Tag: Advice

Knowing When Not To “Ovary” Step Your Boundaries

To empower change, you need to be a driver of change.

I started my blog almost three years ago and the driving factor was to inspire others’ through experiences that I share from my own life and from other amazing people. I always felt that we can learn so much from one another and it helps us empathize with the paths that people walk through.

Not one person lives the same life or has the same experiences as another. That is why it is important to create a community of understanding and support.

But it wasn’t until I got into the parenting world that I have seen another side of “human interest.”

We all have been asked a million in one questions about our lives by curious people. But when do the questions become too personal?

Now I am an open book ever since becoming a parent. What you see is what you get in layers (I have to be honest). I tolerate a lot of questions as I want to be respectful and nice but I really don’t think that anyone should endure it. Even if it is perceived as “normal” questions to ask.

Recently, I have been asked if I was expecting as a few people noticed that I was interested in attending a Baby Show (Thanks Facebook for sharing events that I am interested in. This is an issue that I don’t even want to touch on…yet). Now I am not sure how that conclusion came about since I do write a blog on parenting and am the Assignments Editor at The Baby Spot. But that is beside the point. Of course I shared my thoughts online as it can be therapeutic to vent online for all to see. Then it had me really thinking, “Why do people ask and why do they care?”

I read an article awhile back that spoke volumes about wanting or getting pregnant was no one’s business. And it is very true! Now I know many people who don’t see the harm in asking so let me bring in my experience as that is the only way I know how.

Back in 2014, I gave birth to a healthy little baby girl. We were all thrilled as my husband and I were married for already seven years so people were starting to really question if babies were in our future (didn’t know there was a timeline of having children after marriage but to some there is). I thought this could be the end of the baby questions but unfortunately it was not and I wasn’t too surprised. As we have been programmed to ask these “normal” questions.

We were even asked why it took us so long to get pregnant and if there was something wrong with us. Once I had the courage to respond, I replied with tears in my eyes, “There wasn’t a problem. We were just grieving the loss of our baby that we miscarried before we had our healthy baby girl.” This was the first time that we were disclosing this information to people and while many empathized, others continued with questions. So I slowly developed a thick skin to brush the insensitive questions and played it off that the people who were asking “didn’t know any better.”

But I think it is time to bring this to light as this momma and many others have had enough.

Unless a woman has come to you to talk about her pregnancy goals or life, don’t ask!

Reasons Why Not To Ask

We don’t know what one is going through and some women could be going through any one of these reasons as this is why you should not ask:

  • Grieving a miscarriage
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant
  • Financial strain (News flash! Kids are expensive)
  • Suffering from other health issues
  • In an abusive relationship or just a rocky relationship
  • Does not want children (There is nothing wrong with that)

The list could go on and on. The bottom line is that they are not your ovaries to care so much about. Did it ever occur to people that those constant questions could actually cause the person stress? Imagine the health issues that stress brings onto a person!

I am sure that the questions come with no malice attach to them but it doesn’t mean it should be acceptable either. Let’s break the “normal” and start asking less questions about others and start listening more. You would be surprised at how much someone can disclose without being asked.

Now onto the question on many minds…Is Momma Braga pregnant?

The answer is very simple and that is NO. Do I want another? Only time will tell. But if I do and I do become pregnant then I will announce it with great pride. In the meantime, I am enjoying being a mom to one energetic daughter who has taught me that being a mother is the hardest job that I will ever have.

Please let’s respect one another and let’s break old traditions. Be the change by leading by example. Change can only happen if you do something or in this case not ask the questions.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

The Reality Of Motherhood With A Dash of Humor

When we are new parents we tend to read every book that has been recommended to us. I know that I read my fair share of sunshine and rainbows before I had my daughter. Then once I became a mom, I got the harsh reality of true motherhood. Therefore, when I was approached by author Jillian M. Parsons with an introduction to her upcoming book I was just thrilled!

I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy before it hit the book shelves and I was honored to have been picked to read it!

