Increasing The Brood: Practical Points If You Want More Children

When we undergo that journey they call motherhood, it could get to the point where we wonder how much love we have left to give. Not only this, but we have got to think about the practicalities of modern parenting. Some like the idea of having a whole collection of sprogs, but others feel that only two is enough, some even feel that one is plenty! But what is the real answer to this? For those parents that feel they need to expand their family, what are the things they have got to consider?



How Do You Both Feel (Really)?

Sometimes it's surprising, but the parents aren't always on the same page. When it comes to the practicalities of parenthood, especially if you've already got two children, there may come a point when one parent feels they are done with the late nights and long days. Naturally, there are things we can do to make sure we don't have children again, like getting to a vasectomy clinic, but before we get to this point we have to really discuss if we may want children 10 years from now. We might feel like it's a definite thing right now but we could very well change our minds further down the line. We both have to sit down and discuss, not just what we want right now, but if we are truly done with having children.



Can We Afford Any More?

It always comes down to cost, and if you feel like you want more children, but your bank balance is being stretched to its limit already, is it really fair on everyone? You have got to think about the cost of one child, and as the years go by the costs increase exponentially. Can you afford any more? You really have to look at your bank balance, your income, as well as your outgoings and see if it's really feasible. Sometimes that need to have another child overrides any common sense. It's only natural because we have this feeling within the core of ourselves that we need more children in our lives, maybe your son or daughter could benefit from having a brother or sister, and maybe you grew up with a sibling yourself so you feel that they need to experience this as well. And naturally, if you have one child, another one can create a sense of symmetry. But you have to look at these practicalities, especially when it comes to buying gifts. If you buy one child something, you’ll have to buy the other child something else. And before you know it you're relying on things like credit cards, and taking out personal loans. And as nice as it is to see your children on Christmas morning opening the presents they really want, is your bank balance going to struggle for the rest of your lives?



Could You Cope With Another Child?

It's something you need to ask yourself. If you spent a long time wading through diapers, cooking meals, and rushing around even before 6 am has hit, it's only going to increase. Having one extra child can feel like you have three more! It's important to think about your own ability to cope as parents and sometimes that need to have another child in a biological sense can soon become a thing of the past. We're proud of our children no matter what, but we all experience those moments where we just need to get away. It all becomes too much, and rather than feeling guilty about this, it makes us realize that we human. But we’re still going to think about if we can cope with having another child. Financially speaking, it's one thing, but when you've already got two or three children and then you add an extra one, you have got to think about the dynamics changing, and if your attention goes to this baby more than your other children, is it going to cause specific issues? We have to remember that when another child comes into the family, the other children can experience regressions. They can become jealous and behavioral issues can follow. And while this is natural, you still have to think about if you can cope with this in a physical and emotional sense. Being a parent is a 24-hour job, and when you add another child, it seems like there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything. Things can calm down eventually but you have to think about your own abilities to deal with the situation as well. Do you have the resources?



Why Do You Really Want Another Child?

We hear so much about band-aid babies, where they have a child because they think they can repair the relationship. A lot of people have had a child to fix the problems, but if they think having another child will make things better if they've already got children, will it exacerbate issues? Every couple experiences relationship problems, but if you think having another child will make things better, are you actually distracting yourself from the real issues? It's important to focus on the relationship. Having a child keeps you busy, and having another will keep you even busier. Does this mean that you will suffer? If you don't have time to even hang out with each other now, it's only going to increase for the next couple of years. While it's important to make time to be together without the children, if you want another child because you think it will help the relationship, you've got to get your priorities straight.



Sometimes having another child is a great thing for the entire family. but when you look at the practicalities, the emotional components, as well as the obstacles associated, it might prove to be a mountain that's difficult to climb. By no means is this a message to say don't ever have more children, but you sincerely need to make sure you know what you're getting into.


The Ugly Truth: Postpartum Depression

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For every woman motherhood is not some magical place. She’s not jumping over the moon with joy or smelling every flower she sees. She’s tired, sad, frustrated or down right confused! I’ve been there and trust me it isn’t easy.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 women who give birth globally experience postpartum depression. (Read more here)

I was a part of that 1 in 5 when I had Madelynn. The crazy part is I didn’t even know I had it. I was doing everything I could just to keep going. I had so many mixed emotions and I wasn’t attached to her like you would have expected a new mom to be. I did what I had to just to get through the day. I neglected myself and partner.

