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First blog post

Hello parents, grandparents, and babysitters! Looking for tips on how to deal with those pregnancy symptoms, help your partner, or the different ways to raise kids? Look no further!

As a first time mom myself, I’ve dedicated my current pregnancy to learn all there is to learn about becoming a parent, from pregnancy to parenting. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, search it on the page. If it’s still not there, contact me, and I will personally put it up!

No question is a bad one, just remember, if you’re wanting to know, plenty of others are too!

 

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What I’ve Learned About Newborns (Up To 10 Days Old)

DISCLAIMER:

This post is based on my 100% personal experience with my (now 10 day old) son.

1. They don’t like sleeping alone.

I’m not talking about “having their own rooms” alone. My son WILL NOT sleep in his bassinet. Co-sleeping is in fact VERY DANGEROUS. But for some newborns, it’s the only way they will sleep at all.

Since I don’t own a co-sleeping bassinet, I have to elevate my newborn with a pillow.

Be aware: this technique works best with at least one light sleeping parent in the bed.

The role of the light sleeping parent is to care for the baby, to prevent the baby from suffocating itself, and to make sure no one rolls on the baby.

2. Babies with gas trapped in their bellies are an exhausted parent’s nightmare.

This is more common in babies who don’t burp. I try to burp my son after every ounce he eats, and he rarely burps. This causes my son to have gas trapped in his little belly, meaning lots of puke, spit-up, and bellyaches are coming.

This is where infant’s gas drops are a LIFESAVER. 0.3ml does the trick for babies under 24lbs and 2 years old.

3. Don’t give them medicine by the syringe.

Why? The syringes that comes with infants medicines can sometimes cause infants to choke.

The better alternative? Simple.

Take the lid off of your baby’s bottle. Put the correct amount of medicine in the nipple, and “feed” the baby as if you were feeding them their formula or breastmilk. Sometimes, it helps to pour a little of their milk into the nipple as well, so they will take it easier. Once the nipple is empty, wash it our and replace it back onto the bottle.

4. They wiggle. A lot.

My son HATES diaper changes and changing his outfits. I can’t count how many times I have had to change his clothes because of his Huggies not holding in even the slightest of his urine.

I wish I knew a way around it. All I can say is that I have to call him with a pacifier, and work around the wiggles.

5. The process of the umbilical cord falling off can be a nasty sight.

When my son’s cord started falling off, it was grueling for me. I have a habit of picking at things that are peeling or coming off anyway, so it was torture for me to not pick at his stump hanging by a single thread.

However, I made it without touching it.

Also, some may ooze as they fall off. After speaking to my son’s pediatrician about it, I learned that as long as the ooze scabs over, it’s not sign to worry. If it just keeps oozing, that’s when to call your pediatrician.

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Great News! (Will also explain the absence)

Great news! I know I have been absent from writing blogs for quite a while, but I have been busy nesting and in and out of my local hospital.

Why was I in the hospital? Here’s the great news, folks! My baby boy was born yesterday! He came exactly 10 days before his due date! And boy, what a labor story to tell. My first son’s due date was June 26. However, he was BORN June 16 at 4:52AM.

Story of labor and delivery:

Was in my birthing hospital (about 15 miles away from home) on 6-15-18 for labor contractions, arrived via ambulance. Dilated to a 2 (out of 10) and did not progress with contractions. Was discharged by 5PM. Visited a friend afterwards and got home around 10:30PM. Throughout the night I was having contractions. Woke up twice. Second time I woke up, it was 3AM. Went to take a warm bath to ease contractions, and as soon as I got up, my water broke. Called an ambulance, got to the hospital, and yes I was crying all the way. The lady in the ambulance told me that Luke was halfway down the birth canal.

“What?” I couldn’t breathe at all due to contractions. Get to a closer hospital around (It’s a guess) 4AM to 4:30AM.
We get inside to labor and delivery, and I was screaming for an epidural. Begging. It was my original birth plan.

HOWEVER.

Where I was so far through my labor already, they could not administer pain relief until AFTER Luke came out. I was crying.

The good news? I made a 2018 record at the hospital for the fastest 100% NATURAL AND DRUG FREE BIRTH FOR FIRST PREGNANCY pushing for about 20 minutes, start to finish. Imagine how painful that was. I didn’t believe in myself, and kept screaming, “I can’t do it, I can’t breathe.”

