How’s Spring Break 2017 going for you?

When I pictured Spring Break at the beginning of the year, I thought for sure I’d be able to do a few outings with the kids, leaving behind the immense loads of laundry that’s usually piled up. Well so far, we haven’t gone anywhere mind blowing(for the kids) but I’m holding out, we’re not even halfway past the week. My kids seem to be as happy as a clam with a few bottles of bubbles and sidewalk chalk in the backyard. It’s the little things that count, right?

With a husband that works a lot, I often get overwhelmed with taking care of the kids, the constant cleaning and trying to fit my own thing into life. Twenty four hours is simply never enough. As I write this, my house is a tad bit messy and my kids are chattering, screaming, fighting so much that I can’t even hear my own thoughts.

I’ve been squeezing in my own slice of heaven these last few days however. I’ve been wearing PJs until well in the afternoon, catching up on TV Shows(the walking dead’s finale was fantastic), reading a bit. I’ve taken a small break from writing as it is a job(FYI one without pay) and decided to just chillax and do nothing too strenuous. I’ll probably be back to work by the weekend because in my head, my stories never stop.

So how’s your Spring Break been going so far? Leave me a suggestion in the comments…I want to leave the house but I have no idea what to do.  The weather is beautiful outside, probably the most beautiful it’ll be before that summer humidity dawns upon us.

And…..most importantly, what are you reading this week?

xo Coffee Doll

 

Having Your Kids Close In Age

Let me just start by saying I am in no way qualified to advise anyone on how to plan their lives. Whatever I post on my blog is either taken from experiences or my bottomless brain. In no shape or form is my opinion meant to disrespect anyone.

Now that we’ve got that covered…

This morning I saw a post somewhere on social media(I choose not to name or specify) about reasons to have your kids close in age and it was of a sarcastic and entertaining nature albeit some truth bombs were dropped. I’ve been planning to write about the downside of having kids close in age and by downside I don’t mean anything bad towards our little ones. It’s just overwhelming for people in different situations. This post is focused on the plus side of having kids close in age.

  1. They play together. I think this is the one we all look forward too. We want to get some things around the house done or cook a meal, even drink a cup of coffee in peace. When they enjoy each other’s company, you can get a minute or two to function elsewhere. It’s also a beautiful thing for me to experience because the age gaps between me and my siblings are a decade plus. Although my kids get into little fights over this or that I truly see and enjoy the camaraderie between them.
  2. They go to school together. When they are around the same age bracket eventually everyone will be in school within a few years of each other. If you plan on going back to work after all of your children are in school this might be easier than having to take leave from your job during the larger age gaps.
  3. They enjoy similar things. Both my kids think Chuck-e-Cheese is the greatest place on Earth (It’s really Target btw) and I’ve often felt like we hit two birds with one stone going there. Both kids have the time of their lives. I remember being dragged somewhere that wasn’t interesting to me when I was younger and I do feel like it’s something that’ll probably drive me crazy having to choose which kid to please on a particular day.
  4. I want to date my husband. My husband and I are the only caretakers that our children have and because of this, it’s hard to go on a date or get some alone time. I do feel like when the kids grow up together, we’ll eventually be able to do couple things again without having to worry about a younger child at home.
  5. I want to get rid of the baby stuff. After I had my first child, I knew right away I wanted another one, it was just a matter of time. After the second one, however, I didn’t feel the same. I knew that I was done having kids for the most part. My youngest is just shy of two and I cannot wait for her to be potty trained, I cannot wait to get rid of the last set of baby toys, items and clothes. One thing I had to do after the first baby was clutter my life to hold onto things that I’d have to use with a second child.

As always, thank you for reading and if you share any thoughts on the topic, feel free to drop me a line in the comments. Also, Have a great weekend 🙂

xo Coffee Doll

Pros and Cons of Being A Stay-at-Home Mom

Motherhood is one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have, however, like with any job, it can be overwhelming and downright frustrating. As I was writing how to be a productive SAHM, I made a mental list of the pros and cons of being a SAHM and felt like it deserved its own post. Some points play the role of both a pro and a con.

PROS

  1. The best thing about being a SAHM is getting to be with your kids all day, getting to witness everything that they do and learn on a daily basis.
  2. You’ll be present for all of their growing moments, first words, first steps,  and there is nothing greater than witnessing your child hit milestones for the first time.
  3. If your child falls sick, you’ll be there and not at work which may be hard to get out of.
  4. You can focus on a routine for your children and house, and get things done in an orderly manner compared to the stresses of working and coming home to tired and cranky children.
  5. You’re the sole caregiver for your child.
  6. It’s cheaper for most women to become stay-at-home moms as it is very costly for childcare and work hours are very demanding.
  7. You’re in control of how your activities and days are planned. You won’t have to worry about being called into work and having to organize a last minute babysitter.
  8. You get to teach your children and guide them in a way that you see fit and it’ll be consistent as kids can get confused with different rules.
  9. There’s no one looking over your shoulder telling you what to do or how to do it. You’re your own boss.