Say No to Placenta Pics And Other Hilarious, Unsolicited Advice for Pregnant Women by Jillian M. Parsons with Allison Baerken should be on every new moms and their BFFs reading list.

The book is about how two best friends make it through a Pregnancy, with all its gut-busting hilarity and gross bits.

“Maternity isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and natural glows. It’s also elastic waistbands, hot flashes, and throbbing breasts! Prepare yourself for a nine-month roller coaster ride of emotions – for both the pregnant woman and her best friend.”

Synopsis

“Say No to Placenta Pics is the ultimate girlfriend’s uncensored, tell-all guide to the down and dirty of pregnancy for all badass moms-to-be (and their non-pregnant friends watching from the sidelines) who desperately need a joke over the next nine months. Together, BFFs Allison (pregnant) and Jillian (decidedly not) ride the learning curves from first trimester to after birth, rejecting standard pregnancy fluff in self-help books, exploring the issues about mother-to-be-hood no one else seems to have the guts to:

  • The anti-sex appeal of maternity negligees
  • Surviving the high school experience of online mommy groups
  • Resisting the urge to overshare on Facebook
  • Executing the right angles on a maternity photo shoot
  • Listening to yet another birth story from a stranger

Tongue-in-check, and fearlessly relatable, Say No to Placenta Pics is the realest girl talk between two women who mock and celebrate the wonder of pregnancy, every step of the way.”

Momma Braga Review

I absolutely LOVED this book! I loved it so much that I was able to provide a short review that can be viewed on their website, Amazon and Chapters Indigo.

Say No to Placenta Pics, offers readers unique voices of a mom and non-mom who talk about on pregnancy and the aftermath. They touch on every topic that you can imagine and they leave no stone unturned when they give you the good, the bad and the very ugly. For that alone, I applaud them as they are being real and offering different perspectives that we can all learn from. They are relevant and up-to-date with their topics as they talk about Facebook and Mom Bloggers. I have to admit that the Mom Blogger section was my favorite one. Now I do need to warn you that you that if you are a mom blogger you will need to read it with an open mind and with a sense of humor to get it! 😉

There is so much more I can write about, Say No to Placenta Pics, but I can’t spoil it for all of you! What I can say is that this book should be on everyone’s reading list and many of you will be able to relate to a lot of it. We give this book 5 sunshine and rainbows out of 5 and this is on our most recommended list!

Lastly, I will sum up my review with my quote:

“A refreshing read on the reality of pregnancy and the aftermath, which is articulated beautifully with a dash of uncensored humor. You can’t help but laugh out loud as there are so many relatable points in the book. It clearly brings up topics that most of us moms want to say but feel the need to sugar coat; the bad and ugly. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a sense of humor and wants the honest truth on embarking on the journey of motherhood and for the childless friends around them.”

Say No to Placenta Pics will be released on April 17th so make sure to reserve your copy (Amazon and Chapters Indigo) as you don’t want to miss it! This book will be BIG!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

Getting Ready For My Kindergartener

Routine, learning and more growing is what to look forward to when your child starts school and it is one that we have been anticipating in our home. We are in full “Preparing for Kindergarten” mode!

I have officially registered Nikki for Kindergarten and here in Ontario, it is a full school day which is different from when I went to school. I only had to go for half a day which I do recall already being such a long day to be away from home. But I know that Nikki is going to love being away for the full day, especially with all the fun learning she will be doing.

Nikki is much more braver than I am and she is definitely a lot less shy than I was growing up.

So here I am a mom of a child who is going to embark on school life in September and I am embracing the experience as best as possible.

I am not sure if I will be able to prepare myself in time to drop her off on that first day of school as I clearly remember her first day of swim school…I was fighting back the tears as she left me without saying good-bye. Therefore, I can only imagine what the big school day will bring me. I am thinking that there is a lot of preparation that I need to do to help all of us adjust and that means there are a few areas to tackle before the big day.

Now there are tons of articles out on how to prepare your child for Kindergarten and as I read each one it started to make me feel a lot more anxious. The list is long and I want my child to excel so the pressure has already started! I figure that I need to put steps in place to help me as the parent prepare myself for my Kindergartener.

