Even in 21st Century, modern, liberated America, most housework still falls to the lady of the house. This is despite the fact that most wives work outside the home. Add to this housework burden, the bulk of childcare falls to the woman, the “nurturing” partner in the relationship. We need to find a way to ease this burden and share it at least a bit more.
In all fairness, a lot of the time the burden of housework falls to the lady of the house because she insists on doing it herself. The fact of the matter is that many men are slobs and their performance on the household front does not meet with the high standards that many women have established. That may be a big conspiracy men have invented and foisted on us women, but it certainly has been working.
Lower your standards
This is an idea that has been bandied about for a while. Some women really have a difficult time leaving a mess behind. (I know one woman who was so exhausted that she couldn’t bear to wipe down the stove after cleaning up the kitchen. So she went to bed with a dirty stove. Her subconscious got the better of her, however, and she couldn’t fall asleep until she got back up and cleaned the stovetop.) Find the things that bother you the least. Can you leave the dishes in the drainer as long as the counters are clean? Maybe a quick spray and a wipe are OK for the sink, instead of Cometing it every night. Do the minimum during the week and the rest will get done when you do a weekly cleanup.
Divide according to skills
I would never dream of letting my husband wipe down the kitchen counters after dinner cleanup. He never notices the crumbs or stains that are glaring to me. But he is a champ at loading the dishwasher, and I praise him so much that now he has also put himself in charge of unloading the dishwasher, a chore I detest, because he says it is so easy when he has “organized” it so well. Find your Achilles heel, and his point of pride and you can probably zip though housework in half the time. The same principal applies to helping the kids with homework: you like math and science, he likes history and geography; take turns so each of you gets a chance to relax during the evening.
The final solution is to just bite the bullet and do it. You both equally hate household chores so the only solution is to share the pain. You do the kitchen one night while he straightens the living room; next night, switch. Keep a running list of who did what and try to avoid arguments. Turn a blind eye to each other’s inadequacies, since you will be able to address them very soon.
In the case that you can’t get your husband to help with the housework or neither of you have the time, you should consider hiring a maid. However; you should always do a background check before you hire anyone. The top 5 best background check services are a great place to start.
You cannot truly appreciate just how much money is spent on diapers until you have a baby of your own. If you have just recently had one, or are planning one, you will understand why there are so many complaints in this department. If this is your third or fourth child, you already are well aware of the expenses that are involved, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to save yourself some extra money!
Is Cloth the Only Way?
Many parents are under the assumption that the only way to really save on diapers is to go with cloth ones. While this may save you a substantial amount, it might not put as much money in your pocket as you’re probably thinking. On the positive side, they are less expensive and they help protect the environment against waste. Not only that, you end up with a nice bag of rags for washing the car and wiping off muddy dog paws when you’re done with them. Environmental enthusiasts will tell you that disposable diapers take up to 500 years to decompose. Yes, this is true, but there is also a flip side!
By choosing disposable diapers, you do not have to do nearly as much laundry. This reduces energy costs and helps to preserve the dwindling groundwater sources. The ultimate decision is up to you. Disposable will save you a lot of time though!
Don’t Stick Your Nose Up at Store Brands
As a first time parent, you may be intimidated by those looks you imagine people are giving you when they see store brand diapers in your cart, but by your third child, you won’t care. Consumer reports show over-and-over again that brands such as Kirkland (Costco) and Target, do surprisingly well against the leading brand. For example, below is the average price per size 3 diaper:
- Hubbies Snug & Dry – $ .23
- Pampers Baby Dry – $ .22
- Luvs – $ .18
- Kroger – $ .16
- Target – $ .13
How many diapers do you go through on a daily basis? That dime per diaper sure will add up quickly!
The internet is a wonderful tool when you’re a parent! How brilliant is it that you can order what you need without having to waste gas money and time to go to the store? Not to mention, this eliminates the temptation of tossing all those extras you don’t need in the cart as well. A few recommended sources include:
If you are going to order online, take advantages of free shipping specials. If there is a minimum you need to spend to get free shipping, just add on those other items you never have enough of, such as laundry detergent and wipes.
Don’t Overdo It
It can be tempting to buy an extra box when you catch a great deal on a bulk supply at Sam’s or Costco, but that deal isn’t really all that good if you end up throwing half away because your baby grew out of them too quickly. If you do catch a good sale and you want to stock up, buy the next larger size so you’re sure to use them all as your baby grows into them.