Here’s the nasty part, BEWARE.

As soon as he popped out, my brain shut down completely. I was numb. I kept saying, “My baby, its my baby.” Through the rest of the labor.

If it wasn’t for the wonderful nurses and William motivating me, supporting me, and pushing me onward, I might still be pushing now, not knowing what’s happening and too scared to find out.

The bad news? I had to get stitches.

Posted in Communication, Family, Parenting, Relationships

For Dads: The Benefits of Dad’s Strong Bond with Baby

While they might not always get credit, dads play an essential role in families far beyond changing diapers and cooking dinner. Indeed, although moms are thought of as the “nurturers” who support a child’s social and emotional development, dads do quite more than what they’re given credit for. This may be especially true if mom suffers depression or anxiety. A small new study recently posted in Development and Psychopathology has found that when a mom is chronically depressed, a dad’s relationship with the child (or children) can compensate for potential negative effects on a little one’s social and emotional development.

Now, I will say that there are fathers out there who deny the child or want nothing to do with the child. That situation seems to be the main events on Maury, the Dr. Phil show, and a few other talk-shows that unfold a lot of drama. Personally, during my bed rest in my third trimester, Maury and Dr. Phil seem to be my addictions for my free time.

Back onto the topic; the fathers who deny their children or have no role in their child’s life make life on both the child and the mother much more difficult. It does without saying, not every family needs a father, but every child deserves to grow up with someone to look up to as, “dad”.

For some families, the situation is reversed. Some kids grow up with dad instead of mom. This has a similar effect on the child, and not all of their needs are met. Yes, they get food, support, love, and attention. What they lack is the nurturing feeling of a mother’s warmth. As a newborn, babies memorize their mother’s natural scent. Without that scent in their lives afterward, they will always feel an empty space in their hearts, even if they don’t even know it themselves.

And, like mom’s unconditional bond with baby, dad’s bond with the baby can lead to a stronger sense of protection and safety than with mom alone. Kids can grow up feeling unprotected and alone without a dad in their lives.

 

Posted in Breastmilk, Family, Labor & Childbirth, Physical & Emotional Intimacy, Pregnancy, Relationships

13 Ways Your Body Will Never Be The Same After You Have A Baby

There’s no doubt that pregnancy puts your body through the wringer, but we can count on most of the changes to return to normal once the baby’s born. You might be surprised to hear, though, that pregnancy can have a lasting impact on your body in ways you never expected. Here’s a collection of 16 changes you might see after you deliver your first bundle of joy:

1. There’s a mental connection.
We all know that moms develop an incredibly special bond with their babies that’s unlike any other, but did you know that it can actually verge on the psychic?

We’re going out on a limb, here—never trust a writer who uses the word “psychic”—but it is true that one study found that cells from the baby’s body migrate all the way to the mother’s brain. We have no idea what those baby-cells do up there, but it’s tempting to think they could contribute to the connection between mom and baby.

What we do know is that the mom’s brain actually changes during and after pregnancy. The Atlantic reports that regions of the brain associated with empathy and almost obsessive-compulsive levels of anxiety are way more active in pregnant women, even before they give birth. Once the baby is born, moms get an extra dose of oxytocin—a hormone associated with love and bonding—when they look at their babies. In short, the mom’s brain turns into a baby-caring machine.

2. You could need new shoes.
Swollen feet are a pretty common part of pregnancy, but many moms are surprised to find out that their foot size can remain altered even after they’ve given birth. Apparently, all of the extra pressure put on your feet during pregnancy can actually alter the arch of your feet and make it flat. With that little bit of additional length, you may need to start buying shoes a half-size larger than you did before you were pregnant.

3. Feelings just aren’t the same.
No, we’re not just talking about feeling super high one minute and super low the next, although we’re not saying that’s out of the question. After giving birth, many mothers begin to see and experience the world in a different way because they are their child’s ultimate protector, and this tends to make them feel the full weight of the world’s most tragic events.

  • Every car accident they pass is no longer just an inconvenience to their morning commute—the person in that car is someone’s baby who’s in trouble.
  • The child reported missing on the morning news could’ve been theirs, and the toddler who ran in front of a car while playing gives them a sense of dread and sadness they’ve never experienced before.