Emotions In Check And Ready

Emotions are wonderful and can be difficult at times to keep in check. I have noticed that my daughter feeds off of my emotions and energy so it is time to keep mine in check especially around going to school. I have been keeping my energy and conversations positive and exciting for her big day which is helping her feel confident for the new adventure. Her confidence in turn is making me feel a lot better about this big step in her life. Any time I do catch myself feeling a little overwhelmed with the preparation checklist, I take a break from it and take a nice bubble bath (those do wonders!).

Communicating With Other Parents

Best way to prepare yourself as a parent is to talk to other parents. I have started to ask questions to my friends who have already been down this route and it is comforting to me as I get to learn from them. Every parents’ experience and advice all differ which provides me with a wealth of perspectives. Therefore, talk with others and if you know parents that have children that are attending your child’s school then they are the best to ask!

Luckily for us, our neighbours attend the same school that my daughter will be going to and I got the inside scoop on the school, programs and the staff which helps in preparing me for the first drop off.

Get To Know The School

Don’t be afraid to ask the school the questions that you need in order to feel comfortable with this transition. Get to know the school. The school that we will be attending offers an information night which I think is great. It is an evening where parents and child can attend the school to get instructions on how we can help their child prepare for Kindergarten. They will also be providing a bag of materials to support the child’s learning. My daughter is already excited for this “goodie” bag.

I will be using this opportunity to get Nikki and I comfortable with the school setting and also meet the teachers in person. I hope they are ready for all the Momma Braga questions! 😉

Manage Expectations

Expectations are important to manage as you want to set yourself and your child up for success. This is why I am keeping my expectations realistic and being prepared as best as I can for the bumps along the way. This is one big step for all of us so I want to make sure that Nikki knows that we are by her side when she needs us but at the same time helping her build her independence. She will need to hone that skill if she is expecting to take on the world (This is why I need to manage my expectations as I always set them high). 😉

These are my four steps in helping parents prepare for Kindergarten as we are a crucial part to the transition and once we are confident, our child will also be too. Now I am not guaranteeing that there will be no tears as I know I will be crying my heart out (I have already started with just writing this article) but these steps might make it just a little easier. Above all, embrace, love and have fun!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Eggspiring Easter Hunt For Newborns

Easter egg hunts are fun to do and one that we enjoy doing in our home. With my daughter being three, her understanding of the Easter Egg hunt is impeccable especially if it involves finding chocolate. This makes the preparation for the Easter Egg Hunt easier but with a new addition to the family I had to think of a way to involve her as I would hate for anyone to feel left out (my newborn niece won’t notice but I will). 😉

My sister is the much more creative one and she has always come up with ways to make holidays and occasions fun for my daughter so this time I wanted to do something special for her daughter this Easter season.

I thought long and hard about how I can incorporate a newborn friendly Easter Egg Hunt and after a trip to my local dollar store…I came up with a simple way and it was going to include the parents!

I am calling this activity, “Eggspiring Easter Hunt.” So how does it work? Let me give you my simple instructions for some Easter fun for all.

Eggspiring Easter Hunt

This Easter Egg Hunt will involve the parents to do the hunt on behalf of their newborn but of course they can carry their baby with them as they search. There will be decorated eggs hidden in the areas that you have picked for the hunt. As each egg is found, there will be an inspirational quote attached to each one. These messages can be kept to inspire the baby as they grow. These can be used as good wishes for the baby.

Instructions

  1. Purchase Easter eggs that are either already decorated or that you need to decorate yourself. We purchased our ready decorated Easter eggs from our local dollar store.
  2. Come up with some inspirational quotes to add to each egg. We used some classic Disney inspiring quotes as they mean a lot to our family.
  3. We added the quotes to a bunny shape template. Once the quote is added you can cut out the bunny and if you have an older child, they can color it for the baby. If you would like a printable template, click here.
  4. Attach the bunny with the inspirational quote to each egg. We used a pipe cleaner that we attached to the string already on our eggs.
  5. Then on Easter, hide them when the parents are not looking. 😉
  6. Then start the Easter Hunt magic. Watch as each message is read out loud and see the parents enjoy the inspiring wishes for their newborn.

