Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh Home where is thine Beauty???

Looking at the living room that I just tidied with EVERYTHING scattered around, I wonder how someone so small can make so HUGE a mess. It's a little ironic really since she is quite the lil home maker. She knows where everything (that she wants placed)is to be placed. As such, Mommy and Daddy's legs for example are a NO NO in the sofa (and she'll take them out while shouting NO!) No miscellaneous item should ever be placed in her swing, crib or stroller and books should be in the book assigned area. So why is it that Mommy's sofa covers, centrepieces, family games and the like can't remain in place???

I tell you i've always heard parents complain about being unable to keep a tidy house and now I know why. I clearly recall a lovely living room makeover only months ago with black sofa covers, Bamboo Accents, Black wooden candle holders with little tea lights, Black and gold vases (I made these myself)and dried Baby's breath (Its a flower) to boot. Not too long after, with a fully mobile baby I discovered that my beautiful trimmings were not to remain in place. In fact it was with a heavy heart that I finally locked shop and removed all the added items. I mean after all my baby's safety is a priority, even at the expense of a beautifully decorated home to greet friends and loved ones..sigh.. But is there a way to achieve a balance? Can my home be kept BEAUTIFUL yet BABY proofed?

Voila I saw THIS written by Kayla Griffin
There is good news though, it doesn't have to be this way! There are children out there who put their things away, take their dishes out, and even put their clothes in the hamper! Children who can clean up after themselves without even being told. This all seems so exciting and new right well it gets better I am going to give you some tips on how you can teach your children to clean up after themselves.
So it can happen after all and thankfully my little one already knows where her shoes are to be placed for example and I'm sure with a little practical adjustments (Putting aside the centre table during play time, using velcro to fasten the sofa covers in place and putting more delicate items on higher shelves I'll be able to balance beauty and baby proofed :-D And then there's the challenging but rewarding task of teaching your toddler how to be mommy's little helper. So how do you strike the balance? Let us know and for more tips, I found THIS to be a good read.


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Friday, June 11, 2010

10 Things to do instead of Spanking

Having kids of any age sure has its down moments. Children by their very nature aren't always inclined to obey anything called rules. Then we have to sometimes remember as parents that some things that we call being rude are in fact just mere child's play. So faced with a uber hyperactive toddler or a nonchalant teen, many parents are tempted to offer a slap or two. Yet, more and more doctors and child specialists worldwide have been calling for more non-violent approaches towards meting out discipline. While the debate about to spank or not continues, varied views will be aired. My mother for one will tell you that a lil spanking never did us any wrong(smiles). She was however always quick to point out that discipline should never be issued as a way to hurt a child, but more of a form of correction. So if spanking is to be administered,do not do so in frustration as you may have regrets.

For those parents who do not wish to take a spanking approach, the team at Positive Parenting offers a list of alternative ways to effectively discipline a child. Please guage the information though as I strongly disagree with claims that spanking a child leads to children who are more prone to low self-esteem, depression and accept lower paying jobs as adults. I am perfect proof that this is not true. I must admit I was always a very strong willed (Jamaicans say stubborn child) who would sometimes disregard my Mother's instructions. Paired with siblings who were a little less strong willed, I may have come across as a little hard to deal with (Ask my mother now and she'll tell you she admires my resilience now that i'm grown -smiles-) At these times, no rod was spared. Yet if its one thing I know, I do not have lowered self esteem, depression etc. If any of these factors manifest themselves at any later point, I would have to thoroughly assess all other environmental, mental and physical factors in my life at the particular time to thoroughly ascertain wheter or not a spank here and there from my parents contributed to it.

So go on over and check out 9 Things to do instead of Spanking. It is in fact a good read and offers some useful tips. Also be sure to share with us what works for you as a parent. Do you spank sometimes? Not at all? What works? Let us know.


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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Being the Single parent (Mother)

Ever noticed those Television commercials that showcase families? Yes those ones that always have a nuclear family (ideally one boy, one girl) with perfectly white teeth and the endless smiles? yes, even as one such nuclear family, I've been bombarded by those, which has got me thinking about varied family structures and how they affect parenting.

In fact I have had the oppurtunity to meet varied mothers who have CHOSEN to raise their kids in a single parenting structure and I say CHOSEN because that is exactly what happened. Enter Kaycee: faced with a failing relationship with her boyfriend, she decides to call it quits. Only to discover after that she is pregnant. Everyone seems to think that now that a child is on the way, the 'appropriate' thing to do is to remain in the relationship and raise the child together. being a 'new age mom' as my mom calls it, she decides no no no. so she continues separated from her boyfriend and has the child. It is difficult she confesses, especially since she has so many mommy peers in a nuclear family setting. She says she manages however with strong family support and ensuring that her child's father is very active in the child's life. Her daughter adores him she confesses and "so I try to remain neutral when it comes on to their time together. I ensure that he knows about important milestones in her life (birthdays, doctor appointments, special trips etc). I do however wonder sometimes how things will be when she gets older and starts asking why her father doesn't live at home. That is something I think may be a struggle, so for now I try not to think about it" she reveals.