CONS

  1. You’re never alone. You can’t use the bathroom without an audience and sometimes you have to skip a shower and swallow your meals.
  2. You almost never get “me time” to do anything for yourself and if you’re like me, you don’t have girls night out either.
  3. Your job never ends. You’re working 24/7 and you’re exhausted most of the time.
  4. You tend to get bored and frustrated living the same routine day after day.
  5. When your social life ceases to exist after motherhood, it’s really awkward and difficult to make friends. You WILL miss engaging in social activities and having adult conversations that don’t involve kids.
  6. When they start fighting, misbehaving and talking back to you, you’ll want to rip your hair out. You’ll be stressed beyond belief.
  7. Living on one income is not an easy thing to manage and you may often feel like a failure, like your life is not reaching anywhere.
  8. It’s been almost five years since I’ve worked outside of my home and it literally feels like forever. I feel like the unemployment gap only worsens your chances of getting back out there, however I hope I’m wrong.

One suggestion that I always make in my SAHM posts is to get a hobby, whether it be joining a gym, writing, painting etc. When you have something to call your own, apart from your family life, it’s a way to cope when the going gets tough. I love to wind down by day by reading just before I sleep. It’s a relaxing way to calm your thoughts before bedtime. That’s just what works for me. If you have girlfriends, organize outings or activities that are not kid related. Even though both things are closely related, in order to be a happy mom, there needs to be a balance between caring for your family and caring for yourself.

xo Coffee Doll

How to be a Productive Stay-At-Home Mom

One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make in my life was to become a Stay-At-Home-Mother. I think my two weeks postpartum depression had a lot to do with me just staying at home, depending on my husband emotionally and financially. It was a hard thing for me to do. It’s not that I wasn’t elated to spend time with my brand new baby and explore motherhood but I was always working and getting a college education, and I became a very career oriented person. I was conditioned by the atmosphere that I grew up in to equate success with having a career and making those dollars. I can’t tell you how often I’ve felt like a failure, I’ve felt miserable without any adult interaction, or I’ve locked myself in the bathroom crying because I am just overwhelmed.

These are not signs of incompetence. All mothers go through this, whether they’re working moms or stay at home moms. Parenting is as overwhelming as it is rewarding and some days it’s just hard to get out of bed and do what you have to do in your most motivated attitude.

Here are some tips that I use almost daily…

Sleep. Moms usually run on little to no sleep but as your babies get older they can sleep for longer periods and you should take advantage of that. I can’t do it every night as I have things to tend to even after they’re asleep but I do try to set an earlier bedtime for myself.

Create a schedule. Now I don’t mean account for every minute of the day but it’s a good thing to get yourself on a routine as well as your kids. Just an example, if your kid naps at noon…do something you can’t do when he or she is awake. Managing your time is essential if you want to get things done by a particular deadline.

Write down tasks. I don’t know how people survive without writing anything down, I literally need to write my life on paper and read it as it happens.

Do Less. Break your bigger tasks into smaller ones. Do NOT attempt to do everything in one day. Don’t clean the entire house on Saturday and overwhelm yourself. That gives me anxiety. Every day, do a little, do one room even.

Map out your week. Browse through your list, plan your meals and activities beforehand so when the day comes, you’re not second guessing anything. Meal prep if you have to.

Get up before your kids. I cherish those few minutes with my hot cup of coffee before they wake up. I can’t even begin to describe how it keeps my sanity at bay when I start my day without the shouting and chaos. By the time they’re awake, supermom is ready for action.

Set goals for yourself. Even though you’re not working at an office or doing a paid job, you can still set goals for yourself. For instance you may want to focus on your health, so get into it. Join a gym or gather some friends and work out at home. Maybe you’re a painter or musician. Set a goal of what you would like to accomplish and just do it! For me, I write, I blog 🙂

Communicate with your partner. Communication in a relationship is key. Being a stay at home mom, you may sometimes resent your partner or feel like they’re not paying attention to you. You may get into arguments about petty things and just generally annoy each other, especially when you feel like your partner should do more to help around the house and with the kids. It’s good to establish a communication channel between you and your partner.

Have your own hobby. As a wife who has no similar interests to her husband, I enjoy having my hobbies to myself. It’s my “me time.” Yes we do need alone time with our partners but as a mom, we do need alone with without another human being in our space.

Get out. Everyone needs that adult interaction. Being stuck with kids 24/7 can make you lose sense of yourself so take some time, whether it’s a date with hubby or gal pals and just let your hair down. Because I don’t have much adult interaction, I swap out for dates with my kids 🙂 It’s still fun to get out and do something.

