Parenting

How To Introduce Your Pet To Your New Baby

When you’re a mama to fur babies, it can be tricky when an actual baby comes into the mix. Pets are often highly intuitive and can experience everything from jealousy to depression when a strange new creature enters their home – especially when this creature is garnering so much of your time and attention. These emotions can be so big that the initial introduction between pet and baby can be fraught with stress; but it doesn’t have to be. With enough planning, loving action, and clear boundaries the immersion of your baby’s presence into your pet’s life can be an exciting and heart-warming experience.

Smooth Out Unwanted Behavior.

If your pet has undesirable habits like jumping on people, destroying furniture, barking at everyone and everything, or forgetting where to use the potty, it’s ideal to support them in working their way out of those habits before your baby arrives. Animals are incredibly in tune with the vibes their owner is putting off, so if you’re stressed about the extra hassle they’re stirring up for you, it will likely be more difficult for them to make a connection with the baby.

Read more on Nanit

Parenting

Guest Post: How to Prevent Cyber Bullying

Over the past year I’ve had more and more clients report issues with their children experiencing cyber bullying, and have even had some of my younger clients relay their first hand experiences with it. So, I’m happy to publish this guest post from Anna Blake who recently released an educational children’s book on Internet safety. 


 

How to Prevent Cyber Bullying

By: Anna Blake

Cyber bullying is becoming an epidemic and it has a serious impact on the mental health of both children and adults. You or your child can fall victim to cyber bullies at any time, even if you did not in any way engage with the perpetrators or provoke the attack. It is important to know how to prevent cyber bullying before it gets out of hand.

Online Monitoring

You should actively monitor your children’s online activities, so you can identify possible cyber bullying situations. The internet provides a level of disconnect that emboldens cyber bullies to say and do things they wouldn’t do in the real world. Your child may not know how to handle these attacks, so it is up to you to step in and handle the situation for them.

Make sure to take screenshots and save any audio or video messages, if you can. If the cyber bullies are known to you or your child, take appropriate action to report their behavior. For younger kids, you can inform the school, as most districts have a proactive policy that aims to stamp out cyber bullying. Otherwise, you may need to contact the police and determine whether the issue is within the realm of their cyber bullying unit, or to ask for a referral to a local organization that can help.

Tell your child not to engage with the cyber bullies and block them once you have enough evidence of potentially unlawful activities. It is also essential you protect you or your child’s personal information, as cyber bullies will use it as a threat or means to intimidate. Ideally, you will have had a conversation with your child about not sharing personal information in group chats, forums, or social media platforms that they wouldn’t share in the real world.

Signs of Cyber Active Bullying

If you notice your child does not want to spend as much time online, it may indicate she is being cyber bullied. Handle the situation gently and discuss reasons why she does not want to go online. You cannot help your child resolve the issue if there is a barrier to communication. Cyber bullying can cause a child to feel embarrassed and weak, so an understanding and empathetic approach is ideal.

Look and listen for signs of cyber bullying when your child is online. Preferably, online devices should only be used when you are in the room and able to effectively monitor what is going on, without encroaching too much on your child’s internet time. If a child is making a conscious effort to hide the device screen, it should set off alarm bells that something is not right.

Children are not as equipped to handle conflict as adults are, so monitor your child’s emotions while online. If she seems angry or upset, there is a very good chance it is due to cyber bullying. Encouraging your child to discuss their problems at this stage may prove difficult. However, you need to establish what is going on in order to help.

When a child changes her name on social media or creates a completely different account for no apparent reason, she is likely being stalked and tormented by cyber bullies. If you ignore these signs, the issue will only escalate to the point where your child feels there is nowhere left to turn. She will become withdrawn and emotionally distressed in social situations. This is the time where you must let your child know you are a trusted ally who will stand by her side.

Due to the fact that cyber bullying has become such a serious problem, there is plenty of support available for parents and kids. If you are finding it difficult to help your child, don’t be afraid to reach out to schools, public authorities, and any local support groups that are involved in combating cyber bullying.