Hunt for Diaper Coupons
If you are not making use of diaper coupons when you shop, you are literally throwing money away. These coupons are everywhere! If they aren’t in the newspaper, go to the manufacturer’s website and see if there is one to print. Quite often, you can request coupons from the manufacturer as well.
Diapers are expensive, but there is a significant amount of money to be saved by being a little thrifty. Even if you only switch to a store brand and do nothing more, you can still save yourself well over $40 a month or more!
Become a nanny or hire a nanny. Learn more at Nanny.net.
Pregnancy can be a trying time for any woman, particularly if it’s the first time. This is when we really need real facts and information. Of course, we speak to medical professionals about this, but we also talk to moms, other relatives and friends for pregnancy advice.
This does lead to some rather odd advice and some blatant old wives tales, which are misleading at best and downright horrible at worst. Here are 10 old wives tales about pregnancy that vary between having an almost plausible foundation to being downright nonsense! Many are about predicting the sex of the baby, but there are other, odder, theories too.
Size and shape of bump
It’s believed that if a bump is high up and sticks out more at the front, it’s a boy. If the bump is lower and there is more weight gain on the hips, it’s a girl. This has been proved as a fallacy as there are many other circumstances at work here. Natural body shape of the mother will have an effect, as will the location of the fetus itself.
The baby will look like a person you think about a lot
Pretty weird this one. Presumably, if a woman is pregnant it’s pretty natural that she’ll be thinking of the father. But this superstition goes further. If you have hate filled thoughts about an individual, the baby is supposed to look like that person. Can you imagine? If that were true, imagine all the babies that would look like TV villains and rotten politicians – it would certainly raise a lot of questions!
Dreaming about fish
Dream translation is not always an exact science,but certain themes and motifs have been found to represent the subconscious accurately. Women have dreamt about swimming fish when they fall pregnant, sometimes before a test has confirmed it. However, if a woman is in a position to get pregnant in the first place, it’s not the most remarkable of fortune telling.
Where the baby kicks
There is a belief that if a baby kicks on the left it’s a boy, on the right, a girl. There’s much less evidence to confirm this, although many moms have found this to be the case. The important thing to remember is that a baby can kick anywhere, so if you’re finding your baby is kicking all over the place, this can be perfectly normal too.
Sweet or sour
Cravings have been held up as a way of determining the sex of a baby, but how true is this? If you’re having cravings from sweet foods will you have a girl, and if you have cravings for salty foods, will you have a boy? Again, there’s no evidence to back this up. If you’re finding you’re drawn to particular foods it might be because there is a slight imbalance in your diet. For advice on the right diet for balanced nutrition, speak to your doctor for advice that’s suited to you personally.
Swinging the needle
Most of us have heard of the idea that you can predict a baby’s sex by swinging the mom’s wedding ring, or a needle, over her bump or wrist. A boy is indicated by the needle swinging back and forth, whereas a girl is indicated by a circular motion. If nothing else, the test is really just a bit of fun, and has become a part of the traditions around pregnancy as anything else. I wouldn’t advise buying a baby’s wardrobe based on the test’s outcome though.
If a mom is scared by a dog during pregnancy, her child will grow up scared of dogs. Not so much old wives tale as basic psychology here. Chances are that anyone that was scared by a dog will develop a fear. If a mom is particularly wary of dogs – or anything for that matter – she will naturally keep her young son or daughter away from it too. This fear can transpose from mother to child.
Eating pineapples is meant to induce labor. This theory is based on the fact that pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that can stimulate the cervix to dilate. To draw on the effects of this enzyme, you would have to eat about eight fresh pineapples. In one sitting. That’s really not advisable. Tablets containing bromelain can be given to mothers leading up to the expected delivery time, to prepare the cervix.
Could touching a part of your body cause a birthmark to form on that part of your baby’s body? It’s another old wives tale that somehow has made it past the 20th century. It doesn’t take a great leap of judgement to disprove this as utter nonsense. Birthmarks and moles are a naturally occurring phenomenon of the skin. While a shape or location on the body of a birthmark can be inherited, it can’t be affected by an external influence.