With these steps above, you will have included one of the youngest members of your family and even though they may not know exactly what is happening. They will appreciate the thought as they grow with the inspiring messages around them. But this too will make the parents of the newborn glow with love. I know this is how my sister will feel.

We can’t wait to try this activity out this Easter and spend some great family time together. That is the one thing that I love the best about the different occasions we celebrate as we get to spend time with those that we love and care for.

If you are celebrating Easter, I would love to hear from you on how you are celebrating in the comments below.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


 

 

 

My Two Pregnancy Plans

By: Grace Cross
Twitter

When a person finds out that they are pregnant, ideally you get very excited and start to plan life with your little one. You get to plan a nursery, get excited about having a new baby in the family and so much more. But for a parent who has lost a child and gets pregnant again, the joy of being pregnant can also come with a lot of fears. When I lost my baby to an ectopic pregnancy, I knew my thoughts on having another baby would be much more cautious and careful and have their own fears. That is why, unlike other Mothers, I have two pregnancy plans.

Having a miscarriage or an ecoptic pregnancy is not your fault. It is said that in an ectopic pregnancy case that you’re at a higher risk if you drink, do drugs or have lived a lifestyle that can be deemed unhealthy. I never did any of these things, but like millions of women around the world, I had lost my baby at eight weeks and had to have my right fallopian tube removed along with my baby. We were all going to die and there was no other choice. My heart bled as the doctor let me know my baby was dead and I would die if they did not preform this life saving surgery. Coupled with me internally bleeding, they had to act fast. And in a moment, I was no longer a Mom to two.

Most women who have a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy do get pregnant again. These babies are usually called “rainbow babies” or the babies that you have after you have lost a baby previously. If I do get pregnant again, to protect my baby and my heart, I have to have two pregnancy plans.

My pregnancy plan may not look like  other pregnancy plans. A woman may decide that she is going to have a certain exercise regime, she may in some countries decide whether to have a c-section or a vaginal birth. She may have a doula or a midwife. She may decide to give birth in a hospital or at home. My plan is a lot different but many women have similar plans. My first pregnancy plan is if my baby survives. My chances of having a second ectopic pregnancy are increased, so my pregnancy plan is to make it past 6 weeks of pregnancy. As soon as I have a confirmed pregnancy, my doctor immediately refers me to an ”emergency ultra sound”. Once the baby is confirmed to be safe, I can breathe a sigh of relief and continue cautiously throughout my pregnancy. This is plan one.

My second pregnancy plan begins if a doctor says that something is wrong. If I have another ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage or if my baby is in any type of distress. My plan looks a little something like this:

  1. Take all measures to help baby survive/thrive
  2. If the baby has passed away, prepare myself for surgery.
  3. Prepare family for my physical rehabilitation (it takes a month or two to physically become strong again).
  4. Make sure that my partner and child have a good support system around them as they will be hurting as well.
  5. To make sure that I ask for help. From family that I can depend on. I asked a lot of family members for help the first time who were not going to be there like I needed. I know now who I can ask to help me with needs that they can provide. I know I can count on my dear friends. One of them actually owns this blog
  6. To seek help.
  7. To know that I don’t have to get over this, but I can get through this.
  8. To send love to my baby.

I know that many families have been through still birth, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and other forms of loss. It can be early on or very late. I know that I belong to a group of people who never wanted to be in this group, but show so much love and support for one another. I know that there are so many strong women and men and children who show love and support in these dark times.

I would love to be that carefree mom as I was in my first pregnancy, which went without problem, but if I go through another pregnancy, it will be more cautious, it will be more careful. I will worry, though everyone will assure me not to, I love them for loving me but I am human and I will. I hope for that result that I get to the birth stage, go through the pain of labour and I can breathe a sigh of relief that my next little one is safely in my arms. I in that moment, rejoice that I have become a Mother to my rainbow baby.

