Tag: The Baby Spot

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.

How Winter Makes Me See Life

By: Grace Cross
Twitter

Winter is synonymous with death, but I never saw it that way. Perhaps because I was a person who grew up amongst snow for eight plus months of the year, it would be sad that eight plus months of each year of my life resembled that of a morgue. The truth of the matter is, winter to me is not death at all. It is the most important season of the year. Where I am from, if you do not have a cold winter, you have a lot of bugs in the summer. You get a dry spell and the trees do not blossom with their usual vibrancy. To this point, when you look under the snow, many roots are planting, many flowers are beginning to blossom. The earth is deciding what the next year will bring. To me, winter is pause, winter is beginning. It is the most powerful season.

I have a friend in her mid-thirties. She is a great person, but she is worried about getting older. Now that she is in her mid-thirties, she feels her job is to serve her family and then it’s one foot in the grave. Morbid, isn’t it? She also hates winter. Let’s face it folks, your mid-thirties is about beginnings and really finding yourself. You have a lot of life left to live. Also, it’s never about how much time you have but how you spend it.

At a party recently, my beautiful friend’s negative words stung me a bit. I was celebrating the holiday season with friends. We have all known each other since we were fourteen and we have had some amazing adventures. We know each other inside and out. Some of us are married, some of us are not. Some of us have children, some of us do not. Some have similar jobs and some do not. We are really different people with a combined enjoyment of each other.

So picture it, my dear friend is hosting this party as she hosts most of them as she is the half way point for most of us to travel. We see each other only a couple times a year now. We go to her house and this friend really can decorate. It is your quintessential Christmas house with a modern trendy touch and you could just put this picture of her home in a magazine. In another life, my friend was an interior designer, but in this life, she is a really great teacher.

The friends start pouring in with their partners and kids. The children immediately know the routine and start inventing some game. From babies to kids, they all just have this understanding that they all will like each other.

Pause.

I paused in the midst of Christmas stories and laughs and memories of yesteryear. I felt like winter. No, not the way my friend describes winter, the way I do.

Here are these people, who saw me grow up. I saw them grow up. We saw each other go through some great times. We have lost family members. We are all friends with each other’s siblings. Now, we have these children, of all different ages, playing together as if the universe has aligned. They generally enjoy each other’s company! The older ones seem to mind the younger ones. The cycle begins again.

In some ways, no matter what this world has to offer them, they have this core group that will always root for them, put them first and celebrate their wins and pull them through their challenges.

They will always be someone’s number one.

My friend’s son reads to me.

He reads now!

I remember he was the first baby of the group. We arrived at a dessert shop as we all nervously met this sweet little boy. We held him. I held him and we were all nervous. How are we going to raise this person, this little ‘being’ of two of my dear friends? We were all promoted to uncles and aunts and suddenly, we had a responsibility more important than ourselves. Our siblings did not have children and so we all just learned to be the best friends and aunts and uncles to this child we could be. Then more babies came. We got into the swing of things. Now its “old hat” as they say.

Pause.

I look at my friend’s faces who I still see as fourteen years old, navigating through this amazing and terrifying thing we call life. My friend’s son is still reading to me and my other friend has just given birth to the most beautiful little girl who is like the PERFECT baby. My friend insists she has her moments. But in this moment in winter at Christmas, this moment of beauty and simplicity, I will call one of the most cherished moments of my life and it’s no surprise it is in wintertime.

I jump into action, it’s my turn to read.

 

A Golden Adventure

Imagine packing up and going on a travel adventure from Canada to Central America and back in a motorhome for six months with your family. Sounds like an impossible dream?

Well, it is a true reality for The Golden Family. The Baby Spot first featured this cool family to their global audience back in July to tell their amazing story. After reading their story and the Golden Family being big fans of Momma Braga, we just had to collaborate and get more details on their great adventure for all of you.