On the other hand, not all the emotional changes are bad. Remember that thing about the oxytocin? And some moms report increased joy after they give birth, at least some of the time.

4. The soreness is real.
We’re bringing this up with much difficulty because, even for those of us who won’t be experiencing childbirth soon, the very thought of this happening to our bodies is worthy of a good cry. We’re talking about the possibility of a perineal tear, which—prepare yourself—is a nice way of saying that the skin below your lady bits has split open while giving birth. Sometimes doctors even have to perform a procedure called an episiotomy, in which they go ahead and make an incision before the tissues can tear.

Even if you don’t have a vaginal birth, there’s also the recovery required after having a c-section, which involves cutting through the muscles in your abdomen. Spoiler alert—either option is going to hurt for a while.

5. You could get a little leaky.
In addition to typical aches and pains—and possibly larger feet— women’s breasts also experience a lot of changes throughout and after pregnancy.

“Most of the changes to a mom’s breasts happen during pregnancy,” explains Molly Peterson, a certified lactation consultant at breastfeeding-equipment company Lansinoh.

“During pregnancy, your body is preparing to breastfeed your little one, and you may notice that your breasts get larger, your nipples and areola get larger and darker, and veins in your breasts become more noticeable. Many of these changes will reverse after you give birth and/or stop breastfeeding. However, it is true they will never be exactly the same as they were before.”

Also, there’s really just no other way to say it—hearing a baby cry, whether it’s yours or even someone else’s, might stimulate your milk production. That’s because your brain may become conditioned to release oxytocin, which stimulates milk production, whenever you so much as think of your baby. Guess what can make you think of your baby? The sound of another baby crying, of course.

It can happen in a second and, if you’re not prepared, there’ll be no hiding it. Our advice? Disposable nursing pads that can be placed in your bra like a pantyliner are a thing—use them!

6. Modesty? What modesty?
We’re sure there are a lot of women out there who will agree that as you get older, going to the gynecologist becomes less and less of an awkward experience, though never what any of them would consider an enjoyable one.  Giving birth seems to be the point when many women decide modesty is no longer a thing, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an experience that women have no choice but to surrender to, both mentally, physically and emotionally.

Oh, did I also mention that pooping yourself during birth is an incredibly real possibility?

7. Baby got [your] back.
It might not come as that much of a surprise that your back would hurt while pregnant, but don’t be surprised if it keeps hurting long after you’ve had your baby. One study found that 44 percent of women suffer from back pain a month or two after giving birth. Your muscles can take quite some time to get back to their normal range of strength and flexibility, and it may even be a while before you stand with the same posture again, too.

8. You might feel a bit…bound up.
By this point, you know that pregnancy has some sort of impact on every part of your body, whether it’s good or bad. Your digestive system is no different, as pregnancy can often slow your digestion down. Instead of just suffering from it, try to do something to treat it beforehand by using a laxative or upping your fiber intake. It’ll help you avoid those dreaded hemorrhoids.

9. ‘Rhoid Rage
No, they’re not just for old people. Just like pregnancy can put some extra stress on your bladder, it can also add that same stress to your rectal area. Combine that pressure with the occasional constipation pregnancy can cause and you’ve got a perfect storm for swollen rectal veins—in other words, hemorrhoids. You may not notice right away if you have internal hemorrhoids, but you’ll definitely be able to tell if there’s one closer to the surface—you might be swollen, feel itchy, or even see blood when you go to the bathroom. Get thee to a physician.

10. The Downsides of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding doesn’t always work for every woman and, even when it does, it isn’t always that pleasant of an experience. Getting your baby to latch on and feed properly can feel really odd and can even hurt sometimes, and women often feel pain when they go too long between feedings or pumping their breast milk. It can be especially painful for women who don’t breastfeed because they really have no way to alleviate the pressure. Breastfeeding also releases oxytocin which then causes the uterus to shrink, which can make women feel like they’re having bad period cramps.

11. It’s a hairy issue.
You know how they say pregnancy will make your hair thicker and longer than it’s ever been before? Sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but you shouldn’t get too used to it. The hormones that were making your extra thick and luxurious hair possible will start to fade away after you give birth, and it could make a lot of it fall out in the process.