Upon finding out I was pregnant again, I was terrified. I wasn’t sure if I would have to go through this again. Lord knows I didn’t want to. I felt so conflicted and stressed myself out constantly. Studies say that women who have suffered from PPD before have a 50% chance of having it again. That did not ease my fears.

Thankfully, I’ve been doing well. I’m bonding with my baby and having the time of my life lol, outside of the sleepless nights and milk supply worries. It’s typical mom stuff.

BUT

If you feel like you could be experiencing postpartum depression don’t be afraid to seek help. When people ask is there anything they can do for you allow them to. You don’t have to be super woman all the time. We’re human! Your life will never be the same after having children. Embrace the change, know that you’re stronger because of it and most importantly BREATHE! They are only little for a while.

 

Diaper Bag Backpack

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I feel like such the “cool mom” this diaper bag is everything people! I mean EVERYTHING! I didn’t know I needed a diaper bag backpack until now. First of all, it’s comfy! I’m not straining my shoulder to carry it around. I can imagine once I need to carry the car seat this will work wonders.

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I love the idea that I can be hands free! This bag has so many compartments. I not only have stuff inside for the baby but myself as well with room to spare. I can also store a few things in for the girls as well.

I can’t wait to use it full time.

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Not to mention how affordable it is! I went looking at diaper bags at Buy Buy Baby and OMG, they are expensive so I feel secure with my choice. This diaper bag comes in right under $30 I would actually pay more for it because it’s that good! Even dad likes it, he wants one for himself!

Want the exact one click here!

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Not really a fan of the gray? Well you’re in luck while on my hunt I found a few other sellers that have this back pack in other colors. I can’t speak to the quality but the reviews seem great!

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In my 10 years of parenting, what I know is that you want a durable diaper bag. One that’s leak proof and easy to carry. On a scale of 1 - 10 this diaper bag comes in at a 10 for me. I didn’t think I would ever be this excited to carry a backpack!

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Moms to be...are you looking for the perfect dress??

Hi Mom!

I know the struggle can be real and with all of the fabulousness of maternity photos these days you want these images to be perfect and what a better way to do that than to start with the basics! Dress comes first - they are easy and most likely you're going to be taking these photos somewhere between 25-35 weeks so you will start feeling some discomfort. Make it easy on yourself!

Let me show you my top 5 picks for dresses!!! I hope I have something for everyone if given the chance to do this again I'm opting to bare my belly! I have never had a maternity photoshoot before. Well, I took some photos with my first but they were NOTHING to brag about. 

Keep an open mind and remember any maxi dress can be turned maternity if it has the right hem...above the belly. So you can get a 2 for 1 deal there! 

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1. Open Belly - Long Sleeved Dress

I'm not sure of the exact dress the lady is wearing pictured below but I found you some great options and I read the reviews! Option 1 and Option 2 

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2. Strapless 

Option 1 or Option 2 or Option 3

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3. Fitted Maternity Gown

Option 1 Option 2  or Option 3

 

Photo By:  Jessica Legacy

Photo By: Jessica Legacy

4. Pink and Blue Floral 

This dress is available in plus! I found a similar one in regular S-XL here.

 

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5. Maxi Dresses

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Double Duty - These can be worn at your baby shower, gender reveal, or photo shoot. This is if you don't want to want to do the formal type of dress. This dress comes in 5 colors: navy, black, olive, pink and red wine! 

Here are a few more options worth mentioning here and here.

Have you taken maternity photos before? Do you plan on it? Try something cute and sassy for next shoot and be sure to let me know what you wore! 

Affirmations for Kids 👧👦👶

Self Affirmations for Kids

 

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My daughters mean the WORLD to me. I'm not sure what I would do without them. Despite how much they challenge me. My goal is for them to know they are loved, beautiful, and smart. I want them to know about self-love. I encourage them to ask me questions. No question is off limits (and granted that can get out of hand) but it keeps a healthy and open relationship between us.

After realizing how important affirmations can be I decided to place sticky notes above my daughters' beds and recite them with them every morning. Sometimes, it doesn't happen every morning BUT we I always make sure that before we pull out of the driveway I give them an encouraging word to remind them just how great they are! 