1. Tell me a little about your family.

B and I have been married for six amazing years. We were married on a beach in Hawaii where my mom’s ashes are spread. Hawaii is a spot we will always hold close to our hearts for many reasons. We have a five year old daughter, ‘Anela. ‘Anela means Angel in Hawaiian and she is named in memory of my mom. ‘Anela is so keen to learn, help and have fun. She loves swimming, gymnastics, dancing, and expressing herself through music and singing. She definitely takes after her dad, B in the artsy aspect.

B plays guitar, drums and writes his own music. This is something that has been slightly neglected since having kids, so we are excited to take a guitar, an ukulele, shakers and a tambourine on the road to play music as a family. B is a full time paramedic and is kept busy in different locations. He is so passionate about his work and helping others.

Our son, Felix, will be three in October as we commence our trip. He is a busy, fun loving little boy. He loves all things airplanes and helicopters! He also enjoys swimming, gymnastics and banging on the drums. He loves climbing and exploring and runs everywhere he goes.

I, too, am passionate about my job as an RN in Emergency, but my greatest joy is being a mom and wife. I love to travel both nationally and internationally. We often fill free days with stay-cations by going to the beach, on rides, to the water park, or meeting up with friends for a play and visit. Our family time is the most important thing to us!

What is your adventure plan?

Our adventure plan…well it’s to have the time of our lives, teach our kids, and see Mexico and Central America! We are driving from Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) to Costa Rica and back. We bought a 23-foot motorhome that is perfect for our family. The beds are always set up, and we have a bathroom and even a fridge in our small kitchenette.

On September 30, 2017 we will leave Edmonton and start our trek south. The first big stop in the United States is Billings, Montana where we will celebrate Felix’s third birthday. From there we’ll continue southbound to Six Flags over Texas in Arlington for some fun before crossing into Mexico. The kids and I just love all things rides so we thought we’d have a fun day after 3200 kilometers of driving through the USA. B will put up with vertigo from the rides to share in our fun.

Halloween should find us deep into Mexico for “El Dia de los Muertos” national festival. Throughout our travels we plan to scour Mayan ruins, study Spanish and surf. We’ll seek out hot springs, waterfalls, pristine beaches for snorkeling and the occasional scuba dive. There are also many volcanoes and lakes to hike and explore. We are taking our mountain bikes with both a bike trailer and bike seats for kids, which will allow us to cover more ground than walking or driving.

What inspired you to take on this adventure?

We have always talked about taking the kids on a long trip. I thought it would be a backpacking trip (which is how this plan started), but it quickly transformed into a driving adventure. This way we can maximize what we see. We will be able to interact more with the locals and learn the language and culture.

Going back a year, though, we were house shopping in order to move closer to our work. At the time I was driving 1 hour 20 min to get to work and B was driving 1 hour. This seemed like so much wasted time and we wanted to maximize our family time. Therefore, moving closer to work seemed like a reasonable option. The only problem was the inspection for the two houses we loved uncovered big red flags. We walked away from buying either of them.

Once we had put the offer in on the second house, however, we had already found renters for our house in Red Deer. We were essentially homeless with two kids. Yes, we did still own the house in Red Deer but it didn’t seem right to cancel to our renters when they had already given notice to their landlords. As always, we made a new plan A. We decided to rent a house that is only a one minute drive from my work! And because we were now renting, and our house was rented out, we figured there is no better time than the present to go on the trip of a lifetime!

What started out as a South America backpacking trip for two to three months has transpired to be an overlanding trip to Central America and back for six months. We have always known we were going to road school our children in order to show them the world. And this is the perfect opportunity to do so as ‘Anela starts kindergarten this year!

When does your adventure start and when are you anticipating it to complete?

We leave on September 30th, which is rapidly approaching! We depart Edmonton, Alberta and are taking six months to complete a round trip to Costa Rica. We will not be venturing into Panama this go around. In order to travel from Panama back into countries such as Nicaragua and Guatemala, you must have proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. We opted out because it’s a higher risk vaccine, and we wouldn’t be far enough south to be exposed. We’ll save Panama for another time.