Many 'new age moms' like Kaycee faces a similar situation. Instead of remaining in what could be a potentially unhealthy relationship, they choose to raise their child in more of a single parenting setting. The key to being as close as possible to a successful child rearing strategy, therefore rests in how the parent mananges his or her time and how much oppurtunities there are for the other parent to be involved.

Enter Le-Ann, who having been married for 5 years, finally filed for a divorce. "It was a very tough time" she expressed. "With three kids and a very shaky job situation, I was forced to decide whether or not I would stay with my husband for the sake of our children. It always makes me feel guilty when it is put that way, especially since I chose to move on with life as a single parent, as our relationship was truly heading no where. No day is ever easy as I now have three times the work, and where Mark would have assisted with getting the kids dressed, I am now on my own". She also adds that the most difficult part of choosing to go this route is the constant questions from her kids. "Its always more difficult when the kids have gotten used to seeing their father everyday. They truly miss him and no matter, how much of a failing relationship we had, he was a good father to them". With tears in eyes she explains, "To date, the questions keep coming 'when is Daddy coming back? To this day, I have only survived the many questions both from my kids and persons in society, because I have told myself that in the long run I wouldnt have my kids see me crying at nights because my relationship was failing. The irony though is that I still cry, moreso because I know they miss having their dad at home, even though he is still very active in their lives and then there is the constant thought if they'll ever hate me for leaving when they get much older".

As expressed by both ladies, being a single parent-'new age' or not is no easy task and probably their biggest challenges come from concern about the wellbeing of their children and a very unforgiving society. As pointed out by family counsellors, Parents who choose to raise their child alone-separated from the father are therefore often bombarded by varied societal analyses which indicates that this sort of parenting is less than ideal. While there are indeed many challenges affiliated with this type of family structure, professionals have ascertained that there are in fact benefits for the 'new age mom' in a single parent family structure. The Associated Content's Jacqueline Parks, shares one of the major benefits being the ability to "develop more confidence in yourself. As you learn to make decisions on your own and solve problems, you will develop confidence that you don't need to rely on anyone else to get you through life. If you financially support yourself and your kids, that is another boost to your self-esteem". . Another major benefit is listed as " A less stressful home-Single parent homes typically have less arguing and are often less stressful than two parent homes especially for the children". Get the fulll list of benefits here . Also check out some of the challenges of being in a single parent home and subsequent strategies for a successful single parenting

And remember ladies, behind every dark cloud, there is indeed a silver lining :-D

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Putting the oomph back in your sex life after childbirth

Many moms after not having sex throughout or in the latter part of their pregnancy, do find it a challenge to ease back into an active sex life. For some couples, the need for sexual gratification takes over and so they naturally ease back in. I've always wanted to do an article on how moms can ease back into a sexually fulfilling life and my dear friend Nikii who blogs over at my bedroom scoop did a wonderful job. Ladies check it out here and men I'm sure you'll love the message being communicated.


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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March's giveaway from Arawak Publications

For this month, I have a special treat for you. This month's giveaway is still courtesy of Arawak Publications and is a digital learning cd rom. I have three copies and It features the classic Chicken Little tale in digital format in both English and Spanish. The cd is labelled for ages 4-7 years, but I'm sure younger kids will be just as happy with this gift. To win one of these, simply tell us, How you make learning fun for your children. All previous winners, please email me so we can organise collection of prizes. Thanks for the support guys and once you have received your prize, send us a pic and we'll be sure to display same. Since I posted this giveaway late you have until April 15 to post your comments. Cheers J Mom signature

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Unemployed Mother

Hello mommies, let me apologise for not being on top of the game as it relates to posts. My life has taken on a few turns and this post will give you an idea of why I've been so busy. Recently, I started a blog post from my phone about putting the oomph back in your sex life post baby. While I think that is still a topic to be pursued, It somehow got erased and sitting looking at my blank screen, with my one year old in hand, got me thinking about being the unemployed mother. Many of you may not have known, but I have been made redundant from my 'executive title' position since very early December of last year. Since then I have been on an optimist's high and jumped right into freelancing. After all, in my capacity of Public Relations Account Executive, I singlehandedly managed the department and as such knew the ins and outs of the business to operate on my own. So I did just that.

This process however has not always been as fruitful as expected. From late payments (just received a final payment from a job done in November)to an uncertain market, I've had my share of challenges,but as a mother there are definate benefits-not so much from being unemployed, but more from being a 'freelancing-mostly at home mom' (small mercies I tell you). So one of the major benefits is more time with my precious of course. When I look back at my 9-5 and beyond, it seemed so callous in comparison to seeing my daughter grow, hearing her utter new words and do little actions that gets me on the phone telling everyone, you won't believe what Kailee just did. Of course there's also the benefit of sleeping in late, having my baby SEE me every morning and those little wake up hugs are something to live for.