Experiencing WWE NXT Through The Eyes Of A Child

We love watching and following the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and we have been fans for many years. You might have remembered a few articles that I have written on WWE and we can’t forget the very entertaining videos that my daughter has done in imitating the wrestlers entrances. So it is no surprise that when we heard that the WWE was returning with their ever so popular NXT live tour, we had to purchase tickets especially since it was being held at the Hershey Centre. It was so much closer to home!

For those of you who may not know or follow, let me give a quick definition of WWE NXT. This is a branch of the WWE brand. This is where you get your start in the WWE. It is almost like the place that you need to prove yourself before going to the main roster of Raw and Smackdown (the main shows of the WWE). That is if you have that superstar quality for the main stage from what I have heard people say.

We have watched wrestlers from NXT in Toronto before and it was such an amazing show as each wrestler outperformed the next. I think it was the most entertaining wrestling that I had seen live in years so it was refreshing.

Now it was time to see it again but without the cameras for television broadcasting which makes it a more intimate event for fans as we are solely focused on the performances.

I do need to mention that watching a WWE live event comes with many restrictions and I do recommend that if you are taking young children to please read what the rules are before going. The Hershey Centre did a great job in making sure that the attendees were aware of the restrictions and were great at answering any inquiries from fans (like myself who messaged them a whole lot!).

For this event we made it into a daughter and mom night as my husband had to work. We also went with a family friend and his son; they are our wrestling friends for life. 🙂

Momma Braga and Nikki.
Our family friends Mike and his son Austin. Photo Credit: Mike Clarke.

WWE NXT Event

We arrived early to avoid waiting in a big line-up in the cold and it helped us find our seats with lots of time to enjoy the venue (this is when it is the perfect time to take a selfie to capture the moment). We had great seats as our view of the wrestling ring and the entrance for the wrestlers was perfect for us.

Before we knew it, the lights started to dim and the ring lights were on…it was time for the show! One performance after another, it was amazing! Each larger than life character came into the ring and really put their heart into their performance. We got to see some fan favorites and were even introduced to some new wrestlers who are going to be making their televised debut soon (one became my favorite very quick, Ricochet!).

But what made this event even more spectacular for me as a mom was seeing my daughter light up with excitement. I know that my heart was glowing to see how happy she was. Isn’t that what we want for our children to be?!

It amazed me to see her interact and engage with other fans. For the first time, I took the back seat from being a fan and watched her be one. I got to experience the event through her and that made me love this event even more. So what did my three year old do?

Well, when the audience clapped, chanted or screamed so did my little one. It was so awesome to see her chant, “NXT, NXT, NXT!” And anytime the audience cheered for one of the wrestlers, she would try to chant their name too (as best as she could as some of the names are a little difficult to say). But one that she had no trouble chanting was for Nikki Cross (by the way, no connection as to how we named our daughter, lol).

From Left to Right: Our family friend Mike, Nikki and Momma Braga. Photo Credit: Mike Clarke.

It made the event that more exciting to watch and that is why many fans go see a live show. Seeing a WWE event is a social experience that you can’t get from watching it on your television. It is an opportunity to engage with other fans on the drama of WWE wrestling and I believe that this is where the wrestlers get their performance rush from. That energy and vibe at a live event is what makes WWE great and successful! We all had an amazing time and it will be a memorable mother and daughter day that we will not forget. We got to spend time together and engage with the most loyal and craziest fans ever! We just loved it! WWE NXT gave us a very entertaining night full of heart, athleticism and a forever family moment.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Kids Up Front Toronto: Making A Difference One Ticket At A Time

Coming from a background of the non-profit world, I have the utmost respect for many charities who work tirelessly for their causes.

During my tenure as a fundraiser, I encountered Kids Up Front Toronto and was impressed by their mission and impact. So I was excited to introduce them to the youth clients and to all the staff members that I worked with.

Now as a parent blogger, I am excited to introduce this amazing organization to all of you and this is way overdue.

“Remember your first concert. Now imagine giving a child that feeling for the first time.”