How do you think your children will adapt to this great adventure?

‘Anela, now five, has been travelling since she was three weeks old. She did her first trip into the USA at only four weeks. She has been to Hawaii three times, Costa Rica five times, Vancouver Island and Manitoba countless times.

Felix has also been travelling since quite young. Because he had some health issues needing surgery at three months old, we did not travel farther than Manitoba until he was over one year. He has now been to Costa Rica four times.

Our kids are amazing travelers. They love the adventures and getting to be with mom and dad. Of course they get sick of the car seats after a few hours, but we always stop at a playground, spray park, or beach and make meals while they can play and be kids! I anticipate them being great overlanding travelers and will definitely update you as our trip progresses. We have never spent six months in a motorhome before, so this will be a new learning experience for us all.

What do you hope your children and yourselves are going to learn from your adventure?

We hope our children will learn more than they would by sitting at home in a conventional classroom. We will be learning language. ‘Anela was already in Spanish immersion preschool and has progressively learned more each trip to Costa Rica. She now teaches Felix and us words in Spanish. B and I have studied the language, so we are aiming to be fluent by the end of our trip.

We are going to learn about the people of each country we travel through, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize. Each of these Latin American countries have their own traditions, festivities and cultures. Needless to say, we will be learning from the locals, and from the tourist attractions.

For Kindergarten, the kids will use money to learn about math. This will also allow them to practice their Spanish! We will teach them how to be street smart, and the dangers of wildlife, insects and spiders. B and I lived in Australia before having kids, ad so spiders and the like are not a foreign idea of something to watch out for. Overall, we want our kids (and us) to be wordly, compassionate and empathetic humans. We want them to understand how people can be happy with very little, and to be thankful for all that we have in our lives.

What advice can you give to other parents who may want to embark on a similar adventure?

This type of trip is a big deal, yes! But…it is absolutely doable if you are interested. My big tip is RESEARCH!!! We have never done so much research on a trip before. This is a whole new kind of traveling. We have bought books on overland travel to learn about vehicle preparation, border crossings and questionable situations. We have travel and camping books that cover each country at various depths. We even have a book written by a middle aged couple who traveled “99 days to Panama.” The research has actually put our minds at ease. Before starting preparation for this trip, I was super nervous about our safety. Now, I still have my moments of being nervous, but overall feel confident that we are well prepared to start our journey!

People don’t give their kids enough credit. Kids are great little beings that will go along with mom and dad on most adventures quite happily if you frame it the right way. ‘Anela has moments when she says she doesn’t want to go, mostly because she will miss her friends and family. But, we tell her we can ‘Facetime’ whenever she needs to see a familiar face. Grandparents we meet while traveling miss their grandchildren. This works well for both parties. This is also the first trip she will bring her favorite blanket and stuffie, and that’s so exciting for her. We have saved a bunch of new books and toys that can sporadically be pulled out for entertainment if the kids are feeling a bit homesick. Because let’s be honest, it’s going to happen. Those are the times we will distract them with exciting tours or a new book or game.

For anyone who is considering a trip, you are always welcome to contact us for more information, tips and tricks, and books that we found helpful!

How do you prepare yourself as parents on this journey?

As parents, we are “go with the flow” kind of people. Our kids have adopted this mentality and are flourishing and developing absolutely “normally.” We have our few routines we stick to, no matter what time it is and where we are. We will maintain our bedtime routine, whether it is in our motorhome, a hotel, a hostel or someone’s house. That way it is still their normal and is comfortable for them.

Aside from keeping some normalcy with our routine, safety has been our biggest concern. This comes back to doing research and being prepared. I am not sure it is possible to be 100% prepared because there is uncertainty with traveling. But that goes for life as well, doesn’t it? We have never lived in a motorhome for six months…all of us in less than 200 sq feet! There will be bumps along the road, for sure. But with these we will be able to inform future travelers of some hiccups that could possibly be avoided.