Heartburn and hairiness
It has often been seen as a myth that if a mother suffers heartburn during pregnancy, the baby will be born with a thick head of hair. However, there have been studies to look into the validity of these claims. The results of a study published in Birth magazine in 2006 measured heartburn – and severity of the heartburn – in expecting mothers. 78% of women who experienced moderate to severe heartburn gave birth to babies with some hair, or thick growths. Women who experienced no heartburn during pregnancy gave birth to babies is thin hair coverage or no hair at all. While it’s not a wide group for study, I’d still say score one to the Old Wives!
Baby Nest is a London retailer of baby equipment and pushchairs including the Bugaboo Donkey
Ever have a bad case of PMS? Nothing seems to go right. You are moody, bloated. You just want to crawl in bed and never get out until Aunt Flo is long gone.
For a woman undergoing fertility treatments, it can feel a lot like PMS, but in my opinion, 10 times worse. During ovarian stimulating cycles, like for IUI or IVF, a woman is on an obscene amount of hormones. To get a woman’s follicles stimulated enough to grow more than the average ovulation cycle, a fertility patient is on these hormones for on average 1 week but sometimes weeks and these hormones can make a woman go through some major PMS.
During these times, a woman feels a bit out of sorts. Not just from drug side effects but also because of the emotional rollercoaster that comes along with fertility treatment. She can feel hopeless and stressed out. Her relationships with her spouse or partner can suffer. Not all treatments are covered by insurance, making the financial impact, coupled with hormonal changes and the feeling a baby is such a far reaching goal, so intense it will contribute to the prospective mother needing all the support she can get. Even if she seems like she just “doesn’t want to talk about it”.
I surveyed members of my online community, BridgeToBaby.com and it’s partner website, MyHopefulJourney.com, and asked them, what are the best things a friend can do to help support you during your fertility treatments? Here is what women going through treatment had to say:
Here are a few things you can do:
- Ask how they are doing
- Take them to do fun things to “snap them out of their pity party”
- Share your stories. It’s always comforting to hear similar experiences from others
Here are a few things NOT to do:
- Never judge
- Don’t give advice especially if you haven’t been through infertility
- Be sure to keep the conversation private. Your friend may be open with you but that doesn’t mean they feel comfortable with sharing this information with the world
So even if you have reached out to a friend going through fertility treatments before and they didn’t seem interested in talking, perhaps reach out again and simply ask, how are you doing? Do you want to talk or can I take you out to lunch to catch up.
Even if your journey to baby has gone smoothly from the start, take a moment to reach out to someone you know who is trying so hard to have a baby in their arms. Or feel free to send them my way and follow my journey from infertility to surrogacy on www.BridgeToBaby.com.
BridgeToBaby.com is a new online community for intended parents, surrogates, egg donors, same sex couples or anyone who struggles to create or expand their families. BridgeToBaby also provides an outlet for fertility professionals to reach out to the community, share their experiences and service offerings on a personal level.
BridgeToBaby functions much like Facebook in that a member, or Bridgers as they are called, can add friends, post status updates about their journey, and even customize their profile page. But unlike Facebook, BridgeToBaby offers its members complete control over their identity and privacy and groups are never archived.
Dealing with infertility and/or surrogacy for example is a very private matter but the desire for emotional support and education is tremendous. Bridgers can join private groups and communicate with others in their situation or they can read blog posts from members going through aspects of the egg retrieval process or even a fertility expert who is exploring the topic of Asherman’s Syndrome and then answers member questions.
BridgeToBaby.com is a supportive and educational online community for anyone trying to create a family and those who want to help.
Welcome Heather Bacalos, RN to the Mamas Link Team!
Heather has been a practicing nurse since 2005 and spent four and a half years in the field of Obstetrics at a local Maryland hospital. For almost two years she taught expectant mothers with maternal diabetes how to eat properly to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Her favorite part of being a nurse is teaching others. Maternal Child Health is her specialty and her most recent interest has been in the history and research of touch. She believes that infant massage is an invaluable skill for any parent to have and share with their children. For more information find her on facebook under Hands for Hope Infant Massage or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infant Massage defined by Heather Bucalos, RN:
Infant massage in the U.S. became popular in the 1970’s after Vimala McClure developed the first curriculum for infant massage. It was based on her experiences of working in an Indian orphanage. There she learned traditional Indian massage. Prior to this time, science was proving that it is touch, not food that binds the infant to the caregiver. Now we understand that the concept of touch is so vital to an infant’s emotional well being. Infant massage is widely accepted in hospitals across the nation as an intervention to promote healing, growth, and relaxation.