Don’t worry, though. Everything will eventually even itself out and your hair production will start to go back to normal. The hair growth you experience from that surge in pregnancy hormones isn’t just limited to your head, as unfortunate as that is.

While pregnant, you may begin to notice that new or extra hair starts to develop on your chest, stomach, back, upper lip, and even on your chin. Thankfully, your newfound body hair should also go back to being less noticeable after birth.

12. Get the Maxipads ready.
You probably thought your days of using pads ended when you were 13 years old, but guess again. Aside from the possibility of a leaky bladder, there are lots of other things coming out of your body after having a baby, including blood.

In fact, many women underestimate how much blood they may pass after giving birth, and it can persist for as long as six weeks. Women who’ve had a c-section will likely have a lot less to deal with, but anyone going through a vaginal delivery should go ahead and stock up beforehand.

13. Learning to love the changes.
Consider the case of Kenna Cook, a sex educator, columnist, and mother of two.

“After I had my two sons (now ages 4 and 7), there was a huge focus on getting my ‘old body back. The idea [was] that my pre-baby body was somehow the ‘better’ body,” Cook tells HealthyWay. However, Cook came to accept her “new” body over time. There are benefits to embracing the post-baby changes, she says.

“My new body had stretch marks and more cellulite but I also felt more connected to my body because I watched it grow and change in ways that I didn’t have total control over,” Cook explains. You may already be thinking of ways to shrink down your belly after birth, but don’t be so quick to think you won’t like it. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles actually separate to each side of your body and, for some women, they’re actually able to achieve more definition in that area than they were before.

“When I choose to love my post-baby body for myself, instead of how others see and value my body, it makes me feel more connected to accepting where I am in my body journey,” says Cook.

Posted in Assistance & Needy Families, Pregnancy

A Personal Request

I’m hurt to say that I have had to start a Go-Fund-Me. Personally, I have gone out of my comfort zone to ask for assistance. Please do not read this as a sob-story to get donations. I am in truly desperate need.

I was on medical insurance through my food stamps. Recently, I found out that my insurance was terminated in my late second-trimester. I’m currently 35 weeks along in my pregnancy, and I am having to pay for the OBGYN visits and my upcoming Labor and Delivery costs.

My OBGYN visits are around $400 per visit, which will be every week or two as I come to the end of my pregnancy. My L&D costs for my son could be around $15,000. Where I’m on bed rest and cannot work, there is only one source of income weekly. My husband’s checks go straight to our monthly utilities and help with food.

My husband has been doing everything he can do to get in more hours at his part-time job to bring home extra money to help with my medical bills. As much as we try to bring in extra income, it never seems to be enough.

I have recently been hospitalized (see Hospital Log: Visit 1) due to possible preterm labor contractions, and that is just another medical bill piled on our shoulders.

I’m left on restricted activity to prevent from straining myself. I am in desperate need of donations for my medical bills.

Please use the link provided to donate, or please share this post and link. Anything helps.

https://www.gofundme.com/5klk8fc

Posted in Uncategorized

Hospital Log: Visit 1

May 21st, 2018

Monday, I was having contractions. I started counting then at 11:20AM. They were irregular and didn’t get any stronger.

These contractions did not hurt much. It was more of an uncomfortable “tightening” feeling in my abdomen. I slept it off what I could.

Around 1:00PM, things started getting interesting. They became regular and stronger. They were between 3 and 5 minutes long, and about 1 to 2 minutes apart. Around 2:15PM I decided that since they were starting to heat up, I’d need to clean myself up and prepare to go to the hospital. I showered, some a quick load of laundry while I still could, and called my partner to let him know what was going on.

My partner didn’t get home until about 4PM, but my contractions were still manageable. I saved any energy that I could and laid in bed until he got home. I made sure to eat what I could when I could to help keep up my energy, because the contractions, although nearly painless, took every bit of energy that I had while I was resting.

I went to the hospital after my husband got cleaned up and I was put on fetal monitoring machines almost immediately. The doctors said that the cause of my contractions could be dehydration, but the fluids didn’t seem to help much either by oral intake or IV.

My cervix was firmly closed the entire time. My contractions were off of the charts and I was close to being induced at 35 weeks pregnant. I was given a fetal steroid to help my son’s lungs develop faster in case I delivered soon. 1AM rolled around, and the contractions wouldn’t let up. I was given an injection to stop the contractions. Not even that helped. After that, they started hurting.