There are so many things to think about, plan and research. But if your dreams involve traveling, we say go for it!

Now that is a “Golden Adventure” to say the least and it sounds like the Golden Family is ready to embrace it like a family. What I personally find inspiring by the Golden Family’s story is the time they are going to spend with one another and how they are teaching such valuable lessons to their children along the way that most of us forget in this hectic world; being a compassionate and empathetic human being.

Another lesson that lifted my heart hearing is how the Golden Family want their children to understand how people can be happy with very little, and to be thankful for all that one has in their lives and I think this lesson is priceless.

I truly admire this family on the adventure that they are embarking on and I wish them safe travels. Special thank  you to The Golden Family for their time and for being fans!

Looking forward to possibly collaborating some more with The Golden Family and share tips and stories from their BIG adventure.

To follow the Golden Family on their journey, check them out on The Golden Life, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga


3 Must Have Gifts To Get Your Kids Right Now!!!

By: Grace Cross, Editor of The Baby Spot

Twitter

Originally Posted Here

As I walked with my four year old down a busy city street in the sweltering heat, I stopped momentarily to grab my key out of my purse so I was prepared to unlock a building door. As I reached for the front glass door, an elderly gentleman beat me to it, opened the door for both myself and my daughter.

“Thank you!” I said with a smile. I hear my daughter’s tiny voice echo her thank yous.

“You’re welcome.” He said smiling back and headed out the door and down the busy street. I love to open the door for people and I am grateful when anyone takes time out of their day to open the door for me. I don’t expect anything said to me when I open the door for someone, if it puts a smile on your face to have the door opened for you then that is great. If I don’t get a thank you, no worries, I wanted to open it for you and that is that. In retrospect, I am grateful when someone does a nice little deed for me. It reminds me that the strangers around us are too, three dimensional who think, feel and are going through things in their life whether it be good or bad.

I like people.

But then I looked down at my daughter. I have spoken to waiters and people in service who are shocked at how today’s youth does not use manners. How many children interrupt or swear at their parents when a service individual has briefly taken their parent’s attention to do their job. Basic manners are not mandatory and definitely not mandated by any law in any country that I am aware of. However, it makes all of our lives a little easier.

As human beings, we are a social creature, but little ‘isms’ and human nuances can get on everyone’s nerves. I get it. I’ve been there. Someone not yielding to the right on an escalator for the quicker walkers to walk passed you is social suicide in some cities. Loud talkers in some countries are considered the norm, whereas in my city and in others, it’s considered extremely rude for everyone to have to hear your conversation. In an age where we are blessed to live with different people, cultures and ideas, we can get on each other’s nerves. We can misunderstand and misinterpret each other. There are literally some cultures who shake their heads from side to side meaning ‘no’ and other cultures that shake their head from side to side meaning ‘yes!’ The confusion and naivetés of one another can cause conflict and therefore can make the world a bit of a more challenging place to live in.

So before the keyboard warriors come out and tell us how I and everyone else can do it better, stop! I have three gifts that you can buy your children or even buy yourself that with a simple investment, will make your life easier. With a very unprofessional and uncertified rating system, I will give you a cost break down and an approximate amount of time for every gift to be properly consumed.

The best part of this is, I don’t even have to provide backlinks to any of these gifts because they’re right in front of you. So, put your credit cards down.

Thankfulness

Beyond the screams of a child in a toy store of the sighs of a preteen because Mom or Dad did not let them buy “this cool app, look, it’s only $3.99” is thankfulness. We can’t blame our children. They come from an instantaneous gratification society, a society that gives them information at their fingertips. I am not advocating for this to be taken away, oh no, I think technology is great for the most part. But when we live in a society where we have advertisements telling us we want something, then your children may see a little snippet on the news, of a Syrian family narrowly avoiding death, of a shooting nearby or something that humanizes them that makes them think “well, this did not happen to me, this does not happen here.” The feelings of life start to flood in, but are immediately interrupted from that text of a friend, a new advertisement or another distraction. Before we ask our children to “Be helpers” as Fred Rogers from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood so eloquently put it, we need to remind our children in an age where it seems everyone gets everything right away, to be thankful.