Kids Up Front believes that all children deserve to experience the magic of the theatre or the excitement of a hockey game. Kids Up Front makes sure that children and their families affected by poverty, abuse, illness as well as newcomers to Toronto gain exposure to the community through the distribution of tickets.

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

How did it all start?

“Kids Up Front began in Calgary in 1999. Our founder, John Dalziel was surrounded by empty seats in the Saddledome and believed that thousands of deserving children and youth could benefit from unused tickets. Kids Up Front Toronto’s founding Executive Director, Lindsay Oughtred, had the same idea in 2006. She was a high school English teacher, inspired to fill seats on the field trips she was taking her students on. Lindsay discovered Kids Up Front, left the classroom behind, and the rest is history! Kids Up Front operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Atlantic Canada.”

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

The Impact on the Lives of Children, Families and the City of Toronto

The impact of the work that is being done by Kids Up Front Toronto is one that uplifts children, families and the whole community.

• Children benefit from developing a sense of belonging; feeling included; gaining exposure to “normal” childhood experiences.
• Parents benefit from feeling valued; having the means to give their child a special experience; re-connecting with their child in a positive way.
• Families benefit from sharing constructive leisure activities; encouraging positive social interaction between parents, children and siblings; healing and strengthening relationships.
• Communities benefit from having engaged citizens; strengthening of community values; inspiring future leaders.

“Thanks to our generous donors and over 240 agency partners, Kids Up Front Toronto distributed nearly 85,000 tickets valued at over $2.8 million in 2017. Children have community building experiences that help boost self-esteem and families form stronger ties by allowing parents and children to connect in a positive way. We believe Kids Up Front is helping to create a more inclusive city by removing financial and social barriers.

Photo courtsey of Kids Up Front Toronto

Making a Difference Through Kids Up Front

“Kids Up Front is a simple idea with an incredible impact. Thanks to our extensive network in the GTA, we are able to accept tickets (even just hours before game time or show time!) and get them into the hands of children and youth who do not otherwise have the opportunity. Kids Up Front also provides charitable tax receipts for the value of the ticket donation (with proof of purchase). It truly is a win-win for everyone!

If you don’t have tickets to donate, EchoAge birthday parties are another great way to help Kids Up Front give deserving kids a break.”

It is easy to make a difference in the lives of children and their families through Kids Up Front Toronto. You can donate your tickets, donate money or even donate your time. So many options to make a world of a difference in the community.

How Can a Child Be Referred To Benefit From Kids Up Front

“Kids Up Front partners with child and youth serving agencies to ensure our tickest are going to families who will truly benefit from these incredible gifts.”

To see a list of these amazing agency partners, click here.

Upcoming This Year

“We are working toward our goal of 100,000 tickets valued at over $3 million by 2020. The more tickets we have, the more people we are able to reach. We would love to finally get rid of our waiting list of agencies looking to partner with Kids Up Front. We are also continuing to raise our profile in Toronto. We want every single person in the city to know what to do with their unused tickets.

Nationally, we can’t wait to watch Kids Up Front Ottawa and Kids Up Front Atlantic grow in their first full year as our newest Kids Up Front regions.”

Photo courtesy of Kids Up Front Toronto

I have personally seen the impact that Kids Up Front Toronto has done in the community. The smiles, excitement and pure enjoyment that the youth and kids exhibit during an event is the most heart tugging moment for anyone to see.

So if you have tickets that you can’t use or just want to give a child an opportunity of a lifetime, then I say Kids Up Front is the place to start in making a difference!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tanya, Program Manager at Kids Up Front Toronto for taking the time to do this exclusive interview with us at Momma Braga.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Myfunvelope Brings Creativity Right To Your Door

Have you ever wonder what crafts or activities that you can do with your child? Have you looked for a craft subscription option to help you?

There is a solution and an affordable one. Let me first introduce you to Kyla.