In addition to the benefits listed above, infant massage also:
- Promotes bonding and attachment
- Enhances sense of love
- Enhances communication
- Stimulates circulation
- Increases digestion
- Reduces colic symptoms
- Improves muscle tone coordination
- Calms the nervous system leading to more restful sleep
- Improves relaxation and release of stress
- Can decrease symptoms of post-partum depression
- Increase prolactin in mothers
- Reduces parental blood pressure
Natural oil should be used and massage can be performed daily. A complete massage routine lasts about 15 to 20 minutes. Parents and caregivers should understand the guidelines for infant massage prior to initiating massage routines with a baby.
Infant massage classes will include:
- Instruction on massage strokes
- An educational component
- Open discussion on parenting issues
Resources: International Association of Infant Massage www.iaim-us.com, www.iaim.org.uk
To sign up for an infant massage workshop, go to: http://mamaslink.com/schedule.php?location=DCMetro#page=page-2
Hillary Berman of Happy Baby (pictured) gave the mamas a spectacular presentation of ways to incorporate healthy foods into our picky eaters’ diets. “Green Noodles,” a recipe by Hillary, incorporates natural, healthy ingredients including a HAPPYTOT broccoli, peas and pears pouch. Hillary urges parents to allow their children to cook with them in the kitchen, get messy and make it a fun experience. “Green Noodles” tastes delicious, includes lots of vitamins and the bright green is pretty silly. Mom and dad even like it too! For more recipes like this one, go to: http://www.happybabyfood.com/blog/recipes. Give the recipes from our workshop a try. Your children and the whole family will love them! Thanks Hillary and Happy Baby Food!
Apple Oat Muffins
1 cup quick-cook oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 pouches HAPPYTOT Butternut Squash and Apple
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup low-fat milk
4 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a standard 12-muffin pan or line with paper cups. In a bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a large bowl, mix together HAPPYTOT, egg, milk, vanilla extract, and oil. Combine dry ingredients and wet – fold together until just moistened. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full with batter. Bake 15 minutes or until done.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz container of organic cream cheese
1/3 cup of powdered sugar
6 oz (1 ½ pouches) HAPPYBABY Pears
Cream ingredients together. Chill.
Green Noodles (aka Super Pesto)
2 cups tightly packed basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pouch (almost ½ cup) of HAPPYTOT Broccoli Peas & Pear
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1.5 lbs pasta
Freshly sliced cherry tomatoes
1. Briefly soak and wash the basil in cold water, and gently pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels.
2. Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, chopped garlic, and an ample pinch of salt in a blender or Cuisinart. Blend until mostly chopped.
3. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in HAPPYTOT Broccoli Peas & Pear by hand until fully incorporated.
4. Mix in the grated cheese.
5. Toss with pasta. For a creamier consistency, dilute pesto slightly with a tablespoon or two of the hot water in which the pasta was cooked.
6. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and serve – hot or cold!
Sweet Potato Pancakes
1 large egg
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup milk
1 T granulated or packed brown sugar
1 T vegetable oil
3 T baking powder
1 pouch (4 oz) HAPPYTOT Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple & Cinnamon
Beat egg in medium bowl until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients, just until smooth. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter on to greased griddle. Flip when top is bubbly and edges are dry.
HAPPYBABY Magic Meatloaf
2 pouches (8 oz) HAPPYBABY Pouches Stage 3 Amaranth Ratatouille
1 slice of 100% organic whole wheat bread
1/2 cup of favorite organic pasta sauce
1 lb. organic grass finished beef, extra lean
1 lb. organic lean chicken or turkey breast
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1T Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T of dried or fresh basil, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large organic cage-free eggs or egg whites
½ cup of organic low fat cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, shred slice of bread into crumbs. HAPPYBABY Amaranth Ratatouille. Let stand for 5 minutes. In frying pan with a small amount of olive oil, sauté onions and garlic until clear, about 3 minutes. Add to bread crumb mixture. Mix in all remaining ingredients, except pasta sauce and cheese. Shape meat mixture into a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Flip onto a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 165. Top with pasta sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Put back into oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Paradise Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t vanilla
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 mashed ripe bananas
1.5 pouches (6 ounces) HAPPYTOT Banana, Peach & Mango
1/4 c honey
2 large eggs
2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c of raisins or walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add bananas, HAPPYTOT, honey, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
4. Add flour and beat until smooth.
5. Stir in walnuts or raisins if desired.
6. Spoon batter into lightly greased 9×5 loaf pan, smoothing top. Let rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.