Play with your kids. We get caught up enforcing rules, yelling to keep everyone in line and we often forget how fun it is to spend that much time with our kids. Get off your cellphones, get down and dirty with your children. You’ll be surprised to know how much they just want to spend time with you.

Last but not least, drink lots and lots of coffee 🙂

xo Coffee Doll

 

 

 

 

 

Barbie’s Impact on Body Image

people-1105591_1920I’ve read a lot of studies and paid attention to this topic for a number of years now and it’s left me with my own take on the matter. Many articles point out that Barbie’s unrealistic body measurements are unhealthy and it’s impacting our girls in a negative way. I’ve seen many parents opposed to the idea of their kids playing with Barbie dolls and opt for dolls with more realistic measurements. Another issue that seems to be popping up is Barbie’s “trashy” look, the dresses that she wears aren’t suitable for little girls.

Now I just stated what I’ve gathered over several years, not my actual opinion. Firstly the people that do spend money on surgeries to look like a doll are few and it’s definitely not a doll problem. Is a body image problem. But is Barbie really impacting girls to want to dress in skimpy dresses and acquire unhealthy sized waists?

I was born in the Caribbean, brown skinned and definitely not slim and I absolutely loved playing with Barbies as well as my cousins and friends. It never crossed my mind that I needed to be like my fair skinned, blue eyed, skinny Barbie. Of course we thought her very pretty and fashionable but she was a doll. We were able to differentiate a doll’s body and real life bodies. As for her dresses, I was raised in a conservative house and never questioned why Barbie got to be sexy and I didn’t. I didn’t even know what sexy was. It was just the way the doll dressed and it was just the way I dressed in “real life”.

Even if you don’t allow your children to play with superficial Barbies, they are going to see women with all different body types all around them that may or may not cause them to question their own body size. The skinny girl wants more hips, more boobs, the fat girl thinks the skinny girl has it easier but it’s never really the case. We will all criticize ourselves one way or another. My point is if you raise your children with a good head on their shoulders, Barbie won’t have that kind of effect on them.

As a child I felt like Barbie’s different careers were more interesting than the way she looked. I never really thought about it at all until recently with the body shaming. Also in more recent times people are praising the companies for making more curvy dolls and a wider variety which is a good thing but it shouldn’t just be a good thing because you didn’t teach your children to differentiate between reality and pretend play. Teach your children to love their bodies and accept that we are all different shades, shapes and sizes. Let them know that it does not take away from who they are as a person inside.

xo Kat

Signs You’re Probably Done Having Kids

baby-sitter-1140872_1920.jpgBeing a parent is one of the most rewarding things in life and even though we may unconditionally love and provide the best for our children it can get overwhelming. And sometimes you just know in your heart that you are happy with the size of your family and you don’t feel the need to expand.

When you know, you just know.

No baby fever. This I think is the main one. After having my first baby, I knew right off the bat that I wanted another one and I didn’t want there to be a wide age gap between them. Each and every pregnancy story and baby story were attractive to my ears. When my oldest hit eighteen months, I was very emotional. I missed the baby stage, being able to do each and everything for her. I really wanted her to stay a baby forever. Whenever I passed a baby on the street or in a store, my heart would just melt at its littleness. My second will hit the eighteen month mark in two weeks and I have experienced no such thing as baby fever and there’s a slim chance that I will.

Can’t wait for them to be potty trained. I am so tired of cleaning dirty diapers. You’d think after four years and two children, I won’t mind a bit of poop but I do. I really can’t wait for everyone to be potty trained at both day and night as well as clean up after themselves. And I am just so over diapers. Did I mention how much they cost?

Cringing at the mere thought of being pregnant. Nope, I can’t even fathom it. It makes me nervous to think of my body going through another pregnancy…and delivery.

Serious about prevention. When you’re serious and a little anal about contraceptives, perhaps you’re done. Some people will even go for sterilization.

So over baby decor and equipment. I’d really like to get rid of all the nauseating pink stuff, baby swings, high chairs. Just counting down the time until the second one doesn’t need anything like this is another way I knew I was just over having a newborn.

Over-spending on baby paraphernalia. If your kids are anything like mine, they need spill proof cups. I can’t even begin to tell you how many different brands of sippy cups passed through our house and the quantities of it. They get lost and they get yucky so I like to change them out and it’s very annoying.

Can’t wait for school. I actually feel a little guilty about this one. I thought I’d cry and get emotional when my oldest started preschool and I honestly did get emotional when we were shopping for uniforms but when school started, I was dreaming of the second child starting school. It’s not that I don’t like my kids’ company but they do receive a better mental stimulation and social interaction at school.

Tired of the clutter. Nothing can ever stay in its true space. I’m always stepping on a crayon, sitting on a doll. My floor barely has space to walk at times.

Zero patience. When you feel like you’re about to lose your cool a lot…yeah it’s probably best you don’t add another kid to the mix.

xo Coffee Doll

Image: pixabay.com