The best way to teach your children, in my humble opinion is to lead by example. No one wants every outing, every experience to be some lesson or lecture. But when a parent shows thankfulness in front of their children, “I am thankful I got home twenty minutes early today and I was not caught in traffic.” “Just got back from the doctors kids, I am thankful for that clean bill of health.” A child starts to hear that behavior and mimic it. Being thankful for a gift, to live in a safe area, to have a loving family is a wonderful seed to plant. A child must be thankful for what the opportunities they have before they can provide opportunities for others.

To add, saying “Thank you” to others, like people who hold the door for your family, serve you in restaurants or in retail settings, deserves a thank you from you and your children if they were kind and attentive.

The greatest thing about thankfulness is you can start when they are infants. Yes, a parent even speaking to their child is soothing. You can introduce this at any age and I promise, it will help shape your children and also keep you in check in a world that can sometimes seem cruel.

Final Cost: 0

Time: About 5 to 10 seconds for each thankful thought.

1 Minute relaying thoughts to others.

Understanding

Understanding can be a tricky one. I am in no means asking you to teach your children to let every bully walk over them “maybe he or she has a hard life and that is why they punch you in the face every day after school, dear.” Or “this person is trying to get me fired from work but maybe they need to feed their family more than I need to feed mine.” That is not the understanding I am advocating for. Protect yourself!

The understanding I am asking for is for your children to function with others who do not think like them. We have this new opportunity where the whole word is connected, a whole world that has opinions, many of them different from their own. I have traveled a bit over the course of my life and created this global parenting magazine on two premises, celebrating the similarities and embracing the differences of parenting practices worldwide. The whole “we are all the same” movement is nice and all and as a people we do share some amazing similarities in both genetics and thought processes, but it is silly and almost ignorant to ignore the vast differences from culture, people and society. Those differences, though foreign to some, are interesting, beautiful and quite frankly, I prefer it. I prefer my thought processes to be challenged and questioned. It either teaches me something new or helps me reform my original opinion to be stronger. As long as the learning process is healthy, I am all for it.

We must teach our children understanding. People have different needs. We have some children who recognize certain religious practices during the day. In retrospect, we have children who require certain understanding. There are children who are religious, not religious, have different ways of thinking or perception like children with autism. The point is, we think differently and we perceive the world differently. We need to understand each other and learn about different types of people.

So what does that mean? Perhaps enrolling your children in a language class, to have a second language under their belt. It’s a new opportunity for your children to learn about a new culture and make new friends speaking their second language. It could be volunteering at a homeless shelter, so your children can interact with people who live differently than themselves. It could also mean having your children meet other children outside of their regular circles, volunteering at a reading program or if extra time is tight, reading about a new country, culture or religion every night for ten minutes. You don’t have to have your degree or be an expert in a subject to get a sense of understanding.

My mom for a short period of my childhood would grab one of her encyclopedia’s, (yes, the book ones not the ones online) and read us a little snippet of a country, culture or place while we ate breakfast before school. Maybe this is corny but it’s true, I enjoyed it! It must have stuck in my head throughout the years, because even though I may not remember anything she read to us, it planted the seed to learn more about everything, to understand to the best of my ability.

I think understanding comes with educating your children. Whether they are destined for a doctorate in medicine or changing the world with Tool and Dye, education breeds understanding. A combination of books and street smarts is a beautiful thing.

Cost=0

Time= ongoing dedication

Empathy

Do you have that child who wants to adopt every stray animal they find? Do you have a child who does not bully others even if everyone else is doing it? You have raised the empathetic child, one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. A child who many would say is beyond their years, I would humbly say is right where they are supposed to be. To get their peers to think and to inspire adults to remember.