Kyla is a mom of six wonderful children in Saskatchewan, Canada. Five of her children were all under the age of five and it was a bit of a challenge as she needed to find ways to keep her older children engaged in activities. Kyla thought that a craft subscription would be a perfect solution to help her. However, after a lengthy research she found very few affordable options were available in Canada. Therefore, she began prepping little crafts in snack bags to give to her children and they LOVED them! This is where the idea of “Myfunvelope” bloomed. Kyla wanted to offer the opportunity for other moms to access an affordable monthly craft subscription and this is exactly what she did.

Myfunvelope is for children ages three to nine. Every month your child will receive a funvelope in the mailbox. They will discover and have fun with four unique craft projects that follow a fun monthly theme. They will also receive a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity for hands-on building that is fun and sometimes hilarious! Markers and scissors are also provided with your package and the cost of this no tie-ins subscription is $18 on a month-to-month basis. All children can enjoy the activities every month as the themes are never holiday related to make it inclusive for all.

We got to try this month’s Myfunvelope and I have to say it was a great one! It is superhero month and my daughter loves superheroes!

The first thing that our daughter noticed was the cape and mask which was the first to go on (and stayed on for hours after)! Then we got to try the fun activities throughout the weeks.


There was the Pop-Up Superhero Activity, Superhero Straw Shooter, Superhero Magnet, Cape and Mask and the STEM activity was creating a flying superhero to measure distance. That one was really fun!

What we loved about the craft package was that it had everything that we needed to do all the activities. It saved us a lot of time and running around in getting any of the little things needed to make craft success.

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give “Myfunvelope” 5 super powers out of 5! If you would like to try this subscription it is super easy to start! All you need to do is sign up and let the crafting begin! Don’t forget to follow Myfunvelope on Facebook and Instagram for some great crafting ideas!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Love Is Infinite

Love is infinite and kind
knows no boundaries
and abides by no law
other than it’s own.

At one time or another we all experience love in our lives. We love our spouse/partner, parents, siblings, family members, friends, pets and then there is the love that we have for our own children. To me that love is the most powerful one of all. As it’s the love that we feel before even meeting our child as our love forms as they develop in our tummies. It is the love that is infinite as we do everything in our power to ensure that our children are well taken care of. I would say that is a remarkable power.

I remember feeling this way on the day my daughter was born as she was placed on my chest. She looked at me with her vivid eyes and I knew at that exact moment that I would love her forever (even through the sleepless nights, tantrums and all the lovely fun growing up stuff).

Since that first day, we haven’t failed a single day to let our daughter know how much we love her each and every day. We always let her know that our love for her is infinite and that the beauty of love is that you can always make more and we don’t need to worry about there ever being less.

This daily lesson has helped our daughter get comfortable with new babies arriving in our family. She has loved every little cousin that has arrived and has been so helpful in trying to make them happy. Recently, a new cousin arrived and it was a more immediate cousin as it is my sister’s daughter (Congratulations Karen!).

We were all anxious in anticipation for the little one to arrive as we all had lots of love to give. Therefore, we started the conversations about the arrival and what it was going to mean to all of us. It has always been important to us to have these conversations with our daughter as we want her to understand the world around her and with the ‘why’ phase it is a perfect time. We explained how she was gaining a new friend and that meant one more person that was going to love her so much more.

Therefore, throughout my sister’s whole pregnancy, my daughter would kiss my sister’s tummy and tell her little cousin how much she loved her. It was a beautiful moment to say the least (captured below).

The day finally arrived as we greeted the little one recently and it was time for our daughter to meet her new cousin. It was love at first sight! Our daughter just adored her little baby cousin and just wanted to give hugs and tickles (apparently babies need tickles according to my daughter). 😉

Seeing the love that my daughter exhibited was so touching as it showed me that I am doing something right. But in all honesty I didn’t have any doubts since she has other younger cousins that she loves so much. Our constant talking and explaining is working so far! YES! #ParentingWin

Now not all children are the same and they are all unique in their own ways. Some children may exhibit jealousy or feel a little less loved when a new baby enters the world. Therefore, I put together some tips that could possibly help.

#1. Communicate

Always start the conversation early. Let your child know of the changes that are about to happen and let them know what they can expect. Teach them that love is infinite and you can always create more of it.

