Parents: Give Yourself A Break

DSC06725.JPGA friend posted this article from Motherly this morning about how self-care isn’t enough and parents (especially moms) are burnt out.

I can completely understand. As the mom of a kid with ASD and ADHD, and well as a neurotypical firecracker of a 4-year-old, I feel like I am always going going going. And really, I feel like it’s not enough.

This summer I’ve said NO a lot. No to racing off to an activity each morning, no to lunches out, no to 5 playdates a week, the craft dates, all-day zoo adventures, and sojourns to the beach. Oh, and this would have been just 1 week of summer activities in the past. Imagine that for 8 weeks. Are you tired now?

This is something I want everyone who reads this to take the heart: NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE. 

Plus, I still need to do household chores, cook, laundry and make sure the big kid gets to therapy twice a week, I need to exercise at least 4 times a week.

In saying no to all of these activities, the kids are able to relax, which means they are in a better mood, which mommy is in a better mood. We are still doing stuff, but it’s more things that the kids can do at home or in a small group of friends.  We’ve been swimming at our community pool each day in the late afternoon, playing at the local park. We’re going to the YMCA a few times a week in the afternoon so the kids can play while I exercise. Stuff that is low stress.

Why is parenting harder? Why are we burned out? This article gives us some ideas. The increase in activities for kids (If you want to go to an Ivy League school Little Timmy, you need to start your extra-curricular activities at birth!), social media expectations (It’s like Keeping up with the Joneses on crack), the constant barrage of information and data being thrown at us (pics of our kids, nanny/daycare cams being sent to us, text messages, chat apps, always being connected to people and media). It’s overwhelming. It’s tiring. Being expected to be Instagram-ready or Insta -Perfect is frustrating and exhausting.

For special needs parents, it’s harder because, for the most part, our kids aren’t  “like everyone else”, so frequently we are ostracized from activities. It’s the truth, and it sucks. and it hurts. To shield my kids from this hurt and keep myself sane, we’ve stepped back from activities this summer.

I’m not going to give you a list of self-care activities that will help you de-stress. You already know what works for you, your family, your budget.  This is what I do.

What I want you to know, moms and dads that read this post:

You are not alone. There are other parents and caregivers out there that are feeling the same way you do. You don’t have to keep up with everything you see online. You are doing the best you can for your family. YOU ARE ENOUGH!

I found this shirt on Amazon and I had to share it. 

Planning for Pregnancy with Sharp Hospitals

My sister-in-law is about to have her first baby. Some months ago, we loaned her husband, my brother-in-law a copy of The Expectant Father.  While he was reading the book, he discovered that we had left a set of our oldest’s ultrasounds in the pages of the book.

She texted me a few days ago to let me know that they were mailing them back.  I received the ultrasounds today, and it really took me back to when I was pregnant with my oldest. I had no idea what I was in for. He was unexpected, and so neither myself nor my spouse knew what to expect beyond what modern media tells us (and what I’d experienced babysitting family and neighbors growing up). Reading the books we had purchased blindly at the bookstore (so many books on being pregnant and birth are available!) were helpful, but learning about what we needed to know first hand from professionals would have been so much better. I wish I had known about Planning for Pregnancy Events from Sharp.

CORP00264-Planning-for-Pregnancy-B-1080x1080.jpgComing up July 23-26 at 5 different Sharp locations throughout San Diego County is a free Planning for Pregnancy event where you’ll meet doctors including a Sharp-affiliated reproductive endocrinologist, OBGYN and other experts.

 

In addition to getting your questions answered about pregnancy and preparing for pregnancy, you will learn more about:

  • Preparing your body for pregnancy, including diet, birth control and what to avoid
  • Having a baby later in life
  • Choosing an OBGYN and pediatrician
  • Reproductive planning
  • Determining your natural fertility schedule and optimizing your ability to get pregnant
  • Fertility challenges and treatments, including how common conditions — such as endometriosis and fibroids can impact pregnancy
  • Support groups and classes at Sharp HealthCare. We used a lot of these support groups after our oldest was born. I had a lot of challenges with breastfeeding and PPD.

What I really like about these classes besides that they are free and open to ANYONE, regardless of which insurance company you have, is that doctors and specialists are there to help you on your journey to parenthood. Wherever you are in your journey, even if you’ve just gotten married or are thinking about kids someday in the future, this class at Sharp can help you.

I’ve taken a lot of classes at Sharp- all of which were free, and easy to sign up for. If this Planning for Pregnancy Event sounds like something you are interested in, you can learn more, and RSVP here.

This post was sponsored by Sharp, however all opinions are my own. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Baby Deals and Freebies

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I know so many people who are either expecting or adopting in the next few months. I thought I’d share some really great deals and freebies, since we all know kids are super expensive!
Looking for a great Baby Shower Gifts? Here are a few free, cool gifts that are actually useful!
Free Walmart Baby Box! Includes samples and coupons

Regardless of any personal beliefs, a fed baby is best. I always recommend having a stash of formula samples and different types of bottles on hand. Thankfully, there area few formula companies that send samples and coupons! Similac and Enfamil are the two that send goodies most often.

When you sign up for a registry at Babies R Us  you will get a little welcome kit, and that frequently contains a bottle, samples of toiletries, a few diapers and wipes. I recommend starting a registry online, and then go into the store to check out some of the bigger items like a travel set and furniture. You can add items to your registry in the store.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, check out this free baby box of goodies!

And don’t forget that there are always great printable coupons for much needed baby supplies online!

Here are just a few of the ones available right now:

Save $2.00 any ONE (1) package of HUGGIES® Diapers (Not valid on 9 ct. or less)
Save $0.50 any ONE (1) package of HUGGIES® Wipes (48 ct. or higher)
Save $1.00 on any (1) JOHNSON’S® (Excluding 1oz to 4oz, trial sizes and gift sets) or any (1) DESITIN® product (Excluding 1oz size)

Looking for more tips on how parents can save money? Check out this post.