If your child is none of those things, don’t worry! Empathy can be demonstrated and you can ‘wake up’ your child to think in a different way.

For those parents whose child is not empathetic, with most children, you can lead with example. With children with mental health challenges, leading with example, as you well know, may not work.

But you have to live empathy if there is any hope for your children to be empathetic. Showing empathy for other people’s pain is a gift your child will never know how important it is to have. Empathetic people are the seeds that grow ideas into beautiful plants. When one person, combined with understanding, empathizes with another, it helps build bridges with humanity and not make the gap between human being to human being, even bigger.

How you can express empathy is key. You won’t yell at that waitress who took an extra five minutes to fill up your cup because you can see she is waiting on at least ten other tables and you know this task is next to impossible. So you show and exhibit patience. Yelling never helps anyone anyway. You will donate your clothes to those new immigrants to your country because you know they have never felt a winter like yours and you want them to bundle up and stay warm and cozy as they get to know this new land. You use kind words to others, you hear peoples pain and you respond instead of ignoring. You are alive and you act like it.

Cost: 0

Time: a full time investment at first, but then it comes naturally.

These three gifts are not only a must have for the family, but if you use them as a combo, you can get results far greater than buying into just one. With all three gifts, you give yourself a huge discount in time management!

The media is always talking about role models and who will be the role model for your child? You see celebrities protesting that they just sing songs or act in movies and never asked to be your child’s role model. You know what? They’re right. You never asked them to. You don’t need to because you are their role model. It may not seem like that when they run off with their friends without saying goodbye or are rude sometimes. But they are listening. They are observing. You are the answer to your children getting these three gifts. With a onetime investment on behalf of your children, you can really change their life. I am not promising perfection. But what I am promising is you and your family making a difference, no matter how small, in your community and your world. All cliché aside, stop buying into what people tell you that you need to buy your family and invest in these three gifts for life.

Fitting in Versus Standing Out

By: Grace Cross
Twitter: @grace_cross1000

No parent wants their child to come home and cry that they’re being bullied.  They do not want to hear how their baby, whom they loved and raised, is being teased for not having the latest style or following a trend. As ridiculous as it sounds, a child can be bullied by their peers if they are not wearing the fashion of the minute. Out of fear, some parents will overspend, even go into debt so their children are wearing expensive fashion of the moment, so they fit in with their peers. However, this sends a clear message to the child, to follow what other’s tell them is the right thing to do. We want to raise independent children who know the value of a dollar and children whose personal creativity should shine. WE want our children to be individuals and stand out verses fit in.

Growing up as a child in the early 90s, many pre- teens were dressing in their baggy jeans and band tee shirts. Children as young as eleven wore heavy eyeliner and mascara. The world of a certain young twelve year old is already confusing enough, but many girls quickly traded their pig tails for doc martins over a summer. It was the age to start growing up, but not growing out.

girls

Everyone is an individual. We as parents must nurture our children’s passions.

A new girl came to school. Her ensemble was definitely not a band tee shirt and jeans. She knew old jazz music over the musings of Smashing Pumpkins. She wore acid wash jeans and a jean jacket. She would make funky jewelry and put decorative pieces in her hair. She was 5’6 and a size zero. She had an angelic face and an idea for her future. She had started at a new school after moving from the city to the suburbs. In our small town, you had seen one fashionable twelve year old, you had seen them all. They were not as accepting as the barrage of city trends that exist.