#2. Listen

Listen to your child and pick up on any cues that they are feeling uneasy about a new addition to the family. If they have any concerns, let them tell you and listen. You would be surprised at how much listening means to a child.

#3. Love

Express and show your love to your child. Let them know how much they mean to you…a hug can go a long way.

#4. Engage 

Make sure to include your child in the action. All kids love attention (I am sure we know a lot of adults who do too!) so get them involved. If it is a cousin, have them help the mom and dad with the baby. Let them bring the bottle and have them take part in the little things. It is a great way to have the baby and child start to bond too!

#5 Praise

Praise your child on what a great job they are doing and what a great helper they are. They love to hear praise and it is another great way to show your love by noticing how great they are. I use this a lot and I find it helps me tremendously to have a positive outcome in all that I do.

Those are my five quick tips in hopes it helps minimize or avoid some unpleasant feelings of a new addition to the family. We have used all of these tips to help our daughter adjust to a loving growing family. Now our daughter tells the whole world that she has a new baby cousin and she loves her so much because she is so cute! Tugs my heart strings every time!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Kids Off to College – How to Cope with the Empty Nest Syndrome

Source: Pexels.com

Written By: Claire Adams

Sending your kids off to college should be one of the happiest moments in your life. However, for many mothers, this is also one of the hardest moments, as they will be separated from their children for the first time and for a prolonged period.

This is better known as an empty nest syndrome, and if you don’t know how to cope with it, you can create a tough situation both for you and your kids. So, let’s go over some tips that will show you what to do and what not to do when your kids finally leave for college.

Face the music

First of all, you should come to terms that your children are leaving and that they probably won’t return to your household. Sure, it will be hard and you will shed some tears, but that is all a part of the healing process.

The worst thing that you can do is to neglect your emotions and bury them; like that ever worked for anyone. You need to be open about the situation and learn to embrace it. Just remember that the adaptation process takes time. So, don’t expect to wake up one morning feeling jolly that your kids aren’t home, or maybe you will; everybody is different.

Source: Pexels.com

Start new activities with your spouse

Having no children around your household means that you will have a ton more time for yourself. While your kids were in the spotlight for the past 18 years or so, the time has finally come to put more attention to what you and your spouse want to do.

Maybe you were planning a tropical vacation for decades, but you couldn’t get around doing it because of your parental responsibilities. Regardless, now, you can do whatever you want. Of course, going on adventures with your spouse is also an excellent way to keep your mind off your kids. After all, you don’t want to be one of those mothers that speed dials their children every hour or so.

Keep the campus visits on the low

Next, you need to resist the urge to visit your kids every weekend. Campus visits are fantastic and going over there when they are in a tough spot with exams can help your kids stay motivated. However, if you start going over there every week or even every month, you can create the opposite effect.

The first year of college is the most important year, and you need to let your “babies” find their own way. And most importantly, don’t worry about their safety. Regardless if your children are staying in a college campus of the University of Toronto or in a private student accommodation in Melbourne CBD, know that they will be safe at all times. One last thing, don’t make surprise visits. Maybe your kids are studying or they have something planned with their college friends, and you showing up out of nowhere can ruin that.

Source: Pexels.com

Make new friends

Since your kids are off making friends and studying (of course), you should do the same. Well, you don’t have to study, but you should start meeting new people. You can join a book club, reconnect with your friends that are also going through the same phase, and so on. Most parents feel lonely once their kids leave for college, and the best way to shake off that feeling is to be around people.

Pick up a hobby

Finally, you should pick up a hobby. Keeping yourself busy with a fun little hobby is the best therapy for your mind. If you didn’t have the time for hobbies in the past, now is the best time for them. You can start DIY projects around the house, pick up sewing, plant a small garden in your backyard, or anything else that you may enjoy.

And that is about it for today. As you can see, dealing with the empty nest syndrome is a slow but necessary process. Even though sending your kids to college is a dream-come-true, that doesn’t mean that you cannot feel sad about it. Just don’t try to ignore your feelings, and know that time heals everything.

 

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.