7. Bake for 50 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil and bake additional 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.
8. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on rack.
How Any Woman Can Look Put-Together in 2 Minutes or Less Using Lani’s 1-2-3 Formula (www.real-life-style.com)
What is the 1-2-3 formula? It is my own proprietary method of instruction on how to achieve that sometimes elusive goal…looking put-together every day! Try it and let me know how it goes!
#1 Start with your base, i.e. a skirt or jean that makes you feel sexy. Not just ok, but sexy! Ideally your base has some structure to hold all the important parts in. Yes, this means NO YOGA PANTS!
|Victoria Beckham Clean Mid-Rise Bootcut Jeans
#2 Add a pop! This could be in the form of color, texture, shine, or print. Whatever you choose, it should be something that gives you a thrill every time you put it on!
|Chloe Scalloped Ballet Flats
|Diane Von Furstenberg Animal Print Cashmere Scarf
#3 Finish with a 3rd element that adds style and polish such as a jacket or scarf. This is a great trick for you Moms out there as both hide lollipop and chocolate stains on your tee shirt. Accessories like a large necklace or sunglasses also work and are good options in warmer weather.
|Helmut Lang Peak-Shouldered Wool-Blend Blazer
|Marc by Marc Jacobs Pocketed Leather Tote
by Mommyshorts in Family on Blogher
I just read reports that you are building a 2200-square-foot nursery for your as-yet-unborn baby. Let me be the first to congratulate you on this unbelievably fabulous parenting choice! You have always been a trailblazer in music, dance and fashion so I guess it should come as no surprise that you will be a trailblazer in the cutthroat world of CELEBRITY PARENTHOOD PREPAREDNESS as well.
First of all, I think it is beyond cool that you bucked the current trend of trying to out-do other celebrities in dollar amounts. While Rachel Zoe brags about Skyler’s $70,000 closet and Mariah Carey waxes on about Monroe and Moroccan’s $200,000 nursery, you made the trendsetting decision to talk square footage! Goddamnit woman—even at 4(?) months’ pregnant, you are cutting-edge.
Secondly, clearly you have a wealth of maternal advisers who helped you come to this brilliant real estate decision. These advisers must know that a) babies can be very loud, particularly when they are crying, b) babies accumulate outlandish amounts of stuff, c) babies grow and d) real estate prices in Manhattan only go up.
What better way to fend off all of the above than with copious amounts of baby-only delegated space?
I imagine the deafening silence of 2200 square feet can muffle even the most piercing of screams. I’m not even sure a monitoring device would work from such a distance. So you will be all but guaranteed night after night of blissfully sweet beauty sleep! If you like, you can forget the baby is there altogether and go out to dinner! I don’t think anybody would notice the difference. After all, what’s another mile or so between family?
Most parents I know have baby-related parapherenalia cluttering every inch of their apartment: diapers, toys, books, stuffed animals, strollers, tubes and tubes of A&D ointment, etc. It’s enough to drive even the sanest of mothers mad. So how awesome for you that none of these things will interfere with your life AT ALL!
I mean, you don’t even have to take the baby out of the nursery until they’re around 18 and want to go out on their own. Then just wall off the nursery’s entrance from the rest of the apartment and VOILA! Instant pied a terre.
As for now, I’m sure a swing set, a private branch of Kidville and a wing of the Children’s Museum can all be set up within the space provided.
Which leads me to a small request. Perhaps you could section off a bit of the nursery for my daughter, Mazzy? She’s very cute and nobody would even notice she were there. And as with Sesame Street Live and giraffes at the zoo, I would love to see her reaction to a such a large piece of real estate in Manhattan.
Particularly since our entire apartment could fit within your baby’s room.
Here’s a diagram done to scale:
I have an idea! Maybe you could set up the world’s first baby hotel in there! I’m sure tons of Manhattan parents would seize the opportunity to temporarily regain their precious office and storage space back from their children. So innovative!
I am not criticizing, Beyoncé. I am merely beyond jealous of your space and amenities. If we had the means, we would give Mazzy her own island and visit only when we needed a snuggle. Then we could finally get around to watching a Breaking Bad marathon. It takes forever when your television is within 10 feet of your child at all times.
Best of luck to you, your fetus and your outrageously large playroom!