About Anna Blake

Anna is a stay at home mom, wife and owner of very demanding cat, from sunny Chatsworth, California. When she is not busy chasing her 2 year old around, you can find her trying out new salad recipes or re-watching favorite chick-flick movies.

Together with her hubby they educate kids and adults about internet safety through their website and recently created an educational children’s book Internet Kids – Road Trip.

Family Entertainment, Parenting

5 Unique Alternatives to Baby Books (That Won’t Make You Feel Like a Failure)

*Quoted as expert

As a kid, I would flip through my baby book, hoping my mom had filled in some of the blanks while I was sleeping or at school. But every time I took the book off its shelf, I saw the same barren pages between the faded pale yellow covers. Listed were the date and time of my birth, my birth weight, a lock of hair from my first haircut … and that was all. I promised myself that if I ever became a parent, I wouldn’t start a baby book if I couldn’t commit to the project. As an adult, I know that I’m amazing at starting projects. But finishing them? Not so much.

This is why I’ve never owned a baby book.

It turns out, I’m not alone. In the age of the smartphone, many parents are finding the traditional baby book just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t mean those of us who are sans baby book aren’t capturing the important moments. There are plenty of ways to hold onto the milestones, the mispronunciations that are too cute to correct, and everything in between – while letting go of the pressure to fill in the blanks.

. . .

4 | Film them

There is nothing quite like a video to preserve a moment. At the end of each year, Bailey Gaddis, the Ojai, California mother and author of “Feng Shui Mommy,” creates a “Year in Review” video montage of all the short takes she’s recorded of her four-year-old son throughout the year. Not only does the video showcase milestones and random sweet and funny moments, Bailey loves that they double as holiday gifts for the grandparents. As an added bonus, videos won’t create clutter.

Read the full article on Parent.co

Parenting, Self Love

Introducing HypnoMothering

One of the most common questions I get about Feng Shui Mommy is “What’s the deal with the section on the Fourth Trimester? What the heck is the Fourth Trimester?”

The first three months of a baby’s life out of the womb are referred to by many as the “fourth trimester” – while the baby is no longer in the womb they are still helpless in so many ways and fully dependent on their mother.

These first three months out of the womb are also the first third of what is sometimes referred to as “exterior gestation.” This term comes from the belief that infants are born before their brains are fully matured (because their heads would be too large to fit through the birth path at full maturity) so, their brains finish growing when they are outside the womb.

During this “fourth trimester” the mother can no longer just take care of herself and trust that her baby will receive all he requires (as he did in the first three trimesters), she now has to be really intentional about caring for her own needs, while also of course caring for her infant who is now much more demanding than he was in the womb – it can be incredibly challenging/ overwhelming / (insert your favorite emotional adjective here)!

So, beyond the support I offer for the fourth trimester in Feng Shui Mommy I am now certified to teach HypnoMothering!

HypnoMothering is a 2.5 hour class for moms to be, new mothers, and moms of young children. Developed by two hypnotherapists, each a mother of twins, this fun, practical class teaches mothers easy and fast self-hypnosis techniques to make the most of limited sleep, keep calm and balanced on challenging days, and find focus and mindfulness amidst the myriad of feelings that mothers face.

Find out more here 🙂

Parenting

Busy Moms And Dads Share Their Favorite 20-Minute Dinners For When Life Is Totally Nuts

SPINACH, BEAN, AND CHEESE BURRITO

As a small business owner, Bailey Gaddis often hauls out this family favorite come dinner time. To make, she says, “spread organic refried beans on a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle on some cheese, and cover with 8-10 pieces of spinach. Fold into a burrito. Then, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Let the burrito cool, get out the salsa and tortilla chips, and enjoy!”

Read full article here!

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Pregnancy

Be the Master Guru of Your Emotions by Managing Them With Color

There are a ton of tools the savvy parent can use to combat tantrum-induced doom. Deep breathing helps. Calling in backup helps. Exercising helps. I use all of these, but I’m always looking for more ways to stay balanced.