Being somewhat unemployed at home has therefore opened my eyes to all that I've been missing from my child's life. It also got me thinking that every country should allow new moms at least the first year of their child's life away from work. I mean being a mom is a FULL time job, so why is it that society treats it as secondary to a 'job job'. Alas I could go on about the merits of more time with your child/ren, but the major reason for this post was to show that it is true that behind every dark cloud, there is indeed a silver lining and in this instance my lining has become gold as I treasure all these little mommy and me momments. Sadly, while I love freelancing, it currently reeks of uncertainity. I have devised a few startegies to pull in more business, but at the other end if a position still jumps at me, I do the occassional interview (Financial stability reasons). So even as I, the 'unemployed' mother waits, I may not be earning a steady income, but the last 3 months at home can definately be seen as one of my most precious time as a mother. Are you a Stay at home or unemployed mother? Let us know how you cope as well. Cheers!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tamika you did It! Book Review and Arawak Giveaway #2

Congratulations to our first batch of winners. For the month of February, our book is for the older kids. However, younger kids may very well enjoy the familiar Jamaican dialogue and situations. "Tamika you did it" tells the story of a 11 year old Tamika, who is intent on being reunited with her father back in Jamaica. Shortly after birth, Tamika migrated to the United States with her mother. As an only child she was pampered with material gifts. However. Tamika's longing for her father was not to be pushed aside. So for her twelfth birthday while friends were preparing for her 'bashment' birthday party, Tamika tells her mother her greatest gift would be to go to Jamaica and meet her dad. Faced with a prodding daughter, her mothers agrees, on the condition that Tamika can fulfill a most difficult request-that of increasing her attitude to school and improving her grades. Tamika, though usually disruptive in class goes on a quest to be a better student and eventually receive her birthday gift. But this journey is not without challenges. Her disruptive friend always tries to break her concentration at school, she gets into fights and her mother keeps telling her just how bad Jamaica has become and keeps asking if she's sure she wants to go. So do you think Tamika will improve her grades and work attitude? Will she get to go to Jamaica? Find out more as this book is yours for FREE courtesy of Arawak Publications. I have 3 copies and all you have to do is tell me: what do you think makes YOU a good mother. Winners will be randomly can comment until the end of February, when we'll select our winners. And for those who wish to purchase this book, it retails for $600 at Sangster's bookstores islandwide.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Hope for the mommies and children

As many of you already know, Haiti has been struck a devastating blow and while aid is
pouring in, many seem to forego the needs of the many mommies and kids who are currently experiencing turmoil in Haiti. On seeing a newscast with 25 babies in a truck, as a mother I was moved to tears. With the lack of formula, the babies are being fed milk powder which gives their little tummies diahrrea and in turn dehydration. I know we all want to offer as much help as we possibly can. So I make a special appeal on behalf of moms, parents and children. In our giving, let us remember to send baby and children's clothes, soaps, diapers, wipes, formula, cereals, sanitary napkins, toothbrush, toothpaste and any other thing that you as a parent deem essential. I do not know how long the recovery process will be, but let us all in our own way, play a part. And even if you cannot send items, remember to pray for those in Haiti. Pray for the many orphans, persons in pain, the doctors, nurses, volunteers etc who are also working with limited resources. I do intend to further my part by starting a 'Save the Haiti Babies' awareness drive to encourage everyone to remember to drop off formulas, diapers and other baby essentials. Just please give whatever you can to the varied age
ncies in Jamaica currently collecting items. I plan to collect as much items as possible. Let us all work together, as the little things we do will make a BIG difference and as we know "One One coco, full basket" Keep your eyes here for an update on the "Save the Haitian Babies" awareness Initiative.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year and Book Giveaway

Happy New Year mommies and moms to be. I hope you had a wonderful 2009 and will remain optimistic in 2010. To start the year off right, Arawak Publications and its children's book authors have partnered with Jamaican mommies in our efforts to boost literacy among children. To this end, we will be giving away children books for varied age groups throughout the year. This is FREE and all you have to do is to share a memorable moment as a parent based on the specifications for each giveaway. Winners will then be selected randomly and we simply ask that once you've finished reading your book, you'll return to Jamaican Mommies and give us a review". Sweet right!

The first book we'll give away is Little Meeta. It is a colourful 21 Page book for children aged 3-6 years. Little Meeta speaks about an issue most common among children and teens, that of self-acceptance. Through its caterpillar character, Little Meeta, author Jean Goulbourne touches on issues relating to self. Little Meeta shares with her friends in the cabbage patch her dislike for her appearance and the book ends on a rather lovely note. I'll not spoil it for you though. I have 3 copies of Little Meeta to give away. All you need to do is to share something funny or smart that your child, niece, nephew, cousin or any other relative did over the holiday season.

So come on guys. This giveaway runs throughout January and next month we'll do another batch of giveaways. Happy New Year!

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