She walked in being nothing but kind. Her outfit was funky and exuded her personality. The other band tee-shirted mascara smeared girls teased and ridiculed her for being different. Any adult could see that these little suburban girls were intimidated by her confidence and big city dreams. She wanted to be a model and a fashion designer. They would tell her she was not pretty enough and too ugly and skinny. Although her mother could have jumped on the bandwagon and rushed her to the mall to buy her those doc martins and a band tee shirt, she did not. Her daughter was teased. Her daughter got stronger. Her daughter went to high school and made a lot of friends. She started a fashion club and helped with annual fashion shows. She left high school and moved to New York. She became a model and a fashion designer. That skinny sized zero beauty also had a heart. She could have easily designed for sized zero models like herself, but she chose again, to go against the grain and make fashion for beautiful plus sized women. Her mom is proud.

group

The other suburban girls (not naming any names) grew up to find nice normal jobs in nice normal towns. She, however, holds no grudge and also has a beautiful family in New York City, doing what she loves for a cliental she loves.

Sometimes as parents, when our children are being teased, we quickly want our child to fit in. No parent should accept or allow their child to be bullied. However, we should encourage our children to follow their dreams, even though their peers may not believe in them. “She” is a real person, but we will choose not to use her name because there is at least one “she or even “he” in every classroom in every school across the country. “He” or “she” is probably your child. So embrace the different and don’t be afraid to stand against the grain. You have no idea what kind of super hero you might be raising.

 *If your child or someone you know is experiencing any sort of bullying, immediately contact school officials or reach out to a children’s help line. As parents, we have ZERO tolerance for bullying. You could save a life.*

About the Author & Special Guest Blogger

Grace Cross is a writer, author and owner of The Baby Spot, a global magazine celebrating the similarities and embracing the differences of parenting practices world-wide! Grace is co owner of Artist’s Opus, a social media following that promotes artists from all over the world.

 

4 Tips to Avoid Being a Mean Mommy

Originally posted here

By: Grace Cross
Twitter: @grace_cross1000

We all have met them. That mom, who is judgmental, has a problem with every other mother’s parenting practices, gossiping about family life and making overzealous assumptions. We can’t stand mean mommies but can we be that mean mother sometimes? Here are four reminders on how to avoid being that Mean Momma.

1. Do Not Gossip – When a mother confides in another, whether her marriage is on the rocks or she is having trouble with her children. Do not share that information with other mothers. When someone is feeling isolated based on problems to begin with, gossip can further isolate the person who is being gossiped about.

SOLUTION: Help with the problem, even if it’s an offer to carpool once a week, or scheduling a play date at the park, give that Mom a break or an ear to listen to.

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2. Do Not Judge– Try walking in another Mother’s shoes. Is she under a lot of stress? Could she use some help?

SOLUTION: Again, be an ear to listen to or invite her out for a play date. Friendliness goes a long way.

3. Do Not Make Assumptions About Someone’s Situation– When we make assumptions on something we know little or nothing about, it can breed into a Mean Mommy Monster! Not only are mean assumptions a reflection of yourself, the people you are feeding the lies to may agree with you at the time, but you will get a reputation as a Mean Mommy.

SOLUTION: Point out the positives of another Mother. People who seem to have it all together are people to learn from. Swap parenting tips, the only thing that can happen is a new friendship and learning something new.

4. Keep Jealousy At Bay– A lot of Mean Mommies mean comments to others comes from jealousy of the mother they are speaking about. Some Moms will have it more together then you, others will not.

SOLUTION: Learn from these Mothers. They can teach you parenting tips or maybe once you get to know them, you will realize that they too, have hardships, problems and are real people.

Motherhood is a really difficult job and we should all be in this together. Mothers being mean to other mothers are childish and your children may hear you being catty. Instead of being pinned against one another, remember that we are all in this together and need the support from each other. It takes a village to raise a child and if we are all on the same team, it makes this job a lot easier.

 

About the Author & Special Guest Blogger

Grace Cross is a writer, author and owner of The Baby Spot, a global magazine celebrating the similarities and embracing the differences of parenting practices world-wide! Grace is co owner of Artist’s Opus, a social media following that promotes artists from all over the world.