They finally ease up around 4 or 5AM, and I’m taken off of fetal monitoring to rest. 6:30AM rolls around, I can barely sleep, and I’m put back on fetal monitoring to check on the contractions and my baby.

Soon after I was discharged, and went to go get some Hardees because I was STARVING.

So ladies, please remember to drink A LOT of water at all times, and double your intake during hot weather.

Posted in Pregnancy, Total Mom Mode Reviews

Total Mom Mode Reviews: MISHKA

Today, I noticed a video on Youtube called MISHKA: A short film on teen pregnancy.

I decided that since it related to the blog, I would review it.

TRIGGER WARNING:

THIS SHORT FILM MAY CAUSE CONTROVERSIAL TRIGGERS TO PRO-LIFE SUPPORTERS AND PARENTS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED MULTIPLE MISCARRIAGES. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

The short film opens on a teen. She’s with her friends at a sleepover. They’re busy chatting away about everyday teenage concerns. Mishka, the main character, lays silently, in her own thoughts. It’s obvious that she isn’t worried about her teenage life as much as other teens.

The film includes Mishka sneaking into her dad’s wallet, taking money, and heading to the drug store. She nervously buys a pregnancy test.

She takes the test in the school bathroom the next day. She stares at the results. It’s indicated that her stress levels rise. She can’t even focus on her schoolwork that night at home.

She later looks over her body, anticipating the life that is inside of her, indicating that she’s pregnant.

Her friend’s birthday party comes up. Her friends are talking about getting a puppy. They talk as if she’s an expecting mother, asking questions like, “Is it a boy or a girl?” or “What are you going to name him?” This strikes stress in Mishka’s worries about her pregnancy, and she leaves the party.

The next morning, Mishka asks her father why he takes pills. They were prescribed for his arthritis. “It helps with the pain.” He tells her.

Later, Mishka is sitting next to a tree, alone. She takes out her dad’s medicine that she stole. She then pours a handful and takes them all in one go.

The film then opens on Mishka in the bathroom crying. Blood is on the floor and her legs. There is no need to explain what happened. She cleans herself and goes to lay next to her dad, indicating that she wants to be a normal kid again. The film fades to black.

Text fades into appearance.

“I killed our baby.”

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sH9C2v7cg8

The short film sheds a lot of light on the troubles of teenage lives. At her age, they don’t understand that unprotected sex can lead to many things, including pregnancy. Some teens do it for bragging rights, attention, or are forced into it. When they end up pregnant, they have a choice. To keep the baby, or to get their normal lives back. Growing up around her age, teens may choose to keep the baby for the wrong reasons. But if they have an abortion, or force themselves to miscarry, their peers will shame them.

Parents, I beg of you, if this short film is disturbing to you, as it was to me, don’t let your preteens or your teens have sex. This could be what they experience. Please, prevent your child from going through the pain that the main character endured.

Teens and preteens aren’t ready to go through the pain of abortion, miscarriages, or the commitment of pregnancy. They should be worried about their teenage lives, what they’re going to do after high school and college, how they’re going to support themselves on their own. When someone is able to support themselves fully, then it would be the time to have the serious thoughts about moving up in life. That means worrying about a relationship and marriage.

Life needs to be taken with baby steps, to ensure the readiness of each of us. Save your children the stress of constantly having to worry about whether or not they will be able to support another life in addition to their own. Head my words, for I speak from this exact experience.

I got pregnant straight out of high school. I never could get a scholarship for college, and I was trying to find a job to save up for myself moving up in life. Right as I had my interview, I found out I was pregnant. Having had multiple miscarriages before, this pregnancy had my head twisted in ways I couldn’t understand. I decided to try and keep my baby safe. I couldn’t work during my first trimester due to the fear of losing my baby. I looked for a job in my second trimester, because it would be safer then. I never got a call back to any of the jobs I applied for. Where I live, pregnancy safe jobs are limited. I couldn’t work in a factory, and I was restricted from working fast-paced jobs. There were no jobs available after those filters set in.

Now that I’m in my third trimester, I can’t get a job due to my pregnancy being in the maternity-leave status. I still sit every day and wonder if what I have will be enough for my son arriving next month.

I’m not saying that jumping into pregnancy is impossible to handle. I’m saying it’s never easy. I spent my first and second trimesters scraping and saving every penny alongside my partner to have enough to afford a baby. And right as we planned to leave home with the money we saved up, about $300 was stolen from our savings. It took us another 4 months to save up what we had lost. As soon as we got the chance, we got our own place. We’re having to get help with this though. We moved into my partner’s mother’s old house, where we are currently staying rent-free. My mother-in-law no longer lives here, but she owns the property and is staying with her boyfriend.

Truth be told, I don’t think that my partner and I would be as ready as we are now if it wasn’t for the help, support and baby gifts that we’ve received already. As ready as we are, I still worry daily if we will be enough for our son.

Save your teens from having that stress and trouble. Encourage baby steps in life, one step at a time. Don’t let them pile up the pain and stress on their shoulders all at once.

Posted in Activities, Pregnancy

Activities for Expecting Parents

I get that pregnancy can be slow and miserable while you wait for your little one(s) arrive. Believe me, there have been too many days where I’ve been bored out of my mind. I have sat and looked up far too many things to occupy myself while I wait. So far, it has been the worst in the third trimester. My due date is so close, but it’s taking decades for it to arrive. I’m told every day to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet, but the truth is, I CAN’T enjoy it if I don’t have anything to do.

Here are a few activities for expecting parents to do while they wait, so they’re not as bored as I am.

Make a Pregnancy Flip Book.

Print out photos on card stock that your partner and family have taken of you (and your belly) throughout the pregnancy. Assemble them in chronological order and then staple together in one corner. (Or create a mini photo book keepsake on Shutterfly.com.) When you flip through the pages with your thumb, it will look as if your belly is magically growing. Take that, Pixar!

Write a Funny Letter to Your Baby.

Keep a record of all the crazy stories from your pregnancy, like that recurring dream you have of giving birth to a hamster. Your child will find it hilarious when he’s 10. Write the memories down, tuck the notes into an envelope, and file under “Open in 2024.” Lyla Gleason, of Waltham, Massachusetts, kept a preggo journal: “It had all my funny observations, like the day my bump was finally bigger than my husband’s potbelly! He didn’t think that was funny, though.”

Go Away.

Now’s no time to jet off to Bali, but you can make a quick escape. “We drove a couple of hours to a B&B on Lake Michigan, where we dipped our toes in the water, ate old-fashioned ice cream daily, went antiquing, and just enjoyed each other’s company,” says Kelly Speer Hoffman, of McHenry, Illinois. “We also took whimsical photos with a pair of baby shoes placed in the frame to preserve our fun times!”

Treat Yourself to Something Special.

Why should you hold out for a push present when your fave shoe department (not to mention jewelry counter) awaits? “I was tired of wearing flats all the time, and my shoe size thankfully never changed during my pregnancy, so I went out and bought a totally awesome pair of heels during my eighth month,” says Meredith Dedolph, of Silver Spring, Maryland. “I slipped them on for my first date night with my husband after our daughter Charlotte was born.”

Write a Diary Specifically for Your Baby.

Personally, I’ve been doing this since I found out about my pregnancy. I had a black journal and I didn’t know what to do with it. Personally, as a writer, I was PLANNING originally on a new story with it. Writer’s block kept me from doing so. When I found out I was pregnant, inspiration hit me. I decided to dedicate that journal to my first born and began filling it with letters as time passed. I wanted to do one letter a day, but at first, I wrote multiple per day, then one per week, if I got lucky enough to have that chance before I fell asleep after every chore and appointment I went to. I put in pictures of ultrasounds, and keepsakes in the journal as well. My hospital bracelet from the night I found out is within the first few pages of the book.

Buy a Baby Memory Book.

This book is for the beginning of pregnancy all the way up to those first few years of your baby’s life. It’ll be time-consuming, of course. You might not work in it much, but when you do, you’ll be saving every memory that is made right there in that memory book. Some books include memos about current events around the time baby arrives. This can include current world leaders, gas prices, formula prices, diaper costs, etc. It takes in every memory around your experiences so your child can look back in your perspective when they’re older.

Posted in Assistance & Needy Families, LET'S TALK ABOUT...

“Let’s Talk About…” No. 1: FOOD STAMPS

Let’s talk about food stamps. Growing up, my family had them. during my preteen-middle school years, I was embarrassed by them, because it showed that we were poor. Towards high school, I started to appreciate them. I never talked about it to my friends, but I wasn’t embarrassed if someone found out. While I was underage, I alone got about $500 for my family per month. All four (at one point it was five, until my brother moved out) of us got around $600 per month. One physically disabled adult who was incapable of working, one adult who worked part-time, her 3-year-old son, and myself.

Now that I’ve left home, their food stamps is at an all-time low of $100 per month. Because of this, you’d expect my food stamps now (my own case) to be a similar amount per month as to what it was beforehand, including my pregnancy as well. My husband works part-time, making only $8 per hour with no more than 32 hours per week, depending on the weather (he works in landscaping, if it rains or snows, he can’t work) which leads up to about $175 per week after taxes are taken out. This is an average of $1,000 per month.

Keep in mind, our rent is $375, our electric bill is about $100 per month, and our water bill is outrageously high due to a leak at the meter that the company blamed on us, which is about $358 per month (an original bill is only about $15 to $45 per month). Taken into the thought that we also have a baby on the way, we’ll be spending about $700 to $1,000 per month on diapers, wipes, and other baby needs. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE FOOD, CLOTHING, OR OTHER  NECESSITIES.

Our monthly total of expenses is approximately $1,800 to $2,300 per month. Whereas I am currently on bedrest due to my third trimester of pregnancy, and the fact that we won’t be able to hire a babysitter for us both to work, causing me to be a stay-at-home-mom until my son goes to school, at the very least.

Remember, our income is about $1,000 per month. Our expenses are between $1,800 to $2,300 per month. We are about $800 to $1,300 in debt every month. Do you really want to know what we’re actually able to get in food assistance?

I kid you not when I say this: we get $15 per month in food assistance. That is QUITE LITERALLY 2 loaves of bread, 2 gallons of milk, a single pound of sandwich meat, and a dozen eggs.

Do they expect a family of 2 (soon to be 3) to survive on that every month?

Now I understand that a lot of people who commit food stamp fraud. It gives the GOOD families who actually NEED food stamp assistance a bad reputation, causing those needy families to pay the price, while those who commit fraud and sell their food stamps for drugs aren’t affected at all. Can our corrupting government not tell the difference between genuinely needy and genuinely greedy?

 

Let’s Talk About…” is a series of rants and opinions that is written purely from the main blogger of Total Mom Mode. The opinions and statements have NOTHING to do with the sponsors or affiliates. 

Posted in Communication, Family, Relationships

Relationships & Family

Relationships. We have them with everyone in our lives. Our friends, acquaintances, partners, our pets, even. What keeps those relationships strong is communication. Communication, in this case of family and friendships, leads to trust. Good communication causes a sense of stability and predictability, but lack of communication or unhealthy communication introduces a sense of fear that causes tension, which is counterproductive to efficiency.

According to Livestrong.com, “A family lacking healthy communication is like a ship without a rudder. It will flounder even in calm waters and will become dangerously out of control in a storm. To avoid a ‘person overboard’ tragedy, it is vital to understand barriers to quality family communication. For healthy communication in the family, ensure that every member is heard, understood and valued.”

Family communication problems can manifest in a number of ways. Indicators can be as minor as one spouse misunderstanding the other’s request for a ride home from work to issues as life-changing as a parent being unaware that his child is engaging in dangerous or unlawful behavior. In some cases, family members may actively choose to disengage. In others, the effectiveness of what was once a rock-solid system of family communication is chipped away so slowly that its deterioration may escape notice for quite some time.

“Family communication problems are often cited by psychologists who treat children and adolescents for emotional and behavioral problems. Family communication problems can also extend to the larger community and beyond when these same ineffective styles of communication are implemented in the workplace, at school, and in other social settings.” Says the research published in the Journal of Family Issues in July of 2003.

Modeling excellent communication techniques is a vital role for parents. When children see parents argue in a healthy way, discuss their days, and actively seek to support one another verbally and non-verbally, they learn how to behave in their own relationships. Researchers at Cornell University recommend that families eat a meal together at least three times weekly to promote healthy communication. Children whose families engage in this important communication-enhancing ritual are more likely to enjoy the additional benefits of improved academic success and greater psychological well-being.

Source: http://www.livestrong.com