That’s why I reached out to Bailey Gaddis, author of the new book Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood. Bailey is a childbirth prep educator and birth doula with experience as a home organizer in Los Angeles. She uses an emphasis on feng shui and has worked a great deal with the emotions and energy that various colors produce.

She has been kind enough to provide the color guide and an excerpt from her book to help me (and every other parent) use the color we bring into our environments as a source of positive energy.

If nothing else, arming yourself with this info is a great reminder of the mood you want to be in, and as a result you will likely get there faster.

Read more on Parent.co

Career, Family Entertainment, Parenting

We’re the Moms That Closed the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

After 146 years Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey took its last bow this May. Feld Entertainment, the owners of the circus and other popular family entertainment shows, like Monster Jam and Disney on Ice, made the historic decision to close the show when ticket sales declined, a direct result of moving their pachyderm performers to the Center for Elephant Conservation.

The decision to retire the elephants—the beginning of the end—wasn’t easy for the Felds. In many ways, the animals were the core of a show that has been an American family tradition for as long as the institution of baseball. The childhood of the Feld sisters, Nicole, Alana and Juliette, was built on that show.

The closure announcement was met with mixed reviews—a sense of victory from some animal rights groups, loss from families that enjoy the circus, and an amalgam of nostalgia, heartbreak and hopefulness from the three Feld sisters. Along with their father Kenneth, they ran the day-to-day operations of the third-generation family business, and were the ones tasked with making this challenging choice.

Read more on Working Mother

Childbirth, Guilt & Forgiveness, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Self Love

Mom ~ 5 Ways to Show Up for Yourself

You deserve to be nourished and honored as the radically capable and loving woman you are – and you’re just the person for the job.

But wait, is your inner “guilty mom monster” siphoning away all motivation for you to dip into the harmonizing waters of self-care instead sticking you in a perpetuating cycle of putting your own needs last?

Let’s be done with that – let’s move you up on your list of priorities.

Begin weaving the following practices into your daily way of being so you can blossom into the most vibrant version of you.

  1. Separate Your Emotions from Your Child’s. Do you feel intrinsically linked with your child’s well-being? Do you hurt when they hurt? Do you fill with joy when they fill with joy? While these shared emotions can be a testament to the strength of the mother-child bond, they also prevent you from supporting your child without fracturing your equilibrium.

Read more on Whole Life Times!

Guilt & Forgiveness, Parenting

Nobody Told Me Weaning Would Be So Damn Hard

I felt a heavy ball of mourning in the pit of my stomach the last time I breastfed my son; physically, it felt like there was a cheese grater scraping over my nipples (I knew it was time to stop), but emotionally, I felt like we could go on forever. My body had been weaning him for the previous six months, supplying less and less nectar, requiring heightened sucking and ample nip-soreness.

I began the cold turkey weaning with the white lie, “Not right now,” when he would ask to nurse. I was lying to us both, giving him the illusion that at a time that wasn’t “right now” I’d let him nurse, and I was giving my self the illusion that the most intense form of bonding either of us had ever known wasn’t really over.

After a week of “not right nows,” my son and my emotions caught on and we cried hard. Our relationship had forever shifted, and my relationship with my self was thrown into a blender.

Breastfeeding was like my parenting “fail safe”; what I could rely on to make myself feel like a decent parent even if I’d been distracted and totally un-fun that day. It was my mommy reset button.

Read more on Babble!

Career, Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Mom Humor, Parenting, Pregnancy

Moms Who Inspire: Bailey Gaddis

Featured on Expectful! Whoop whoop!

After one read of Bailey Gaddis’s About Me page on her site, Your Serene Life, I knew I wanted to interview her for Moms Who Inspire because she’s insanely inspiring and  hilarious.

During our conversation, I mentioned to Bailey that I find it hysterical that she admits in her bio that she can’t stop bragging about attending an event hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House. She laughed and went on to tell me that she was at an event that morning and bragged about it to the strangers next to her. “It’s just such a cool thing to have experienced, why not brag about it?” she said laughing.

This is Bailey Gaddis. funny, honest and high on life.