Below are my top 20 POSITIVE Affirmations that I share with my daughters. Some are gender neutral so feel free to do this with your son as well. Remember, the goal is to raise confident little humans!

 

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20 Affirmations for Kids

1. I like me.

2. I am beautiful/handsome.

3. I am smart.

4. I can do all things!

5. My body is PERFECT the way it is!

6. I am happy.

7. I am loved.

8. Today WILL be a great day.

9. I CAN listen and learn!

10. I am capable of doing the impossible.

11. I love myself.

12. I forgive myself when I make mistakes.

13. I believe in myself.

14. I am strong.

15. My voice/opinion matters.

16. I respect others even when I don't agree.

17. I am allowed to have feelings.

18. My skin is a beautiful shade of brown. (This is my favorite for Kay!)

19. My hair is perfect straight or curly!

20. I can be anything I want to be IF I put my mind to it. 

 

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As a mother of little brown girls, it's important that I teach them how important it is to love themselves. I don't feel I was really taught that growing up. I'm sure my mom said something here and there but it wasn't what I envisioned or give to my daughters now. What I can say is...I'm so grateful that my mom knows how important being it is that I express love to my girls through affectionate behaviors. She has a thing that she does with each of them to remind them just how special they are and I love it. 

I guess its true, the things you wished for as a child you parents in turn give it to your children. 

Self Empowerment For Moms

What kind of attitude do you have towards motherhood?

•    Is it something you look forward to?

•    Is it something you simply want to survive?

•    Is it something you’re not sure how to deal with?

I think we’ve all experienced each of those feelings at different times. Sometimes we’re excited about motherhood; sometimes we’re overwhelmed.

It’s a big, important job. We are shaping little humans, whether we like it or not. No matter what we do- good or bad- our children are watching, and they are learning by example.

There’s this pressure in our society that motherhood is second best. That when you choose to become a mom, you're essentially "throwing your life away." Our culture can be very "me" centered, and motherhood is the opposite of being focused on yourself.

As a mom, I began feeling trapped. I felt like I wasn't living up to my "full potential." I bought into the lie that I can't have a life because I'm a "mom."

But I realized something: if I have a defeatist attitude, then I’m going to pass that same attitude down to my kids.

There is nothing more detrimental than the words “I CAN’T.”

I found myself as a mother, saying things like:

"Oh, I can't go do that because I'm a mother."

"I can't have a social life because I'm a mother."

"I can't go do that because I have two kids under two."

"I can't because I'm pregnant."

"I can't because it'd be too hard."

Good grief I turned into the "can't" parade.

How I spoke to myself and my children needed to change. I was getting depressed because of all the "can't's."

I decided to try a little experiment with myself- I could no longer say the word “can’t”, I had to change it to a CAN.

So I changed:

"I can't do that because I'm a mom" to "I CAN take my kids to do that with me!"

"I can't have a social life because I'm a mother" to "I CAN teach my kids how to interact socially at a young age, so they are better prepared as adults!"

"I can't go do that because I have two kids under two" to "I CAN be brave enough to try things with two kids!"

"I can't because I'm pregnant" to "I CAN be active while pregnant!"

"I can't because it'd be too hard" to "Yes, it is difficult, but I'm a mother, which means I'm capable and CAN do it even if it is hard!"

My view of motherhood changed completely with that simple exercise. It empowered me as a mom and enabled me to do more with my kids.

Don't adopt a defeatist view. You are a MOM! You are capable of these amazing things. You grew a baby in your body; you went through the heart-stopping stress of adoption; you are pouring yourself into your kid's lives. You can be an amazing person who is a mom!

Don't sell yourself short!

 

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Special thanks to Carina for guest blogging today! Keep up with her below.

Instagram: @carinajaneblog

Facebook: Carina Jane

Pinterest: Jane Chambers  

Blog: www.carinajane.com

Mom, you deserve it!

Often times we feel guilty about doing things for ourselves. As a single parent, I constantly deny myself to make sure that my children have what they need and want. One thing I believe we fail to realize is that we need to be taken care of too. 

To my fellow single moms out there, do something for yourself. Every now and then...do something. I picked up a cute pair of shoes. I saw them online and KNEW I had to have them. It's the small things.