parent, regardless of if you work in the home or outside the home, you must (YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST) remember to take time for yourself. Advice I need to adhere to. It’s tricky… do I stay up past the kids bedtime and read a book, watch a movie, take a relaxing bath, or do I head to bed and get the sleep I so desperately need. Sleep typically wins but that doesn’t get me the time I need away from my children and doing something I enjoy. I am a much better mom when I have alone time or time with just my husband. I am also a better wife, a better daughter, and a better friend. When I am stuck at home all day, multiple days in a row for various reasons, the truth is I become a cranky resentful person. I give up. I just want something for myself and then nothing can calm the impatience I feel for wanting just 10 uninterrupted minutes to myself.
So moms, and dads, do what you have to do to be 100% because your kids deserve that and so does your spouse, and most importantly YOU deserve that. I could go on and on about all the reasons why its important for you to have alone time but I know there are a lot of posts floating around out there on this topic and I have a feeling you know what you personally enjoy and all the things you want to do during said time away from kids. I could also go on to share with you all the things I want to do but I won’t. Pick up that book you bought 3 years ago (seriously I just did that) and start reading! Go treat yourself to something warming like a new plant or a coffee treat from your favorite coffee shop. Just do something for you so you can love the heck out of your kids and everyone who loves you. It doesn’t have to be a week long trip, though maybe it should be, but just a few hours to yourself once or twice a week to bring you back to earth.
(Originally posted April 25th, 2017)
(Photo by Dalayna McKnight Photography – Our Home)
This post is inspired by the numerous amount of people I know about to bring a tiny human into this world! I wanted to share my top items that have seen me through the good and bad days thus far. Everyone is going to have their own list of saving grace for baby products but here are mine!
(Photo by JaneCane Photography – Duluth, MN)
1. Muslin Blankets Hands down my favorite baby item is Muslin Blankets. Give me 5 (or more) of these and we can do great things. I love swaddling my babies in these at night because while cotton is breathable these are VERY breathable, hence my love for them. If its a colder night, as it commonly is in Minnesota, I will add another blanket to swaddle baby in which is usually in the form of a cotton blanket. These are also amazing for a nursing cover. I have tried actual nursing covers but they just didn’t work for me. Muslin blankets get the job done much better in my opinion. Remember, breathable, so you and baby are not going to be sweating while nursing. Most of the ones we own are from Swaddle Designs but there are some other really great brands and some of my softest ones are not from Swaddle Designs.
2. Zip Up Sleepers I kind of wonder why they even make the button up sleepers anymore. Seriously at 3 a.m. the last thing I want to be doing is spending actual minutes buttoning baby back into their pjs, fumbling around in the dark, while baby is usually crying to be fed or just in general protest. Save your sanity and buy as many zip up sleepers as possible.
3. BOB Stroller Our first stroller (yes, we have multiple, as in 3) when our first daughter (we have multiples of those too) was born is a BOB. I think the price drives a lot of people away from these or the fact that they are a jogging stroller. I don’t run by the way. These things are SO smooth, easily fold up, and honestly I just love ours. We also own a Britax Affinity Complete Stroller which I really enjoy using as well. Its a little more friendly for things like doctor appointments as its not as long and just kind of more compact. It does convert into a double stroller with the purchase of the second seat a few extra pieces. A lot more cost effective than going out and buying a whole new double stroller, which we did anyways because we like to make sense. Lastly, we have a double BOB which I am honestly slightly disappointed with. It still is super smooth and very well built but before buying one I read many reviews assuring me it wasn’t bulky or heavy and would still fit through doorways. While it does still fit through doorways this thing is massive! We attract a lot of attention with it. I still recommend BOB though as I said they have good quality strollers and they ride like a dream, or push like a dream, since I’m not the one sitting in them.
4. Boppy Pillow This was one of those things I put on my baby registry because everyone seems to have them, I had no idea if I would actually use it or not. I use it every day. They serve a variety of purposes that I don’t really need to get into. Just wanted to say this is a must have item in my opinion!
5. Noise Machine I don’t know why it took so long for us to start using one of these or why I haven’t been using one my entire life. I don’t even remember why we decided to try it out because we never really had sleep issues with our first daughter but we must have needed it for some reason. They are great especially when traveling to drown out excess noise. Get one if you don’t already have one just to add that extra touch of relaxation at bedtime or maybe you are at the end of your rope getting baby to go to sleep or stay asleep. Whatever it is, I just recommend getting one.
6. Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag I have tried several diaper bags but this by far has been my favorite. At first I wasn’t sure it was going to fit much but it fits everything I need for my toddler and baby. We do take our bigger bag for day or overnight trips however but for running errands this is perfect and not a lot to lug around. I’ve been using it for about 8-9 months now and it has held up wonderfully. The material retracts spills and dirt really well. Skip Hop is a really great company for making durable yet affordable products. Their bags come in lots of super cute designs and different style options, definitely recommend this brand for anyone in the market for a first or replacement diaper bag!
7. Zutano Booties These are great and WILL actually stay on your babies feet. I get so tired of socks falling off but these puppies stay. Added bonus: they are adorable on baby, come in a variety of colors for either gender, and if you live in the midwest they will keep those little piggies warm.
8. Baby Carrier I really wanted to make baby wearing work for me, especially when our second daughter was born. Unfortunately, I just haven’t found a love for it or a carrier that really works for me. I have tried the Moby and Boba wraps, a chicco carrier (worst one), a Tula structured carried, and also a Boba sling. The Boba sling is by far my favorite, my most used, and least expensive one. I cannot do the wraps. They just don’t jive with me and I end up still holding and supporting baby, however, a lot of people absolutely rave about them which only makes me only more frustrated why I can’t figure the stupid things out. I really like our structured Tula carrier for longer periods of time but it is bulky and not the easiest thing to put on in a parking lot before going into a store. Baby carriers are something that is totally a personal preference and you kind of just have to test the waters with them. Someone really needs to start a baby carrier rental company to allow moms and dads to try before they buy. Anyways, there is my two cents on baby carriers for you. Good luck in that department!
9. Car Seat Cover When you have your babies in the Fall months you need to have a good car seat cover to get you through the winter. The brand of car seat cover we used for both of our girls was Tivoli Couture. It was seriously like a winter coat for the car seat. Very easy to put on and take off, but really never needs to be taken off until the weather warms up of course. You definitely want something that is going to stay in place for when you are taking baby in and out of the car, especially if baby is asleep. Now that the weather has warmed up I am using some flimsy one that just hooks onto the car seat handle and sort of drapes down. It essentially serves no purpose if there is any sort of wind. So I don’t recommend something of that nature.
10. Yeti Cup You’re probably thinking, “ok what? She’s actually lost it now…that isn’t a baby item.” No, it isn’t but what it is is awesome. Who spends that much on a coffee cup??? Ummm…. a mom (or dad) who doesn’t get to sit down and drink their coffee in the morning. These things keep my coffee hot for HOURS. Coffee is life.
This is may be common knowledge for many of my fellow mommies especially those who are avid Target shoppers, if so you can probably just skip over this section. Make a Target baby registry even if you aren’t having a shower (maybe its not your first baby). I believe its 60 days before your due date they will send you, at least one, but I think its multiple 15% off coupons for the remaining items on your registry. This coupled with any physical coupons, you have, Target cartwheel app for more savings, and last a Target Red Card will have you saving lots of moolah for your new or current little ones! The Target Red Card can be in the form of a debit card, which I highly recommend and DUH I have one.
Also, check Amazon Warehouse deals for specific products you are looking for. We got our Double BOB Stroller this way and many other things. Most of the time its just a box that was opened or slightly damaged and the product is still completely fine.
Mommy Advice 🙂
I hear of a lot of people stockpiling diapers and wipes which is a financially smart move. My only hesitation with doing this is you have zero idea what things baby might have issues with. Secondly, if you have 15 boxes of size 1 diapers you might only get through 3 of them and then you’re going to find yourself in the headache of returning. Personally what I would do is buy a gift card in the place of a box of diapers and wipes when you are out shopping with the intent OR start a jar for funds of mentioned products. Same advice for bottles. Don’t go buy a lot of one brand as baby may not like them, this is something baby gets to choose. Totally just some take it or leave it advice as you prepare for baby! I still have no idea what I’m doing most days.
Again, these are just a few personal preferences I have for some products and by no means are any of these a necessity. I wanted to share with you the products I appreciate and help me get through the blur of my day to day with two tiny people. Stay sane friends and may your coffee be stronger than your toddler. 🙂
So, I have done my fair share of direct sales. Most have been done in the form of social media marketing which I acknowledge can get a little annoying when you have received your 500th notification that week from someone trying to sell everyone something “they love or believe in.” I get it. Even with some background in the world of it all I still find myself saying “Seriously? This is like the 10th Lularoe party I have been invited to in the last 3 days…” Really thought it doesn’t bother me all that much, it’s just someone sharing something that are excited about and are trying to make it work.
I am into my 4th direct sales “position” as I just teamed up with a friend to sell Lipsense. You probably are wondering why or telling yourself “Great. Here she is to hound me again and guilt me into buying something I’m not really interested in or don’t want anything to do with.” First of all, NEVER feel as though you have to buy. Secondly, my goal (and I believe everyone else’s) is not to bother people or fill your newsfeed on Facebook with so much marketing that you roll your eyes so hard you see your brain. It’s just kind of the world we live in today. The internet has taken over which is evident as we watch big box stores close their doors. I personally find this sad and believe it or not prefer to shop in person. Anyways, I digress.
What draws me into these position is usually my own interest or love of the product, so yes I do usually love the product I am promoting, which would only make sense. In the beginning I have always had aspirations to Go Big or Go Home but I have yet to see serious success from one of these companies. Direct sales is something you really have to commit to and is something you get out of what you put into it. You also sort of have an “I don’t give a shit attitude” but still be positive. Does that even makes sense? Your heart has to be in the right place and you have to want it for yourself but also for the people you are selling it to. I have heard many stories of people who paid themselves completely out of debt doing gigs like this and I have also heard the other side. I sort of fall in the middle. I have yet for one to put a bad taste in my mouth but I also haven’t made crazy money on it either. What I have walked away with is a sense of support, pretty awesome products, and a little bit better understanding of people.
After my 3rd one I sort of scolded myself and told myself “You will not do another one of these. People are getting annoyed and your family and friends can only support so many of your mini business ventures.” I guess time sort of erases those thoughts because here I am again. Thats ok though. I really do enjoy this product (as I have all the others) and can I be honest? We sort of signed up to get the consultants discount! If we are able to sell some though that would be really awesome too.
So…. Lipsense it is this time. You can currently find us on Facebook at Lush Lips by Hailee and Jessica. Feel free to send messages with questions!
(Originally posted on April 9th, 2017)