Bailey is the Author of Feng Shui Mommy (coming out May 2017), a Childbirth Preparation Educator, Hypnotherapist, Birth Doula, travel addict and writer on all of the above. Bailey decided that she wanted to help women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum after the birth of her first child. Using Hypno-anesthesia as a method for her labor, she was able to have a pain-free natural childbirth. This empowered her to want to help other women experience their own bliss during their motherhood journeys.

When speaking to Bailey, I asked her what the first few days were like after she gave birth. I ask this often to other moms as a way to bond over stories of sleepless nights and crying babies, but Bailey’s answer was one that opened my eyes to a different experience than my own.

She replied as if reliving the experience as she spoke, “Blissful.”

This isn’t the typical answer I receive and it’s not even close to how I describe the first few days of my motherhood path, but when she said it, my body filled with love. It was really beautiful to see a different perspective on what’s usually a difficult time.

I learned so much from Bailey in our brief conversation, and I’m so happy to share more below.

Read more on Expectful!

Career, Childbirth, Family Entertainment, Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Travel

How the Band Famous October Tours With Their Baby (Interview)

When you have a baby it can be a struggle just to put on some pants and walk to the mail box. Well, Sarah Bowman and Rene Coal Burrell of the band Famous Octoberhad the baby, put on the pants and didn’t just make it to the mailbox, they went on tour for the “One Day Baby” album they also birthed. Sarah and Rene are a living testament to the fact that creative passions, career and parenthood can harmoniously coexist as they travel through the United States sharing their music and nurturing their young family.

I was able to get a glimpse into their journey thus far, and gleaned plenty of inspiration for my own journey through motherhood.

Read the interview on Huff Post!

Mind-Body-Spirit, Parenting, Uncategorized

Why Play Is So Important- An Interview with Genius Of Play’s Ambassador Meredith Sinclair

What do you think it would be like to have the job title Genius of Play Ambassador? Childhood dream fulfilled? May we all strive to have our work be play!

I interviewed the lucky recipient of this job title from the Genius of Play organization, Meredith Sinclair, to find out why play is so crucial for healthy minds, bodies and spirits.

Meredith shared that at Genius of Play,

“We focus on 6 key developmental skills that run deeply within play. They are improving cognitive skills, honing communication skills, increasing creativity, processing and expressing emotions, developing physical skills, and enhancing social skills.”

Read more on Huff Post!

Camping, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

9 Insider Tips for Family Camping on the California Coast

There’s a rare form of magic in the crisp air along the California Coast, which is why it’s best enjoyed outdoors. Camping along these beaches rich with ancient trees, active sea life and a bounty of activities (for all ages!) will support you in creating the ideal vacation for your entire family. To ensure it’s more fun than frustrating, follow these tips.

1. Find the Perfect Spot.

IMG_3472

It’s hard to go wrong when finding a site to camp along the West Coast, but depending on your family’s specific needs, some locations will suit your family better than others. Take your preferences for sites (e.g., not near cliffs, activities for young children and a beach with a mellow break) and find a few spots that meet your needs.

Read more on Discount My Flights

Parenting, Uncategorized

6 Ways to Trick Your Kids Into Learning This Summer

It’s almost summertime and the livin’ will be easy. Oh wait, you’re a parent. Never mind, the livin’ is about to get chaotic — but chaos can be fun, and educational.

While you’ve spent the past nine-ish months supporting the expansion of your child’s mental, physical, and social development, you haven’t been doing it alone (if they go to school). You’ve had assistance from teachers, coaches, and all the other people that help kids grow into bigger kids. But soon, the majority of this “fostering of development” will fall on your shoulders … and hands, and heart, and feet …oh heck, every last drop of you will be called upon this summer.

While camps and other such organized activities handled by other responsible adults (or teenagers) were sent down from the parenting heavens to sneak learning (and free time for you!) into your kid’s summer, you’ll likely be met with “ugh, mom” if you suggest activities that even have a whiff of education.

So, let’s hide the learning in fun activities. Here’s how …

Read more on Babble!