Connecting the Parenting World Online

This month’s “Mom of the Month” is an inspiring woman who just loves to read, write and tell other people’s stories. She is also fascinated with people who come up with innovative ideas and try to make it a reality.

This is very fitting since she herself has come up with an innovative idea and has made it into a reality. I am talking about the global online magazine, The Baby Spot.

The Baby Spot

I had the honour and opportunity to sit down with owner and editor of The Baby Spot, Grace to ask her a few questions on her business.

1. What does your company do?

The Baby Spot is a global, online magazine that celebrates the diversity in parenting across the world. We highlight businesses big and small, parent bloggers from around the globe, we have experts, celebrities and most importantly, everyday parents telling their stories and connecting with one another.

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2. When did you start your business?

I started this business three years ago when I was noticing that parents were looking for an online outlet to connect with other parents, read blogs, and get product reviews, tips and advice. I wanted to create a parenting magazine that was on a global level so we can embrace the similarities and celebrate the differences of family across the world.

3. How did you come up with the idea?

It came to me when I saw so many great products and bloggers from around the world. I thought it would be nice for an outlet to feature everything on one website. I wanted to be a trusted resource for parents, putting the Mom and Pop business that had a great product beside the big business. We wanted to support everyone and give everyone a voice.

4. What do you hope your business accomplishes?

I hope The Baby Spot provides people with useful information. I hope that those who are having fertility issues around the globe know that we publish up to date information, studies and breakthroughs. I want people to visit us to find the next great Mom and Dad blogger, to read our candid, original celebrity interviews, to bond with our experts and bloggers and to know that they are not alone in this parenting journey. There is someone, somewhere who is going through the same thing you are.

5. Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?

I would love for The Baby Spot to be a continued trusted resource, to meet even more bloggers and give them an outlet to tell their story, showcase their product or enrich someone’s life. I would love to continue our fabulous business relationships with the hundreds of businesses we work with. I am excited to see us open up an online store of some of our best and most trusted products.

6. How is your magazine unique from others?

There are so many great magazines out there! The Baby Spot is a global magazine. We talk about parenting issues from around the world. We write about the latest discoveries in fertility. We unite bloggers and businesses. People can connect with brands, bloggers and businesses that they may never been exposed to before. A blogger in Australia who writes for us may develop a huge Canadian following. A business in the UK can reach American clients. The Baby Spot is not just a magazine, but a following of parents who unite in the similarities and celebrate in the differences of parenting around the world.

7. What has been your biggest accomplishment & hardest challenge?

My biggest accomplishment is running this magazine every day and meeting some incredible readers, bloggers and businesses.

The hardest challenge was growing the business. I was a Mom with a global magazine goal. It takes time. Day by day. Learning this was my biggest challenge.

8. How do you balance your work and motherhood?

Every day is different. My job is unique so my schedule fluctuates so much each week. I am just lucky enough to love what I do as a mom and as a business owner so I enjoy the adventure of something new. I make sure to forgive myself if I do not complete my laundry list of tasks at work and just to be the best mom and business owner I know how to be!

Connect with The Baby Spot

If you are interested in connecting with The Baby Spot, you can find them on the following social media outlets:

Website: www.thebabyspot.ca
Twitter: @thebabyspot
Facebook: The Baby Spot
Instagram: @thebabyspotca
Google Plus:The Baby Spot
Pinterest: The Baby Spot

When I asked Grace what else she would like our readers to know, she stated, “I just want to thank everyone who continues to support The Baby Spot. We are grateful for each and every one of you!”

Momma Braga is extremely proud to feature Grace of The Baby Spot as this month’s “Mom of the Month” as she is such a humble, kind and inspirational person who extends herself to help others. She provides an outlet and platform for parents to have their voices heard and share their experiences from all over the world. Grace is also a great mom who is a shining example of a great role model for her daughter and who is always there for her.

Thank you Grace for your time and for being an inspiration, especially to this Mom Blogger, Momma Braga 😉

Until next time……Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga